Thursday, 31 December 2009

Its all happening today!

On the last day of 2009 a warm welcome to The Rusty Battle Axe!!
I hope you find a small amount of interest in my humble blog....which I've made a resolution to update a tad more frequently than I have been...B-)

House Rules

Further to my intro post and before I start posting the game logs of Daddy Grognards Training Dungeon I thought I really ought to post on the House Rules I'm using - some long standing - some not so.....

The rules set I'm using is Castles and Crusades with bits bolted on from the Rules Cyclopedia with AD&D 1e spell lists which I like and which C&C is a bit sparse on in some areas....

1) The Sacred d30 may be rolled once per session for a to hit,save or damage roll (this is devastating on a critical hit!)

2) A roll of natural 20 is always a critical hit - this gets double damage dice by weapon. Maximum damage is always unpleasant for the person/creature on the receiving end.

3) Clerics can use weapons associated with their deity and to a lesser extent cultural take on the blunt weapons for clerics rule is as written it was intended to represent Crusader clerics which has never sat well with me at any rate...

4) Shields can be shattered as per Carters house rule blog - this is a new one for me and reminds me of a scene in 13th Warrior......

5) PCs and NPCs can go to -10 hit points before final messy expiration in a gouting mangled heap........if they can manage a Con. save they are conscious and can carry out actions at a penalty to the dice roll of however many minus hp they are on. This gets worse while active until they die or stay still to be stabilised.

6) Character start play with weapon proficiencies/skill slots as per the Rules Cyclopedia (4/4 for fighters and 2/4 for non fighter classes) These can be swapped around.

7) Female character at the players OPTION make a 1:1 attribute swap between Str and Dex and 1:1 swap between Con and Chr (one point only!)

8) Training on level gains is silliness - adventurers have enough cr*p to put up with when a character gains a level he gains a level...end of.

Welcome Ragnorakk

Welcome to Ragnorakk (whats not to like in a name like that!) - who presumably stumbled into my poor excuse for a blog from my good pal Daddy Grognard's.
First New Years resolution is to post more - wishing all of you good people on the Blogscape a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Team Thud and Blunder - Intro

As my pal Daddy Grognard posted here I managed to persuade the resident 9 1/2 year old boy that a whole world of gaming existed outside a 2in screen one pokes with a plastic stick.........(Nintendo BS)

So one wet and rainy teacher shopping day .....oops....inset day just before Christmas we rolled some characters.....using Castles and Crusades....

The party -
Lukas 1st lvl Fighter - above mentioned medium sized persons character
Ashnut - Forest Gnome Thief 1st lvl
Fergus - Half Elf Fighter/Cleric (of the Green Man)
Rowenta Human female 1st Cleric of St Cuthbert of the Cudgel (Priestess of the Source in a nod towards David Gemmell)
Elyra - 1st lvl MU - think Hermione!
Mach(arius) the Millers son - 1st lvl fighter - doughty fighter

The other five NPCs I intend to keep him busy with running when he fully gets the hang of it.

I then had to come up with a point of reference a nearly 10 year old might identify with.....apparently they dont do the Brave and Bold books as part of the National Curriculum nowadays which by both our admission is how me and my mate with whom I've played D&D for years got into the whole idea at the age of nine - ish

I therefore had to settle on something similar to Merlin, the unfortunate "Kung Fu" BBC Robin Hood and Raven the childrens game show.......pretty much Dark Ages Britain....toss in a few ideas from Bernard Cornwell, traditional Fantasy RPGs and the "proper" Robin Hood with Ray Winstone as Will Scarlett and there we go....

Thus was the land of Albion born - with some input and ideas from my pal Daddy Grognard since we bounce gaming ideas off each other

This has also given me a chance to limit the armour and weapon no +3 Plate of Waterwalking and Teleportation or anything of that ilk

Only the Dwarves manufacture crossbows which are horrendously expensive...

Longswords are solely the province of the elves......

Half Plate armour is the cutting edge in technology (AC4)

But first the first session in the Training Dungeon - more to follow....B-)

Friday, 11 December 2009

Training Dungeon lift off

As my pal Daddy Grognard says here I'm planning on doing his Training Dungeon with the resident Pokemon and DS obsessed medium sized the probably misguided hope of converting him to proper RPGs.
I have a horrible feeling it might be like trying to shovel water uphill with a sieve, but we shall see.

Positive points so far -

1) He rolled a character and wanted to start now, right this instant, preferably thirty seconds ago....

2) He talked about it all the way back from school the other afternoon - trust me this is a good sign!

