The Hastur Cycle

Following on from my recent book acquisitions of The King In Yellow related stories, I dug out my coy of The Hastur Cycle. This book is a collection of stories on Hastur, The King In Yellow and Carcosa. it’s part of a series of books Chaosium produce in support of their Call of Cthulhu RPG, mostly edited by Robert M Price.

Entitled as: Tales that Created and Defined Dread Hastur, the King in Yellow, Nighted Yuggoth, and Dire Carcosa”, it has the key stories written by H P Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, Robert W Chambers et al.

The material varies in style, with so many authors including Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell, and include poems and play scripts as well as more conventional short stories. Karl Wagner’s “The River of Night’s Dreaming” will make you think twice when watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Essential reading, and the stories are in a sequence charting the development of the mythology behind Hastur and the King In Yellow, and even includes James Blish’s stab (at insanity) at writing the play of The King In Yellow in “More Light”.

Do I now need to groom my buildings ?

The third 4 Ground building is complete and I think it needs some grooming (see below) ! Yes this is the Polish rural dwelling with the teddy bear fur thatched roof.

I ordered a second set of these buildings as I was so impressed, and having two 12×6 tables to dress in June thought I might need them. I also ordered a pot of their “bleached wood” paint as the one downside of these MDF kits is the joints, especially for the roofs are noticeable.

Now you see them….

Now you don’t !

The paint pot is standard Citadel/Foundry/Coat d’Arms style and fits in exactly with their pre painted kits.

All three buildings built, based and painted. In the background, are some more CD bases that I have done for Byakhee JP, so I don’t have to carry all my stuff round his place when he hosts – altruism and self interest merged into one. Sadly I have run out of cheap CDs to create more bases and have a load of ideas for new scenery I can create.

Next I should get back to painting some miniatures.

BoB: Here’s one someone else did earlier

The adrenaline rush that kept me going through the stress of the builders and then the AVBCW Big Game ran out back end of last week, so I took a break and apsent half my time asleep.

I did however get round to some trees. I bought ten of them from Jon & Diane Sutherland and they’d arrived the day before the Big Game, so didn’t feature. As I am planning a BoB Big Game in June, I thought I’d get them out.

They came on square bases that were quite thick and didn’t fit into my standard style of basing. So off they came. I’d said I was going to do this whilst buying them so I knew they’d been glue gunned onto the bases.

Using a foul mix of superglue and all purpose glue I stuck them onto my standard CD bases. Though BlackJack’s Satanic glare may have helped…

Before and after. Of course the first one I did was the smallest tree, as you can see.

Five of them done up. I have now run out of the free CDs and have asked the Byakhees for more. I estimate I have done over 100 such bases in the last couple of years.

Then I finished off the second 4 Ground building, the Ukrainian Rural building.

AVBCW: Here’s one I did earlier

For the Big Game last Saturday I did a couple of new scenery pieces, and bought some bocage style hedges from Jon & Diane Sutherland.

About 2 years ago I bought some buildings on e-bay from a dodgy vendor who shorted me out of over £100, but about 2/3rds of the goods did reach me, and to be fair they were very nice. I had long planned to put a couple of these very British terrace houses together and make a country Post Office. I’d even got an appropriately sized piece of MDF cut as a base, but I just never got round to it.

Well having to dress a third table, concentrated my mind ! So I dug out the pieces and started work. The MDF board has the dolls house paving glued to it. I had envisaged the base would have a pavement out the front of the buildings, around the side and a paved yard behind the P.O.

The two (resin) buildings were assembled and glued to the base.

The edges of the base were painted in – a small but noticeable flaw if you don’t do this. (Or is this just me being obsessive ?)

Then the back garden was flocked.

By now it was Friday lunch, the static grass was added, and I left it on the kitchen window sill for an hour to dry out – the extra wamth from the sun helped dry it all out ASAP.

Because I needed to add the brillo pad hedging ! Yes simple brillo pads chopped up, sprayed a darker green and then highlighted with Foundry Forest Green and Moss.

The only thing I didn’t have time for was to add the lettering on the front of the shop !

Very simple to do, but makes it stand out as a more important “objective” and makes it useable in urban locations as well as rural.

BoB: 4 Ground Buildings pack of East European buildings

Following on from the AVBCW Big Game, several of the attendees asked whether I’d be dojng another Big Game, and whether it would be BoB. Simple answer is yes.

So whilst recovering on Sunday evening, I decided to buy some more scenery suitable for BoB/RCW. I remembered I had seen the new 4 Ground Eastern Europe scenery and decided to check that out.

I ordered it Sunday evening, received a dispatch notice Tuesday morning, and an hour later the courier turned up with it !

A veritable pile of pieces. I opened up the Russian building pack. The figure gives some idea of how many components are involved in these buildings. The figure is a 28mm piece from the Mannheim Partizan convention that I bought and was delivered a week or so ago. (A dismounted Cossack – lovely figure)

I thought it was going to take a month of Sundays to build these buildings given the double sided A4 instruction leaflet.

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But I didn’t think I’d be using clothes pegs to hold stuff together.

By 8.30pm however, the building was 90y% complete. I did the main walls and interior and then the roof section in parallel which reduced the time. I did not press out all the wall sections to further ‘distress’ them as I wanted a half habitable building. This morning all I had to do was glue on the shutters, cut and paint a base, and then this afternoon glue the building to the base, flock and add static grass.

