Wednesday 30 May 2012

Terror Of The Lichemaster: The King of Spades

It's been a long, long search, but finally, finally - Ranlac has a home:

My home, to be specific.

Which takes us to 13 of 17 figures. Only Corabell, John-boy, Grimwald and of course, the Ace of Spades himself - Heinrich Kemler - to go.

Interestingly enough, the rarest of those for me now is actually Grimwald. I've only ever seen one of those, just when I started this exercise. I could have had him for £12, but I thought that was too much at the time.


Anyway, this is where we are now:

And, with three of the big four in the collection, this thing is starting to feel tangible...

Sunday 20 May 2012

WFRP: Play by Post - We're Underway!

Well, Erny has chucked us into the thick of the thing. As mentioned in my previous post, I've opted to participate in a Play by Post WFRP campaign. We have a forty eight hour 'turn', in which our actions are to be posted. Quite sedentary by the standards of most role players, but still punishing for new dads.

Also, we opted to start with the Oldenhaller Contract - the intro scenario in the rule book, just so we could get into the thick of things before commencing with The Enemy Within. Our characters are the same, however.

I play Wanda:

Anyway, check out the unfolding of this little exercise over at the blog:

A word of caution - we are seven different authors* working completely independently of each other, as and when we're able. It's not The Lord of the Rings.

Finally, by way of linking this post to something vaguely warhammer related - now that I've mentioned the Oldenhaller Contract, you should be able to cross the bridge of the river Pun and make the connection with the Oldhammer Contract. Clever fellow, that Zhu.

*I use the term loosely

Saturday 12 May 2012

Sabotage - The Enemy Within!

I lamented in my previous post about the considerable amount of time I've had to allocate from my hobby to my new family. And, try as I might, I've yet to be able to convince my dear daughter that being quiet and lying still is a hugely rewarding activity to be undertaken whenever possible.

I tend to use the word 'sabotage' to describe anything that inhibits hobby time (you know - like life), but almost always, that sabotage comes from elsewhere - an outside source.

Unfortunately, I think I've just gone and sabotaged myself.

Erny, the proprieter of Erny's Place (not to be confused with Ernie's Place) declared that he would start running a Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing campaign. It is to be an online exercise, you see.

Interesting, I thought. I'd like to see how something like that pans out, seeing as I have a vested interest in online 'board' gaming. But then he did something unexpected: he invited people from the internet to play.

And, like James Bond to the arms of an eastern european spy in a bikini, I folded and applied to participate.

Masochism being my new favourite activity, I then thought - I wonder if I could write some sort of journal from the view of the character I play?

So, I've clipped time from my dwindling supply of hobby time in order to play an offline RPG online. And I've proposed to write about it.

The campaign he will be running will be the (apparently) hugely atmospheric The Enemy Within - the first of what I understand is a series of campaigns set in the Old World. We will be using the pre-generated characters the module supplies, and in the end I have elected to play one Wanda Weltschmertz.

Wanda, as you may have guessed, is a woman. And, whilst it may never have been expressly stated, it is now: I am not a woman.

Which brings me on to my role-playing credentials. Like almost all of the the people involved in this hobby, I started with Dungeons and Dragons (the Rules Cyclopedia, if you must know), before discovering the joy of lead. I was young and I didn't really understand the difference between role-playing and roll-playing. I wasn't entirely clear why my strength 18(99) minotaur dragon knight fighter/mage couldn't carry 10,000 pieces of gold and 500 feet of rope in his pockets, whilst hefting two vorpal axes of berserker rage with extra giant strength (+5/+10 vs undead).

Later on, when I started mastering games, I realised what role-playing really was. But by then, it was too late. The problem with roll-playing is it quickens the route to meta-gaming. Very quickly, I realised that I couldn't 'unknow' the things I knew. All my characters knew that killing trolls involved fire - even though they'd never seen a troll before.

But, throughout the D&D, I never ever played a female character. Or even a human character.

At this point, I'd suggest my credentials are, at best, dubious.

Now I've kicked around the fantasy world a bit. Been around the block a few times. I know Wanda probably looks like this:

Or this:

...because that's what fantasy women look like, right? I mean, the fantasy we're talking about here is not the fantastic, is it?

This is the drawing from the module that Erny provided:

I mean, its very 80's, but she's in the ballpark, right?