3) He thought the assorted dice were "cool" and grasped the idea different shaped ones were rolled in different situations and weapons did different damage...

Negatives: -

1) He couldnt think of a name for his character unless it was Pokemon related - I really didnt realise how insidious Pokemon is!

2) Armour choices was shoulder and knee pads - like they wear on Pokemon.........................

To remedy this and to be fair he hasnt heard of or read The Hobbit - after DG's excellent training dungeon which I'm proud to have been party to since he first had the idea - I'm hoping to do a Castles and Crusades campaign (with bits bolted on from the Tome of Ancient Lore aka The Rules Cyclopedia) based around Dark Age Britain -inspired by Merlin, the unfortunate BBC Kung Fu version of Robin Hood and the childrens Gameshow - Raven- all of the cited examples being things this particular small person can identify with.
Obviously I've drawn my inspiration from other non televisual sources, but at least we have a starting point.

Daddy Grognard has offered useful advice and input on running a game and the first outing of Team Plunder is booked for Sunday afternoon .......this is definitely the youngest player I've DM'd for .....more to follow

I think The Hobbit might be finding its way into someones Christmas stocking this year.....B-)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Failed Wis save

I've finally failed my Wis save and joined the Order of the D30!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Behold the Battlewagon!

Heres a Battlewagon (Right) I'm intending having my Ogryns ride round in.
I've tried to de-orkify it with Guard bitz and weapons

Got through about a pint of washes and Foundation paints to get the weathering right ....

I think the hardest decision was where to put the flippin' main weapon turret!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Battle Report - Orks vs Mercenaries

Time to post a battle report methinks.......

Several conventions to note here however are:

This was NOT a 40k battle - turns do not follow the GW "I go, you go" formula......
Whoever wins initiative moves and attacks - unless figures are in close combat the other player doesnt get a "go"
We werent limited by canon army lists preferring to field whatever the hell we want B-)
Rules - home written - as I was the away team we used the hosts rules as per ancient wargaming convention..........


My Mates army - :

Orky Horde - consisting of a mob of trucks, bikes,tractors a well tooled up Warboss and rock 'ard bodyguards

My bunch of chaps:

Assortment of mercenaries: including kroot carnivores, a couple of Robogear walkers,assorted "specialists" - commandos, snipers ........and my favourite squad of ogryns

Scenario: Defend the Science Facility - me defending

Turn one: Orky initiative
In a rumbling tide of exhaust fumes the horde moves unsubtly forwards(at this point in hindsight it has to be said I thought "oh crap I might be in a bit of bother here"), the more mobile bike boyz raced ahead down the left flank, the trucks trundled forward down the centre followed by the Warboss and bodyguard and a couple of mobs of boyz - some long range shots mostly blocked by the assorted fortifications. The stormboyz on the right flank decided it wasnt worth the effort to move......yet!

Turn Two: Rollover - Orky Initiative (the losing player on the previous turn gets +2 to initiative, I rather spectacularly got a 1)
The metal tide roared forwards, preceded by the grots, the bike boys shot forwards down the left flank and started pouring assorted ordnance on the Ogryns holed up in bunkers (and told not to move!)
The kroot manning the sandbagged walls didnt fare quite so well and got minced badly. (3 left from a kinband of 13 - fortunately one was the chief)

Turn Three - Double rollover - Orky initiative ......(yes I got another 1 for initiative)
The bunkers held (IMPORTANT POINT) with the loss of one ogryn to a lucky shot from a bike boy
The assorted trucks and tractors hit the sandbagged walls like well thrown brick through a pane of glass........the remaining kroot were wiped out to a....kroot
The grot horde assaulted the most forward bunker - killing another ogryn of the two dug in
The bikers assaulted the left of the fortifications with another ogryn lost
Ork Kommando infiltrators were deployed behind the rear right and attacked the Mercenary Commander mounted on his warwalker...................things were looking decidedly "difficult".....

