Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Bretonnia, Again!

Hello all! Problems abound once again and explain the fluctuating nature of posts here this month. But at least I can snatch a few moments to share these great old dioramas by the Perry's. Play spot the Bretonnian figure in these 'really rather historical' Citadel set-ups and marvel over the proper old school scenery too. 

The two scenes here are all rather 'too realistic' to be considered Warhammer don't you think? The tone of the the scenery is different in style to much of the stuff scene in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. For years I pondered this strange observation. But in recent times, I have uncovered threads that lead towards a 'yet another' unpublished GW game that would have put the Bretonnian range centre stage. For its seems, for a while anyway, that a knight vs knight wargame was being developed in the famous Design Studio. Sadly, shots like these, the outstanding Bretonnian range and few other sources are all that remain of this project. 


  1. The dioramas are really great! I admire the realism of the landscapes...thoses hedges and fields in the background are absolutely stunning. I find this very interesting, that in times were there were not as many products as today to represent foliage, leaves etc they managed to achieve something looking better than most wargaming scenery you have seen since.
    However I find that the later bretonnians more characterfull and 'organic' than these, looing very much like clones.
    I like the twisted and dark atmosphere of later editions making the world of warhammer scream you and stink and taste even when opening a book or a WD.

    But this is just my opinion, especially as I'm younger than the minis shown here...
    Which leads me to something else...Can someone enjoy Oldhammer to the fullest if he wasn't even born when the stuff was originally released? I'd like to here some opinions on that as I fell quite awkward entering this 'new world', which is really appealing and I can understand what motivates collectors to bring back the memories of old days. I feel the same about the stuff from the late 90's/early 2000's...even if that might be sacrilege to some. But that was the time I started, and the first memories going into oldschooly sketchy tabletop shops were boxes were stacked up to the ceiling and there were many strange new things to discover. (Funnily enough with 13 when I started GW LOTR I was actually disgusted by the Mordheim and WHF artworks and miniatures and thought only psychopaths would love such I'm a huge fan myself and find that the LOTR universe is too clean, too black-and-white...)

    I'd really appreciate reactions to my questions though!


    1. Get out of my yard, you young whippersnapper!

      Seriously, though, can someone enjoy Punk if they were born after 1977? Of course! Can someone build vintage hot rods if they were born after the 1950's? Absolutely! And just try to find someone at an American Civil War reenactment who was alive for the actual war!

      No one can tell you not to enjoy Oldhammer 'cause you're too young.

      And while the core focus and inspiration of Oldhammer seems to be 3rd Ed and Rogue Trader (like Basic D&D and AD&D for the OSR movement), I don't see any shortage of love for OOP games like Mordheim or Necromunda (or Epic, or Space Hulk, or Inquisitor) among many of the same folks. Not to mention alternative rule sets, like Song of Blades and Heroes.

      And I think lots of folks have nostalgia for things that creeped them out when they were kids - that's why I love things like the movie Alien and the Planet of the Apes TV show. Man, just watching the commercials for those gave me nightmares!

      So, don't let anyone let you feel awkward. After all, we're grown men playing with toy soldiers.

  2. Could the game be Chivalry, that appeared in WD as a cardgame?
    It featured various cards with sketches of knights, with coloured hit locations, red for attack and yellow for defence.
    The game was meant as a minigame during a regular wfb battle, and was supposed to be used to fight challenges between champions.

  3. Where these images published? I'd love to see larger scans.

    1. They were published in WD130 in the UK. Drop me a pm on the forum or through FB.

  4. @Mark
    "Can someone enjoy Oldhammer to the fullest if he wasn't even born when the stuff was originally released?" I don't see why not. I myself never played those earlier version, though I was around to collect some of the figures and use them in RPGs.
    My take on the Oldhammer thing is that it's about taking the game back from the corporate mindset and making it a proper hobby again... playing with the figures and rules you prefer... rather than chasing the dragon of constantly changing rules and expanding costs. Having a general DIY approach to it and not fretting over having it all be 'official' or 'tournament legal'. Be willing to tinker with rules you don't care for and change them.

    So by that measure I think you could bring the 'Oldhammer' attitude to playing with current rules and models as well.

  5. Interesting to see the reference to a Bretonnia-centric game. I've been dredging through my memory.

    I remember the Chivalry card game, though nothig really beyond the fact of its existence. I also remember that someone (the Perrys, I think) was working on a jousting game at some point between 1986 and 1989, but nothing beyond that. I don't think the game got any further than Bob Naismith's Tower of Screaming Death. I'm pretty sure that was before Nigel Stillman's Bretonnia army book, so Bretonnia wasn't really on the radar at the Design Studio at that time.

    That's all I've got. Wish I could remember more.

    1. Thanks Graeme. The game I was referring to was Chivalry indeed. Though the article published in White Dwarf in 1990 alludes to a wider game from which the cards were taken. I suspect that the jousting game of what you speak of eventually developed into 'Full Tilt' which was published in White Dwarf in 1997!

  6. An oldhammer knightly combat game?! Be still my beating heart! If you were able to dredge that out from one of your correspondents, James, I'd be a very happy man indeed!

    Beautiful dioramas, thank you for sharing. Are they from a WD? Which number?

    1. They are from White Dwarf 130 and 131 if memory serves.

    2. Thanks - I'll follow those up.