The latest Bundle of Holding features seven titles from Osprey’s Osprey Adventures line: just $16.95 gets you all seven PDF ebooks with a retail value of $104.00. A couple of them are mine, and I’m in some very good company, including Chris Pramas, Phil Masters, and series chief Joseph A. McCullough. Here’s a link: take a look and I think you’ll be impressed.
Thor: Viking God of Thunder retells the Norse myths and covers Thor’s history from 6th-century Germany through the Viking Age to Marvel’s Avengers. Here’s a link to some of the great reviews it’s received.
Knights Templar: A Secret History is a roundup of history, rumor, and conspiracy theory surrounding the Templars and the Holy Grail. It even includes a brand new conspiracy theory that I made up, based on actual events and relationships, that could provide a great setting for all kinds of games. You can read more about it here: scroll down to the comments for links to reviews.
The Osprey Adventures line includes a lot of well-researched titles that are ideal as systemless sourcebooks for games. Take a look: you won’t be disappointed.
The Slann are long gone from Warhammer: I think the last time they were seen was in 3rd edition, back in the 80s. Still, this may be of interest to any Oldhammer fans who have a Slann army.
I’ve known about the Central American atlatl, or spear-thrower, for some time. Basically it’s a stick that slots into the base of a spear-sized, feathered dart and gives the throwing action more force. Just recently, though, I found out a little more thanks to an SCA demonstration, and I was impressed by what this very simple weapon can do. As far as I’ve been able to find out, Citadel never released any Slann atlatl troops, and that’s a shame: from what I’ve learned, they could be quite effective on the battlefield, as well as adding to the Mesoamerican look and feel of a Slann force.
Here are the notes I took at the time, slightly tidied up. I haven’t attempted to derive game stats for Warhammer or WFRP, preferring to leave that to those who are better at such things. Still, I hope you Oldhammer gamers and modelers find this information inspiring, or at least interesting.
In Aztec society, the atlatl was considered a “weapon of the gods.” The troops who used it, called Cuachicque or “shorn ones” (presumably from a distinctive haircut?) were elite warriors who had already captured at least six enemies on the battlefield.
Atlatl darts look like oversized arrows, 4-7 feet long and fletched. The atlatl gives these darts surprising range and hitting power. According to the World Atlatl Association forums, effective range is 10-15 yards/meters but a missile thrown in a high arc can reach as far as 50 yards. This may not sound like much considering that the current Olympic javelin record is almost 100 meters, but the atlatl only needs a one-step run-up and the Olympic javelin is thrown for distance without much regard for accuracy. Experiments have shown that an atlatl dart has significant range and hitting power. Though it cannot pierce a steel breastplate, it could wreak havoc on lightly-armored troops. Here’s a link to an actual test.
Has anyone converted or used Slann atlatl troops in a game? How did they work out? If you have rules for them, please add a link in the comments section. Or maybe we can crowdsource some workable rules right here.
A little while ago, I was contacted by Joe McCullough at Osprey Publishing with an invitation to contribute to Osprey’s first fiction anthology.
Joe has edited all five of the books I’ve written for Osprey so far*, and I guess he must have liked my work. As well as being one of the most pleasant editors I’ve ever worked with, he’s designed a very nice little fantasy skirmish game called Frostgrave, where wizards of various schools assemble bands of minions to explore and loot an ancient city as it emerges from an icy prison. I got a sneak preview, and it looks like a lot of fun.
Tales of the Frozen City was put together to help support the game, and I’m in some distinguished company in this 11-story collection. There’s Fighting Fantasy historian Jonathan Green, fellow Games Workshop alum Matt Ward, and, as they say, many others. I’m proud to be counted among them.
I just received my author’s copy of the collection, and it looks beautiful. Both electronic and dead-tree versions are available from Osprey and from your favorite retailers and e-tailers. I hope you’ll check it out. Check out the game, too: it looks like a lot of fun.
*My books for Osprey so far:
Thor: Viking God of Thunder (Osprey Myths and Legends)
Theseus and the Minotaur (Osprey Myths and Legends)
Knights Templar: A Secret History (Dark Osprey)
Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide (Dark Osprey)
Nazi Moonbase (Dark Osprey) – scheduled for April 2016