Sunday, January 26, 2020

Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40,000 Logo, Property Games Workshop
Today, I introduce Warhammer 40,000 to the blog.

I was going to wax lyrical about how I came to be a wargamer.  I was going to talk about where I first heard about it, how I came to have my first armies, my first campaigns and settings in the 40k universe.  That got a little long though, so I decided to get right to the point.

Warhammer 40,000 was my first miniatures wargame.  It was a long time ago.  I have a lot invested in it...but I haven't really talked about it for several years.

Age of Sigmar was the last straw for my old club.  We were one of the first clubs to call it out.  We even went online and decried GW to all our fellow fanbois - and suffered.  We called it the Spring of Discontent, and much Games Workshop was sold, traded and vaulted away.  You could say we were 'put-out' about it.

So Games Workshop faded from view, a place long behind us.  Many thought we were never to return - but in an ancient vault somewhere here in my lair, 40k waited.  During this Long Night, boxes were shuffled, stacked, moved, dropped and otherwise shown contempt for.  Not so for other wargamery going on, but for the Games Workshop stuff there was now a stigma.

It has gone on like this for many years.  Now I understand that a six-year break isn't much for some folk.  For others it is.  For me, it was...I had a lot of Warhammer stuff, but like the current ordeal with Star Wars...I just couldn't.  Even.

Then, a while back - things began to change.  We saw Necromunda return.  Games Workshop, even though they perpetrate things like Age of Sigmar and Primaris marines - seemed to be hearing us.  Us grognards from the older demographic.  It must have been because we were showing all the new gamers NOT-Warhammer.  Whatever happened, I attribute it to the Spring of Discontent, because soon after our disavowance of GW others would begin to take up the banner and move away from Games Workshop in general.

Last year I bought a Codex.  To my great surprise, I greatly enjoyed it.  So I spoke to some of the guys, and again to my great surprise - folk were all about it.  A return to Warhammer 40,000?

We'll need a new campaign setting.  I guess I'll get on that.  Meanwhile, dig up your armies and clean the dust and grime off.  Fix the broken bits and get your order of battle straight.  More on the campaign setting soon...
Warhammer 40,000: Nemesis Nihilum - An Iron Seer Setting
Welcome to the Nemesis Sector.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Frostgrave: The Iron Seer's Challenge

Campaign Overview

The snows melt across the tundra.  Far away, the spires of the City Under Ice can be seen as wispy shadows, gaunt in the pale skies.  Hither come the Wizards, intent on the plunder they may find.  Yet, the sun and the thaw lasts only a short while...

The journey and trials involved in visiting the City Under Ice are daunting to all but the most driven of spellcasters, but the ultimate challenge has been laid before these poor, intrepid souls.  An unknown and powerful Wizard has contacted all of our challengers in the weeks and months before, and given them each a bargain they could not refuse.  Now they arrive on the outskirts of the Frozen City.

Each has come to conquer Frostgrave and all that stands before them.  They will amass the most power, the most spells, the most powerful minions they can manage.  Twelve moons hence, they must stand before their mysterious benefactor and be judged in their bargain.  Only the most powerful of Frostgrave's Wizards will claim their prize!!

Campaign Guide

Frostgrave:  The Iron Seer's Challenge is a long form campaign for Frostgrave.  It will take place every week in 2020, wrapping up at the end of December.  This will be the first long-form campaign for the new decade!

Each player will start with a standard warband as per the Frostgrave Rulebook.  Every so often, once a set of benchmarks has been crossed, a new set of rules will be introduced from various Frostgrave materials.  Players may recruit soldiers or use material from each supplement as it is introduced.  This progression will make sure that new players are not overwhelmed, but as the benchmarks are crossed new options will become available.

The reason for the staggered ramping is part of the Iron Seer's Challenge!  Can our players explore the entirety of the city, uncover every secret, and complete every scenario in a year's time?

We will attempt to use all the material from the current Frostgrave range, and showcase ALL the scenarios (even if individual players don't have to play every single one).  Players need time to get to grips with all this material, but 2020 will be a guided Frostgrave experience here!

At the end of the campaign, the following information will be processed to create an individual player score:
  • Scenario Win Percentage in Standard and Co-Operative Games 
  • Whether the player managed to cast Ascension, Lichdom or another EPIC spell.
  • Wizard Level and Experience Points
  • Total Vault / Base Value
However, the campaign will still not be over until the end of December!  These rules are subject to change at any time, and most likely will as new material is released.

