Sunday, 27 December 2015

Not-Oldhammer: A few thoughts on Warhammer Quest – The Adventure Card Game

I’ve been having the family over for Christmas and therefor haven’t had much time to myself, which again means that I don’t have any news on the Oldhammer front. I did, however, find time to sit down with my brothers and play through the campaign of Fantasy Flight Games’ (FFG) new card game, Warhammer Quest – The Adventure Card Game.

The hunt for the ultimate “dungeon crawler” is sort of an obsession for many board-gamers. I believe the general consensus is that there’s no such thing – each game has some kind of imperfection that keeps it from greatness, whether it’s unclear rules, too-simple gameplay or simply being overly fiddly. My personal opinion is that Advanced Heroquest is the dungeon crawler that’s come closest, but many would probably name Warhammer Quest as their all-time favorite. That’s why, when FFG announced they were doing a card-game version of it, many were cautiously excited. It’s not really what they were hoping for, but FFG does maker very good games and a card-game version of an old favorite is better than nothing. So, when my brother brought it over for Christmas we immediately decided that we had to finish the included campaign before the end of the holidays.

Well, we did finish the campaign, so I thought I’d write a bit about my impressions.

I won’t waste time describing the rules. They can be found on FFG’s site it you are interested. The game itself is relatively simple anyway – most of the intricacy comes from the interaction between different cards.

FFG has done a very good job of differentiating the characters and enemies. The various kinds of enemy feel very thematically appropriate; goblins are weak, but dangerous in numbers, Skaven are unpredictably dangerous (especially jezzail and warlocks) and orks are tough and scary. You will fear the nastier kinds of critter and you might actually come to loathe a certain cunning old ork (which is nicely out of character for “Newhammer”) who just won’t stay still when you try to wack him over the head.

The heroes also feel pleasantly unique. My only gripe is that there’s only four of them available in the base game so you’ll quickly run out of new combinations – especially if you play with more than two people at a time. I’m particularly impressed by the feel of progression you get from the game. At the end of the campaign we were accomplishing feats we couldn’t even dream of in the beginning – all with very little rules-overhead, which is especially remarkable. You just add an effect here, switch a card there and boom! Suddenly you’re a bad-ass. 
How you'll feel at the end of the campaign. I love this picture by the way - Its by this guy
Art-wise the game uses a lot of FFG’s stock Warhammer art, which aligns closely with the later editions of Warhammer. That means everything is as over-designed as you’d expect. See this big ork:

You just know he’s tough, because his head is the size of a walnut. And the elf, well she’s a wood-elf, so obviously her clothes are partially made of twigs! (however that’s supposed to work), and so on and so forth...

Actually, the art is undeniably gorgeous (and, thankfully, there isn’t a “sigmarine” in sight), so I find myself willing to suspend disbelief for a while. I don’t know – maybe it’s just because it’s drawings and not miniatures, but the cartoonisism (not a real word, I know) doesn’t bother me as much. Besides, FFG does know when to dial it back, as exemplified by the wonderfully moody location cards.

All in all, it’s a very, very good game. Each quest takes, at most, an hour to play through (including set-up), which is nice and fast, but when you combine them into a campaign, it still feels appropriately epic.

It’s not the “perfect” dungeon crawler and I suspect that, as a card game, it won’t ever be, but it does scratch the same itch, and at a low price, with easy rules and a low play-time it definitely has a place in my collection – as will any expansions that may be released in the future (you hear me FFG? Bring out the expansions!).

Merry Christmas

Friday, 18 December 2015

It’s a kind of magic

I always knew I’d eventually regret my decision to mimic Phil Lewis’ original paint-job on the AHQ heroes. You see, while the three other members of the party sport relatively simple paint-schemes, the wizard very much doesn’t – not by a long shot. There are flames, stars and multiple white-and-black-patterned borders – all of which have to be painted free-hand.

So, how did it turn out? See for yourself:

I’m actually quite proud of this little guy. Needless to say, I spent way longer on this figure than any of the others, but that’s ok. The paint-job is much rougher than Phil’s, but I think it’s a reasonable approximation all the same.

I initially attempted to do a wet-blend for the flame effect, but it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped (I obviously still haven’t quite got the hang of the technique), so I ended up doing a more traditional layering transition from yellow to red.

