Friday, 21 July 2017

YOU are the hero!

Another foray into the distant past.....

In the long-ago time before Warhammer and its various iterations the founders of Games Workshop started building their fantasy empire with a series of 'choose your own adventure' style books called Fighting Fantasy.  These books were set in different worlds than the Warhammer games would eventually find themselves in but felt like early GW products in their art-style and combination of high-fantasy mixed with humour.  The first book in the series was The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain and it basically played like an old-school early 80s Dungeons & Dragons adventure that the reader could play by themselves.

In 1986 Games Workshop released a board game version of The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain that basically works like a cross between Talisman and Clue.  At the time of release the game was well above board game standards in terms of component quality and the artwork holds up really well to this day.  In the game each player plays an adventurer trying to explore Firetop Mountain while also deciphering which keys they will need once they make it to the end.  Each character is represented statistically in the same way as a Fighting Fantasy game book character and they will encounter similar challenges and treasures along the way.

Aside from some luck of the dice allowing for slight statistical differences all characters are effectively the same (no race, class, etc) but rather than just some sort of meeples Games Workshop included 6 unique character models in the game.  I only recently acquired my copy of the game but I have to say if I'd had this in 1986 I could have use these pieces to represent every D&D character I played through my first few years in the game.

For 31 year old models they hold up surprisingly well and other than some giant hands (which seemed common among GW 1 piece plastics of the era) they are well executed figures.  The only thing some players might be disappointed by is the lack of a female figure but again the pieces are effectively just meeples so you can add any figures you want.  In my case I'm actually going to paint up a female halfling rogue for Zoe to use in a game.

I'm excited to have these done and they will make it to the tabletop this coming Thursday so after languishing in their box for 3 decades at least the time from paint to game will be relatively short for them.


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