Friday, 10 April 2015

tr00 kvlt Öldhammr




Saturday, 7 March 2015

Battle of the Oldhammer Rogue Trader Battle At The Farm Battle Reports!

The Top 10 Oldhammer Rogue Trader, Battle at the Farm Battle Reports that every Oldhammerer and Rouge Trader must know!

We've scientifically ranked many Rogue Trader battle reports of the Battle at the Farm by correlating the total Victory Points of each game against the chances of Ed Grundy successfully taking over Grange Farm, dividing by 2 and adding 1d6:

11. The Privates Eternal

Models: Kenner Star Wars

A late entry, which, believe it or not was prompted by this very blog-post. I slightly bemoaned the fact that everyone was using mostly using GW figures to play the scenario (not a bad thing in itself you understand). When  Private W. jumps up, out into the garden, for a quick skirmish using classic Star Wars action figures. Now that's more like it!  Unfortunately, rain stopped play, which leaves the outcome of the battle somewhat undecided, but not before Han Solo bounds in on his Tauntaun to whisk away Princess Leia.

Victors: Han Solo

10. 6 Iron Spikes

Models: 2nd Ed Tyranids vs. Classic RTB01 Marines

6 Iron Spikes dive in with some true impro gaming. No scenery? Use cardboard boxes and carrier bags. No orks? Use Tyranids. The orks managed to call for reinforcements and only 2 marines survived. Good play through.

Victors: The Marines

9. Cigar Box Battle

Battle at the Farm | Cigar Box
Models: Modern GW Orks & Modern GW Marines

Ran using 5th edition, and the Battle of the Farm ended prematurely, but not before most of the orcs were mown down.

Victors: The Marines

Cigar Box Battle at the Farm

8. Fawcett Avenue Conscripts

Battle at the Farm | Fawcett Ave.

Models: Space Ork Raiders Boxed Set vs. Classic RTB01 Marines

A fun report which captures much of the flavour of the scenario. The Orks actually managing to call for reinforcements really kicked off the motivated play, with both players working to achieve their victory conditions.

Victors: The Marines (just)

Fawcett Avenue Conscripts Battle at the Farm

7. Oldhammer 40k

Battle at the Farm | Oldhammer 40k

Models: Sisters of Battle & Modern Space Marines

In a creative, satirical,  and wholeheartedly Oldhammerist take, LegioCustodes' Orks were replaced by the forces of Imperial Governess Margareet Thatchot. Pretty much a draw, but good stuff, but really getting into the swing of things using the objectives and characterisation. Nice.

Victors: Draw

Classic Astartes Battle at the Farm

6. Toms Toy Soldiers

Battle at the Farm | TTS

Models: Modern Plastic Orcs and Modern Plastic Marines

After throwing his entire collection of 80s Warhammer into a skip, Tom was left with no choice but to play the modified Battle on the Farm from some unspecified triple-digit issue of White Dwarf, poor chap.  Orcs charged, got massacred, Thrugg got into hand to hand and killed Cantor. Tom didn't really seem to engage with the scenario and I suspect the redacted version may have had simpler objectives.

Victors: The Marines

Toms Toy Soldiers Battle at the Farm

5. Old School Workshop

Battle at the Farm | Old School Workshop
Models: Vintage Space Orks vs Vintage Marines

Suber and Miguel have a quick game of suicidal  Orcs running towards the farm and getting killed - blamed largely on putting too much space between deployment zones, and ending with the commanders going toe-to-toe in classic 80s action-movie style. A good time had by all, but these guys aren't taking it as a serious military exercise in the first place. Great!

Victors: The Marines.

Old School Workshop Battle at the Farm

4. Fighting Fantasist

Battle at the Farm | Fighting Fantasist

Models: Vintage Paper tokens out of the back of Rogue Trader

It's great to see that the game can be played as a game without endless weeks of collecting, painting modelling and prepwork. The game is the thing. The graphic charm of the original counters are not without merit. Not much in the way of tactical information, but it's all dressed up in Coops enthusiastic style.

Victors: The Marines.

Fighting Fantasist Battle at the Farm

4.1. Fighting Fantasist

Battle at the Farm | Fighting Fantasist

Models: Modern Orks and Modernish Space Marines

As Coop reminded us he's actually played Battle at the Farm more times than he's had hot dinners. Nicely accurate (to the map) terrain placement, Orks using the Orchard for cover. Some interesting observations about down-shifting from later editions.

Victors: Marines

Fighting Fantasis Battle at the Farm

3. Iron Dog Studios

Battle at the Farm | Iron Dog Studios

Models: Modern Orcs vs Modern Marines

Can't actually find the battle report, but can find the modelling preparations with lots of corrugated cardboard and masking tape.

Victors: unknown.

Iron Dog Studios Battle at the Farm

2. Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold

Battle at the Farm | Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold

Models: RTB13 Space Orks vs RTB01 Marines

Thantants plays Battle at the Farm, on an actual farm! So this game scores a gazillion post-modern points for that. A nice write up, and some terrain modifications to try to give the Orks a little more of a chance - not that it worked, they still ended up cooked.

