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

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

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

Malifaux. Looking through the Breach.

Malifaux, it really seems to divide opinion within Corehammer towers as do a lot of the games we collectively play, but was something I was keen on trying out. But given it seems pretty different to anything else I’d played, I had no idea where to start. So this will be #1 of a few articles plotting my dabblings into a new game system.

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Lords Of Waterdeep Review

 

Squad goals – Box art for Lords Of Waterdeep

 

So when I was first into this kind of stuff I never really fucked with board games, I stuck to Games Workshop stuff for the most part and Dungeons and Dragons. I didn’t really see the merit in a game where you hadn’t funnelled hours of work into building an army and painting it up or having your own narrative/fluff involved. It’s only really since I came back into it I’ve seen the merit of dropping 50 bar or less on a game, spending 20 minutes flipping through a short rulebook and then get cracking, and being done with a game in an hour or so. How else are people supposed to catch up on what’s popping off in the group chat about Bake Off or what kind of curry Mark had for his tea without that kind of convinience? In absolute honesty me and my brother picked this game up like 3 years ago or so now so this review could have been on here sooner. Nate’s latest push to action made me think it was probably a good idea to actually type up bunch of article ides instead of doing fuck all about them. He can be very motivating both in and out of the geography classroom.
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Don’t Forget the Struggle, Don’t Forget the Streets: Building a Modular Ruined City

So at the end of April we gathered in San Diego for our first official Corehammer West Coast Chiller. A month or two before that I had gotten the crazy idea of building a modular ruined city for the event so that at least I’d wander up with something to add to the festivities. I ended up only having something like 3 weeks to build the thing starting at the beginning of April, but in the mad dash to produce something I did manage to document the process so I figured I’d share it with you all now. That way you can learn exactly what I did, ignore it, and make something way cooler on a normal human schedule. I’m going to describe what I did, and not go too far down the rabbit holes of ideas not considered or techniques not used. Feel free to ask questions in the comments about anything you want though. Corners were cut, designs were simplified, but in the end, I had a table that can host a number of games in all sorts of different setups.

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Nate’s Hot Dates – Middlehammer & Fighting Fantasy Fest Part Deux

Sometimes the very insular nature of our hobbies can be isolating. I know for many of my peers that is part of the appeal of these pastimes. Finding some solitude away from the unrelenting streams of work, responsibilities and bullshit that gnaw away at our daily lives. Hell, an hour away from the internet and endless Whatsapp group chats and ‘can you just…’ lectures, to disconnect and take pleasure in the simple joy of painting a plastic moon man or dreaming up a D&D scenario. I get it man.

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Airbrush Guide Part 3 – Basic Tips & Tricks

This is what we want to avoid if at all possible.

So you’ve bought your compressor, you’ve bought your airbrush, what now?

You want to use it right? Wrong! There are going to be some useful bits you could do with getting hold of before hand that will make your life easier, and hopefully stop you rage quitting when you get your first clog. Because you will get them, and it will piss you off. Immensely!

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