Monday, 29 October 2012

Beginner's Guide to Army Background Fluff Part I


You don't need this much background, even the smallest amount can add heaps of character

 This post is long overdue (as is any post). My previous attempt at writing a “fluff advice” post didn't quite work out as well as I wanted to, so I thought I'd revisit it. This is part sequel, part revision – a “requel” if you will, or perhaps a “sequision” if that takes your fancy. Apologies for the repetition in places, but as you know that's common with requels. But hopefully the two posts still compliment each other...

The intent is to be more thematic, and a bit more methodical. It should be more or less applicable to any non-historical game. It should apply whether you're adapting existing factions or creating new ones entirely. Whether you're creating a Skitarii Legion for 40k, a Chaos Warrior warband for Warhammer, a faction for Infinity, or whatever the game, the basic principles should still apply. 

This thematic approach does make it seem a little formulaic, and a bit dry, but if you're juts starting out then hopefully this will give you some ideas - and as I say it's just a guideline not a hard-and-fast set of rules.

So, here is the Hitchhiker's Headologist's Guide to Creating Background Fluff

Why do I keep going on about writing fluff? Well, I'm not an expert painter, and although I enjoy conversions I'm definitely not an expert. I'm not an expert writer, but it did used to be a day job (despite my constant typos), so at least I hope this means I can perhaps give some advice on developing character and narrative and all that jazz.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The War for Wales: Alternate WW2 Games

Yesterday saw my first game in a while, and the first ever game of NUTS! with my old friend and adversary, Colonel Scipio. Neither of us had played the game before and to our turn-based minds, the reaction system of NUTS! occassionally threw us ("hang on it's my turn, why are you shooting - I wanted to shoot you...") but once we got into the flow of it, it definitely has the to-and-fro feel of a real skirmish and firefight. We did make some minor tweaks to the rules such as rolling a separate dice to see who goes first to the activation dice (it's a combined roll in the original rules), with the result of a draw meaning the turn goes to the player whose turn it wasn't previously (is that even English...?). Although we didn't implement it, we did discuss the idea of a passed reaction test allowing the player to withdraw the miniature from the back and forth firefight rather than being condemned to continue returning fire. Luck definitely plays a big role (or roll) in the game, but so does trying to compensate for the fact that everything may not always go to plan.

The shouts of children overdosed on Skittles made both of our voices hoarse after two games of trying to communicate to each other - I did like the idea of the game club "manager" to minimise such noise from the young 'uns - if they got further warnings after a certain point they received successive "fines" in the form of losing a percentage of their forces from the table. I'm no killjoy but I thought that was inspired.


Anyhoo, Scipio did a superb write up which I have included in full below. Photos were taken on Scipio's camera passed back and forth across the table. And my PDF copy of NUTS printed by Scipio was utilised. A truly collaborative effort :P Sit back and enjoy the War for Wales: Germans in Gwynedd (it's a working title...).

Colonel Scipio's Write Up

Hi again everybody, and welcome to yet another battle report - that's four so far this year!  I've tried to make this one a bit more picture-heavy and less wordy.


Me and Headologist had one of our all-too-rare crossovers today as we went down to a local club to try out some of our WW2 stuff - all for the alternate history Army of Freedom campaign in which some dastardly Germans spoil the beautiful countryside of North Wales and try to fight off the partisans.
These two games weren't strictly part of the campaign, as me and H hadn't played historicals in a while, and neither of us had ever tried Nuts, so we did these two test games to get us into the swing of things for a while.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Headologist's Alive!

After several months without actual internet, BT have now finally been round and plumbed in all the necessary gubbins in order to elevate me out of what had become a new dark age. But the blame can't be fully placed on BT, I have been rather busy with various other projects in the "real-world" (plus a few gaming-related commissions) in order to keep my gaming addiction properly fuelled.

I have not been idle on the gaming front however, new and expanded 40k medical fluff will be released into the wild at somepoint soon; also painting progress is going pretty well. Not great, but better than usual - I have been slowed down by my pedantry in trying to sculpt some custom armour elements (watch this space) and even Colonel Scipio attempted to assist in this department but we have both been foiled thus far, however I think I've found a solution.

I've also done a bit of a revisit/sequel to my earlier Guide to Creating Background Fluff, so that will be broadcast to the unsuspecting public in the next few days too.

This past week I have been at a film festival near Venice (all very exciting) and got the seal of approval from film-maker and film historian, Kevin Brownlow, whose film It Happened Here was the inspiration for the alternate history WW2 campaign myself and Scipio are doing. (He asked me to tell him who wins this time.... Does anyone have a dustpan and brush for all these dropped names?

Look out for some battle reports next week as me and Scipio are meeting for a game this Saturday!

Apologies for my prolonged absence and thanks for those that still kept coming back to my poor, neglected blog.
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