miniatures.

HASC Presentations!

Greetings Nerds!
Dave here making a cheeky guest post to talk about LARP, in particular Humanity Ascendant and Tagcon.
Humanity Ascendant is a Post-Apocalyptic LARP set in the UK 500 years in the future after a Nuclear War. The players are from Bunker Ascendant, a fallout vault style facility that has started to fail, and so reclaiming the surface is now a priority. Characters are based around 5 distinct professions, Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Scientist and Bureaucrat, each with skills and abilities that aid the Freedom Expeditionary Force (FEF) goal of expansion and survival.
The mechanics of the game are amazing, all gunplay combat is facilitated by military grade laser tag system called LaserWar. It allows each player to have individual health and gun stats based on skills and choice of weapon. We currently have options for Pistols, SMGs, Assault Rifles, DMR (Direct Marksman Rifle), Sniper Rifles and LMGs, along with some characters having researched advanced Railgun Technology!
So if you like games similar to Fallout/Frostpunk/The Division, films/TV like Madmax/The 100/Into the Badlands/Terminator and want to see if you have what it takes to survive in an irradiated land filled with mutants, technozombies and angry AIs, this game  is for you!
I have the pleasure of being a long term friend of the creator of the game Lee Long, and together we attended Tagcon 2020, a yearly gathering of the key members and event organisers of Firefight: Laser Tag Larp. We where able to get a 20 minute slot to talk about HASC, so we prepped a few slides, grabbed some toys and off we went!
Hasc
I was not sure what to expect, but we where made very welcome right from the start. It quickly became apparent that the people in the room where all longtime members of the group and had been playing together for a number of years. The timetable was pretty full;
1000 – Refreshments
1030 – Welcome to Tagcon
1040 – Dropzone Introduction – Claire Barclay
1050 – Dropzone Friday night ‘Rocket Race’ – James Barclay
1100 – Babylon Down – Edward Earl King
1120 – High Frontier: Moving Beyond The Bug Hunt – James Bloodworth
1140 – BREAK
1200 – Learning Laser Tag LARP backwards – Lee Long
1220 – Odysseus – James Bloodworth & Nick Reynolds
1300Lunch
A Bring and Buy will run During the lunch break
1400 – Dropzone: A New Dawn – Stephen Nash
1500 – IC Arguments – Simon Clark
1530 – Props and Costume discussion group
1620 – John Blau Memorial Quiz
1730 – Close
The first 2 items where discussing an event later in the year, it became obvious that unlike the LARPs I had played in the past, all the missions/events where designed to be completed within the day and not to have any significant connection to other events. Babylon Down sounds amazing! Set at the “launch” of B4, a team of various races/organisations have detected what appears to be the core of B3 (which exploded/disappeared) on a planet with a weird history. B5 is one of my all time favourite TV shows and location/timing dependant, I am very keen to give this a go!
The next presentation by James B was very interesting. High Frontier is a living document that brings a significant number of cult TV/Film/Book franchises into a loose timeline with the aim of providing a framework to run events in. The discussion points talked about a couple of challenges that GMs are currently having. Primarily it revolved around character records, with an increasing number of events being ran in similar time/theme zones, players want to port characters over on a more regular basis. This had started to present GMs with issues with characters having strange maggufins and knowledge that they had not prepared for. This then moved through advancement Vs fixed skills and then mortality rates. I think both me and Lee gave some useful input here as we come from a very different game space.
