Friday, 26 May 2017

Soloquest: Thieving BA*&$RDS!!!!!!

Ah Heroquest, its like slipping on a well worn in leather jacket, it fits just right and brings back memories of adventures of years gone by. I do love the big box of gateway goodness, its the beckoning hand that reeled me in (after Mr Livingstone and Mr Jackson had cast the fly) to a life of little plastic men at the tender age of.....well that would be telling!.
I mean look at it!!.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY_YRatOInA

I have already posted my homebrew solo play rules (here) and my hero creation rules (here) but since then i havent gone so far as to get the game down off the shelf!, i know shame on bloody me!. All thats about to change!.

You see i was at work today pulling the now customary 12 hour shift in the midst of a mini heatwave (so much humidity, my undies were damper than the amazon in the wet season!) and i had an idea that must have only been caused by a combination of dehydration, fatigue and boredom!. Wronghammer is missing a Soloquest game report, but this one is with a twist!.......

  'BASTARDS!, BASTARDS!, ROBBING BLOODY CHAV BASTARDSSSS!!!!!!!!' raged the dark lord Villaraxxx the many x'ed, lord of almost total darkness, destroyer of worlds, upender of reason, learned student of the black arts as he kicked the strewn and broken debris around his study. 'TOTAL,TOTAL BLOODY THIEVING BUNCH OF DONKEYS BOLLOCKS, MASSIVE LOAD OF PILFERING DUCK SHITES!!!!' he screamed as he grabbed the burned pages of his archaic spell book and flung it against the wall, scattering its torn pages in a storm of loose paper. He looked up as the door flew open and a cowering green shape slithered into the room. 'WHERE THE BLOODY HELL DID YOU GO YOU USELESS BAG OF TOTAL STEAMING WEASEL SPLUFF' screamed Villaraxxx at the sniveling figure '.......pppplease master, i dont do no 'arm, i got the rest o 'lord o darkieness i went and gots them to 'elp you calm all down an that'. As he spoke a massive green brown reptillian creature with one large eye in the center of his snouted head walked gingerly into the room. 'Come on now boss, whats all this then?' the creature said in measured tones, holding its arms out towards the angry wizard. 'WHATS ALL THIS HE ASKS?, WHATS ALL BLOODY THIS!!!?. I WILL TELL YOU WHAT IT FLIPPING WELL IS, THESE BASTARDS BROKE INTO MY COSY STRONGHOLD, MURDERED MY HENCHMEN, SMASHED UP THE PLACE, STOLE ALL MY GOLD AND KNICKED MY BLOODY MAGIC STAFF!!!!'. 'Oh i see, we've had adventurers in again, why did'ent you say so!'. 'ADVENTURERS!, THIEVING BACKSTABBING MURDERING THIEVES MORE LIKE!, WHAT DID I DO TO THEM?, THATS WHAT I WANT TO KNOW, WHY ME?, I WAS GETTING READY TO RETIRE, THAT STAFF WAS GOING ON EVIL BAY, IT WAS WORTH BLOODY GOOD GOLD, IT WAS GOING TO BUY ME A MANSION IN THE DARK LANDS, LIFE WAS GOING TO BE WALL TO WALL WITCH ELVES AND ODDLY SMOKING COCKTAILS WITH TINY UMBRELLAS AND LITTLE PLASTIC MONKEYS ON THE RIM, BUT NOOOOOOO SOME BLOODY CHAV ARSE HEADS HAD TO BREAK IN AND STEAL IT.....BASTARRRRRDDDDDSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!. Villarax picked up a golden candle stick and flung it at the open door. It was answered with a muffled MMMMHHHHMMM!!!. as a massive figure clad head to toe in grey plate including a huge horned helm that seemed to muffle his speech strode into the chaos of the room. 'Oh sorry goretex i did not know you were there'. The metal clad giant shrugged and made a noise that carried a hint of 'no bother'. The reptillian creature tried again. 'Now come on now boss calm down, getting mad and throwing things wont get the staff back, lets have a nasty cup of weed tea and talk this through, get it off your chest. my sherl used to say a nasty cup o' weeds makes the world seem foggier'. 'Cyglax, when will you learn that a cup of nettles in tepid swamp water will not fix these things?, i need to get the staff but i cant can i?'. The metal man raised his head and said something that gave an impression of 'why not?'. 'Because Goretex, they are the good guys, they are supposed to be what passes for heros', we have to sit here and put up with these invasions while they kill and maim and steal all they like!.......hang on a mo, when i was getting humiliated by these thugs where were you and froggy chops over there?' he inquired pointing at Cylax. Cylax jumped to his feet and quickly answered ' Its not our fault boss, we were stuck in the torture chamber, we cant open doors. Its in the rules remember?, We had to wait for Snivels to come get us'. 'Yes i know all about the rules, 1 body point, black shields, cant even open the doors for ourselves, yes im very familiar with the rules.' Villaraxxx slumped down onto his semi smashed chair, shoulders sagging in defeat. Silence filled the room for what felt like an age, the occupants dejected in defeat. Suddenly Villaraxxx looked up, a strange look on his face. 'Hang on' he said to the room at large, 'what if we refused to follow the rules, what if we decided we were the heros, i mean, we have been wronged, they broke in here and murdered our work mates, they came in here uninvited and stole anything that they could lay their hands on. What if we broke into their stronghold and went after them?. I SAY BUGGER THE RULES, MAYBE ITS OUR TURN FOR ONCE, He stood up tall and smothed his tattered robes proudly.' MEN WI..' Cyglax gave a small cough ...'fine, AND FIMER ARE YO...' Snivles coughed.....' REALLY, I NEED TO SAY IT. BLOODY HELL, AND GOBLINS' he glanced sideways at the little green creature 'happy?' he asked it with a hint of menace. The goblin met his eyes before looking away and nodding. 'Where was i.....right, yes.....'ARE YOU WITH ME?'. The three gave a rousing cheer (or a muffled sound a bit like one), they grabbed their weapons and went out into the fading dawn, Four heros on a quest to recover that which had been stolen from them, four heros willing to face danger, face hardships and to face their destiny!. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Mentally Terraformish, Rats over Lowbridge (AAR)

