"NO BLADES, NO BOWS. LEAVE YOUR WEAPONS HERE."
Thank you, goblin-friend, for bothering to click on my avatar. You're very welcome to browse through my gaming comments, look up what I gave a "ten" to, and see what I've contributed to this marvellous site. If you're feeling extra friendly, drop me a message - especially if you're on the wrong side of thirty and still playing with toy soldiers, while making dakka-dakka-dakka
sound effects as you cast dice like you're at a Mandalay Bay craps table, surrounded by alluring, heavy-chested ladies.
If, however, you arrived through the front gate by mistake, my kobold assistant Moblug will help you with your cloak, and escort you to my special guest chamber
.MOST RECENT MINIATURE-GAMING OBSESSIONS:
Here's the deal. If you like what you've read or seen on my profile - or want to add yourself as a gratefully-recieved Geekbuddy - then please thumb
a picture. It's kind of like a guestbook, letting me know who's been, and rewards my humble labours in a small but important way.
Also, please excuse the rambling nature of the content below - written when I can be bothered, to amuse only me.GAMING PROJECTS 2013:
Finish painting or pimping all the Mansion of Madness
miniatures, including expansions.
Paint all the unique War of the Ring models.GAMING PROJECTS 2012: Finish work on The Day the Invaders Came (working title). Finish making a huge asteroid field, black hole, gas giant rings, and other space debris for A Call to Arms: Star Fleet.
Paint and base biker gang for *just for me* apocalyptic road warrior game.
Finish assembling and painting my 28mm Roman gladiatorial arena. Build a scale model of Shelob's Lair for LoTR Tradeable Miniatures game.GAMING PROJECTS 2011: Finish polishing Revolver 2: Last Stand at Malpaso until it gleams like gold in a pan. Finish playtesting my Jaws: Deep Red Sea project.
Start thinking about my long-cherished Thunderbirds
project(this one may never happen).
Finish my Alien boardgame project.
Start work on my Salem's Lot
card game project.GAMING PROJECTS 2010:
Reduce number of gaming projects...
Build a scale, hex-flagstoned Second Hall and Bridge at Khazad-Dum for LoTR Tradeable Miniatures game. Build a scale model of Amon Hen for LoTR Tradeable Miniatures game. Build a scale model of Moria's West-gate for LoTR Tradeable Miniatures game. Build a model battlefield, including forest and cityscape, for Mechwarrior. Finish playtesting my Aliens: This Time it's War card game.
Finish playtesting my Damned Hot Work
and Rattlesnake Creek
wargame miniature rules.
Finish playtesting my Dracula Must Die!card game.
Complete work on secret Mampang project.
Finish playtesting my The Things card game expansion.GAMING PROJECTS 2009: Build a scale, hex-flagstoned Chamber of Mazarbul for LoTR Tradeable Miniatures game. Give Star Wars Original Trilogy Risk a little spit and polish.
Finish my Doctor Who
Finish painting my BattleLore armies. Finish my Doctor Who: The Twelve Doctors cardgame. Revisit my Starship Battles house rules and custom cards. Paint, flock and scatter GW's Realms of Battle Gameboard. Paint GW's Mighty Empires expansion set. Build a 3D 15mm version of Victoria Cross. Create custom advantage deck for Jack the Ripper.GAMING PROJECTS 2008:
Make stat-cards for Starship Troopers.
Build a Wild West town for Gutshot.
Convert Clash of the Gladiators into a miniatures game
Construct 3D hex scenery for BattleLore and Memoir'44
Build a dice tower
Assemble terrain for Battlefield Evolution. Gather/paint miniatures for "Lost World" Gaslight scenarios.GAMING PROJECTS 2007: Convert Space Hulk into an ALIENS-themed game. Convert Star Trek Red Alert into a 3D miniatures game. Create workable House Rules for Zombies!! and Starship Battles
Replace plastic models in Knizia's LOTR game with painted miniatures
Create Gollum variant for Knizia's LOTR game.MUTTERINGS FROM THE SPIDER-RULED LANDS:Once, in a land called Nanglangka
, there were three Spider-Kings. Now this is a place that you wouldn't have heard of unless you listened to the grisly whispers of goblins under midnight trees, or read the forbidden leather-bound chronicles of wizards. This choatic land was ancient and degraded and had had many rulers, though none were as spiteful as the three spiders that ruled in the days of this tale.
