Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Anarchy Reigns - My BOYL 2015 Experience

I spent most of my Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the weekend just gone attending events linked to the Oldhammer community’s ‘Bring Out Your Lead 2015’ event, hosted by Foundry in Newark.

The year’s event was the 3rd year it has run, evolving from a small and informal gathering of folks, playing a handful of games in 2013, to a much larger informal gathering! The main thrust of the event is the playing and mutual admiration of Games Workshop’s games from the late 1980s and early 1990s, with figures from the same era or ethos. A dozen participation games were planned across the weekend, using rules as diverse as Warhammer 3rd edition, Rogue Trader, Space Hulk, Mordheim and Blood Bowl, not to mention fantastic large-scale games using custom rules, such as Warhammer Ahoy and the Deathrace. There also seemed to be plenty of pick-up games taking place over the course of the weekend, including Space Crusade, Heroquest and Necromunda.

My weekend started pretty early on Friday morning when I collected Irish Oldhammerers Paul S (cheetor) and John (Just John) from East Midlands airport. We made the run up to Newark to drop off cases at hotels, before heading back down to Warhammer World for a pre-BOYL meet up and game of Inquisimunda. After food and a good natter with Aussie traveller James (Captain Crooks), we ended up playing an entertaining 9-player game with two factions (radical and slightly less radical) competing to activate / destroy a teleport homer device. My Ordo Malleus crew teamed up with Graham (Greater Harlequin) and his genestealer cult, John with Space Santa plus little helpers and Chris (antipixi) with his ash waste nomads. Facing us down were Gadge with his rogue trader, Colin (Whiskey Priest) with an inquisitor, Paul (cheetor) with another inquisitor and JB (Asslessman) with his Sensei.
The lay of the land. Teleport homer located at the top of the tower.

JB, Colin, Chris and Graham in action.

Graham’s genestealer cultists forged  ahead strongly, looking hot favourites to reach the objective first for the radicals, only for Graham to play a sneaky mission card and turn traitor and suffer the combined firepower of my Malleus crew and John’s ratlings. Latecomer Paul E joined in, and further decimated the ranks of the cult. Meanwhile, Paul S and Chris exchanged firepower, using their mission cards to try and earn points through big game kills.

Cheetor's miscellanous Ordo Xenos crew.

Eventually, with other characters hot on his heels, Graham’s genestealer managed to enter the objective tower and coordinate its limbs and claws to destroy the teleporter and win the game.

Graham's genestealer wins the day!

The fine leaders of the forces, enjoying a post-action soiree!

Fast forward to Saturday morning, and Paul E picked me up bright and early to get down to Foundry. After arriving at around 9.30, I had a quick mooch round, purchased a pack of the lovely previously unreleased RT adventurers, grabbed a coffee, and got set up for JB’s fun ‘Electric Goats’ game. I must confess, I largely missed the prime objective, overlooking entirely that my main aim was to go and activate some computer consoles to get some points…instead I ended up in a series of firefights with Ashley’s replicas. A series of poor dice rolls, and my poor Mafia gang got slaughtered.

The crew start setting up.

Chris' gang wonders if the nearby citizens are replicas.

Paul's detectives start on high walkways.

My mafia meet Ashley's gang. It doesn't end well, but that serves me right for opening fire first!

"Watch out lads! An electric goat!"

Next on the hit list was a visit to Kev Adams’ stall, where he very kindly sculpted a 28mm approximation of my face on a ratling in return for a donation to his charity (I’m 6’ 4”, so there’s some ironic scale reversals going on there!).

Kev's interpretation of my face - he specifically gave me a big nose, long chin and sideburns!
And while the micro-me was curing, I enjoyed a leaf through the wonderful artwork brought by Tony Ackland, chatting to the great man himself about the iconic images he drew for RT, Rogue Trader and so on (incredibly over 30 years ago!).

Photo of me viewing Tony's artwork shamelessly stolen from Ashley's blog - Little Lead People.

The early afternoon was devoted to a game of al fresco Blood Bowl in the sunny stable yard with Paul E. We played a nice, amiable game, with little bloodshed and a single score apiece.

Paul plots out the moves for his Undead team.

Then along came 5pm, and the inaugural game of ‘Anarchy in the UnderHive’. Paul S (cheetor), JB (Asslessman), Graham (Greater Harlequin) and Chris (antipixi) all brought a small gang of fortune hunters prepared to risk their necks in pursuit of cash, by aiming to escort a VIP to safety out of the Underhive, by reaching a lift shaft in the centre of the table. Each set their gang up in a corner of the board, needing to navigate a cargo area, shanty town, market place and hab units to reach safety. James (Tatsujin) and Jocham (Nibbl) gleefully took charge of the rioting anarchists, aiming to wipe the miscellaneous gangers off the face of the board. The game used a simplified system of Space Hulk 1st edition, with points for kills (10 per rioter, 50 per rival gang, 300 for escorting the VIP to safety). 

