Saturday, 5 February 2022

He-Man and the Masters of the Midlands

The Sorceress has forseen a great evil awakening that, if unleashed, could devastate Eternia, if not the universe itself.

And so, He-Man and his friends made the epic Journey into the West (well, a bit west and mainly south) to prevent this ultimate source of evil from ever being used.

Yes, I've been to another 7TV event at Board in Brum. This time it was Journey into the West (Midlands) using the 7TV Fantasy rule set and I took my heroes of Eternia cast:

He-Man - Divine Mortal (Star)
Man-At-Arms - Seasoned Veteran (Co-Star)
Teela - Righteous Paladin (Co-Star)
Battle Cat - Fabulous Beast (Extra)
Orko - Court Magician (Extra)
Mekanek - Night Watchman (Extra)
Eternos Palace Guard - 1 Guard Sergeant & 4 Guards (Extras)

Together this band of heroes were tasked with retrieving the fabled Pandora's Box, to prevent all the evils in creation being released to wreak havoc.

Episode 1: The Cankerous Cavalcade of Contagion (vs Paul)

Pandora's Box had been found, and was to be transported under armed guard to a place of safe-keeping.

However, a Demonic Circus of Filth had learned of this and begun shambling towards the guardsmen, intent on opening the box and drowning Eternia in a sea of sorrows.

The guards turned to face the horde that staggered through the swamp towards them unaware that others of more noble intent watched on.

Realising there was no time to lose and no time to explain, He-Man and Teela charged forwards, knocking out two of the guards, intent on keeping Pandora's Box out of the poxed possession of the plague party.

The guards turned to deal with their assailants, flinging the box behind them, closer to the encroaching tide of corruption.

Teela and the Palace Guards beat back the misguided protectors of the box, allowing Mekanek to grab the prize.

Seeing danger approach, Man-At-Arms let fly with his wrist blaster and Battle Cat leapt into the fray to hold the diseased demons at bay.

Wanting to help He-Man, Orko cast a cantrip of Fae Fire, wreathing his Battle Cat in a glow that would keep enemies at bay.

Meanwhile, sticking his neck out and putting himself in the firing line, Mekanek bravely dragged Pandora's Box towards safety.

Unfortunately for the Trollan Trickster, his pesky prestidigitation had caught the attention of a bilious berserk beastman, whose cloven hooves brought him crashing into Orko, knocking the wizard unconscious.

Noxious fumes filled the air and clouded minds. Confusion caused Teela to turn on her friends with dreadful rage.

Battle Cat's heightened senses were similarly affected and he threw He-Man off his back and charged through the trees perilously close to Mekanek.

Teela and Battle Cat soon recovered their faculties, but He-Man and Man-At-Arms found themselves wreathed in hideous purple flames. Bravely ignoring the danger to himself, He-Man charged into the fray, hurling one of the leprous leaders into a heap, whilst Palace Guards poked plague bearers with their polearms.

The heroes held the line, keeping the shambling horrors far enough away from Mekanek to prevent their malefic miasma from messing with his mind.

One of the Palace Guards succumbed and struck down Teela, who fell into a swoon.

Despite this setback, Mekanek dragged Pandora's Box to safety and the battered heroes retreated from the horde, gathering their injured comrades as they went.

Only when they were away and clear did Teela notice that someone was missing...

He-Man: "As we've just seen, dirty thing can cause a lot of problems if left unchecked."

Teela: "The smell was really awful."

He-Man: "That's true, Teela. If you don't wash regularly and practice good hygiene, you could find your friends turning on you, just like we did. Until next time, goodbye for now."

Episode 2: Deathtrap Duncan

Man-At-Arms came to in a dark dungeon. He could make out some other figures further along the corridor and could hear a gentle hissing sound all around.

Quickly taking out his scanner, Man-At-Arms realised that the hissing was poison gas being pumped into the area.

He had to get out of there!

A young red-headed woman, who reminded him of Teela, was already trying to open a door to escape when she was callously attacked from behind by some kind of corsair.

Man-At-Arms leapt in to protect her and in a quick exchange of blows the pursuing pirate was rendered unconscious.

The woman struggled with the door, whilst Man-At-Arms and a blond teen with a bow waited nervously.

Man-At-Arms began to feel his breathing become difficult.

Just in time, the door swung open to reveal to Orc zombies. The gas and the zombies made Man-At-Arms remember the diseased circus they had fought. 

Had he fallen into their clutches? Was this some sort of entertainment?

The zombies lurched forward, taking down the poor red-headed woman and bursting through the door.

His lungs bursting, Man-At-Arms knocking one of the zombies flying and then barged through the door to where the air was clearer.

He could hear the sounds if a struggle behind him, along with a coughing and choking. He feared fir the young blond boy, but could not afford to turn back.

Pressing on, Man-At-Arms came across and axe-wielding Half-Orc curiously called Alistair, and a buxom Dwarf shieldmaiden named Simona.

Realising that they were all in the same fix, Man-At-Arms suggested an alliance to help all of the escape. Who knew what creatures lurked further in the labyrinth?