Each sat in squalid courts, fat, wicked and brooding; plotting foul plots and spinning dark spells. Always seething, never sleeping, deep inside their mountainous lairs. Never daring to raise so much as a mandible in the direction of another king. Diabolic ambition was kept under tight lock and key. Until now: The Night of the Twisted Moon
...WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT MYSELF?
Firstly, why do I submit so many photographs when writing is my first love? “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Ansel Adams
(American Photographer, 1902-1984)
I have been an avid player of games since I could walk and talk, encouraged by my Dad. We had Risk, Go, Frustration, Escape from Colditz, Chess
, and Monopoly
. These were the only treasures in our iron-bound games chest. Skilfully, my father used these blunt tools to craft a geek.
And there my geek-story might have ended, had he not then turned his hand to writing Tunnel & Trolls
dungeons for me to explore, skillet of dice in hand...
So, after a childhood spent daydreaming about aliens, goblins, trolls, snake-people, voluptuous women, and vampires, I discovered Boardgamegeek and now have happily given up all connection with the accepted adult reality to immerse myself in the marvellous worlds of card games, and board games, and the construction and painting of miniatures. I also have a
healthy interest in videogames - though the time to play them is shrinking, especially with my understanding girlfriend Kate,
2 cats, and
4 3 2 1
0 rabbits, to maintain. And a beautiful daughter: Charlotte (Hopeful I never have to strikethrough her name!)
I love movies. I read when time permits.
I have written two books: The Spider's Eye
, and The Strange & Perilous Adventures of Octopus Pickle: A Curious Happening at the Stroke of Midnight
*Selected illustrations from The Spider's Eye
, by talented artist Matthew Kavanagh:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/233569
*The first 15 chapters of Octopus Pickle
My collection of games is probably too big - though not when compared to some of the geeks found hereabouts! I also possess an extensive selection of RPGs: Cthulhu, Grimm, Delta Green D20, Hollow Earth Expedition, James Bond, Tunnels&Trolls, AD&D, Ghostbusters, Seventh Sea, Star Wars, Ringworld, Megatraveller, Toon, Runequest, Werewolf, Doctor Who, Vampire, Castle Falkenstein, Judge Dredd, FASA's Star Trek
- it saddens me that I get to play these the least.
I have a pretty good set of gameboooks too: Fabled Lands, Sorcery!, Grailquest, Sagard, Endless Quest, Fighting Fantasy, Golden Dragon, Cretan Chronicles, Lone Wolf, Falcon
I still love fantasy gamebooks - it must be said that in 1982, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
steered my life in a different direction to where it was headed. Picking up that book; well, that moment was the gem-encrusted poniard that pierced my soul, letting the sorcerous energies of gaming wash, like raging floodwaters, over every fibre of my being. Warlock
then led me by the crooked nose down dungeons deep and caverns old to T&T
, and then onto D&D
, then AD&D
, and then, before I realised, I had become a fully ordained brother, with silver-trimmed robes, of the geek brotherhood! I worship respectfully at the altar of Professor Steve Jackson (who I have met), author of the truly magnificent Sorcery!
books, and, of course, Russ Nicholson (who I have not met); who is the world's greatest fantasy artist - why he hasn't released an artbook is a huge mystery - standing just ahead of Dorian Cleavenger, Martin McKenna, and Keith Parkinson, IMO.How did I get to this Geek-waypoint?
Well, I started with the aforementioned selection of games, and then slipped into gamebooks and RPGs. I played these to death between playing Blood Royale, Talisman
, and Axis & Allies
. Then came a chance encounter with a Factory Deck of Magic: The Gathering.
That ended all life as we know it. Darkness. Silence.
Many years passed, until I moved cities due to career progression; I took this opportunity to sever all ties with the game and most of the people who played it.What happened next?
Ebay. I sold all my cards. Every one. And all my Star Trek cards, BattleTech, and anything else CCG flavoured. All purged. Then I bought Knizia's Lord of the Rings
game. Liked it. Bought the Knizia's Confrontation
game too. Loved that.How did this lead to BGG?
I stumbled across BGG while looking for a review of Dread Pirate
. I thought that the components looked great and I wondered about the gameplay. A quick scan with Google brought me here. After lurking for many moons, I have never looked back. I also like rating things, and after playing so many games, that quirky passion fills 10 minutes now and again here, as games go up and down in my estimation. Funny thing I have also noticed: most game designers, especially the better known guys, don't rate any games on their profiles. Do they get flack or something? Maybe one day I'll find out. I'm probably safe from internet brawls if I don't rate my own games. Probably. If I ever "make it" as a games maker, I will not stop rating games - I pledge that to you now. Playing and talking about games is my central passion, after all. I suppose these desingers are fearful of getting into an awkward situation with the actual designer of a game and have to defend their commentary. That could be it. So I'd better watch what I put about the Warlock of Firetop Mountain boardgame!Why have you got a Game Designer badge?
