I’ve managed to arrange an interview with Rick Priestley. For those who don’t know he’s the original writer of Warhammer 40,000, many editions of warhammer fantasy, he penned many specialist games and army books over the years he spent at GW and of course is the writer of “White Dwarf Presents… Warhammer Armies: Chaos Dwarfs” from way back in 1994. He has since gone on to work on other games such as gates on Antares, hail Caesar, bolt action and warlords of erewhon with Warlord Games.
We are super lucky to have the opportunity to pick the brain of one of modern wargaming’s absolute godfathers.
The interview is going to mostly be based around his work on the big hat version of chaos dwarfs in the 90s. Their inspiration, their rules, why they never really were picked up as a major faction and given future support etc.
I haven’t written the questions yet, but he’s asked me to send him some next week.
Anything, specifically chaos dwarf related, but also I suppose warhammer in general related, you’d like to ask the man himself ? Please let us know down below!
Can he verify the myth behind the infamous Nick Lund ass/siege cannon?
The image of a cannon that blows things out of its rear end is supposedly connected to the sculptor’s feeling towards his boss, whom the face may resemble. It is not certain that the crew were designed for the gun or were for the other chaos dwarf artillery pieces.
So that probably means, that if this were true, the face of the cannon resembles Bryan Ansell.
by the way really cool that you managed to get an interview with rick!
I would recommend you convert the first post into a wiki post so we can all directly add questions, otherwise it will be quite hard to keep track (both for you as well as for us all when trying to find out if a question has already been asked)
ohmigawsh 100 things what about:
- When you came up with it, did you have a sense of how resilient the idea of “Mesopotamian evil dwarfs” would prove to be? Even decades later and long since being discontinued, there are dozens of companies creating great minis around this core set of concepts you originated.
1a. What was the relationship between the design of the miniatures and the writing of the lore?
What were your thoughts on the predecessor 80s range, with the mini-mes, ass-cannon and juggernaut?
When the firm moved away from the Chaos Dwarfs for the long hiatus, was that largely a commercial decision? Or was the concept itself considered to be flawed?
The greenskin slaves concept seems very distinct from the broader Mesopotamian influences. How did the ideas come together?
Hashut remains, to this day, the only minor Chaos god besides the Horned Rat to really receive attention, a priesthood et al.; thinking purely about your personal view of the setting, is this about right? Or was Hashut meant to be one minor god among many?
Please read Among The Wicked Dawi and tell me if you think it hangs together kthxbai
@Jasko donyou know to do this? I can’t work it out. I’m on my phone and can’t see an option. Does it have to be desktop ? I’m showing myself to be a Luddite here
@chitzkoi some really solid questions here. Many things I wanted to ask and a few i hadn’t thought to ask, but worded far more eloquently that I had planned haha. I know he loves ancient history (because I’m a total fan girl haha) so some of those questions about the aesthetics and influence of eastern dwarfs and the influences for hobgobbos would be class.
Yes! The Bum-bard! Brilliant. Sure to get a laugh and hopefully an insight into its creation!
See @Jasko - I just needed a grown up to help me haha
Well I was thinking about hobgob questions. There’s a few here:
- did you have the idea of Scythian-hatted hobgoblins independent of the Chorfs, or were they always the same idea?
- To what extent were the Hobgobs - who almost had enough of a range (three types of infantry, two cavalry, one artillery, heroes) - intended to be viable as an independent army?
- Was the Hobgobs’ later, more explicitly Mongolian design era (dogs of war Oglah and Gazak Khan) also your work? How do you feel about the balance between the two influences?
Did you see the Legion of Azgorh design concept and range? If so, what did you think about the direction they went? And:
Regardless of all the previous ranges, in a fantasy scenario with no limitations, what direction would you take Chorfs in if you were rebooting the range?
be honest. was the battle report in the army book rigged? did you play a load of test games and go with the one the chorfs won? Or was it a happy coincidence?
More broadly, what was the story behind putting the army book in White Dwarf and not publishing it independently?
Tamurkhans was inspired by some partially cobbled together notes from Priestleys notes for his original vision for the end times before he left i believe. Heard him say that in a podcast. Be interested in any conversation about that.
That’s really interesting. Feels like there might be an arc to the interview in talking about the eras, isn’t there? A potted history of the concept. Roots to inception, the bighat days, the hiatus, the road to azgorh, and dreams of the future.
Last qu. You should ask is: can i have a job? Haha
Working with your hobby would be amazing way to earn money
Does he plan to do any chaos dwarf stuff in the future would be a good one
Did he plan further chaos dwarf unit types in the fullness of time. Only 2 there and centaurs
Can be hahaha. Can also kill it! I used to be a spoken word artist in the London and Essex scene. Did quite well and it became my job. And eventually it stopped being fun! Haha .
Well his current passion project is warlords of erewhon. He regularly updates his website with new army lists…evil dwarfs are noticeably absent!
There are so many really good questions here, so I am having to go for some more specific stuff.
-Since Mesopotamia is generally not very well known publicly by comparison to other periods in history, did you struggle with finding enough to work on? (Like in comparison to other races that are based on more familiar civilisations)
-How do you feel about other fantasy works coming up with similar designs? (Like the Dwemer in The Elder Scrolls, another cruel Mesopotamian Dwarven race) For example, do you feel proud that you may have inspired other writers?