'Anyway, i think i may get this game played tonight (if i can prep and base enough militia minis in time!) so i may turn this one around quite quickly (which will be a change!)'. Thus ended my last post over two weeks ago.....what a tit!!. So why the wait?, well i have just returned from two lovely stress free weeks with the family Sprinks in Spain, and i have stayed as off line as poss during this time. I did play this game before going but it has had to wait until now to write this up. Sorry!. You can read the first part of this post here.

   The outlaws camp was cramped, muddy, smelled of rotten veg and this noontime was alive with the sounds of fiddlers fiddling, outlaws singing, drunks burping and wenches....er......wenching!. Big Ronnel lurched over to the lone figure clad in a hodge podge of rat pelts and rags on the edge of the crowd, The man was stooped, feeding morsels of food to a gaggle of massive rats crowding around his dirty feet. Ronnel stopped to laugh at a bawdy jape and pat mouldy dave on the back before facing the rat man . 'So young Stephan you were no jokin' yous can deliver on your word, me an the boys thought yous was just full o' shite but turns out you really can get people to do what you says. we's all been talkin', he held out his massive hand in friendship 'put her there, if yous wants it yous can be one of us', he grabbed Stephans hand before it was offered and turned to face the rest of his men 'AY BOYS, WHAT DO YE SAY, HES ONE O US NOW, ONE O THE BLACK WOOD BOYS EH!, YOU AN YOUR RATS!'. The rest of the outlaws raised their flagons and dropped their strumpets and gave a rousing manly cheer. Ronnel pumped Stephans hand rather too enthusiastically, almost dislocating his arm with a massive smile on his massive face. 'Who'd a thunk it, me an the lads ave been tryin' for months to raid the tax wagon out of the bridge country and youz just walk up an ask those solders to give it to us!'. Some of the men raised sacks of stolen gold and gave another hearty cheer.  He put a brotherly arm around Stephans shoulder and turned him towards the men. 'I have to kno' how do you do it?'. Stephan stepped away to remove Ronnels arm, causing Ronnel to stagger a few paces, the ale making him unsteady. 'First thing my man, its The majestic Stephan, I,ll have you know i dident spend the last three years honing my talents to be just called stephan. And i dont want to join your grubby little band i am going to lead it!'. Ronnel looked confused for a moment before he began to protest. Stephan cut him off before he could say anything. 'You are the first of my underlings, soon i will form an army of obedient followers and i will storm the lords keep and take the area for my own before enslaving the local townsfolk and then marching against the crown itself!!'. Ronnel looked confused, then angry then a little more angry before his features finally twisted into a toothy smile. He laid his huge hand onto Stephans shoulder and let out a massive belly laugh!. His men relaxed and also joined in the laughter. 'Oh youz really ad me goin there pal, i thought you was for real for a mo....'the Majestic Stephan'....what is you like man...'. While Ronnel roared with laughter Stephens face grew dark. He looked at his biggest black rat and clicked his fingers, the rat bared his yellow teeth and jumped at Ronnels neck, a spurt of crimson sprung from the big mans wind pipe and he fell back with a dull thud. The rat leaped deftly to the floor and washed the blood from its nose. For a moment the camp went silent, then as one the outlaws drew their blades and notched their bows. The majestic Stephan raised his gnarled staff and waved his hand before the camp. 'You will drop your weapons' he said slowly, not blinking. As one the outlaws dropped their weapons and stood, confusion on each face. 'You are now my loyal followers you will do as i bid and will obey me totally. As one the camp repeated the words vacantly, all except one brigand who shouted 'YOUZ CAN BUGGER OFF MATE!!' and charged towards Stephan with his club raised. Stephan sighed, theres always one that dosent take, children if you would be so kind' he turned and walked away as the rats pounced...... Above the gnashing and screams came the sound of horns and galloping hooves. 'Damn, we've been discovered, men to arms, defend the camp!', without blinking the men collected their arms and rushed to meet the attackers......

