News archives




Due to a mixture of player illnesses, and an unavoidable family event, this week's planned Saturday game is sadly canned. This is to be replaced with some evening PS4 action, probably a run on some Destiny 2 strikes or a Nightfall.

Saturday game will be ran again on the 13th and 20th from a slightly earlier time of 1PM - you'll see why in a moment :)



So, Sarah and I both have our beautiful new rings and are looking to celebrate our promise to one another by doing something typically goofy (e.g. very us) so we are proposing a trip to the crazy golf shennanigans at JUNKYARD GOLF in Manchester city centre for two rounds (that's 18 holes total, all of the courses are 9 hole) and cocktails or beer on the 13th October, 18:30 onwards. We'll follow this up with food someplace close yet to be decided.

Because we have to book slots for this, I need to know numbers and to collect funds in advance. For the two rounds it'll be £19 to play. Interested? Let me know ASAP! We'd love to have you down to help us celebrate!

By the way, check the picture to see the two engagement rings on the left and my eternity ring/Sarah's placeholder ring from Malta on the right.



On the 20th we're running a Rock Band evening for Katie and her band of merrie mates. This event is open to anyone who's interested, basically party food, drinks and bad karaoke whilst playing fisher-price guitars at ours.

Event begins from 7PM. People can gather from 6PM. Let us know if you fancy watching us all make a tit of ourselves whilst you get quietly drunk or if you want to get in front of the telly and be a star for the evening!



So, we've been playing D2 recently (you know, because it was free) and some of us have got to the end game post campaign stuff. We now have a clan set up to get shared rewards so if you're playing D2 and want to get to the more fun activities (like the strikes and nightfall) and earn cool stuff (well, as cool as you'll get with D2) then let me know and I'll invite you to the clan so you can start doing clan bounties and earning gear with the clan.


It's been a strange old week and there's a lot to put up so here's a little summary:


THE GOOD.......

Happily, there's lot's of little pockets of good news this week. Check it out:

Olly celebrated his birthday last week and is having a gathering shortly. Watch out for updates from Ol himself. Be sure to shoot Ol an 'Happy Birthday' or two!

Ol's bird (who has been very ill of late) is reportedly making a recovery. Good news indeed and I'm sure a weight off Ol's mind.

I was handed the 'all-clear' on my recent cancer scare and am apparently healing faster than expected. Welcome news around Butcher Farm and certainly one that brightened us up.

Sarah has been walking around independently without crutches for the first time since the Font trip and will be returning to work full time in her office rather than from home later this week. Not being properly mobile is always frustrating and this has also been a cause for some joy in the Butcher Farm household.

(I'm a little late to press with this but) Jess and James have announced their engagement!!! Jess's ring is beautiful and custom made (great choice, James!) and the pair are extremely happy. Please join us in congratulating them on such uplifting and excellent news!


...THE BAD...

Three members of our group have all been hit by redundancies recently - Jess, James and myself. As a result, please expect that some of us may not be as socially active for a while as we've gotta watch dem copper pieces. Jobhunting commences in 3...2...1... (my thanks to the group for their suggestions and leads so far).



We almost had character deaths on both Weds AND Sat this week for Olly and Denney! Quick thinking on both Katie and Dee's behalf saved deaths from occurring (and a well-timed critical failure on behalf of an attacking Wolf didn't hurt).

Following the fight with Alec's adventuring party in Secomber last Wednesday, the party (and some of Alec's people) have sort of been arrested and questioned. Meguca and her rival archer, Nyssa, are both in jail while the rest of Meguca's party are negotiating to allow the bones exchange and the opportunity to fix up the damage to the inn for their freedom.

Ol decided to save me the trouble of painting miniatures for what you've now turned into a recurring rivalry (or potential for future employment?). See his genius, below. Left to right it's Nev (the mysterious Rogue), Decker (the Priest), Nyssa (the Arcane Archer), Alec (the leader), Grylls (the Wildman/possible Druid), and Lex (the mad firebomb-throwing magic-user).




The weekenders have found themselves deposited in a dark and misty land called Barovia, where Vampire Princes, roving packs of werewolves and killer mists hold sway. Leveled up as they are, will they prove to be a match for the Gothic horrors of Ravenloft?