I’m becoming very fond of Phil’s way of painting wood (also seen on the elf’s bow), where he uses a very high-contrast drybrush on the protruding detail. It provides a very good effect for relatively little work, which is just what I need.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Literary treasure

It is no secret that one of the great pleasures of (and, indeed, reasons behind) “Oldhammer blogging” is getting to brag about all the rare stuff you got a sweet deal on. Usually this involves figures, but as many will agree, collecting the original publications is just as big a part of the experience.

Which brings be to the pride and joy of my Oldhammer collection:

My collection of TEW-modules – all first editions and all in good condition. The individual books aren’t quite as rare and expensive as, for example, The Lost and the Damned (though the Death on the Reik box can get close), but it’s still quite a challenge to get hold of the entire set without having to sell a kidney. 

You’ll notice that I also have the much maligned Something Rotten in Kislev (SRiK) and Empire in Flames (EiF), mostly for the sake of completeness. I’ve never actually run them, and if I ever got that far into the campaign, I’d probably go down a different path anyway (more on that in a later post). Quality of writing aside, the EiF book is an especially lovely item – quite long (154 pages), hardcover, nicely illustrated, and with lots of maps and handouts.

I also got hold of this:

The, very nice, omnibus-edition, comprising TEW, SoB and DotR

Why, you ask? 
‘Cause there’s no way I’m letting a bunch of greasy, unkempt roleplayers be in the same room as my lovely first-editions. Actually, I normally use a set of PDF’s, since it’s generally easier to use, but you get the idea.


Friday, 11 December 2015


The third member of my AHQ party, the elf, is now done.

I really like the colors on him and the face is the best I’ve done to yet, so I’m really quite satisfied.

If you hadn’t noticed yet, I’m following the “official” paint-scheme seen here, which means that I’m in for a tough time not that I have to tackle the wizard – lots of free-hand painting in that figure. But, I’m really looking forward to seeing the gang together, so I’ll get cracking right away…

Monday, 7 December 2015

An Advanced Heroquest primer - Part 2, Rules

Last time I wrote about my general impressions of Advanced Heroquest (AHQ). This time I’ll get a little into the rules.

I have to open with a caveat. I didn’t grow up with AHQ so I cannot claim to be some kind of rules-guru. Also, AHQ is written in that distinct 1980’s-GW fashion, which is to say rather haphazardly. Rules are scattered all over the place, often ambiguous and occasionally missing entirely. This doesn’t mean that AHQ is a bad game – absolutely not, for the same reason that WFB 3rd Ed. isn’t a bad game, despite having a, shall we say, rather loosely worded ruleset. It just means that you have to take responsibility for your own fun, and figure out what works for you. See here for a more coherent version of what I’m saying.
It does, however, mean that there’s a fair chance that I’ve misunderstood and/or overlooked something, so don’t take my word as gospel. This write-up is probably more useful as a description of the rules I play by at the moment. Please comment if you find anything you don’t agree with – you are probably correct, and I’d be very interested to learn what I’ve missed.

The AHQ rules can be loosely grouped into three categories: campaign rules, rules for generating dungeons and rules for exploring said dungeons. Today I’ll concentrate on the last category and only briefly cover the two others.

Dungeons can be randomly generated or designed beforehand by a GM, and the game is probably at its best when you use a combination of both.

Before starting a campaign, the players select their characters. There are eight pre-generated characters in the rules, but otherwise characters are randomly generated. There are two classes: fighter and wizard, and three races: human, elf and dwarf – all with certain strengths and weaknesses.

Players also get a small amount of money to buy gear. They’ll need the usual armor and weapons, but they’ll also need to buy arrows and spell-components for any archers and wizards in the group. Arrows can sometimes be reused, but a spell-component is always expended when the wizard casts a spell, and restocking can be a major drain on the party’s coffers. Finally, the players can buy various types of adventuring gear, which might come in handy (rope for rappelling down into chasms, for example).

The party then enters the dungeon…
Most dungeons are set up this way. A short corridor branching off into the darkness.
Play is divided into exploration- and combat turns.

During exploration turns, all characters move at the same speed (orthogonal moves only). When they end their turn on a board section with an unexplored exit, or when they open a door into a new room, a new part of the dungeon is randomly generated (or laid out, if using a pre-defined setup). The heroes can also search for hidden treasure in rooms and hidden doors in dead ends and rooms with one door.

