Sunday, 19 January 2014

Going Retro with Rackham

Hey happy New Year guys. Darker Days Radio is  working on episode #55 right now, now that we have had time to read Blood and Smoke for Vampire the Requiem, and also a good amount of Demon the Descent.

Now I'm having a bit of a war games renaissance, and that has involved the excellent miniatures by Rackham. Rackham was a great war games miniature company back in the late 90s, which really just crumbled as it tried to expand the business. But at it's height the company would make what I would  call 'boutique fantasy war games figures'. Even after almost a decade of the company folding the miniatures are still unsurpassed. They just have a style and vibe that is unique to the world that they created.

The IP of Rackham, for the worlds of Confrontation (the skirmish game) and Ragnarok (the regimented war game), the rpg Cawallon, and the horror miniatures board game Hybrid.

Hybrid came out in 2003, and featured the holy warriors of the Lodge of Hod, venturing down into the vile laboratories of the alchemical empire of Dirz.

In many ways Hybrid is reminiscent of Space Hulk (by the Workshop of Games), using a grid based movement through tunnels and doors, making use of a 'I go you go' turn sequence. Other features of the game are a deck of action cards that modify your dice rolls or those of your opponents, a range of action types which allow for more skilled fighters to achieve more dramatic results, and event cards, that represent how strange things happen in the dank corridors of the underground laboratories.

Overall the game, which benefits from the fanbase having rewritten the rules to make more sense (Rackham products had interesting translations from French!), is in fact fairly simple and has a tactical element where miniatures are given a secret order of action (so in the I go you go scheme, you have no idea which of your opponents models will act next, and vice versa, meaning you could be setting up ambushes, or withdrawal).

Rackham games sort of represent design gone out of control, especially for the time. The decks of cards for the game, many of which do very simple things, are festooned  with flavour text that detail the story of the game. The gaming tiles that make up the laboratory are exquisite, and were ahead of their time when you compare them to products like Terraclips or Descent.

Future blog posts on this game will be rules overviews and battle reports. Plus of course the compulsory painting examples and perhaps even an attempt to merge the game setting with the Cawallon rpg.

Picture time.

So the work begins!

Templars of Hod

Venerable Ambrosius

Knight of Hod (from the Nemesis expansion set)

Templar of Hod Minelayer (from the Nemesis expansion set)

Dirz Hybrid Clones

Pests of Flesh

Dawn Warriors (from the Confrontation 3rd ed Starter Set - yep a lot of minis from the Confrontation/Ragnarok can be used in the game).

Ysis (also from the starter set)

Nemesis Clone (from the Nemsis expansion box)

The Aberration Prime (a plastic kit that had lots of parts as options for different weapon load outs - it's also bigger than the Aberration that came with the Hybrid game!)

Scale comparison between a Privateer Press Choir of Menoth, Knight Model's Harley Quinn, and Rackham's Ysis. Notice that Rackham use a 30mm scale and realistic proportions.

Another comparison.

And another comparison.

And one more.

From the Confrontation Starter set, Wolfen!

And another.

And another.

Scale comparison between the Wolfen and a Privateer Press Gatorman.

And a comparison with the Aberration Prime.

And the Aberration with a Privateer Press Retribution of Scyrah heavy warjack.


Nemesis (which I got brand new - lucky me!)

Character cards.

The floor tiles from Hybrid. All are double sided and the same 8 squares wide.

You have doors and passage ways (so these are not marked on the borders between rooms, meaning the maps are modified as the missions demand leading to greater flexibility). Oh and a trapdoor counter.

Game play counters. Working from the top clockwise; revealed event counter, unrevealed event counter, rocks terrain, a event counter revealed to be a booby trap, objective counter, a pillar and the round red one is a health marker.

My counters and tiles ready to punched out from the Nemesis set. So lots of doors.

New corridors and counters (you end up with plenty of spares)


And more!

The rules books.

Nice layout - shame about the weird writing in places.

Check out the art - and how close the art miniatures then replicated the art designs.

Mission - see just like Space Hulk.

No comments:

Post a Comment