miniatures.

Anniversary Diorama: HASC meets Warhammer!

Every year, I make a diorama for my husband using the bits I have spare in the hobby room. For me, it is an excuse to try out different techniques and create something fun. I really enjoy doing these and this year was no exception. I got to try out two new things. First of all though, let me show you what I made:

The two things I created that were new this year, was the river and the barrels.

I have wanted to try rusty barrels for a while, and this was the perfect excuse to do so. I found a recipe for it online and I am pleased with the results – I shall do a tutorial on this in a few posts time!

The other thing was the river. For that, I found some dried leaves outside and scrunched them up until I had small flakes. I then used PVA glue to put them on the base in a river, including the little waterfall area. When that had dried, I went over it with Vallejo’s Water Texture goo (which smells pretty interesting) and then let it dry. When I had done so, I had a river!

For those who are unsure what is going on in this diorama, here is an explanation. The Space Marine, is playing Humanity Ascendant – a sci-fi, post apocalyptic LARP, which uses QR codes as a method of passing on information about the world to the players. He is using his scanner to see what those barrels are! More info on HASC can be found here:

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Humanity Ascendant: Event 9 – Horizons.

This weekend found me back in field! What a pleasure it was too. For those of you who don’t know, Humanity Ascendant is a Live Action Role Play game set 500 years in the future. The world has ‘survived’ an event called The Fall, which forced humanity to live underground. The apocalypse has eased off now to the point where people are back on the surface and fighting for survival. Think Fallout with an Xcom feel to it and you get the general idea.

This weekend was the first time I played a soldier character. Due to rules reasons, my last character was no longer viable, so I switched it up.

I spent my weekend running up and down hills, shooting at people with a big gun. When I wasn’t playing my character, I was doing the same thing as a monster! It was amazing.

While I was not shooting people – there is a lot more to this game than simply shooting guns – I was writing notes and interviewing people for the magazine! My character is also a reporter, who produces ‘Guns and Ammo’ for the other players to read. I interviewed a couple of other characters, some of the NPC’s and made notes for other pages.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I have come home tired but enthusiastic about the next steps in the game.

Humanity Ascendant’s next event is 23-25th September at Giants Seat in Manchester.

We have a very active Facebook group, who will be more than happy to answer questions and help get people involved should they need to. All the game guides and forms can also be found there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/270966893352267

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Humanity Ascendant: Event 8

This weekend, I had the fortune to go to Humanity Ascendant Event 8. The last event was in September, and was a lot of fun. This time was no different! Friday evening involved visits from some tribal people who are our allies, learning about the ancestors from one of them, and creating terrible slanderous poetry about a rival bunker leader. I am not going to publish that offensive drivel here, but know that my inner 12 year old is very proud of the swearing involved in such work.

Saturday morning was spend either helping set up missions or creating more propaganda posters calling out the big baddie!

Our mission on Saturday involved going out to investigate why some tribal people have been acting strangely. Along the way, we found a body with its head off – gross, and got shot at by some not-right tribals. We didn’t get dead, but we did get our heads messed with. When we found their priest, we fell under his influence and were unable to do him harm. He and his followers were drinking from a wellspring of C7 (liquid power) and were a bit nutty.

We couldn’t find a reason for them to be acting strange, so we backed off. At that moment, the compulsion we had all been under evaporated, so we murder-charged the group and shot them all! We then took his staff, a sample of the well, made an example of those who abandon their brothers through the act of humiliating videos and then tried to cheese it back to camp.

Of course, there was an ambush on the way back! Sniper rifles are bad. Snipers on the other side of a ravine who are far away are even worse. It took us a fair while, and rather a lot of health refills to get them, but they did eventually die!

The evening was spent chatting rubbish in character, sharing information and learning what else had happened through the day on other missions.

All in all, it was an awesome weekend. I hung out with awesome people, had a great laugh and met some new people too.

I am very much looking forward to the next event in June. If you want to join in the awesomeness, please get in touch!

miniatures.

Update!

