Saga – Introduction to that Dark Ages Mosh

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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.

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Weathering tanks for the 31st Millenium

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Up from the motherfucking idyllic coastal regions of Colchis!

In this article I’ll go over a few techniques I use to weather my tanks, these have been predominantly word bearers tanks so if you’re starting a XVIIth army then this is a good place to start. that said, the techniques are mostly things you can use over any paint scheme so worry not if you’re painting up a different legion.

The techniques are all military modelling skills, and will give your tank a much grimier, dirty look and feel to the bright GW/’eavy Metal schemes, if thats the look you’re after then theres going to be little of use here. If you want your tank to look like its actually just driven off a real life battlefield complete with dings, mud, smoke, oil, and burn, then read on.

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KickStarter Review: Wild in the Streets

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I’ve grown up surrounded by gaming dreamers. My school friends talked about making their own RPG for the entirety of our younger teenage years. Another group of friends attempted to make their own Warhammer 40k Codex and wanted to send it to GW because “maybe they’ll publish it.” After a number of contentious arguments and broken dreams that project flamed out with barely a page written. A totally different friend couldn’t read a gaming book without wanting to chop it, change it, or add comic book characters to it. When I had found a massive box of micro machines in my late teenage years, I filled up half a notebook making a weird racing/destruction derby game that would have been an absolute ball ache to ever play. This is but a shallow dip into the pool of stories I could tell, but what is most important, is to understand my entire gaming life has been filled with stories about new video game ideas, RPG’s, miniature rules etc… There is always someone at the game store, on the internet forum, hanging around the club or part of your friends group that has some idea “in the works.” What almost all of these have in common is that they never actually finish anything. This is the nature of things, what we’re passionate about one week might fade as the months go by, the hard work and real life issues pile up, or you just figure out that the great idea you thought you had, was actually pretty shit. Look, finishing stuff is hard. Juggling life priorities, especially as an adult is some damn tricky business. My jaded self has tended to just summarily dismiss works in process I casually hear about. I honestly just nod politely and mentally file them in the “never going to actually happen” section of my brain.

So when I first heard from friend of Corehammer Chris a while back that he was making his own skirmish miniature game, I have to admit, I was skeptical. So I need to quickly interrupt this post with an apology, time to stand up and say how fucking wrong I was, Wild in the Streets is not only here, but pretty damn fun as well. While I waffle on about games, Chris actually went out and made one. He’s taken that magical leap out of the soupy swamp of “dreamers” into that rarified air of “doers” and for that he deserves a firm handshake and some excellent San Diego Mexican food. Well done sir.

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So what is Wild in the Streets? It’s a fast paced miniature skirmish game where gangs of youth subcultures clash in quick and brutal street fights. What does that mean? You get to take a gang of goths and go have beef with those crust punk dickheads that are illegally drinking outside the club. Or maybe your working class skinhead gang has just been jumped by the devilish murder cult girls and need to use all your skills to not end up crushed under their high heels and hate. You can even throw all of the gangs on the board and have an all-encompassing melee punctuated by windmills, circle pits and goth dance offs. Wild in the Streets uses small gangs, a card driven initiative and event system and minimal setup and record keeping to throw you straight into the action. What this means is each individual figure (or group of figures) has a card that activates it. These are shuffled together and drawn, so you’re never quite sure who is going next and what kind of beating is getting laid down. Special cards, which is where a lot of the flavor of the game comes in, are also pulled out of this deck so can influence the game a little randomly. This creates an unpredictable and light game that moves quickly. This will never be a serious tourney game, or something you spend hours planning lists for, but there are enough of those games out there already. Seriously, if you don’t want to play a game where some crust punk lady is about to smash your face, but a free beer card comes up and stops her death blow as she chugs away…then you can probably fuck right off. The game is quick, can be hilarious and makes for great multiplayer.

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One of the most interesting things about this Wild in the Streets to me is how much I heard about it before ever playing it. Folks I knew would wander up in all kinds of settings and tell me how they’d gotten a chance to playtest it. Now hearing a bunch of nerd excited by new games is nothing all that original, we’re all about jumping into a new system as soon as the fad claxon goes off. What intrigued me about Wild in the Streets was the amount of usually “non-gamers” recommending it from our friends group. These weren’t the folks I normally geeked out about Warhammer with, these were civilians, and they fucking loved this game. It is easy to see why, when I finally got a chance to play it I found the game to be entertaining, relatable and quick to dive into. These things combine so that it makes it a great time for people who would be bored to tears with an average game of 40k. Trying to talk someone only vaguely interested in gaming into 4 – 6 hour multiplayer game where most of your shit got blown up turn one and you’re just hoping you get to do something cool while everyone else argues over inches and cocked dice can be rough. Grabbing a few friends, learning a page of rules and fucking up those sXe kids with your crust punks, easy sell.