No, I'm not a pretentious twat - when you submit a game you designed, they bolt the badge on to your avatar. There is no decision in this by the individual; it's automatic.What games are they?http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamedesigner/26628/mark-ch...Game hacking?
I've always altered, bettered, streamlined the boardgames that I've owned, almost always to positive response. My oldest and best friend, and I, have even designed a few Doctor Who board games, usually around a Dalek Invasion of Earth theme, mixed with a sprinkling of Escape from Colditz
. Geek!When did you find the time to fill up this page?
Ah. You got me. I had an real easy office job for a time. Also I get bored at about 1am and usually feel the need to type something (I don't seem to need as much sleep as some folks).Why the Q&A?
I'm a lazy SOB.What's your favourite book?
The Hobbit. I doubt that will ever change.Name a couple of your favourite movies, so I might judge your tastes?
Heat, Zemeckis' Beowulf, Sherlock Holmes, The Big Lebowski, Saving Private Ryan, Klute, Jaws, For a Few Dollars More, Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Runaway Train, The Thing, Aliens, Alien, Carlito's Way, Apocalypse Now, Wall Street, The Shining, and Fright Night.Best fight scenes?
The Château fight in Matrix Reloaded
; Lobby scene in The Matrix
, obviously; the gun battle in Heat
; and the marvellous fight between Achilles and Hector in Troy
. I also love the starship battle between Jango Fett and Obi-wan in the outer rings above Geonosis - the high-pitched zap, zap, zap of Slave One's turbolasers, and that absence of sound followed by the twang of the seismic drop-mines going off, shattering asteroids is absolutely brilliant (the sound design on Attack of the Clones
was amazing).Top action/adventure sequence?
The entire Mines of Moria segment from The Fellowship of the Ring
, starting at the West gate with the badass Watcher in the water; through the Chamber of Mazarbul featuring the masterful "They have a cave troll" fight; and across the Hall of Trees, fleeing from the fiery doom of Durin's Bane. Amazing from start to finish.Fave James Bond film?
Without a doubt: The Spy Who Loved Me
Best theme music: "Nobody does it better" by Carly Simon - the first theme song in the James Bond series to be titled differently from the name of the movie, although the title is
in the lyrics. The opening credits of naked ladies swinging off Lugers, wearing only Ruskie hats is fantastic - it was also the first to actually feature Bond himself in silhouette.
Best opening adventure: the downhill ski chase and Bond's escape via a Union Flag parachute off the top of a dizzyingly high mountain.
Best megalomaniac billionaire villain: shipping tycoon Karl Stromberg. Just don't shake his webbed hand.
Best super-villain hideout: Stromberg's exotic underwater Atlantis
base in Sardinia - it's got a freakin' shark tank with which to despatch unwanted guests or traitorous secretaries. Always useful. It is also outfitted with domes that cover over the helicopters, opening upon rising to the surface.
Best soundtrack: listen to The Ride to Atlantis
- it's amazingly good. Also the rest of the music is more disco-orientated - which I happen to like, obviously.
Best evil plot: stealing British and Soviet ballistic-missile submarines, using a pimped-out supertanker, the Liparus.
He must also own a henchman outfitters - how many red jump suits did all his goons have? His ultimate goal was to recreate a new civilisation underwater - don't we all?
Best evil henchwoman: Caroline Munro as Naomi: Stromberg's personal pilot and assassin. Easy, tiger.
Best gadget: Submersible-enabled Lotus Esprit. Sexy.
Hot chicks: Valerie Leon, Barbara Bach, and aforementioned Caroline Munro.
Bond is so badass in this: he brutally shoots Stromberg 4 times, twice in the stones. Not to mention the cold blooded way he flicks his tie, making Sandor fall from the rooftop after he mumbles "Pyramids." Typically, folks presume Moore's Bond was a bit lightweight - without reviewing the evidence.
