This is an article nominally about my trip to Stockport to attend Corehammer Fest 2016 in October. If you can’t be bothered reading the whole thing, it was a great time and you should go to the next one if you can. If you can be bothered slogging through my ramblings, hopefully you come to the same conclusion.
“Come to the fucking North”
This was the response I got when I floated the idea that I’d be over to London in early 2015. Not exactly the warm welcome I was hoping. You see, for Americans, the UK wargaming scene is often seen as a sort pilgrimage to be made. The motherland where the hobby in a modern sense was launched, where the biggest and most influential companies are based, and where every field and lane probably has dead soldiers from some medieval armor wearing era buried beneath. But on this trip in 2015, I saw none of that. I did manage to meet up with one very special Stevie Boxall, who took a couple Californians to a British Mexican restaurant and a walking tour of brutalist London architecture, cheers. But that was the start, when I returned for work almost a year later I finally made it out of London and to the wonders of GW and Wargames Foundry (covered in a previous DungeonPunx Podcast, you should listen, but probably won’t) and was shown an incredibly warm welcome by a bunch of good dudes. That experience planted a brain worm that burrowed deep, and ensured I’d be coming back again, and would make gaming a priority when I did. So, when the dates came out for the October 2016 event, I said fuck it and plotted a way to make it happen.
Warhammer 40k is the most popular wargame on the planet, full stop. It is a sprawling franchise that encompasses novels, video games, a theatrically released film, RPG’s, board games and miniature games (that happen to dominate its industry). The grimdark future world created by the Games Workshop design team decades ago still captures the imagination of gamers across the world and drives sales of a massive product line and supporting hobby supplies. This doesn’t surprise me; the world of 40k (and 30k) is pretty fucking cool. Even as I’ve aged out of their core demographic, Games Workshops dark vision of space has a lot that can draw me back in. Powerful imagery, insane power struggles and every aspect of military cultures turned up to 11. Massive hive cities where 100’s of millions of inhabitants live on top of each other in Dickensian despair, in their midst hide alien conspiracies and brutal gang warfare. Powerful manifestations of chaotic gods pour forth from a rip in space and time so massive its swallowed whole planetary systems.A devout order of space fascists, sitting in a fortified monastery on a surviving chunk of their destroyed planet, secretly hunting traitors from their own order. This world is batshit crazy and insane in some of the best possible ways. It’s a Tolkien fantasy world ripped to pieces, thrown into deep space andstitched back together with a punk rock ethos, space opera drama and a heaping helping of gothic trappings. Warhammer 40k is without question the showpiece game of the hobby (for better or for worse). It is the most popular, best selling, widely known and most visible game of the entire wargaming world. Sadly, it’s a game that is still lacking in female representation, and that’s some shameful shit. It’s a world that quite frankly deserves female Space Marines.
Last January I set myself the oath of painting up a Word Bearers army. I’d not painted up a full army in a long time to a high standard. some of my EC army were alright, but nothing to write home about so this was The Army, one to keep and display but also to use in games.
“The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.”
This time of year breeds resolutions like a fetid swamp spawns plague carrying mosquitoes. Gyms, health food stores and libraries get packed as legions strive for self-improvement after the decadent and sometimes soul crushing holidays. A newer better version of your life is tantalizingly close if you just change these small things, form new habits and check boxes off a list. Easy as can be right? Eat less, exercise more, be kinder, care less about work and more about friends, value experiences over things. Now resolutions rarely work, and often if you look back at previous resolutions you could just carry them forward year after year and nothing changes. Honestly, when you catalog what you don’t like about yourself, these are usually those things that don’t change, so you find some outward trait to attach meaning too. A month of pushing off hard in all directions, trying to do everything at once as part of the new you, crashes out, and by March you’re cheating yourself and by June you’ve forgotten all about it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though. This hard look in the mirror at the lazy bastard staring back at you is important, and can be quite positive, you just have to do it more than once a year. So this is the 1st of what I hope to be a monthly update where you have visibility into, and hold me accountable, to my gaming goals. Instead of just talking shit about all the things you should or could be doing, I’ll have to actually step up and produce. God help you. Continue reading →
If you have a hobby, you have projects. Honestly it doesn’t matter if you’re into miniatures, rpg’s, fishing, music, ridiculous cars or quilting, you always have things you want to be working on if you just had the time. Now the nature of our modern lives means we never have the time we think (or want) to move this stuff forward, which creates a backlog of unfinished, sometimes only dreamed of projects. This is the chaos of your mind. That disheveled area were wild ideas are left to roam. Now there are two methods of dealing with this chaos, especially in gaming.
