Sunday 25 March 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr - Turn 4

In Turn 3, I mentioned something about combat.

Like a storm approaching, you could feel it, couldn't you? In your waters.

You will not be disappointed.

This is where Turn 3 left us:

Movement was exciting. There were charges. There were manoeuvres.

There were casualties.

Fortunately, young Abudabi provided an excellent lesson in centrifugal force to Sklif's Shootas, by crushing the vital organs of five of them. As you may well know, even orcs require their vital organs in order to survive, so this brought their fascinating existence to an abrupt and painful halt.

One of the last things those poor orcs ever saw:

I believe we've reached the end of our tether with regards to the shooting phase. The only reliable war machine, the dwarf cannon, had no targets, so bloodshed was at a minimum.

In the end, the dwarves worked out the tricky thing with the crossbows, leading to the wholesale murder of three goblins. The goblins, not as keen on wholesale murder as one might think, chose life, chose a job, chose a career, chose a family, chose a suitably large television, chose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers.

And promptly fled.


Slapdash was having a good time. Apart from the weather, which wasn't brilliant, it was great to be out with the boys, planning to do someone some harm. He loved the banners and the trumpets and the general sounds of fighting. They brought him an enormous sense of peace. 

And so far, things had gone well. There had been a bit of an argument earlier in the day - Krunk and the boys up front had had to beat some goblins to get them into the fight, which was always fun. Slapdash had been too far back to be able to contribute, but just the thought that a goblin or five had copped it had made him smile. They'd marched over the body of one of the goblins, and he'd given it a suitably fun kick. Just to make sure - goblins were downright sneaky sometimes, and they would often play dead to avoid their duties. Disappointingly, that goblin really had been dead. 

That didn't matter, though. Krunk had a plan. A message had come through the ranks that the dwarves were close and all they needed to do was move a little to the left. Slapdash wasn't big on formations, but he'd lost a finger breaking formation once, so he and the boys 'kept it tight', as Krunk liked to refer to it. 

But then came the sound of shouting. There was always shouting, but this shouting had a distinctly different hue to it. On it rode pain, and triumph. In the end, there were two different types of shouting. The first was pregnant with dismay and shame, the second rich with pride and mockery. 

"Wot's goin' on?" he asked aloud, craning his head in the direction of the noise.

The other orcs were also curious, mumbling to each other and looking around. Slapdash heard Krunk shouting something, but that was lost in the noise of the other orcs suddenly all jabbering at once. 

"Its Sklif's lot!" someone hissed. 

"Wot's Sklif's lot?" hissed another.

"Legging it, dat's wot!"

"Who's legging it?" raised an uncertain voice. 

"Sklif's lot, is who. Dey're legging it!" came a clear voice through the tumultuous conversation. 

There was a brief lull in the din as the boys blinked at each other, each processing this piece of information at their own pace. 

Suddenly: "Where are dey going?" 

"Why are dey going?"

"How are dey going?"

Another silence. 

"I jus' said, din't I - legging it, is wot I said. Dat's how."

Slapdash and another orc nodded in agreement. That made sense. 

"Forget how - question is why - an' how come we're still here? If Sklif's lot are off, must be a good reason, innit?"

"You reckon der fights too hard?"

Wide eyed, the orcs started shifting uncomfortably. Slapdash could still hear Krunk shouting somewhere up front, but now most of the orcs were looking back over their shoulders, past Slapdash and his rank.

"Yer - you know Sklif - 'es a good orc. Don't run fer nothing. Must be a giant or summat up dere."

A giant? That caught Slapdash's attention. "A giant? Where?"

"Dere's no giant anywhere!" Krunk shouted, punching an orc as he waded through to the middle of the mob. 

"Was too! I saw it - "

"Dere ain't no giant - " Krunk started, but it was too late. 

"Giant?" one orc asked.

"Giant, " another confirmed. 

"Giant giant?" a third asked, using his hands to denote the potential size of the giant. 

"Really giant giant," a fourth mentioned. 