The multi-coloured tiddly winks were used to record kills.

Initial confidence of the gangers was reined in as wave after wave of rioters started whittling their ranks. Chris was getting  swamped, JB was largely unscathed, and Paul was cautiously making progress.

Paul's 1980s kids action TV series based gangers. Pity the fool.

Chris' ash waste nomads.

James deliberates on where to send the rioters next.

Graham's genestealer cult, looking for something to burn!

Graham was getting a real beating, but by using his flamer with abandon, he was racking up the kills. And then the tactics turned…Graham raised the stakes and first dealt critical blows to Chris’ and then JB’s gangs.
JB's gorgeous Venator gang.

As the game drew to a close, Chris, JB and Graham all were overrun, leaving Paul as the only gang to achieve the objective and see his VIP to safety. When the points were tallied, Paul and Graham tied on 430 points each. I judged Paul to be the overall winner as he a) achieved the objective and b) wasn’t a dirty double-crossing cheater! We finished off Saturday with some beers and chat, before Paul E and I retired for the evening.


Sunday morning came round bright and early. I watched the Deathrace guys set up the fantastic track, rather envious that my second outing of the Anarchy game meant I couldn’t participate.  The second run-out of Anarchy was as much a blast as the first. I felt a bit more relaxed as the first session had gone to plan. This time Paul E, James (Tatsujin), Jim (butchboy73) and Chico took on the challenge of escorting the VIPs, while John O (Just John) and John marshalled the riotors. 

Ready for the off.
The two Johns carefully co-ordinated the rioters, overrunning James early, and leaving the other gangs more intact.
James' gangers are swamped.
Paul E ramped up the pressure by knocking out Jim’s gang with his flamer. Chico in the meantime, was on the brink of being overrun, but was nailing rioter after rioter, first shot each time. As the game reached its climax, Paul made a run for the exit point, only to be shot up by Chico’s gang. In a stunning round of shooting, Chico rolled 6 after 6 to  clear the plaza around the lift shaft, and exit the board unopposed. At the final tally, Chico had blown away all rivals, scoring over 800 points!

Chico's deadeye Pit Slaves.

The Anarchy game was the first time I had run a participation game at an event, and I’m really pleased at how well it went. Graham was kind enough to spend a day playtesting, and it was well worthwhile – by and large we ended up with a fast-paced game, with minimal grey areas. The objective was challenging, but achievable, and even with 6 players involved, both games took just an hour and half to complete. The Space Hulk cinematic touches were really engaging too – every blip reveal or overwatch jam was greeted with the appropriate cries of disappointment or glee! Thanks to all 11 guys who joined in and made it such a fun experience.

If anyone wants to give the game a tryout, the rules we used were adapted from Space Hulk 1st edition and can be downloaded here.

 With the Anarchy game completed, my gaming commitments for the weekend were done. I enjoyed the opportunity to spend a few hours as a flitting observer, and dipped in and out of Deathrace, 3D Chainsaw Warrior, Advanced Space Crusade and some of the Blood Bowl games. 

Painting Competition Results
With the Deathrace completed, and lunch over, the final significant event of the day was the results of the painting competition. All through the weekend, folks had been putting some of their finest work into a display case for consideration in the competition. There were some exceptionally fine entries on show, with a delightful mix of models old and new, scifi and fantasy.

I didn't take photographs of my entry in the display cabinet - this is by Tony Yates of Shadowkings.

I was delighted when it was announced that I had won the open category with my entry I self-indulgently titled ‘Enter House Ulanti’. Regular readers of the blog will recognise all five of the figures here – Lord and Lady Greiss from my Colony 87 Kickstarter, Eduardo Murat (bodyguard), Barossus (tutor/advisor) and Lope (huntsman). I’ll cover the little display base in a future post. I was even more delighted to receive a fantastic prize from Foundry – an unreleased Marauder Wizard plus a very generous store credit note which was quickly and easily spent!

The other winners of the painting competition that I can remember were:

  • Sci-fi Single: Chris Webb’s Warzone figure
  • Sci-fi Unit: Drew Williams’ Space Marines
  • Sci-fi Vehicle: James Armstead’s Manga bike
  • Fantasy Single: James Taylor’s chef
  • Fantasy Large Figure: James Armstead’s giant

I don’t recall who won the fantasy unit unfortunately.

Just before 4pm, I packed up all my bits, said my farewells, and headed back home with my stash of new toys and trades.

My haul from the weekend!
I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, enjoyed meeting and spending time with folks familiar and new. The Foundry team are accommodating and generous hosts, and everyone involved in the organisation and scheduling of the weekend programme deserves a medal!