But a casual conversation with someone regarding WFRP set me straight. Apparently, the old world is a dark place. It is the historical medieval world, but with extra hopelessness and darkness thrown in. He advised that something like this might be more appropriate:

He also mentioned mud. Lots of mud in the Old World, apparently:

Anyway, this is another drawing of Wanda from the module:

Whilst there's nothing to say she isn't wearing a plate mail g-string, I would suggest that's probably not the case. I imagine she would call that garment she's wearing a 'frock'.

Her special skills are that she can read and write. Look - she has a handbag. And she's not afraid to use it!

Back to WFRP. I've never played it. Ever. I remember picking up the book once, paging through, and taking note that necromancers will eventually develop a funny smell and that children and small animals will avoid them. Apart from that, I know nothing. 

So, I know nothing about WFRP and I know nothing about playing a woman. And, just because I've had a recent brush with pregnancy, doesn't mean I'll only draw on that experience and act irrationally and emotionally. I'll park my horse badly and buy lots of shoes too. 

My point is that, for Erny (the GM), I should make the ideal player - because I know nothing. He could tell me anything and I would have to believe him. I can never say something like "1d6? I'm sure it says 2d6 in the description..."

In short, my role-playing credentials are second to none.

Saturday 5 May 2012

Warhammer for Parents


Three weeks down - only seventeen years, eleven months and one week to go. Ostensibly, parenthood is for life, but I need a light at the end of the tunnel, so lets just go with eighteen years, shall we?

From what I can see, the only clear difference between mankind and any member of the animal kingdom - let's say, for example, a jackal, appears to be four hours of sleep. I know this, because having missed out on opportunities to claim my four hours of sleep, I can confirm that all rational thought evaporates, and one operates purely on instinct.

I just caught myself about to throw an empty biscuit packet down the toilet. It made sense at the time.

The thing is, I think I'm getting the hang of this now. Parenting and painting, that is. Here is evidence:

That's right - a painted figure - one that I've painted since the BOJ* came along. It took ages, and has really challenged the way I currently paint, because I suspect it unsustainable.

*Bundle Of Joy

And, if you have a solid memory, you might say - hang on, you've already painted one of those, how do I know its not that one?

Well remembered. Here are the two of them together:

As you can see, the other was damaged and has been repaired to have a giant machete sort of thing, and has different coloured armour.

With this extra chaos dwarf, that means I now have nine painted - one more and I'll hit another milestone!

But lets go back to that unsustainable painting method for a moment. The problem I have is that I cheerfully sit there layering away, never using any inks, or washes, or shades, or whatever the kids call them these days - except for my trusty brown ink, of course.

I must now raise the challenge - if I am to continue with this sort of hobby - perhaps not so much playing, but just the simple joy of painting - I must get more efficient. I recently saw a post of some chap mentioning how his target is to get a figure painted in an hour. It sounds like an excellent idea, but I am too OCD and panicky to even experiment with my lovely old lead. Yes, I know, I can strip them, etc, etc. OCD is my enemy here, because I'm struggling to break out of my old behaviour, and I somehow suspect my figures will hate my for trying. I can't have angry figures now, can I?

Still, I forced myself. I was in town somewhere, and I popped into a leading gaming outlet, where I picked up the following:

As you can see, the seals have not yet been broken. To be honest, I don't even know if I've bought the right thing. I don't know what I'm doing, and I don't know what to do next. I've even wondered how weak I was that I fell for the pimply faced marine's painting advice with these things. The figures I have are older than him, so what does he know, come to think about it?

So, perhaps the thing is to throw the question out to the wider forum:

What is a quick way to paint figures? Could I get a good looking figure in an hour? Is such a thing possible? Are inks part of the solution?

As a complete aside, I am now aware that Citadel have changed all of their paints. Whilst I've tended to avoid the balance of GW's stuff, because it is no longer from the 80's, I've used the paints because I know the colours and to be honest, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But now they've gone and changed everything on me, so I guess that final tie no longer applies.

So, a second question to the community - what's a good alternative? I believe that the paints that GW used to use in the 80's/early 90's are still in production by another company?

Oh, it's a girl, by the way. 8.5 lbs, or 3.7 kgs in new money. Daddy's She's still getting a nerf gun, though.