Slapdash's blood ran cold. He liked picking on things as much as the next orc, but a giant was a giant. Giants didn't get picked on, they did most of the picking on themselves. Giants were the pickers, and others were the pickees. Slapdash didn't want to end up a pickee. 

"I can't do this." he said to no one in particular. "I got kids!"

That was enough for the orcs. Suddenly they all cried out that they had kids, each trying to get behind the other. Soon pushing and shoving led to tripping and scrambling, which in turn gave way to full scale running. 


Krunk rubbed his eyes as he watched the rest of his boys run into the distance. 

"Sod it, I got kids too. Two of 'em. Put 'em on der slow cooker dis morning. Should be luverly an' tender, now."

He loped off after the boys. As the saying went, a kid in the pot was worth two in the bush. Or something like that. 


Let's be honest: you came for the combat phase. Like the citizens of Rome, your bloodthirsty desires bob just below the surface of your supposedly civilised veneer.

Readers! Quench your thirst!

In all, seventeen greenskins were cut down. Hatred had a large part to play in this. Hatred in later editions of the game allowed the hating player to reroll the to-hit dice in the first round of combat. In 3rd edition, it adds +1 to your to-hit roll. Together with charging, and generally being better at fighting, this allowed the Coohrs Light Foote to hit on 2's.

Readers familiar with the little affair over at the Wyemm Seeyay might already know about my dice rolling, so hitting on 2's helped. A lot.

Coohrs Light were able to start a trend in the orc army. By cracking Sklif's Shootas, waves of panic rolled through the orc lines, causing every greenskin to reconsider the value of curry powder.

In almost every case, they found it to be pretty worthless.

Of course, Khan Narbis eventually found his way to Sir Loyne. It would have been nice if Sir Loyne could have found Khan, but he's only a dwarf, and an old one at that. The mountain, it turned out, would have to come to Mohammed after all.


Yasmar Nodrog was with Sir Loyne. He could feel it. Throughout the course of this engagement, Sir Loyne had been mumbling prayers, mainly in the shape of recipes, to his god, calling on divine inspiration to see him through. He had watched the orc leader approaching on his boar. He knew the wild pigs of the forest were exceptionally dangerous, often fighting through ultimately fatal wounds to kill their killers. And, like all dangerous creatures, he knew that the more dangerous it was, the sweeter the eating would be.

He formed a question to his son.

"Here's a quandary," he said. He jabbed his finger at the enemy rider. "How do we get that blasted orc off that boar without hurting it?"

Tendhe Loyne pondered the problem as the orcs marched ever closer. "To be honest, Pop, there's now way you couldn't hurt it unless you politely asked it to get off the boar, I think."

Sir Loyne closed his eyes and rested his palm on his forehead. 

"The boar! How do I get the orc off the boar without hurting the boar, you idiot! I have no problem with hurting the orc! In fact, I have every intention of hurting the bloody orc! And don't call me Pop in front of the chaps!"

Tendhe saluted. "Sir, yes sir! Apologies for the confusion! I would imagine that shooting the orc at twenty paces with a pistol should do it nicely, sir!"

His son was right. Sir Loyne closed his eyes, bitter with regret now at leaving his beloved pistol set on the mantelpiece. No point in crying over spilled beer, though - he'd have to do it the hard way. He leaned over and whispered to his son. 

"Leave the rider to me. He's mine. Tell the others."


Sir Loyne stepped forward as the orcs slammed into the dwarven line. He had no command of the guttural grunting that appeared to serve the orcs as a language, but by pointing his sword at the orc general and running his finger over his throat, he broadcast a message the orc appeared to understand. Kicking his boar in the ribs, the massive officer careened into Sir Loyne. 

Sir Loyne received the boar's tusks directly against his shoulder plate. Hopefully, that was the most pain the creature would suffer before he could get around its flanks and slit its throat. Yasmar Nodrog would be very angry indeed if he did any damage to the muscles. 

The impact spun him around, adding to the momentum required to swing his sword. Going full circle, his blade came down hard on the orc's shield. Orc and boar visibly moved under the impact of the blow, but Sir Loyne knew the blow meant nothing. 


