Bolt Thrower or Bust!

So, a little while ago I decided to return to the path of investigative journalism, otherwise known as randomly searching for web pages related to Talisman using well-known internet search engines.

Up came the usual suspects, and then I noticed an obscure reference to Talisman on an Oldhammer blog, by the name of Realm of Chaos 80s run by Orlygg Jafnakol.

You may remember that back in the days when Games Workshop was a little more loose with IP, that a certain rock band called Bolt Thrower used some Warhammer 40K imagery on the cover of one of their albums.

What better way then to get news of the world of Warhammer out to kindred musical types than with an advertising feature in a popular music publication?

Using a pared down Talisman ruleset and assets from the original Talisman City expansion, Bolt Thrower or Bust! was the name of this little board game that featured in Sounds music journal in December 1989.

When Orlygg published his blog post in 2014, he wondered if someone might set about updating the game and I thought it might be a nice idea to do so.

As the board is basically a copy of the one from Talisman City it was easy enough to add in the new wording and I figured it would be more in keeping with Talisman to make up some little decks of cards that could be used instead of the roll tables from the article.

Feel free to use some, none or all of the decks, but decide for yourself whether you want to reset the die by shuffling the decks each time someone encounters a card, or reducing the odds by using a discard pile for each deck.

You might notice that I have requisitioned various pieces of art from various Character and Adventure cards in Talisman, except the Snotling who hails from Dungeonquest!

I’ve even made up some Gretchin and Toad cards for you to use using the original Paul Bonner artwork. They are mostly for keeping a track of rules, but I thought they’d be a bit of fun.

I’m looking for a nice bit of line art for the Jester and Disguise cards, but they will do for now!

** UPDATE **

Well, after a little deliberation, I decided that it would be a pretty cool idea not to finish up this mini-game properly, so I approached Mustafa Bekir of Spevna Studios about having some bespoke artwork made for the Jester and Disguise cards.

I liked the results so much I thought it would be a good idea to have matching artwork throughout, so I asked him to come up with some homages to the original Paul Bonner artwork for the Gretchin.

Then, I had recently added some re-imagined board artwork for various official and home-brew expansions to the site by Wojciech Rzewuski, who is responsible for the Realm card art in the community expansion – The Lost Realms. This included a fabulous remake of the board for the Talisman City expansion, which was ripe for conversion for the project.

Don’t worry though, as well as the updated versions of the board and cards, I will be leaving the original files up for those of an “old school” persuasion!

Bolt Thrower or Bust!
Game Board
Updated Game Board!
One of the Tikkits!
Loota & Shoota Updated Loota & Shoota!
Elmit & Fiddla Updated Elmit & Fiddla!
Toad Cards Updated Toad Cards!
Jester & Disguise Cards Updated Jester & Disguise Cards!
Street Cards
Ruck Cards
Gig Cards Updated Gig Cards!

You can download the files to make your own version of the game in the downloads section below, and it would be great if you would visit Orlygg’s blog and check out his original article and more recent musings!

Realm of Chaos 80s Blog

Bolt Thrower or Bust!

Bolt Thrower or Bust! Updated Files

Spevna Studio

The Lost Realms Art Gallery

Wrzew’s Game Board Art