Monday, 23 December 2013

That Other Warhammer Fantasy Pamphlet

Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum's Thighs Open for Business!

A True Recounting of the Prostitution Of the Gravin.
As much as it PAINS this humble and modest speaker to REPORT it, there are many who SUSPECT that for some time now the GRAVIN CLOTHILDE von ALPTRAUM has been suitor'd by a STRING of base and crude fellows, with one such LOWLY and UNWORTHY knave standing tall in her AFFECTIONS.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Enemy Within - Day 8

Chapter 48 - “The Menagerie” OR “We’re No Further Forward Than Last Time”


The Party head towards the Averburg Gardens that morning. Jochen has an invite and skips through the gate hand in hand with his boyfriend, Konrad Mauer. The pair mingle amongst the other guests, Jochen showing his engagement ring to all and sundry. People comment on how well Jochen looks, who beams with delight. Konrad proudly pats Jochen’s stomach saying, “Not long now”, amidst happy coo-ing from the other noblewomen.

There is no security on the gate as they haven’t turned up yet. Oh no, wait, there they are.

Bauerfast: So you’re the ones von Kaufman has entrusted to provide security?
Albrecht: That’s correct, Captain.
Bauerfast: Well we’ve been relegated to patrol outside because...
Ichabod: Hang on, you’re not allowed inside the grounds at all?
Bauerfast: No. The reason for this...
Ichabod: Quick everyone inside before he starts dropping plot nonsense on us.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Breakfast Club of the Living Dead - Halloween Actual Play

It's become a yearly tradition now to get together with friends and run a one shot game of Call of Cthulhu for Halloween. When I run CoC I'm a pretty brutal keeper, the dice fall where they fall, make a dumb decision you'll probably get eaten, etc, so one shots tend to work really well cause players can cut loose and have fun with their characters without worrying about trying to stay alive for next week. Actually thinking about the attrition rate of the on/off regular campaign maybe they are really all one shots.. Muh Wuh ha ha Ha......

Scuse me, anyway previously on Halloween we have played a Hammer Horror esque wolves and vampires romp, John Wicks excellent SS go mad in Africa scenario, "Digging for a Dead God" and classic CoC adventure "Secrets of Castronegro" (although this actually took 3 sessions and a year to complete)  this year we traveled back in time to 1984 to defile the John Hughes classic film the Breakfast Club.....

The premise was pretty simple, take the basic film set up, 5 kids, Saturday detention, 1 teacher, 1 Janitor and liberally apply zombies, everything's better if you add zombies.

The players get to introduce their character arriving at school and then get an uplifting speech from the teacher Dick Vernon "Right you maggots I got you all day, sit here, don't move write me an essay". who then leaves them in the library.

Of course they immediately start mucking about and annoying each other. Allison and Bender climb up to the mezzanine where they can see a fire burning in the distance and some emergency vehicles go by, whilst Andy and Brian try to sneak out of the library. Andy pulls off a super athletic knee slide past Dicks office but the awkward Brian crashes into a magazine rack. Dick catches them and demands an explanation, they say they are going to the toilet and Dick begrudgingly ends up escorting all 5 of them for a toilet break.

Obviously bored that no fights or monsters have appeared yet, Andy decides to try to trip Bender over on the way into the boys toilet (or maybe bathroom as this is set in America). Bender keeps his footing and comes back with a good slug to Andy's face. Brian decides to come bursting out the cubicle waving his pistol, but then feels a bit awkward and runs out of the bathroom...

Only to slip over on a trail of blood and water and crack his head open on the floor. Alison and Claire arrive back from the girls bathroom just in time to see Brian go ass over tit and have a good laugh before Andy and Bender cool down and rejoin our teen terrors in the corridor who muse over the cause of so much blood and where oh where is their beloved teacher..

They soon deduce the cause of the blood and water in the corridor, Paul the janitor comes hobbling round the corner pushing his bucket with his broom and slopping bloody water around. 

Claire screams

As the janitor lunges for them, Andy decides how hilarious it would be to get the janitor in a wrestling hold and then frog march the frothing and biting fiend towards Allison, holding him just far enough away to not chomp off her face. 