Khan Narbis didn't have any clever names for tactics, or martial arts, or, well, anything, really. he just knew patterns. If you lived long enough, you could recognise patterns and apply the right pattern in the right place. The pattern was simple: the dwarf had a two handed sword and had separated from his mates. What he would do is swing it full circle to get the maximum power against him. The thing to do was, put the shield in the way, and then wallop the little dope right on the top of the head. That's how this pattern went. 

And that's exactly what he did. 


Sir Loyne realised that he had underestimated the orc commander. Normal orc equipment was badly maintained and his sword would easily have chewed threw the shield. But this - this was the commander. No doubt, his shield had come from some sturdy dwarf warrior, because it didn't split at all. 

The next think he knew was that the sky had fallen in. It felt like the entire thing must have collapsed on his head with an impact like a meteor. He fell to his knees under the force of the attack. Panic rose as he realised he couldn't see anything. Suddenly, the din of battle seemed twice as loud. He heard the pounding of feet and the clattering of metal on metal. Painful cries echoed around him, some near, some far. 

Suddenly: hot breath! on his right!

He set his feet and swung the sword with all his might. The blade bit deeply into the ground, the wet grass unable to contest the keen edge of the sword. 

Then he could see! His eyes came into focus just as his mangled helmet bounced off the ground. The impact of the sword strike had freed the split remains of the helmet from his head, which he now realised was the thing blocking his vision. Thank Yasmar Nodrog! He yanked the sword from the ground and faced the orcs. 

But they were gone. 

He quickly realised that Murphy and his boys were jeering and whooping, shouting at the fleeing orcs. Some started to give chase, leading to everyone, even Sir Loyne, enthusiastically charging along behind them, jeering and throwing stones. 

Sir Loyne scratched his head. He tried to piece the events together in his head. Evidently, he must have head butted the orc, probably on his weapon hand, causing the thing to break its sword, or its arm, or something. The cowardly thing had probably freaked out at that point, realising that the dwarf could kill it just with his head, and had fled, taking his horrible colleagues with him. 

He grunted some thanks to Yasmar Nodrog. The boys didn't know it, but they were bloody lucky he'd come along. He'd clearly saved them with nothing other than the simple sacrifice of his helmet. They didn't seem to realise it, seeming to think they'd fought the orcs off by themselves. But he, and no doubt Yasmar Nodrog, knew better. 

Jolly lucky, was all he could say. Jolly lucky, they were.


Sir Loyne issued a challenge, bearing the full brunt of the charging boar and orc warlord. Eventually, Khan Narbis proved to be the more able fighter, skilfully beating his way through the brave paladin's defences to place a wound.

I mention this challenge because I thought it would be a good idea to explain a little house rule we have. The thing with characters in Warhammer, and especially in 3rd edition, is that they can become very overpowering very quickly. We decided that a good approach to combating this, whilst still encompassing the heroic aspect of characters, was to say that figures could only kill figures they were in base contact with.  Essentially, this means that a character, or a troll, or anything with lots of attacks or is generally very good at fighting, might really, really butcher anything it can touch. It also means, however, that the entire unit won't be annihilated by one good dice roll. This compels powerful creatures and characters to seek each other out (as would be expected in any good fantasy setting), where their attacks and strength would be of more value, instead of wading through rank and file units, whilst their own unit stands back, clapping and cheering. Heroes become heroes, not just a different type of unit.

This explains why Ruger was constantly taking rout tests and losing combat, even though (on paper) he had a stat-line that said he would almost always draw combat. As it was, he very nearly routed this turn!

Unfortunately for Khan, Larlog's Lashers succumbed to panic at the very moment of his triumph, casting his victory into doubt and no doubt saving the life of Sir Loyne.

So, Turn 4 ended with much screaming and running. The only greenskin unit still facing the dwarves was the Man Mangler.

Will Khan Narbis be able to regain control of his army? Will Sir Loyne finally clear the way to his beloved curry powder? Will Abudabi collect a further toll on the orcs & goblins? Find out in Turn 5!


