Shadows and Skirmish

So before I get into what Shadows and Skirmish is, I will introduce myself. My name is David, a gamer and Sci-Fi fan, an astrophysicist in love with vikings, a metal head, and miniature painter. I run Rising Sun Painting Studios, a small one man painting studio and have done commissions for many different people, including the Dungeons and Dragons accessories company Critit UK, painting their animal companions range. I have known Chris since our time working together in Games Workshop (GW) Manchester back in the early 2000’s, before I upped and left to Japan for 7 years.

Since moving back to the UK I have gotten back into gaming in a big way, first through Games Workshop, and then I moved into other skirmish games like Warmachine and Hordes, Infinity, and Malifaux. I also got back into roleplay games, first through Dungeon and Dragons (shudder!), then Iron Kingdoms Full Metal RPG, Edge of the Empire Star Wars, and Shadow Run Anarchy. Then the re-release of Kingdom Death: Monster on Kickstarter brought horror back into my life! Vampire: the Masquerade 5th edition was released last year and I have been getting back into the darker side of RPGs again, though I do prefer a more cyberpunk/post-apocalyptic setting, bringing horror into the future is something I love. Last year I was a ST for the V5 Halloween in the City event with Chris and hoping to be part of the GenCon Pop Up event in August running V5 and Wrath and Glory demos.

Kingdom Death:Monster survivors
Rasputina Crew for Malifaux
Extreme Carnivean for Hordes

Anyway, enough of that onto what I want to talk about, and the mainstay of my regular gaming life, Shadows and Skirmish. So what is Shadows and Skirmish? Well its a small lunch time gaming group who play small scale GW games, the key part to these games is that they are linked with a story. We delve into the worlds, create backgrounds for our forces and the fields of battle we play on. Each game is linked to the last, units in the games get named, and some even get “famous” for certain characteristics that arise in play. As we play through these games and campaigns, the worlds grow, new places discovered, forces form and break alliances, back stabbing and bribes, traitors are hunted, grudges settled. Whether we are playing in the far flung future of Warhammer 40,000, or the realms of Age of Sigmar (AoS), we look to create atmosphere, history, and most importantly a story.

When it comes to rules, the rule of cool is the first thing we look at. If it sounds cool we look at how we can fit it into a game and hack the rules for it to work. We look at rules as guidelines to building our world. In Kill Team there are no vehicle rules, but we wanted some giant walking robots, so we added in moving terrain pieces. Once you look at rules as a guideline you can pretty much create anything you want. Just don’t be meta or overpowered about it. We all work together on the things we want to add and try and make sure they fit in our worlds and with the aesthetic, theme, and heart of the rules.

So what are the worlds we play in. Lets start with Age if Sigmar. The 8 realms in AoS give a lot of diverse, weird and wonderful places for games to be played, the volcanic fires of Aqshy, the dark and dangerous plains of the shadow realm, Ulgu, or the many planes of the after life in the Realm of Death, Shyish. Each of the 8 realms offers a lot of scope for story games to be played, but we mainly base ours in a region of Shyish known as The Harrowmark. A dark, rainy, never ending forest, haunted by not just the dead, but creatures of nightmares prowl the depths, as Orruk pirates ply their trade, dark murky Aelves guard the waters, bands of crazed gloomspites grow spores, Kharadrons try to finish dark contracts, and crazed necromancers seek hidden powers. Arcane items that litter the woods are often a pretty prize for those daring enough to collect them. For a detailed background into The Harrowmark, the setting and some spooky pictures of tables and scenery see WarbossKurgans blog at:

Kharadron Overlords for The Harrowmark
A beast stalking the woods and graveyards of The Harrowmark made by Warboss Kurgan

When we travel to the far flung war torn future of the 41st millennium we tend to play in the desolate, polluted, ravaged world of Tor Megiddo, a world of Blood and Promethium. Yaike Yaike tribes, machine cultists, religious zealots, and crazed mutants patrol the blasted wastes of this once industrial jewel of the Imperium. Ancient machines walk the earth, called rust walkers, are considered demi-gods and worshipped by some, or hunted for parts by others. Promethium is the life blood, all seek it and guard their stashes jealously. Life is scarce in the harsh waste lands, as gangs fight for survival over the minimal resources available, fighting off twisted mutants and machines gone mad. Its a harsh life, but some survive and rise to the top. Gangs like The Purebred, The Slipgibbets and The Disciples of The Black, and the machine cultists of the Anomaly Protocol roam the wastes seeking parts and weapons.

The Disciples of the Black, a Promethium Cult for Tor Megiddo
Rust Walkers Stalking The Disciples from a recent game
The Disciples fighting out a mutant hound from the Purebreds

Tor Megiddo may be familiar to some who read White Dwarf as it was featured in White Dwarf last year after a large game was played in Finland. The setting is based on the Blanchitsu style of art from the great John Blanche. For a full description of the world, art style and games played in, on and under this world see the blogs below. These are the amazing people who designed and ran the initial game, along with some people who who now are helping to expand this dusty, rusty, waste of a world:

So as I start to contribute more to Darker Days Radio, I will post about some of my experiences in these worlds, not just the stories we create and the games we play, but how we go about creating our own slice of a larger published universe. I will also aim to talk about any horror gaming and roleplaying I do. I am hoping soon to do some Shadowrun Anarchy, and maybe some Tales From the Loop (James is in the process of writing a one shot for this – Chris). Though as I don’t have a regular RPG group most of this will be one-shots I run at my local board gaming club.

I will also post some of my painting every know and then if I feel I have done something worth while, but most of that an be found on my facebook page under RisingSunPaintingStudios.

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