Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Conan the Barbarian

One of the ongoing interests I have in respect of Fantasy and Science Fiction reading (and by extension, gaming) is the various adventures of Conan the Barbarian. A hardback complete chronicles edition is available and I have just acquired the same courtesy of an enormous number of Waterstones loyalty card points. This version has been kicking around for a while and was one of those ‘I-must-get-around-to-getting-a-copy-of-this-at-some-point’ titles that most gamers have. There is also an illustrated guide to the world of Conan that is supposed to be pretty good – if only for the eye candy in respect of how our hero’s world looks – and would probably find its way on to the bookshelves at home in due course. I also enjoyed the film with Arnold Schwarzenegger (although the sequel was pretty dire by comparison – even allowing for dubious attractions of Grace Jones!) and must confess that the idea of gaming some of his exploits would be pretty tempting although are probably better represented on a skirmish or even role playing level – perhaps something akin to GWs Lord of the Rings large scale skirmish game.

One of the great things about this compilation is the background to the Hyborean Age and the maps – these have already been identified as a potential source for an ‘imagi-nation’ style set up (Bob Cordery has already suggested this) – that really help to establish the background for the stories. In the same way, having a background and map to any type of ‘imagi-nation’ is an enormous benefit and really serves to add substance to the storyline and events.

As for gaming the exploits of Conan then I think that perhaps a good fantasy skirmish set of rules should be about right. Large scale fantasy games will tend to lose the ‘heroic’ nature of the genre unless you go down the route of HOTT or the similar Fantasy Rules by Sabers Edge. Figures should not be a problem to come by as most fantasy miniature manufacturers produce ‘barbarians’ of various sorts; usually with a huge two handed sword and wearing little besides a helmet and an animal skin of some sort! Having said that, Pendraken and also Kallistra produce really nice ranges of 10mm barbarians that should satisfy the most anarchic inner Cimmerian……………;-)

I have no intention of embarking upon assembling hordes of Hyborean armies (although lists for these feature in the HOTTs rulebook) – and my only nod to pre gunpowder combat MAY be the odd DBA/HOTT army but that would be it. I have way too many things on the go as it is!

6 comments:

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

I finished reading the complete Chronicles of Conan last week and enjoyed much more than I had expected.

Read and enjoy!

All the best,

Bob

Ogrefencer said...

Hi Bob,

This will be my therapeutic read over the next few weeks and no mistake - I really enjoyed the chapter on the Age of Hyborea.

All the best,

Ogre

Tas said...

I got a copy last year too, but haveyet to read it! the setting is well detailed and great fun. Always on the lookout for a few 15mm figs that would fit HOTT armies!!!

Ogrefencer said...

Hi Tas,

There is something about the concept of the barbarian that appeals to most wargamers - the sword is mightier than the pen etc, not to mention the drinking, wenching and consuming huge slabs of roast animal - sounds good to me!

All the best,

Ogre

Tas said...

Don't forget the "lamentation of the women"!

Ogrefencer said...

....usually when another parcel arrives from Amazon or Ebay!!!