Battle Navigation

Turn 4


Saturday 17 March 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr - Turn 3


Turn 3.

In the programme tonight:

The Orcs stop taking animosity tests!
Dwarves charge!
The Gamesmaster implements a house rule!

At the end of Turn 2, the situation was as follows:

The orcs, now mostly within 12" of an enemy (any one will do), are no longer obliged to test for animosity, and surge forward decisively. Neither fanatic dies, but both oblige the dwarves by moving away from the dwarf line.

And Ruger charges.

In 3rd edition, slayers are subject to Frenzy. A warrior can't just Frenzy, he needs to work up to it. This is represented by taking a Cool test. If you fail the Cool test, you enter a frenzy and benefit from the effects.

So let's be clear. Ruger is cool. I mean, he's so laid back, he's practically horizontal. Even the death of his four compatriots hasn't ruffled his feathers. Definitely a movie action hero sort of character - always under control. Only bad guys lose their tempers in Hollywood.

Basically, he failed to fail the test, which means he doesn't benefit suffer from all the awful effects of frenzy - never routs, +1 to hit, +1 to wound and +1 to armour save. Awful. Sure glad I missed those effects.

I guess he just wanted to do it the hard way.

The goblin fanatics surprised me, by not dying, and by not killing anything. Thanks, chaps!


Goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, dwarves, wall, orcs. Goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, wall, orcs. Abudabi's feeble mind strained to process the information coming in. Round and round and round he went, his giant iron ball the only clear object in his vision. 

It felt like he had been spinning for ages. He could barely remember his instructions and spent every last wrangled effort of his brain trying not to trip. Tripping was death, and death would not honour the Profit. 

The Profit. That thought surfaced in his drug addled brain slowly, but it stuck. Goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, dwarves, wall, orcs, Profit! 

What was it that Bahg-Dahd had said about The Profit? He remembered it was important. Orc, wall, tower. Why? Why was that important? Rocks, dwarves, tower. This was really hard. Don't trip! Not good for The Profit!

A fleeting vision floated before his eyes. He remembered! He remembered when he had been recruited. Bahg-Dahd had found him at college. He had been hanging out with the other Day Three's, arguing about the political oppression the goblins experienced at the hands of the orcs and other races. Wall, dwarf, goblin, wall. Abudabi stumbled slightly and felt himself veering away to what he suspected was his left. Heart pounding, he clung desperately to the chain of the iron ball - the only anchor in the swirling world he now occupied. Goblins, rocks, dwarves, very surprised dwarf - that was close! - tower, dwarves. 

Bahg-Dahd had explained how unique Abudabi was. The other Year Three's would just graduate to be low end grunts, losers like the rest of the goblins. But he - Abudabi - had potential. Abudabi was disenchanted with college anyway, and found easy companionship with Bahg-Dahd. He was so much more understanding. So much more cutting edge. So much more revolutionary. Bahg-Dahd agreed with Abudabi that the goblins could be a free race. That they could throw off the yoke of oppression. They could rule the world, if just given the chance. If they took the chance...

Tower, dwarves, orcs. Then, one day, Bahg-Dahd made a suggestion. 

"Wait. Wait, wait, wait! Wot's that last bit you said?" Abudabi asked.

"About der vergins?" Bahg-Dad grinned.

"Yer - about der vergins. You reckon' you gets seventy two vergins?" Abudabi frowned. He'd gone on to complete all four days of college and had graduated with honours, but he just didn't seem to have enough fingers to work out how many seventy two really was. 

Orcs, goblins, rocks, dwarves.

Bahg-Dahd nodded. "Yer - great, innit?"

Abudabi raised an eyebrow. "An' dey're all girls?"

"Er, sure. Yeah. All girls. If dat's wot you want?"

Abudabi was fairly sure that was what he wanted, yes. He was also a 'vergin', so he couldn't be absolutely sure, but better safe than sorry, eh?

"An' all I gots to do, is eat dat, and carry dat?"

