These are the truths that I hold to be self-evident: that wargaming is for men, that gaming with your daughter, wife or good friend makes you happier, and that in my life I enjoy the liberty to NOT pursue social justice.
I’m not woke. Not at all. I love bad puns. I was once banned from the Tabletop Commanders Facebook Group, when one of my better lingerie jokes led to the complaint that I was a ‘stereotypical male gamer’ who was ‘chasing female gamers away.’
So I retorted: “Yes. Ban me. I’m horrible. I also hate Orcs because of their green skin. But sense of humour… Me? A wargamer? Try philatelists.”
And so it happened 🙂
Women in competitive or historical big battle wargaming are an exception to the rule. Do I worry? No. It’s just like chess. My 10-year old son likes chess (and wargaming) but my 12-year old daughter, good in maths, doesn’t. I guess it’s the testosterone.
Girls/women in the more social roleplaying games are not uncommon, though. And indeed, both my kids enjoy Zombicide, a dungeon crawler. And because they like it, I bought the more complex Conan from Monolith boardgame, award winning and discounted recently.
Conan is pulp. Muscles and scantily clad women. Like below.
As Nerd on Earth once blogged:
Women in Conan stories are portrayed more often than not as the lusty sexpot who is a damsel in distress. (…) It’s an active ingredient in 99.9% of all Conan stories. That might not be scientifically tested statement or proven fact, but it is surely accurate.
If I were a stereotypical roleplaying girl – or my daughter – I wouldn’t identify myself with a lusty sexpot.
So although being a stereotypical male wargamer (and proud of it) I feminised/expanded the Conan game and gave the sex godesses proper clothes, Super Girl lycra style.
How to ‘womanize’ Conan?
First: find female characters.
Female character sheets can be found online. Use Red Sonja instead of Conan. A dressed-to-kill Sonja of course.
Believable non-bikini-heroines can be found everywhere, I like Foundry and Hasslefree. Below a Hasslefree axe lady I bought, I nickname her Frau Merkel.
I also bought – by Toutatis – Hasslefree’s Rennie & Tilda. Gauls just wanna have fun.
Why paint Belit and the princess Playboy-style? My Belit was inspired by Wonder Woman, the princess by Supergirl.
Notice that I used primary colours red, blue, yellow and white for these ‘good’ characters. I deliberately used the ‘good superhero’ colour scheme. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Ditto with Shevatas the thief and Hadrathus the Mage, see below.
The bad guys: Evil Celts
Conan is good vs evil, and evil has it’s own colour codes, as I blogged earlier. Green, orange, purple, etc. Check my Zombicide and Dropzone Scourge colour schemes.
Baddies for some reason dress themselves in secondary colours and in dark.
Green, blue, orange, white, purple – that reminded me of a Celt Warrior project that I once painted, and a Wargames Factory guide by Mick Farnworth, painting guide still available in dark corners of the web.
So my theme became: “Evil Celts”
Here are the minions.
And, in the same vein, the end bosses.
Green, gold, orange.. that’s EVIL in capitals.
I painted others black or grey
I carelessly slapped paint on the Picts – indians on steroids – but the Dark Tone Quickshade dip varnish hid all mistakes and surprisingly they came out better than the less muscled pirates or the halberdiers.
All miniatures were block painted and dipped. I primed the heroes Corax White and all monsters/enemies (red) brown, grey or black. I dipped the heroes in Strong Tone (medium brown) and the monsters in Dark Tone (black). I sometimes combined speed painting methods: for example I contrast painted AND dipped the dragon. Dipping is out of fashion but IMHO excellent for standard playing pieces in large numbers like Conan.
I didn’t clock this project but finished it in two weekends and a few evenings. 74 miniatures and a few extra.
Why should you buy Conan?
Because this reviewer, like many others before, says it’s an excellent game.
Conan is a power fantasy game featuring powerful men and women fighting against their opponents. It’s not subtle and it doesn’t try to hide it. Conan and friends are anti-heroes. This is good versus evil. It’s us versus them and they’re worse than us (…) I really love it, flaws, pastiche, and all. Every person I’ve played Conan with has had fun. It’s fast moving, exciting, and fairly easy to explain the basics
Dungeon crawling with resource management. That’s challenging. The system was copypasted to Monoliths Batman game so if you like lycra more than chainmail, try Batman. Originally Conan was expensive, but I bought a discounted 55 euro box. The sculpts are excellent, the game is nice, your daughter will like it – what stops you from buying it?