Then it was our turn! Lee was a little nervous, but this is the kind of stuff I live for! With the various discussions of the morning in mind, we tweaked the focus of a couple of parts to talk about how we manage progression, and how we make best efforts to ensure that no character is invalidated, regardless of how many events they have been to. So, remember I said we had 20 mins, by the time we had answered a couple of questions we had gone for 40! Pete was very gracious in allowing us time, and waited till we had stopped talking to let us know we needed to pass over to the next presenter. Had we won anyone over to coming to play? We would find out later….
Next up was James and Nick, they talked about quite possibly the greatest LARP event I have heard of, “Odysseus”. It sounded beyond epic, and I would probably miss some parts, however James has his own blog where you can read about it (and I must urge you to do so!) https://criticalpathsite.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/odysseus-a-retrospective/ . However the really interesting part of the presentation was on the Social Contract they used.  A couple of key points are below;
Play to Lift – It is each players obligation to ensure each other player has a rewarding experience. This in essence means that if everyone thinks about everyone else’s enjoyment then everyone has a better time. It is not intended to create a culture of “snowflakes”, but instead one of respect. You cant always give someone what they want, and conflict creates good stories, but by remembering everyone is at the GAME to have fun, more fun is had!
No Closed Doors – At this particular event, no doors (other than toilets!) could be closed. This is a very literal application of this idea, in that no one could exclude any other player/character from any conversation. Now I understand that the flavour/theme of some events require a certain amount of secrecy/sneakiness but I think this principle when applied correctly allows more people to get more involved and enjoy their games more
The Empty Chair – This is probably my favourite! When sitting down at a table (or task) if you are going to take the last chair, you must bring over another one to leave empty. This shows your open to have people join you and participate in what ever you are doing.
This resonated heavily with me and Lee, we had a couple of incidents at events last year (caused by a small number of people) but part of the issue where perceptions caused by issues that could have been fixed with applying the above. We will be working on the HASC social contract and guidelines for play for release before the next event.
The IC arguments presentation was about dealing with conflict, anxiety and discomfort in RP situations. Again this was very well thought out and highlighted that while we make sure to do physical safety briefs and have first aiders, but we do not have mechanisms or people in place to deal with mental health/safe spaces. As with the social contract we are working on methods and procedures to ensure that if the RP/situation gets too intense and people are no longer comfortable that they have a way to break away and “reset” before re-joining the game.
We then found ourselves in a 5 man team for the quiz, we clearly lucked out as despite me and Lee only answering 3 out of the 33 possible points, our team “Sucking Headwound” won!
As the day wrapped up we found ourselves talking to an increasing group of players wanting to talk tech, world setting, site location, event structure and costs for HASC! It was great to see that as excited as Lee and I where to try out the games we had heard about that day, a large number of the Taggers where keen to give HASC a go.
It was a really great day and we met some very passionate, skilled and very nerdy new people and I for one certainly hope to cross lasers with many of them in a field in the not too distant future!
If you want more info on HASC, you can check out the website and facebook groups, the same for Firefight. Or you can send me a message here, on Facebook or Twitter.
40K · Uncategorized · Wh40K

