Monday 3 August 2015

Bring Out Your Lead 2015

Bring Out Your Lead is an annual, community-organised gaming ... thing. It's not a convention per se, it's just a weekender of gaming and celebration and special stuff, hosted by Wargames Foundry. Gaj of Warhammer for Adults herds the cats, people volunteer to host games and the whole thing turns out splendidly. At least that's what I had heard, because I had never been to one.

I caught the train to Newark and headed over to the Foundry, which is located in the Carriage Court of Stoke Hall. Games were already beginning. I snapped a few photos of the ships for the Oldhammer Ahoy! game. I don't know who made all of them, but some were by Geoff of Oakbound Games.

I think this vessel was eventually crewed by undead.

A close-up of the crew of this goblin/Chaos ship.

A longship full of Fimir.

And the same model ship, but converted to Chaos. 
The Foundry also had displays of classic Citadel figures. I snapped a few shots of particular favourites, especially this Genestealer cult:

Some games were already underway: 

Chainsaw Warrior played with Space Hulk rules. I got to try this on Sunday.

There was a lot of Blood Bowl going on at the event!
My first game of the weekend was a Judge Dredd game based on the storyline "The Day the Law Died." I had brought along a model, Judge Ford, who was a gift from my friend Josh. Since Judge Ford was meant to represent him, I thought it would be cool to include him in a story that featured some other SJS characters.

Judge Ford
Some highlights from the game:

The SJS squad -- Judge Cal, Judge Fish, and a hand-picked team.

Judge Dredd and his few remaining allies turn up.  
Street Judges and protestors exchange fire. 
Judge Quincy takes cover as Dredd's supporters open fire. 

Judge Ford takes cover and returns fire. 

Ford and Quincy bum-rush one of the enemy Judges. 

The loss of most of the Mega Slurp promotional team isn't going to stop Judge Glass getting Slurped ... 
... or Judge Cal, for that matter. 

But killing Judge Cal is still a crime, so Dredd and his boys move in.

The writing is on the wall for the SJS Judges. 

And Dredd finally restores order. 

My last game on Friday was a quick Mordheim game, in which I played a Norse warband. Models and terrain were all provided by my opponent, whose name I am not sure about. Stu? I didn't take a lot of photos because my battery was dying. 

We ran out of time in the evening, but finished up on Saturday morning. 

My main game on Saturday was the Fallout Rogue Trader game, in which I played the forces of the New California Republic. I used Capitol models from Warzone 2nd edition, which I chose for their characteristic Smokey-the-Bear hats. Forum member Legiocustodes hosted the game, which also included blogger JB of Lead Plague.

The caravan guards set out on their long journey. 

A mob of mutants ready to do some mischief.

Rerolls were provided by these bottlecaps.

NCR troops take up defensive positions on the valley floor.

A Brotherhood of Steel patrol escorts a Scribe to the ruins. 

A wastelander tries to hack into the computers of an abandoned Enclave base.

The scavengers take control of the base's weapons!

The caravan proceeds peacefully, keeping a wary eye out for enemies.

Long-range fire from the Brotherhood cuts down a Ranger.

Raiders lurk in the ruined town.

A mutant creature attacks the Brotherhood heavy gunner.
The Responsible One, your revenge is complete!

Rangers and Ghouls exchange long-range fire. 

Cathedral cultists sneak into the town to attack the raiders.
Rangers establish a perimeter in the ruins and exchange fire with the mutants. 
Mutants and cultists clash.  
The veteran Ranger shoots down the Super Mutant with his six-shooter. 
My next game of the evening was Chainsaw Warrior using Space Hulk rules. This was a lovely little game designed and run by Aidan of Warfactory and his young helper; they also played the cultists in the game above.  I didn't get any photos -- dead phone again -- but I won the game with only nine seconds left on its 60-second clock.

One of the amazing things about this day was that Kev Adams was doing custom sculpting for charity -- you slipped the man a fiver and he would sculpt a new face for you on a 28mm model of your choice. I got one of those, and as soon as I get some photos done I'll post it. 

Sunday ... Sunday meant just one game for me: Deathrace 40,000. This game, organised through the Oldhammer Forum by Captain Crooks (who was visiting all the way from Australia), saw each player creating a vehicle and steering it through a racetrack filled with hazards, power-ups and whatnot ... basically Mario Kart in the oddball black comedy of the 41st millennium.

The Tombstone Express, driver Dave Grigger and his loyal mechanic Harry. 

A playsheet. 

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line ... 

Engines pumping and thumping in time ... 

The green light flashes, the flags go up ... 
And they're off! The Freeway Fighter and the Chaos grav-attack take the lead,
with Da Mork 5 and the Gorkinator in hot pursuit. 

The Flyboyz zoom tightly around the curve, a move they'll learn to regret. 

Ramshackle Raider (manufactured, painted and piloted by Curtis Fell of Ramshackle Games) takes the jump. 

The grav-attack blasts the Tombstone Express with a rocket. 

Kills on Wheels goes for the jump. 

When you drift, you're not in control -- unless you're out of control. 

Tombstone Express successful jumps the lava pit while the grav-attack stacks it into the wall ... 

... but accurate fire from the Gnomads on the hillside blows out a tyre. 

Da Mork 5, Redback and the Killdozer 5000 Special Edition land safely ... for now. 

A quick pit stop for Twin Mustang and Mork 5 is lengthened by a spray of fire from Kills on Wheels.
The wrecks start to pile up in the second lap. 

