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The Cimmerian: Personal commission sculpt

The final sculpt for a recent commission, the first of eight planned figures in this series.







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Well-thumbed posts

Historicon 2017: My First Gaming Con

Despite spending hours poring over the GenCon insert included in the first Dragon Magazine I ever bought (#49, with the Hildebrandt dragon cover), it has taken me over 35 years to make it to a gaming convention. I dropped out of the hobby for most of my adult life except for the occasional board game and a handful of role playing game sessions hosted by friends who never gave up the hobby.

After rediscovering in my basement a little over a year ago my box of old D&D miniatures from the early 1980s, I've been experiencing something of a gaming rebirth, developing a special enthusiasm for the miniatures war gaming I never had the opportunity to explore as a kid. In those days, a lack of funds to invest in the massive armies required combined with simply not knowing any grognards as a teenager kept tabletop miniatures gaming dangling in the distance as a tantalizing pastime that I never got to explore.
Now I feel like I'm making up for lost time, acquiring rule sets and amas…

Hamlet's Heroes

Introduced my friend Francesco to the pleasures of miniatures wargaming yesterday evening, using the great skirmish rules, Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes. He and a mutual buddy, Nate, played the ragged group of heroes defending a small village about to be raided by my band of aggrieved orcs (see scenario intro below).

Hamlet's Heroes (scenario) A band of roving orc reavers recently set up camp in the forest near a small hamlet. One night in a drunken stupor the orc captain wandered into the hamlet’s livestock fields and began fornicating with various animals, a traditional way among the orc of insulting a neighbor. The settlement’s residents heard the noise and ran him off with thrown torches and rocks. The orc stumbled back to his camp, singed and with a long gash along his scalp from one of the sharper of the hurled stones. He was met by his compatriots with a howl of guffaws that continued to echo in his ears long after his men returned to their slumber. To assuage his sha…

Dragon Dash

We had five players sign on to participate in last Saturday night's skirmish, so I cooked up a scenario in which I played the referee and controlled the non-player units. When I first became interested in playing Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes I had the germinal idea for a scenario that involved warbands hunting dragon hatchlings. I decided it was ripe for fleshing out for a five person scenario in which I could throw in some narrative surprises as the game progressed.

I had introduced Ash, Jared, and Bryan to the ruleset in the past year, all of whom are avid gamers and steeped in fantasy role playing games. Bryan's wife Sarah, who heard Bryan and I waxing enthusiastic about our recent game at dinner a month ago, expressed curiosity and asked if she could join in our next game. I have to admit that I was skeptical that she would enjoy a miniatures wargame, especially since she had never played any D&D or other role playing games in the past, the natural bridge (at le…

The Homeless Fire Giants

New pal Zach came over Saturday night to skirmish across the dining room table. I've known Zach's wife Kerry for a few years now, as she and I are working on a Lost Art Books volume together. Saturday was the first time Zach and I got to hang out, despite corresponding for a while now, usually about cool bands (Superchunk, Guided by Voices) or the excellent scholarly work he produces on his blog devoted to Holmes-era (1977-80) Dungeons & Dragons, Zenopus Archives. I gave him a quick run through on the basic rules for our game of Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes, and then we dove into the scenario I prepared (below).


The Homeless Fire Giants (scenario) A mysterious earthquake leveled the fire giants' keep at the base of the stony spine of the Barrier Peaks, killing all inside its halls except for Frinn, his mistress Brina, and three of their pet dire wolves. These newly homeless fire giants have been forced to tramp across the mountains to seek shelter in the stronghol…

Hamlet's Heroes Reprised

My pals Zach and John came over to the house last night for a skirmish using the Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes rules. While I'm really wanting to do more play testing on my home-brew dungeon delving ASBH variant, I didn't have as much time to prepare for last night's game as I thought I would. So we instead gave my recent scenario, "Hamlet's Heroes," another run through, an easy choice since it lends itself to three players (two players for the heroes and villagers and one running the orc reavers) and neither Zach nor John had played this scenario. (For the scenario background and warband profiles, see the earlier post of the initial play through).
I tweaked the rules a bit for last night's game. First, I swapped out the Wizard's Apprentice unit's Fear spell in exchange for the Protection from Arrows spell. While thematically I liked the apprentice having a lesser version of a spell his master casts (Aura of Terror), having two spellcasters w…
Hanging my helmet here for now...