2015 Corehammer’s Year In Review!



Another cycle around the sun complete and so it’s that time of year where we kick at the dying embers of 2015 and take a minute to reflect upon the changes the year has wrought, the soldiers we lost upon the way and what lays ahead of us in the not so distant future.

2015 was a bit of a fallow year for Corehammer in terms of blog activity. The rigours of daily life takes it’s toll on the best of us and that was evident in the diminished quantity of posts compared to previous years. As I cast an eye around at the other members of the crew I see how the weight of family responsibilities, the pressures of academia and vocation, the burdens of ill health and the pox of apathy have all had their way with us. And yet the defiant few still raged against the dying of the light. There was still fresh content sporadically appearing on the site, interviews, reviews, some contentious opinion pieces, tutorials and more. Credit to our very own watcher on the barrow Chris Kaye for not abandoning his post and keeping the home fires burning this year.

11016108_1630229630539693_532776912592606031_nBeyond the blog, the first CH project to come to fruition was the  2015 Official Corehammer shirt. We try to come up with a fresh design each year to make sure the crew looks crisp and also to raise a little cash to cover the costs of running a website. For this years shirt I wanted something that made a statement and successfully blended our influences and sense of humour. I knew exactly which elements I wanted to include and had a fairly defined mental image of what I wanted it to look like. The hard part was finding the right artist for the job. I needed a visionary lunatic who drew from the same pool of influences as I did and understood the punk rock sensibilities that are a massively important part of Corehammer’s schtick. As soon as I chanced upon Rich Sampson’s artwork on Instagram I knew I had found my Huckleberry. Rich grasped exactly what I wanted from the start and before long he was adding new visual elements and twisting up my ideas even further. I couldn’t have been more delighted with the finished illustration, Rich really knocked it out of the park!! Turns out we are kindred spirits and there will be plenty more collaborations between Mr Sampson and I in the future!

The shirt was hugely popular and despite some jobsworth pillock over at the Oldhammer Facebook deleting our thread we still sold hundreds of shirts and managed to donate a significant chunk of change to Sensory Leeds. Sensory Leeds are a volunteer run service that provides a vibrant, safe and welcoming space for people with disabilities and those on the autistic spectrum, older people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, their support staff, families and carers. The donation went towards improving their facilities and had an immediate impact upon service users experience. Big thanks to everyone who bought a shirt, hopefully we can continue to help out some more grass roots causes in 2016. Also special thanks to Corehammer OG Owain Cooke for posting out all those shirts, what a trooper.

12028803_10153079532501669_3618103417729797381_oOur other big project this year was the October launch of the official Corehammer Podcast DUNGEONPUNX. I had been wanting to move into audio media for a while but various factors had conspired to thwart me. I finally got sick of waiting for other people to get their finger out and motivated by my friend Max Bieknkowski of Just Can’t Hate Enough I coerced/bullied Boardy,Connor, Max, Tom and Ager aka the members of my D&D group into joining me at the microphones. We had originally intended DXP to be a direct audio reflection of this site but the show seems to have taken on a life and direction all of it’s own. It’s early days, we’re still refining our format and improving our recording set up but with over 2000 listens already people seem to be checking it out and most importantly enjoying it! Add us up on Twitter @dungeonpunxpod and instagram @dungeonpunx and if you want to join in with the discussions and rips we have a Facebook group HEREthat you can get involved with!

As Winter gripped us in her fell embrace it became clear that something needed to change. We were stuck in a rut. Posts had been abandoned, left to fester in the drafts file. We needed help and so the beacons of Gondor were lit, summoning allies to our banner. Regular readers of the blog will already have noticed some contributions from the fresh fish and as we move forward into 2016 expect that trend to continue. I’d like to take this opportunity to ‘offically’ welcome Brinton, Tanya, Jake, Phil, Tom, David to the crew as well as  shout out to everyone else who’s expressed a serious interest in getting involved in the future. Change is good, it drives progress, it inspires and infuriates in equal measure. We’ve no truck with entropy at Corehammer, adapt or perish!


Infinity, Frostgrave, Kings Of War, 40K, D&D and many others all getting rinsed at Foundry

On November 29th we hosted our annual Christmas Mosh. This year it was an open invite to members of the Corehammer Facebook Community and their friends to come play some games, socialize with like minds, eat some grub and have some laughs. We chose Wargames Foundry as our destination this year and we had an absolute blast. The Ansell family were splendid hosts and warmly welcomed around 40 scruffs and herberts into their hallowed halls. We were well fed and watered and judging from the feedback we received I think it’s fair to say everyone had a bloody good time. It was great to see so many people playing different games next to each other and sharing ideas, tips and laughs. Thanks to Diane for looking after us, to Marcus for his endless patience and good humour whilst giving numerous groups of cheeky moshers tours and demonstrations of the casting room and special thanks to Bryan Ansell for graciously enduring my gushing fanboy zeal!!!


