Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Some folk'll nevah eat a skunk, but then agin some folk'll...

With the work on the game more or less complete, I can now reveal that the full title of the Big Birthday Bash is....


Yes, once more the Axis of Naughtiness explores serious, completely historical wargaming, treating it with all the scholarly respect it deserves.  

The origin of this game was the purchase a few years ago of the two Hillbilly boxed sets by Blue Moon Manufacturing, the Hardfelts and the McCluckeys.  I'd bought their Victorian/Gothic Horror sets for GASLIGHT, and picking up the hillbillies was purely an impulsive whim. Over the following year or so, I tried to pick up any other hillbilly or redneck sets I could find from various manufacturers.  I know there are some Ground Zero Games 25mm figures in there (shimmed up with extra thick bases to compensate), and some from Mega Minis (that look somewhat orky)

The next piece of the puzzle came when my friend Dave gave me some old Atlantis toy vehicles over the course of a couple of years.  Now I'd already used a couple of trucks from that toy range for the GASLIGHT "Royal Horseless Artillery" self-propelled guns, and I was never quite happy with them.  They just looked too "modern" for my vision of Victorian Science Fiction gaming, and were a bit large for 28mm figures (although they're not scale models, I suspect they're close to 1/35 - 1/32 compared to the real world vehicles they're based on.  They would never be compatible with any other vehicles scaled for use with 28mm figures (which tend to range from 1/43 to 1/64 depending on taste)  It did, however, occur to me that if you weren't too fussy, with a little conversion they might be usable as obsolete larger lorries/trucks, provided there weren't any similar styled vehicles to compare them with.

And so it came to pass that I decided I wanted to gather my friends for a big game for my birthday this year, and when I sent out the invite, pitching the usual GASLIGHT VSF game, I got at least one response back suggesting other games we could play.  It was a ... senu-reasonable response.  It's true that the big gatherings have all tended to be GASLIGHT games in the past.  Of course we hadn't actually done so in over two years so I'm not convinced there was a desperate need to try something different, but since the point of the weekend was for everyone to have as much fun as possible, I figured we could look at some alternatives.

So I went back to the lead mountain and looked at what games I could put together, with two months of not to strenuous work.  Compatibility with all the terrain I had for GASLIGHT meant it would be 28mm, so in the end I pitched the ideas of (1) a GASLIGHT game (never say die!) (2) Modern gang combat (using Foundry Street Violence & similar figures) (3) a Zombie Apocalypse game (I was planning to make this a Victorian period game, so all that would be needed would be to paint up the zeds)  Almost as a whim, I added on "Feudin' Hillbilly Game" as option (4)

The revised responses came back.  Most were "Whatever you want to play, we're happy".  One was in favour of the Zombie Apocalypse, but I knew that one of the other players doesn't like the zombie genre.  Finally a vote came in for the Hillbilly Game.  As the discussion continued, another potential player said "that would have been my second choice."  Followed shortly after by a "Me too" from a third player.  It became clear that option (4) was the best overall compromise.

The idea took on a life of its own.  Naturally fancy dress would be de rigeur for the day.  One of our group who dabbles with his own still (purely for personal use) offered to make us a batch of moonshine.  The birthday meal was always going to be a barbecue, but instead of the usual burgers, someone suggested more hillbilly meats, which is why I have a freezer full of squirrels and an order of wild rabbits on the way and I've been practising preparing some other staples of southern US quisine (grits, cornmeal muffins, biscuits and sausage gravy)  Finally I'm told "Tucker & Dale vs Evil" is a must-watch for the evening movie entertainment.

I'll post more pics of the finished game components as the week goes on. and discuss some of the issues this game has brought up.  While it's definitely not a serious game, it's generated a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas that I think can be applied to the wider wargaming world.  I'll leave you with a few close-up pics of the hillfolk.  While you know I make no claims as a figure painter and rely on a "daub & dip" technique using Army Painter Quickshade to get figures to an acceptable tabletop standard, I'm really happy with how this technique has brought out a lot of the character in these sculpts.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a squirrel marinading in Budweiser & Old Bay that ain't gonna barbecue hi'self.  Y'all come right back now, d'ye hear?


  1. I've been looking for 25mm modern housing for a 2nd American Civil War setting. Where is that house from i'd love to buy some? Also, as a man from the south, biscuits and gravy are a staple, you have chosen the food well! I look forward to observing these mountain man shenanigans

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  3. They look great, reminds me of the wife's family reunion.