"Um. Wrong way round. You carry der ball and eat der mushroom, yeah."

Dwarves, tower, dwarves, WALL! Every muscle in Abudabi's legs strained to haul his spinning mass away from the approaching wall. Not now! Mustn't. Fail. The. Profit!

Thinking about The Profit drew Abudabi away from reality again, back to a different conversation with Bahg-Dahd.

"So who is Der Profit?"

"S'not a who - its a wot," Bahg-Dahd replied. 

Abudabi giggled. "Hee hee, you said snot!"

Both goblins cackled in glee. Abudabi reached forward and popped another little mushroom into his mouth. He and Bahg-Dahd had been popping 'shrooms all night. He'd never felt so free. 

"I ain't never seen any Profit, but its real important. War is Profit, dey say. And money. Money is Profit too!"

"An' Time is Money," Abudabi added. He'd learned that at college. 

"Yer, Time is Money. So War is Time, see? Dat's how you get paid divvydends!"

Both goblins paused to take in this deep universal truth, nodding to each other slowly. 

Abudabi had successfully hauled himself away from the wall, nearly leaving his feet in the monumental effort to avoid it. Dwarves, wall, orcs, goblins, rock. 

He remembered Bahg-Dahd going on to explain how, by swinging the ball in endless worship of The Profit, he would get his divvydend. Abudabi had no clear idea what a divvydend was, but it meant being paid, which was apparently crucial for the seventy two vergins. If The Profit favoured you, you became Profit-able, and might be able to attract even more vergins. More vergins than all the goblins in the tribe could count on their two hands. But you had to swing the ball. And swing and swing and swing. Only then would the vergins come. 

Abudabi was getting tired now. It felt like he'd been swinging for days, and he'd not seen a vergin or a divvydend or anything. All he saw was orcs, goblins, rocks, dwarves, tower, dwarves, wall, orcs.  

Must. Hang. On...


Shooting was typically pathetic, with both sides failing to astound. It could have been a different story, however. Let me explain:

Warmachines in Warhammer 3rd edition are Devastating. Note the upper case 'D'.

In an earlier turn, Blue scored a direct hit with his Man Mangler. The actual hit would have deleted the unit. Entirely. Likewise, this turn, my cannon (would have) rendered non-existent a vast swathe of orcs.

Dreamfish, being the conscientious Games Master that he is, decided in both cases to step in and moderate the state of affairs with some house rules. Dreamfish is exceptionally methodical and represents the true neutrality of his position excellently. He considered the problem from various different angles, discussed with us what we thought we should do, and then implemented his judgement. If, at this point, you're wondering what the hell a Games Master is, allow me to refer you to Zhu's superb article on the subject. Even the chaps over at Games Workshop still acknowledge the existence of this bizarre, mythical creature on page 427 in the large Warhammer 8 rule book.

Essentially, to give the chaps a chance, we've said that stone throwers will cause damage as they do now in the 8th edition - that is, the hit in the middle is at full strength, whilst everyone else under the template is at half strength. Also, in 3rd edition, cannons cause two hits per rank - we've moderated that to one hit per rank - again, much the same as later editions of Warhammer.

So, the warmachines have been downgraded a little, to allow some units to go and actually hit each other with axes. All for you, dear reader. All for you. At the end of this report (in 2018 at its current rate of progress), we'll list the of the house rules we've implemented.

For all the missile weapons on the table, only five lives are lost. Three orcs and two dwarves.

Combat! That is, good 'ol Ruger, that oh-so-cool armour wearing slayer who couldn't succumb to the fury of his goblin hating wrath enough to enter a frenzy, hands it out to the poor goblins, disappointing his family further by failing to fulfil his slayer oath yet again.


What Ruger need right now was anger. Righteous, furious anger with which to relentlessly hurl himself at his hated foe, bringing glory and honour to his name and family. All he needed was just a little anger. Was that too much to ask?