Claire screams

Allison remembering I had jokingly given her 105% for her Art skill (like that will help) cheekily uses it to stab the janitor through the eye with a pencil ( I had to let her use it really). 

Claire screams

Andy finishes off the zombie by slamming the janitors head and protuding pencil against the wall and the janitor collapses to the ground dead (again).

I think Claire probably screamed again.

Course by this time Dicks back, back from the dead and dead hungry for flesh. Rather than run, the teens decide to exact some vengeance on their favorite teacher, Bender stabs him in the face and Alison recovering a giant can of hairspray and lighter from her bag attempts to create an impromptu flame thrower....

and rolls a 98, critical fail......


Can blows up in her hand and also burns off Benders hair.

Claire...doesn't fancy bender anymore.

The players with years of zombie movie experience behind them decide the best course of action now is obviously to turn on each other, and Bender makes an attempt to take the gun from Brian, should be pretty easy he's only small...


thats another critical fumble and the gun goes off shooting the tip of Benders nose off!

Meanwhile Andy has managed to stomp the teachers head in.

Whilst they take stock, from round the corner down the hall comes "parp, urrrghh, chang, parp, urrghh, chang". Finally someone makes a sensible decision to get out of the corridor and our hapless heroes head for their lockers.

A small break is taken by all the players to dance to footloose.

We return to the action at the lockers where the teens of mean are confronted by a zed in football strip and helmet. Meanwhile from up the stairs behind them comes the source of the "parp, urrrghh", a zombie in a tuba, followed by a zombie impaled on a clarinet and a zombie still carrying cymbals in fact an entire marching (shuffling?) band.

Andy in an unlikely flash of intelligence deducing the helmet will protect the zombies brains instead grabs him and throws him down the stairs into the band creating a cacophony of noise and buying the gang enough time to crack open their lockers. Bender retrieves his weed to engage in some self prescribed pain relief, Andy his baseball bat and wrestling mags, Alison applies some actual first aid to her hand and refills her bag of tricks and Claire sets fire to her locker..not entirely sure we ever got to the bottom of what the plan was there.

Bender decides to make another play to get tooled up this time trying to steal Andy's baseball bat....seeing yet another pointless scuffle break out Claire and Alison decide that their chances of survival would be drastically increased by getting shot of the boys and run off down the hall to the wood work lab, stopping only to lament the fact that the caretaker has the keys they get Brian to shoot the lock open and grab chisels and hammers before making an escape out the window onto the flat roof of the science block.

The Zombie marching band crawl stumble and lurch back up the stairs and grab hold of Bender taking a lump out of his thigh. Another critical damage roll later and Bender is zombie chow on the floor. Andy makes a break for it, following the others into the woodwork lab.

Claire (passing a luck roll) finds a fire escape and stealthily slips down the ladder and nips past the Zeds in the car park closely followed by Allison. Andy only stopping to brain Brian, knocks him unconscious and steals his gun before making a run for it across the roof, down the fire escape and dodging through the zeds out across the car park.

With all the booze drunk and the witching hour approaching quickly our glimpse into the terror of the 80's draws to a close our parting shot poor Brian coming around to find himself face to face with his "pal" Bender and a horde of undead who unceremoniously bite him to pieces....

Great fun. If only the players were smart enough to realize how crap the zombies were, if only they could work together for a minute it would have been real easy to escape the school....

Truly we are the monsters...

or they were...I was just the GM :)   

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Turning Japanese

In progress shots of my jungle terrain for Bolt Action. Mix of aquarium plants and cheap model palms off e-e-bay. The Buddha is also an aquarium piece (from Pets at Home). Further down the line I will add some different tree types but quite happy with the results so far.

The Future of Wargaming

Jake's first project!

Finding time to myself is difficult especially during the daytime, so I gave up and got the boy involved.

I do the hot glue gunning of the plants base to the MDF, Jake does the white glue and sand.