The Weds group are back from a 1 week break and have to deal with both a murder and damage caused to a crime scene (and the Inn) during their scuffle with their companion adventuring group. The Lord's Alliance garrison is on alert. The law is coming for them. Will they get paid? Will they do time? Will they fight a capable group of adventurers for coin and bones? Join us this week to see where this goes.



I have had requests to run a Rock Band night (mostly for Katie's crew) which Sarah and I will be making plans for this week. Expect plans and invites to appear soon.

If you fancy singing at the telly or strumming a fisher-price guitar in time with coloured lights for laughs with some beer, wine and snacks then let me know and we'll make sure you get your invite.



There will be SEVEN playable games for the PS4 this month as part of PS Plus. Some of these are Vita or PS3 games also available on the PS4 but even so, it's a big haul for PS4 fans.

DESTINY 2 is part of the line up and is already available for download early. If you get onto this and are looking for a Fireteam, Dee, Denney and myself have one set up already. Let us know if you want in and we'll get hooked up before we get too far in.




There's no D&D this week but the mid-week group should apply a level-up to their characters before next week. Let me know if you want the electronic versions of your character sheets.

This week's session is replaced with boardgaming as we get to our mid-campaign break. I now have to try and re-write the opening to the next adventure thanks to the fight the mid-week group now seem to be in with another adventuring group. Mistrust, politics, murder investigations and trying to get paid. Frankly, I'm surprised that there's not been a character death yet - I wonder how the town guards will react to two groups of heavily armed adventurers running amok in the town?



Having fought off the Werewolves and fulfilled the prophecy naming them "Wolf-Killers", the group think the werewolves were likely followers of the Barovian Prince. After escaping the forest with the Mercenary Archer and one of the Vistani, they have all found themselves somehow escaping out of a forest....into another forest that shouldn't have been there. Possibly infected with Lycanthropy, the group must seek refuge and a cure quickly.

Welcome to Barovia, Team. Strahd may like to have you (round) for dinner.

Level ups are completed for the Saturday crew (Denney, I gave you the suggestion spell but you can change this for whatever you'd prefer if it doesn't suit). Gaming slot is now returned to normal.



Saturday sees the return of the annual WILTONFEST - a climbing festival held at the Wilton Quarries in Bolton. I had planned to make a visit but sadly my back wouldn't be up to it so I'll have to give it a miss this time.

Anyone that's interested in Climbing should give it a look though - There will be charity events, Masterclasses, product demos and items for sale as well as the famous Wilton Quarry BBQ!

Check the BMC website for details of the meet and how to book onto the Masterclasses. Other details can be found on




Our Big-Hearted and Benevolent benefactor of butchery (our BBQing Barton Brother) has beckoned us all to his Bang-Up, beautiful, bonzer and best British Barbecue which promises to be a bounteous and busy bounty of bits of meaty goodness.

Vegetarian options are: Tofu, Chips and watch everyone else eat.

Kick-off is from 3PM next Saturday. Bring a bottle and anything you may have a need to eat that isn't a massive slab of meat. Contact Chris for more details.



The mid-week crew have almost finished their assault on Morren's Overlook (Cadoc Keep) and are preparing to assault the remaining defenders and reclaim the circlet (and possibly the rest of Cadoc's remains). I predict that there's one session left if the crew maintain their focus after their short rest. Fill the skeletal knight and his newly drafted troops prevail against a newly invigorated party? Will Katie get to drop another flaming sphere on the Ogres? What other surprises will I have waiting for the team? There's a lot to do so I'm suggesting people gather at ours this week a little earlier - you will likely need all the time you can get for this one.

Once the keep is done and the characters are safely en-route to Secomber, there will be a 1 week break while we level-up and I set up the next portion of the adventure.



The weekend crew have just finished a set-piece battle in the edges of the High Forest against the lycanthrope Wolfpack and their newly formed spawn. Despite having lost the Dwarves and the Captain in the battle, the players have barely saved two of their number from death and the merc archer who was assisting. With the mists closing around them and an unfamiliar forest seemingly all around where the grassy plains should be, will the characters and their ally find a cure for the lycanthropic curse that may be taking hold before the next moon rises?

Saturday's session is now cancelled due to medical issues. Apologies for the disruption. Expect to see new character sheets by the weekend for your approval.



