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

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 And whilst some of the information is somewhat out of date, I think it’s still a nice window into Joe’s personal background and the machinations of his creative process.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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“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

For those about to mosh…September Hardcore Roundup

It has been a while since we last had a peek under the  lid to see what’s boiling away in the realms of underground metal and hardcore. Lets rectify that immediately shall we?

 First out of the skillet is Razorbite I had assumed this shower to be from Leeds given Nat Wood took their photos, Jimmy Wizard drew the cover and Atko recorded the demo but no Donny, these guys and girls are from Glasgow. I’ve visited Glasgow on a number of occasions and it’s always struck me as a tough fucking town. The first time was back in 1997. We asked for a pizza in some glum cafe and the pie faced curmudgeon behind the counter shoved a frozen pizza into a deep fat fryer before presenting it to us on a Glasgow salad, a formidable bed of chips. Like thats normal. Other highlights of that evening included a three legged dog, Knuckledust playing in a weird mosher pub/strip club hybrid hell hole, trying to get some kind of sleep in a sketchy mill and waking to discover we were being silently watched from a doorway by a man in a pair of bunched tighty whities and a Massacre T-shirt. Choice. The sounds Razorbite produce are a testament to all that misery…groove heavy hardcore not unlike Trapped Under Ice I guess, but the production on this is all squashy and sounds like the first One King Down record. I like that One King Down record loads though so it’s chill. So yeah, Trapped Under Ice meets Albany hardcore circa 1994 with bratty female vocals. It’s a combination that took some getting used to but its not immediately like anyone else and I dig it. Maybe you will too, have a listen HERE 

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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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Dungeonpunk & Disorderly

Yo, just a quick update for any regular readers who may recall my ‘Plans For 2016’ post. Obviously that went out the window as I haven’t brought anything new to the table since July. Life got busy, sorry mate. I’ve not forgotten about you though, so here’s what’s shaking. Things are moving forward slowly. Chris Mcgreevy is still working behind the scenes on the site rebuild. Hopefully we’ll be able to shift over to the new format by early Summer.And whilst I have not been active with the blog over the past six months, we have been busy on some affiliated projects

Despite it’s ‘rugged’ audio qualities our podcast Dungeonpunx has been racking up a ton of listens. Thanks for all the support, we all really appreciate that. We try to keep it light and a fun listening experience. I know sometimes it can get kinda rowdy with six five clowns bawling at each other trying to get the next rip in. I try to keep them boys under control but it’s like herding cats man, trust.
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Nerds on Film: Airheads and Not Putting Away Childish Things

Winners!

I want to talk about the movie Airheads. Actually, I want to talk about one scene from the movie Airheads. That’s right, that fucking weirdo 1994 movie about idiot butt rockers taking a radio station hostage to play their shit song. Starring Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler and creepy Steve Buscemi who I’m convinced has never actually looked young. And the reason I want to talk about this film is that it represents the real treatment of Dungeons and Dragons, which was around for me both in person, and in the media, that I had grown used too.

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Nerds on Film: Dungeons & Dragons, Roleplaying Games and Wargames in Film and Television – Pt. 1

2016-07-27 12_46_34-Artist creates awesome VHS boxes for Stranger Things, Rogue One, and other genre

This article contains NO Stranger Things spoilers. Don’t worry.

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).

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Corehammer Fest 2016

Things may have been a bit quiet on the blog front, but we’re still rolling dice, chatting shit and having a laugh, but it’s time we all got together for some fun, so we are proud to announce Corehammer Fest 2016. This will be at the newly refurbished Element Games NWGC and we have plenty of activities planned. Tickets are just £5.00 and limited to 40 places, so grab one asap from the Corehammer Munitorium . Details below the poster, but all will be revealed over the coming weeks

Corehammer Fest Flyer

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Words and Pictures: Fantasy Comics Roundup

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“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