Just need to train him to dry brush next.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Dread Ball League

League Results

Team Name
Green Hornets
Thunder Mountain Hoarders
New England Rat-riots
New Ork Giants
Ben’s Robots
Ben Robots
Yawn Humans (TBD)

Next Fixtures 21 November 2013

Green Hornets Vs Forge Fathers
Yawn Humans Vs Ben's Robots

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Enemy Within Campaign: Day 7

Ahh, dear readers, do you remember the scene from Goodfellas where the bar owner goes into business with Paulie, purely as a way to get the Joe Pesci’s psycho off his back. However, Paulie just runs the business into the ground without concern for the bar owner or his bar.

Henry Hill (narrating): “But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me.”

A similar situation happened prior to this story that you hold in your very eyes...

Players: “Where’s the story write up of the last adventure?”
GM: “Oh, I’ve had a busy time of it of late”
Players: “Fuck you, story”
GM: “Great news though, I have a girlfriend now!”
Players: “Fuck you, story”
GM: “But I've been single for pretty much my entire life and this girl is...”
Players: “Yeah, 'special'. Fuck you, story”

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Enemy Within Campaign - Day 6

Having got the measure of his players, the GM prepares for the next session by not preparing any adventure notes.  He does however bring a book he's currently reading on the Roman Empire, some snacks and his iPod.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Enemy Within campaign: Day 4 & 5

 Reviewing his notes, the GM realises the party has gathered about 10% of the clues they should have done by this point. He resolves to rectify this imbalance with some subtle hints. The party have one final discussion with Curd Weiss on their mission to find the missing Red Arrow coach and it’s contents. Curd: “You need to walk the route the coach will have…” Ichabod: “Can we have a coach?” Troll Slayer: “Yeah, my imaginary legs get really tired when I have to roleplay walking 12 miles” Curd: “Well, the clues to finding out where the coach was dragged off the road and into the trees will be… err, I mean, hypothetically speaking, if the coach was dragged off the road you’d need to…” Ichabod: “We can look for clues even quicker from the back of the coach” GM thinks to himself, “What would a real GM do at this point?” Curd: “Erm, we don’t have any spare coaches…” The party seem satisfied by this solid gold explanation and proceed to walk the route.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The game of 40k that was instead X Wing

Between work and being daddy day care I didn't have time to prepare for a game of 40k so Tom and I settled for X Wing instead.

Clover Fett
X Wing has fast become my fave minis game. Besides having a really tight rule set, and lots of variety in builds it's simple to just get this out and play. Don't need to worry about  terrain, getting down the 6 x 4 table, dice, measures, writing a list and then finding all the minis. Also X Wing plays quickly (about an hour) which is perfect for a weeknight.

Another good thing is X Wing scales to however many players you have. 1 on 1 with a 100 points and a bunch of ships each is cool, or if there's a bunch of you you could go up to 8 Imperial players all flying an academy tie vs 4 players with an X Wing each.

Short story Rebels won, tabled the Imperials and only lost their Rookie Pilot. Han was my MVP. Completely forgot to use Garven Dries ability to spawn additional focus, forgot to set up the Rookie close enough to Han to make use of Swarm Tactics and also most importantly forgot that the Fire Spray can fire it's primary to the rear arc (sorry Tom I'm blaming the wine and being spangled from sleep deprivation).

Han hot dice Solo (3 crits and a hit) and a Fett sized gap
Well I enjoyed it and can't wait to get my hands on the wave 3 ships Friday

Oh and those big ships are hard to maneuver....

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Enemy Within Campaign: Day 3 & 4


The day dawns with a heavy fog, but it soon clears away. The rains of the previous night have stopped, although the river is swollen still. With the return of Jochen to the party (having been whiling away his time his new BFF Konrad), the investigation into the disappearances gets re-energised. Jochen suggests re-examining the first body found, Klaus Keller, at the Temple of Morr. The GM reflects that this is actually an excellent idea, but realises the imminent arrival of a Post Urchin to deliver news on the Second Body, will look like forced plotting. Leaping forward into the story with the grace of an overweight spider with 7 of it’s legs hoovered up by an angry housewife, the GM lets the story unfold regardless.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Enemy Within Campaign: Day 2

Bezahltag Early morning and Ichabod is rudely awakened by Buster barking at the dirty window. He’s spotted or smelled something outside that’s gotten his interest. Grumbling, Ichabod searches for his boots, before realising he’s still wearing them, then stumbles downstairs. They tread over the sprawled form of the troll slayer and step into the fog laden pre-dawn.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Enemy Within Campaign: Day 0 - 1

