A Noble Lord’s Retinue

As we have done for each of our other games, we shall be creating and releasing new material for Thud & Blunder. This shall be hosted on the Thud & Blunder page of the Ministry blog.

Today we give you a Noble Lord’s Retinue. Originally this was going to be in the book, but space considerations meant we had to trim a few pieces out. We chose to leave in the Hedge Knight and keep the Noble Lord for later release.

So now you are able to build a noble, or perhaps cruel, Lord or Lady, with all their liege knights and retainers.

Lords and Ladies are wealthy and powerful, justly proud and protective of their family name and all its privileges. It is a brave or foolish warband who would wish to cross swords with the Kingdom’s best.

So give them a go and show us your aristocratic warbands on the Facebook page.

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Partizan 2019 – The Ministry on parade!

Hello one and all,

Tomorrow, the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare’s Northern Display team will be setting up The Valley of Death at Partizan 2019.

Dave, Phil and I shall be seeing which heroes can survive the gauntlet of terror or, alternatively, stop those pesky murder-hobos from escaping their just desserts.

Thud & Blunder at its finest, all day, right next to the North Star & Ainsty stand.

Look for the chaps in the dandy hats!

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Enter the Dragon – a Thud & Blunder Battle Report

So it was that the three amigos gathered to carry out the final play test of Thud & Blunder before the book hit the streets.

Phil ‘Captain’ Morgan, ‘Hairy’ Dave Robinson and my good self, brought forth our brave warbands;

I rallied my hardy Orcs, led once more by Mr Angry himself – Grabnutz the Great, and supported by a Troll called Dennis.

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“They’ve brought a Cave Troll…”

Dave chose to field a band of Brigands. A new warband for him, so an experimental force. The archers were to play a significant part as we shall see…

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There is no greater band of scum and villainy than this.

As it was St David’s Day, Phil put his Blood Eagle Welsh on the table (reconfigured for T&B), led by the indefatigable Lord Grufydd and accompanied by a young, red dragon (whom we immediately dubbed “Idris”).

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“Oh feckity-feck-feck!” – Grabnutz

As one might imagine Dave and I eyed the dragon with some concern and, despite it not being of the fire-breathing variety, we adjusted our plans accordingly.

The scenario consisted of finding and keeping a magical sword and a magical shield, which were concealed in the small and unfortunately named town of Flammenburgh.

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The villagers have fled leaving the field to the three warbands.

Each warband would enter from a corner of the table and proceed towards the middle where the sword and shield we rumoured to be hidden. We placed six tokens in the six most central buildings, two of which were marked as being the loot we desired.

Phil and I set-up at opposite ends of the town’s main street, soon to be renamed Slaughter Alley. Dave came on from my left and Phil’s right flank.

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“That’s it lads, use the Dragon as cover”

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“Boss, is this another dragon-hunt?”

The first couple of turns consisted of the Orcs and Welsh advancing boldly, and the Brigands sneaking into the town. A few desultory bow shots were fired but no-one succumbed.

In the third turn the Welsh found the Flaming Sword of Fire and an orc stumbled across the Shield of Courage. It was also the turn in which Lord Grufydd, regarding the Brigands as being of little consequence, plonked the Dragon in amongst the advancing Orcs.

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“Come and get it ye scaly git… !”

Meanwhile the Brigands were proving to be quite dangerous as their archers had war bows.  I had sent my troll (Dennis) over to my left flank to slow down, and possibly eat, some Brigands. However, as he stepped out from behind a building he was peppered with arrows, one of which went straight through his small brain and took him out of the game.  One or two fruity words may have escaped my mouth at this point.

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“They can’t hit a barn at that range…” Dennis the Troll’s fateful last words.

Over the next couple of turns, the Brigands assaulted Lord Grufydd’s troops and a furious melee erupted in the centre of town. The most notable point in this was when Lord Grufydd had his pony cut from under him, and for a few minutes it looked like he might follow the pony into the afterlife. The Brigands gave him a good kicking while he lay on the floor, but his armour and his Destiny rolls kept him in the fight.

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It’s very hard to the Welsh from the ruffians at this point.