I have a hospital visit this week that will interfere with Thursday - Sunday plans for me. I may have to pull out of Friday and Saturday social events at short notice (sorry) and am cancelling Saturday gaming and Sunday climbing this week.

Apologies for this. Normal service should resume next week with climbing sessions taking a hiatus for a while.




So two of our group had birthdays this last week: Ste Barton and James Purrett. Please join me in wishing them both a hearty HAPPY BIRTHDAY!



As is normal for a Barton birthday there is a plan of an evening out doing some non-roleplaying activity followed (or accompanied) by beer and food most delicious. Ste is likely to release details later this week when he can. Let us know if you want to help him celebrate.



Weekend group need to be aware that the game slot has indeed been moved forward to accommodate the Birthday event. Please be ready for a fight with the wolfpack when you arrive :)




Exciting times for our Warlock/Thief combo from our C-Team, Koren and Daz. They've put in an offer on a lovely new house in Carrington and have a mortgage in principal. If all goes to plan it looks like they'll be moving really soon. Well done, you two! Give us a shout if you need any help with the move!



Sarah finally got her cast off last week. While she still needs her crutches, it was a huge relief for her and makes some things a lot easier. They've swapped the cast for a giant black armoured boot. It makes her look like some sort of tea-drinking, crutch-waving robot. Watch out if she ever gets hold of my airsoft gear - she may end up going all OCP on our asses!

"Drop it! Dead or alive, you're coming for tea"




....but are the players the hunters or the hunted?

D&D is back on this week as normal (we should have our usual players available now) and that means the Saturday group has some very scary stuff coming up.

As they are resting in the temporary camp and now know they will not be hunted until they arrive at the werewolf encampment for a spot of supper and storytelling, the characters can relax. ALL PLAYERS CHARACTERS SHOULD APPLY A LEVEL UP NOW.

I suspect you're going to need it. Mwu-hu-hu-hu-haaaaaa!



On Saturday the SotM Oblivaeon event taught us a few things:

  • The game mode will take 3-4 hours MINIMUM with a full playgroup. Longer with decks that are effect dependant (Argent Adept, Omnitron X, etc) or minion based (Luminary, Unity, Akash'Thriya etc)
  • There's A LOT of text and effects to track. Bring your reading glasses
  • You need a f&*k ton of space to play this mode. It's worse for space than even a full Vengeance setup! There's no way a coffee table will suffice for this one! Floor, big table, 2 medium tables or forget it!!
  • Sacrificing your own fun to set up other players is the right way to play The Scholar
  • Orbital death lasers rule
  • Dr Medico's full deck is broken AF and should ALWAYS be your primary healer!
  • The 'not Megazord' is a damned cool reward to have if you can get damage increases on your character. In fact, most of the rewards are damned cool!

Surprisingly, the big bad and his horde of horrid men got their asses handed to them without a single loss from the Sentinels team and only a single destroyed environment deck (Oblivaeon wins if he kills 5 environments). Our setup was Scholar, Luminary (ex-Baron Blade villain), Dr Medico, Writhe and Akash'Thriya (ex-Akash'Buta villain). With Denny using the scholar almost exclusively to enable Ste's Luminary deck, Sarah keeping me, Dee and our rewards alive and both Dee and I acting as giant beat-sticks late game we were victorious!

Our thanks to all attending players for their patience and tenacity during the first play-trough of OblivAeon. We'll let y'all know when round 2 is planned.

Week commencing 23/07/2018



With several of our players across both groups on holiday or away doing things there are no D&D slots planned this week. We DO however have a very special event that Ste and I have been looking to do for a while. See below for details!

Normal service resumed when players are available again.



Some large packages dropped this week for Ste and myself. Greater than Games finally shipped Sentinels of the MultiVerse: OblivAeon to the Kickstarter backers! Holy cow, what a beast this new game is, and the new cards we have a very pretty indeed.

The intent is to run the new game mode on Saturday. We'll need a team of 5 willing heroes to battle the 10,000 +180 +120 hit point BEHEMOTH that is OblivAeon himself. Yep, you read that right, the big bag has 10,300 HP! Even with Legacy (aka. Not Superman) on the team, that's a lot of punching!! (It'll be like Akash'Buta - there will be ways to knock chunks off his total by dealing with other things first).

