Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pimp My Advanced Heroquest Part 4: More Heroes

Thanks to the mighty ministrations of the Smurf the remaining three Advanced Heroquest heroes have been painted. As I picked up a copy of Mighty Warriors, a game that repackaged all the AHQ miniatures in a 'new' game I have duplicates of all 4 heroes, including a damaged (*sob*) Heinrich the Warrior, missing his trendy helmet plumage, as well as more skaven and henchmen figures than I will probably ever need. It also came with a Warhammer Quest Barbarian and minotaur, presumably to replace the damaged minis.

Without further ado, here are the 4 newly painted heroes:-
Sven Hammerhelm, Dwarf Warrior
Torallion Leafstar, Elf Archer
Magnus the Bright, Wizard
The Warhammer Quest Barbarian

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Two Good WFRP2 Fan Sourcebooks

I'm normally not a fan of fan-material (except the Oerth Journal for Greyhawk which is brilliant) but as WFRP is effectively out of print except for 3rd Edition (which has its issues and is overdue a long review but suffice it to say is effectively a new game) it's worth pointing out 2 unofficial sourcebooks for WFRP2E.


Warpstone Issue 25 was entitled Fimir: Ruinious Inheritence and is essentially is a WFRP2E sourcebook for the one-eyed rapists (Fimir cannot reproduce amongst themselves and have to abduct human females) that were quietly dropped from Games Workshop's line in the early 90s due to being too 'risque'. Probably due to the whole rape thing.

This is quite an interesting sourcebook, though it could be more professionally laid-out and less chatty. I've had a bit of a soft-spot for these guys in Heroquest, but they've all but disappeared now. The last scenario they appeared in was in the 90s and to be honest it would make a nice change from skaven being behind everything for them to crop up in an official scenario. As an aside, I'd love some bog-raider substitute minis (see left).


Defenders of the Forest came out today and is an unofficial but complete WFRP2E sourcebook for Wood Elves. This was a long overdue publication as an awful lot of the Bretonnian/Athel Loren connection was intended to be followed up in the elf sourcebook. You can get it here.

Elves have had a pretty rough time in WFRP with no source book to speak of. Dwarfs have a 3E book, as well as the excellent Dwarfs: Stone and Steel. It's a strange thing. A lot of people play wood elves as racist thugs who inexplicably travel through human territory despite hating humans. I'd see them more as the kind of fey types who could slaughter a village for logging but burst into manly tears because someone stood on a daffodil.

Previous WFRP editions assumed your elf PC was an 'urban' elf who was in some way assimilated into Imperial society, while WFRP 3E offers startup careers such as Wardancer that seem much more 'high-fantasy' than a human ratcatcher or road warden.

Wardancers are included in Defenders of the Forest but are not a basic career, an immensely good idea. The Kithband warrior career from the Core rulebook is and allows one to advance into Wardancer - a career I'd never noticed was missing from WFRP2E. Interestingly they get some magic advances (probably a typo).

I also rather like the fact that there is basically detailed gazetteers of the Wood Elf enclaves, allowing parties to actually explore Wood Elf territory, rather than having wood elf PCs trapse around the Empire stating how much they hate humans. Amusingly under the new rules wood elves also gain insanity points for extended periods away from the forests (1 point per month if they fail a will power test) that can lead to them being unable to return to their homeland permanently.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pimp My Advanced Heroquest Part 3

Chaos is one of the major baddies in Warhammer and they can crop up in AHQ.

Chaos thugs and marauders are the basic troops. I don't have any of these currently - though most generic thug miniatures will do. Chaos Warriors on the other hand I've always liked and made sure I got a few of them. Again, these minis didn't come with the game but I did manage to get them along with my skaven horde in part 1. They also look quite different to the Heroquest ones, which is nice if I ever find my old HQ copy. They actually look quite menacing and the paintwork does interesting things when exposed to the flash.
Somehow match day seemed more intimidating.
Naturally you'll want some distinctive minis to serve as Chaos Lords or Champions.
Chaos Warriors, a Chaos Lord and a HQ Chaos Warrior
You'll probably also want a Chaos Sorcerer. This chap in particular is quite a nice find though I wouldn't mind one of the more cowled figures from the rulebook:-

Rather like this piece - the detail on the book is awesome.

Add them together and you get:-

The Evil Ritual - all you need now is some heroes to break down the door!
The expansion Terror in the Dark (more on that in part 4) as well as providing higher-level undead contains rules for Chaos Beastmen. These are also a mainstay if you play WFRP so having some of these is probably a good idea:-

I have a lot of these!

Chaos Daemonettes are one of the higher-level opponents in AHQ. They're also a pain to keep in one piece, but here's 3 such 'ladies'.

Okay, I agree taken with the naked dwarf in part 2 this doesn't look too good but this is a perfectly innocent hobby. :)
Advanced Heroquest, ages 11 and up?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Emma Fails the Turing Test

Talking to a live advisor on a delivery site to ask why the heck my parcel has taken 12 days to arrive I got the following 'wisdom':-



Welcome to xxxxxx.com. Someone shall be with you shortly.

You are now connected with Emma

Stuart: Hello Emma.

