Tuesday 16 August 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 2


Following on from my previous post, I thought I'd post some more of the forgotten games from my collection that in days gone by I really enjoyed but are now largely forgotten.

Star Mogul

Star Mogul was originally produced by Alpha Forge Games in the US and it grabbed my attention with the quirky miniatures that were produced to go along with it. The game itself is set in our future when humanity has colonised a fair chunk of space but an ancient alien pathogen has wiped much of the frontier worlds out. Over a century later, salvage crews have begun exploring these lost worlds and fighting each other to gather the riches they find.

One of the things I really liked about Star Mogul was the fact that it wasn't super soldiers fighting gribbly aliens but working joes eking out a living on the frontier in a new gold rush amongst the stars.

That's not to say there weren't any aliens in the game. The supplements brought in the Hydrassians, Asteroid Miners, Android Cults and Mephelians, each with their own motivations and rewards for scrap recovery.

Looking back, it kind of reminds me of a cross between Necromunda and Gorkamorka but without the fantasy elements. Sadly the game went out of production when Alpha Forge was sold off. There was a brief hope of a revamp when Mega Minis took over production and a revised edition was produced of the rules (I still prefer the original though as the artwork on the new one just didn't do it for me!).

Alas, Mega Minis closed its doors and Star Mogul faded into obscurity again. Its not all lost though as I have uploaded the original rulesets onto Scribd so you can download them and have a bash at gaming out some small skirmish actions in a ruined future!

While the alien races may be a tad harder to proxy, the human salvage teams are fairly easy to rework using pretty much any sci-fi range out there and I'd highly recommend at least downloading the rules and having a peruse as they contain some really nifty ideas for games at the smaller end of the scale.

I must admit that I've always intended to someday collect up an X12 Android Cult so that the AI's can fight for their freedom from human control!


Kryomek was one of the first games I picked up post GW and I loved the Aliens vibe that the artwork and background had but found the rules a bit clunky and uninspired.

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the game as the setting is decent and the artwork on show is petty great and really sets the scene for humanity to discover it is not alone amongst the stars. A hive mind of an alien intelligence called the Kryomek is living out there and promptly attack forcing the two races into a war of extermination amongst the cold outer worlds.

While the setting really gets one interested, the rules themselves aren't fantastic and as is the case with several of the smaller rulesets, the game hasn't been well playtested or proof read as there are gaping holes in it that need sorting out.

Fantasy Forge did try to sort this out by releasing Hivestone which fleshed out the setting a bit and provided points costs and armylists but I firmly believe that Kryomek as it was could really have done with being produced in 15mm scale to cover the grand sweeping battlefield with hordes of Kryomek trying to overwhelm the firepower of  Nexus marines.

Now it may sound like I'm trashing Kryomek here, but its worth downloading the rules from Scotia Grendel (They're free too!) as they make for interesting reading for a setting and the Kryomek are a nice alternative to the likes of the Tyranids for 40k or Xenomorphs for alien type games. I must admit that I'd love to see Kryomek being re-released as a proper skirmish game featuring a squad or two of humans against alien menaces as they try to clear out a hive or settlement ala Aliens!


Ah Chronopia! Possibly my favourite fantasy game!

Produced by Target Games, the same company which brought us Warzone, Chronopia was a cracking game with innovative rules and a grimly compelling setting. It was also a game of large shoulderpads which some folks were put off with but I loved the over the top styling of the assorted races. 

The Elves wielded massive axes and the humans all looked a bit chaotic with their oversize plate and chunky weapons. The Dwarves were fantastic and animalistic whilst the Orcs, or Blackbloods as they were known were actually pretty civilised!

I fondly remember collecting up and painting a Dark Tusk Dwarf force and avidly reading the rulebook and subsequent forcebooks that were released and I was really saddened when Target closed down and Chronopia was relegated to the dustbin of forgotten games.

There was a brief last huzzah when a US company gained the rights for a while but it too folded and Chronopia vanished once again. Even the miniatures are virtually impossible to get hold of now as they were terribly prone to lead rot and I've not found any over the last few years which haven't suffered from that complaint making collecting a force rather a difficult prospect.

Over the last few months, I must admit that I've been thinking of trying to put together some proxy forces for the game but the unique styling of most of them has thus far proved a difficult obstacle to overcome and I am having to face facts that if I want to make a proper go of it, I am going to have to sculpt the stuff myself. 

This isn't too serious an issue but it is very time consuming so I have no idea when I will actually have the chance to complete such an ambitious idea!


Crucible is another of the games produced by FASA briefly before it shut up shop but I always found it rather an intriguing game. It centres around the discovery of a new continent and the scramble to colonise it and exploit its resources by the various fantasy races who inhabit Ashkelon. 

The setting itself is rather good and the races have been changed enough to move away from the usual fantasy tropes. The Elves are all a bit cruel and perverse, the humans are ruled by an eternal woman, the Orcs are noble savages defending their homelands from imperialist invaders and the Dwarves are homeless vagrants. The list goes on but needless to say, it's a really great source of inspiration by itself.

