GLAM 2012 was held over the weekend of May 11th - 13th in Kiel, Germany.
Right, just some snaps so that those who were there can remember the good times. To begin with another stolen Malamute photo showing Mark, James, me and Mark on day one. I thought I ought to have one picture of me even if I had to resort to criminal means to secure it.
Captain Blood in the wilderness.
A couple of earlysettling in shots as things were being set up for the day's gaming.
Jens and Thorbjørn playing Frank's game.
Jimbibbly and Malamute enjoying port and cigars.
Let's see that again in slow motion...
Doomhippie, Mr. Miniaturicum, Mr. and Mrs. Zafarelli.
The dog, our newest friend.
Frank, just to prove he's real.
Jimbibbly: "It was huge! I could barely fit it in my mouth."
Dirk: " And you're sure he was a German sailor? They can be very rough with tourists."
The gang at the end of Sunday.
Food during the day mas home made and provided by our hosts. I was so busy eating that I didn't record it. Here, then, is a stolen photo from Malamute showing the fine fare. That large thing that looks like a roasted tribble is a TARDIS meatball. So called because they were bigger on the inside.
Above is a group shot from the Portuguese restaurant that we went to on Friday night. Again, fine food (apart from the yogurt sauce which I happily threw on the table so I didn't have to eat it. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Old and clumsy? Moi?) but no actual food photos because I was too busy eating. Oh well.
Saturday night saw us in an old Naval officers' school which is now a fantastic restaurant. Above is another stolen Malamute photo showing the gang as my pics were only of my immediate area since I don't like to rise from my seat once a meal is underway for fear of losing my place.
My companions to either side. The lady is Mrs Zafarelli, a wonderfully talented woman who paints miniatures and bakes cake. Jens has landed on his feet there.
Currywurst and chips! Worth the trip for this alone.
My normal beer (see below).
Green beer. This was enjoyed by others. It tasted strange.
James, Richard, Nick and Frank 'enjoying' their green beer.
I had to order one of these for pudding. I couldn't resist. None of the Germans thought it was funny (well Lars got it after we explained) but the Brits found it amusing.
Here's my fruity queen in the flesh. It was jolly nice too.
Richard went for a much more impressive concoction.
Lars and Mark, two smug men also with huge puddings.
This is the very nice man from Miniaturicum. If you buy lots of figures and paint racks from him he'll be able to afford more fruity desserts like this. Go on, help a miniature seller have a better life, you know you want to.
Sunday saw us back at the fresh fish restaurants on the Baltic coast that we first samples in 2010. The chap we ordered from was so pleased that we had come all the way from England and insisted on revisiting him that he refused to charge us.
Yes, that's correct, free food!
And there's more. He added in free schnapps too! Top bloke.
Our final foody treat of the visit (apart from the airport burgers, but well, you can imagine) was the gift of currywurst from our hosts along with a lovely Tactica Moon Man figure. Mark got a tofu alternative as he cares about his health and is a vegetarian.
The perfect end to a perfect visit really.
The hotel that Richard, Mark and I chose to stay at was called the Basic. From outside it looked pretty fearsome and inside it lived up to it's name.
However, it was cheap, the rooms were clean and the staff were friendly and spoke English. Everywhere was covered in these 'interesting' paintings. I quite like the vase of flowers one despite the overall mass produced look.
The outstanding feature was breakfast, served in the coffee lounge here. All you could eat from a buffet. I managed to get a quick photo of part of it but I was busy eating and forgot to capture the full panoply of wares. This was my second helping as you can tell from the stacked plates. I averaged four a morning.
Zoologisches Museum in Kiel
The Kiel tower. Unrelated to anything but impressive. It's better when the lights are on but I didn't get any decent photos then.
On Sunday we went to look at the deep sea exploration exhibition at the Zoologisches Museum.
The exhibition was impressive with all kinds of weird creatures on display. there were spiders with no bodies, all their organs are squeezed into their legs and they have a proboscis to suck up their prey. A giant squid and all sorts of hideous toothed worm things.
Sadly, no photos. The room was very dark and I'm not sure photos were allowed. The talk was interesting and the guide added in English translations for us too which was very nice of him.
Here's a picture of a giant crab just to keep things interesting and a shot of one of the blue whale skeletons hanging from the ceiling.
After this we returned to our seaside haunt from GLAM 2010 for another fish dinner. Details of the surprise that awaited us are in the food section.