Hobby Heroes

I changed the name of the weekly feature to Hobby Heroes as I thought this was more fitting. You are all my hero and keep me inspired, if I can pass that on to others, then so much the better. This week’s Hero is Bees:

Tell us a bit about yourself. You don’t have to include your actual name and location, but a rough area would be amazing.

I’m Jennie, often known as Bees. By day I am a mild mannered software engineer, but at night I terrorise the Imperium of Man with my army of grotesquely decaying super soldiers.
I live in the UK, near Cambridge, with my partner, my dog Fox, my chinchillas Chong, Big Boss and Snake, my turtles, Leonardo and Raphael and my python Fulgrim. I can mostly be found painting little plastic men, or reading about them.

How did you get into the hobby?

My partner wanted to share his love of the hobby with me and wanted someone to play with. About 16 years ago he told me the story of the Horus Heresy and I fell in love with the universe. I started off playing Necrons and my first game was in my university house. We borrowed another table from next door and played in the kitchen. I can’t remember what the scenery was, but one of the guys I played with used a loaf of bread as a Landraider and a tin of beans as a Drop Pod. If that’s not enough to get you hooked, I don’t know what is.

What is your favourite aspect of the hobby and why?

I love kitbashing and building models just a little bit more than I love painting. I love having a vision in my head of what I want to make and seeing it come to life. And also when you root through your bits box and find something amazing and you hold it up to the model and it just works perfectly.
But really the hobby is so wonderful because it has so many aspects and they’re all supported so well. Seeing an army you have created out on the tabletop and playing with them. Creating scenarios based around the lore you’ve read. Having fun with your friends and making new ones. It’s like a big cauldron that’s made better by every ingredient you add, and can always be improved by adding a nurgling.

Which is the best faction, in your opinion?

Death Guard.
I love the way they play, I love the new models, I love painting them and I love their lore.

Has the hobby helped you develop as an individual? How has it done so?

 It’s been a great creative outlet and helped me make some amazing friends. I’ve really started to push myself in terms of painting lately and it’s been a real boost to my self confidence to see how much progress I’ve made.

Have you any pictures you can share? This can be miniatures, of playing, artwork or anything else that is relevant.

Daemon Prince of Nurgle (Farty McFly): https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsd2PHIhjxA/
This is mostly Death Guard…

What, in your opinion, is the greatest strength of the hobby at the moment?

The rules. Both 40k and Age of Sigmar, the two wargames I play the most, have absolutely fantastic rules at the moment. But then all the new kits are fantastic too… And Kill Team… and the community…

What would you like to see in the future?

More primarchs on the tabletop. And more Death Guard Black Library books.
40K · hobby · Uncategorized

Wicked Wednesday – 2

Due to parents evening, this one is a day late. I ask for your forgiveness for that. This week, I have interviewed a good friend whom I met on Tumblr lately. Here are her ideas around the hobby:

Tell us a bit about yourself. You don’t have to include your actual name and location, but a rough area would be amazing.

Well, I normally go by Fox online. My handle in most places online is Fox-N-Clocks (because Fox-N-Pocketwatches did not have the same ring to it.) I from Louisiana in the US.

How did you get into the hobby?

I first got into the hobby in 2012, when some friends of mine asked me to play the Fantasy Flight Game: Deathwatch, I picked up a few models to paint for roleplaying reasons. However, I didn’t -really- get into the hobby until early 2018 when my husband bought me my first army (Deathwatch), from there I just kind of dived in head first. Now I have several kill teams.
What is your favourite aspect of the hobby and why?

I have really been enjoying Killteam! I like the smaller scale battles. I also really enjoy painting and building my minis.

Which is the best faction, in your opinion? That is a hard one, I really love Deathwatch but I also really love Thousand Sons. It’s had for me to pick, both group’s lore is so good.

Has the hobby helped you develop as an individual? How has it done so?

It has, I have met a lot of really good friends though the hobby. It has also given me a creative outlet and has allowed me to go out and do something once a week or so. (Which in a small town is really nice.)

Have you any pictures you can share? This can be miniatures, of playing, artwork or anything else that is relevant.

What, in your opinion, is the greatest strength of the hobby at the moment?

I would like to think painting. I slowly see myself getting better and better with each mini I do.

What would you like to see in the future?

A continued growth in the community as a whole. The new models have been amazing. I would love to see more audio books for actual 40k books (not just Horus Heresy.) I love the lore and want to keep reading….ummm….listening.
Anything else you would like to say?

I would just like to thank Deb for letting me be apart of this! It’s really nice to get out there!

40K · Uncategorized

Wicked Wednesday – 1

After the massively positive and popular response I got the other day around my poll for featuring hobbyists and other animals here, I am pleased to introduce the first one. Here are the thoughts of ‘Captain Nice Guy’ himself:

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I go by Pandora’s Bitz Box throughout the various online communities I’m a part of, and I live in a small city called Hereford in England.

How did you get into the hobby?