 So another game and the first in the setting i am beginning to put together. I thought a small game would be best as time has been in short supply. To this end i gave Dragon Rampant another spin and once again it was alot of fun!. I played a pitched battle but decided that if any side lost their leader they would loose the game. The forces i chose are as follows:

THE DEFENDERS OF LOWBRIDGE
Clockwise from the front: Militia missiles ( light missiles), Militia foot (light foot), Border guard (heavy riders with missile upgrade), Lord of lowbridge and sons (elite riders), The lord is the forces leader. The minis are a mix of Mini art, Streletes, hat and A Call to arms.

THE BLACKWOOD BOYS (UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP)
 Rear from left: Bow armed brigands (light missiles), Outlaw foot (light foot). Center: The Majestic Stephan (light foot, wizardling: Almighty prod!, Befuddle thee!, Bog Thee!), and in the front: Giant rats (lesser warbeasts). The minis are airfix, red box and games workshop.

As ever the miniatures are on coloured bases, the Militia forces are on Red with white trim and the outlaws are on Black with Green trim.

The game takes place on the edge of  darkwoods eastern side, at noon.
The local forces rush to attack the outlaws head on, From the left are the horse, border guard and The lord and his boys, the Militia foot in the middle and the missiles on the flank.
The outlaws rush out to meet the attackers, on their left the bowmen stand guard the rats and the Majestic Stephan skulk behind the rocks.
The foot face the Militia on the other flank.
The outlaws take the chance to get forward and close the distance, they all advance against the foe. The militia also advance and the missiles pepper the outlaws with shot killing one of them.
The horse also gallop forward to face the foe, the border guard eager to hunt down the wizard and bring him to royal justice!. Stephan orders his rats to shield him.
The outlaw foot charge forward but cant quite reach the militia and the Bows seem confused for a moment, the glamour of Stephans spell weakening, or may be it was the ale!. The militia take the chance to unleash a flurry of missiles on the outlaws battering them, Captain Turner then gave the order to 'pay attention for smith sake and CHARGE!!!

 Even the militia are too much for the demoralized outlaws and they turn and flee!, Captain Turner  tries to reform his men while they seem intent on jeering, swearing and mooning the fleeing opponents!.
In the center the Majestic Stephan fixes the border guard with a stare and raises his staff, the border guard suddenly seemed to go blank and stop dead on the spot!.
                                         'Come get me you one eyed horse shagger!!'
The bowmen fire on the Lord and his boys wounding young Delpher twice, seizing his chance Stephan guides his rats against the Border Guard!
 The rats push the border guard back, killing two of them and sewing confusion among them!, in reply the Lord and sons charge the furry buggers!
'CHARGE THE FURRY BUGGERS!' (see told you!)
The rats are driven off by the horse and suddenly their leader dosent feel so majestic exposed against the combined Horse!.
Oh bollocks!!!!
Mean while Captain Turner has an idea, a cunning idea of truly amazing  cunning idearness. 'follow me men, lets sneak round and get 'em from behind. And no stupid jokes about taking them from behind or suchlike!'

While the lordly horse get peeved by the sharp sticks of the bowmen pinging off their armour and sweep them from the field!.

The majestic one decided to form a new plan. 'Right men, fall back and protect me.....men.....men.....'

Theres bleak and then theres this!, The Majestic Stephan considers his major decisions in his life and how the bloody hell hes going to get out of this one, i called the game at this point as he was the only member of his force left and the whole enemy force was bearing down on him!.

Well calling that one sided is like saying Salad fingers* is a touch dark!. However it was a fun game to play and i enjoyed watching the outlaws fall apart!.

Well all thats left this time out is to ask the question on every bodies lips, Is Duc de Goblin a sufferer of masochistic episodes?. I ask this because he has become the latest person to follow these silly writings of mine!. You are very welcome sir, glad to have you along!. I cant tell if you are a blogger or not, if you are please put a link in the comments as we would love to see what you get up to when you are not following this twattery!.

Anyway....till next time!

*
see!


