Thursday 21 March 2024

Playtesting with Mike Hutchinson

There aren't a lot of people that 'do what I do' for a living. Thankfully, one of them lives not too far away. Last week, I met up with Mike Hutchinson (of Gaslands fame) to chat about work and the industry and to eat some good food. That's Mike's full English, while I went for the seaside specialty, the scallop and bacon baguette. 

We also got a chance to have a quick playtest of Flagstone: A #Chess28 Game that Mike has been working on. I'll let him talk tell you more about in the video below, but I think he's onto a winner! 

Wednesday 20 March 2024


I use a lot of giant rats in my scenarios. In fact, one of the most common comments from new Rangers of Shadow Deep players is just how dangerous giant rats can be. Maybe they wouldn't be so surprised if their giant rats looked like this pair! These are 'Barrow Rats' sculpted by Julie Guthrie for Reaper Miniatures. 

I somehow forgot to include giant rats in The Silver Bayonet rulebook, but they made it into the game in The Carpathians

It didn't take too long to paint these guys up, about 2 hours each. I wanted real contrast between their pale flesh, darker hair, and the disease spots that speckle their bodies. It all combines to give them an exceptionally unhealthy look. I can see these guys getting into lots of games.

Monday 18 March 2024

Look what just arrived. It's my author copies of Frostgrave: Mortal Enemies. I'll be honest, I don't normally read my books when I receive them. I'm too scared of finding a mistake or typo! But I love looking and the beautiful artwork by Ru-Mor and appreciate the skill and effort that went into the design and production of it. And the best part - putting it on the shelf, another volume in the growing Frostgrave library! I'll read it in a year or two, when the dust has settled.

Mortal Enemies officially releases in just over a week, on March 28. Osprey Games will have it at Salute, and I'll be on hand to sign it if you want. I think I'm scheduled to be on the stand from 11 - 12.

Otherwise, get it from your local gaming store if you can. 

Or you can pick it up, along with a few new miniatures that have produced for it, from North Star

Or you can grab it from Amazon.

Friday 15 March 2024

Shadowgrave - Cthulhu in Frostgrave, Stargrave, Rangers of Shadow Deep, and Ghost Archipelago!

Want to play Frostgrave, Stargrave, Rangers of Shadow Deep, or Ghost Archipelago with the Cthulhu Mythos? The complete Shadowgrave manuscript is now available to my Patreon backers, including 2 scenarios for each of those settings!

At some point in the future, Shadowgrave will hopefully appear as a full book in the style of Grave Mutations, but I honestly can't say when that will be. This supplement includes all of the material originally found in Blaster, along with a new treasure list, and updated to include Stargrave.

Thursday 14 March 2024

Halfling Rogue or Rogue Halfling?

Lately, on Friday afternoon, when I close my laptop on the work week, I pick out a single figure and think - this is the figure I'm going to paint this weekend. Over the next 2.5 days, I focus my painting intently on that figure, only switching to another while I wait for a wash to dry. This is how I used to always paint miniatures, and for me, I think it is the best way. I find no joy in batch painting. If I'm honest, I never did. I want to fully enjoy every figure I paint. I want to give my brain the chance to work on stories about them, think about rules for including them in games, figure out what magic items or special equipment they might be carrying. That is fun to me.

I've actually painted this figure before. Well, I've painted a metal version of it - this is a plastic Bones USA version. I bought it for a specific project, but it became surplus to requirements, so instead, this halfling will join my generic fantasy figures. 

Looking at the photo, I can see I didn't get his eyes quite right, but you know, I can't even really see them on the miniature, even with my reading glasses on, so I'm not going to worry about it. The rest of the model came out great. 

I'm not sure if I'll get to paint any minis this weekend. It's looking pretty busy - but part of that is seeing The Return of the King at the Royal Albert Hall - so that's alright! 

Tuesday 5 March 2024


The older I get, the less interest I have in batch painting miniatures. I'd rather just settle in with a single figure and paint that one to the best of my ability. This weekend, I focused on this Reaper Bones USA figure sculpted by Bobby Jackson. I probably spent about 3 hours on her, spread over the weekend. As the figure is wearing a lot of leather, the main challenge was getting that looking good. For me, that means a lot of layers and lot of washes. Then I needed to ensure enough contrast to keep the whole thing from getting muddled.

I've said it before, and I still believe it - you can't have too many rangers!

I also took a photo of her patrolling the deep wilderness!

Monday 4 March 2024


With a player missing from the usual Sunday night Deadlands campaign, the rest of us turned our attention to RoboRally! Sorry for the poor photo, the pub just isn't the best for photos.

This fantastic board game has an interesting history. It was designed by Richard Garfield, who took it to Wizards of the Coast in the hopes of getting it published. WotC agreed to publish it, but as it had a lot of expensive components, they asked Richard if he had anything smaller that they could publish first, something like a card game...  That card game was Magic: The Gathering. Several hundreds of millions of dollars later, they published RoboRally.

I love this game because the premise is simple, and the basic mechanics are completely logical. You just have to set out movement cards each turn to give your robot instructions - move forward, turn left, move forward, turn right, etc., and be the first to touch all of the flags. It should be easy, but because you get a random draw of cards, and because the robots can bump each other off course, and because elements of the board can move and turn you around, the results are often utter chaos.  

I laughed a lot last night.