Simply put, he just couldn't get into the swing of the thing. Sure, he hated goblins as much as the next dwarf, but it was an inherited hatred. He didn't really feel it. He just, well, did it. Because everyone else had. That wasn't really hatred, was it? That was just being a bit narrow minded at the pub. Sure, he'd killed he goblin leader, but it was very matter-of-fact. It wasn't a bitter thing, or a revenge thing or anything like that. He'd just hit him because he was there. Truth be told, he didn't even hit him very hard. Maybe that was just a goblin thing, though. He had noted that the tended to fold in half when he dove his axe into them. 

Self-doubt had been plaguing Ruger for a while. Why was he such a bad slayer? What his family needed was some closure: a good name and a dead son. But, try as he might, he just couldn't get killed. Seven months on and was almost as if his family were trying to give him advice. 

"The problem you have, son, is that you're too analytical," his mother would say. 

"She's right, you know. Pick on bigger things. Don't just find one troll in the woods. You need to get a pack of them when they're in heat!" Uncle Minspiy said. 

In fact, the only thing that Ruger had been able to get angry about was the fact that he couldn't track down a pack of trolls in heat. He had no idea what trolls in heat looked like, or where they could be found. Uncle Minspiy was less specific about that point. Ruger wasn't an expert, but he was fairly sure that packs of female trolls didn't go out behind the temple and try to blag a smoke from passers-by on Friday nights. 

And now, here he was, fighting some goblins, comfortable in the knowledge that they were most likely not going to kill him, just because hordes of their predecessors had failed to do so. That should have made him angry, but ... nothing. 

Then, suddenly: anger! He had accidentally killed another goblin. He had been trying to let one of the others get a flank on him, but whilst swinging at one on the other side he'd bloody knocked the flanker's head off. Oh, the frustration!

This is why he was never going to get killed - he was just too clumsy...


The reserves phase was about redressing the lines. Well, the Dwarf lines. The Orcs only have one objective - move forward. The dwarves, outnumbered as they were, were preparing a flank charge on Larlog's Lashers. Unfortunately, Sklif's Shootas moved closer, despite the threat of the fanatic, causing the dwarves of the Coohrs Light to reconsider their position. In the end, they turned to face.

The situation at the end of the turn:

In Turn 4: Combat is joined. Well, more combat...


Battle Navigation

Turn 3


Tuesday 13 March 2012

Warhammer 2nd ed (40k, they think) in the news...Good Work, BBC

This is a very interesting article. Go and read it now. 

Top element of this was the fact that the first mention of an individual actually related to GW in any way is Gary Chalk and a reference to the 80's and Orc's Drift. That's not a problem, Gary's great and represents a wonderful era of the company. This is what was said about him:
Gary Chalk, a 59-year-old fantasy game creator and illustrator, knows all about its Britishness. He used to design Warhammer and Warhammer 40K games in the 1980s and 90s. His trademark wit is evident in Bloodbath at Orc's Drift (an elvish version of the Michael Caine film Zulu) and a naval ship battle he called "All the Dwarves Love a Sailor". Still an enthusiastic table-top gamer, he does, however, believe Games Workshop uses its monopoly on the products to target and exploit increasingly younger fans. 
The prices for essential models, paints and books are "eyewatering", he says.
Cheers to you, Mr Chalk! And thanks for Orc's Drift. And all the other stuff you've done. Even if that didn't really have anything to do with 40k.

The article continues:
And Chalk claims the game is now less interesting. "The original rules were about fantasy combat and creating character. Now the rules only work within their imaginary world, with their figures and it cuts out all the other influences."
GW did offer some sort of defence:
Games Workshop's executives say they don't do media interviews, preferring to focus on their hobbyists. But chief executive officer Mark Wells emails me about the claim of price exploitation. "That would go against everything we stand for. It's just not in our nature," he writes.
The sentence that I'm really interested in is this one '...preferring to focus on their hobbyists' - I can't imagine they focus so thoroughly that they can't do a media interview? Don't they have a PR department?

Anyway, credit where credit is due, well done to GW: it is still better that you don't go out of business, actually. I just wish you were nicer to us, is all. 