The rules themselves are really very good and cover different formations and from the few times I played it, work really well and would even give the best editions of Fantasy Battle a run for their money. What let it down, other than going out of production within six months with the closure of FASA, was the miniatures!

The sculpts were a bit of a mixed bag with some really nice sculpts alongside some truly awful ones, plus the fact that no unit had more than two sculpts making for an annoyingly repetitive look. That being said, it is fairly easy to proxy pretty much every unit type so it's another game I fancy having a re-explore of this year (if I can find my copy which I seem to have mislaid!) 


Well I've listed a few of the games I hope to spend a bit of time with over the coming months and I am sure I will find more as I go through my collection and I am hoping to use the opportunity to paint some stuff, game a bit and actually enjoy my hobby!

In the meantime, All the best!

Monday 15 August 2016

A Guide to Forgotten Games Part 1


Well I thought I'd get the ball rolling with a bit of a guide to some of the games I am hoping to explore in the coming weeks and months and the thinking behind what I plan on doing with them!

Warzone 1st Edition

Ah Warzone! After leaving the GW hobby and getting rid of literally every miniature I had, I happened across this cracking game when I nipped into Mac's Models on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

With its cutting edge artwork and rules, not to mention the pleasingly chunky and characterful miniatures that came along with it, I was strongly drawn to the game and the setting. Having experienced nothing game wise than 40k and a bit of Fantasy Battle, the lavishly coloured (if poorly bound) rulebook was an eyeopener.

Packed with illustrations by Paul Bonner, Paulo Perente and featuring the sculpting talent of much of the ex Citadel team, I loved the dark setting with the mega-corporations fighting it out over resources in the inner planets of the solar system whilst the sinister threat of the Dark Legion threatened to plunge mankind into eternal darkness.

Sounds a bit similar to Warhammer 40k you may think, but the hope of moving forward and overcoming the evil forces arrayed against them by small forces of humanity's finest in the form of Doom Troopers and the Brotherhood, not to mention lowly grunts on the battlefield really made it stand out.

Similarly, the rules themselves were far more interesting than 2nd edition 40k. The forces were far smaller, usually a couple of squads backed up by a hero or small vehicle and the alternative activation system appeared like a breath of fresh air. Troops could dive for cover, dig in and perform all manner of interesting actions that made each trooper vital and not just cannon fodder.

Gone were the fantasy elements of 40k with its space Elves and Orcs and in their place, a selection of Human forces, each with their own motivations, styles and back story and standing against them, The Dark Legion with its nightmare creatures!

Great stuff!

I have fond memories of painting up a squad of Imperial Blood Berets, a squad of Wolfbane Commandos and a Necromower which gave me an entire force for under £20! This would actually be the first force that I ever fully painted and it saw quite a bit of action against a similarly ragtag force of Demigonis Dark Legion troopers.

Sadly most of them were sold off when I headed off to uni but I did keep one or two bits and bobs and hope to re-explore the Mutant Chronicles universe at some point in the not too distant future. Who knows, I may even attempt to recreate the force I originally had 21 years ago!

Void 1.1

As with so many games I list here, Void 1.1 came and went with barely a notice by many but it too was a great game worthy of taking a look at!

Created by the same team that brought us Warzone, Void 1.1 was a very different fish than its ancestor, or pretty much any other game available at the time. Set in a universe where Humanity had explored the stars and begun fighting amongst themselves before the discovery of the Koralon, a strange aquatic race of aliens whose terraforming and genetic manipulation of anything they encountered posed the greatest threat humanity had ever faced.

For the first edition of the game, the artwork was provided by Stuart Beel and the arts bright, cartoony and almost Anime stylings really made the game pop when compared to the Grimdark that 40k was rapidly becoming and the Battles With Miniatures magazine i-Kore produced, which included new forces, units and the odd battle report and painting article was a fascinating way of slowly building up small forces.

I actually demo'd the game at Borders books once or twice in Edinburgh and even had a VASA force painted black and green in store colours but once again, i-Kore folded and the game vanished from people's games tables.

Again, most of the forces available were humans but each had a quirk and style of it's own, be it the dinosaur mounts of the Viridians, the penal legions of the Junkers, Syntha's AI units or VASA's close combat teams, I loved the fact that the setting itself was quite loose and encouraged you to develop your own forces, often using figures available to each faction!

Now Void has morphed and mutated over the years into Urban War and now a 6mm mass battle game but the original is still the best in my opinion and I'd love the chance to re-explore the game and possibly build a couple of forces..

Handily, the rules and even the miniatures are still in production so it's relatively easy to pick up and get some forces put together. The question is, do I have the time or space!

Speaking of which, I do actually have a few bits and bobs kicking around for a Syntha force and actually painted up a few of them last year so maybe 2016 is going to see me actually get some more bits and bobs painted up for the force.

