Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Dungeon Number One

Back in 1984, I game mastered my first D&D adventure. I drew a dungeon and invited my cousin Sven and his friend Paul. They played a wizard and a thief. They were six years old. We didn't have any idea how roleplaying games work.

The game was over in half an hour.

This is the dungeon:

dungeon number one

Room 1:

The room measures 5m x 4m. Two pirates sit around a table, gambling and drinking rum. A third pirate lies on the floor and sleeps. Why did you enter their house anyway?

A door leads to room 2.

Room 2:

A bucket full of crabs. Some old clothes are scattered on the floor. A secret door (S) leads to room 3.

Room 3:

3m x 2m. There is a large cupboard filled with bottles, clothes, cured meat, sabres, helmets and a chest. The chest contains 10 pesos de ocho and a doll made out of wood and cloth. (Don't take it! Its evil voodoo magic will get you into lots of trouble.)

I think Sven and Paul didn't make it to room 2. It's possible that the pirates were goblins and that room 3 didn't exist. Hey, all of this happened thirty years ago!

Sven got heavily into role playing and tabletop games as a teenager. It might be my fault. Last thing I heard about Paul is that he became a drug dealer.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Heavy Metal

killa kans

Saturday night we had a 1500 point Warhammer 40K team game with Patrick (Space Wolves) and Jörg (Dark Angels) on one side and Krüger (Orks) and me (Chaos Space Marines) on the other.

Patrick actually introduced Krüger and me to 40K many years ago. Unfortunately we don't play with him that much any more. He is an amazing painter and always emphasizes the storytelling aspect of the hobby which is great.

We expected Jörg to bring a landraider and a lot of terminators. He didn't.

I made a 790 point army list with the following units: a chaos lord with a daemon weapon and a unit of 9 plague marines with 2 meltaguns in a rhino, 3 obliterators and a greater daemon. (We still use the 5th edition, although I start hearing complaints about it. Sorry, guys.)

Like last time we played, the scenario turned out to be annihilation + pitched battle.

I didn't play well, to be honest. I put my troops all the way on our left flank and they almost didn't make it into play. I nevertheless managed to destroy 2 rhinos and one of Jörg's units, including his HQ.

Krüger lost 2 deffkoptas at the start of the game. His ork boys moved very slowly through a large forest while his killa kans were shot to pieces one by one. Ennervating. I think his kommandos only survived one turn. They got surrounded by Patrick's Space Wolves and were quickly shot down.

Patrick and Jörg opted for a defensive strategy, avoiding close combat and shooting volleys of hunter-killer missiles at us.

Krüger and I made a lot of mistakes, but we won in the end (6 to 5). I don't know why. I guess a bit of luck helps when you play 40K.

Jörg, my neighbour, is a heavy metal fan. He likes to bang his dice cup hard on the table. While Krüger was taking a cigarette break on the balcony, Jörg told us the story about how he lost a shoe at a concert in Wacken, the biggest heavy metal festival of the world. To make him feel at home I put on "Right Next Door To Hell" by Guns N' Roses. (Ok. That's not heavy metal, but it's the closest thing to heavy metal I have.)

You can find a battle report with lots of pictures on Krüger's blog.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


When I lived in Dortmund, I used to play a lot with Sven, Andi, Krüger and Marjorie. We considered ourselves a gaming club and called us Wazimu, which is short for Wambeler Zinnfigurenmuseum.


marjorie and krüger

Here you can see us playing "Pirates!" by Flagship Games, a game I can highly recommend by the way.



Marjorie and I got married and moved to Berlin. Krüger also lives in Berlin. I meet him about once a week.

scratchbuilt galleon

sun helmet

I don't see Sven and Andi that much anymore, so they decided to come over to Berlin for a weekend in May. We want to play 40K, HOTT and Gurps. I'm really looking forward to this.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Wood Elves vs. Orcs & Goblins

I just finished reading the Warhammer rulebook for the third time. The core rules of the current edition have 180 pages. Do people play wargames because they enjoy to read big rulebooks and  memorise complex rules?

Saturday afternoon Krüger came over to play Warhammer. Krüger certainly enjoys learning rules. Sometimes I think his mind works like a chess computer.

Krüger played Orcs & Goblins. I played Wood Elves.

wood elf noble on great stag

I changed my army list a bit to include a fast unit. I have a Wood Elf Noble on a Great Stag which the very talented Simon Bradley painted for me as a commission. My hero always got shot off his mount in turn 2 or 3 when I played against Krüger's High Elves. So I stopped using it. Krüger's Orcs & Goblins don't have many shooters. Against this army, a lone hero on a great stag is a very good choice for a fast unit.

This is my new 1500 point army list:

Wood Elf Highborn (lord / 226 points) 
great weapon, armour of silvered steel, hail of doom arrow

Wood Elf Noble (hero / 200 points) 
wild rider, glittering scales, great stag

Spellsinger (hero / 150 points)
level 2 wizard
dispel scroll

20 Eternal Guards (core unit / 295 points)
champion, standard bearer, musician
war banner

10 Glade Guards (core unit / 126 points)

8 Dryads (core unit / 108 points)

8 Dryads (core unit / 108 points)

Treeman (rare unit / 285 points)

As I tend to loose Warhammer Fantasy battles against Krüger, he allowed me to place the terrain. I put a Slann temple in one third of the table and covered the rest of the battlefield with woods, just leaving a corridor of open ground for my longbows.

We played "battleline", the first scenario from the book.

I put the treeman, the eternal guards and the glade guards in the centre and the two units of dryads on the left and right next to them. I placed my mounted hero in a wood all the way on the right flank.

Krüger deployed his giant and all of his infantry in the centre and put a unit of orc boar boys and a unit of goblin wolf riders in front. On his left side, opposite to my mounted hero, he placed a goblin chariot and a unit of goblin wolf riders.

A large unit of night goblins squabbled twice and didn't make it into the battle. Otherwise Krüger's troops weren't affected by animosity.

I was able to weaken Krüger's centre using magic and shooting attacks. ("Strangle roots" and "hail of doom arrow" are quite effective.) What was left was destroyed in close combat.

On my right flank the mounted wood elf noble destroyed the goblin chariot and the wolf riders. (No wonder goblins fear elves.) After that my hero was able to attack a unit of orc boys in the rear which was already engaged in combat. My hero was destroyed, but he was the only unit I lost in this game.

In turn 4 the orc general fled and Krüger gave up.

I feel much more comfortable playing Warhammer now. Reading the rules again helped, my new army list is much more fun and I enjoy playing against Krüger's Orcs & Goblins a lot.

Take a look at Krüger's blog where he posted some pictures of the game!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

To Do List

I tend to get distracted and start new things all the time, so Marjorie, my wife, convinced me to use 'to do lists' to organize my life. Buy storage boxes. Buy a kitchen knife. Go to the dentist. Paint a chair.

On the back of my regular 'to do list' I have a 'to do list' for hobby related stuff.

It says:

green creatures

Paint 5 green creatures.

bamboo men

Sculpt 2 bamboo men.

green stuff horse 1

green stuff horse 2

Sculpt 2 horses.

wargaming hill

Make a hill.

I don't think this is what Marjorie had on her mind when she talked to me about 'to do lists'.