Author: Mike Marshall

Lets face it, I'm a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one


Time for the second game in our small Dragon Rampant campaign, can Boris get away with the loot or is he going to learn that the Nipponese are not as much of a pushover that he thought?

Scenario Two – Wagons Ho!

Following the successful village raid, Boris’s warriors are transporting the results of their pillaging back to the main barbarian camp.  The wagons are slow however and from the hills surrounding the path, vengeful eyes look on.


The table should be set up so a road runs along the length of the table 6” wide.  Hills, woods, building etc. should cover the remaining table, the denser the better.

One wagon model per loot counter will be required



The winners of Scenario One deploy the wagon models on the road in a line, one wagon should be touching the edge and then a 3” gap between each wagon.  They then deploy their units so that each unit is within 6” of at least one wagon.

The ambusher deploys with their units touching a table edge on the second half of the table.

The defender has the same units they had in Scenario One.

The attacker has any units that were not destroyed in scenario one together with an additional 18 points of support.

Wagons will automatically move 6” forward at the start of the defenders turn unless an ambushing unit is within 1”

Ambushers can attempt to capture a wagon on an 8+ roll If a wagon is captured defender may capture it back by putting a unit in btb with the wagon – it is assumed a new driver takes over.

If a wagon is captured by the ambusher then it stops moving.


  • Ambusher gains 2 Glory for each wagon retrieved
  • Defender gains 3 Glory for each wagon that exits the far end of the table

Normal glory quests are also used in this game.

Game ends when either all the wagons have left the table or have been captured

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Episode 344 – Pull up a chair and linger a while

In which Mike gets a classy cohost in the form of the wonderful Conrad. Its been a while since we last heard from him and this episode is a catch up on whats been going on in his gaming life and how he seems, for the moment at least, t have recaptured some hobby mojo. Now I can’t promise that we stay totally on topic for the 80 odd minutes of the show, just as I can’t promise that Conrad doesn’t get a bit silly in places (he is old and senile after all) but hopefully you’ll find it worth listening to.

A cute puppy, cause frankly, puppies means clicks

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Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Boris Smash

As you will have seen from Matts latest article we have kicked off our regular Monday gaming sessions with the first battle in our mini Dragon Rampant campaign.  As expected, Boris unleashed hell on the small unsuspecting village and his warriors, ably led by his wife, walked away with all the treasure, leaving a few battered and beaten defenders to face the wrath of their liege lord.

We decided that we would create 60 point armies and then pick units from that pool for each game that we played

Boris has the following pool to choose from

  • Boris BearRider (Elite Riders, Level Headed, Blessed Weapons)
  • Sons of Crom (Bellicose Foot)
  • Witches of Stygia (Bellicose Foot, Spellcaster)
  • Mamas Boys (Bellicose Foot, Fearful, Terrifically Shiny Armour)
  • The Jotun (Heavy Infantry, Offensive)
  • The Steeds of Nabol (Heavy Cavalry)
  • Thruds (Heavy Infantry, Offensive, Enchanted Weapons)
  • The Tribe (Light Missiles)
  • Hounds of Lod (Lesser Warbeasts)
  • Hruk (Greater Warbeast, Ponderous,Fear)


and for this initial raid he used

  • Sons of Crom (Bellicose Foot)
  • Mamas Boys (Bellicose Foot, Fearful, Terrifically Shiny Armour)
  • The Jotun (Heavy Infantry, Offensive)
  • The Steeds of Nabol (Heavy Cavalry)
  • Hounds of Lod (Lesser Warbeasts)


As I said above the game ended up in a victory for Boris’s forces but it was not without a cost as The Sons of Crom will enter the next battle Fearful.  They do have 3 Will of the God Points though as do the Mamas Boys so a couple more successful things could see them gaining a reroll.

The next scenario will see the treasures being taken back to the main encampment whilst the forces of Tetsuo try to redeem themselves for their previous failures and hope than their lords steely gaze doesn’t fall on them.

Boris SMASH!!!!!

Oh and if you ever thought that Matt had a slight Samurai obsession, then the table he was able to put together won’t disavow you of that 🙂


Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Chicago Way – Initial Thoughts

IMG_0633.jpgYou wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way! 

