Monday, 21 November 2022

Return to Ravenloft turns 50

Back when the first Covid Lockdown got going my old roleplaying group decided to get together online to resume playing 5th Edition D&D. We'd all drifted to different parts of the globe making face-to-face gaming difficult, Covid just underlined our inability to get together for games.

Thanks to Zoom we had finally found a way to play again, regardless of where in the world we found ourselves. Almost immediately we fell effortlessly back into our bi-weekly cycle of games as if nothing had happened. My old schoolmate Andrew took the reins as DM this time around and for the last two years, we have been playing a long-running campaign set in the dark and horror-filled domain of Ravenloft. A couple of nights ago we had our 50th game of this particular campaign, and sure enough, it didn't disappoint. We have brokered a deal with the probably corrupt town guard; won over the trust of some locals; learned a few of the town's mysteries; and fought a vampire which had killed the blacksmith.

Our characters for this campaign have been nurtured from 1st level, slowly gaining in abilities and power. With each passing game, their personalities are being developed and after two years I feel like I know these characters as real people. In particular, I have come to have an abiding affection for my Gnome Wizard, Brocc Dargal. He is a former reclusive librarian who has been forced into the world and finds he rather likes it. He is still a bit anti-social which has manifested itself as a slightly pyromaniacal penchant for fire spells. His ability to 'blow shit up' has become legendary. Like all the best characters he is deeply flawed and at the same time bravely epic! He has definitely earned his place in my D&D Hall of Fame alongside some of my other favorite characters from 40+ years of D&D. 

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Nature verses Nurture: Are we born Wargamers or is it all down to upbringing?

Are Wargamers born with a predisposition to strategy, tactics, and gaming, or is it entirely down to our upbringing? The significance of Nature versus Nurture has been debated for hundreds of years in science, literature, and film. But does the argument hold true for Wargamers? 

Sunday, 13 November 2022

Slap Chop: Martial Art or Painting Technique?

There's a new(ish) painting technique in town and it's called Slap Chop. But is it new? Is it controversial and is it as innovative as its supporters claim? More importantly, does it have any value as a painting technique for the small-scale historical wargamer?

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Gallic Cavalry, Chariots & Heros

I have started preparing figures for this year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge which starts in late December. In the process, I found some stuff from last year that apparently didn't get finished in time. These Gallic Chariots and Cavalry had started to be painted but were still a long way from completion.  I guess I must have decided they couldn't be completed by the end of the challenge and put them aside. I can't enter them for this year's competition (that, of course, would be cheating) so instead, I decided to pull my finger out and get them finished...a year after starting them! 

I also painted a few extra mounted Cauari (heroes) and a couple of Corionos and Uellauni (Senior and sub-Generals or "chiefs of battle.") on the larger bases. They aren't my best work but they are good enough to play with and I'm just glad to add them to my current collection of Gauls. I just need to add some labels to the rear of the bases but that will have to wait as my printer has just run out of ink!