Warband Construction Rules

The following soldiers are available for any Wizard to hire.  Note that Legendary Soldiers other than the Captain are not immediately available at the start of the campaign.
  1. Frostgrave Rulebook
    • Apprentice
    • Apothecary
    • Archer
    • Barbarian
    • Crossbowman
    • Infantryman
    • Knight
    • Man-At-Arms
    • Marksman
    • Ranger
    • Templar
    • Thief
    • Thug
    • Tracker
    • Treasure Hunter
    • War Hound
  2. Spellcaster #1
    • Musketeer
    • Coachman
    • Duellist
  3. The Frostgrave Folio
    • Captain
  4. Thaw of the Lich Lord
    • Bard
    • Crow Master
    • Javelineer
    • Pack Mule
  5. Into the Breeding Pits
    • Trap Expert
    • Tunnel Fighter
  6. Forgotten Pacts
    • Assassin
    • Demon Hunter
    • Monk
    • Mystic Warrior

Scenario Rules

How to Play a Iron Seer's Challenge Scenarios

  1. All Wizards present roll for Campaign Initiative.  A Campaign Initiative Roll is 1d20 + the Wizard's level.  The highest roll chooses the Scenario from those available to that Wizard.
  2. Co-Op Games (all Scenarios from Perilous Dark) cannot be selected unless the all other wizards consent.  If they want to be enemies, another scenario must be selected.
  3. Scenario Chains must be played in sequence.  Once a Wizard begins a Scenario Chain, they will automatically choose the next scenario in the chain if they win Campaign Initiative.  
  4. If your opponent is a Wizard on a Scenario Chain, you can simply agree to play the next scenario in that chain without rolling for Campaign Initiative.  You cannot do so if you have started any Scenario Chain for your Wizard.
  5. It is possible for Wizards to be at different points in the same Scenario Chain.  The Scenario played will be down to Campaign Initiative.
  6. Solo scenarios must be 'ran' by another player or judge.  That is to say, they are not 'solo'.  Another player will be responsible for adjudicating the scenario and witnessing your deeds.
  7. Follow all scenario rules as presented for setup and resolution.
  8. Follow the post-game sequence to record XP, Gold and Treasure changes.

Campaign Rule Updates

The following changes will apply to the basic rules once certain benchmarks are passed.
  • Dark Alchemy 
    • "Potions in Frostgrave" is in effect once any Wizard completes the Dark Alchemy scenario chain.
  • Forgotten Pacts
    • "Mystic Brand" can be one of a Wizard's starting spells.  Afterward, the only way to obtain this spell is to buy the Grimoire.
  • The Maze of Malcor
    • The entirety of the "Rules Update" section is put into effect once a Wizard reaches Level 20.  In addition, players may not start a warband as a Pentacle Wizard.
  • Spellcaster #1
    • "Firearms" in effect at beginning of campaign and are available for any character that can carry them.
    • "Horses in Frostgrave" in effect at beginning of campaign.
    • "Knightly Orders" available at beginning of campaign.  When hiring a Templar or Knight, you may pay 20gc to select an Order.
  • Spellcaster #3
    • "Friends in Low Places" and Underworld Favors are available to Wizards level 10 or higher.
    • "The Auction" will be held once per month once all Wizards are level 12 or higher.
  • Spellcaster #4
    • "Legendary Soldiers" can be hired by any Wizard that is level 15 or higher.
    • "Casting Roll Criticals" are in effect for Wizards higher than level 5.
  • Spellcaster #5
    • "Monster Hunting" can be used by any warband whose Wizard is level 10 or higher.

Campaign Participants
  • Dave Bone as Orrick Vos, Enchanter
    • A strange Wizard seemingly from another world altogether, he and his band of machinists and automatons seek a strange form of magical metal alloy.
  • Vin Propane as Skud Stormhand, Summoner
    • Not much is known about this Wizard, but his command of skeletal warriors and ghastly nether spirits seem to indicate he is as dangerous as he is insane.
  • Lady Foley as Glinda the Good, Witch
    • A powerful Witch from far away, her cohort seems to be looking for some trace of a long lost sage.
  • GameDoc as Immianthe, Witch
    • An elven spellcaster from a faraway land, not much is known about her.  Yet faeries, dryads and even stranger fey creatures seem to flock to this wizard's presence.
  • You (?) as [Your Wizard's Name], [Your Wizard's School]
More to be added here as players and their Wizards make their final preparations.  Spots on the leaderboard are still open!  Make sure we know you're throwing down at the Frozen City!  Plenty of DOOM for everyone.  

Scenarios and Scenario Chains

Sunday, January 12, 2020


Fit In.  Be well adjusted.
Inspirobot knows how to display lots of information at once.

So, image galleries have been split up and are waiting.  You can access them from the top menu under the title of the site, or you can click here.

