Sunday, 13 December 2009

Life Work The Universe...... Breath of the Fire Dragon

"Kobolds!" - Not quite what I expected the Master Chef to say when he gave me a pack of painted miniatures. "Kobolds from Splintered Light. 'Foresty creature' look about them so I thought you'd like them for your Fire Dragon armies".

"Oh! I've included some excess Satyr's too!" Satyrs? I mean, let's be honest, they're the Austin Powers of the fantasy world. I'm not sure I can field these on a tabletop without quoting one-liners from the movie! Thanks Chef!

Whilst I'm firmly into 15mm now, my personal golden age of fantasy miniatures lies back with 25mm in the 1970's. This entry on gives an impression of the type of figure I still hold a deep fondness for over and above the 28mm grotesque of Games Workshop.

My favourites were
Minifigs' Valley of the Four Winds, and Garrison's Sword & Sorcery ranges spiced up with Vikings, Sassanids, Ghazanids and Medievals plus the odd plastic 'giant' Eagle.

The spark for all this came from Airfix Guide no.9. At that time I used to hike up to The Harrow Model Shop in Station Road every saturday to spend my pocket money, it would still be a couple of years before GW would open in Dalling Road. I walked 3 plus miles each way to spend my £1 a week on 25mm figs at 9p each. "Luxury! Tell the young people of today....." LOL!

My introduction to 'fantasy' as such was the classic, Beowulf. I still remember listening to the story being played to us at primary school and can feel the deep intonation of the words and visualise the images conjured up in my mind from back then. This resonated with the world my mother painted for me with her stories of Finn McCool, Brian Boru and Finnbheara. It's this gritty world of Dark Age monsters and magic, Fearie Kings, Anglo-Saxon poems and Norse sagas I have always found more intriguing than what could be called 'High Fantasy'.

The Wulf Kings and the Crow Lords, simple warbands of heroes and men, forest creatures, sprites and the deamons of the land will battle for dominance over the Valley of the Fire Dragon. Whilst the Fire Dragon himself, HOT37: The Swallower of Hope from will come from his mountain ramparts on occasion to assert himself as overlord.

It's just something the soul of a boy from the "loch of the red eye" is telling me I have to do.



  1. Chef sent you stuff too! I got a crazy huge parcel from him.

    It's nice to hear about your early days of gaming. I remember doing extra chores for this really great stoner/hippy dude who was into gaming. We'd do yard work for him and then he'd drive me and my buddies to the hobby shop where we would spend hours pouring through the racks looking for the Ral Partha (our favs) figs that would fit our fantasy armies.

    We didn't have a rules system but we had each picked a niche of monsters that we collected.


  2. To be honest, working from memories of my copy of "1st Fantasy Campaign" ie Blackmoor - back in the day, there weren't no rules.

    I had an Airfix Ancient book too and found it inspiring and demoralising in equal measure.

    One thing that really annoyed me was a Tony Bath article which described a campaign set in and I quote "Greek Terrain". I was 12 and had been as far as the Isle of Wight. What did he mean. All i could work out was mountains?" but hoplites dont do mountains. So my airfix romans and britains stayed in the land of green baize....

  3. "Green baize" LUXURY!

    I had to play in a tarpit covered in manure, with empty sardine cans representing my hoplites....LOL

    Reality was sadder than that - I cut all the right hand facing men out from my comics and played against the left-hand facing men....

  4. Ah! Anywhere that serves up gaming goodness and Monty Python is the right place to be.
    That is how I remember my first gaming sessions in '79; everything evenually degenerated into a MP skit and howls of laughter. :)

    Goooood night a'ding ding ding ding ding!

  5. Nice story and project. I have a great fondness for those early fantasy lines and the vast armies they envisaged (that my 15 year-old self could never afford). I will have to give this ruleset a look, but for the moment, I am building up my old Dragontooth Miniiatures Saurian Empire figures to play as a Warhammer Ancient Battles force.