In an effort to get the pile on unplayed games reduced Matt and I were able to arrange an impromptu gaming session yesterday (thank the gods that our children get along so well) and we decided that we would break out Chicago Way.

We had been talking about playing this one for a while – Matt is a bit of a sucker for gangster games – and given that it is based on the Dead Mans Hand ruleset (one of our favourite cinematic games) we had high hopes for a fun afternoon.

The game has four different factions (Prohibition Agents, Police, Gangsters and Moonshiners) and Matt decided that he would play Prohibition Agents against my Gangsters led by the lovely and not at all psychopathic Dapper Dan.

As is usual for the first time that we play a game we didn’t actually read the rules beforehand so just picked what we thought we had cool models for.  This did lead to some stupid equipment mistakes on my part ($1500 for a Tommy Gun!!!!) and meant that we didn’t use the vehicle rules at all.  This was probably a mistake on our part given that the first sentence of the vehicle section is “Vehicles are a key part of The Chicago Way” but you live and learn and it gives us something new to try next game.

One of the big differences between this and DMH is that each game is just made up of a single scenario, rather than the 3 interlinked scenes of the earlier game.  To offset this, the game is very much designed around playing a campaign, similar to the campaign system in the second DMH book, Legends, which is focused around your gang gaining control of Chicago.  We ended up just deciding to have a straight shoot out type game so played the Massacre scenario with $10000 gangs.

The table set up

I had Dapper Dan, Machine Gun Moll (Hitman) 3 Hoods and 3 Thugs.   Matt had Agent Smith, Tintin and a seemingly endless supply of Prohibition Agents.

At the end of the game Dapper Dan was in handcuffs (having been smashed in the face by the stock of a Tommy Gun) most of the crew were dead, Machine Gun Moll had fled the scene and I would have to put up with Matt endlessly crowing about smashing me.

As hoped the game had provided some excellent cinematic moments, my favourite being Moll opening up on 3 of the Prohibition Agents with her tommy gun.  I could just see the slow motion of the ejector port as the brass cartridge cases fell on the floor around her as she tried to rescue her man from the government lickspittles.  She failed, but that doesn’t make it less cinematic 🙂

Dapper Dan and his crew down for the count

All in all it was excellent fun and we will be definitely playing a campaign of it later in the year.  If you like DMH then you owe it to yourself to give The Chicago Way a try, you probably won’t regret it.

You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Episode 343 – NYSOS

In which Mike and Matt record the first FD episode in 6 months. 6 months of peace and quiet ruined by a couple of middle aged old men blethering on about playing with toy soldiers. We have a very brief catchup on what happened in the second half of 2017 and then launch into discussion of plans for 2018. Hopefully those plans include more audio shows. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…


Direct Link:

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Narrative Gaming

I’ve talked in the past on various audios about how I have to see the narrative of a game unfolding like a movie for me to get fully involved in it.  Those cinematic moments when the fate of the world (or at least the game) is held in the balance.  Its one of the reasons I am a big fan of Dead Mans Hand as the whole structure of the game lends itself to those moments, normally, it must be said, involving Matts protagonist dying in horrible ways.

This is part (a large part) of the reason I have fallen out of love with playing tournament Malifaux, I’m just not seeing that story anymore, its become almost mechanical to me.  Its also, I believe, the reason I don’t get on with games such as Guildball or Warmachine,  the rulesets are designed with event play in mind and thus the mechanics used don’t help with the cinematic moments in the way that DMH or 7TV do.

Which sort of brings me to the point of this post.  As I said the other day Matt and I are embarking on a 6 week campaign of Dragon Rampant with our own custom scenarios to provide that narrative element.  Now Dragon Rampant is an excellent framework for making your own stories, the generic nature of the units enables you to fully express your army the way you want to do, but it doesn’t have the ongoing narrative element that would take it to the next level (of storytelling, not game wise)

So being an old school gamer I have done what old school gamers tend to do, I’ve written up some extra rules that we are going to try out to add that ongoing element.

Now I’m not sure if these will work or not –  we won’t find that out until we play the campaign – but I’ve run them past Matt and he says he like them so thats at least part of the job done.