All this time, the GM can spring ambushes and traps on the heroes using dungeon counters. These are randomly drawn at certain times (there’s a chance to get one each turn as well as when the heroes search for hidden doors and treasure).

Whenever the heroes run into monsters, the game switches to combat turns. The heroes and GM then roll for initiative, which determines monster set-up as well as who goes first. Most monsters can’t open doors themselves, but every so often the heroes will run into a sentry who can open doors, and who will usually make a break for it to try and gather reinforcement, which can be really bad news for the good guys/nasty burglars (depending on your perspective).
Roll for initiative!
During combat, a characters movement is determined by its speed characteristic. If a model moves into the death zone of an enemy, it cannot move any further until its next turn.
 Unless they are using ranged weapons or long weapons (such as spears), models can only attack enemies in their death zone. Ranged attacks require a clear line of sight, buy you can see through an adjacent friendly model.

When attacking in hand-to-hand combat, you compare the weapon skill (WS) of the attacker and defender on a table to get a to-hit number. Ranged attacks are based on ballistic skill (BS), range to the target and any cover.
If you roll equal to or higher than the target number on a d12, you then roll a number of damage dice, depending on your weapon and strength. Each roll that equals or beats the targets toughness causes a point of damage. Most normal enemies have 3-4 wounds.
Critical rolls to hit (a natural roll of 12, or 11-12 with a two handed weapon) will give you an extra attack (or halve the targets toughness, in the case of ranged attacks), while fumbles (1 or 1-2 for two-handers) gives the enemy a free attack (/hits an ally, on a ranged attack). Natural 12’s on the to-wound-roll can also cause additional damage.

The heroes can try to escape a fight, and can even leave the dungeon at any time (assuming they can make it safely to a set of stairs leading out), but monster lairs will be restocked when they return, if they don’t clear them completely.

Slain monsters leave treasure behind (mostly gold), and all lairs have a treasure chest, which might even contain magic treasure.

Heroes are reasonably tough, but not invulnerable by any standard. They do have one great advantage in that they get fate points (two to begin with), which only the toughest baddies have. A fate point can be spent to negate all damage received that round or to avoid death from a trap or hazard.
I hope you’re not all out of fate…
Fate points refresh every time the heroes leave the dungeon, but rewards are greater for completing dungeons quickly, and, as I said in part one, each time the heroes return to town they have to pay rent!

Not all rooms contain monsters – many are simply empty, and some contain hazards. A hazard might be a chasm the heroes have to leap over if they want to get to the chest on the other side; it might be a statue with eyes of precious stone, that may come alive and attack if tampered with; or it might be something else entirely.
Do you feel lucky?
Eventually the heroes will find a quest room, which contains a large amount of baddies and the stairs down to the next level of the dungeon or the final boss-monster.
The lair of the evil Skaven Sorcerer. And yes, if you are unlucky, this is about what you might encounter in a single Quest Room.
And… that’s basically it. Well, not really, but it’s about what you’d need to follow an adventure report, so I’ll stop now.

In the third, and final, part, I’ll write a bit about campaigns and give a few final thoughts on the game, though it may be a while before I get around to it.


Friday, 4 December 2015


I’ve been on a bit of a roll this week and got my AHQ dwarf painted in the (for me) record-breaking time of about three hours. The model is very simple, which helped quite a bit, but I’m pleased all the same – especially because I feel that I still did a good job on the layering (and his face doesn’t look like he just got punched in so hard on the nose he got all cross-eyes, which is a plus).

Technique-wise, I’m taking my inspiration from this guide by Mr. Andy Craig, though I’m obviously miles away from his level of expertise. I don’t really have access to all the different paints he mentions either, but the general guidelines are still very helpful. 


Monday, 30 November 2015

Small steps – and a quiz.

I finally managed to finish my first two halberdiers. I haven’t quite figured out how I want to do the bases, so you’ll have to excuse their half-finished state.

They took me waaaaay too long to paint, though most of the time was spend messing around with different colors… and the eyes. I absolutely loathe painting eyes – mostly because I’m not very good at them yet. In this case, I spend about an hour trying to get them right, and I’m still not very satisfied. I’m quite pleased with the rest of the pant-job though – especially the yellow and white cloth, which I’ve had trouble with in the past.