Following up on their recent battle, Albrecht searches the bodies of the disguised bandits, looking for coin and adventure clues, he finds neither.  Ichabod confiscates one of the bandits crossbows.
The defiant scoundrels then set off for Averheim as the evening draws in.  Jorg the farmer and the Troll Slayer share a warm conversation.
Jorg: Are you comfortable?
Troll Slayer: <looks into the distance>

Monday, 29 July 2013

Battle Report: Cherkasskoye, Operation Citadel 5th July 1943

Saturday saw the 2nd installment in our (very) occasional series of Kursk encounters, the assualt on the main Soviet line at Cherkasskoye.
(full details for the scenario and TOE can be found here:)
The German view of the battlefield from Butovo prior to the placement of the anti-tank ditch and the Soviet defences

The 67th Guards Rifles dig-in at Cherkasskoye

The formidable defenses

Turn one and as per history, a command blunder has the Panzers stumbling into a marsh
Soviet High Command check their situation maps

The Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadiers move up cautiously

Early game and the germans are massing in the cover of the cornfield, shrugging off the loss of their air-cover
In what was to become a familar sight, artillery had suppressed a Russian Command stand
The Panzers move up to firing positions

View from the Russian front lines

A few brave PanzerGrenadiers make a dash for the cover of the anti-tank ditch

More suppressed Russian command stands (sigh)

Von Cleuswitz demonstrates his unrivalled ability to pass successive command tests
Turn 4 and as usual with BKC, casualties are light so far

Sutov and his adviser Sam comfirm that the panzers are still out of range of their guns


Confident in his dice rolling, Von Cleuswitz takes time out for refreshment


It's bad news for the Russians as the forward artillery observer makes the cover of the anti-tank ditch (particularly given the slightly over powered misreading of the artillery rules we were using)
Mid game and the german view of the Russian lines shows a few gaps developing

Now the CO is suppressed

The 199th hold firm on the left flank

And the right flank is holding steady (shame about the centre...)

It's crunch time as the GD lunge for the anti-tank ditch in force - with the pioneers taking up position

Russian mortars thwart the plans of the first unit of pioneers

The start of turn 10 and the russian casualties are becoming unsustainable

Clearing the ditch, the Germans halt at the wire belt, amused that the russians have not placed their hidden minefields in front of the village but to guard against a mythical flank attack
Suppressing fire proves effective yet again

Technical victory to the Germans on turn 10 but we play-on figuring that if their going to capture Obyan, they need to occupy Cherkaskoye by turn 12

Darren ponders the irony that the Germans have won before they finally bridge the ditch

Panzers poised to exploit

An ill advised assault on a bunker sees the entire German first wave suppressed as they lose badly


Which displeases Darren as he's forgotten that suppression comes off at the end of your turn


Victory is secured. Flanking fire from the left suppresses some of the Germans...

and the last ditch charge from the right flank falls tantilisingly short with a final failed command test at 6's

A dejected Sutov awaits his fate at the hands of the NKVD

So, some closing thoughts. A massively enjoyable day for all concerned. The table looked great and the scenario was fun. It was pretty touch and go as to whether the Germans would prevail, despite the overwhelming casualties they caused. It came down to not much more than a failed command test on turn 12 for the Russians. Great effort from Darren once more in constructing a meaty and plausible historical scenario and plaudits to von Cleuswitz & Sam for great company and great dice rolling
There were some problems, some due to our massively overpowered misreading of the artillery rules, but mostly of our own creation as the Russians. We placed the ditch too far away from our defenses meaning we couldn't really pour down concentrated fire on the infantry while not halting the tanks far enough away to stop them shelling us. I  bizzarely placed all our minefields on the right flank. Our scheduled barrages were in the wrong place .... I could go on!
Furthermore, the Germans out ranged us with their tanks, meaning that they could simply stand off and snipe our ATGs. I think a re-run might need some rules for hidden deployment or simply not letting the tanks fire until the ATGs had opened up at them to better reflect the historical events. 
Wish we had time in our lives for a re-fight but now it's on to Game 3 ...