Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Name of the Orc

It's Orctober again! So lets celebrate by investigating some Orcish nomenclature:

Inspired by the random name generator in Erny's Warlord: Battle in the Darklands I wondered what a name generator based on archeogaming and the historical period of Citadel Miniatures and Warhammer gaming I'm interested in (i.e. the glory days of 1st and 2nd edition) might look like.

So ignoring any other published texts, scenarios, boardgames (sorry Bilge Gutrot) or other mentions of Orcish characters, I decided to focus solely on the names given to Citadel Miniatures, and scoured  catalogue collection and the Stuff of Legends to produce a definitive list of Old School Citadel Miniatures Orcs Names :

Jun 1984RR5 Harboth Black MountainHarboth
Jun 1984RR5 Harboth Black MountainYaskinForit
Jun 1984C15 OrcShield Bearer
Jun 1984C15 OrcBladebane
Jun 1984C15 OrcCyclopse
Jun 1984C15 OrcWarlord
Jun 1984C15 OrcMaulman
Jun 1984C15 OrcDwarfsmiter
Jun 1984C15 OrcAxe Killer
Jun 1984C15 OrcManiac
Jun 1984C15 OrcGuardsman
Compedium 3C15 OrcGashcog
Compedium 3C15 OrcNazram
Compedium 3C15 OrcBungerbol
Compedium 3C15 OrcGrigal
Compedium 3C15 OrcNishrok
Compedium 3C15 OrcGobstob
Compedium 3C15 OrcBrugzod
Compedium 3C15 OrcTizog
Compedium 3C15 OrcLutnob
Mighty Ugezod Death CommandosMighty Ugezod Death CommandosUgezod
Mighty Ugezod Death CommandosMighty Ugezod Death CommandosGuzrodDogchild
Mighty Ugezod Death CommandosMighty Ugezod Death CommandosMormoJabberbinder
Mighty Ugezod Death CommandosMighty Ugezod Death Commandosushtugthe gut
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcKroglod
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcHagblad the Maimer
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcBarg Brainbasher
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcGraglobGrinning
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcHoglodBone-breaker
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcGlodbogCrusher
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcGarglod Bow-Biter
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcEgrod Arrowchuker
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcKaglodChopper
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcOwd Glodger
Aug 1986 FlyerC15 OrcHolf Stunty-sticker
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderBodblat Standardbearer
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderGargStuntyspiker
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderGrodbol Slicer
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderTegrod Skullhat
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderGaglob Chuckbolt
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderNogzod Bighat
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderGoglobBighat
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderGegblodSlasher
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderBargogSmasher
Aug 1986 Flyerc21 Boar RiderCrazgogStuntybelter
Dec 1986C27 Orc Ballista & CrewBolbosh
Dec 1986C27 Orc Ballista & CrewOnefang
Dec 1986C27 Orc Ballista & CrewGnashtor
Dec 1986C27 Orc Ballista & CrewSlaghead
Dec 1986C27 Orc Ballista & CrewGubspor
Dec 1986C27 Orc Ballista & CrewGrimnose
March 1987c21 Boar RiderAxe Hacker
March 1987c21 Boar RiderBulgnoshBigblade
March 1987c21 Boar RiderDogface
March 1987c21 Boar RiderSpearscreamer
March 1987c21 Boar RiderAnzak Archer
Spring 1987Orc1Orbid
Spring 1987Orc1Darket
Spring 1987Orc1Bruk
Spring 1987Orc1Ranglit
Spring 1987Orc1Angok
Spring 1987Orc1Zinge
Spring 1987Orc1Spikk
Spring 1987Orc1Mannik
Spring 1987Orc1Myarg
Spring 1987Orc1Slyss
Spring 1987Orc1Hurt
Spring 1987Orc1Samig
Spring 1987Orc1Fletch

So I left out Ugezods mates who aren't Orcs. Goblins, Ogres, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, are all quite different and deserving of their own enquiry, maybe next time lads.

Besides the nice pun - Yeraskin Forit ("You are asking for it" - a beating, that is), there's some obvious trends here - first names are largely two syllables , and last names are largely compound words consisting of two elements that usually refer to either an act of violence, an enemy or a weapon. The fore-name parts are highly reminiscent of Bill & Ben the Flowerpot men in full on swear mode, with lots of 'ob', 'lob', 'gl' which is quite in keeping with Tolkiens naming of Orcs which gravitates around the same sounds. The more observant of you will have noticed that the Spring 87 names have a very different set of syllables, much more focussed on the shaper 'k' and 't' sounds than the 'g', not sure why, but it's possible the person who was responsible for making up silly names for miniatures was changed.

It's interesting that Man and Dwarf (and the nickname for Dwarves 'Stunty') appears whereas Elf does not. There might be some significance in that - perhaps Elves are perhaps not seen as a 'worthy' foe, or perhaps the sector of Orcdom in question doesn't come into contact with Elves, Slann, Lizardmen or Hobbits. Uzlud Frogspiker would be fine name for a Lustrian orc. Again, there is a Tolkienism in that Shagrat could be a similar formulation,  although I think the professor might shake his head at the suggestion that it's a compound word indicating bestiality with vermin.