Restored to full speed, Mork 5 gets back in the race, with Tombstone Express close behind. 

Well-placed caltrops from Tombstone Express knock out the Gorkinator. 

The crew bail out!

Killdozer relentlessly pursues Blorko's Bullet. 
Speed Racork and Dave Grigger pelt for the finish line. 
Well-aimed fire from the dismounted Gorkinators takes out the grav-attack!
Damaged but not destroyed by desperate cannon fire, Redback crosses the finish line to complete its final lap. 
Redback and Tombstone Express collide, wrecking both -- but too late. 

I can't tell you how great Deathrace was -- a fun and simple system, beautiful, creative vehicles, and a tense, exciting race. They're already talking about next year's game.

After the cleanup, Captain Crooks and I split a cab back to town -- but having nowhere to go for a bit, we just hung out for a while and watched British gaming legend Bryan Ansell sculpt a hand on a model for Crooks. Artist Tony Ackland, of Realms of Chaos and WHFRP fame, was also there, and we had a good chat about many things; in particular, I learned about the late Brett Ewins' bizarre fashion sense and the fact that Paul Bonner's darkly colourful paintings are watercolours(!). When it came time to get back, there was a brief panic about getting a cab in time -- Foundry boss Marcus Ansell helped us out and even showed us a shortcut to where we needed to go.

Oh, and I got a crapload of miniatures -- more details to come, but a particular mention should go to Geoff Sims of Oakbound Games for providing free souvenir models to the deathracers. Models, in fact, of those stumpy Gnomad bastards who sent my lovely Tombstone Express to the pitstop with blown tyres. He is good people and you should buy his stuff. There are lots of others who contributed, and I'm leaving them out not because I want to diminish their contribution but because of space.

The whole experience was great from start to finish. The surroundings were lovely and the food was nice; the behind-the-scenes look at miniatures casting was very interesting. The games were great, and staged in a spirit of passionate amateurism; every figure on the tables was clearly a labour of love. I was a little nervous because I only knew a few people personally, but everyone welcomed me like an old friend, which was very gratifying. The whole thing was ... enthusiastic and laid-back at the same time, which is one of the things I like about the Oldhammer community and a very tricky balance to achieve. If I can make it back next year, I definitely will. 


  1. We were very pleased to have you and I am glad that you enjoyed the experience. It was a resounding success for the Oldhammer Community and Wargames Foundry. In truth, this isn't down to us, but people like yourself James who make a great effort to attend and make the event so special. See you again some time in the future!

    1. It was an amazing weekend and I will definitely be trying to get to more community events!

  2. I must Say This sums up the whole experience for me. Being able to meet and play with people I don't know in games needing teamwork Is Just Great.
    it was a real pleasure to get to share thus and all the shenanigans about reverse centaurs with You.

    1. Anyone that thinks I'm kidding about the reverse centaur is in for a nasty surprise!

  3. You are lovely fella. Twas great to meet you and play some games. Glad you had a good time and hope you can make it again another time. Great photos.

    1. Thanks! Good to meet you as well; it was really nice to put faces to names and see some of the great models. I will definitely be there for future events and hope to see you there too.

  4. Seeing those photos of the Deathrace really captures the mood of the thing! Fantastic to relive the event. The ships in the first few pictures are also by Harry, Chris (Norse), Niibl (the barnacle-encrusted ghost ship and scary fish monster!) and Curtis of Ramshackle whose cool iron sea serpent chomped down my Chaos Dwarf ironclad yesterday afternoon. :)

    1. Thanks for the info! Niibl's stuff was amazing all weekend. He did the Fatty in those Dredd shots, and his Nurgle racer -- which didn't even compete in Deathrace -- was a tiny gem.

  5. The race was real fun and once we got our heads round the rules it got going at a fair old pace.

    it was nice to meet you and hope to bump into you next year.

    1. Good to meet you too -- and yes, by the end we were bashing along pretty rapidly. I think Erny is planning to try to run future games!

  6. Haha, great opponent! I'm sorry I couldn't be there in person, but I'm so glad that Redback gave you the run of your life!
    Better luck next time and thanks so much for posting the photos!

    1. It was a very persistent opponent! The model looked great, too.

  7. It was nice to meet in person James and it was even better be have the opportunity a few drinks and play a few games. See you next year I hope.

  8. I'm jealous and sad I couldn't go, but at least that old rescued chaos spawn got out onto the table and got some game play!

    1. The phrase "keep that thing the hell away from me" came up a time or two.

    2. Is it bad that isn't even the worst thing I've been responsible for supplying parts for?

  9. James, it was a joy an pleasure to meet you and great to have you in my Fallout game! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    Your NCR Rangers inspired me and straight after our game I sourced a few of those models for my own collection! Top Stuff!

    1. Nice! Speaking of me recommending miniature crack, here's the guy that made the post-apocalyptic terrain:

      You're welcome.

    2. (Obviously, that "you're welcome" comes with tongue firmly in cheek.)

      And thank you for running and hosting the game. It was great fun!

    3. Cheers for that. I want some of that stuff! Very Fallout!

      Mate it was a pleasure!

  10. Churning and burning they yearn for the cup.... Deathrace 40,000 looked uniquely brilliant like some monstrous lovechild of Mad Max and Robo-rally. Need to get me a set of wheels! Glad you enjoyed the Norscan romp across Oyster Dock. :)