I've split the galleries into Miniatures, Terrain and Battle Reports.  Going forward, these sections were going to balloon a little bit, so like other sections of the site I'm making it easier to find what we need and add a little flair in the design of the overall site as well.

We've got a lot of photos coming up for 2020, so watch this space - and check the galleries regularly!

Also, any feedback you've got for the site / network design, I'd be thankful for.  We're getting it going, one ratty sail at a time!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Iron Seer's Lost Year

Happy?  Talk to your doctor about it.
Inspirobot knows what sort of paperwork to put through.
I'm back on this High Horse again, ready to blog in style for 2020.  Did you miss me, blogosphere?  Can you hear me wailing? long since a post on this blog.  It's embarrassing, but what happened to my rhythm last year?  Just look at my post history, you can tell something went down.

The good news is, there is no bad news to tell about why I flaked out.  I just wasn't sure where I was going with Iron Seer, and I thought I really needed to do some layout changes as well.  Since we use the site a lot for reference in games, I tried a lot of different builds last year for the user interface and ran a lot of tests of various things on social media and this site. 

After all that, I came to find that I don't really care about a lot of it.  As far as all the internet stuff to keep up with.  SEO's and hits and all.  I'm going to lean back on just making a neat blog to look at.

I had to do some soul-searching as far as the hobby goes.  It's been a rough few years for me and all my plastic soldiers.  I've been pretty well a hermit, and a very crotchety one at that.  Blogging was taking up too much of my Adventure Time.

So, I just had to take some time away from the keyboards and really just get back into my hobby.  For a while there, it felt like the website here was the main hobby I had.  So I stepped away for a moment, and I wasn't sure I was going to continue with Iron Seer in it's current form.  Even so, I kept writing.  I have a ton of articles to get published, but I got tired of backdating them.

I keep two blogs here on Iron Seer Dot com for different aspects of my game groups.  It seems like the best answer to keep our games easy to find and for visitors to peruse, but I update them both irregularly.  I'd like to keep a rate of one post here on Iron Seer per week about hobby stuff and wargames, and one post per two weeks on RAW RPG.  It's just I'm more into wargames, and I get to hobby a lot by myself so I can create more content for Iron Seer's main blog.

I wasn't sure what was going to happen last year.  I didn't know if I would even return or run games anymore.  However, toward the end of last year, we made a fateful decision that brought me back into the hobby and ready to organize games at full force.  I'll talk about that decision in another post very soon, but for now just note that once it was made almost every gamer I knew asked me when they should be showing up.  The CLUB rears itself from the sump anew.

We all have choices and options.  My Lady tells me that's all anyone ever has.  After last Summer, my outlook on a lot of things has changed, boiled down and left me to be ok with it.

I realize that I was asking myself the wrong question.  I kept asking "what would be best for my local community" instead of "what's the best time I can get out of my hobby".  We all have a limited amount of time to do this kind of thing.  We all have work and responsibilities, and we all have the same amount of time.  If you're not into it, then you're out of it.

I've been trying to accommodate all the folks for far too long.  You have to be having fun, and you have to think of yourself first.  You can't run a good game and make a good time for a community of people if you're chewing sour grapes all the time.  So, I let go of a lot of notions I had that carried over from other clubs and experiences I've had with various game groups and decided to shake it up and see what new 'notions' would wend their way to the top.

That brings us to the subject of Iron Seer Campaigns going forward.  Undoubtedly, this is one of my major strengths and I will definitely continue running campaigns.  However, the focus of said campaigns may shift from a general "grand melee" vibe and will run the gamut of things I want to try.  We have lots of games to play, lots of new things to try out.

Currently, we'll be looking at games in three and six-month competition windows, depending on the game.  We'll also have year-long competitions, beginning this year with a massive Frostgrave campaign.

For 2020, our Wargames Schedule will be available on our social media.  You can check out the Ada Oklahoma Tabletop Gaming Guild here on Facebook, or follow Iron Seer on Twitter.  Be sure to join the group if you're close enough to game (that's pretty much anywhere in Oklahoma, North Texas or even Arkansas) and give us a shout out!  If you want to get your group in a joint-campaign with us, send us an email at and we'll start working out the narrative.

So remember next time someone asks if you want to join a game that they may not ask a second time.  Be kind to your game buddies and treasure them for all their worth.  Above all, remember the one other thing that applies to your gaming that you must absolutely accept as an adult human:  You'll never have time unless you make it. 

It's all on you if you game or not.  Only that which you manifest lies before you.  Jump the hurdles, and get to the game...or admit defeat and surrender your models to the nearest Iron Seer.