All in all, these guys took me about seven hours total (one hour per day last week), which is simply too much time for rank-and-file, if you ask me. Not that I’m in a hurry or anything, but it’s hurting my motivation a bit, so I’ll have to crank up the pace.
On the other hand, these two were to act as a prototype for the rest of my Empire army, so the rest will probably be quicker now that I’ve settled on a color-scheme.

Which brings me to the second part of the post. Can you guess what the theme of my army is going to be? I’ll post a picture to the figures without the halberds, so you can get a better look at the coat of arms (assuming you can make sense of my poor attempt at heraldry). I should probably add that I’ve only painted the top half (the rest would be hidden behind the weapon and belt).
I’ll post the answer some time down the line, but I’ll give anyone who can guess it 100 oldhammer-credits (exchangeable for 2512 fictive gold crowns).


Thursday, 26 November 2015


As I’ve stated, I’m trying to get all the figures I’d need to play Advanced Heroquest. Since the campaign that's included in the game, The Quest for the Scattered Amulet, features Skaven, I thought I’d start there.

Yesterday I was looking over my current collection, and something dawned on me; It seems that I’ve inadvertently bought a small Skaven army.

You’ll notice that a lot of them are already painted. I didn’t do it (they arrived this way), but the paintjob is quite decent, so I thought I’d leave it until I’ve finished my other projects, which might take some time considering how slowly I paint.

The next question is; do I bring my small force up to a full army? I deliberately restricted myself to four goals in order to avoid “mission creep” (a.k.a. the-mountain-of-unpainted-lead-you-really-mean-to-get-around-to-painting-some-day-honest), but I’m also tantalizingly close to a proper Skaven force. I only need, what, a couple of dozen clanrats, another warpfire-thrower and a few rat ogres?

What to do, what to do…….


Friday, 20 November 2015

Just imagine he's got a broken nose...

I managed to finish my AHQ fighter this evening.

The model itself isn’t very detailed, but I’m quite fond of it all the same, and I got to try some new techniques and colors. Right now I’m rather challenged by my limited selection of paints – mostly one of each primary- and secondary color, along with the obligatory grey, brown, black and white. In theory this should allow me to mix most of the shades I’d need, but it’s still a rather erratic process for me. The blue and skin-tone proved especially unwieldy.

In the end, I’m reasonably pleased. The face is, let’s be honest, not very good (I never really got the hang of them before, and this is the first one I’ve painted in a while) but the rest of the figure works quite well. I also think I’m getting better at shading than I’ve ever been before, so I guess it’s a net win.


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wanted! Bold adventurers

Every good tale needs a good opening.

There’s the classic “A long, long time ago, in a land far away”, which is good for all occasions. There’s also the iconic (and brilliant) “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”, which I’d never dare appropriate for myself.

And then there’s this:

 This poster is the beginning to Mistaken Identity, the first part of The Enemy Within (TEW) – and what a great opening it is. The GM gives the players this handout (hoping that none of them wants to be a dwarf) and off they go. They can, of cause, roll up their own characters, but GW also provided these pre-made ones:

Citadel produced (or reused) miniatures for them, which seemed to be a natural place to get started om my goal of collecting all the miniatures associated with TEW. I therefor present to you:

Someone (not me) seems to have been a bit overly vigorous with the brush when stripping the two figures on the left (Harbull and Johann). The detail is still quite fine, but they have become very shiny.
These are the character models released along with Shadows over Bögenhafen. They are not the rarest of the set, though I suspect they may be some of the most expensive. Wanda can be especially pricy, with a buy-now price around £50 – which just goes to show that you should never trust those things. I got her for £8.


Sunday, 15 November 2015

An Advanced Heroquest primer - Part 1, Overview

Life has been keeping me very busy these past few weeks, so I haven’t been able to devote as much time to painting and dungeoneering as I’d hoped. Eventually, however, I hope to post some Advanced Heroquest (AHQ from now on) reports on this blog – mostly from solo games. Since I’m aware that relatively few people have actually played this fine old game, I thought I’d write a short primer, so everyone has a chance to understand what’s going on.

If you have absolutely no idea what AHQ is, and why you should care, I urge you to read (or even better – listen to) this excellent piece by Mr. Paul Dean over at Shut Up & Sit Down. It is that very article which finally convinced me to track down a copy on eBay (actually, Shut Up & Sit Down is probably responsible for about half of my current board game collection, so read at your own risk).
AHQ is a dungeon crawler from Games Workshop. It is ostensibly a “revised and expanded” sequel to the extremely successful Heroquest, though I have my doubts about the connection. The games have almost nothing in common, except for being dungeon crawlers and the characters depicted on the games’ front covers (even though AHQ includes four different heroes in the actual game). Rules for using bits and pieces from Heroquest were included in AHQ but the game would have worked perfectly well without those.