Together, they took on the biggest baddest wolf Man-At-Arms had ever encountered.  None of them could have dealt with it alone.

Along the way, they encountered others: a Barbarian; a woman wielding a katana; a dog with a hat on; and, to Man-At-Arms' relief, the blond boy, who introduced himself as 'Hank'.

The half-naked, muscular Barbarian, who called himself 'Overlord' and reminded Man-At-Arms of someone, led the way, charging headlong into combat with the Minotaur at the centre of the maze.

The companions joined the fray, including some who arrived from a different direction. Swords were swung, fireballs hurled, spells cast, bit still the hulking Minotaur would not fall.

Man-At-Arms took careful aim at the beast with his wrist blaster, snapping off a Stun blast that took the beast right between the eyes.

The creature fell with a thud, and the companions rushed towards the glowing portal at the centre of the room, trusting that it was an escape route.

Man-At-Arms waited until everybody was through before moving up the steps towards the shimmering, swirling vortex.

He paused for a moment and though sadly of those that had not made it out of this deadly game, especially the young red-headed woman. He hoped and prayed that the portal would allow him to be reunited with his friends, but most of all Teela.

Man-At-Arms: "Today you saw how I worked with others to deal with problems that I couldn't have tackled alone. It's important to realise when you need help. Try asking your parents, a friend or even a teacher and you'll soon find that something that seemed difficult is sorted in no time at all. Goodbye and good luck.

Episode 3: The Battle of Saturday Mornings (vs James)

News of Pandora's Box travelled fast and a group of youngsters cut off from their home plane had been convinced by a manipulative magical midget that this ultimate container of calamity would help them in their quest.

The gullible children set off to retrieve the item for themselves.

Meanwhile, the Sorceress has communicated with He-Man telepathically, mysteriously informing him to seek out the 'Sorceress of the Grey Skull'.

Confused, He-Man asked what this meant. The Sorceress answered cryptically that all would be made clear on the the Hill of Obelisks.

Wearily, He-Man and friends made their way through to forest to where they knew the hill lay on the edge of a great swamp.

Unbeknownst to He-Man, the children and their riddling ringleader had reached the hill first, with Diana and Uni leading the way.

Somewhat predictably, Presto tripped and fell whilst distracted, knocking himself out in the process.

Warily, the Eternos Palace Guard spread out to protect Teela, who had taken responsibility for Pandora's Box.

A horned head popped up over the lip of the hill, letting put a plaintive bleat to warn others of the approaching group.

Traumatised by his experience in the dungeon, Man-At-Arms let off a flurry of stun blasts, sending the poor unicorn tumbling down the other side of the hill.

In response, Diana came vaulting over towards Teela, her magical staff twirling, sending one of the guards flying.

Fur-clad warrior met fur-clad warrior as Battle Cat and He-Man charged into Diana, wrongky perceiving her as a minion of evil. The poor girl fled in fear of her life.

Meanwhile, Orko and Mekanek had moved off to intercept any other attackers. Whilst Mekanek put himself in harm’s way, Orko immobilised a boy-barbarian with a fascinating display of juggling, but managed to make himself feel sick and dizzy at the same time, his eyes spinning in different directions.

Whilst Teela continued to haul Pandora's Box forward, He-Man and Battle Cat pounced forwards towards the smirking gnome who seemed to have some control over these poor, misguided children.

In the distance, a Sorcerous Sentinel lumbered into view, appearing to come to the aid of the devious Dwarf.

He-Man and Battle Cat looked set to end the fight once and for all. The great green tiger reared up on his hind legs and roared.

Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light which shocked and surprised Battle Cat's inner Cringer, causing him to momentarily turn tail and run.

At the same time, energy arrows of golden light flew from the bow of Hank, knocking out Orko and Mekanek.

Having seen He-Man momentarily bested, Teela ran forwards and hit the short sorcerer over the head with Pandora's Box, knocking him out, allowing the Palace Guard to rush in and tie him up.

Meanwhile, Man-At-Arms ran up to Bobby the Barbarian and gave him a severe talking to about the importance of being in school before hitting him in the face.

The heroes of Eternia now firmly had the upper hand and looked to secure the hilltop and wait for their rendezvous.

Diana returned to the fight and Sheila rushed over to help Eric, whose cavalier attitude had gotten him in trouble.

But it was too little, too late as the Eternos Palace Guards advanced en masse.

Man-At-Arms and Hank traded shots at each other but each failed to find their mark, recognising each other from the dungeon.

Hank called out, "Guys, I don't think these people are evil. We've made a terrible mistake!"

"Really, Hank? What was your first clue?" snapped Sheila as she was also hit round the head by Teela's well handled box.

Apologising for their error, the kids backed away, leaving the Eternians in control of the Hill of Obelisks, but not before He-Man gave them some valuable life advice.

He-Man: "The adventures you've seen me go on can seem lots of fun, but the truth is the can be very dangerous. Sharp implements like knives, scissors and broadswords aren't toys, and even a stick used to playfight can cause injury. You don't want to end up bruised, bleeding or blind. So the next time you are pretending to save the world, remember to play safe. Until next time."

