Jet Li’s Meltdown (AKA High Risk AKA drink in moderation)

Torrevieja is a place in Spain. I know this because I spent a week there in 2013. Apparently.

I can remember part of the flight, I can remember my mate’s wedding, I can remember waking up outside a police station and crying all the way back to the rented accommodation as I’d had a message from my cousin saying my Great Aunt had died (and I was still very, very pissed).

I can also remember the stack of DVDs that was next to the modest TV in our temporary living room. The first Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings film, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and a fucking HORRIBLE “Torture Porn” starring an elephantine Michael Madsen.

One film stood out. Meltdown. It had Jet Li on the front cover and nothing else. That was enough for me.

The blokes I was in Spain with were out climbing rocks or diving or something, not the life for me.  I put on my plimsolls, trotted down to the local shop and bought two crates of lager. Continue reading

For Whom The Sleigh Bell Tolls….

“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Manifesting at the end of your bed like the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, the Corehammer Charity Xmas Bash returns! This year Mantic Games in Nottingham are very kindly playing host to our ragged band of Hammerheads, Dungeon Punks and assorted Scallywags.

There’s no stipulation on what you can or cannot play. Just put your fiver in the bucket and do as you feel. We also ask that attendees chuck a tin of non perishable grub in the kitty too. No, we’re not bringing back the school Harvest Festival smart arse. But events like this are a great opportunity to help out those less fortunate and if we can get a decent contribution together for the local food bank whilst doing our thing, well it’s no hardship to be nice is it? Continue reading

Return to Blacksand…..Port Of Peril – Ian Livingstone (Scholastic)

I make no secret of my deep and abiding love for Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy books. In the canon of things that make my brain cauldron bubble, FF 1-10 sit prominently alongside the first three Integrity records, Pushead artwork and every issue of 2000AD published between 1982-1993. Scholastic Publishing has recently resurrected the franchise, reissuing the first half a dozen books of the Puffin run and commissioning some new titles. Port of Peril authored by returning OG Ian Livingstone is the first of those new adventures.

To say that Scholastics stewardship of the series has been greeted with a mixed response from the FF fan community is a gross understatement. People tend to get very precious about the sacred cows of their youth, particularly those of us in our mid thirties- late forties who grew up with FF the first go round and I sit right in the middle of that particular demographic. Sure I can get as sensitive and defensive about FF as the next guy but I try not to act entitled and can accept that life moves on, capitalism is a thing and maybe other generations should have the opportunity to sample the things that stirred my own imagination as a child? Continue reading

Fright Night: You’re not cool at all, Brewster

Sometimes, actually oftentimes, things don’t have to be good to be good. We know this. Hell, a few weeks back you had to read 2000 words on why I like Demolition Man more than most modern cinema. I feel like you’re all with me on this, whether you keep your guilty pleasures on an external hard drive, or write about them for the amusement of internet strangers. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how shonky it is, what colour the fake blood is, the jarring dialogue, the crap soundtrack, or how many times you’ve watched it. Sometimes it’s a time and a place that makes a fucking terrible film your cinematic comfort blanket.

With that in mind, and with Halloween just around the corner – WELCOME TO FRIGHT NIGHT.

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For Those Who Were Crucified: The Walking Dead – All Out War

Author: Tom Chippendale

Unless you have been living feral under the docks exchanging favours for pennies then you have surely heard of The Walking Dead. From its humble debut as a graphic novel to the hit TV show, Rick Grimes and his ragtag crew have lodged themselves into the populations brain like a makeshift shiv into the mushy noggin of so many zombies.

I like The Walking Dead. I like the comics and I like the shows and as soon as I saw the Mantic games Kickstarter for The Walking Dead: All Out War I popped a little boner. Not a big enough boner to back it mind you but a big enough one to hope it did well and I could pick up a copy at my local games shop at some point. Luckily 3700+ people who are functioning members of society saw fit to pledge $685,853 of a $50,000 goal and while not the ludicrous amounts of money you see flying around on Kickstarter it was still more than enough to make my dreams of having a decent table top experience of The Walking Dead come to life.