I haven’t done any research into the area, but I’d almost be willing to bet money that AHQ had been in development at GW for some time under another name, and that at some point it was decided to capitalize on Heroquest’s success and label this new game as Heroquest 2.0. It really isn’t, but that’s o.k. – it’s a very good game in its own right, regardless of what it ended up being named.

AHQ is ideally played with a dungeon master, though rules for fully cooperative and solo play are included. It is also best played as a campaign. A lot of the tension in the game comes from deciding between trying press on just a bit further, despite being wounded and out of arrows, in the hope finally finding treasure, or returning to town and having to face your landlord, whom you owe three weeks rent (yes, really!) which you can’t afford if you don’t find any treasure. It’s all very “80’s GW”, if you ask me.

If I were to describe AHQ in a single sentence, I’d call it “a board game rogue-like”. I’d even claim that the actual, and very good, rogue-like Darkest Dungeon owes a lot of its ideas to AHQ. Both are about competent, but very (very, very) mortal adventurers exploring (semi)randomly generated dungeons with a mix of hazard rooms, lairs and quest rooms (more on that next time), and both share the same real enemy – going broke. You can take it easy and leave a dungeon if you ever get in trouble, but money is tight and you need to pay for upkeep, equipment and training, and there’s a real possibility that you’ll lose money on an expedition if you play it too carefully. So you forge ahead, down into the darkness...

Dungeon crawling - now and then...

So, that’s my introduction to Advanced Heroquest. Next time, rules…


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The human touch

It’s time to pick my next painting project.

I wanted something very different from the Fimir, but as I’m still (re)learning I didn’t want to paint anything I’d be sad to have to redo somewhere down the line.

In the end I settled on these guys:

To the far left we have the well-known warrior from AHQ. I have a soft spot for the model, but as I have three of it, I don’t feel too bad about using him for training.

The three others are “footsoldiers” from the 1992 Empire-range. It is debatable if they are “truly” oldhammer, as they came out in the closing mounths of 3rd Ed.’s life and, more importantly, are beginning to have that distinct “90s GW feel”, but I’ll give them a pass. Besides, they will be standing alongside a bunch of older sculpts, so they probably won’t disturb the picture too much.

The guy on the far right is actually wearing way too much armor, for what I’m planning, so I may leave him for late.

What am I planning, you ask? I’ll get back to that later...I have a bit of research to do first.


Saturday, 7 November 2015

More Fimir

Here are Fimir number two and three (aka. “The green ones”). 

I’m getting fairly bored with painting them (three of the same model in a row seems to be my personal maximum), so the last two will have to wait for another time.

I tried a wet-blending technique to lighten the color the “club” on one of their tails, which proved to be surprisingly easy and I’m quite pleased with the result. Unfortunately the contrast between the two colors I used is a bit too low to really show off the effect – especially under the lighting conditions I take my photos in. If I ever see the sun again (I live in southern Norsca, also known as Denmark, and it feels like it’s been overcast for weeks), I’ll try so snap a photo in daylight.

Now to decide what to paint next. I’m still “warming up” after my long break, so nothing too complicated…hmm…off to the basement…

Thursday, 5 November 2015


As I said in my first post, one of the main points of this blog is to motivate me to actually paint something. To provide me with even more inspiration, and in keeping with oldhammer tradition, I thought I’d device some long-term goals for my collecting and painting.

So, in order of how likely I am to actually accomplish them:

Very likely – Collect and paint a 3rd edition Empire army.
This one is reasonably easy – at least if you aren’t puritanical about it. The way I see it, the 3rd Ed. Empire (and Bretonnian) army was largely designed around Citadel’s historical range. Luckily for me, most of those miniatures are still produced by Wargames Foundry, so they are reasonably easy (and cheap) to get hold of. It won’t be entirely “legit”, but in the interest of not going broke, it’s good enough for me.
I’ll supplement with figures from the various Fighter and Militia ranges and the 1992 Empire range.

