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GorkaMorka Gaming

Having been cutting, gluing and painting ork miniatures and post apocalyptic terrain for the last few months, MT and SOS paid a visit to play some GorkaMorka a couple of weeks ago.

The plan was to concentrate on putting our respective mobs through their paces by playing nothing but GoMo for the duration, which is what we did.

I used my Bigdogz mob.  SOS had plans to paint a Freebooter pirate mob, but only got a couple of figures painted.  MT didnt have anything ready so he used SOSs figures.

SOS "Kaptin"

One of the reasons that GoMo was chosen for this particular gaming weekend is that SOS has enough orks already painted to allow us to build pretty much any ork mob we could want.  That way we had a fallback in case painting plans didnt come to fruition.  Therefore MT and SOS picked their mobs from SOS older stuff and we got going.

The look of SOS ork army is largely themed around WWII Wehrmacht, in case you were wondering, with each squad looking like paratroopers or desert camo guys or whatever.  SOS chose the ride above to start with.

MT chose the vehicle above as his first transport.  He chose to use one of SOS squads denoted by their soft brown caps.

We played a number of games over the day.  We didnt record exhaustive details of each game (there was enough bookwork in keeping track of the mob development itself), but we took photos of some of the more memorable moments, starting with the distinctly unmemorable picture below.

The opening three way game. Believe it or not, that turned out to be too much terrain for a game of GoMo...

GoMo needs very little terrain.  Manoeuvring the vehicles is sufficiently difficult that including too many obstacles makes things a bit too frustrating.

Playing with miniatures on gaming tables that are largely devoid of scenery is anathema to me: part of the point of tabletop gaming is the visual vignettes and the 3D, train set nature of the pasttime.  Without those it quickly becomes something that would be better played with cardboard counters on a hex grid.

That said however I think that elements of the vehicle side of GoMo work well and give an unusually fluid (some would say non-existent) battle line.  For the unique game experience that this brings I am willing to suck up the fact that GoMo games are played on largely featureless plains.

A head on ram by SOS causes MTs truck to explode, while my boyz circle in for the kill...

... but a lucky shot from SOS jams the throttle on the Bigdogz truck, sending the lot of them hurtling off the table with flame shooting from the exhaust. Giggling ensues.

The end of the first game had amply illustrated the Keystone Kops nature of Gorkamorka.  It is very much a think-on-the-fly followed by shoulder shrugging and laughing sort of affair.  There is a lot of screwy randomness involved.

In addition this game illustrated that despite having a combined age of ~105 that the three of us are categorically not too old to titter in a juvenile fashion at repeated uses of the words “Nob”, “Chopper”, “Thrust” and “Ram” (all deliberately incorporated into the rules by puerile designers, bless ’em).  Examples included:

  • “All of my guys jump on your Nob”
  • “I Thrust my Nob at your Nob while that guy hits the guy with the hat with his Chopper”
  • “My Nob is a Spanner”

I didnt think that I would laugh as much as I did either, but it wore me down 🙂

Chase Scenario 2 starts with two trucks hurtling through the wasteland, but...

...rapidly turns into a collision, an explosion...

...and a fistfight, with very little chasing involved.

Next we tried a couple of Chase scenarios.  During these games most vehicles largely remain stationary on the table, while the terrain travels towards the edge, giving a “rolling road” effect.

This was something that I had been looking forward to trying for quite a while, but our two attempts didnt work out terribly well.  It is likely to me that this was due to the fact that we were using mobs composed of raw recruits, with only one vehicle each (plus the usual caveat about the Yahtzee like random elements in GoMo).

I think that chase scenarios would likely work better with more vehicles involved and with potentially more skilled vehicle drivers (models that is, not necessarily the players) to flatten out the averages on some of the more extreme results of GoMo games.

King of the Hill three way fight.

MTs mob tries to shift the Bigdogz from their tenuous foothold on the plateau while SOSs boyz opportunistically flank the Bigdogz at ground level.

SOS boyz forgo the enfilade in favour of hurtling bodily into one of the Bigdogz trucks, as is traditional in GoMo. This causes engine explosions in both vehicles (also traditional).

The King of the Hill (or “Nob of da Kop” to use the vernacular) scenario turned out to be one of the more enjoyable games for me.