So for your reading pleasure, i present to you

The purpose of these is to encourage players to build a narrative for their forces over a series of games and help create those epic tales for nights down the pub going ‘Do you remember when …”

NOTE: Some of these rules apply different traits to the units.  These traits do not cost any points (and in the case of Fearful do not make the unit cost less)


  • Every unit that is destroyed must roll a d6. On a 3+ the unit can be used normally in the next game.  On a 1 or 2 however the unit gains the Fearful Rule for its next battle.  The unit will retain the Fearful rule until it survives a battle.  If the unit started with the Fearful rule then it will make future tests at -2
  • If one of your units is destroyed by the same enemy unit in two games then then enemy unit now causes Fear against the destroyed unit. However the destroyed unit is out for revenge and now has Hatred against the unit that destroyed it.


When things are going for you it can feel like you have the gods on your side.  It would be lovely if this was true J

Every time a unit achieves one of the following things it receives a Will of The Gods point (WotG)

  • Wins a combat
  • Gains Glory
  • Recovers from being battered (the gods must be on your side)

Between games units can trade in WotG points for a once per game reroll (dice can only be rerolled once, second result stands even if worse, you know, usual sort of thing) according to this table.  Obviously the reroll can only be used on the unit that is spending the WotG points

  • 1st Reroll costs 5 WotG
  • 2nd Reroll costs 10 WotG
  • 3rd and subsequent rerolls cost 20 WotG

You may also trade in 10 WotG points to add an optional extra to the unit – so for example a unit of Bellicose Foot could trade in 10 WotG points to equip themselves with Terrifically Shiny Armour

Let me know you thoughts please, or suggestions for other things we could add

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Getting our campaign on

Well it seems like a new year has sparked some life back into the Fools Daily collective and Matt and I have decided that Monday afternoons are going to be our regular gaming time for the next few months.

First up we are going to play out a small Dragon Rampant campaign – basically 6 linked scenarios with some rules (that I haven’t written yet) for continuing with the same force (injuries, heroic prowess etc.)  as Boris Bear Rider invades the land of Nippon which are defended by Mattsuki San (I have no idea what Matt calls his general, probably that one with big stick)

First scenario is something like this:

Scenario One – Border Raid

The eyes of Boris Bear Rider have turned enviously to the fertile lands of Nippon and his scouts have identified a small village just waiting for its riches to be plucked.  As dawn breaks, he launches his forces into attack.

Setup: The table should be set up with a group of buildings (5-6) in the centre, representing the village.  No building should be closer than 12” to the long table edge and 24” from the short edges (basically a 2’ square in the middle of the table).  There should also be a piece of terrain that represents the alarm beacon. Place a loot counter on each building

Deployment: Defender deploys half of his force within 12” of the village and can deploy within the village itself.  The other half is held off table waiting for an alarm that may never come.

Attacker can deploy within 12” of either short edge.

For the first 3 turns of the game visibility is restricted to 8”, after 3 turns the sun has risen and you can see normally.

The attacker is trying to loot the village.  Any attacking unit that is next to a building with a loot counter may attempt to loot it by using their activation.  A 7+ is needed.

The defender, unsurprisingly is trying to drive off the attacker.  Once the attacker has been spotted the alarm can be raised.  Any unit that can see an enemy unit and is NOT engaged in combat can raise the alarm.  If the alarm is raised then the defender can light the beacon and in the next turn will be able to deploy their reinforcements.  To do this a unit needs to be in contact with the Beacon and needs to roll a 7+ in their activation.

Reinforcements can be deployed on any table edge

The game ends when either of the victory conditions is achieved

  • Attacker gains 4 or more loot counters
  • Defend destroys or batters at least 50% of the units in the attackers’ force.


Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

The Masterplan

Right lets see them nick this article title, cheeky buggers that they are.

Anyway.  Welcome to 2018, New Year so new gaming resolutions for us to fail at.  Still its fun to at least try to think what you are going to do over the next year, might even do some of it!

This will be the first year in a while where I don’t have several events already booked into the calendar to run which is a nice change of pace as it means I can go with the flow slightly more.  The two three that I have committed to are:

  • Malifaux ITC (nothing needs doing)
  • Butterfly House at Bonescon (loads needs doing)
  • MAGE II sometime in the summer (some stuff needs doing)

and these are going to drive my painting for the first half of the year.

