19 August 2014

The sleeping wizard

CJ - "Daddy, we want to play a knight game, the sort you played when you went to Nottingham with your friends."
Me - "I don't know, the rules are quite complicated; we could play Song of Blades and Heroes?"
CJ - "No, your game. After all, I am six and a half now, and you could help EM because he's only four."
Me - "Okaaay. If you're sure..."
CJ - "Yes I am. Now, what is the story for why we're fighting? What do we have to do to win?"

What could I do in the face of that on the Monday after BOYL? He wanted to play 3rd Ed. and assumed that it would have a narrative element. Of course I was going to encourage him :)

Omzax the Occultist was not a nice man, even before he made whatever deal it was with Dark and Nameless Powers in order to gain his mastery over magic. He was particularly notorious for turning his enemies into mice and then feeding them, one by one, to his pet cat. Zap! Squeak! Miaow! Crunch!

I gave both boys matched forces (six foot knights, five arquebusiers and six peasants), put the wizard (conveniently asleep so he took no part on the battle) in a house in the centre of the board, and let them at it.

BOYL dice being put to good use.

Obviously, I GMed. I do in any game we play together, but this time I didn't even control "the baddies" and let the two of them pit their wits against each other. Did I simplify things? Only a little. We had no characters, no magic, and I left out the reserve move phase, but otherwise I kept it to the book. Guns took a turn to reload, changing formation cost movement, stand and shoot was used when receiving a charge, combat was by the book and I even had them doing Ld checks for charge responses and after suffering 25% casualties and losing combat. They took to it immediately, especially CJ who liked looking up target numbers on the Combat and Wound charts; he even contradicted me correctly at one point saying he was still allowed his units full movement because "they've only done their free simple manoeuvre so far." Good lad!

Back to the battle....

CJ (commanding the Goodies and needing to capture Omzax) advances carefully, bringing all his forces around one side of the house:

EM, meanwhile, decides to try and bring his gunners around in a flanking manoeuvre so that he can recruit the wizard to his evil cause:

First contact! The peasants wade into each other with lesson one being learned - more models fighting in the front rank means more chances to cause wounds. Oh, and the charge bonus is pretty nifty, too.

Having made short work of CJ's peasants, EM's peasants themselves get charged in the rear by CJ's knights and are put to flight.

They survive the free hacks (how?!) and outstrip their slower pursuers...

... rally, and return charge...

...AND push the knights back!!!!

Before the inevitable slaughter happens:

Meanwhile, EM's knights survive the hail of fire from CJ's handgunners (just! All five hit and although one failed his save, the other three only rolled exactly what they needed) to slice and dice them as their charge carried them into contact:

But, in their state of reduced numbers, they were no match for CJ's knights who polished them off and then moved on to the handgunners, who were far less prepared than their late opposite numbers and had to receive the charge unloaded.

Leading to the inevitable...

Sir Christophe le Cygne looked grimly across the meadow, strewn as it was with fallen comrades and foes alike. Their job was not yet complete - the accursed wizard must be seized and brought to the king's justice. Cautiously they approached the hut and pushed open the door...

Zap! Zap! Zap! Squeeek!


And so, the little tykes are blooded and brought into the Oldhammer fold. A good evening's work! Next time they want wizards to be part of their forces. CJ wants mounted knights and EM wants monsters. I'm going to be busy keeping ahead of their requests. It's a hard life :)

À la prochaine,


  1. That is really fantastic! I can't wait to play with my kids....they are interested in painting...but not in the game at the moment. thanks for sharing...with us....and them!

    1. Cheers Blue! That's how mine started, too. However, all the tenets of oldhammer (strongly narrative, responsible for the other person's fun, characterful models) are spot on for children's stories and games. A quick, funny scenario with half a dozen figures each might just do the trick...

  2. Looks like great fun. My daughters are similar ages & are interested in my Blood Bowl games, while my 3 year old boy just thinks all my models are really cool. I must give them a go one rainy afternoon!

    1. Do it! I think a carefully GMed game of WFB or RT might be easier to start with than BB because the order of movement etc. is far less crucial. You can still have an enjoyable game if you're tactically incompetent, whereas I think BB might be less forgiving?

  3. I need to get Euan over yours to play too.

    (Or actually paint some models so I can play at mine.....)

    1. Get painting, mister! Not because I don't want you round here, but because it is so much fun to share with your own kid(s).

  4. Great stuff Rab good to see the next gen getting into it

    1. Ok, I'll admit, this isn't just about their enjoyment, there's a certain amount of self-interest:
      - well-trained opponents on tap
      - "But I'm buying/painting for our children, love!"
      - if I geekify them now, they're less likely to get invited to the sort of teenage parties that make me shudder when I overhear their aftermath at work

  5. Oh, I see. I get out Battle Masters to play with my kids and you have to go one better and bring out the 3rd ed. rule book - if I had known this Dadhammer thing was just about keeping up with the Jones...

    I'm off to supervise the boy writing up his first army list with Forces of Fantasy and then we'll have a game of 1st edition!

    Seriously though, nice scenario and I'm well impressed with your lad's grasp of the rules.

    Actually the next thing with mine is probably a bit of All Quiet on the Martian Front as he is obsessed with War of the Worlds and keeps mithering me about building Tripods - not sure where he got that from, ahem...

    1. Hahaha! I'm quite sure my two would much prefer that lovely big box of goodies than a dozen of "Daddy's figures" that they have to be ever so careful with :)

      As for the Martians, I can only applaud your excellent taste... and his! Sounds like you've got plenty of fun ahead of you.

  6. Mine are currently only allowed to play with plastic miniatures. Mainly to keep clumsy hands off my prized possessions. We have played some 40K lite but no 3rd ed as yet, certainly not full rules so bravo.

    Obviously we need to get together as adults for games first but if that all actually happens perhaps we will need to consider a Juniorhammer event?

    1. I was thinking about that, Erny, and have had a few ideas which I'll pool together in a later post. From the gathering in Newark I don't think we need to worry too much about competitive dad syndrome, and several other Dadhammer posts are kicking around between at least you, me and Thantsants so a Younghammer (see what I did there? Old / Young? Never mind) event might be feasible.

      I'm thinking Heroquest, small narrative game of 3rd, small narrative game of RT or the like (with careful GMing)...

    2. I like Younghammer! An event would be a great idea Erny - just need to get the creche services sorted out for the evenings though so we can go down the pub and be competitive Dads - or is that not in Younghammer Contract (to be written yet!).

      I'd be happy to contribute Battle Masters - or at least ask Harry if he'd like to bring it along. Heroquest is a must, but what about Goblin Quest?

      As toy cars and Dinosaurs have all made it surreptitiously onto the table when I've played games at home I wonder if having some kind of mad war game with whatever toys the kids fancy bringing along would be fun - with home brew rules of course.

    3. I'd be very happy to run Goblin Quest, or whatever it's called by then, especially as I should finally have my Itar's Workshop kickstarter dungeon pieces at some point in the next six months.

      Creche. Hmmm. Hadn't thought of the evening beer ticket...

      Younghammer Contract? Already under way!