Turn Four - Mercs initiative ......phew at last - I was beginning to wonder whether the dice gods had abandoned me!
The remaining Ogryns mangled no less than one truck and one tractor with some heavy fire (ogryn big guns get 2 dice for damage in these rules - open topped vehicles have three "lives")
Rather miraculously the solitary krootox rider with heavy weapon managed to take out a tractor with a bit of ogryn assistance......things were looking up!
The remaining ogryn in the forward bunker crushed one of the assaulting grots underfoot
Snipers on the roof of the command centre started taking potshots at the Warboss and bodyguard.............with 3/3 hit/kill ratio (in all rules we use snipers can choose their target)
The remaining kroot in the complex consolidated into cover and poured volley fire at anything that moved
The two kroot troops outside moved onto some cover and poured fire down on the enfilading bikers .......leaving one who opend throttle and ran away........there were just the walking tin cans to worry about now.....
The Commander let the Kommandos have it with everything on his warwalker and personal sidearm (5 dice in attack total - 4/14 kommandos wiped out)

Turn Five - Orky initiative

The nasty spiteful kommandos wiped out the remaining kroot on the right flank.The Kommando boss attacked the Mercs Commander .....who saved
The vehicles were deadlocked in an exchange of heavy weapon fire with the ogryn more ogryn perished in a burst of truck ordnance
The 11 remaining grots attacked the lone ogryn in the forward bunker - failing to score a hit - one got squished back -( as figures in hand to hand combat get to reply)
Truck mounted rockets and walker rocket platforms pounded the snipers - who took cover behind the parapet and..well........cowered.......
The Storm boys leapt forward and started to dismember the central kroot in what was left of the cover
One mob of boyz had got several poor movement scores and had got that far behind they were still trudging toward the "action"

Turn Six - Mercs initiative

Mercs commando squad deployed and infiltrated behind the Warboss and bodyguards in an attempt to "cut off the head" of the Orky horde on what was probably a suicide mission.
They wounded the warboss, leaving him with two bodyguards
The Commander on warwalker took out another two kommandos
The snipers had achieved another 100% kill ratio (3 from 3) before the commandos deployed.....the warboss' bodyguards were looking a bit depleted now
On the left the kroot poured yet more fire into pretty much anything that moved....and two Kans were blown apart and the Krootox rider blew up a missile walker.........leaving one truck and two rocket platforms .........and the stormboys.............The solitary Ogryn was still winning his Grot battle another crushed underfoot.

Turn Seven - Orky Initiative
The warboss and bodyguards polished off five merc. commandos of a squad of nine.(VERY tooled up!)
In an attempt to win the game the Ork kommandos poured everything at the Commander, blowing his walker up but he made his save again .......and escaped with one wound left (out of two being the Boss)
Everywhere else was deadlocked with the mercenary forces slowly being overwhelmed and picked off leaving two ogryns and exactly one kroot warrior and the krootox behind a pile of crates, who had drawn the fire from the missile walkers away from the snipers on the command building........

Turn eight - Mercs initiative

The krootox blew up the second missile walker..........leaving the snipers to gratefully stick their heads out of cover, settle in for the shot.........and disappointingly score two hits from three shots..........both hits were crucial - the first blew the Warboss' brains out, the second took down one of his two remaining bodyguards.
Up stepped the Commandos officer who dispatched the remaining bodyguard with a close combat weapon.............
The kroot skimishers and ogryns poured distracting fire on the remaining Kans with another blown up...........

Turn nine - Orky initiative.....

Up went the cry of "Leggit"...........with the commander slain the whole army needed to take a morale check ....and failed. Morale tests are not required under these rules providing the Commander is still alive and kicking or until 25% of the starting army is reached.
I think probably to be honest it was more a draw, both sides had fought to a standstill but it was agreed that my Commander had one life left whereas the Warboss didnt

Result: Narrow victory

Now trying to paint sufficient figures for the return game here next year.........historically the visitor usually wins but as usual an enjoyable game..............I intend to publish a three way battle report later .......which took a while...........if I can remember the details!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


...To Carter Soles and Ze Bulette.......and of course belatedly to my pal Daddy Grognard who's been there from the beginning of my erratic ramblings!

