Fiends in Waistcoats Copyright 2012-2014 Robert Audin all rights reserved
The Zombie Incident of 1888 Copyright 2013-2014 Robert Audin all rights reserved
The Great Occult War Copyright 2014 Robert Audin all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kirby Down but Not Out at Games Workshop

Now I don’t normally blog about news issues here but the turmoil in the halls of power in the Evil Empire effects all of us in the wargaming community whether we want to admit it or not. Mr. Tom Kriby has been forced out of the CEO position but he is still Chairman of the Board so most likely brutal infighting will occupy the halls of power at Notingham for some time to come. Here is a link to the GW annual report.

Here are my personal thoughts on Kriby’s preamble note passages in italics are direct quotes from the preamble.

Games Workshop has had a really good year.
If your measure of 'good' is the current financial year's numbers, you may not agree. But if your measure is the long-term survivability of a great cash generating business that still has a lot of potential growth, then you will agree.”
No company has a good year when they lose one fourth of their value. This is why he’s not CEO anymore but he refuses to accept it.

“Having taken on the conversion of our stores to a one man format with all the concomitant complexity of staff changes and new sites and new lease negotiations – a long job not quite finished – we decided to re-arrange the management of our sales channels from a country-based system to a central one. This meant removing four European headquarters, consolidating all trade (third party) sales personnel at our Nottingham base, creating a new continental European grouping of our retail stores, and recruiting new management for these divisions whilst flattening the structure by removing all middle management. At the same time we changed leadership of our retail chain in the North American area, and gave birth to our new web store after many months’ labour.”  Looking beyond the megalomaniacal even fetish like need to try and control a world wide retail company from one location this illustrates that Mr. Kirby has no idea what sort of business he’s in. Let me start by stating that even if Mr. Kirby understood wargming and had good business sense GW would lose market share. Why because GW gained it’s preeminence prior to the rise of the internet. In the 90’s the majority of Sci-fi and fantasy wargamers in the West played one of GW’s core games that's no longer the case now that smaller companies can reach gamers through the internet. Now here’s why Mr. Kirby doesn’t have a clue, GW made the most profit in its history during the mid 2000’s with their LOTR Strategy Battle Game they did this even though internet gaming stores were well established by this time, they did this by bringing in an entirely new group of people excited by the LOTR films through their fleet of very visible high street stores. No other company could have done that and now thanks to Mr. Kirby’s reorganization GW can’t ever do it again. His one man store model will never bring in anywhere near the numbers of new people to GW as the high street model did. What’s worse his naïve belief that the internet will increase GW sales the last thing GW should want is gamers shopping on the internet. On the internet gamers are confronted with a cornucopia of games with prettier models, more interesting rules and cheaper prices. That doesn't help GW's bottom line.

“In the technological world we occupy there is constant debate over who 'innovates' and who merely copies. We have, this last year, spent an indecent amount of your money trying to stop someone stealing our ideas and images. It is a very difficult thing to do when it is done through a legal system designed to prevent people stealing hogs from one another. Our experience has probably been typical of most – far too much money spent on far too little gain. The argument is that we have to do this or we will, bit by bit, lose everything that we hold dear, everything that keeps the business going.” I read this as the board feels he’s spending too much on lawyers. The 0.3 million reduction in legal costs cited in the year end reports suggests to me the tide of IP lawsuits is beginning to recede.

“Because no one seems able to grasp the essential simplicity of what we do there has always been the search for the Achilles heel, the one thing that Kirby and his cronies have overlooked. These are legion.” Actually Mr. Kirby seems incapable of understanding the simplicity of Games Workshop it’s a company that makes games people want to play and miniatures people want or can afford to buy. Interest in GW's core games has been dropping for some time now and a large segment of people who would like to purchase GW miniatures feel they can’t afford them anymore. 

Sorry I had to get that off my chest.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Victorian Zombie Sources

More West Wind zombies.
Now that I've decided on my project I took a moment to look up "Victorian zombies" on Google not much comes up other than this DC graphic novel and this ridiculously cheesy hoax. That's what happens when you have a population of idiots who never read a book in their lives. Make a Google image search of "Victorian Zombies" and you'll get images of the fine West Wind zombie box set, various cos-players and Clint. Not actually an image of a zombie Clint* an image of the Foundry Undead Cowboys he painted.

