When whispers of a cheapo airbrush that wasn’t absolute dog eggs reached me, I took a punt. 13 brick for what seemed to be a pro airbrush, too good to be true? Read on…
Like a lot of people, I raced through Stranger Things on Netflix in a weekend and absolutely loved the freaking thing. Story, tone, setting, details and music all combined into a perfect warm broth of nostalgia and entertainment. I just wrapped myself up in it like a comfy blanket and enjoyed my time in that perfectly imagined world. Don’t worry, I’m not going to discuss any actual spoilers, but I will say there is some Dungeons & Dragons being played, and it’s handled pretty damn excellently. This made me ruminate again on a topic that crosses my mind every so often. How does the media, and specifically film and television, portray Dungeons & Dragons and roleplaying games in general? Are they laughing at it, honoring it, terrified of it or just ambivalent towards it? How has this portrayal changed over time? What trends does it speak to? And how does the treatment of roleplaying in these works of creativity and art reflect on the creators and the audience they’re speaking too? To answer these questions, and bore you kind folks to tears, I’m going to be taking a look at all the D&D in media I can, and waffling on about it because that is what the internet is for (well, besides porn, porn and cat videos).
Last article I introduced the game Saga: Viking Age to readers. What I left out of my ridiculous and meandering prose was discussion of how to get your grubby hands on one of the most important aspects of any miniatures game, the figures. See, historical games are a little different than the current incarnations of Warhammer, Malifaux, WarhmaHordes etc… in that there are often times a plethora of miniature companies that make compatible figures, and there is no IP infringement or cease and desist letters on history. It isn’t always as easy as just purchasing the exact thing they show in the book, but with this added effort comes incredible choice on how you want to spend your hard earned stacks of cash.
If you’ve been primarily coddled by the sweet retail presence of Games Workshop or Privateer press, you might find sourcing figures for Saga a different (and sometimes challenging) experience. The purpose of this article therefore is to quickly discuss a whole host of manufacturers, what Saga relevant figures they’ll have and some thoughts on their quality. Its a primer, a showcase of this particular period and some of the best (and worst) the internet will throw up on you. This is not meant to be a totally exhaustive list, but as close as I could come to with the knowledge I have. About 95% of these manufacturers I own miniatures from, sometimes from the ranges I’m picturing, so while this is my highly subjective opinion, it at least has some false grounding in experience. Finally, I’ll throw in some good pop culture inspiration to get your mind working and ready to jump on board the fad train as it once again leaves the station. First however, I’d like to discuss a couple realities for those new to the historical miniatures scene.
The first time they raised her she said, ‘Behold, I see my father and mother.’
The second time she said, ‘I see all my dead relatives seated.’
The third time she said, ‘I see my master seated in Paradise and Paradise is beautiful and green; with him are men and boy servants. He calls me. Take me to him.’
That’s right folks, we’re going to do an introductory article for a 5 year old historical miniature game. Here at Corehammer, we like to be only the most current and cutting edge with our content. Stay tuned for our Warhammer “The End Times” thoughts and possibly some rumors on a shadowy new edition of the game with talk of controversial round bases. Maybe a quick review of the first Avengers movie and bitching about Tom Hardy’s Bane while I’m at it. Also, did you know women can vote now? Topical. So why am I actually spending time introducing Saga? It started with a simple WhatsApp message from the frozen Nordic lands, “Did I hear you played Saga?” I gave some quick thoughts, praise and warnings back and went on about my day. But something about that little conversation stuck with me. I started thinking about the game again, how more people should be playing it, how it is such an interesting introduction to the historical miniature hobby, and how dammit, I want to be playing again. Some weeks pass and the fad light has been switched on (not by me) and my friends group were all looking to dive in for some sweet, sweet, Saga gaming. I quickly realized there is still a lot of information out there that is either missing, or hard to find, and is relevant for someone looking to get into the game. This means that even though the game was released a little while back, and was reasonably popular for a niche wargame, there is enough of a gap out there that makes it worth my frankly pretty worthless time to write up an intro. This first article will focus on the original Viking Age flavor of the game, a part 2 with shopping and figure recommendations and a follow up to cover those Mediterranean romps in the sun from Crescent and Cross. This ultimately will be my utterly cack-handed attempt at opening the vault and sharing my nonsense ramblings on what really is a superb little game.
A short while ago I wrote an article (here) about DIY gaming and how making your scenarios, armies, rules or entire games is a magnificent use of your time and creativity. The indie RPG and tabletop scenes are absolutely flourishing right now so I wanted to take a moment to highlight a particularly interesting game that has just launched its Kickstarter.