One of the things I am most looking forward to in the Butterfly House is the hybrid 7TV / Dungeon Crawl that i am going to run and I very much want all the models for it to be painted – just base colours if necessary but paint on them at the very least, so this is going to drive the next 6 weeks. If I can I’m also going to try and paint all the terrain as well, perhaps have a terrain painting weekend with the boys and blitz through it all but thats more nebulous.IMG_0421.jpg

After that MAGE takes over and I’m going to commit to having all the models the 7 games that make up the event painted.  Now I have’t fully decided what the 7 games are going to be yet but I’m sure that will all work out fine – they will all be small scale games anyway so its not like I am going to have to do a Matt and paint an AoS / 40k army in 2 days.

This will take me to the  mid year point and I honestly have no idea what I will think about painting next.  Probably all the things that I haven’t painted in the run up to MAGE but lets think happy thoughts right!

Game wise there are a few things on the horizon that I am looking forward to, firstly 2nd Edition SAGA.   I think I have talked on here before about how I love SAGA and would do more if an ‘overly historical attitude to figures’ wasn’t present in the wider scene (which I find slightly ironic given the gamey rulesbending tricks that event players seem to use).  With the forthcoming 2nd Edition though and the expansion into ‘fantasy’ tropes that some of the expansions are promising I hope to get involved in a few events for that.

The 2nd game I am looking forward to is Fallout.  I love the video games and that models that Modephius have been previewing look amazing.  I have some concerns about how the rules have been talked about in the previews but I’m certainly happy to give it a try and worse case scenario, there are plenty of other rules to use the models with.

Final game I am looking forward to is Burrows and Badgers.  The game is fantastic, the models are fantastic and I’m really hoping that it gets the success that it richly deserves.  There is a player base out there waiting for a new ‘Mordheim’ and B&B delivers that experience in spades.  With cute little critters as well 🙂

The final pole in my tripod of gaming is I guess actually doing some.  Need to do what Conrad does (for he is wise like Yoda) and just pick a regular night that we get together and play stuff.  Couple that with some extended gaming days like the recent Christmas gaming we did at Wayland and hopefully I will actually play stuff this year.


Oh I forgot something didn’t I.  Audio and Video.  Will this be the year that we get Fools Daily TV off the ground?  Will we get anything like a regular recording schedule (I’d like to be pushing out 3 episodes a week) Who knows.  I certainly don’t.

Finally, thank you for reading this, coming to one of our events, listening to one of the podcasts or just tweeting at us. We (and I speak for everyone here, its what I do) really appreciate it.

Hope you have a great 2018 and I love each and everyone of you.




Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

Don’t look back in anger!

Its become sort of traditional in the old social medias to do a retrospective of the gaming year and then look forward to all the things that you are going to fail to do in the new one, and frankly, who am I to be different, its a couple of blog articles at least 🙂

However whilst trying to write this article I found it very very difficult as its been a very funny one in gaming terms in that I have actually done very little.  This has, in the main, been driven by the fact that as I have documented elsewhere, I have fallen out of love with the competitive scene for Malifaux, which is the game that has really sustained the whole hobby experience for the last five years.  This has meant that I have travelled to less events and thus had less hobby immersion – its a well known fact that doing hobby leads to doing more hobby- and this lack of immersion has shown in everything else.  Look at how much audio we have recorded for example.  A shoddy performance to say the least.

The other thing big thing that hit my gaming was the failure of Daffcon.  Given the success of the 2016 event I felt for sure that this was going to be a big stride forward and I could continue to grow my dream of giving all the smaller games out there a platform to collect their fans together and then cross pollinate.  Of course this didn’t happen and I found myself with a failure on my hands.  This not only led to me disappointing the folks who had purchased tickets but also those games producers who had been looking forward to having somewhere to showcase their products.

Both of these basically meant that I didn’t want to do gaming stuff despite trying several initiatives to keep motivation up.   #FDWHP helped for a bit, and I did get some long term projects finished off – I’m particularly pleased that I got the Discworld models completed


–  but like most of these things do, it fell by the wayside as there are only so many weeks you can beat Matt at something without it becoming boring and samey.

Same with #hobbystreak. It started really well with me getting a lot of an AoS undead army built, but then I actually played AoS and my enthusiasm for it went out the window.

