[Another Year of Frugal Gaming] We Shall Pass Through This Place to the Other Side
I did it. I finally did it.
Staggering, wheezing, every muscle in my body aching and my lungs gasping as the dust and the fumes cleared from the air, but I made it to a better place – a green place – a living place.
No, I’m still not over Mad Max: Fury Road, as it happens, but I’m actually talking about moving house. To this place.
I live here now. It’s obnoxiously beautiful. You can’t look up without seeing a mini-mountain or across the road without seeing some eighteenth-century or older cottage. Walking from the station to my house involves crossing a fifteenth-century priory, for pity’s sake. Abergavenny is old and pretty and Welsh and, even though I live on a relatively busy street that technically leads out of the town to somewhere a bit important, it’s so damn quiet and clean after London. And I don’t have to share my space with six other people and a neurotic housecat, either, which is a plus.
The slight downside, and it is only a slight downside, is that I’ve had piss-all spare money to spend on gaming. I do have a trade or two lined up and reserved, but those may or may not come through and I may or may not want them to. Do I really want a box of Nightmare Legion skeletons, for instance?
I sort of do. I’m coming around to this old-school thing, this argument about the solidity and the quirkiness of the elderly miniature, not to mention that they don’t come in a kajillion brittle bits. I still have vague itches about doing some sort of new plastic Citadel force, for the pleasure of the build, but when I say “new” I suppose I sort of mean “old”, now that the Age of Sigmar is upon us.
Oh yes. Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. It’s big news. The nerd rage has already started to flow, delicious and sustaining, along the series of tubes that constitute my link to the outside world. For my part, I am cautiously intrigued. The models, well, they look as hectic and hollow and false as everything else Citadel have produced since about 2008, and the brief glimpse I’ve had of the background (admittedly only a few paragraphs) reads like sub-par Diablo fanfiction, but the rules… oh, the rules. The rules seem to have something going for them, in the weirdest of all possible ways. And the thing is, the abandonment of the army book model of development, the stripping back of rules and the elimination of sacred cows, these are things for which I have been a quiet agitator for some years now.
But… if the background has changed entirely, if the square base has been forsaken, and if this isn’t the Warhammer I recognise (and I’m afraid it’s not: round bases, no ranks and files, everything seems inflated), then maybe it’s worth keeping the old peepers open and looking at something else. Something like Rich and Mike Chappell’s The Shattered Crown, currently in its first week of Kickstarter funding. Yes, it’s another wargaming kickstarter, but here’s the kicker (pun intended): Rich and Mike are not affiliated with a comparatively major player that’s using Kickstarter as a crude pre-order mechanism, nor are they complete scrubs who are promising more than they can deliver. The lads have a track record: their previous effort, Across The Dead Earth, actually worked – funded, released on time, everyone got what they paid for, marvellous.
Join me for Sunday’s GAME OVER MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA, in which Rich (and maybe Mike) take the time to have a word about The Shattered Crown and try to convince me it’s worth backing: and if that’s not your cup of tea, wind the clock back a week and hear the Dark Ages Vampire group ramble about characters, rules and where our campaign’s going next.
No Frugal figures this week, as I’ve spent jack, made shit, and played about six hours of Dark Ages Vampire. It was fun, thanks for asking. At some point this month I’m heading down to Firestorm in Cardiff so Annie can kick the shit out of me at SAGA and talk into a microphone about wimmin, boobs and the nerd supply business. With a bit of luck that’ll have happened by next time…