Quite likely, but will take some time – Collect and paint a set of figures for Advanced Heroquest.
Due to the open-ended nature of the game, you could theoretically use an infinite number of figures, so I going to limit myself to: “enough monsters to play most of the published adventures without proxying too much” - preferably using the figures depicted in the rules. A few of these are quite rare/expensive, but nothing too extreme.

Maybe – Have a completely painted Heroquest game.

This one is quite easy since I already have all the components, so it’s only a matter of getting around to painting everything. There is only one problem: I actually, kinda, like the “look” of the unpainted game. I like the simplicity, and, let’s be honest, most of the figures aren’t exactly masterpieces, which becomes more apparent when they get painted.
I do have a spare game that I could leave unpainted, but they fetch good prices on eBay, and I could use the money to buy something else… We’ll see.

Look at this – Doesn’t that just make you want to go dungeon crawling?

Keep dreaming buddy – Collect and paint the Enemy Within sets.
As I may have indicated, I’m a big fan of the “Enemy Within” WFRP campaign, so the ultimate goal for me would naturally be to collect the sets that were released for Shadows over Bögenhafen and Death on the Reik.
This will be a tough one. Not only are several of these figures very rare and/or extremely expensive, but I also need quite a lot of them (30 crossbowmen? Yikes!).
I’ll probably have to find some reasonable proxies for many of the troops, but I’ll at least insist on having one of each figure.

£12 for the Bögenhafen- and £67 for the DotR set? I know there’s been some inflation since then, but d*mn, that makes me want to cry a little, when I look at the current prices on eBay.

And that’s my four initial long-term goals. I’ll go into more detail on each in later posts.


Sunday, 1 November 2015


Project Fimir is now well under way.

I bought a batch of Vallejo paints last Friday, so now I have most of the gear I need. I did forget to buy a bone-color, so the skeletons will have to wait, because there’s no way in hell I’m relying on my questionable paint-mixing abilities for a base color that’s going to cover most of the model.

To mix things up a bit, I decided to paint the skin of each Fimir differently. According to the WFRP (1st edition) rulebook, fimir vary in color from buff to a light olive, so I’m going to paint them in varying shades of light brown with a dash of green.

My five test subjects, before highlights.

In the end, I’ve been concentrating on a single one of them, because I just couldn’t resist the urge to get something finished quickly. This has led me to (re)discover a lot of things about painting:

1. Painting a single miniature is really ineffective, compared to painting a batch. You waste a lot of time (waiting for something to dry before you can continue) and paint (when you put a bit too much on the palette and have nowhere else to use it).

2. The Fimir models are surprisingly difficult to paint well. They are basically 80% skin, so if you aren’t extremely good at layering and very patient, you will have a hard time. I’m neither.

3. I really need a palette with indentations. Right now I’m using a flat one, but this leads to the paint spreading out and drying too quickly. The Citadel paints are the worst offenders, whereas the Vallejo keep much better.

4. Speaking of Vallejo, I’m very impressed. Good coverage, doesn’t dry out too quickly and are very easy to mix due to the “eye dropper” pots. Only problem as far as I can see is that it’s difficult to dispense less than “a drop”, which is sometimes still too much.

5. I’m not a fast painter. The single fimir that I managed to finish over the weekend took me about four hours, all told. This used to be a bit of a problem when I was trying to finish an army, but it shouldn’t be an issue now that I don’t have any sort of deadline. It still bugs me a bit though.

In the end, I’m quite satisfied with my first 28mm model in more than a decade. It’s certainly not winning me the Golden Demon competition, but it’s not nearly as bad as I’d feared either.

Ready to menace some adventurers. I may do something with the base at some point, but for now, plain grey will do. 
A look at the back of the model. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice that I did a very poor job of prepping the mini, as I overlooked the casting lines between the shoulder blades. Same goes for the rest of the fimir.

Friday, 30 October 2015

A letter

Dear eBay sellers.

We have a bit of a mixed relationship, don’t we? On one hand, you provide me with the overpriced bits of cardboard and oddly shaped lumps of toxic metal that I crave so badly. On the other hand, you do cost me a lot of money, and sometimes one of you tries to pull some dodgy tricks, like offering stuff at low prices, but then overcharging for postage, or canceling an auction after it’s ended, if you aren’t satisfied with final offer.