Anyway, I built a table of the component parts of the published names:

Forename AForename BSurname ASurname B

You'll have noticed I haven't normalised the data. Indeed, items that have more frequency in the original name set have more frequency in the component data table, so some elements have a higher chance of appearing.  Its not a perfect weighting (which would have to take into account the size of the dataset), but it will do, won't it.

Anyway here's a bunch of Orcy ne'er-do-wells generated from this list:

Ushlod Glodgspiker
Gnashrg Chopperkiller
Gegspor Gutspiker
Ushrok Arrowman
Nazrok the Smiter
Morzod Dogkiller
Goglob Slicerblade
Tiet the Axe
Gabog Maul
Ushlod Bigbasher
Glodrg Chucklord

I've had to add in "the" to a couple of names to make them read better, but otherwise it's a pretty good emulation of a mid-80s Citadel Miniatures catalogue Orc nomenclature.

Rather than dice I've used  the magic of modern random number generation built into Google Sheets to generate the list. And in fact you can do this too, by simply refreshing this page:

Or if the fancy-pants iframe above isn't working visit : Ye Olde Oldhammer Orc Name Generator

What I love about random generation is how they feed the creative response, much like random character generation in Dungeons & Dragons (3d6 in order or nothing). One can just imagine the mace-weilding leering stance of of Doggog Dwarfbasher, or the stooped, grinning gait of Banik Glodgehat  underneath his patched-up leather helm, or the arrogant gesticulating of the Necromantic Orc Wizard who is Glodok Skullbinder.. They practically design themselves.

Occasionally the generator does produce something weird - Angbid Stuntylord for example. It's possible just to ignore it as being out of flavour, or perhaps it's an opportunity for backstory, maybe he's a slave-master with a retinue of Dwarven captives, or carries severed dwarf-heads on his standard or belt.

If you're interested in the nomenclature of the orc in gaming literature (and let's be honest, who isn't?) have a look at Zenopus excellent article on Gygaxian Orc Tribes names. Hmm...perhaps a ramble through the rulebooks of Oldhammer picking out tribal names... Oh yeah, and if the Ye Olde Oldhammer Orc Name Generator vomits up any particularly interesting, funny or inspiring names for you, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, 10 October 2016

WotCN III RBG Norse Adventurer Miniatures KS

Our good friends at Red Box Games are running a Kickstarter to fund a gang of Norse /Viking adventurer miniatures, for which Zhu Industries has supplied graphic works to support the campaign:

The use of knotwork and historical influences combined with a clean stylisation that is intended to echo the design philosophy of the miniatures - historically informed costume design, cleanly detailed  sculpting with a strong, dynamic posing and iconic silhouette.    Those who make their runic lore roll might identify the dreki / wyrms  and their tongues are forming an Othalla rune and the Anglo-saxon form of Ingwuz.  The main graphic was then used to build various headers by adding typography and an additional 'thread' device, and slightly less arcane use of runes where appropriate.

The Warbands of the Cold North Kickstarter is currently funded at 200% and has just under a week left. Tre's work in progress on the miniatures sculpts can be seen at the KS page, meanwhile here are two tasters:

Male Warrior WIP

Female Mage WIP

Also somewhat less recently Zhu Industries produced a piece that graces the blister packaging of RBG releases, replacing the old blister packaging artwork / art card,  which had also been designed by Zhu Industries.

RBG Packaging Graphic

This is a riff on Larry Elmores classic Red Box cover, albeit rendered in a bold, graphic style. "Red Box" Dungeons & Dragons is at the heart of the RBG world, although it is decidedly more 'northern' in mood and atmosphere.  

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain aka Warriors of the Apocalypse


A time: 150 years into the future.
The place :Earth

Earth ravaged by wars in a world gone mad. Mankind returning to the dark ages on a barren planet, resorting to brute force and killer instinct for survival.

Massive Shoulderpads
Laser beams shooting out of peoples eyes!

Radioactive mutant cultists with ray-guns!
Amazonian warrior women concealing super high-technology
and not looking a bit like Toyah at all.
Even more massive shoulderpads!
Immortal Kamikaze Kabuki Pygmies
Pot smoking, two-gun slinging Commisar mofos

Return of the Immortal Kamikaze Kabuki Pygmies

Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain Trailer:

"Watch Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain and you'll be looking into a Dark Future for mankind".

Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain VHS box artwork:

Whaddya mean the lead girl is a brunette? Blondes sell more VHS
So do gold bikinis.

Trans. "They Search for Paradise and Find a Hell!" 

Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain

WARNING: actual movie contains 100% less
Boris Vallejo than this VHS cover
Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain, as Warriors of the Apocalypse is also available on DVD from CULT ACTION. Lengthly and entertaining review by Keith here.

For anyone interested, see progs Warhammer Pygmies and Warhammer Amazons