Emma: Welcome to Parcel2go.com online. How may I help you today?

Stuart: I'm confused. I'm expecting a parcel delivered to me and the tracking lists it as:-

Stuart: 10/05/2012 19:08:22 NOM DAY Updated CUSTOMER Depot: CUSTOMER

Stuart: It's item # XXXXXXX

Emma: Can you give me a minute or two to look into this for you?

Emma: I am extremely sorry about this.

Emma: The item is currently on it's way to the correct delivery depot Stuart.

Stuart: What depot is that?

Emma: We are not made aware of this unfortunately.

Stuart: So where is the parcel currently?

Emma: On it's way to the correct delivery depot as advised Stuart.

Stuart: How do we know it's the correct one if we don't know which depot it is?

Emma: I would advise you to keep checking the tracking.

Stuart: Agreed, though that doesn't say which depot it is at

LONG PAUSE

Stuart: Ok, but we don't know which delivery depot :)

Emma: It would be the local depot to yourself, we would not know this until it arrives.

Stuart: ok. Thanks.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Pimp My Advanced Heroquest Part 2

Firstly, rereading the rules for Advanced Heroquest the system is definitely Advanced for a boardgame! It's a cut-down version of classic WFRP, with d12s used instead d100s. I've managed to cull the majority of the player-size rules into this handy guide. (As an aside can someone let me know if this link works, others have reported issues. You can also get it here). With the combination of that and the GM Reference Sheet running the game should be a lot smoother. You'll probably also need A LOT of these:-

Ah, the D12, the Charlie Brown of RPG Dice!
Never have I bought you in such large quantities before.
AHQ also comes with rules for generating your own adventurers, as well as playing the Heroquest heroes (so you could play a spellcasting warrior high elf, though those are severely nixed in the rules). There are a smattering of new adventures and rules in White Dwarf, including stats for Gotrex, Felix and other novel characters.

To this end I've picked up a few extra pieces to represent new heroes and henchmen:-

New heroes and henchmen for Advanced Heroquest
There's a crossbow wielding barbarian (actually a Dragon Strike goblin painted human), a knight (I like to think of as a higher level Heinrich), an elf Light Wizard (basically a healer), a near-naked(!) trollslayer who can serve as a henchman to any dwarf hero and a female swordswoman for me girlfriend to play.

White Dwarf/Terror in the Dark include rules for dwarf heroes hiring trollslayer henchmen, elf heroes hiring wardancers and wizards hiring apprentices. Warriors get captains to follow them. While I'm still looking for a cheap wardancer and apprentice I'm particularly "amused" by this piece:-

To misquote Del Preston:
"Didn't you think it was a trifle unnecessary to see the crack in the Trollslayer's bottom?"



Friday, May 04, 2012

Pimp My Advanced Heroquest Part 1

"Why did you get into roleplaying?"

It's a question I get asked a lot. Only by myself though when I hand over huge wads of cash for stuff that will inevitably sit on a shelf and see little use. But the answer is Advanced Heroquest was my gateway board game. Yes in true Kerrigan-tradition I started with Advanced Heroquest, not regular Heroquest. But then I always was truly hardcore.

At school in 1990 I was friends with a chap I shall give the not-so-subtle nom-de-plume Mr. Munro. One day I came over unannounced and he, his brother and his brother's best-friend were about to start playing a really elaborate looking game. I have no idea which character I got, probably the dwarf or the elf. I was however hooked. We played for about 2 hours, wandering around a randomly generated dungeon (which is one of the cool things about AHQ). I've no idea how we did, I do remember us finding a grate, seeing a room below it and deciding that as we didn't have a rope we'd go back to town and come back to investigate more fully on our next expedition.

Sadly we never had a 2nd expedition, and I spent a lot of time bothering Mr. Munro to dig the game out again and let us play. I think it put quite a strain on our friendship as he didn't like GMing. I remember one time my knight and 2 henchmen were pretty much wiped out in the first combat. I also remember us using the old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay sewer floorplans and actually roleplaying non-combat encounters.

Naturally I wanted this game for myself. It cost a whopping £21.50 in 1990, and I got a mere 50p pocket money and could find no job beyond a few weeks temping as a paperboy. It's a testament to my frugality that I made it to about £18 before my uncle took pity on me and bought me it and the original Heroquest for my Christmas and birthday. Sadly both games did not survive the tender filing systems of teen-Stuart, along with Battlemasters.

Later during my PhD I made an attempt to recapture this game and memories with the magic of Ebay. I was scunnered, an 'appears complete' auction turned out to be missing half the game, including any doors hero figures. Then at Gen Con UK 2003, the one famously ran by Peter Adkison over Easter weekend (where I earned £100 in DMing vouchers, hardly anyone this side of the pond turned up and the trade hall ended up giving a massive slashing to its prices) I found another slightly more complete copy (still no doors). I also nearly discovered the concept of excess baggage on the flight home.

In retrospect I probably should have also bought Warhammer Quest as that's really shot up in price, but hey-ho!

On my most recent trip home I finally brought the boxed set and the expansion. I also decided that playing it with just the bog standard creatures is boring. In terms of miniatures the original Advanced Heroquest was incredibly limited.