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Mentally Terrorformish: Rats over Lowbridge (prologue)

So, rather than move on to the next nation i thought i would play out a game in the nation of Verland i detailed last time out. I took one of the scenarios i suggested  and decided to expand upon it. Enjoy.

.....the action takes place in the eastern side of dark wood next to the village of Lowbridge (so named because within its boundries is a low bridge, as opposed to the neighbouring settlements of Highbridge and Broken bridge. Simple folk and all that). but first we are transported to the village square where the militia have been gathered......

'Right men' said captin Turner, leader of the Lowbridge irregulars (and cooper to royalty), veterans of the battle of slops mound, who almost got out of the inn on time to march upon the rebels of Stonewatch, who managed to not all crap themselves before the charge of the bondsmen of brechdorne at the battle of  Northpass (old tom was looking the other way and billy the stumps was deaf and half blind anyway). 'We have been assembled at the will of the Lord of Lowbridge, the representative of the royal counsel no less and he will be along any moment so for the Smiths sake stand to attention, let me do the talking and please, please do not be yourselves!'. At that the sound of hooves on cobbles filled the square as a slew of horsemen entered. The three at the head of the column were dressed in fine if slightly old plate riding fine warhorses, the rest were in tattered mail and leather, they were rugged and dirty and many has scars on their faces and exposed arms. the leader was a bearded man with an  eye patch over his left eye, chewing an unlit cigar. The riders stopped in front of the gathered militia. The lord of Lowbridge was a large man with long grey hair and a close cropped grey beard, he studied the assembled men before him. 'Captin, is this all of you?' he said. Captin Turner stepped forward nervously 'yes me lord these are the famous Lowbridge irregulars at your service sire'. At the word famous the leader of the ragged horse snorted in derision. 'Yes i can see that captin' the lord retorted 'what i mean is, where are the rest?', 'Well me lord we lost quite a few at the scrap over on the hill last new moon quelling that riot at the old inn' answered Captin Turner. 'Ahh yes' replied the Lord of Lowbridge 'i recall that one, those sewing circles can get fiesty after a few turnip wines'. 'Yes me lord and there was the training exercise last week we lost three there too'. 'Why what happened?' Asked the lord. 'It were  Nate the brewer sire, he liked to try his produce a bit too much you see, he turned up drunk as anythin. next thing Quentin the cheesemaker said somethin derogatory about radishes and Nate flew off the deep end, never could keep his temper that one!. He chopped off Quentins head and stabbed Glup the masseuse in the guts. We had to shoot him in the end!'. 'Right well you lot will have to do' announced the Lord. 'Allow me to introduce you to my son and heir Ralph' he said turning to present the young horsemen to his right. Ralph looked at the ground and mumbled a greeting 'elloanthatimralphnthat'. 'And my second son Delphus, hes almost been accepted to train for the royal guard havent you boy' said the lord turning to his right hand. Delphur also stared at the ground 'yesdadihavedadelloevryone,'. 'And this is Corpral Callur of the royal border guard horse who has been sent by the kings counsel themselves no less to help us in this important task' he said with more than a hint of pride in his voice. The rough man with the eye patch guided his horse forward a few paces, removed his cigar and spat a massive pool of flob and half chewed tobacco at Captin Turners feet. 'Right listen up' Callur said, his massive booming voice filling the square and challenging all other voices in the world to just try to interrupt him. 'We have been sent to chase down a threat that has settled with the outlaws in the dark wood. A so called wizard has set up with a fierce band that have been terrorizing the local area. We are calling on you to join us in a daring daylight attack on the outlaws hide out to eliminate this threat. We have identified the outlaws position and plan to attack at noon to ensure we are seen and get some proper resistance, for us its all in a days work but for you this may be a suicide mission, however as the local militia it is your duty to do this and as such you will join the attack under the lords command. And be warned, while on this exercise if any of you SCUM step out of line i have orders to skin you alive and play chopsticks on your rib cage with whatever manhood your daddy gave you....IS THAT UNDERSTOOD!'. The irregulars to a man suddenly looked at their boots and mumbled. The Lord of Lowbridge took over 'right, if all thats clear we will take up position. On we go, Captin lead your men on theres a good chap'. Captin turner swallowed hard,'right you heard his lordship, by the left....'

All thats left this time out is to offer a massive wronghammer welcome to the latest basketcase... er follower of these humble pages. Step forward Mr Symphonic Poet who it has to be said writes a fantastic blog by the name of the Tartarus rim which is frankly wonderful, i dont want to say too much about it so you get the full eclectic whammy without me spoiling it for you, check it out its great. Welcome sir!.

Anyway, i think i may get this game played tonight (if i can prep and base enough militia minis in time!) so i may turn this one around quite quickly (which will be a change!). Till next time.....