Only time will tell but I must admit that I find the prospect rather an appealing one as I love the visual aesthetic of the forces and the sculpts themselves have held up surprisingly well, despite being almost 20 years old in some cases. Yes there's a few howlers amongst the range (I'm looking at you original Koralon sculpts!) but there's some interesting prospects for painting ahead.

Vor: The Maelstrom

Vor: The Maelstrom was released by FASA in 1999 and featured the planet Earth being sucked into a pocket dimension called Vor which was a tad inconvenient for all involved as the planet was stuck in the middle of a new cold war between the US led Union and Russian Neo Soviets. 

I must admit that I came late to the setting, picking up the box set from Ral Partha Europe after Void 1.1 vanished and quite liking what I saw. There was enough crunch to keep games entertaining but the alien races were really fun. There were the Growlers, massive reptilian looking apes who devoured pretty much anything they encountered, the Pharon, a race of undead types and the Shard, crystalline entities who hated all other living beings. Mix in some jingoistic humans and you had quite an entertaining mix.

Sadly, as with many of FASA's releases at the time, the miniatures were a rather mixed bag with some fantastic sculpts alongside some pretty terrible ones but it still held quite an appeal to me and I do believe that given time, the rules would have continued to improve and the figures would have got better too. Unfortunately, as always, the game went out of production about six months later when FASA closed it's doors.

The game's creator Mike 'Skuzzy' Nelson did make a brief attempt to get the game back into production with a new edition a few years back but it went nowhere and the few holdouts of the game drifted away and Vor slid into oblivion again... 


Now Battletech is an odd bird, it's been around longer than 40k, has more supplements and fiction and even a constantly evolving setting but why don't people play it? 

On the one hand, it's got a fantastic setting and involves giant stompy robots beating the stuffing out of each other in a neo feudalistic setting as humanity teeters on the brink of falling into savagery following hundreds of years of almost constant warfare. 

Losing technology and fighting over dwindling resources with massive war engines sounds fun but the game itself is just so slow, everything requires record keeping from ammo expenditure to damage and even heat. The result is a game that can take hours to play between just a handful of mechs.

Things aren't helped with the storyline which saw the introduction of the Clans, descendants of Humanity's finest military who have returned to the Inner Sphere to reclaim their empire and bring with them all manner of new and shiny tech. This saw rules bloat of an incredible degree and while I adore the Succession Wars era, I just can't bring myself to care about anything past about 3050 and the arrival of the Clan menace. 

Of late, it looks like Catalyst Games has tried to slim things down a bit by releasing a new tabletop version of the game which looks rather promising but I must admit that I am finding the urge to redevelop the setting to my own ends, disposing of the Clans and using another ruleset to game out mech combat. 

What if things developed a little differently and technology moved in a different way? What if the mechs didn't tend to look quite so silly but proper, chunky military hardware? Can the setting cope with a bit of tweaking but still keep it's almost Dune like intriguing and jockeying for position amongst the great houses. Can humanity continue to grow and develop or descend into another darkage?

Over the coming weeks, I hope to begin by reviewing some of the classic era guidebooks and beginning to flesh out my setting before painting up the odd mech or two to fight things out with!


I seem to have rambled on a bit! There are several other games I plan on exploring over the coming months, some of which I want to play out a game or two of and others which have a setting that would be fantastic to explore in more depth so watch this space as I continue with my rambling explorations and hopefully even paint up some bits and bobs...

In the meantime, All the best!

Revamping Things!


As you may have noticed, I've deleted all the posts here. I was starting to despair over actually having any hobby time and Tales From Farpoint was beginning to groan under all the random gubbins posted on it.

Worry not though! I've backed it all up on a BACKUP BLOG which will stay online for as long as required so if folks do fancy perusing it, please feel free!

I do have some plans for Farpoint though! While I have things on the go for my own sculpts, I do want to keep exploring some of the other ideas I've been faffing around with over the last few years!

The problem I've faced is the sheer weight of stuff that I've posted over the last few years and it's combined weight has been utterly crushing all the increasingly feeble attempts I've made to boot some life back into my hobby so I took the drastic measure of clearing all the content off and starting again!

Another issue I've had is my drop off in interest in 40k and Rogue Trader. I originally started this blog to cover all sorts of Oldhammery sorts of stuff but in recent years, I've found myself less interested in Games Workshop's products and pulled more into some of the other fantastic games and settings that have come and gone over the years!

Oddly enough, I've found the process rather empowering and am rather looking forward to getting back to basics again.

Here's a quick preview of what I plan on working on after I return from my holidays:

 Classic Warzone

Void 1.1

 Vor: The Maelstrom

Battletech Reimagined

Whilst I have pretty much got over the GW obsession, I do have a fondness for painting 6mm gubbins so there may be some more Epic scale bits and bobs appearing from time to time!

Now I don't know if I am going to paint 6mm, 15mm or 28mm stuff but I am looking forward to re-exploring the joys of wargaming!

All the best!