In fact that happened a lot this year.   New 40k sounded like the best thing ever but the min maxing that had put me off the scene years ago continued without as much as a pause and with the realisation that despite the change in rules (something which i think is an excellent choice) the same problems with the game remained, its just not something that I want to be involved in.  Still it might actually get me off my arse and make me write down the set of squad based sci fi rules that i have had bouncing around in my head for the past couple of years.  They are probably rubbish but until I write them down I will never know.

My other own game project “Monster Smash!” also stalled as I hit a seemingly impenetrable brick wall in my visualisation of the game and how i wanted it to play.  Fortunately a discussion with the mighty Gav Thorpe (should that be Gemmel Award winning Gav Thorpe?) over a coffee in Bugmans showed me an alternate way that I could achieve what I was thinking about and hopefully that will be something that  I progress in 2018 – more on that in the next blog post though.

Reading back through the above it seems like this has been a disastrous gaming year but there have been some awesome highs as well.  The Malifaux ITC saw 22 teams from around the world descend on Stockport for 2 days of team competition at which everyone seemed to have a great time and I am looking forward to running it again in 2018 immensely.  MAGE was probably my favourite weekend of the year, having so many great friends descend on the house for a weekend where the gaming is very much secondary to having a good crack is an experience like none other.  Only downer about it was missing Conrad, but then I miss him all the time.  Hopefully will see him more in 2018.

Various painting projects took little baby steps forward, especially in my Barbarians and Dragon Rampant is still a game I very much enjoy playing, though our plans for a campaign didn’t really come to anything.  Same as the plans for Ascension though I feel those will continue in 2018, stories and campaigns are definitely the way forward for me.

Also played various new games, top amongst them was the new edition of Batman from Knight Models that gave me the narrative gaming feel that I need – though tbf, no game does it as well as Dead Mans Hand does.

I also managed to sell a lot of stuff including all my old skaven, some of which I had had since the mid 80s.  That was a tough decision but having them around was actually having the affect of holding me back on committing to other things as they were there saying, give us modern paint jobs Mike, bring us up to scratch, so getting them out the house was a big plus.  It has also made selling other stuff easier, if I can get rid of them, then I can get rid of anything.

Also bought a lot of new games.  Failed spectacularly to play any of them, but I did purchase a lot 🙂


One day I might get around to playing some of them.

Right, think thats enough wallowing in the year that was 2017.  Next post will be 2018 hopes and desires.  With a bit of luck it will turn into a much better year.


Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

MIND over matter

We’ve talked in the past about how we at Fools Daily like to support the mental health charity MIND and why we do it but as I was coming home from some Christmas gaming over the weekend I was struck by the fact that over 50% of the people playing had some form of mental health problem.  That is a staggering number.  Now Matt would say that you have to have MH issues to be friends with me (and I probably wouldn’t argue against that) but even so I was shocked when I actually did the maths.   Coupled with the fact that my own family situation has taken a turn for the worse recently – those of you who were at the Malifaux nationals will have noticed that i disappeared before the end to sort out a crisis – I’ve been thinking about what the next money raising event could be.

The other thing that struck me at the weekend is how bad gamers are at keeping weight off.   Several of the folks there, myself included, lost several stone a couple of years ago using Slimming World, but it seems that we have all slipped into old habits and the weight is going back on again.   This is also not a good thing.  Dying earlier means less time to game and who wants that.

So why not combine the two things together which led me to the snazzy article title.

Basically the idea is this.  You can sign up to the Fools Daily Weight Challenge which will run from 1st Jan 2018 to 1st April 2018 (so 3 months) and for every pound of weight you lose, Muddy Banana (one of the other companies I am involved with) will donate a £1 to MIND (maximum of £1000 donation).  Simple.   Obviously we will have to trust you are reporting your weight lose correctly, but tbh, even if you are cheating the money is still going to to a great cause.

To sign up just drop us a not via twitter or facebook letting us know you are going to take part and we will add your name and overall weight lose to a page on the site.

You get some health benefits and MIND gets some cash.

Also if any other gaming companies want to get involved in this, please let me know, after all if your customers live longer you get to make more money, so its a win win 🙂

Next I’ll blog about some gaming stuff, honest.

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one