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

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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Anaconda: I don’t want none unless…actually I just don’t want none.

1997 was the year of sequels. Speed 2, Jurassic Park The Lost World, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (don’t worry, I will eventually get to that one for you), Alien Resurrection, Batman and Robin. As we know, all these films were shite. Sure, we got Con Air, we got Face/Off, The Fifth Element, Spawn (shuuuut up), and Starship Troopers. But there were no creepy crawlies worth mentioning whatsoever. Somehow, at the end of my 13th year, I had gotten a touch bored of watching people shoot each other, and I needed something else. I needed monsters. I needed blood and guts and inhuman terror. I also needed Ice Cube (I always need Ice Cube), and when we made our regular Friday night trip to the video shop, both of those things were staring back at me from the top row of the horror section.

Now, we told you this is an action movie blog, about action movies. We’re only two weeks in, and I’m going off on a tangent. But you know what? I’m not ignoring monsters, because when you ignore the monsters, you also ignore the opportunity to revisit 90s CGI and tear it to fucking shreds, and I don’t think you want me to do that, do you? I think you need to know precisely every awful thing about this film that a revisit in 2017 makes painfully obvious, don’t you? Of course you do – it’s JLo and Ice Cube and Jon Voight and a massive rubber snake. And you do now anyway because I watched it and I refuse to suffer alone. Continue reading

Doing The Resurrection Shuffle……

Hello darling, it’s been a while hasn’t it? You look nice though. New hair and…have you been working out? Thought so. Look, I know what you’re thinking, here he is cap in hand, crawling back to us from his latest failure. A man who thought himself bigger, better, brighter than the humble blog that spawned him. I know how you people think. You can smell the guilt oscillating off me in great stinking waves. So here’s my confession. Continue reading

Don’t Forget the Struggle, Don’t Forget the Streets: Building a Modular Ruined City

So at the end of April we gathered in San Diego for our first official Corehammer West Coast Chiller. A month or two before that I had gotten the crazy idea of building a modular ruined city for the event so that at least I’d wander up with something to add to the festivities. I ended up only having something like 3 weeks to build the thing starting at the beginning of April, but in the mad dash to produce something I did manage to document the process so I figured I’d share it with you all now. That way you can learn exactly what I did, ignore it, and make something way cooler on a normal human schedule. I’m going to describe what I did, and not go too far down the rabbit holes of ideas not considered or techniques not used. Feel free to ask questions in the comments about anything you want though. Corners were cut, designs were simplified, but in the end, I had a table that can host a number of games in all sorts of different setups.

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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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COREHAMMER FEST 2016 Review – Swinton so much to answer for

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.

Corehammer Fest Flyer

“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.

What did I get myself into?

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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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Saga Figure Showcase: Viking Age of Quarrel

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.

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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.

SF - SAGA tourney May 2014 044

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