Friday 29 November 2019

Munchkins: D&D but not as you knew it ... Brilliant Family Fun

I am feeling really  happy that I finally "discovered how to play" this little classic board game. First, at the after-hours "Gamers Club" at work and then immediately when I brought it home and played it with the family. Certainly not a "cooperative game" but the fun is also in the 'sneaky thief' stab-in-back aspect to the game. It gets quite murderous in the "end game" phase as many tall-poppy fell making bloody scenes from "Game of Thrones" look like Kinder-garden Cop by comparison (see below, the iconic art work from Steve Jackson Games - note there are also many differently themed variants out there, such as Warhammer 40K):

Despite coming "a joint close second (just when I thought I was in with a chance a female warrior ran past me wearing 'slime armour' to ace it to Level 10)" in the friendly Work Game, I was roundly beaten by the superior wit and cunning intelligence of my eldest son in the no-holds barred "Home Tournament" game (see below, the game nearing its end phase - a two player duel for Alpha male dominance in which I duly lost, being a Dwarf Wizard with a "singing sword" was no match against a Munchkin multi-class [wizard-warrior], multi-race [Elf-Dwarf] tooled up killing machine with a sword in both hands and a scary bandanna, not to mention "the boots of butt-kicking"!): 

The Home Game: The final score card shows the hectic frenzied finale. To his credit it was a well earned victory with him overcoming many adversities as he was finally crowned House Munchkin Champion (see below, "First to Level 10 wins"): 

The game was so much rip-roaring fun (we made a lot of noise in retrospect, which included my son developing a Germanic accent for some unexplained reason), the wife even expressed more than a passing interest in playing; the eldest's Dungeons and Dragons school friends will soon be exposed to this D&D Lite event (the shouting from which I expect to be very loud and boisterous)!

Family Christmas Games Night will be fun this year!

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Games Workshop LOTR Balrog Project

In tandem with my sons Duke of Edinburgh "model making" activity (he is doing a GW LOTR Dragon, no not Smaug, it is the smaller GW Dragon model) I have finally decided to go "Balrog" and attempt the iconic monster from the first movie (see below, the disassembled pieces "lying in state" but cleaned):

To those with "eagle eyes" a 'Moria Cave Troll with spear' is to the top right. The Balrog beastie took a good hour fiddling away with before the flash and lead channels were snipped, shaved and filed away. It had to be said there is a vicious 'lead bend' in the model affecting the tail and head, so Milliput or green stuff" will be required and copious addition filing to get it right. This is not a snap-and-fit model for sure and probably one of the reasons GW abortively experimented with resin FineCast.

Thursday 14 November 2019

A Great Wargaming Read: On the Xmas Bucket List for Sure!

This one goes straight on my "must have" wargaming bucket list (hopefully arriving well before Xmas). The long-awaited Graham Longley-Brown's, "Successful Professional Wargames: A Practitioner's Handbook" (the author is simply referred to as GLB in the professional wargaming community - but I bet its contents will be an avid read to all in the recreational side of the hobby too):

Available from:

History of Wargaming Project:
Amazon Link (don't forget to "look inside" and see for yourself a glimpse of the material):
GLB is known as the key driver behind Connections UK, he motivates, gets things done and inspires others to do the same. It is no exaggeration to say that GLB has forgotten more about wargaming than most people will ever know in a lifetime but his genius is that he humbly collates, assembles and assimilates 'best practice' from around the world and across disciplines. Then, bless his cotton socks, he disseminates it in a clear and precise manner. More importantly he is never afraid to return to the old texts, relearn the old lessons and implement them in new ways to facilitate better learning. His "keep it simple" infantry origins show through in spades, this is a man who can turn theory into effective practice which simply put, will save real world lives. Respect.

Don't take my word for it, judge for yourselves: You can listen to the man at Connections UK 2016 (High Engagement Wargames) here to get a sense of the enthusiasm he brings to the subject (also check out the PDF slide deck and video).