Episode 4: The Ritual of the Grey Skull (vs Simon)

The heroes were met by Stella the Sorceress, who told them she knew of a place of power where, if the right incantation was used, Pandora's Box could be sealed shut for ever.

That place was the Cave of the Grey Skull in the Valley of Cairns, a mystical and haunted place. He-Man and his friends would have to protect Stella from the denizens of that place whilst she performed the ritual.

Determined to remove this terrible threat from Eternia, He-Man led the way into the haunted valley.

Hearing moaning on the air, He-Man cautiously advanced to find a dreadful wraith drifting towards him out of the gloom.

Unbeknownst to him, other undead abominations were stumbling towards his friends and inaccurate arrows began falling amongst the Eternos Palace Guard.

Realising that they needed to protect Stella, the Guards charged forwards into the Skeletons, thinning their ranks.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ritual sight, He-Man and Battle Cat engaged the Wraith, which melted into thin air when met with the sword of power.

They then bounded forwards towards an Orc Witch who seemed to control the dead things, but the Witch's henchman intervened.

Teela took the opportunity to haul the Box closer to the Cave, wondering why none of her friends ever helped her with it.

Despite their bravery, the Eternos Guard fell before the skeletal horde, which now surged towards Teela and Stella, a great zombie bear bursting through the lines.

Whislt Teele dragged Pandora's Box to the mouth of the cave, Man-At-Arms bravely charged and brought down the zombie bear. 

However, the Skeletons were joined by the Orc Witch who came running round the corner. Fortunately, her spells failed to materialise as she appeared to be preoccupied with looking over her shoulder.

Stella and Mekanek rushed towards Teela desperate to start the ritual whilst Orko darted in amongst the Skeletons trying to use his magic to sliw them down.

The brave little Trollan was on e again knocked aside as the horde advanced.

The Witch waved her serpent staff and suddenly Stella was whisked away to her side. The Witch intent on draining the magic of the Sorceress of the Grey Skull.

Man-At-Arms arms desperately tried to fight his ear through to her, but to no avail.

Suddenly a great roar could be heard, along with a rousing 80's heroic theme as He-Man and Battle Cat came leaping into view, battering through the press of Skeletons.

Filled with new heart, Teela and Mekanek leapt into the fray, and even one of the unconscious Guards was roused by the stirring music.

Surprised and surrounded, the Orc Witch let go of Stella, who rushed back towards the cave of the Grey Skull.

The Orc Witch leapt after her, but was met by Man-At-Arms and knocked to the floor, stunned.

The heroes advanced on the remaining wraith, allowing Stella to complete the ritual: sealing Pandora's Box forever.

He-Man: "I may be the most powerful man in the universe, but today you saw how everyone played their part in saving the day. It's important to work together and recognise the talents of each member of a team, even Mekanek. Remember, team work makes the dream work."

Final Thoughts

Another really great day at Board in Brum, playing great games on great boards against great opponents just for the sake of it. I had three fun battles against Paul, James and Simon, each telling an engaging narrative and swinging back and forth.

The 14 player dungeon crawl was loads of fun and stripping it back to one character each stopped things getting too confusing and made for a fun lunchtime interlude.

He-Man and his friend performed admirably and were kindly voted best cast. I think the nostalgia of He-Man was a big factor, rather than any significant painting skill, as I also won a similar award when I used Skeletor and the Evil Warriors in an event.

I was prestented with an engraved tankard and a £10 voucher, which I immediately spent on some Crooked Dice crates and barrels for future 7TV use.

In terms of Hobby Bingo, this certainly counts as attending an event, which for some reason I'd prematurely ticked off (I think because I'd made plans to attend Vapnartak, which I've sadly had to cancel). I could have ticked off the tournament box, but I'll save that for the next one.

The crates are only three models but once again put me back in the red. I'm tempted to get some 7TV Macguffins painted quickly to try to get these numbers moving in the right direction.

Acquired: 25
Painted: 23


  1. All the minis on show here look great. Meanwhile Deathtrap Dungeons looks fascinating ... it must have been a blast playing on that terrain.

    1. It always is at 7TV events. People really put effort into eclectic and interesting boards because 'balance' gives way to narrative and creativity.

  2. Sounds like fun. I do like the preachy "moral of the story" after each episode. Truly cringe-worthy :-) !

  3. great read. love the PSA's after each battle. haha.
    after reading this, i truly need to get in some MotU game playing.

    1. Thanks. I can heartily recommend 7TV as a way to play MotU games. Either the Pulp set or Fantasy set seem to work best.

    2. awesome, 7TV is one set i havent tried but been wanting to, i'll have to give it a look.

    3. The Pulp set has just had a reprint, but if you want to just try out the system, the Spy-Fi set is available as a free download.

  4. Fantastic day mate, your cast was brilliant. Shame I didnt get to play against you or Simon Q but with actually such a good turn out it was nice to go up against different opposition - here's to the next one.

  5. Great tales of daring do! Good to see you again your He Man cast looks fabulous!

    1. Thanks, and sane to you. I didn't really get a proper look at your stuff, which means we need to play again soon.