I specifically made the daft but (to my eyes at least) somewhat charming “Kop” with this scenario in mind.  It was fun for me to have a purpose built piece of terrain with its (albeit limited) functionality (well it is large and flat) in full use.

The game was the usual shenanigans of course.  Nonetheless it gave us all a few laughs and was unpredictable fun.  MT won as everyone else ran away but, in true GoMo style the Bigdogz ended up with the lions share of the booty.

Trucks chase around the fort while the Bigdogz rescue their brother in arms.

More tyre squealing antics as MT rescues his comrade from SOSs clutches.

The last couple of games that we played involved the fort.  I was hoping for a little bit of a Mad Max like siege atmosphere and I got a little of that at least.  I got a kick out of finally using the fort (having owned it in various unfinished states for about sixteen years).  The games themselves were mediocre from my perspective (and I think MTs) and “shit” from SOSs perspective if memory serves.

Conclusions

Definitely not for everybody, but despite (and sometimes because of) its failings, Gorkamorka proved to be ridiculous but entertaining fun for a day.  Not something to play every weekend, but for a while every so often, sure.

For a game as profoundly silly as it is Gorkamorka has a far too convoluted post game sequence, for little gain.  If that part of the game were smoother I could see my group playing it more regularly.

Our three mobs have a little history now.

  1. SOSs guys are basically crewing ghost trucks with swabs thin on the ground, but so far they have got away with it via homicidal ramming and dazzling accurate Kannon shots.
  2. MTs guys made an expensive fashion faux pas by buying (useless) Flak armour early on (thats what he gets for not even reading the rulebook in advance 😛 ) but still held the top of the leaderboard pretty consistently for the duration.
  3. My Bigdogz reputation for rubbishness is deserved with spectacularly slow experience advancement and the massive cost of having to replace an expensive atomised truck hampering their lacklustre efforts further.  Still none of them died or got injured and Ginormuz (my leader, “Norm” to his friends) finally won his last game, giving him his much needed compulsory leadership boost.
With the three mobs details on file I suspect that GoMo will get on the table again at a later date.
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Da Bigdogz – Gorkamorka Mob #6: Runtherd, Shoota, Choppa & Big Shoota

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Da Bigdogz – Gorkamorka Mob #5: Nob, Kannon, Choppa & Big Shoota

Dual Wielding Nob and Boy with Kannon

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“Standard Falls” Shanty Town: Pt3

The prototype Town Sign. Still adequate for use, but I prefer the smaller one shown previously.

After assembly, painting and varnishing some tarting up of the pieces was the final thing left to do for this stage of the Standard Falls project.  Lots of photos after the jump… Continue reading

“Standard Falls” Shanty Town: Pt2

After assembling the elements of my post apocalyptic shanty town I sprayed most of the pieces black.  I left the wooden signs unsprayed as I wanted to try painting them with washes and a little drybrushing and to leave the existing wooden colour show through a bit.

Sprayed Pardulon Shacks

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“Standard Falls” Shanty Town: Pt1

The vulture model to sit on the sign is in the post.

I warbled about getting my post apocalyptic town ready for gaming with just over a year ago.  The setting and my conceptual plan are loosely detailed in that post.

I finally got around to working on the town itself over the last few weeks, only one year later than I intended… Continue reading

Scrap Objectives

More tiny gaming props today.

Shown above are two unexploded grenades and six “Scrap Counters”.

The unexploded “stikkbomz” might occasionally be used in games of Gorkamorka.

Scrap in the Gorkamorka setting is analogous to treasure in a dungeon RPG setting: its the main reasons for the protagonists to be there.

Scrap was originally represented by cardboard tokens in the Gorkamorka game.  While 3D representations of things like that can be nice to look at, they are often impractical in game play terms, proving to be awkward to move around with the model that is supposed to be carrying it and the like.  Often cardboard tokens are just more practical, if not as pretty.

Despite that I decided to make Scrap Counters anyway, based on 22mm tiddlywinks.  I made sure that each counter had a piece that served as a handle to pick it up and tried to make the profile of the scrap reasonably flat, so that they wouldnt be too awkward to use in game.

I actually really enjoyed making these, almost like a set of tiny dioramas.  Painting the ork skull and the Necron head were highlights.

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