Caverns of doooom!

Grow the Hobby, Day 5

Caverns of Doom is an adventure game played with miniature figures which simulate heroic fantasy combats between wizards, warriors, and monsters in a forgotten age. Here is a realistic game in which you lead a band of adventurers into the dungeons and caverns of a fearsome dragon, and you make the decisions which can mean life of death for your comrades.

These were my very first miniatures.  I picked this up while on vacation with my parents, and I managed to keep at least some of the miniatures for over 30 years (though unfortunately I can't seem to find any of them now).

Not only did I play (solo) and thoroughly enjoy the game, but I also used the included paints to paint up all the miniatures.

After I finished these, they just went back in the box, to bump and bang against each other.  Something funny then happened - some of the paint started to wear off certain points on the minis (especially the Slime Monster), and it seemed to me that they looked BETTER after this.  What I didn't realize at the time is it was acting much like a highlight - making the top surfaces stand out a bit.

Not all of the minis were memorable, but some we much used for many years.

The cleric was one of my favorite models - and I used it as my D&D 1/2 elf cleric/fighter for many years.
I was also very fond of the thief, and remember this miniature quite a bit.

I also remember the Barbarian Woman fondly.

The Elf Archer, Knight and Wizard were less memorable to me - I just wasn't that excited for them (though I think I did use the wizard for D&D as well).

Most of the monsters didn't do much for me either - I don't remember much of them.

The block of 4 giant rats I do remember.  I can remember using these, along with the Slime Monster and the Giant Spider, just a few years back when I played D&D 3e, 3.5e and Pathfinder with my kids.  In fact I distinctly remember having them together in a box with other common monsters and dice in an old milk crate that also held my books, DM screen and modules.

The dragon was the first miniature I had to assemble, and I remember his wings coming off several times.  It was actually a pretty small model for a dragon - nothing like the ones available now.

I remember liking these so much (and the whole concept of a 3d dungeon) that I wanted to turn my railroad board (my Dad had made me a model railroad board that was on casters and slid under my bed) into a full dungeon (for display, not for playing on).

I made cutaway walls from corrugated cardboard, then covered them with dry-wall compound (mixed with paint to a grey color) that I then scored to look like stonework.  I made doors from this sheets of balsa wood and found scale brass hardware for them as well.

Eventually I had about a shoebox size setup before eventually abandoning the project, but it was still lots of fun, and thinking back, was the precursor to much of what I have done with wargaming later.

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. Now that was a nice trip down memory lane. Sounds like you had a fun childhood (my Dad was/is into trains too - for years The Flying Scotsman was his pride and joy). I've been reading your blog for 2 years now and I've only just gotten the joke in the blogs name. I feel a bit foolish. Keep it up, love what you do.


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