Friday, 6 November 2009

B4 The Lost City

This to me is the pinnacle of TSRs achievement pretty much Tom Moldvay as we all know.
In a 30 page "module" he managed to cram in a whole campaign as well as a what was at the time a traditional standalone dungeon the DM could run as one of the usual series of those times and walk away from......but.....
Aside from the adventure itself theres a whole underground city to develop from a map and some adventure least some of which will appeal to everybody
I ran this with my brother 20 some years ago and while some of the encounters in the lower pyramid were incongruous it took a while and from dim recollection 8 or 9 character levels to complete fully. The party elected to be saviours of Cynidicea, managed to ally themselves with two of the three factions - Gorm and Madarua - do away with the Magi. I always saw Auriga Sirkinos as a bit of a slimy type anyway (!) and I think a certain barbarian hero hooked up with Pandora of the Warrior Maidens and founded a dynasty..........*cliche alert"
Anyway, one thing I'd always wanted to do was pretty much strip the whole thing out and start again making more play on the factions and politics.........yes I know the Cult of Zargon are the bad guys B-)
So...thus far I've decided to do away with the hobgoblins and goblins in the caves and replace them with a slave race not dissimilar to the Hadal from Jeff Longs novel's (thanks DG!)
Next I've decided to up the levels of the more important NPCs - not by much but so as they justify being a Grandmaster or champion as opposed to puny 3rd level types.
The lower levels of the pyramid it seemed rather obvious to me 20 years ago and now I'm lots older I'm going to have populated with a fourth "faction" the restless dead of Cynidicea - headed by a delusionary noble in a magic mask (because they all wear them) most of what I referred to as the "non sensical encounters" earlier will be going - maybe not the genie though....because that fits with the Arabian themed setting I'm doing.
Zargon himself needs an "upgrade" but not by much .......
Encounters I've put together so far:
Wererat assassins.............mwhahaha
A Ghoul pack
Some stuff on the organisation of the Church of Zargon
Assorted "helpful" ghosts - a kind of expansion of the King encounter........

and thats it..............if its still pouring down this weekend I might get summon the Sacred Flash Drive and get some more between the painting of a certain Half Orc......

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Wargaming for Boys

My pal Daddy Grognard has posted on his blog about RPGing with small/medium sized people, so I thought I'd do something in similar vein about wargaming.....

Now I got into wargaming via a slightly circuitous route via RPGs. Another mate of mine has always been both an RPGer and painter of figures going back to oh....when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.....

In 2000 the first LoTR film came out - and GW - more on them later jumped on the bandwagon and got the licence to produce the LoTR miniatures - "this looks cool" thought I and in no time was painting a batch of goblins and Uruk Hai......badly .....but not that badly to make me give up....B-)

Wargame shows became an annual pilgrimage - Derby mostly being a Midlander by birth and more recently since moving to the Burning South, Warfare at Reading.......which until last year was a "me" thing............

Until a certain fateful weekend in Leeds when the ladies were going out and Fiasco was on at the Royal Armouries.....

Along we went - and the resident medium person showed an interest in the noble hobby of "little men games"...............and wanted to play............

Now I'm approaching an innings of half century and I dont understand the rules for either Warhammer or Warhammer 40k ......there seems to be an industrial sized bucket of dice involved somewhere , but thats as far as it goes with me before thinking "meh" and putting the books back on the shelf

So there we were with one boy wanting to play - some "men" and some dice.......thus was what originally became known as "The 456 game" was born......this is now a ruleset called "Dark Empires" which is still being revised and rewritten with each game played.

So - one basic set of rules - some figures - some dice and off we went................

Here I have to make a nod in the direction of the Playstation generation as once we'd established models cant shoot through scenery/around corners/move erratically with creative use of the measuring was jolly good fun and the rules didnt cost thirty quid.

Nor were we restricted by canon what figures we could I loathe Codexes......

The upshot of which was a good time was had by all and the ladies got to do whatever they do when us chaps - and boys are engaged in hobby stuff........

But from one who has been there and done it, be prepared to have fun, keep it simple .......and be prepared to deal with some what I can only describe as "creative and unusual" tactics..........(dont say anything though....I learned this the hard way!)

"No matter how hard your Leader figure is - he always fails on a 1"

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Welcome to Old 4 Eyes Den!

Hello -
I'm 47 years old and in no particular order am a wargamer, RPGer,collector and painter of Wargame Miniatures and very small time Ebay trader in that I "recycle" my stuff I cant see myself using - this of course doesnt go to anything useful - apart from more "stuff"......
Earlier this year I had the good fortune by way of a "random encounter" my path crossed that of a good chap whose Blog on here is Daddy Grognard and we started emailing our ideas on ...oh...pretty much everything.......but mostly we had a meeting of minds in terms of creative ideas which resulted in input to each other's RPG Game Worlds - specifically in DG's case 1st Edition D&D ....and in my case a hybrid of everything I liked from the old Red and Blue boxsets up to 2nd Edition.......culminating in a retro step to Castles and Crusades...with OD&D bolted on.

In that sense I truly cant say I'm a Grognard - more like sitting on the fence. I miss the old days of delving in holes in the ground but in playing over the years have got used to something else altogether - I think those playing 3rd and 4th Edition nowadays would call it a "story arc"..

More ideas and postings will follow but thats it for now!

Remember - you always need an iron spike when you least think you need one!