Bardcore – East Lancs Tales

I’ve always had my reserves in regards to pen and paper roleplaying because of something that happened to me in the winter of 2009. I was working in the dismal council tax office of my local government at the time, surrounded by people that spent money voting on Big Brother and counting down the days to an all-inclusive binge in Shagaluf, or so I thought…

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Salvations Malevolence- Dead Of Night

I had wanted to include something Fighting Fantasy related for our Seven Nights Of Samhain series but I simply couldn’t get it finished on time. Those books were so influential to me and frankly now that I’m running the show over here, I wanted to shine a spotlight on them. Admittedly there’s already loads of great blogs and fanzines dedicated to Fighting Fantasy and providing great coverage but I had plenty of questions of my own. I wanted to explore the inspiration behind the settings, the names behind the ideas and art, the spin offs and the future.

So where’s the best place to start? The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is the ground zero but it’s also been covered to death by just about anyone with an interest in the series. Play throughs have been similarly rinsed. So I decided to start where I left off in 1990 and investigate where Fighting Fantasy went after I disappeared into an abyss of teenage angst, alcoholism and punk rock. 

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Trapped Under Dice: CH Xmas Mosh

“Human sacrifice, dwarves and elves living together, mass hysteria”

Once more the hour had come upon us for that finest of recent traditions,the Corehammer Christmas social. Typically plans were made, promises of attendance sworn in blood and games organised. In previous years we have held court at Warhammer World, Foundry and the Element Gaming Centre in Stockport. But I like to mix it up and visit new places so this year we gathered at Mantic HQ. Tucked away on the edge of a residential estate in Bullwell, Nottingham, it took Ager and I a few goes to try and find the place.  After successfully navigating a gaggle of nightmarish traffic calming bollard children, we arrived. We were greeted by our host for the day Mantic’s very own perennially enthusiastic Scotsman, Andy Meechan, and ushered inside.

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Corehammer Christmas Mosh & Raffle

Yo, just a quickie. Our annual festive meet up is scheduled for November 18th at Mantic HQ in Nottingham. Games will be played, rips will be executed, snacks will be consumed. Much laughter and jackanapes to be sure. All are welcome. Fiver gets you in and you can get a ticket HERE

Organise some games, play some new ones, make new friends, raise some money, enjoy a little solidarity. No bullshit attitudes or nazi’s cheers. Stay the fuck home.

We are also running a charity raffle at our Christmas do to raise money for St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre. Thanks to some very generous and kind individuals and companies, the prizes for this are absolutely incredible, check out our Facebook and Instagram over the next few weeks for what’s going to be up for grabs.

You need to get a ticket to take the ride though, and while we will obviously be selling some on the day, we’ve got you covered if you can’t make it either. We will be selling them in packs of five (it doesn’t make sense to do less due to the Paypal fees etc, which is what the 40p is for), and will send you a photo of your tickets with your name written on them. They will be added to the draw on the day (which we stream live as it’s 2017), and you will have just as much chance of winning as anyone else. Anything you do win will be posted to you, wherever you live in the world.

People have been generous, you can be too. Link HERE

All money raised from entrance to the day and from the raffle will be donated to assist the good work that the folk over at St Mary’s Sexual Assault resource centre. Go have a read of their website HERE and get your head around exactly what they do.

 

Nate Vs The Living Dead: Part 1 – Rise from your grave

To celebrate the season of the witch, we will be posting a series of  themed articles every day for the next seven days. I have invited friends to contribute guest reviews for our Marked For Justice horror special alongside all the grim shit I am about to throw at you.

John Blanche’s Skeleton Horde

Margate. 1984.  My mother was called into primary school for that most  dreaded of events in a child’s young life.. Parents Evening. At this time in my academic career I was an ideal student. Punctual, attentive, polite, a voracious reader. Mother was satisfied that despite her claims to the contrary, she hadn’t actually shat into existence the Goat Of Mendes. She was however disturbed to discover that I had been given a nickname  by my teachers in primary school. ‘He’s got quite the imagination hasn’t he?‘ Blood & Guts was the nom de plume they saw fit to bestow upon my cherubim brow. Where did this name come from I hear you sigh wearily? Glad you asked mate…. 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

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