So, what's OblivAeon about? The superheroes of Earth and beyond have fought against the effects of an unknown cosmic power for a long time, and each time they managed to prevail. However, other realities and timelines have not been so fortunate. The goal of this cosmic entity's encroachment upon the Multiverse has been the collapse of all realities and timelines into a singularity which will self-implode, leaving naught but OblivAeon, the true heir to nothingness.

OblivAeon (or as we like to call him, KOMG (short for "Knock-Off Multiverse Galactus)) itself has manifested on Earth in this timeline to put an end to the pitiful resistance. If it succeeds, everything will be destroyed. However, if the heroes are able to stop OblivAeon, the cracks which run through all realities will be repaired as the cosmic power that created them is destroyed, effectively cutting the timelines and realities off from each other.

This is the very last Sentinels of the Multiverse expansion and completes Greater Than Games' SotM card game with their craziest story yet. Come and help the Freedom Six, the Void Guard, DarkWatch, the Prime Wardens and the other Heroes and former villains to face off together against the literal end of everything.

Week commencing 16/07/2018



This coming weekend we're running a BOARDGAMING WEEKEND as the group has missed Summer Stabcon. We intend to put out some games we've not played yet and a few faves. We'll be running two game tables so players can pick and choose the sorts of games they want. Between our collection and Bry's there's plenty on offer here but if you have a game you are sorely wanting to play, bring it along and we'll get it to a table.

We'll be running this as a drop-in, drop-out affair so if you want to play, just show up when you want and leave when you've had enough. Plenty to keep people going both Saturday and Sunday.



Thanks to Nathan, we may see the membership rise still further as he is bringing in one of his group members to join our Saturday game, stealing the final slot on that campaign.

Dragonscale grows from strength to strength, it seems! With any luck, we'll get a chance to meet our new member (Chris) this coming weekend.

Chris? Oh sh*t! That means there's TWO of them! Dear God, what have I done??? :)

Week commencing 09/07/2018



After a fantastic bit of IRL codebreaking to uncover the message scored into the inside of a looking glass case taken from their gobbo attackers, the midweek group earned an inpromptu level-up!

If you haven't already submitted your level increase selections, please let me know what you want ASAP so I can get your new character sheets produced for Wed.....with you pact weapon bonuses this time!



A big congratulations to Mr. Slater for completing his first two climbs at The Depot last week. I'm sure any of you that have been out with Sarah and myself to have a go will appreciate the effort this must have taken our resident Bardic Gnome.



The remaining modules (well, most of them) arrived at Butcher farm for the gaming table. Now everyone can have a little dice/token/what-have-you shelf.



Paragons of our C-Team, Jess and James, have acquired themselves a lovely way to keep warm in winter and cool in summer - they've now got a back garden outdoor inflatable hot tub! We love ours, gang, we're sure you'll love yours, too! Pool party at their house!!! :)



Dee has had to suffer a mindless act of vandalism on his new car. Some little scrotum has thrown glue over his bonnet. With quick thinking and a bit of hard work Dee's managed to clean it. Good job it wasn't something more serious like brake fluid or polystyrene cement! Sorry you had to suffer this, Dee.

Week commencing 02/07/2018



My gaming table has arrived AND IT IS GLORIOUS. I Frikkin' LOVE my new table. I hope you will, too. It is very nice to game on.



Thanks to the excellent additions of Nathan and Denney (who both played brilliantly on Sat) our weekend campaign slot is now back on. One session in and the group have already stirred trouble up that may just 'bite' them on the ass later. Keep up with the campaign log to follow their exploits.



A member of Sarah's Aussie family is staying with us from Thursday through to Sunday. While we don't plan to have this interfere with the gaming slot, it may have to so watch your messages just in case.

Anna's great, and she'll be happy to meet you all .

Week commencing 25/06/2018.



Our 4th Saturday player came down to meet some of the crew this Sunday. Some character creation was done so we now have 3 of the 4 required characters built.

Nathan turned out to be exceedingly pleasant and easy to get along with. He displays a good knowledge of gaming, fiction and anime but as it turns out he hasn't really had much time yet to get into board or card gaming despite being a Fanboy3 regular.

If we don't frighten him too much, he'll make a great new mean, asset to the team. Welcome aboard, Nate!



With Nathan joining us (see above) we now can get the weekend RPG slot back on the go. The intention is to play weekly Saturday afternoons and when Nate's shifts or Sarah's Aromatherapy customers clash with the game slot we'll switch out to board gaming, possibly at a different venue. Details as it happens.