Complete each project you start methodically, focusing all attention and thinking on one thing at a time. Don’t even consider other creative endeavors until you’re at a finished stage on the previous item. When people ask what you’re working on, it will be the same thing as last time and you always complete what you start.
Keep those dreams alive. Embrace your hobby wobbles and tangential flights of fancy filling your life with mental explorations of those things you’re passionate about. Love the chaos.
So if you can do method 1, congratulations, you’re probably a robot. Seriously, look at yourself hard in a mirror, try and remember the last time you got sick, have an expert ask you cross referenced questions about empathy with a Voight-Kampf machine, because you might not be human. If you can seriously tell me you never think about something new till you’ve finished the old, I don’t fucking trust you. This article is for the rest of us. Those that fall more squarely into method 2. It’s about the rich landscape of the mind and how planning projects, dreaming of armies/systems/terrain and games is an important part of the hobby that should be acknowledged and celebrated. Continue reading →
“One unbreakable shield against the coming darkness, One final blade, forged in defiance of fate. Let them be my legacy to the galaxy I conquered, And my final gift to the species I failed.” – Inscription upon the Arcus Daemonica,
attributed to the Emperor of Mankind.
Before starting this, I looked at my previous Oath Of Moment article… dated June 2014… bollocks. Despite the best of intentions I haven’t written any regular updates even though I have been chipping away at painting the army over the past year and a half.
So what started as a small army to pass some time has spiraled into 2000+ points, which I’m actually totally chuffed about. It’s my first good sized army and also the first fully painted army I’ve ever owned. It’s a nice feeling being able to throw down a selection of stuff and try some different things in games.
It seems lately the Corehammer Facebook group has been going from strength to strength, and with it, has had a resurgence of insanely painted minis. So we thought it was time we showcased a few of the top forces again … Continue reading →
2014 has been a good social year for Corehammer with the WHFB Ill Blood tournament, The Dark Throne 40K tournament, plus a couple of trips to Sanctuary Gaming Centre, so we closed the year out in style, with a chiller at Warhammer World, with all and sundry invited. “Let’s have an all-day Apocalypse battle, with a narrative” said David Ager*, so we booked the 6′ by 12′ board, sorted out a Loyalist v Traitors/Xenos rumble, and the warrior lodge descended on Games Workshop HQ
This photo has no relevance to the content of the article. I just really like Fudge Tunnel
Corehammer was originally intended as an outlet for our ragged band of dungeonpunks to collectively scream into the awning void of cyberspace about our mutual boner for gaming culture and the underground music that fuelled our creative endeavours. Whilst there’s no denying we’ve done well within that remit, I have to be honest that I had envisaged a broader sweep to both elements of our schtick and lately cannot help but feel we’ve come up a little short in that regard.
Whilst not wishing to besmirch the efforts of the other guys, for the most part my contribution to CH has just boiled down to me occasionally ranting on about whatever mainstream hardcore band has caught my attention interspersed with photos and discussion of contemporary Games Workshop armies. Neither of these things inspire me to write with any zeal, passion or regularity. Personally It feels like I have exhausted my muse somewhat and I feel we are in danger of becoming just another Games Workshop obsessed blog. I don’t think that is what any of us ever wanted. At this juncture then, I am forced to consider what I am getting out of all this and what I can actually offer going forward. It would appear that I have reached a crossroads of sorts….. Continue reading →