On top of 4 heroes, and 12 sets of men-at-arms for the heroes to hire you got 20 identical skaven, with the option to use a different coloured base if an encounter called for a 'special skaven'. This could make the game get repetitive very quickly but they presumably assumed you had the original Heroquest which came with a varied assortment of monsters. By contrast Heroquest came with pretty much everything you needed in the box (hence why that game is probably more nostalgic for 99% of gamers). There are even rules to use everything that came with Heroquest, including the board!

Annoyingly I'm not sure where my copy of Heroquest is, but thanks to Ebay it is relatively straight forward to pimp by Advanced Heroquest and buy miniatures. Bear in mind, none of these are painted by me, and the majority of minis cost about <50p on Ebay. The aim was to get things that didn't come with HQ. This first post will cover mainly the heroes in the box and skaven.

Heroes


Firstly the main characters that came with my second AHQ box:-
The 4 heroes of Advanced Heroquest, Heinrich the Warrior, Torallion the Wood Elf, Magnus the Bright Wizard and Sven Hammerhelm the Dwarf
Currently only Heinrich Lowen, the Knight (and my favourite character, which is why I bought this game at Gen Con 2003 with its expansion) is painted. I need to get the elf, bright wizard and dwarf painted. These are also the only 2 henchmen I have painted.

I don't have my Heroquest, but I'd love to also get the 4 heroes (a barbarian, another dwarf, a wizard and a high elf) from that painted as they are also playable options in AHQ.

Still Heinrich looks cool, if a bit constipated



Skaven


3 out of the 5 monster stats pages in the rulebook are dedicated to Skaven!
As I noted above, fighting hordes of unpainted identical plastic skaven bashing is a bit boring. The game does assume they are the primary antagonists, as evidenced by these 3 pages of monsters. You also only get 20 identical basic warriors, so the game was clearly geared towards collecting Citadel miniatures.For me in the 90s this wasn't possible. I didn't have wads of cash, and I couldn't paint very well. My skills have likely deterioriated since then, but thankfully there's Ebay!

Firstly for about £15 I managed to buy a ridiculous amount of painted Skaven that match the Advanced Heroquest skaven, as well as some new types. Firstly a small number of your bog standard splods:-

Painted Skaven Warriors
I've made the next lot Skaven scouts (basically in AHQ scouts are monsters who can open doors in an attempt to summon more monsters) as they look distinct from the warriors above, and I only have a few of them (scouts are understandably a rare encounter):-

Skaven Sentries
Next up, Skaven Champions, basically your above average skaven fighter:-

Skaven Champions

Next we need a Skaven Warlord:-

Probably going to get replaced with a better picture. Might serve as Prazangar, Prince of Agony, so I can use my amazing Warlord mini below.

I don't currently have any Skaven Gutterunners or Skaven Nightrunners, but I do have a rather nice assassin for Clan Eshin.

Skaven Assassin

Skaven have a lot of weird rules for gunners, such as Jezzailachils teams. Currently I'm still in the market for some of those, but in the interim this warlock with a pistol can serve as the gunner, and I have a few broken skaven missing weapons to serve as his assistant.

No, that isn't smoke, just a reflection effect from the flash.
Shortly after bagging him up his flaming staff broke... again!
Finally an overall leader, either to serve as Prazangor or the Clan Mors Warlord. I actually really like this piece (metal, got it for £1.99 fully painted as the sword was broken. The judicious application by the missus of superglue fixed that).

Skaven Big Cheese
I really like this piece. The Spanish Toledo style breastplate (Estalian Toledo in the Old World) makes this guy look overtly bombastic and OTT. I can imagine him taking it from the corpse of some poor Estalian Diestro.

Anyroads, enough for now. Next time, more heroes and the hordes of Chaos!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Pathfinder: Gothic Earth Eternal

A while back I gushed about the Ravenloft: Masque of Red Death Gothic Earth setting (as well as its woefully inadequate D&D 3.5 mechanics).

The Fraternity of Shadows, the Ravenloft fan site is working on a new project called Gothic Earth: Eternal.

This is a modern version of the setting, starting in 2013. The Red Death has been sorely wounded in the early 1900s with the coming of another evil entity called the Jade Horror (which was intended to be an 19th century oriental companion setting to the Red Death). In traditional Ravenloft ways the world now contains domains that are the seats of power of characters such as Dracula, Moriarty and Caligula who are effectively immortal. Chuck in contemporary man's wickedness and wilful blindness to the evils (apparently everyone knows about the supernatural, no-one talks about it).

This will I presume be a complete sourcebook as a pdf. The system used is Pathfinder (or D&D 3.75e) with a preview of the core classes here. So far it looks far more balanced than the original Masque 3.5 book.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Sotturm Finished

Here it is - the finished map of Sotturm, a town in Middenland for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay complete with hi-res download here.

Finished Sotturm Map.


Map key is as follows:-

S1. The Count's Holdings
S2. Wolf Pack Tavern
S3. The Garrison
S4. The Temple of Ulric
S5. Garden of Morr
S6. Temple of Sigmar
S7. Shrine to Taal