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Masters Of The Pit – Frostgrave’s Joe McCullough

I originally conducted this interview with Frostgrave mastermind Joseph McCullough last year. We’d planned to release a a print copy fanzine to accompany the Dungeonpunx podcast. For one reason or another progress on that project slowed from a tectonic crawl to almost  sedentary in a matter of months. I recently recovered this chat with Joe whilst clearing out some old files. And whilst some of the information is somewhat out of date, I think it’s still a nice window into Joe’s personal background and the machinations of his creative process. I hope that this will be the first of a series of interviews with key creative figures in the table top games industry. Many thanks to Joe for his participation with the interview and check out his newest project The Oathmark coming soon from Osprey/Northstar Military!

Lets start at the beginning. You are originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. I am always curious about how ones childhood home and surrounding environment impacts a person’s imagination. What was it like growing up there?

I like to tell people that Greensboro is a beautiful place to live, but there is little reason to visit. Although it is a large city by British standards, it is so spread out that it rarely feels crowded. As the name implies, it is a very green city with lots of trees, lots of tall oaks. One of the city’s most notable features, and certainly one that had a large impact on me growing up, is that it was the site of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. It is an intensely interesting tactical battle, and I’m sure that was a major source of my lifelong interest in Military History. The city is also where Gen. Johnson surrendered his army at the end of the Civil War.

Also important, the city always a had a small, but very active science-fiction, fantasy, and gaming community based around the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. As a young teen, I went to their little gaming convention, Hexicon, every year, even though I was often the youngest person there.
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Angelcore 2017 – An Age Of Sigmar Tournament

Introducing Corehammer’s first AOS tournament, AngelCore 2017!

We have teamed up again with local London club, Angel Wargamers, to bring you a 2 day event on the 25th to 26th November at a brand new multi-system gaming venue in East London.

This will be a 32 player 2000 point matched play tournament using GHB2017 but with added secondary objectives. This will be held at EXP Leisure on the edge of the Olympic Park, just 15 minutes walk from Stratford Station. This really is the largest gaming venue in London and has tonnes of space, great food and a full downstairs bar next to a Canal, so should be great for Saturday night.

As nerd venues goes, this place is light years away from the dodgy, cramped gaming stores that we are typically used to.

Each ticket is only £25 and gets you 5 games of 2000 points matched play AOS. In addition to this, you will have FULL ACCESS to all gaming zones at EXP for Friday evening and then all day Saturday and Sunday. There is a run-down of each zone below: Continue reading

Street Fighter: Too Many Man, and Mike.

In 1994, I had no time for you. My whole life revolved solely around Point Horror novels and our Sega Megadrive. Had they only found some way to combine the two, there’s no guarantee I’d even be talking to you now, more likely living in a cave plastered with the pages of Call Waiting and The Lifeguard whilst engrossed in some 12 bit pixelated teenage murder mystery. To be clear; that is still something I’d be interested in if anyone has the capabilities. Teenage me has A LOT of ideas. Anyway, the Megadrive.

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Silent Wolf of Suburbia – Personal reflections on Lone Wolf

Tenacious and gentlemanly, even when brought low by chronic coronary artery disease, my metalworker father was going to die. Or at least that’s what 11-year-old me thought. A number of heart attacks and ongoing angina had rendered dad unfit to continue the life of heat, flames and particulate-heavy fumes, and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, that he’d known during the course of his decades as an A-grade welder and boiler maker. Soon enough I was bedside in the intensive care unit of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital, not far from our modest weatherboard home in Salisbury East, listening to talk of coronary artery bypass surgery and praying that, whatever the procedure constituted, it would somehow free dad of his wretched state and restore him to his reassuringly stoic best. Continue reading

“Hey Jeff wheres the belly shirt?” – Discovering NYHC The Hard Way

Did you know that in 1995 the internet didn’t exist? There was no Spotify. Youtube was still a little swimmer in Chad Hurley’s ball bag. Even Lars Fucking Ulrich wasn’t having a hissy fit about Napster yet. Therefore finding any music that wasn’t part of the mainstream was no easy feat. As an up and coming hardcore kid or heavy metal fan it wasn’t that simple to pick up records if you weren’t “in the know” with older heads. Me and my crew came upon hardcore together. Through Biohazard we discovered Sick of It All. Through Sick of it All we were lucky enough to see Strife supporting them at Bradford Rios…..each fresh layer took you a little deeper into the fold. But because were young turds we didn’t have access to that esoteric wisdom passed down by the “older generation”. We were on our own. Continue reading