I will give you my readers two Victorian Zombie sources I've actually found useful. The first is a thread on Lead Adventurers Forum Zombie Hunting with Style by Papa Midnight and the second is this interesting article from the Utah Children's Writers. In addition to these sources I feel when one is considering the Zombie Apocalypse one must consult the one and only definitive source Dawn of the Dead by George A Romero.

I feel that the only way to get that post Apocalypse feel for Victorian London it to have smashed carriages, overturned costamonger carts and corpses littering the streets.  The new Roadkill limited addition release by Johnny Borg Castings formally of Mega Miniatures has solved my dead horses dilemma the decomposed horse looks like its served as a feast for zombies. Besides nothing says the fall of the British Empire like a dead bulldog. The goat, sheep and mermaid corpses will become Pirate gaming objective markers. Flat rate $10 world wide shipping will be a steal for non Americans.

*This blog can't definitively claim that Clint is or is not a zombie so for legal purposes this blog urges anyone encountering Clint on the street should proceed with caution.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Past Becomes The Future

 Zombies from the West Wind EOTD Zombie Box Set painted by me.
Let me tell a story from the past; it was 2009 as many of you recall Zombie Apocalypse gaming was all the rage that's when I first began to check out wargaming blogs on blogger. I started following a then little know blog called vampifans world of the undead where I found out about WWG printable card buildings and a zombie wargame that could be played cooperatively or even solo called All Things Zombie (ATZ) by an American company called 2Hour Wargames. I played this game using die cast cars and printed card buildings just the way you see Bryan playing it on his blog above it was a blast!

When West Wind Miniatures put out there box set of Victorian Zombies naturally I had to have them. (You can get them too direct from West Wind here.) I purchased one along with the other EOTD boxes sets as soon as they became available. The boxed set was for EOTD to represent the 10 model Zombie Mob that some factions could purchase in the game. This notion of Victorian Zombies stated rattling around in my head I'd bang my head against the wall in an effort to dislodge it but I just couldn't get this idea out of my head. The name of a Victorian Zombie project popped out of my head "The Zombie Incident of 1888" I blogged about it and even came up with a survivor concept you can see here. But these were just fragments really a vague notion that I would add random zombies to my EOTD games. That wasn't the idea rattling around in my head I can't contain it any longer I'm just going to let it out and act on it. The idea in my head is a full on Victorian Zombie Apocalypse.

PS I've added Colgar6's fine blog to my roll I don't know how I missed it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Member and a Return to the Past

 Let me give a  warm welcome and a gratuitous period photograph to our newest member Will Mays.

I've added a few new blogs to my reading list; Ray's Don't Throw a 1, The Dark Templar, Cianty's Tabletop Wargames Blog, Der Feldmarschall and Mr. Sheets' Brass & Blood great name that one. In an effort to prevent a blog roll implosion I'm deleting blogs that become inactive for more than three months so if you want to remain on it post at least once a month. Even with this careful blog roll gardening I suspect I'll have trouble keeping up with every post on every blog but I'll try my best.
 Astute readers may notice a new section to the blog called "Games" below "Who I Read" in this section I list the game systems I'll be focusing on in this blog over the coming months.
And yes I'm laying aside the summer fling of Pirates (Pirates are always a summer fling for me, I have a seasonal aspect to my gaming) away until next summer to try an get ahead on this years Halloween project. More on that next post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Creepy Magazine The First Illustrated Horror Magazine

