Bryan's Biog and Introduction
|Vampifan and Vampirella|
I began my gaming hobby by playing Napoleonic and World War 2 war-games. In the early 1980's I discovered Dungeons and Dragons, a game I followed devotedly until the early 1990's when I fell out favour with both it and with fantasy gaming in general. D&D brought me to the world of role-playing games and table-top skirmish wargaming, where one figure represented one person. During the 1980's and 1990's I ran many long and successful RPG campaigns for games as diverse as Bushido, Space Opera, Villains and Vigilantes, Vampire: the Masquerade and numerous settings using the GURPS rules. I also participated in games such as Aftermath and Call of the Cthulhu. My wargaming needs were fulfilled by games of Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, Bloodbowl, Necromunda and Wild West Skirmish Gaming.
In 2000 my gaming group had disbanded due to player deaths, marriages and moving away from the North East of England where I have lived all my life. Fortunately for me, I discovered a new world of gaming - solo gaming. I was also able to finally run the campaign I had wanted to run for many years - Zombie Apocalypse gaming. Whenever I mentioned it to my playing group they always vetoed the idea. All Things Zombie by Two Hours Wargames became my saviour until I recently took up board-gaming with miniatures. Nowadays I predominately play boardgames and table-top skirmish games as a solo player.
I have been a blogger for over seven years now and my other blog Vampifan's World of the Undead is very successful. As its title suggests, it is dedicated to all things undead, with a special emphasis on vampires and zombies in boardgames, books, films, miniature figures and table-top gaming.
A couple of years ago I was introduced to a game I'd never heard of before called Super Dungeon Explore (SDE). This was a real eye-opener for me as I'd long fell out of love with fantasy gaming. I instantly fell in love with the Chibi miniatures used in SDE and the game itself. It was like a breath of fresh air to me. Although the concept of dungeon crawling certainly wasn't new, the rules, figures and setting were. Ever since then my passion for collecting Chibi miniatures has grown and grown.
A short while ago, my good friend, Steve Gilbert, suggested we run a Chibi themed blog. I know a lot about blogging and Steve knows far more about Chibi gaming than I do. Indeed, it was he who introduced me to SDE, so we should make a good team. We will be sharing this blog, so you'll get articles from me, from Steve and his partner, Hilary. However, we later decided to open up the blog to cover all types of dungeon Crawling games, not just those using Chibi figures. Initially, we will be covering two games - Chibi World and Super Dungeon Explore, which are indeed, Chibi-based. Chibi World is Steve's baby - he wrote it. Later, we plan to cover such games as the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame System and Shadows of Brimstone, plus anything else we think will be relevant. The plan is to post the blog every Wednesday morning. One of the first lessons I learned about blogging is it pays to post regularly. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave comments and offer suggestions to improve the blog.
|Hilary and pet dog, Pixie|
Hmm, a little bit about myself. I have lived many places in my life, from Mauritania (camel riding is fun, just don't fall off), Nigeria, South Africa... oh, and ordinary places like Cornwall and Felixstowe, he he!
I have wined and dined at the Arabian Embassy, lived with the SAS, as our personal security guards, seen the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and swam the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean and the warm Red Sea.
I ran my own business in Africa, and now own a studio practising Hypnotherapy (having finally passed a five years diploma study, earning me the graduate title Guild Trained. Yeeeey, go me!
Now I live in the wilds of Southern Ireland with my lovely partner, Stevie, and am as happy as can be, living a reclusive life of books, my crafts, mad collection of DVDs, lots of gaming and RPGs. And, yes, it is true *blush* I dress up in costumes for many of our games... from Victorian dresses, Wild West Saloon Girl, Fantasy D&D Druid and Fighter, to a Femme Fatale in good old 20's Pulp romp.
|Steve is happy with his SDE boxed set|
I don't recall even using any proper written down rules to speak of. i used to make up simple little rules in my head using a single six-sided die. If a little plastic man fired his gun - a 5 or a 6 was a hit (no thought was ever made to range). At which point I used to throw the die again: 1, 2 or 3 and the figure had taken a flesh wound and was knocked over and was out of the game for a few minutes; 4 and the figure was seriously wounded and couldn't fire his gun any more; 5 or 6 and the figure was clean K.O. and removed from the game!
I recall artillery was conducted a little differently. I'd either roll a few marbles from a yard or two away, or (as I got more sophisticated) by scrunching my hand into a fist, closing my eyes and spreading my fingers as they would go and seeing how many figures fell from the blast effect.
Similarly with melee. I'd pair off the figures (no such thing as 2 to 1 odds or such like) and throw a die: 1 or 2 and X side has scored a kill; 3 or 4 and neither figure hurt the other this turn; 5 or 6 and side Y won the fight. Melees were always to the death because as a kid I figured that historical close quarter fighting must have been more vicious than ranged combat.
Actually moving the figures was a matter of eye. The length of a fully stretched middle finger and thumb would suffice for most infantry, and double this for cavalry. Of course, the fingers used to stretch just a little bit wider apart for my favourite pieces or a newly purchased box of soldiers.
As I got older, all through my teens into young adulthood, right through marriage and watching my kids mature into grown-ups, my passion for wargaming reached a zenith and has stayed there ever since... so much so that my entire family and many of our friends now enjoy everything from table top wargaming and boardgames to role-playing games of fantasy... and of course, Chibi games as well.
I have written professionally for many game companies in my time. From TSR (D&D) to Wizkids (Mage Knights and HorrorClix). I am former editor of Wargames Journal, former forum manager with Pendraken Miniatures, I have worked with Prince August Toy Soldier Factory, Impact Miniatures and a few others. I enjoy giving talks and lectures on various aspects, both on military history or on the gaming hobby in general: from Fantasy, Ancients, Romans and Britains, Dark Ages, Medieval, Renaissance, English Civil War, French Indian War, American War of Independence. Napoleonic Warfare (including naval warfare), American Civil War, Colonial Africa, the Sudan and World Wars 1 and 2. I am also the author of three novels.
Although originally born in England, for the last 23 years I have lived at home in total bliss, in County Cork (Southern Ireland) with my lovely partner, Hilary, two dogs... and thousands of card, plastic and metal miniatures. Our kids visit us often, and usually ask to play a game of something or other when they do visit us. So, Dungeons and Dragons, a table top Pulp Action game, a Cowboys and Indians skirmish... even a full blown table top battle, is a frequent sight for visitors at our home to witness, either played out on our huge kitchen room table or in the more reclusive safe haven of the games room.
As I get older, I become more and more of a recluse and a hermit. This is by happy choice, as I have literally everything in my life I want, and I don't feel the need to go looking for more. Life, a wonderful partner, great kids (who love to visit), loving animals, nice home and a life time's collection of miniatures and terrain... hell yeah, I'm a happy chappie!