This is the GLAM 2012 'trailer' I put together quickly once I returned home. There are a couple of stills that didn't make it into my final report but all the film clips are elsewhere in various GLAM 2012 sections with their original ambient sound.
Doctor Who - Tobi, Green Knight
Above are my fellow Whoovians for this epic game of intergalactic struggle. Jonas, in charge of the relentless Cybermen, Tobi, the designer, painter, gamesmaster, Nick (Malamute) who was the good Doctor and Mark who took Captain Jack and Mickey under his wing. I played the criminally misunderstood Daleks.
During a break in play the good Doctor uses some local goats to guard his port.
Right, on with the plot. The Daleks have a plan, the Cybermen have a plan, the Doctor and Torchwood want to stop them. There's a portal thingy and time is unstable so anything can happen. Clear? Good.
Above you can see Dalek Sec, Dalek CAAAAN and Dalek Kirk (it's a long story) confronting a wave of never ending Cybermen in the main portal room. There's a space pig too but he's just trying to get away.
After the dust has settled all the Cybermen have been EXTERMINATED (more will be along shortly) and Dalek Sec and Dalek Kirk have gone off to molest the Doctor. Dalek CAAAAAN remains to await the arrival of some new victims.
Tobi used a modified version of .45 Adventure for this game which worked well. He also produced some lovely event cards which were full of flavour and humour.
Above you can see a pair of Cybermen and a Cyber Matakishi (he got 'upgraded') interfering with part of the complex's machinery. Cybermen are nothing if not inquisitive. Behind them the Doctor is leading some scientists to 'safety'. There was plenty of running away in this game, always a good thing for that proper Doctor Who experience.
More Cybermen chasing Rose in an attempt to 'upgrade' her as well. K9 is on the case however and she's probably safe. He killed more Cybermen than anybody except Dalek CAAAAAAAAAAAAN.
We thought this was it. The Doctor was trapped between the Daleks, Sec, Kirk and Thaaay (a slightly effeminate Dalek, REDECORATE!) and the Cybermen Horde. However, he had tricks, nasty, nasty, sneaky tricks and escaped. Seconds later Captain Jack and Mickey (hey! Mickey, you're so fine...) won the game by finding the final part they needed to control the vortex.
And what a game it was. The scenery was lovely with each room full of little touches that added interest. The cast of characters kept increasing as Autons, Judoon, Space Pigs and others (including that creepy kid in a gas mask) appeared through the vortex to add to the mayhem. It cracked along at a good pace and everyone had a fine time entering into the Doctor Who spirit and playing in character.
Certainly the best Doctor Who gaming experience I've had and very inspiring for my own future projects.
Nosferatu - Karsten, Vikotnik
I missed out on the Count Orlok game in 2010 but, after begging and crying like a girl, I managed to convince Karsten to let me play it this year. It was worth all the snivelling.
The black and white scenery and figures are stunning but that's just a part of it. The whole game has been thought through and refined to the point of perfection, more on this later.
Just before play begins Karsten makes a final check to ensure everything's in place.
The one splash of colour is from the world behind the camera. To avoid colour leaking into the game world players wear gloves. White for the hero (modelled here by the skillful hands of JimBibbly) and black for Count Orlok (me).
As play progresses rats flood from the Count's ship to engulf the town of Wisborg in a living sea. The Count can use the rats to travel, sinking into one part of the swarm and rising up from another part elsewhere. The town's rat catcher and his dogs have their work cut out for them.
Count Orlok is looking for his lady love, Ellen, who he has only seen in a photograph but he is infatuated with her. Her husband, Hutter, is trying to locate the Count's hidden coffin and end the undead plague. The race is on as both try to get information from the town's residents. The hunt is all the more urgent for Orlok as the Sun is rising soon.
The earnest Hutter puzzles about who to question to get the next clue to the whereabouts of the Count's coffin.
Each clue was a part of a map of the town but this wasn't enough. Hutter also had to find the crucifix and the garlic (both real props, as was the stake) in order to make the coffin uninhabitable for Orlok.
The gaunt and troubled (yes, gaunt, try to use your imagination a little) Orlok (me) is overcome by horror as the final piece of the map is found.
As Hutter races to the location all is not lost, Orlok finally gets the last clue he needs. Now, I honestly tried to be nice to these people, but they snubbed me and it wasn't until I used threats and intimidation that they co operated. I didn't want to hurt anyone. That little flower selling girl that died must have been sickly to start with, I only needed a little blood and took the merest sip from her.