Don't get me wrong, I really liked the reboot Casino Royale
with Easter Island statue-faced Daniel Craig and super-hot Eva Green. It was a brilliant action movie that just happened to have a hero called James Bond within its structure. I just felt that it wasn't a real
Bond film. No gadgets, no conveyor belt of lusty spies to bed, no super-villains to thwart, and no underwater battles. Oh, and no god-damn theme tune.Favourite bit of fantasy fluff?
Christina Hendricks. Closely followed by gastronome Nigella Lawson, Sara Stone, and Karina Hart.Comedy character?
That would have to be Alan Partridge. No contest. Greatest comedy creation in my lifetime, by the talented Mr Coogan.Fave band?
The Decemberists. However, my favourite album would be Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.Fave Scooby Doo character?
Stupid question. Don't know why I asked myself it! Anyhow: Cartoon Daphne. Especially in wrestling gear in "Wrestle Maniacs," or Hex girl outfit in "Fear of the Phantom." I'm a huge Scooby Doo fan - the new look for Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
is superb. I might design a Scooby game sometime. There's one in my head, incubating.Top fantasy monster?
Giant spiders. Every game and film should have at least one. My second choice would be goblins - who have only been done justice by Blix, in Ridley Scott's Legend.TV series?
My pinnacles would be Cheers and LA Law. Nothing else consistently reaches the bar for me. I also love Game of Thrones; and like Walking Dead, Dexter, Nip/Tuck, Californication, True Blood, Morse, and Futurama.Fave place in the world?
Other than between a heaving pair of bosoms? Portmeirion. It's where they filmed McGoohan's The Prisoner
, and I find on a sunny unhurried day that it's the most spellbinding location on Earth.Any pet hates about the BGGeek?
Sure. Don't you? I'm not in the mood for pouring out a stream of negativity, but here's four things:
1. "Geekdo". WTF? RPGeek is a name, but, oh lordy, not Geekdo [holds head in hands]. Seems that they have now jettisoned this name. Hoorah!
2. I dislike how ruddy tight a lot of folk here on BGG are with gifting their thumbs. Why, oh why, do they thumb inane comments rather than the picture or thread? Somebody spent precious time writing an article, or taking a photo. Thumbs drive people to contribute content. Fact. So, why do dumb asses thumb a smart Alec comment and leave the actual content thumb-free?
3. I object to the way "Freedom of Speech" seems to be a warm blanket to cloak individuals, while they post insulting comments about other BGG members or their games. Bad show.
4. People who rate games a "1". They haven't played the games, usually, and it's nearly always a form of attack against the makers, designer, or publisher by weak-minded individuals. Don't like how GW operate? Don't rate Space Hulk a "1"; just choose not to buy GW's products.Miniatures?
I have unearthed, through BGG, my old passion for miniatures, painting, and building scenery, etc. I found to my surprise that I was a little bit better at it all than I remembered - which was nice. And, no, I haven't painted every single model that I've photographed. I simply do not have the time, or in some cases, the composite skill. It's a blessing, sometimes, to discover a wonderful game that has pre-painted figures, ready to go straight from the box; I'm talking about AT-43, here, and it's smashing.
You know that you have an obsession with models when you can safely brag to anyone who'll listen, that you have the world's largest collection of painted 28mm Zulus - well, in the top 10%, surely!
Game-rule directives that I happen to agree with:
1. Simpler is better than complicated.
2. Faster is better than slower.
3. Heavily favoring the defender is more realistic, but leads to a longer, duller game than mildly favouring the defender.
PS. I did NOT buy Dread Pirate
.If YOU live in Nottingham, you may:
draw your sword and charge - turn to
form an assertive posture, hands on hips - turn to
look in your knapsack for a useful item - turn to
drop me an e-mail and let's get gaming* - turn to
*I'm always looking for new friends and opponents, so if you fancy gaming with my friends and I, please feel free to contact.FANCY A VISIT TO THE TWISTED SPIRES OF YUGBLAD'S EMPORIUM, HIDDEN IN THE ICE-CLOAKED FROZEN-TEAR MOUNTAINS OF MONDAVIA?
If YOU are a battle-hardened adventurer, or a seasoned traveller with your wits about you, purse heavy
with coin and a hankering for knick-knacks, pay a visit to Nanglangka's most famous merchant, in his ice-choked tower.http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Yugblads-Mountaintop-Emporium
Upon entering, mind that you knock the snow from your boots, take off your beak-nosed helm, and put your axe in the elephant's foot by the door!Mark ChaplinEST. 1971Honorary PresidentTWELVE ANGRY RABBITS SOCIETYChairmanSHELBY OVERMAN DIVING CLUB