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Look, regardless of how jaded I pretend to be, I have a pretty childlike and innocent view of how things are created. I still at some fundamental level think that someone, somewhere was so passionate about a product or thing, that they just sacrificed and created it themselves. I pretend that things started with that bootstrapped/DIY ideal and then just grew through hard work and smart choices. Now I’ve had the veil lifted a few times and understand most entrepreneurs are not necessarily passionate creators of that one thing, but instead, are passionate creators of companies. I now know that not every cool bicycle company started with some weird guy in his garage welding frames. That not every game bursts out of a designers unfettered imagination, but can be instead a carefully wrought piece of sales and marketing built to fit into an open niche or follow a market trend. What excites me about Wild in the Streets is that it fits that true DIY design ethic. It was built as a labor of love, and with a strong player first mentality.

In the end, Wild in the Streets is a quick play, easy to learn, skirmish game. It’s great for a group of friends to kill a couple hours and just have a damn good time around the table together. The game, at its core, allows for the creation of unique gaming moments, something different and possibly more entertaining than a bunch of Orks or “Space Fascists” smashing each other. And in the end, having those moments around the common campfire of the gaming table is what this hobby is all about.

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Available on Kickstarter Now! Get into it

Check Owain’s interview here!

March hardcore round up.

0006953045_10It’s been a while since we have had any hardcore on the blog and that is unacceptable. I must confess that we do actually get sent a lot of stuff for review and honestly most of it is weird blues music or lame rock shit that I cannot be arsed to find words for. So I decided to take a night off from writing essays and listening to Pat Benatar’s greatest hits and have a rummage around on the internet and cast my scornful judgements upon some of the more recent efforts bubbling up from the gutters and sewers of the underground…… Continue reading

Coremachine: Dead & Breakfast (Von’s SmogCon Report)

Anyone interested in a convention report covering five versions of the same RPG scenario, with no pictures of the actual content (because I was too busy running the games to faff around with any of that Instagramming-pictures-of-your-dinner nonsense), plus a single insanely casual game of Hordes vs. Warmachine?

Also, an obnoxiously British gatorman and his friend.

I hope so, ’cause that’s what you’re getting.

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Choosing a Legion : Iron Warriors with JP from the Age of Darkness

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Ok, here we go again, another insight into a fellow Heresy fans mind and which legion flicks their switches.

This time we have JP from the Age of Darkness podcast stepping in to the spotlight, giving us his view on the fourth legion, the ever popular Iron Warriors. In case you’re not familiar with these guys, the AOD ‘cast covers the whole aspect of the heresy, gaming, book reviews, news, modelling, painting, all under one roof with a dark sense of humour. Go check them out!

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Relicblade: Review and Interview of an engrossing DIY wargame

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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

Oath of Moment – taking stock of what I can do in a year

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The beginnings of the horde – what I managed of the Orks last year. Three completed units, and a few friendless test models. The latter’s mates are some of the guys I’ll be cracking into imminently.

Towards the tail end of 2014, I came back to the “painting and playing games with little toy men” hobby, after a break of about ten years. I’d previously worked up at GW head office in Nottingham, and upon leaving that job and moving to London, a combination of factors meant I just kind of drifted away from hobby stuff. However, the 4th Edition of Space Hulk sucked me back in. Not long after that, I stumbled across Corehammer, which was very encouraging in terms of discovering people out there approaching things in a way that appealed to me, rather than the relentless tide of tedium and negativity which seems to comprise the majority of internet discourse surrounding tabletop gaming.

In my year or so back astride the Hobby horse, a couple of things happened. First, without the constant bombardment of new stuff (at GW staff discount), and with more limited hobby time available, I became a bit more disciplined about actually finishing off painting projects. Second, in spite of the former point, I still managed to amass myself a reasonably-sized Pile Of Shame™. (There is an entirely different PoS™, consisting of the majority of the stuff I amassed in my time as a GW employee, sitting in the loft of my parents’ home, but that’s another pile for another time).
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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