However, I digress. Despite my best efforts Hutter located and spiked my coffin even as I was hammering on my true love's door. I was undone!
Poor Ellen remained alone in her room, destined never to know my soft embrace.
Alas, Alack! I am undone. I wither and die under the rays of the rising Sun. Oh hateful orb that has stolen my true love from me... sob, weep, etc. Exits finally, crumbling to dust, roll credits!
Well there's a game I'll never forget.
As a game it's very good; tense, short and focussed. But as a design it's incredible. I have never played such a complete experience. Nothing is out of place or wrong or imperfect. Everything is intended to concentrate the mind to the task at hand.
The setting is unique. The props are wonderful and even the play aids have had a level of care and attention lavished on them that is seldom seen. Orlok keeps track of his blood points on an abacus of red beads in a black lacquered box for instance, it makes you want to spend them. Totally brilliant. Best designed game I've ever played.
Just a final couple of scenery shots to end with. Enjoy.
Mammoth Hunt - Jonas
I love mammoths, who doesn't?.
I watched Jonas' build thread for this game on the LAF and I'm glad I got to play it. I've added this to my list of things to do in the future. There's not a huge amount of work involved in preparing the figures and scenery but the pay off is great. Lots of fun for lots of players and it doesn't take long to play either so you can go again.
The unsuspecting mammoth herd wanders along in the evening light.
Suddenly hordes of cavemen burst out of the surrounding trees with fire and dogs and clubs and arrows. The herd panics and splits up, running in several directions.Some are heading towards the prepared pits but, in the end, the pits didn't claim any victims.
Some mammoths fall quickly, usually to the skill and determination of the caveman champions who lead each contingent, but several unlucky cavemen (and women) are also trampled underfoot.
It's all over in a surprisingly short amount of time. When the dust settles I find I have killed the most and can elect the new chief. I choose Og, my champion, bravest of the brave. Oh, wait, sadly Og is now flattest of the flat and the members of my tribe look around confused for another candidate. A caveman's life is terrible hard.
The rules used were Tusk from Irregular Miniatures if you'd like to try this yourselves.
Vampires - Tell me so I can include your name :)
This little gem was the first game I played at GLAM this year. Mark and I took on the roles of Vampires (me) and Hunters (Mark) in a Fear and Faith game.
The first scenario involved the three children above trying to warn the adults that Vampires were abroad whilst I tried to intimidate them into running home.
The poor little tykes weren't convincing and were sent home by the adults anyway. I killed the cat lady because I could.
Someone evidently did believe the mewling little troublemakers however because scenario two saw some armed and dangerous Hunters arrive in my graveyard.
Mark looks a little pensive here but it's an act. His Hunters kicked me all around the graveyard and soon finished me off. To my consternation I found that Fear and Faith, Like Song of Blades and Heroes, involves a lot of falling over in combat. Once I fell over, which I did often enough to believe I was in a Chuckle Brothers episode, I was easy to stake.
Oh well, that'll teach me to be an undead fiend I suppose.
Nice scenery and some decent figures made for a good little game none-the-less. My only regret is not killing the interfering priest :)
Zulus - Björn, Driscoles
The games on this page are ones I didn't play myself so there will be less words (hooray!) and not as many photos as there might have been (boo!). The nature of an event like GLAM is that you just can't play everything.
This used a modified Triumph and Tragedy rule set. Isolated groups of British defenders had to fight their way to safety. Or at least to each other to join up so they had more of a chance.
I've no idea who won but it's usually the Zulus in these things.
Sudan - Frank
This is pretty much what I expected from Frank. Beautiful figures and stunning terrain. More Triumph and Tragedy here too I think.
It's all lovely isn't it.
Pardulon - Jens, Zafarelli
Here's the gorgeous Pardulon table for this year. Inspired by Borderlands it's full of the details and atmosphere that make all of Jens' tables come alive.
The power lines area great touch and I'd love to include such things in my scenery but the thought of what players might do to them during play prevents me from taking the plunge.
There was an underground area accessible from the side of the board. A lovely touch.
The screwed on facing plates that lined the board edges were another striking feature.
Unfortunately Jens didn't run a game on the table because apparently he had trouble with his voice. Closer inspection reveals this wasn't the case however and something else may have been wrong.