I can’t wait until 2016!


  1. Great write up Jon apart from the mention of dirty double crossing cheaters! I must admit fate did seem to throw me into that role for the weekend but in my defence it was all just part of the gameplay and added to the twists and turns of each game.......well that's my defence and I'm sticking to it !
    Shame you couldn't have run your game twice each day as it played so well.

    1. Twice each day might have been a bit of a drain, but there was certainly plenty of interest. I suspect we wouldn't have been short on other players, based on the number of people who wanted to have a player slot :)

  2. Great write-up Jon, and well done for winning the painting comp - I missed that bit so it was nice to see who won what. The AintheUH game was superb. If this was your first run of a participation game at an event I can't wait to see what you do in future years...but maybe next year you can be a participant and enjoy everyone else's hard work, as I did yours...thanks for a blast

    1. I'm already starting to think about something for next year Paul ;)

  3. Wow! What a full weekend :)

    You've piqued my interest now though, could you post up a pic of the unreleased RT adventurers that you got please?

    I'm glad that the Space Hulk game went well for you too :)


    1. Sorry, had a senior moment there :D

      They look great! Do you know if their for sale normally?


    2. Yes - the blister with the red foam. I'm not sure if they're going to be up for standard sale. I would suggest ringing Foundry and asking.

  4. That was excellent to get to share some of thos emoments with you IRL and the work on the AitUH was splendid. Rules went smoothly even for the poor souls like me who had never played them and the game itself was full of surprises (cheers Graham !)
    Getting to mix our models together to finally realise they all blend together so well was also a massive joy for me.

    PS : Kev might have been generous on the nose but the irony of the height is a real fun touch ;)

    1. Absolutely. It was fantastic to see so many cool people & cool figures in one place. No excuse not to play Space Hulk again JB ;)

  5. Great write up, was a great game on Sunday and I'd love to play it again. Double Barrel Loaded Dice eh?

    1. I've never seen so many 6s. That's all I'm saying :P

  6. Wow, looks like great fun. A bit of bloggers who's who as well!

    1. Haha! Yes, try and work out who is who :)

  7. My weekend was immeasurably improved by your contribution in everything from logistics to socialising Axiom, thanks.

    Coming up with something new to play next time is always appealing, but AitU is so slick and fast that it's worth considering getting it played again.

    Congrats on the Ulanti win. Time to cough up for Donna, it has to happen.

    1. Thanks Paul, there's a whole bunch of reciprocity there. Your motivational tactics during the build of AitU (do we have an acronym already?) were really helpful. I'd be delighted to do a redux next year if people wanted :)

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Thanks for the good company John and your gamesmanship as my replicants and your mafioso had a very long brawl between bouts of Kev Adams sculpting your face :) Btw I can't take the credit for the pic of you and Tony Ackland - my fiancé was on pic taking duty :)

    1. Please thank your fiancé for me then :)

  11. All this really looks so awesome! A shame I couldn't attend, I really must, I'm green with envy!

    1. Next year Suber? A greater international flavour would be fantastic (although I think there were 7 nationalities represented this year!)

  12. Looks like an amazing time was had. Second The One's request to see the RT figures up close, even if they are never released it is always interesting to see figures from that era.

    1. The figures can be seen painted on Marcus Ansell's blog. A couple are variants of Judge Dredd figures: http://paintedleadminiatures.blogspot.com/2015/03/unreleased-rogue-trader-period-models.html

  13. Great stuff, and congratulations on the win in the painting comp. Looks great and I would love to be able to attend one day (it's a long way from Australia though...)


    1. Agreed, it's a long way for you guys in the Southern hemisphere. James (aka Captain Crooks) did manage it though ;)

  14. Like everyone else who entered AitU, I really enjoyed it.....right up to the point were Paul E turned his chaps guns on mine and totalled them!! I was so sure I was going to sneak a win too...ah well, best laid plans of mice and men and all that :)
    Loved the House Ulanti figures but, to my mind, your AitU VIP based on the Landsknecht figures was inspiring, still searching for the parts to make my own. Thanks again for running AitU, John

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Jim! Great to meet you...perhaps you'll come off better next time round :)

      I'd love to see what you make in the same vein as the VIP!

    2. Nice to make your acquaintance too, John. Not too fussedsbiut the result, I'm very much a narrative gamer; for me it's the glory of playing in the vein of my character/group/army. Winning cones second which is just as well after witnessing Chico throw a years worth of sixes in one game :)
      I'll probably kitbash a figure inspired by your VIP using g Empire Great Swords parts. That strange looking creature you sculpted and that I "won" might make an interesting, exotic alien creature to go with the chap I kitbash. Just the thing for an Inquisimiunda retinue....