I feel like I should do a bit of an update about what is going on and what I have been up to so far. Today, and the past few, have been very productive for me. I realised I could add a paypal button to the store section of the blog, and so I have done that. This should make it easier for those interested in my bits to actually buy them. Have a link, go check out the interesting buttons!

https://blackhandmarines.com/store/

Continue reading “Update!”
LARP

Humanity Ascendant at LARPCON

Today, I found myself roped into helping out at the Humanity Ascendant stall at LARPCON, and it was awesome. Meeting up with a couple of others from the game, we manned a stall and told all who would listen how cool the game is:

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We did so in some of our costume to give people the idea of what you can use as kit, showed off the guns and hardwear and introduced a lot of people to the world-setting. It was great to see others in costume as well and get ideas from them!

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The game is entering it’s third year, and most of the initial teething problems are now out of the way. I am now very much looking forward to exploring the world and interacting with it, and hopefully making some new friends along the way too. All the people we encountered today were enthusiastic with us, and hopefully, we have some more people to play the game. I am very much excited about going along and giving it a go.

If you are interested in coming along too, the first event is Easter Weekend at Giant’s Seat Scout Camp in Manchester. There is a link to the website below, but feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer them.

What is HASC?

I also bought a bolt gun, but more of that later.

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HASC Presentations!

Greetings Nerds!
Dave here making a cheeky guest post to talk about LARP, in particular Humanity Ascendant and Tagcon.
Humanity Ascendant is a Post-Apocalyptic LARP set in the UK 500 years in the future after a Nuclear War. The players are from Bunker Ascendant, a fallout vault style facility that has started to fail, and so reclaiming the surface is now a priority. Characters are based around 5 distinct professions, Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Scientist and Bureaucrat, each with skills and abilities that aid the Freedom Expeditionary Force (FEF) goal of expansion and survival.
The mechanics of the game are amazing, all gunplay combat is facilitated by military grade laser tag system called LaserWar. It allows each player to have individual health and gun stats based on skills and choice of weapon. We currently have options for Pistols, SMGs, Assault Rifles, DMR (Direct Marksman Rifle), Sniper Rifles and LMGs, along with some characters having researched advanced Railgun Technology!
So if you like games similar to Fallout/Frostpunk/The Division, films/TV like Madmax/The 100/Into the Badlands/Terminator and want to see if you have what it takes to survive in an irradiated land filled with mutants, technozombies and angry AIs, this game  is for you!
I have the pleasure of being a long term friend of the creator of the game Lee Long, and together we attended Tagcon 2020, a yearly gathering of the key members and event organisers of Firefight: Laser Tag Larp. We where able to get a 20 minute slot to talk about HASC, so we prepped a few slides, grabbed some toys and off we went!
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I was not sure what to expect, but we where made very welcome right from the start. It quickly became apparent that the people in the room where all longtime members of the group and had been playing together for a number of years. The timetable was pretty full;
1000 – Refreshments
1030 – Welcome to Tagcon
1040 – Dropzone Introduction – Claire Barclay
1050 – Dropzone Friday night ‘Rocket Race’ – James Barclay
1100 – Babylon Down – Edward Earl King
1120 – High Frontier: Moving Beyond The Bug Hunt – James Bloodworth
1140 – BREAK
1200 – Learning Laser Tag LARP backwards – Lee Long
1220 – Odysseus – James Bloodworth & Nick Reynolds
1300Lunch
A Bring and Buy will run During the lunch break
1400 – Dropzone: A New Dawn – Stephen Nash
1500 – IC Arguments – Simon Clark
1530 – Props and Costume discussion group
1620 – John Blau Memorial Quiz
1730 – Close
The first 2 items where discussing an event later in the year, it became obvious that unlike the LARPs I had played in the past, all the missions/events where designed to be completed within the day and not to have any significant connection to other events. Babylon Down sounds amazing! Set at the “launch” of B4, a team of various races/organisations have detected what appears to be the core of B3 (which exploded/disappeared) on a planet with a weird history. B5 is one of my all time favourite TV shows and location/timing dependant, I am very keen to give this a go!
The next presentation by James B was very interesting. High Frontier is a living document that brings a significant number of cult TV/Film/Book franchises into a loose timeline with the aim of providing a framework to run events in. The discussion points talked about a couple of challenges that GMs are currently having. Primarily it revolved around character records, with an increasing number of events being ran in similar time/theme zones, players want to port characters over on a more regular basis. This had started to present GMs with issues with characters having strange maggufins and knowledge that they had not prepared for. This then moved through advancement Vs fixed skills and then mortality rates. I think both me and Lee gave some useful input here as we come from a very different game space.
Then it was our turn! Lee was a little nervous, but this is the kind of stuff I live for! With the various discussions of the morning in mind, we tweaked the focus of a couple of parts to talk about how we manage progression, and how we make best efforts to ensure that no character is invalidated, regardless of how many events they have been to. So, remember I said we had 20 mins, by the time we had answered a couple of questions we had gone for 40! Pete was very gracious in allowing us time, and waited till we had stopped talking to let us know we needed to pass over to the next presenter. Had we won anyone over to coming to play? We would find out later….
Next up was James and Nick, they talked about quite possibly the greatest LARP event I have heard of, “Odysseus”. It sounded beyond epic, and I would probably miss some parts, however James has his own blog where you can read about it (and I must urge you to do so!) https://criticalpathsite.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/odysseus-a-retrospective/ . However the really interesting part of the presentation was on the Social Contract they used.  A couple of key points are below;
Play to Lift – It is each players obligation to ensure each other player has a rewarding experience. This in essence means that if everyone thinks about everyone else’s enjoyment then everyone has a better time. It is not intended to create a culture of “snowflakes”, but instead one of respect. You cant always give someone what they want, and conflict creates good stories, but by remembering everyone is at the GAME to have fun, more fun is had!
No Closed Doors – At this particular event, no doors (other than toilets!) could be closed. This is a very literal application of this idea, in that no one could exclude any other player/character from any conversation. Now I understand that the flavour/theme of some events require a certain amount of secrecy/sneakiness but I think this principle when applied correctly allows more people to get more involved and enjoy their games more
The Empty Chair – This is probably my favourite! When sitting down at a table (or task) if you are going to take the last chair, you must bring over another one to leave empty. This shows your open to have people join you and participate in what ever you are doing.
This resonated heavily with me and Lee, we had a couple of incidents at events last year (caused by a small number of people) but part of the issue where perceptions caused by issues that could have been fixed with applying the above. We will be working on the HASC social contract and guidelines for play for release before the next event.
The IC arguments presentation was about dealing with conflict, anxiety and discomfort in RP situations. Again this was very well thought out and highlighted that while we make sure to do physical safety briefs and have first aiders, but we do not have mechanisms or people in place to deal with mental health/safe spaces. As with the social contract we are working on methods and procedures to ensure that if the RP/situation gets too intense and people are no longer comfortable that they have a way to break away and “reset” before re-joining the game.
We then found ourselves in a 5 man team for the quiz, we clearly lucked out as despite me and Lee only answering 3 out of the 33 possible points, our team “Sucking Headwound” won!
As the day wrapped up we found ourselves talking to an increasing group of players wanting to talk tech, world setting, site location, event structure and costs for HASC! It was great to see that as excited as Lee and I where to try out the games we had heard about that day, a large number of the Taggers where keen to give HASC a go.
It was a really great day and we met some very passionate, skilled and very nerdy new people and I for one certainly hope to cross lasers with many of them in a field in the not too distant future!
If you want more info on HASC, you can check out the website and facebook groups, the same for Firefight. Or you can send me a message here, on Facebook or Twitter.
LARP · miniatures.