The orcs would have joined in, but had their hands full with Idris the Dragon, which was splitting its attacks and eating one to two orcs per turn. Dragon armour is pretty much the toughest in the game with only fully armoured knights competing with it. So, the orcs were having to mob the damned lizard to have even the slightest chance of penetrating it. I could really have used my Troll about now…

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“Oi Dennis, ain’t you supposed to be regenerating or summink?” “Oi’m thinking about it…!”

Grabnutz realised that the real fight was in the centre of town so, leaving his archers behind to slow the Dragon down, or at least give it indigestion, he charged off with his two spear carriers (the reason I call these orcs ‘spear carriers’ is because they didn’t actually use them, they just carried them about).

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“Hold the line lads, I’ll be back with a magic sword in a bit…”

Brigands and Welshmen were falling like nine-pins, though the Welsh were getting the upper hand when the Orcs arrived. Not that anyone noticed as they seemed unable to hit anything but the scenery.

By now Lord Grufydd was edging back towards his corner, letting his men slow the Brigands up. Idris, having swallowed both orc archers in a single turn, flew into the middle of town and promptly ate an orc spear carrier. The very same orc who was carrying the Shield of Courage.

13

“Just poke it with yer pointy stick Grokk!”

By now the Brigands seemed to have remembered that they had a prior appointment that they had to get to, and the battered remnants of their force was slipping away. My last remaining orc, Grabnutz, decided that the dragon needed to be taught a lesson. However, Idris regarded Grabnutz as dessert, and made short work of the mighty (meaty?) warrior.

14

Oh the horror!

Phil was the champion, by a considerable margin, with Dave second. My orcs, being completely wiped out, came in a poor third. Next time I’m bringing my ‘invincible’ Hedge Knight, Sir Cedric Corbusio, and his crossbowmen. We’ll see if the damned lizard can face that…

Anyway, another fun evening with lots of discussion afterwards on the merits of dragons, the general uselessness of dice, how David’s poisonous Picts might have fared, and how appropriate it was that the Welsh won on St David’s Day.

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Thud & Blunder Reference and Roster Sheets

So today we are publishing the Reference and Roster Sheets on the Thud & Blunder page of this blog.

There is a single Reference sheet, which is three pages long. The first two pages contain summaries of many of the rules you might want to refer to in play. The third page has the weapons and armour tables.

There are three roster sheets. This is because we know from experience that different players have different needs, so we created three variants.

We hope that these will enhance your games.

If you want to gives us feedback on these you can do so below in the comments, or on our dedicated Thud & Blunder page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/260554421452323/?ref=bookmarks

 

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Show Participation Games 2019

Each year Charles, Billy and I devise a number of scenarios for our participation games. They have to be simple, quick to run and engaging for people who have never played our games before.

Then we have to gather and/or paint the figures, build the terrain, create cards for each figure, write up short summaries of the scenarios, create game-specific reference sheets and playtest them. All of this can take months to achieve especially and Charles and I live 200 miles apart.

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One important feature which is often overlooked by people new to running such games is that the whole set up must fit into the boot of a car and be transportable across a variety of environments. Not all shows let you drive in like Salute. With some you have to lug your gear from distant car parks to the venue.

After five years of doing this we have it down to a fine art, being able to arrive and set up in under half an hour. There again we run skirmish games, not monsters like Simon Miller’s now famous To the Strongest monster-sized games. Simon often has more figures on one table than I own altogether.

At Salute we ran two games, The Witch’s Cat and Run for your Deaths. The first was one I have been running all through 2018. I would have created a new one for 2019, but a house fire prevented that. The latter is the one that attracted all the attention at Salute – Billy’s magnificent creation.

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I shall be lugging Billy’s board to Partizan in May of you want to see it in the ‘flesh’.

If you look in the Thud & Blunder page of the blog you will find both the scenarios and their figure cards.

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A grand day out – Salute 2019

So… what a day that was.

We’ve been attending Salute since IHMN launched in 2013, and running participation games since 2014.

This was our sixth year and by far our busiest. We thought we’d had a good reaction in 2017 for Blood Eagle, but the reaction to Thud & Blunder was amazing.

Both participation boards were busy all day, Lorna who works ‘front of house’ was rushed off her feet dealing with enquiries, none of us had more than twenty minutes off, and we lost count of the number of copies of T&B we were asked to sign.