Victors: The Marines

Teas Getting Cold Battle at the Farm

1. Hubbabubba on LAF

Midnight at the Oasis | Hubbabubba

Models: RT02 Space Orcs vs RT101 Space Marines

A great battle report, well written, nice photography, love the scenery. Super!  Good strategy from the Orks, including flanking and use of cover and keeps the play report interesting.

Victors: The Marines (just)

Hubba Bubba Battle at the Farm


OK I hate Listicles and blog-posts where the author just copy-pastes stuff other people wrote and makes inane comments about it, and generally find reading play summaries dull (I did read an incredibly witty, strategic and erudite game of Scrabble once) but I'm prepping to run the scenario and wanted to see what other gamers made of it first - and there are some really great games out there.

It's clear that in the first Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader scenario, Battle at the Farm, the Ork player is dealt a difficult hand. The Orks greed and reluctance to call for backup combined with their sub-standard military ability makes it tough for them to survive, let alone earn victory points. It's all too easy for the Space Marine player to get entrenched into the farm complex and just pick off the invaders as they approach.

Battle at the Farm | Maps vs. Photography

The original scenario is accompanied by a map and a photograph of some terrain, and they don't quite match - the map is not the territory - some players opt for set-ups that are truer to one than the other, notably in the farm building layout, and the maps Orchard is significantly larger than the photographs one. The subtleties of terrain placement do seem to make a big difference to the ork players strategies and all close victories appear to use both the larger orchard and smaller relative overall playing area as indicated by the map. Old School Workshop game particularly commenting on aspects of this, and Teas Getting Cold going some way to mitigate the disadvantage the Orks have by geoforming the landscape a little.

There is an even split between classic and new Games Workshop models being used, from vintage 1987 lead to modern plastics, and of course the original Rogue Trader card tokens just pushing the archeogaming into the lead (see what I did there?). It doesn't seem that people are jumping en-mass into Rogue Trader with their Ion Age Space Knights or Britains Space Force figures.

Overall I think it's great that The Battle of the Farm still gets played, and if taken in its original intention, as an intro with a few figures and objective motivated play, it does stand up. Still, some elite strategist out there needs to discover a way to get those Orkses to achieve their dreams...

Missing in action If you've run a game of Battle at the Farm, or know of an online batrep that I've missed, please do drop a link in the comments, especially if it led to a greenskin victory!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Red Box Games: Chosen of Hel

Red Box Games Barbarian Hordes Kickstarter is up and running, and once again the gnomes of Zhu were tasked with preparing some imagery to punctuate the piece....

Thematic header, for the Kickstarter. Twin axes engraved with Bindrunes Thurisaz + Tyr, not as an invocation or dedication to the god, but the the warrior-pride that he is known for, and Thurisaz - Thorn, often associated with giants and destructive power of nature.   Isa (ice) and Haglaz (hail), the frozen earth, like winter storms, immense, unstoppable deathly things to those that live in the hard northlands. Blind Raven - carrion of the battlefield, who cares not whose flesh he devours, Blind Skull - the fallen and forgotten, and the Seeing Helmet.

The long braid and  that evil is a gender equality employer and is indiscriminate in the collecting of skulls. Formal arrangement like a military display. The sword-runes read Ragnarök - it is the very death of the gods that the Helsvakt seek. The Othala rune on the male skull, inhereted wealth - the death of kings, and the Fehu rune on the female skull, cattle - the death of wealth. They may be interpreted as Odin and Frigg, or the self-image of the Helsvakt, as those who already count themselves among the dead, and so are fearless in battle.

The Helsvakt in Tre's mythology are bloodthirsty maniacs enslaved to the sorcerer-goddess Hel.   Chains are a long established theme central to the imagery of the Helsvakt, signifies only their bondage, but.  The thorn is a new, a kind of medieval barbed-wire, it's a reference to a nature vs. man-made. The one eyed skull is, of course, Odin, and the sword is engraved with the runes ALU (in Anglo-Saxon, rather than the Elder) a historical charm with uncertain meaning - it has been found on axe handles and arrow-heads but not swords to my knowledge. Theory has it that ALU means 'ale' or 'courage', or literally 'Dutch Courage' and perhaps the mythic relationship between the 'drunken' state and berserker.

I wanted a move away from the expressionist gore imagery of the last Helsvakt-led campaign,  towards something colder, starker, possibly more evil and sinister, heavier and blacker. Equally stone-carving and woodblock relief print they visually drawing on ancient Greek Red Figure pottery - after all, Barbarian comes from barbaros - the ancient Greek word for an uncivilised person, these are images not made by the Helsvakt in celebration of their Goddess, their victories, or their madness, but by the civilised men that fear them and tell legends of Ragnarök.

But nobody's really turns up to a RBG Kickstarter for my graphics (although there have been a few requests for t-shirts, which we have done in the past but it does depend on the funding going above and beyond the core product). Nope... what they're after is more epic Red Box Games miniatures...

Jötunn WIP

Helsmaiden WIP

I was going to go on at length about diversity of representation of body types in fantasy, feminism, ethics in games journalism and all that, because when there are creators out there like Tre making kick-ass evil female warriors which are 100% matched up with their male contemporaries and this is totally ignored by all the . Not that Tre' has a feminist agenda, totally unlikely to give a crap about that - it's all about being true to the character and concept. As it should be, and the only to axe be ground here, is about to cleave the skulls of its foes.