Fanboy moment! Nate with Bryan & Marcus Ansell

All of which neatly brings me to our plans for 2016. With enthusiastic new members joining the stalwart veterans you can expect a more varied spread of articles. We’ve got some dedicated reviewers, we’ve got professionals from the gaming industry, we’ve got some deep thinkers and we’ve got some antagonistic gobshites. We’ve got new apparel planned. We’re throwing our hat back into the tournament circuit and hosting a Frostgrave tournament in the first quarter of 2016. There’ll be more gamer social events and games days. We’re planning on a live Dungeonpunx broadcast and some charity gaming challenges. On top of that the site will finally be getting a long overdue spruce up. Chris Mcgreevy is working on the new look as I type this. The site will also host a dedicated Dungeonpunx page that will serve as an archive for the podcast as well as a blog that caters exclusively to the RPG side of things without crudding up the main Corehammer page. The times they are a’ changing…..

12246794_983797108345430_7884041388567200618_nFinally I’d like to throw out some acknowledgements to our friends and allies. This year we’ve really grown as a community establishing connections and friendships with like minded souls all doing their own thing and doing it right. Corehammer/Dungeonpunx fully backs The Eye Of Horus Podcast. Paulo put me onto these guys, the thunder from down under bringing you top quality coverage of the Horus Heresy/30k Warhammer scene. Solid content hosted by some funny bastards who know their material and are really active in the gaming scene in Australia. I dig these guys a lot, their enthusiasm is infectious and they’ve even inspired me to get my 30K Word Bearers happening in 2016. Get in.

11229894_1231109690248897_6858991846272181170_nFull Metal RPG is a new podcast from Arizona hosted by Brendan and Ben. These guys have been nothing but supportive of Dungeonpunx and the feeling is totally mutual. They know their shit when it comes to RPG’s. Lots of knowledge in every episode, funny and insightful commentary and just like Eye Of Horus their enthusiasm for their chosen games is impossible to ignore. I am excited to announce that Brendan and I are collaborating on the Dungeonpunx fanzine (along with Rich Sampson and Brinton Williams) that I hope will see the light early in 2016 too.

10940455_791381934243226_5773805156545779324_nWhilst Phil’s article on appropriate and inclusive behaviour at communal gaming tables might have kicked up one hell of a stink amongst a certain type of gamer it also helped us to connect with people who were on the same page. One of the most vocal supporters was Annie Norman of  Bad Squiddo Games. Annies mail order game is second to none and her efforts to stock an enormous range of BELIEVABLE female miniatures (ie not the typical exploitative big tits/chainmail bikini types) gets nothing but support from us. She’s an active and vocal member of the gaming community, has started creating her own line of miniatures and hopefully we’ll get her to mouth off on Dungeonpunx in the new year!

Toby and Shane over at 35 On 40k continue chronicling their return to gaming. Once again this pair offer a wealth of insightful gaming knowledge, battle reports, painting progress and RPG tips. Similarly our brothers at the Brighton War Council just launched their rather spiffy new site. Regularly updated with tutorials, battle reports, articles, paint guides and even some fiction!! Top lads.

A belated but sincere shout out to my man holding it down in the Great White North Ash Barker at Guerilla Miniature Gaming. The dude lives and breathes tabletop wargaming with a passion that is beautiful to behold. His channel on Youtube is a veritable treasure trove of content with play by play demonstrations of just about every gaming system you can think of. The videos are always of the highest quality, the content and execution are top notch and the production values are second to none and he reps Corehammer like a 24 hour Roadman.

Be sure to check out Jeff Tibbets blog Tibbs Forge it’s always well worth a look. The Forge is a veritable lighthouse of sanity shining amongst a sea of reactionary bullshit, Jeff provides an interesting and thoughtful perspective and addresses the socio political aspects of gaming like an absolute don. The dudes got a really great attitude towards the hobby too and his blog is rammed with cool projects, reviews and opinion pieces. Last but by no means least, massive shout out to my friend Chris Hird at Wasteland Miniatures Blog . Chris really helped me out getting my Dungeons & Dragons models together for the start of my campaign. His blog is a cool collection of awesome projects that bubbles with creativity, imagination, skill and enthusiasm and is guaranteed to inspire new ideas in any reader!

I am sure I’ve missed some stuff out and for that I apologize. It is late and I am tired. See you in 2016.

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About Nathan Bean

Tyrant/ Editor Nathan is a 'former member of...' numerous mediocre punk bands and internet gobshite and has been involved in the United Kingdom hardcore scene since the mid 90's. Now retired from active duty he spends his time writing about gaming, movies, music and comics, shouting at the television and threatening to start another band.

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