It a very stormy night here in New York the thunder sounds like booming cannon and the lightning flashes illuminate my apartment like a disco strobe light. A night like this seems like a good time to tell you about my childhood friend Uncle Creepy. Uncle Creepy was the best friend a ten year old boy could have twice a week he introduced me to a world of monsters, murder and Gothic madness. What more could a little boy wish for? Uncle Creepy was the narrator of Warren Publishing's Creepy Magazine the best and now largely forgotten Gothic horror comic anthology. Warren's last comic creation Vampirella is the only one that is remembered today.  Its a real shame because from 1964 (the year I was born by the way) until its end in 1983 when Warren Publishing went bankrupt it consistently produced high quality Gothic Horror from the worlds best illustrators.
The artist who grace the pages of Creepy Magazine included Neal Adams, Dan Adkins, Reed Crandall, Johnny Craig, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Gray Morrow, Alex Toth, Rafael Aura Leon, Luis Garcia and Fernando Fernandez just to name a few. As you can see from the page pictured below Creepy Magazine was a comic not illustrated stories despite the use of the word "magazine" in the title.  Printing Creepy in magazine size and claiming it was a magazine for adults allowed Warren to skirt the Comics Code Authority click on this link if you want to know more about that travesty. I can assure the "magazine" was actually for kids it cost the same as a regular comic and was sold the same place where comics where sold.  I never had any trouble buying it when I was 10.
One of the staples of Creepy Magazine was the use of public domain classic stories where the plot was slightly re-writen to make them a little different like the long running story "The Coffin of Dracula" below, which was a reworking of Dracula.
 There were plenty of original stories too.
Warren's policy of asking  the artists what they wanted to draw resulted in some unusual stories.
Top rate artists were expensive and Warren Publishing started loosing money so some fantasy and sci-fi content was added in hopes of increasing sales and finally special themed issues were put out.
The introduction in 1969 of a completely new magazine staring the sex kitten Vampirella held Warren Publishing up for a time but in the end bankruptcy was the inevitable outcome.
My favorite part of Creepy Magazine as a kid was the "Loathsome Lore" section on the first page of each magazine where Uncle Creepy tolls off some deliciously gruesome facts. See examples below.
So when people ask me how did I get into Gothic Horror gaming I tell them my Uncle Creepy got me into it.

For those of you driven to the point of suicide because you missed out on a childhood with Creepy Magazine don't despair the Internet Archive has preserved these magazines for posterity. In fact all the images in this post are taken from PDF issues I downloaded free from the Internet Archive. Click here to get all the magazines you could want.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Put on Your Flapper Dress and Dance!

Richard Garretson's Pulp Egypt Gallery is here! You can view all 109 images here. This gallery is broken down into two distinct sections; the first is life in a sleepy Arab village on the Nile, the
second is a thrilling pulp adventure set in hither to unknown Ancient Egyptian Temple complex.
Now I did not post a link to this gallery yesterday because a software glitch scrambled the order of the 109 images utterly obliterating the story thread of the pulp adventure. Some of you may have found the gallery yesterday. If you did you all saw the gallery in a jumbled state and completely missed out on the pulp adventure! So please use this link to view the gallery in the order the artist intended.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Richard Garretson Pulp Egypt Preview

I did a series of posts on miniature collector and friend Richard Garretson post1, post 2, and post 3. In post 3 I previewed the gallery he was currently working on 28mm Pulp Egypt. I'm happy to say that this monumental project has been completed. He is in the midst of creating the online photo gallery of this project as I type. The photo gallery will be announced on the Lead Adventures Forum, TMP, and this blog once it is ready for the viewing public. This is the largest layout he has ever attempted it consists of two tables. Here is the man himself getting the layout ready for the photographer.
And be fore Clint asks, yes there are camels.
For me seeing this completed will be the highlight of my summer.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrate Independence Day

In case you where unaware July 4th is the day everyone in America marks their independence from stodgy olde England. It doesn't matter if your American or not come on and ring that liberty bell!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Alive alive O

I had wanted to use this video last week but couldn't find it on youtube until after I posted. Noah Danby's Buzzie Burke is Copper's physical embodiment of official corruption as Joseph Mawle's Det. Insp. Jedediah Shine is for Ripper Street. Tammany used ruthless gang leaders like Buzzie to control the poor neighborhoods through violence and intimidation. The fact that they also controlled the police made this practice danger free, as the police where forbidden to arrest Tammany gangsters.

Ripper Street has many parallels with Copper both Ripper Street's Det. Insp. Edmund Reid and Copper's Insp. Kevin Corcoran are both obsessed with the violent death of their daughters and are estranged from their wives. Both detectives are driven to see that criminals are brought to justice. The cities in which the respective shows are set are both in mortal fear of a recurring horror in the case of London Jack the Ripper for New York the race riots. All these similarities and more had originally lead me to believe that the BBC was hiding Copper form the British public because Ripper Street has taken so much from copper but upon reflection it maybe because Copper is also a chronicle of the struggle of the Irish to gain political standing in America. A show about Irish taking over maybe deemed too scary fro the British public.