There will be no session Zero for this group. Dee - submit your character when you can, please.



Sarah and I would like to extend our gratitude to all those who managed to attend the impromptu BBQ/Loopin' Chewie/Shadow Hunters session on Saturday. You all made Sarah's birthday a fun-packed day of food and frolics.

It certainly was a spirit-lifter. Many thanks to you all.



Our Rock Band Rivals band hit the #1 position IN THE WORLD on Saturday for this season. While I'm sure we won't stay in that position, it's nice that a bunch of try-hards can get to the top as long as the serious crews all f**k off for their holidays, or that the leader-boards screw up, that is :)

Either way, I'm calling that a WIN.

Week commencing 18/06/2018


Font was GREAT. What a place! Sadly, Sarah broke her ankle trying to save a gnarly slab problem. There was a sequence of amusing issues that followed after what was a simple slip on a glassy hold, including 12 random climbers having to rescue the rescuers. There's a story to tell, I'll let Sarah tell you in person.

As a result of this event, I'm going to have to ask that we move the Wednesday game to Butcher Farm.

My apologies for the trouble this causes but Sarah really isn't fully independent at the moment and the Farm isn't really crutch friendly.

For any who want to see the fabulous forest and the rocks we were climbing we do have pics. Just ask if interested.



I didn't flag this properly last time but we have two additions to our RPG groups: Olly (who joins us from Chris and Ste's other groups) and Denney (an old workmate of both Jack and myself). Ol is very much an RPG veteren, bolstering the Wednesday group while Denney is more or less an RPG beginner, bolstering the new Saturday group while the C Team are on a break.

Say Hi to them if you don't know them and be sure to be nice. I'm sure you'll see them around a table with us soon enough.



Thanks to, ahem, obvious circumstances, I'm binning my original intimate meal out plans for Sarah's birthday this Saturday. Instead, I have a plan to use the incoming heatwave and host a gamer's BBQ THIS SATURDAY.

I need to firm up a detail or two so I'll chuck out some details tomorrow. All of you are invited. If interested, drop me a line.



Message from Chris follows below. Apparently, it's all you need to shout.

Week commencing 11/06/2018


Denny makes his mark

Denny Slater joined us on Saturday for some gaming and despite being new to it all he brought us a lovely board game gift (Bears vs Babies) and then proceeded to hammer us all at Tiny Epic Galaxies on his first try AND THEN neutered both Sarah and myself playing the hard-to-master Terraforming Mars game, coming a respectful 2nd place. Watch out, crew, there's new blood around the table and he plays HARD.

(Thanks, Denney!)


Geeknson table coming to Butcher Farm

At the UKGE last week I bought a customised gamer-specific dining table. This will make playing games a lot more comfortable. Now Geek Chic are gone, Geeknson are the world's premier brand in gaming furniture. Check out their stuff here: Geeknson site


The Dark Room

Sarah, Dee and myself wen to Jon Robertson's excellent live action computer text based role playing game. Basically it was what if an escapee from Mad Max played Zork at you for an hour straight. It was fricking hilarious.

Want to see for yourself? Jon's EB Expo show was filmed and posted to youtube. See below for a taste at what we were involved with:

Week Commencing June 4th 2018


The trip out to the UKGE was a success this weekend gone but, wow, is that thing now HUGE! We barely had time around it all! There's some key custom stuff yet to arrive from the con, some kickstarters to get involved with and a ton of cool sh*t we got, including some puzzles, new games, expansions for existing games, minis, paintbrushes, tokens, organisers and the biggest damned D20 that our table will see. I'm gonna bounce this bad-boy off misbehaving player's heads. using your phone during a session? TAKE D20 TO THE FACE, BEEYATCH!

My bank balance is weeping....but when my main purchase shows up the group will definitely benefit from it, I promise :)

My thanks to the Great White Ginger for driving us this time.



We have two confirmed D&D games now, one on the Wednesdays and one on the Saturdays. Unlucky for you lot is that I'm running them BOTH. Mwu-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!

Session Zero for the Wednesday group is this week. This coming Saturday we have a 'meet the players' boardgaming session for the Saturday group as we're waiting on confirmation for a 5th player there.

Details in the descriptions below.