There have always been board games at home, I have brother that’s 5 years older than me and we played a lot of the games together (even if I didn’t really know what was happening a lot of the time while I was young). I remember playing a lot of games that had miniatures like Hero Quest and Space Crusade, but also looking through brochures for new minis for Advanced Hero Quest. I properly started to dip my toe into table top wargaming when I was about 11 or 12, when I started playing Warhammer Fantasy with a couple of friends. I played that for maybe 5 years or something, but at some point we stopped (I cant remember why) and by the time I tried to find my minis again they had sadly vanished. Then when I was in college I was walking past Games Workshop in Cardiff and my friend said “oh I used to play that, Warhammer 40,000…”, I told him I used to play Fantasy.  We went in, played an intro Game of Battle of Macragge, and then left with the starter set and a starter army box each, I bought Tyranids.  Its been over 15 years since then… now I’m up to about 11 factions of 40k of various sizes, I have about 8000 points of Tyranids now.

What is your favourite aspect of the hobby and why?

This is easy, its the social aspect. I obviously wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t have people to play but I also wouldn’t bother painting the minis either. I don’t derive a enough personal achievement working on these things to do it for myself, I really enjoy the engagement with others. Until relatively recently this was limited to my small circle of friends that play, but about a year ago myself and a couple of friends started a blog together.  We were getting frustrated by the lack of hobby feedback we got from our own circle of friends in a chat app we use to keep in touch. It felt like the same few people were answering all the time, so we decided to combine our efforts and see if anyone in the aether of the internet would be interested in giving us feedback on our minis.

After we started the Krakendoomcool WordPress blog I decided to promote it on the forum Bolter and Chainsword and on Twitter. So I just started to involve myself in those communities. Suddenly I was immersing myself in these communities I didn’t know about and the really breathed a new lease of life into my hobby. 

So in a way I feel like I’ve “got into the hobby” about 3 times… so far.

Which is the best faction, in your opinion?

Yikes… This feels like a can of worms waiting to be opened, after all “favourite” and “best” are two very different things! I honestly cant make a meaningful choice as I like them all for different reason. I think one of the things that Games Workshop has done so well over the years has created (or borrowed) so many interesting concepts and put them together. It was something I appreciated in the Dawn of War game too, each faction played quite differently but had a really decent balance between them. Not to mention the really rich lore to each too, even the younger additions. If I was pushed on it though… Probably Tyranids. That’s at a push though, I could easily argue against it. When I was a kid I never drew people, it was always robots, aliens and monsters. Things that were as far from people as possible… so in 40k, that would be marines, they are the faction that appeals to me the least. Certainly the vanilla codex anyway. Another thing going for Tyranids is that I like nature and they are basically animals, like super scary space locusts… and arguably the least morally corrupt race, as their motive is plain and simple, indiscriminate consumption of all organic matter. Not evil… just dangerous.

Has the hobby helped you develop as an individual? How has it done so?

When first read this my initial thought was no… after all I’m 36 and I have done a whole lot of developing in that time, none of it hobby related. Then I started to think about the last 6 months though.  It may seem like a minor thing, but since getting more involved in the community I have noticed myself pushing to do some more things/trying harder in my hobby where previously I wouldn’t have considered it. So, putting myself out there more… offering my opinion, saying yes to things like this, or even pod cast interviews, painting for a Golden Demon competition, even considered taking part in a friendly (non GT) tournament. While it’s very hobby centric, I think this is a development of my confidence in how I present myself socially.

Oh Also I have plans to do some charity stuff, using the hobby as a avenue for it.  I didn’t realise quite how strongly I felt about inequality and mental health awareness until I kept seeing things come up about it and I never thought that this is something I would want to do. I have been planning some stuff though, short term and long term.

Have you any pictures you can share? This can be miniatures, of playing, artwork or anything else that is relevant.

https://krakendoomcool.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/a-khornate-khristmas-renegade-knight-conversion/

Details on this beautiful creature found here!

What, in your opinion, is the greatest strength of the hobby at the moment?

