Monday, 20 October 2014

Growls in the Gatehouse

As Geheimnisnacht arrived, the armies forging Empires in the Badlands formed up. Bitter differences between man and Lizard were put aside, to stand alongside the ancient Elves and Dwarves against the horrors that stood against them. Warriors of Chaos, far from the north. Ogres from the East, and Dark Elves from the West. As the armies ranked up and eyed Fozzriks Gatehouse between them, vile vermin started to spew from the north, between the Elves and the Dwarves. Astounded to see the ratmen abroad above ground, the Dwarves turned most of their wrath from the men of Chaos and onto them. The Elves, with an allied force of Lizardmen to their left, did the same. The ratmen were swiftly dispatched, and the fulcrum they had debased was secured.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the battlefield, a mighty ruck had broken out between the men of the Empire and the ogres. However the narrow confines of the terrain, combined with a floating fortress and an uncooperative Steam Tank, left the enemies spending much of their time eyeing each other up as they champed at the bit waiting for their turn to fight.

With the forces of good dominating the winds of magic, mostly down to a combination of the Lizards Slaan controlling the casting, and the Dwarves using their knowledge to deny the enemy much power, the forces of good were in a solid position. The skaven had broken and fled, the ogres were being butchered to a (very fat) man, and the Dark Elves had not had chance to get out of their corner. The warriors of Chaos had turned the tide against the dwarf forces despatched to them, but with the skies darkening far too quickly, even for Geheimnisnacht, everyone felt trouble brewing.

At this point, a lone truthsayer took on a gamble and teleported into the Gatehouse. Exploring the (thankfully abandoned) building he found some treasures, but nothing more. Roughguts, knowing he would not be able to make it to the tower with the gathering stormclouds, left the truthsayer to his task, and set some ogre mournfang to rout.

Roughguts returned to the battlefield, and surveyed the scene. Sir Ulric and his hammers were going hell for leather against some Dark Elf knights, who seemed to have a very similar trinket on one of their heroes. No matter how many blows they struck against each other, they would shrug them off. The few that were felled with seemingly fatal blows soon got back up and back into the saddle. Crazy old Sir Ulric was having a smashing time, singing bawdy songs about rotund maidens whilst bashing his enemies brains out, several times in a row - Roughguts left him to it. Let the old man enjoy himself. But of the truthsayer who had teleported into the Gatehouse, no sign. Roughguts swooped across the battlefield, and found him hiding in some woods in the lee of the gatehouse. When asked why he had abandoned the fulcrum, the truthsayer just said "big, scary... nasty sharp pointy teeth..." and kept rocking back and forth in the foetal position. Roughguts sensed he would not get much more out of the man on this day, but from what had been said (and he had no reason to doubt the words, cryptic as they may have been) Roughguts held back from the tower.

As Morrsleib hung full, every surviving wizard on the battlefield felt a surge of power. The winds of magic flurried and swirled around the Gatehouse, as one of the very fabrics of magic was torn from the veil. The sky darkened still further, and the world felt chill. Roughguts sensed something epic had taken place, though he knew not where. The truthsayer stopped rocking, and softly breathed the words "He is Risen..."

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Try-It Table

As some of you may know, I run a small local wargaming group. Recently we had quite the surplus of club funds built up, and with adequate scenery I decided to splash out on some of the starter sets for other game systems, to try to broaden the clubs horizons at a time that GW felt a little stale.

Of course, shortly after that GW released Codex: Imperial Guard (no I won't use the new name) and Codex: Orks, plus kicked off the Fantasy End Times with my old favourite Nagash... so well done GW for reinvigorating my interest.

This does however leave several boxsets that haven't seen the love they deserve. With this in mind, I plan to run something in the new year, once I have finished running the Fantasy Badlands campaign, called the Try It Table. I will, each week, set one of the gaming tables aside to be solely used for "other" games. I intend to pick a game each week and either run it myself for any interested parties, or get someone who is into that game to do so.

I plan to start with X-Wing. I know this quite well, we have a few players who are into it, and between myself and my friend Rob we have enough rebels and imperials to run two games simultaneously. It's also a quick and easy game to get into, with plenty of well known background, and is very accessible.

We also have Dystopian Wars (which hasn't quite taken my fancy but we do have three players on that one) and Warmachine (again, not for me but we do have a few people who have played in the past and there is some base interest around the club.


Then it's onto the stuff that seems more of a gamble. Flames of War seems to be of interest to only two members thus far, though I am vaguely interested... though it has to be said I tend to window shop at Flames of War when GW feels stale to me, so right now with GW kicking out lots of shiny I'm not  paying flames much attention. At the bottom of the scale is Dropzone Commander. I've heard good things about this game, but so far I seem to be the only one to have shown any interest - though this isn't helped by me not exactly being able to explain how the game plays to anyone yet.

Now in anything like this it is always easiest to get people into it if you already have some people that know what they are talking about. With the earlier mentioned stuff we have that, so I don't see any problems there. With Flames we don't, but we did have a former Portsmouth resident drop in who seems to know his stuff, who kindly offered to run an intro game for us if he is ever in town visiting his folks when we meet - an offer I shall gratefully accept should it ever become available, though with real life obviously being a priority I won't hold the guy to that.

That leaves DZC as the ginger stepchild of the family - unloved, locked in the basement and fed nothing but fishheads from the one person who remembers they still exist.

The new year will be the new games time to shine. I know my club, it generally needs someone to make people get out of their usual habits and do something different. At the moment I have my hands full with the campaign, but that finishes just after Christmas. Then the Try-It Table will become a mainstay of Tuesdays. I'm confident on the early games. I'll give the rest a good go too though.