And listen to Gary - make your games more interesting.

Friday 9 March 2012


Its been a while since I posted last. If you're like me, perhaps by this point you'd be thinking, "well, its been a little while now. Either he's dead, or he's ignoring me." Doubt would set in, and you would start to wonder if I was no longer interested. Perhaps you'd describe the situation to your friends or family. Certainly, the ones that never liked me in the first place would immediately recommend that you go and find another blog to read - one that cares about you enough to post on a regular basis. Other, more understanding friends would suggest that you should just give me some time to explain myself. They might hint that you should keep an eye on the market, however. Just in case a wealther, more handsome blog came along. You never know. Either way, one thing might lead to another and before we knew it, you'd be reading other blogs, and our special relationship will be over.

So, let me explain myself: The delay has been to do with my wife. I have been very concerned for her health over the past few months. Certainly, over the past six or seven months, I've watched with consternation at her inexplicable and constant weight gain. Having learned manners in a typically English fashion, I know better than to ask a lady about her age or her weight. I decided to apply the stiff-upper-lip technique. Say nothing, give her some time and no doubt she would pull through, sort herself out and stop eating so much. But the weight never stopped coming. Eventually, seeing that the stiff-upper-lip technique was adding no value, I decided to broach the topic:

"Honey, dear," I started one day. "I'm a little concerned about ... well, you know..." I looked pointedly at her belly a this stage.

She raised an eyebrow, daring me to continue. I should have detected the danger then, but I forged ahead:

"I'm a little concerned about the, er...puppy fat that you seem to picking up."

Well! Allow me to confirm that hell, indeed, hath no fury such as a woman scorned.

After the medics had left and the police agreed that no charges were necessary, my wife explained to me that she was suffering from a condition known as pregnancy.

Now I am an educated man. I am familiar with the constellations and the movements of astral bodies. I keep a keen eye on all matters religious, political and financial. And my experience did not fail me, for I have heard of, and come across, this condition before. Having met other people suffering from pregnancy, I knew that the condition almost always resolves itself and that the victim will most likely recover their shape and good humour, going on to live a normal and healthy life.

My relief was palpable. I apologised to my wife for my earlier lack of sensitivity, and commented on how I knew that it would all soon be over - that she need not suffer for much longer.

It was at this junction that she casually introduced the notion that this episode of pregnancy would culminate in the production of a baby, and that I should prepare accordingly.

Having already mentioned my education and life experience, I realised this was utter poppycock. Pure superstition! I remarked that pregnancy had nothing to do with childbirth, that childbirth was scientific nonsense and that when we had discussed an heir to my kingdom and future scion to my gaming wisdom, the child would be delivered by stork. I even remember describing what sort of child we should look for: capable of captaining a rugby team (at least at county level), likely to earn a doctorate, future winner of a Nobel prize and a regular participant in the space programme. I presumed these were all options in the catalogue?

I trust that you are sitting down when I say this: it turns out that scientific opinion is now against me! Apparently, the vast majority of mankind now believe that pregnancy is merely a symptom of the gestation period that occurs when a woman is with child. This child grows from some atomic particle or other into a fully formed little person within the belly of the afflicted lady, until the time is judged right to deliver said baby between the bones of the pelvis.

I'll believe it when I see it, is all I can say.

So anyway, the considerable delays to the updates on this blog have been mainly down to preparation of this new family member. I have cleaned, polished, sterilised, vacuumed, assembled, disassembled, painted, stuck, clicked and fitted a whole array of fascinating baby paraphernalia to the room in which the child will live and the various items required to support it.

It is this activity that has interrupted the otherwise smooth flow of battle report turns, painting and general bitching about the state of Warhammer today.

Please accept my humble apologies.

As a warning, it is right for me to say that the baby is due (apparently - I don't trust these sciencey - doctorey people one bit at the moment!) sometime in April, which I imagine might introduce further constraint on my time. As always, I am dedicated to the business of this blog, and as soon as I've managed to bundle the little tyke off to military school, everything will return to normal.

Stiff upper lip, chaps!