In the end, however, most of you are fine chaps, and I feel like we all appreciate these little toys. That is why I’m never surprised, but always glad, that you go to such great lengths to protect my purchases. We understand that the fine postal workers of the world don’t always share our delicate touch, and so it is up to us to protect the objects of our affection during transit.
Why, when you send me a batch of minis, it’s not unusual for one of you to place every single figure in a separate Ziploc bag, then wrap them individually in bubble-wrap, and place it all in a sturdy cardboard box, surrounded by those little foam thingies. Truly outstanding dedication.

It is also why, when one of you decides to post a 25 year old, and relatively rare, box, wrapped in nothing but a single layer of brown paper, I’m not only baffled but also somewhat disappointed. If I then find that the box has been taped shut, using normal office tape, so that I either have to cut it open and live with patches of tape on my game, or try to rip it off, thereby risking further damage to the box, I’m inclined to be outright annoyed! 

So, dear eBay sellers, I hope this sad affair won’t repeat itself. It would not do for our relationship to be tarnished so.



My old AHQ box lid, which will now have to perform its duty a little longer, as its replacement was sadly mangled on the way here. Luckily, the contents survived intact, so now I have all the room- and corridor tiles I need.

Gearing up

Without going into too much detail, I’ve been “out of the game” for more than fifteen years (if you don’t count a very brief dalliance with 10mm miniatures a few years ago). It’s basically the same story as countless other hobbyists’; puberty hit, and suddenly my little toy soldiers seemed less important than other things – especially things of the feminine persuasion. The result is that most of my old painting gear has been lost for several years, which meant that I had to go shopping.

My brother (who is an avid painter) gave me some brushes and I still had some old paints from my 10mm days (mostly greys and browns). Incidentally, this proved to be a good test of the longevity of the different brands. The Formula P3 paints are still as good as new, whereas the Citadel are almost dried up. I’ll try to salvage them by adding a bit of water (don’t know if it’ll work), but I’m still missing a lot of colors, so I’ll have to stock up anyway.

I also bought a painting station off E-bay, which arrived yesterday. I've never used one before, but I hope it’ll make it easier for me to set up and get painting when I have an hour to spare without permanently claiming an entire table for myself (and thereby antagonizing the wife).

My house!

Which brings me to the next question: What am I going to paint first? I was, maybe, an “ok” painter fifteen years ago, but after all this time, whatever I paint first will probably end up looking as if a toddler assaulted a box of crayons, so I probably shouldn’t pick anything too difficult.

In the end I settled on a couple of Heroquest extras I had lying around. They are nice and simple, and having a fully painted Heroquest game is one of my long-term goals in any case.

The (un)lucky winners of the who-gets-to-look-like-an-explosion-in-a-paint-factory contest

A little late to the party

Hello world.

As might be guessed from the name of this blog, it’s mainly going to be about Citadel miniatures from the 80s and early 90s, but it’s also going to be about the games I play with them; Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP), Advanced Heroquest (AHQ) and (maybe) Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WFB).
“Oldhammer Quest” felt like a good name, though I’m aware that others have used the term before me.

It seems that the words “oldhammer” and “blog” go hand in hand. There are certainly many great blogs about collecting, painting and playing with 80s Citadel miniatures out there – several of which have been going strong for years. So the question is; why would I waste my time writing another one? I will almost certainly not be nearly as prolific as some, I definitely cannot paint half as well as most and, since I’ve recently bought a house, I can’t really afford to spend hundreds of pounds on E-bay each month acquiring the rarest miniatures.

In the end there are basically two reasons. Primarily it's because it’ll give me a reason to actually paint my (slowly) growing collection. I have a terrible tendency to lose interest in my projects after a while, and I rather feel that I’ve already spend too much money on tiny lead soldiers to let them collect dust on a shelf in the basement.
Secondly, I just really want to write something, and a blog about miniatures seems to be as good a place as any to do it. If my ramblings can be of interest to someone out there, great – but otherwise it’ll just be my personal hobby journal.

So, to avoid having my first ever post simply being a boring wall of text, I’m going to present to you one of my favorite Warhammer images (which is also the background to the blog):

As many people who are interested in the subject will know, this is “Nuln” by John Blanche. It was used as the cover for the first module of the great WFRP campaign “The Enemy Within”. If you have never played this, you owe it to yourself to find a GM who has it (or maybe become that GM). It’s awesome.
The picture itself captures almost everything that is (or was) great about the Old World. It’s familiar and alien at the same time. Inviting, but with more than a hint of malice.