Ta da !

  • A bit pricey at £20+, but you get a fully painted building with interior and exterior detail that you can customise, so worth it.
  • Follow the instructions closely
  • the building is solid with good thick walls.
  • I’ll be buying their paints to finish off the joints better.

Well worth the money and a super quick service.

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange – Summary

With 14 players and three tables this was the biggest game JP & I have put on, and it went reasonably well.

Table 1

The Royalists failed to break through. They retained the Bishop of Hereford, so are still “in the game”. They escaped with most of their troops. The Socialists prevented the hand over, but had their heavy tank damaged. They lost a fair number of troops though.

On reflection, the “attackers” should have had more troops as defenders always have an advantage.

Table 2

The BUF failed to press home their attack, distrusting their Royalist allies who wanted to make the swap. Both of these factions did a deal to escape Foy, without their heavy equipment. The Baron of Foy also escaped in disguise.

The Anglican League were betrayed by the Socialists who had littered the road with IEDs and has initiated an attack. The long term fall out of this is yet to be seen.

As one player commented:

The gaming was more interesting than just a shoot them up…

Again the divisions between the Royalists and BUF have long term consequences, as do the divisions within the BUF hierarchy.

Table 3

The BUF made a strong attack on one flank but were perhaps too cautions on the other flank. Their use of tanks certainly wound up the opponents. They got unlucky by keeping their infantry in a “target rich environment”.

The ebb and flow was good to watch, but again with hindsight, the attackers should have had more troops.

The long term outcome of Captain Arrowsmith’s utterances is TBD.

Overall

As Umpires, we need to ensure that as well as balancing the tables and players, we also need to recognise the spin that a ascenario should give on the forces, with attackers given more forces to overcome inherent bias towards the defenders.

The players enjoyed the day, and are busy posting their versions of events.

My full set of photos can be found here.
They include 15 pictures taken by Roo, whose forces I commanded at short notice due to his daughter’s b’day party.

JP’s blog entry and pictures are here.

Matt’s write up of Table 1 is here.

Captain Arrowsmith’s comments and photos are here. (Scroll up for the photos)

Leadboy’s comment:

My French clad Anglicans on Table 2 were rather puzzled by my fellow Anglican Mort’s (campaign dictated) strategy of masterly inactivity as deployed in the morning (and equally by the Royalist’s corresponding stance, which seemed to result in much wall jumping and rejumping in a sideways direction). By lunchtime, I think my forces had managed to shoot up a postbox and one IED carrying van. The afternoon became much more complicated, with an attack by concealed Socialists on one of my sections (having sprayed it with an MMG and rifle fire, a truce was immediately concluded between Mort and the Socialists, so my chaps had to watch the murderous rabble file away without reply), followed by the satisfactory repulse of an attacking wave of Nick’s (aka the evil Foy’s) BUF. The afternoon concluded with a flank attack by my slightly out of control cavalry straight into the mud of an impassable railway embankment.

There are a few of the other Matt’s photos on the VBCF thread here.

Sir Gilbert’s chronicle of events.

From Captain Bigglesmay (aka Comrade Smith, Table 2):

Comrades,
Great news from the north of Herefordshire, with supplies gained from out side of the county allowing us to prevent Anglican false deals with Royalists who would seek to put us down. They were taught the lesson to not look for back room deals even after we tried to offer them a peaceful and respectful deal before hand. It is clear they value their old leader the Bishop of Hereford, more than our friendship and we have started to deal a blow against their pride and that they can never be trusted. Our work with Welsh comrades, more of which rush to our side as we speak, as well as Unions from other counties has proved we can become a force within Herefordshire and look to follow the example of other socialist states in the midlands and create a true fair state for our people. We have proved we can beat a Royalist army and make it run from our forces. We have proved we had give a bloody nose to the Anglican league and that they are becoming a force on the out.

Who will take their place as resistance against the Fascist forces and their puppet king? We shall, with our victory today we have proved ourselves and our chances of success. On comrades, to Hereford and victory!

Comrade Smith.

We await more updates

AVBCW: A Royal Mitre Exchange 4

On Table 2 the high tide of the BUF advance:

They got as far as the first line of defences.

The Anglicans advanced in response. They also did a deal with the Socialists, who moved off to help their comrades on Table 1.

But the BUF melted away as they came under fire as the fog lifted. One section was lost entirely, and another lost a third of its troops.

Table 3 and having decimated the BUF infantry of Captain Arrowsmith, Sir Gilbert’s forces surge foward with the unharmed steam powered armoured car whose HMG had trapped the BUF cavalry in woods out of harm’s way.

Captain Arnett’s tank moves forward, but it is too little too late.

The other BUF forces bug out ! Captain Arrowsmith expresses his frustration at being given a spoiling attack and not a proper mission befitting his status.

But he enjoys one last victory (in the last turn of the game) knocking out Sir Gilberts armoured car that he had failed to damage for the entire game !

On Table 2 the BUF consolidate their positions following their withdrawal.

Whilst the Royalists still don’t open fire on the Anglican League as they advanced…

And on Table 1 the socialists emboldened by reinforcements advance towards the retreating Royalists.

Who dug in…

The End