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'Blood and Snot'
'What is your take on the Warhammer universes (Both Fantasy and 40k)?'
© 2017 James LaFond
-Bruno Dias June 29, 2017 5:50 PM UTC
Bruno, I have played Warhammer, Warhammer 40K and Warhammer Roleplay.
I know nothing about the 40K Universe, but loved the game. Once, while attending the grand opening of a game store that was selling my Tribes RPG source books and hosting my playtesting sessions, the Strategic Castle in Belair, MD, two representatives from Games Workshop, the corporate geek entity based in England, and, I think, headed by a nerd named Priestly, with the nick name “Chainsaw,” invited myself and a Napoleonic miniatures player named Frank—who is the Rommel of war-gaming in the Baltimore area—to play a battle between two squads of Space Marines and a bunch of unsavory aliens in three varieties. The moderator placed me with a young kid on one side of the table and Frank with two kids on the other. When I saw Frank take these kids in a huddle I knew it was curtains. He was detailing them to conduct a direct soak-off attack on my partner while flanking me. He once outflanked as the Turks, with the Grand Vizier in command [like putting Obama in the field], who only has a 15% chance of bringing in his outflanking force—and the fucker rolled a 1 and 30K Saphis hit the Austrian army in the flank and sent them into oblivion. That’s Frank, forever confident that he can roll snake eyes or boxcars—the Alexander the Great of table top gaming.
The point is, that as I conducted a staged retreat while my impetus co-commander got overrun, I noticed that there was a simple elegance to the game design that permitted Frank to flex his manic battle consciousness in a very realistic fashion. As for the setting, I have not examined it.
The Warhammer Fantasy Battle rules system likewise imparts a brutal elegance to the combat, taking roleplaying back to the origins of the Dungeons & Dragons precursor, Chainmail, a pamphlet for miniatures combat. Importantly, firearms are a facet of this Renaissance Era system, the designers not consigning the players to a heavily Tolkienesque setting.
The setting for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is very English, very grimy, and fraught with menace and political corruption. Traditional American Role Playing Games are too cosmopolitan, too modernist in their sensibilities and not nearly dirty and smelly enough for my taste. The setting, while vey English in texture, is predominantly Late Medieval Germanic in structure, with the game set in an alternative Holy Roman Empire, a conglomeration of principalities and mercantile oligarchies knitted together under an oppressive church. The underpinnings of the realm are infused with evil and the Empire itself is situated much like Christendom, surrounded by such realms as Araby.
What I can remember of the setting from 30 years ago has me wondering if Games Workshop has since been censored into either oblivion or blandishment. At the time I was writing role playing material in the late 80s and early 90s, Warhammer was regarded, somewhat sneeringly by competing game company designers as a “blood and snot” sub-genre of fantasy.
I am searching on line for some links to their material which I will post below.
Bruno, thanks for the walk down the memory hole.
My novel Beyond the Pale is partially inspired by the Warhammer concept, though more largely influenced by Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun.
Beyond the Pale:
The most underappreciated writer of our age:
Warhammer Links:
Skulker Jones: A Tale of Dark Deviltry at the End of Caucasian Time
Skulker Jones is the sequel to A Hoodrat Halloween and an urban horror tale of a failed man looking for a final saving grace.
‘Death Keeps no Calendar’
Tabletop to Computer Gaming
when you're food
the greatest lie ever sold
the fighting edge
advent america
songs of aryas
J     Jul 3, 2017

Here is the cinematic trailer for the latest computer game version of 40k. It piqued my interest in the 40k universe, as I was previously unfamiliar with it.
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