Billy’s board, where four adventurers try to escape a dungeon full of undead, drew many admirers, and has appeared in lots of post-show photos on the interweb. Such luminaries as Ben from Beasts of War and Mel, the Terrain Tutor came to look at it and gave us great feedback. This board will now be travelling up to Partizan in May.

Despite all this the day did not start well…

Billy’s board is roughly 120x90x75cms and comes in one piece, so we needed to bring it in by car.  Unfortunately we arrived five minutes too late and could not take the car up into the hall. So it then had to be carried across the car park, up in a lift in which it almost did not fit, along the concourse, and down the length of the hall. Charles and Billy almost did not make it, and had to be towelled down and fed tea and biscuits.

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We had to make the same trek afterwards, with Billy and I being the sherpas this time.
The next possible catastrophe was Charles inexplicably leaving a couple of figures at home! In stepped Andy Foster of Heresy Miniatures, who loaned us a figure from his painted models display across the aisle. It is little acts of kindness like that which make me love our industry/hobby.

Overall the show seemed less busy than in previous years. I know there is a lot being made of this on other blogs and fora, but I think this was to be expected given the current political crisis in the UK. That said we had plenty of Europeans visit our little corner, including some lovely Danes.

A couple of years ago a fine chap called Mike Strong had his good wife make a cake to celebrate the launch of Blood Eagle. It was a red sponge and red icing with the Ministry bowler hat logo. This year he repeated his generosity and brought a Thud & Blunder cake – chocolate sponge and green icing with the T&B crossed axes design. It was sumptuous.

Once again many of our players were parents and their children, with the kids winning more often than not. We had one young lady in a unicorn onesie, whose tactical acumen blew Billy away.

On The Witch’s Cat table we had a unique result where Greebo (Nanny Ogg’s mischievous moggy), beat the two players trying to retrieve him by killing no less than three figures, and ending up back where he started by the fish stall.

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This was the last outing for The Witch’s Cat board, which has provided great fun over the last twelve months, we shall now be lugging Billy’s leviathan around instead.

In my short break in the afternoon, I made a beeline for Simon Miller’s To the Strongest game. I have known Simon for forty years, and his accomplice Ian Notter (the King of Flock), so I always try to drop in on their latest effort. This time it was the last battle of the Boudiccan revolt, where the Romans finally defeated the raging British army. Well folks, it was magnificent, with thousands of figures on display, including three large formations of British light chariots, and Roman Legionaries manning cart-mounted ballistae.

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I managed to glance at a few other games as I rushed past and the standard seemed to be universally high again. Next door to us was a magnificent Tonkin forts game in 40mm by GJM Games, complete with river and steamboats.

Ainsty Castings, the main vendor of Thud & Blunder at the show, reported a brisk trade, especially after they did a bundle offer with a cave troll miniature (I can hear Sean Bean’s Boromir in my head as I type this – “They’ve brought a Cave Troll…”).

Anyhoo, after all the hullabaloo, we trudged back to Charles’ country manor, unloaded the mules, and  were forced to consume copious amounts of pizza, Mrs Strong’s cake and red wine.

The general opinion was, despite the various setbacks, and the noise, that it had been a great show and we shall look forwards to attending again next year.

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Salute 2019

OK good people, we are now just a week away from the biggest UK show of the year!

As has been the case for the last five years The Ministry shall be there running participation games. This year we are presenting two games, The Witch’s Cat and Run for your Deaths. Both are Thud & Blunder games so here is your chance to have a go if you haven’t done so already.

Charles and I shall be in attendance along with our display tram regulars Lorna and Billy. We shall look forwards to meeting you, running games and shooting the breeze.

Salute 2019 composite map

As you can see we are tucked away in the far left hand corner from where you enter. So you can get your shopping done then wend your way over to us.

Although several companies are selling T&B (and other Ministry books), our friends at Ainsty Castings will have the largest number. They may even have one or two Blood Eagle’s left…

We have also highlighted two of our old friends for you. The Amazing Annie of Bad Squiddo and that brutal warlord Simon Miller of To the Strongest! fame.

So, we look forwards to seeing you next week. For those who cannot come we shall take plenty of photos of the day and put a report up here when we return.

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