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Left on the shelf

If  your anything like me as a gamer you own more than one rulebook and have played a few of them. Trying out a new rule set can be a lot of fun and discovering the ins and outs, the innovations that make you wonder why you never thought of them, not to mention the rules that leave you arguing with a book due to lack of clarity and plain old common sense is part of the voyage of discovery of gaming new rules. If like me you like to 'home brew' and mash up rulesets to give you the right 'feel' often reading rule books can inspire you to fill gaps in other rules and solve problems that stoop the experience being everything you feel it needs to be.
......Also it means you have a shelf full of books you have to convince the other half you really do need and have to add to as a matter of priority!. I have 2 rule sets (well 3 really) that i gravitate towards when gaming and they have featured more than once on this blog. If i want to fight out a skirmish i tend go for Lion/Dragon rampant. If its a bigger battle its Mantics Kings of war (which i know i always say can be downloaded free here). I just like the way they play, they feel right to me so i stick with them. But what of the other rule systems i have gathering dust?, why have them, why keep hold of them at all?.
If i'm honest i will probably never play these other games if i have not done so yet. But owning a rule book is not just about playing the rules, its more than that.
  As items i love a nice rule book. I love the backgrounds (the fluff) that are often written into the system. Dont get me wrong i will never buy an army book, i feel they are a bit of rip off if im honest, just my opinion but there you go. but even if i dont like the background for whatever reason i like the fact that one is included and will try to get under the skin of it, i appreciate the act of creating a fantasy setting and the achievement of putting together a whole world in which factions cohabit and argue and....well....stab each other with sharp things!. As someone currently trying to do that exact thing in the mentally terraforming series of posts i am putting together i can appreciate the thought that has gone into the evolution of a setting. I also love interesting systems and mechanics, i love the feeling of a writer thinking in new ways to streamline the gaming experience. I love the presentation and 'feel' of a rule book. They have a charm of their own, from the old school print and paste black and white typed books of the early rule sets to the highly polished full colour stuffed to the gills new fangled sets they each have a charm of their own and give you an appreciation for the blood sweat and tears that went into building the tome you are reading.
  But the fact remains i will only play roughly 20% of the rulesets i buy, i may nick mechanics from the ones i dont from time to time but if im honest i will not actually use them to play a game. And i bet its the same for some of you guys out there!.  Its a shame so i thought i would use this post to ask a question. Which rule books do you own that you love but will never actually use to play a game?. I'll go first:

FANTASY WARLORD
By Gary Chalk and Ian Bailey
This game was from the early 90s and created as an answer to the direction Warhammer was about to go in. Its a very detailed ruleset with rpg elements for character creation and a very interesting order based activation system that almost looks too detailed!. It also has a fantastic background included that was really going somewhere. It is also full of Gary Chalks art work which is worth owning the book for on its own!. Artwork just like this:
By Gary Chalk, legend.

CHRONOPIA
A camp as hell high fantasy system from 1997 by Target games with interesting mechanics letting unit members act as individuals as well as cool fumble and critical rules. In terms of look it has high fantasy well and truly nailed. If you think games workshop did shoulder pads get a load of these puppies!




TACTICA MEDIEVAL


This one always gets my interest, its a medieval mass battle game, very old school in feel but seems very smooth as a system. Add to that detailed siege rules and very cool campaign rules that encourage diplomacy and a large amount of back stabbing. I keep telling myself i will get round to this one some day....... 

RALLY ROUND THE KING
A mass battle game that uses as many or as little minis as you want and that has an inbuilt solo play system that looks pretty tight. It has been said that it is hard to play using the rules as written but that kind of adds something to it for me, call me a masochist but the idea that it will take dedication and not a little home brewing to make it 'go' actually makes me want to try it! (one day!).

and........

Yeah.....i know!
Now dont get me wrong i have a special place in my heart for games workshops behemoth of a fantasy game. I love the early editions that allowed and encouraged you to not only get involved with building the game in your own way ('here's a point system now buy some minis a get on with it!'), i even have a soft spot for 4th and 5th edition even though the game was becoming the wallet draining black hole of army books and 'meta' gaming (uurghh!), breading a generation of list building champions that could beat anyone with just a few loopholes and a calculator ( but oddly not a girlfriend!). It was a brilliant, massive, living, breathing entity that sucked you in and made you part of the world it was building!. So why dont i play it?. Well, its not as much fun as it thinks it is....its clunky, its bloated, its obese and it contradicts itself. There are more fun games out there, not many better settings, its worth buying the rulesets to explore that but on the table it no longer stands up in my opinion.

So its over to you, what rules do you own but will never actually play?.....












Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mentally Terraforming- The last of the western kingdoms

So back in again to look at this crazy little land. I mentioned last post that i would 'zoom in' on parts of the world and cover them in detail. I decided to begin with one of the central nations in terms of the evolution of the world. I do need to mention all the nations have differing relationships and some of the content of this post wont make a lot of sense until that nation is covered in similar detail so bear with it and loose ends should tie themselves up in the end.

First i thought it best to show the world i am expanding on:

picture by my inner 6 year old!.

Today i am going to look at a nation in the middle of the western side:

 The westlands, the last true kingdom and the lands under the alliance of guilds.

VERLAND, the last kingdom.
 In times past the west was ruled by a collection of kingdoms, greatest of which was the kingdom of Verland. Known all around for its riches and massive army it was a powerhouse among powerhouses. Verland always stood out for its ability to rise above the petty grudges of its neighbours and expand its borders into lands that would prove to be of strategic importance. The kings held the isles of the inner sea for years while the other kingdoms argued over their own boundries, creating trade routes to the east and protection against raiders. Verland is the last monarchy in the west, the rest being engulfed  by the guilds years ago and they stand proud of this fact and are strongly opposed to the Guilds desire to expand further. Despite its past Verland is a major power in decline. The finances of the kingdom have dwindled greatly due to being overtaken in trade by several nations and being unable to keep up with the advances of the guilds in many areas. Added to this is the fact that the crown is in debt to the Guild of moneylenders with little hope to pay make its current world position one of an archaic land that is being made redundant despite its past glories.
The long line of kings of Verland go back hundreds of years before the time of strife. It was the king of Verland that united the west during this time, leading to the fight for freedom against the united forces of the shadow (more about the time of strife in other posts, it is fair to say without the united armies of the west the land itself would have fallen!). Since that time each king has taken the name of the king that led the fight against the forces of darkness so the current ruler is king Thaddius the 127th, his father being king Thaddius the 126th before him. It also seems to be a tradition for kings of Verland to be poisoned by one of their advisers! as it was for the last king, leaving his son, Thaddius the 127th to lead the nation at the age of 7!. Until he reaches his 14th year he is to be served by a counsel of advisers with the power to veto the kings commands if they think it is for the good of the nation. Among the advisers are the Kings mother, a strong woman that wishes to reinstate Verland as the main power in the world through any means. Also the Captin of the northen forces, the Earl of Whiteguard wishes to lead a large campaign against the lairds of Lamavic, a nation that has been an enemy of Verland since its first days. Also involved is the earl of Stonewatch, a man that has great debts to the Guilds and who repays such debts by using his position to further the Guilds plan to take over the west. The royal family rule from the capital city of Silvermarc, an old city known as the jewel of the west. Its great riches in contrast to the dower and functional buildings that make up the rest of the cities and towns.
Life is tough for the people of Verland if they are not part of the top 6% of the population. They are a poor nation these days although the monarchy continue to live in the way they did all those years ago. The economic downturn is shouldered by the lower ranks. The cities provide chances to trade and grow for the smart and talented (and the crooked), but those that live in more rural areas live as farmers, smiths or starve. Many have turned to the life of the outlaw and the forests and wlderness' of Verland harbor many bands of such men.
Religion in Verland is a prickly subject. As a nation the crown and its people worship the Smith and see in his festivals of the forging. However the church is a pawn to the crown since the Templar uprising in the north after the king (Thaddius 86th) removed their leaders from his counsel due to the church arguing with his claim to rule the church as well as the state. The uprising led to the exodus of the Templar orders and the establishing of the state of Immere, which also meant the loss of the only port the nation had in the inner sea (which was absorbed by the new state), destroying any chance of trade with the east. Since that time those wishing to worship the Smith truly in the way of the Templar are frowned upon and often shunned as traitors. This has led to under ground groups wishing to restore the power of the church.

The Verland army is still vast as it always has been and the nation boasts a strong navy. However in terms of military advances it has been left behind. Although it has access to black powder and uses the pike like the more advanced nations it does so by buying the knowledge from the other nations and is still training its troops into its effective use. Black powder weapons tend to be coupled with the crossbows of the past, they do not yet have the ability to produce such advanced weapons in the numbers other nations can. The pike is used by much of its trained foot but also important is the pole arm, used to argument the longer pike and give tactical flexibility. The rough mix of half pike armed units and half pole units make up the core of the verland strength. The royal guard are the cream of the verland army. Chosen from the sons of great officers and lords they are well armed and wear full plate and have the best training of any force in Verland. They can fight on foot but will ride when they can. Although small in number the Royal Guard are often the difference between victory and defeat. Sanctioned Militia groups are used, made up of citizens from a particular location. They are armed by the crown and loyal to them and are tasked as being the first line of defense against raiders and outlaws. During times of war they march proudly along with the other troops, large rag tag groups under their own banners. The riders of the Border Guard live for weeks away from civilized areas, protecting the realm from attack as best they can. These rugged men make reliable light cavalry and will often ride ahead of the main force scouting and raiding the enemy. Verland engineers are no match for the guilds but have still managed to produce effective cannon. This gives them a reply to the artillery employed on the modern battlefield. Leading these armies are great men of office and power, men chosen from great military backgrounds. It is inbuilt in the minds of verland citizens that these high families are to be respected. Not just superiors but truly their betters.


