Category: Dead Mans Hand

MAGE II – The Hexathalon

Well it took a little longer than I hoped but I finally got the dates locked down for MAGE II.  Its going to be on 30th June – 1st and will be held in the village hall just around from my house.

If you have no idea what I am talking about then I did a brief article earlier in the year here which gives some idea though of course it has now been overtaken by events outside my control

As I said previously the original plan was for it to be 7 games over the weekend but the hall is already booked on the Friday night (I guess they don’t know who I am) hence the reduction to 6 games and we will do the big Gaslands demolition derby on the Saturday night.  Which means of course that its BBQ and Beer on the Friday night though I’m sure we will be able to drag out a few folding tables and get some gaming going in the moonlight (who says romance is dead)  Maybe even a trial run of Labyrinth for next years Butterfly House.

So onto the serious!!! business of how the event will run

The 6 games are going to be

  • Of Gods and Mortals
  • Dead Mans Hand
  • Guildball
  • Malifaux
  • Open Combat
  • Burrows and Badgers

There will be models to borrow for each of these if you don’t have a crew / warband / army / team / insert term here though not having your own models will impact on the points you can score.  Well yes of course there are points, somebody has to win after all (it will be Joe Wood) Basically there are a 1000 points up for each game of which very few are actually based on winning and many more of them are available for just doing stuff in the game.

Matt is in charge of coming up with the gaming schedule (expect it the day before the event- he’s been promising it to me for the last 4 months) and I will be producing the achievement  sheets over the next month or so.

As always with these events, you are more than welcome to camp in my garden but there are also several local B&Bs if camping fills you with dread.


If you are just drop me a line via any of the usual channels and I can get you signed up – max of 24 spaces.  Its going to cost you the princely sum of £10 for the weekend just to cover the hall rental (which has new toilets thanks to a National Lottery grant – if you’ve been before you know this is a big plus 🙂 )

Hope to see you then.



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

Dear Sir

Recently found in the Ascension archive, a letter responding to the story published in the Ascension Tribune

Screenshot 2017-07-31 09.21.50.png

We shall continue to delve into the archives to see if we can find out how this story resolved itself.

again with that salty cheese…..

I did quite a lot of hobby this week.

I painted some of my DMH Mexicans that have sat untouched for months (stupid Mike and his influential blog post).

I built and undercoated and then based an entirely new Malifaux crew while at the event at Mike’s.

I played games of Malifaux and DMH.

Yeah……none of those are finishing Crusaders……

Thats 2 crap weeks of accomplishment and as Mike said, this is about focus and completion rather than just achieving hobby.

I have a very busy couple of weeks in the new job which see me away from home for 7 of the next 12 days so I have picked carefully for the next week.

1 – Finish my Saga Warlord

2 – Progress the 3 points of Saga knights towards completion

3 – Write up the DMH battle report and an opening blog post for my Tau narrative for the 40K campaign.

Also failed to lose any weight due to the masses of BBQ food over the weekend…….double drat!!

Plain Sailing its not

This is becoming a worrying trend as its the second week in a row that I’ve failed my FDWHP goals.  Was supposed to make up 3 pieces of post apocalyptic terrain but in the end only made 1, the bio sludge tank


So only 1 point.

Now this isn’t to say that I haven’t been doing hobby because I certainly have.  This week I’ve done the following;

  • Progressed my Dead Mans Hand Gang
  • Designed and built some pirate buildings for use in Blood and Plunder
  • Finished basing and undercoating my 40k stuff from last week
  • Progressed my Dragon Rampant painting competition entry

and finally I ran a 20 odd person gaming event at my house over the weekend – bloody bunch of reprobates.


But frankly that isn’t an excuse.

The whole point of FDWHP is to keep us focused on the things that need doing, rather than just doing ‘hobby’ as without that focus i end up with a million projects started and very few finished.

So this week I shall be cracking on with the following

  • Finish painting one of the models my ChibiMisaki crew
  • Build and Base my Route 666 stuff in preparation for Gaslands
  • Design and Build a church for Father Wilson based on this little beauty for use in Ascension


Lets see how I can get on


Danger, Gaming Brain at Work

Sometimes you just have to go where the muse takes you regardless of if its what you should be working on instead.  Such was the case yesterday afternoon.

Father Wilson ready to smite the ungodly

Matt and I had been talking about getting a game in on Thursday and we were planning on playing The Chicago Way from Great Escape Games.  Good stuff, not actually played it yet but its the same basic engine from Dead Mans Hand which we are very fond of.  However my brain interpreted this as an excuse to desperately want to paint some figures for Dead Mans Hand which is something I have been loathe to do.  Reason being is that my gangs are made up of the excellent sculpts from Black Scorpion which for some reason I find very difficult to paint.  Still when your brain insists on something you have to do it so I found myself yesterday afternoon sitting down to paint the leader of my  DMH gang Father Wilson.


Good job.

Except of course thats not how my brain works, especially with narrative games like DMH.  Oh no, I had to come up with a whole story for Father Wilson.  Why is he in Ascension, who are the rest of his gang and why are they outlaws.  If I didn’t do this then I would just wander around with this nagging feeling in the back of my head that something just wasn’t right and when we next played, it just wouldn’t be as satisfying as it could be.   Does anyone else think like this or is it just me?

Anyhoo, next thing I know is that Father Wilson has a dangerous past and has a child born out of wedlock called Bonnie who is a dab had with a Colt .45  She is accompanied by the lady only known as The Governess and its hard to tell if she is more dangerous with her Winchester Repeater or her parasol.

Bonnie and the Governess

Finally we have the rest of the gang, known as the Righteous (thanks to Conrad for that name) who believe they are doing the Lords work even if what they do is against the laws of man.

The Righteous

Phew, brain satisfied.

Only it wasn’t, I needed an opponent for Father Wilson.  Some low down scumbag whose removal from the face of Gods earth would be a blessing.

Enter El Diablo (known to his friends as Matt)

Fortunately for me Matt shares my madness and gets as involved in the stories we are telling as I do.  Hence the twitter exchange from last night.


Just us then 🙂

Hopefully we will do a battle report or something after the game.