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A Serious Post And Another Obituary But With Some More Positive Stuff At The End

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 I am at an age where I would expect the odd death of someone I know, but I am starting to realise that it's the younger end of the line which is getting culled.  This week I found out through a good friend that another friend in the hobby from the old days had taken his own life, bringing the total friends lost to 5 and drom that number the number lost to suicide in the last few years to 2. Now, I've been close to that I think, three times, but I've been lucky enough to be able to turn my illogical brain around and decide that the world and my enemies will not be happy if I thrive and stay alive. So, that has been my stated mission, to live long and be hated that much longer. The first time I was taken with thoughts of suicide, was when I was banned from Games Workshop Sheffield in the 80s (see my book or earlier posts) and my so-called friends allowed themselves to be bought off, trading silence as to what a set-up it was in return for part time jobs at the store. That wa

A Visual Guide To Essential Equipment For The Wargaming Novice...

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Come ON.... IT'S SATURDAY! Finish your Weetabix And Let's Catch The Bloody Bus...

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It's 1982, a crisp November day; a Saturday which means that I am off into town with Alan Staniforth (after cadging some of his patchouli oil for my oh-so-new looking C&A jacket)  to visit the latest shop to attract us, the recently opened Games Workshop on The Moor, that pedestrianised shopping area at the far end of the city centre at the end of which is the Manpower Services Commission building, a red brick ziggurat in that 'fuck you all' style of architecture so beloved of those raving lunatics put into power by the type of people who would stick a red rosette on a milk bottle and vote for it, back then. But politics are not on my agenda as I am 14 and about 12 months into this new hobby I've found called roleplaying games, and the close relative wargaming. They were yet to become 'gaming' and were at that time two completely separate worlds which you had to negotiate very carefully indeed. So, let's hop on the number 4 bus from Tyle

Did You Know You Can Get 42 Slices From A Small Banana? And Other Reflections On The Meaning Of (Gaming) Life

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 It's an odd feeling to be able to once again sit quietly with a coffee and a few Ryvitas (topped with a heady melange of thinly sliced banana and peanut butter) enjoying the early morning. I keep expecting a builder to tap me on the shoulder and pass me his plate for another bacon butty or mug of over sweet tea.   That said, the whole simplicity of it all has me reflecting on the days of my youth when I had few cares and even less responsibilities. This was a golden age of gaming indeed. There can have been few kids as dedicated to the hedonistic gaming life as your correspondent, and it's ni hyperbole to say that many times, the staff of the Sheffield Games Workshop, walked from the back entrance, into the shop proper, to find a young Hides, literally stuck to the window, straining to see what was new, lest I miss the release of something by even a second. In fact, it was one of these 'limpet' days which first had me zeroing in on Warhammer 1st edition. Ahead of the l

What Has 8 Legs, 13 Heads And F***s Elves?

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 Well, the interior of the Dark Tower has been reclaimed as a home once again, after almost 5 months of sharing the battle space with builders, plasterers, window installers and bedroom fitters, all topped off with two days of carpet fitters who I think must have never heard of charm and tact, and very efficient furniture delivery chaps - Big props to Oak Furniture Land for having brilliant delivery staff, but thumbs down to those at head office who attempt to chisel you repeatedly for stuff you already paid for! Saturday was a long one, as we attempted to get the dust off everything and then locate the contents of 4 rooms and get it all into the right place. It took 16 hours and at the end of it, both I and the memsahib were literally dead on our feet. Yesterday, I went out to the game room, and apart from the fact that there's an egress window unit for my studio, surreptitiously left there by my builder (because our 'big name' window installation company, whilst VERY good

These are a few of my favourite things...

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 Although I am a passionate historical wargamer (and by this, I mean old school, get of your arse and research the subject, find the figures and then paint them accurately not use an off the shelf 'faction book') I am probably even more obsessed with fantasy gaming as you probably know - probably! I am not a fan of anime inspired, or grim, dark and dystopian settings. I am a child of the 60s, who came of gaming age in the early 80s, where maidens were fair, knights chivalrous, and orcs and goblins evil, not misunderstood sentient races in need of a good hug and and maybe an intervention by a social worker. We all instinctively knew that the worlds we played our games in (usually, more a notional thematic anchor than a fully realised world)  were medieval in nature, with monsters added. Orcs and goblins always lived in the fringe mountains, and battled with dwarves who dug mines in those same peaks... And so on and so forth. So, it will be no surprise that I have a large number

Why I Like Forces Of Fantasy

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I love the old Forces Of Fantasy supplement for Warhammer.  It's still a brilliant read after 40 years and was, in my humble opinion one of the greatest of the early GW products. It was a rambling three book set which gave you additional rules - some of which you never used at the time, but which, 4 decades later, are brilliant for role playing based actions (you remember that 3rd book in the original Warhammer set, right?) or really small battles. But for me, the true beauty of this supplement came from the lists and descriptions of the forces available. Lets take a look at what constituted a list back then by grabbing the book and selecting a list at random - Wood Elves: If you click on the image and enlarge it you'll see that the common troop types (those available at the time) are all given a single line, with basic weapons and notes on whether armour can be worn. Rare units are also note. Beneath this, you get special rules for the army and character model stats. And that&