Sooo, thats the first nation to be looked into, dont worry, only 17 or so to go!. Ithought i would throw in some notes on how to use them as a 'gamable' force, cos thats the point of doing this after all!.

In terms of the look of the force i see them as a mid to late medieval English/French style force. Basic foot troops will wear the colours of their regional lord and will be quite uniform in look. Royal guard are all full plate and wear the colours of the crown. Militia groups wear whatever armor that is available to them and will be quite rag tag in style, they will wear their own colours of their area and a banner bearing their groups victories. Border guard are armed with easy to maintain equipment such as short bows and leather armor.
On the table most of their troops will be basic with the militia being poor. The Royal guard are the top end of human troops and this needs to be reflected. They are not overwhelming in terms of missile troops but use black powder weapons and crossbows in equal number. The foot are well drilled using pikes and pole arms. Border guard are rugged and brave but poorly armored. Officers are high quality but with little regard for the common solder.
Their is plenty of scope to game scenarios involving outlaws and rebel Templar groups (both would be common militia quality at best, outlaws could have scouts and good missile troops), as well as using the nations decline in fortunes to fuel games against other nations, a secure nation has no need to invade others!.

Well thats the first one done, i hope it was in some way entertaining or even useful!. This project is by no means a complete thing but more of a frame to offer a starting point, feel free to add to or take from it as much as you like. Any ideas or feed back would also be appreciated as i am winging it to a large extent!.

Anyhow, till next time.....

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mentally Terraforming - In the beginning

O.k. just ignore my previous post!. Well not all of it, the welcome still stands and the song is frankly a highlight and the bit where i said i would put these homebrew gaming background posts under a set title so you could skip 'em if you like, dont ignore those bits but the moaning....forgive me my moment of whinging, it was a touch rubbish!.

Right all that done and out of the way i will begin properly. Welcome to a new section type thing for the blog and for me. You know in my last post (which if you have'nt ignored it yet you can do so here) i mentioned that i wanted to share the building of my own gaming setting to.... well im not actually sure why. Maybe it will help others to come up with their own by learning from my mistakes or perhaps give you bits to use or even you can use it to game or rpg in if you are challanged in that way. Feel free to do any of the above. I guess i want to share the ideas i have come up with to give flavour to some of my games that i share on here above just the silly stuff i do (which i will undoubtedly still do) and get it 'on paper' (i understand that a screen is not paper before you all start!) and out of my head!. After all its my blog so i guess a little self indulgence is allowed!. Also i am asking for any feed back you wish to give, feel free to chuck in ideas if you want to, go on , its fun!. So if you see the title 'Mentally Terraforming' it will be one of these types of posts.

Today i am just giving a VERY brief overview of the area in which all of this will happen by detailing the land itself, i will go into detail by breaking it into areas and covering the nations and features of these as i do so. I will also point out that i set nothing in stone and am bound to miss stuff as i go, this is not in any way a 'polished' product but more a trip into my odd little world!.

The world of........
First off i have not come up with a set name for the place. I feel that the nations are more likley to be inward and judging the others as separate entities rather than part of a land mass being a fantasy world based on medieval(ish).....er stuff so each will maybe have a differing idea of the size of the world and a different label for it. Thus i have not given a set name as i am writing from a 'neutral' viewpoint. Maybe one will 'stick' as it develops?.

Look, i done a colouring!.
Alright i admit it, i could have used a fancy tech based bobbins to do a digital version but when it comes to tech im a bumpkin of the highest order and am more comfy with sharpies and the kids crayons!. So thats all i have to go on!. maybe if you back up a few paces and squint a bit it will look passable!. It does show a basic layout and shows the major features in terms of the larger rivers and mountain ranges and the central sea that will be important as we go further in!. As i said before i will show more detail in each area in later posts.
Important things to cover at this stage are:
The land is human centered (im a Martin fan, sorry!), i think human based fantasy worlds give so much to identify with and force you to recognize all actions as not 'good vs evil' but in terms of our own morals. I still features some fantasy creatures but humans dominate and if other races have existed they have been replaced  by man (or maybe got pee'd off and just went somewhere else!). 