The community, without a doubt. I could go on about all of the awesome overhauls that Games Workshop have done with their new management in place… but the best part of what they are now is their Community team, which would not exist without the Hobby Community itself. Its supportive, helpful, inspiring, not just specifically regarding hobby either. The community is so full of great people that I have seen people doing charity work helping those out with other aspects of their lives and just being great examples of people in general.

What would you like to see in the future?

New factions are always nice, but i’m not holding my breath.

Anything else you would like to say?

Thanks for giving me the chance to contribute to your blog!  I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s interviews.

fine detail · miniatures. · Wh40K

Guest Post – Dynasty or Dallas

This is the first Guest Post I have featured on the blog and I have to admit this is rather exciting! The post had been written by Chris Frosin, whom I have mentioned before as being one of the most enthusiastic people I have met in recent times. Anyway, without any more waffle from me, here are his thoughts on returning to the hobby after an extended break!

 

It unfortunately doesn’t take much. Or maybe that’s fortunate, you can let me know by the end of this little post.

However, three weeks ago I met up with a friend of mine who I’d been meaning to catch up with for a while. It just so happened that the ‘catch up’ took place at Warhammer World where he was playing a small game of what I’d later realise was a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. Walking back in to an environment that I spent a lot of time in during my 20’s set my creative juices flowing again rather quickly and that certainly wasn’t ‘helped’ by the two guys I met nudging me to having a wander around the store there to see everything that had changed in the 12 years I’d been away.
Well, the models have certainly got even more gorgeous and the intricacies and details that I always loved to pick out have gotten even more precise and sharp. Unfortunately my beloved Tomb Kings seem to have been ‘killed’ off in a large explosion of some sort but seeing as they were playing 40k my mind was brought back to my small Necron force I pulled together all those years ago and a handful of Harlequins I’d converted. Now I love painting and converting so one of my first armies was what turned out to be a huge Ork force that I just kept adding and adding to; converted ork boyz everywhere, with a Land Raider based battlewagon, nobz with lightning claws and grots with guns they could hardly carry resting on their backs! If I was going to get sucked back in to the hobby I didn’t want to repeat that; but the sort of ‘been there done that’ feeling was satisfying enough that gradually throughout the evening watching Eldar PUMMEL (sorry hehe) the Space Marines into submission a plan of action was starting to form. Small numbers. I’d scanned the rulebook enough to see that I could form an elite force, maybe even a narrative army list based around fast attack detachments. Ultimately this would mean small numbers. But would I dig out the Death Jester and Shadow Seer models that I never face getting rid of, and do Harlequins again; the elite of elite, or my Necrons, an army that was more a couple of squads to test a colour scheme idea I had?
image3
Then a further suggestion was thrown at me.
‘We’re having a game of Shadow War in a couple of weeks. Why don’t you get a Kill Team together for that and join in’
‘Errr… hell yeah!’
There was already a Harlequin player so maybe that wouldn’t be the best choice… and then I was shown these!
The Necron Tomb Blades and Annihilation Barge!
image1
Tomb Blades
image2
Annihilation Barge
How. Cool. Are. They!
I was sold. I had to have Necrons again and fine tune my colour scheme to work with a vehicular based fast attack force for a new Dynasty! Mine! And it was going to be epic!
That week I headed in to my local store, had a browse around, checked out the new paints (which have tooootally different names to what I remember. Where’s Deadly Nightshade for instance?!?!) and picked up a box of Necron Immortals and the Shadow War rule book. I’d managed to find one rogue Necron warrior that somehow escaped the clear out all those years ago and that, with a little converting obviously, would be good enough to form the basis of a Kill Team.
And luckily one of the positives of my paint scheme is it’s rather quick to do.
What happened next sent me down an even more excited rabbit hole but I’ll save the story of bouncing around an amazing community on Twitter for the next post. Until then, here’s the first sneak peek of the Necron warrior that I dug out of the loft (attic if you’re from across the pond)