Humanity Ascendant – Part 1

I am going back to LARP. It wasn’t something I thought I would ever do so I am a little surprised at my enthusiasm for it. I stopped around three years ago as I thought someone suffering from violent voices actually running about wielding weapons wasn’t a good idea. The system had grown stale in my eyes as well and so I thought moving on from it was for the best.

Then a friend of mine set up a post apocalyptic system that sounded much more interesting. I haven’t been yet as I have resisted going, however the more I think about it, the more I want to go. It was sold to me as ‘Fall-out’ meets X-Files and today I have been deciding what I am going to play.

I decided to go for a scientist. I want to be able to create augmetic limbs not unlike a tech-priest from 40K. I have no idea whether this is possible or if it will work but I will neevr find out sitting about at home.

Going presents a couple of problems for me. One is gathering the relevent bits of gear to make myself look half decent when I go. A labcoat and microscope is high on my list, and I managed to pick up a kid’s science kit at a car boot sale today as well. The second is my level (or lack therof of) fitness. I have been wanting to shape up for a while and it seems this will be the reason to do so. I’ve been going on walks daily, gradually increasing the distance, and I have been eating a lot healthier too.

I am looking forward to giving it a go at the end of October as it looks like a lot of fun. I can only give it a try after all! If anyone else is interested in going along, the website is here:

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