Monday, 30 April 2018

Tor Megiddo - part 8: Retrospective

(Edit 18 June 2018: I was sent the photos taken by the White Dwarf team for the Blanchitsu article - I have added the one above and more at the end of this post.)

The Slipgibbets

A "Techno Barbarian" tribe of desert dwelling mutants: murderous, criminal and sneaky.

From the Broken Mountains to Endcliff, across the desolate expanse of The Barrens past Windgrip, Malady and False Hope, the Slipgibbets scavenge the desert and battle with rival gangs. Always willing to stab an enemy in the back (or a friend if, needs be!).

Tor Megiddo was a group project / event game that took place in 2017. I was invited to take part in March by Alexander and the game took place in October 2017 in Helsinki. The game was mostly organised via an epic Facebook Messenger group chat.

What worked

The environment of the setting that Alexander and Helge came up with and described gave us all a sense of place, and our warbands a context to exist within. There were some fairly standard archetypes and sci-fi tropes that were easy to understand (post apocalyptic desert! techno-barbarians!) as well as some lovely juice "hooks" to get into in the original concepts the hinted at (the Tors, Yaike Yaike tribes, the Flesh Barons, the black thirst, the Iron Couriers, Slag mountains and blight heaps).

Between us we discussed the colour palette for Tor Megiddo - we settled on the orange used in a lot of early John Blanche "Dark Future" (etc.) paintings: Amazons, deserts, ruined civilisations and polluted skies.

This gave all of us an understanding of the look and feel of the setting straight away. Everyone "got it". This first piece even became the cover of "Codex Tor Megiddo":

The restrictions that Alexander presented to us also added to our understanding of the concept - he stipulated "no xenos", so all our warbands would be at least human in the broadest terms, and simply saying "Necromunda level technology" meant that everyone was working on about the same level for weapons and wargear.

Several people made and brought additional atmospheric off-table "ephemera" for the game: decorated boxes for their warbands, custom (and vintage) dice and rulers. I made a set of  post-apocalyptic "Initiative Cards" to determine the order of play - splattered and stained with blood and oil (well, ink). I posted them to Alexander ahead of the game.

There was a LOT of "back room" chatter in the months leading up to the game. There was the discussion mentioned earlier about the setting's colour palette, and the kind of gang each player imagined they could make. There was talk of names and language and rivalries. Vehicle and scenery design, painting and basing techniques (we talked a lot about weathering powders!), and loads of other things.

This chat helped us get to know each other before the game took place and helped us all get an idea of what our gangs should consist of. There was a bit of friendly one-upmanship as each new model was a little weirder than the last. My warband might have looked outlandish in a "pure" Mad Max game, but it was positively pedestrian compared to the wonderful creations the others made!

What didn't work

For me it was just one thing: Travel. I was finding it hard to justify leaving my wife with our young twins for a long weekend to play a game, but then it turned out she was working for that whole weekend anyway, so I was on childcare duty and there was no way I could make it! As disappointing as that was, taking part in the build-up to it was amazing and rewarding in its own right. I would not have missed that for the world.

How can we play a game / organise an event like this?

Along with "What rules did you use?" this seems to be one of the most frequently asked questions about Tor Megiddo, and there is no single hard-and-fast answer. But I'll give a few tips that are purely my point-of-view on the things that you need to do to set up something like this:

Get together with someone local, come up with an idea for a game and sketch out a unique setting. Then invite people to join you and let them get involved in fleshing out the setting. They will be more "invested" in it if they are involved.

If you can find a suitably large and understanding venue for the game, then all the better, but someone's house will do at a push!

Keep the rules simple. In any game with a large number of players having complex or slow rules will make the game drag. Maybe more importantly, have rules that everyone knows, so you don't have to look things up during the game! The Tor Megiddo game was based on a cut down version of the old Necromunda rules (it was played before the new rules were released). There were only two types of vehicle profiles (slow and heavy / fast and light) and they moved using the Gorkamorka "Thruster Buster" mechanics.

Build scenery and warbands for the event theme. Don't try to crowbar in things that were made for something else. This may seem like a barrier to entry as people may not have huge amounts of hobby time, but honestly it transforms a normal game into an "event game".

The Game

This is just a taste of the epic action from the game itself. There are lots more photos on the blogs linked at the end of this post (the following photos are all from those bloggers).

White Dwarf! Blanchitsu!

Alexander was contacted by someone from White Dwarf and he (with permission) gave our email addresses to them. We all received an invitation to have our Tor Megiddo warbands featured in a series of Blanchitsu articles. Obviously we all accepted!

To say I was excited is a huge understatement: I packed my gang up and put them in the post the following day.

May 2018

The first part of the series featured Alexander Lunde's and Alexander Winberg's warbands. And they look glorious!

(I will update this post with more photos as the next 3 issues arrive).

June 2018

My gang, the Slipgibbets were featured in Blanchitsu (This is a bit exciting, I won't lie.)

The wonderful warbands of the brothers Adam, Eric and Gregory Weir (from Between the Bolter and Me) and Kristian Simonsen (from Secrets of the Void) were also in the spotlight in June!

June 2018

Ana Polanšćak, Rebecca Karlson and Erik Blomqvist's amazing  Tor Megiddo warbands get their time in the sun in July:

August 2018

Tommy and Helge's turn! 

I think this is the last in the Blanchitsu series focused on Tor Megiddo. It's been an epic ride so far and I'm really looking forward to the next chapter of Tor Megiddo: Oil and Blood!


Friday, 27 April 2018

The Ironfang Pirate Fleet, part 37: The Rotmoon - a Harrowmark skyvessel.

The Rotmoon was an orruk pirate ship: A small, fast wooden skyvessel with no guns. It had lots of crudely cobbled-together repairs to its hull, since the shipwreck in the Harrowmark, its bottom was covered in barnacles and weed, its deck was covered in filth and its sides were loaded with baggage. It had a row of red and yellow triangular “dags” painted along its sides.

My version (above) of a detail from the background of the Voodoo Forest series sketch by John Blanche (below).

I bought an aquarium shipwreck from eBay that came in two halves and I started "repairing" it using Goblin Town platforms from GW's The Hobbit scenery range.

~ 🕱 ~

A few days later I got another chance to work on The Rotmoon. I added a figurehead (from a box of bits I was given by a friend - I think it's from the old Forge World Landship kit!) and replaced the dowelling mast with an old paint brush, after Magnus from Utopiaztudioz suggested it.

I added some baggage (mostly from Ogor kits) and started the process of adding some filth patches with Typhus Corrosion technical paint.

The figurehead's shield got a little extra detail - an orruky moon glyph (from the Ork Nobz kit).

The Rotmoon with Kommodor Deffgit for scale!

There is still a lot to do but I hope this will be a fairly quick project as I want to get it onto the table in our current AoS Skirmish campaign!

~ 🕱 ~

These are a couple of much older sky ship sketches. One with the Wortbad Skydock...

And one to show the Citadel Wood flying base I plan to use on all my Harrowmark flying pirate ships.