Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! Things that go bump in the box file!

Barry Hilton - My preoccupation with all things spooky is a source of amusement to my wargaming  friends but from an early age I have always been interested in ghosts, witches, haunted houses and things that scare me. Recently when clearing out 50 years of family hording from my mother's house I found an old board game from the 1960's called Haunted House which I used to love playing with my pals when I was a nipper. I wonder if any of you remember it? Just proving to myself that some things travel with you throughout your life.

That morbid fascination has continued through Hammer Horror movies, Stephen King novels, Dracula, Frankenstein and other Gothic staples into Zombies, Undead and all sorts of similar nonsense. Suffice it to say my favourite Carry On movie is Carry on Screaming! , Live and Let Die was Roger Moore's finest Bond outing (for me anyway), I love Tim Burton's stuff and I can't get enough of the late Jim Bowen's wonderful 40mm Occult range... I think you have the picture.

Finding a way to include some element of Satanic nonsense in my wargaming is a sub-plot which runs and runs. The discovery in Antwerp last year of information relating to the Bokkenrijders was a little notch on the old magic wand! Incorporating these ghouls into Donnybrook didn't take to much work even convincing Mr Harrison to be complicit and indulge my weaknesses!

Donnybrook is nearly there now, a nice Wargames Illustrated feature on the Bokkenrijders is in the can and my themed game at Crisis 2013 is all about those scary Bokkenrijder - Goat Cavalry chaps.. so Happy Halloween to all of you out there and I hope you never need to suppress your interest in the slightly less mainstream avenues of the wargaming map just to save you from embarrassment!


  1. Good article Barry, I love the background in the fist photo.
    If you're that into ghosts I can tell you loads of experiences I've had over the years the next time we're together.

  2. I'm sure the folks you hang out with are a top-notch group and lovely people, but they really need to get a life if they think that their interest in playing with toy soldiers is somehow superior just because they limit themselves to "real life" figures.

    Those are beautiful models and lovely vignettes you've shared. Here's to whole regiments of ghouls, ghosts, and goblins! :)

  3. I thought that too David! Roll on my Undead horde for the 17th century and Donnybrook Dark!

  4. I just bought some "Zindians" from Warlord. Think they would be a great accent to a Halloween game! cheers!

  5. There was NO negativity towards the more occult elements of my Bokkenrijder game at CRISIS today. People seemed to love the devil dogs, ghouls, witches and Satanists mixed with the more conventional Horse & Musket Warfare models..

    1. The occult side might be a good way of getting youngsters interested in historical gaming.

  6. The response by youngsters at CRISIS was very positive. They liked the swift action, characters and simple mechanisms. The card system went down well too!

    1. Hi Barry. Just got around to reading your article in WI about the Bokkerijders. No Hollywood, but there is a 325 minutes Dutch/Belgian miniseries! :-)
      Regards, Sebastiaan

  7. The kids at Kirrie really enjoyed it too. I thought they all would have wanted to be the cultists but they all wanted to be the villagers or militia and preferred killing the monsters.

  8. Thanks for that Sebastian... I will look and see if it exists with subtitles!


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