Size and shape: the land mass coves an area of 2.9 million square miles (which makes it the size of Australia according to google). The human population is roughly 66 million people (which is about the same as France if google is to be trusted). In terms of economic influence the strongest area in terms of wealth and influence is the mid west, which is  sort of a late medieval deal with signs of  early industrialization ruled by guilds. Followed by the south east region, which are sort of  medieval Japan with a mystic bent. The other areas work backwards from there, ranging from medieval to dark age to tribal iron age ( to orcs which are another story!). Economic influence is key to power in this world as in our own and the rout to evil is often the desire for it!.

Magic and faith: Magic is not widespread and not accepted unless sanctioned in more 'developed' nations. It has a greater importance in less civilized cultures and is normally revered. It is not a controlled force bent to the will of the user but the latent power of creation focused through some individuals that work as 'lightning rods' for it, they have far less control over this than in other fantasy settings and cannot 'choose' to use it, its inbuilt and the only choice they have is weather they can learn to control it. It also tends to have an effect on the users mental state meaning most magic 'users' are unhinged and tightly wound, often bordering on insane!.
In terms of religion the more civilized areas only use it for ceremonial reasons, having moved away from the beliefs of the past. Faith tends to be more of a feature in wilder communities where it is seen as the most important part of life. There are exceptions to these situations, one nation has walled itself off due to the right to religious freedom. But the more the nation has come to rely on its influence and economic power it tends to focus less on its beliefs of the past.  

So thats a few bits and pieces to get the ball rolling. Hope it is in somewhere close to interesting!. Next time i will look closer at one area to start fleshing things out.

Anyway, till next time.....

Saturday, 15 April 2017

background vs tone, or how to really get on your own tits!

Hi all, this post may contain bits of seriousness, i make no apologies but feel advanced warning is required!. So why the seriousness i hear you ask?, after all, this blog has ticked along without so much of a sniff of it so far. Well, one of the things that dragged me back into the funding of the toy solder industry through the medium of collecting so many of the little blighters that my wife has been known to be driven to the use of the language of the gutter due to another box of plastic turning up was the designing of my own rules and setting. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of the hobby in my book and are both things i often spend too much time dreaming up!. One of the reasons for starting this very haven of random silliness you are reading now was to share and expand on these things. However....The setting i have come up with is one populated by human kingdoms and highlights themes such as greed, power, addiction, morality, economics and the resulting carnage that these things cause in mankinds selfish hands. This has led me to collect forces to represent the multitude of kingdoms and nations that populate this world, to date thats 18 armies, each representing over 3000 points of troops (some more like 5000) in oldschool warhammer terms to give some kind of point of reference as to what i'm  talking about,
one medium sized force, just to give some idea.
I do not include the above picture to try to show off  (look guys, im ssuuucchhh like, a collector!!!) but to demonstrate the investment of thought and time that i have put into the background i have been working on. So, whats the problem, why am i so frustrated?. Well i'll tell you. The way i write and put together prologues and so forth is very stream of thought, i generally write them in one draft and let the tone find itself, and as i'm sure you know, the theme i enjoy most is to write silly (hopefully kinda fun) stories (and the odd poem) to create a narrative to game. this is the way i naturally write (and i love a narrative to bring a game to life), if i sit down to write anything gaming related my serious side tends to go for a lie down!. This has resulted in the more seriously themed background i have worked at not being represented in any way in the now 18 posts i have so far put together and has been far from my mind when writing content for Wronghammer. Now part of me thinks 'sod it, its fun, find your voice and muck about...you keep going on about gaming being fun so why the stress you numpty!', while another part of me thinks 'when are you going to show that you can come up with more than just stupid stories, no matter how much fun you have writing them at the time?.....you numpty!'. So although i'm hurtling into the realms of the self centered rant and i understand there are far bigger problems to have, i have discovered the style i naturally write in and some of the subjects i created this blog to cover just dont go together!. 
Hence i'm getting on my own tits!.
So, as i have always told my kids not to moan about a problem without  offering a solution i want to try the following if its o.k. with you guys: I will attempt to blog about the background i have come up with and put these in their own dedicated posts, they will kinda be 'info dumps' and will probably also be a touch 'dry' in style as i do feel i cant do much justice to this subject. I will title them in such a way as to be easily skipped if they are not your kind of thing!. So if  you prefer my silly side fear not, i will by no means neglect it, it will still be the main focus of these pages of random prattle!.

Right, thats quite enough seriousness for one post, time to end on a song! 

Oh oh before i go i must say a massive hello and welcome to Mr Herr Zinnling, who has done a very silly thing and.....oh hang on this post includes a serious side so it must be a serious welcome. Welcome Mr Zinnling thank you for taking the time to follow my grey and dour and really very serious blog. For those of you that are not aware Mr Zinnling writes a very good blog of his own that you can see here (and i suggest you do!).

Anyway 'till next time.....