Relicblade, a tactical fantasy adventure game created by Sean Sutter. I had a chance to conduct a meandering interview with Sean where he discusses everything from his gaming history, the benefits of sculpting digitally and the importance of incredibly dangerous battlefield conditions, but first a quick review of the game itself. Continue reading
“Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.” – Harvey Pekar
Because I’m an adult, and so is the rest of my D&D group, and that apparently means doing adult things, and having stupid adult responsibility, my D&D game only actually ends up playing about once per month. We all probably want to play more, and individually could make it happen, but as a group, it just works out that way. This leaves me with a lot of time during each month where I wish I was slaying things with sword and dagger, but I’m disappointingly not. That sorry mental state of D&D withdrawal has led me for a search of other items that can hit that certain ‘Swords and Sorcery’ sweet spot. I’m chasing that short term nerd high that will get me through to my next dice rolling, quick thinking, smooth talking and treasure plundering adventure. While I’m pretty up to speed on the state of the fantasy genre as it relates to videogames (excellent), books (saturated), film (mixed bag) and television (mostly shit), I had no idea what was going on with comics. Now I love the medium, comics are pretty damn amazing, but I had sort of fallen out of the comic scene a while back as it is somewhat exhausting to keep up with. As I thought about it though, the fantasy genre is perfect for comics. With sequential art you can create whatever the fuck you want, and then all you have to do is go out and draw it. There isn’t a special effects budget to restrict your imagination, creators can just make whatever stokes the fires of their imagination. Fantasy and comics should be a beautiful match and I was sure if I just poked around a little there would be hordes of graphic novels that could satisfy my D&D cravings. Continue reading
Almost everything I’m obsessed with, inspired by or simply think is ‘rad’ can be traced back to my exposure to an unholy trinity of influences at key developmental stages of my childhood. Star Wars at five years old, Fighting Fantasy at seven years old and 2000AD at eight years old.
Whilst I’ve discussed the influence of Fighting Fantasy and Star Wars at length elsewhere on this blog, the acid damage 2000AD wrought upon my delinquent brain has yet to be fully explored. Trust me though it’s coming. Once again the blame can be placed squarely at the feet of my sainted Grandmother who every Friday would turn up at our house with the TV & Radio Times for my parents, The Storyteller tape/magazine for my little sister and Transformers and Whizzer & Chips for me. Things were going swimmingly until one Friday she arrived later than usual. For whatever reason she had been delayed. ‘I am sorry Nathan, but the man at the newsagent didn’t have any Transformers left…’ She delivered this dreadful news whilst rummaging in her bag and upon seeing my forlorn mug peering back at her she added cheerily ‘Don’t worry though love, I got you something else….it’s got big robots in it’. She stuffed a magazine called 2000AD into my eager grasp and lo the stars aligned, doom bells tolled and the sun went black as sackcloth. The robots in question were of course the ABC Warriors. Occult obsessed, chaos worshipping, human murdering, cross-dressing war droids who kicked about with a cloven hoofed alien warlock. So that was me pretty much fucked. Continue reading
December, month of the best albums of the year lists. Endless lists of pretty much the same thing, with no explanation beyond “it’s cool because I like it”. So, to mix things up, we’ve got a few of the crew to give us their top 5 picks of the year, but thrown it wide open and not limited it to any one thing. The notable exception from most of these, as we haven’t had time to gather our thoughts, will be The Force Awakens, which I’m guessing everyone will be losing their shit over right now. So, get comfy, grab a brew and find out what’s been getting us excited
Despite making bold proclamations that I couldn’t be arsed writing for Corehammer anymore and was instead throwing my limited energies into Dungeonpunx, it would appear I can’t leave well enough alone. I find myself at a loose end on a Saturday night with an urge to express some enthusiasm and to get this shit back on track. I wanted to write something positive about the stuff I enjoy. I love dogs and good pizza, ice cold cherry cokes, the Carcass back catalogue, D&D, John Blanche paintings and the many works of Mike Mignola. But most of all I love the defiant spirit of punk rock, the fire in the belly of those who just won’t quit, who believe in what they are doing despite all the obstacles and aggravations put in their path. It’s why I am excited about Nick Baran’s Broken Contract and Chris Brady’s Wild In The Streets. And it’s why I love Dead Earth Games. Continue reading
Having binned my label off, I still love to trawl Bandcamp for new music, so when Allfather bust out of the speakers I was into straight off the bat. So, why not use the blog to shout about new bands, and hear what they have to say? Have a listen, check out the little review, and read what they have to say.
What do I think of them? Basically, take the best Black Sabbath riffs, add in a crunchy metallic hardcore stomp, with a punk boot to the throat, and you’re somewhere there. A real melting pot of ideas. If you’re looking for that lazy pigeonhole, then I guess the easiest comparison to make would be Hang The Bastard, who like their peers Crowbar, easily cross the divide of metal and hardcore. Allfather wear their influences on their sleeves, they’re not re-inventing the wheel, it does what it says on the tin, but it does it really well. So head over to Bandcamp, and if you like what you hear, chuck a few quid in the pot and have one less spiced pumpkin latte or whatever bullshit people drink these days. Headbang, raise a fist or go wild and do a Bushwacker in the pit!