Baron Book update and snippet one

The Ion Age ended September with a short update on the progress of the fourth book for Patrol Angis namely Baron. Baron was outlined HERE on its blog in an article and during September I had been attending to several parts of the build of the book. This included assembling the play test results of exotic weapons and new equipment as well as organising the feedback from the Alternative Armies Tabletop Wargaming Group on Facebook where we had been chatting it over with IonFans. The selection process for which star systems will be detailed in the book is over and the selection of which Condot Mercenaries will feature is done too. Notes have expanded to form in the story of the Civil War and lastly some very over powered mechanics for the Starvaulters were rejected! Starvaulters are the best of the best but one versus a Battlesuit was a little much.

I want to share with you a little snippet…from the exotic weapons and equipment section which is part of the advanced rules in ‘Baron’. Here are the first few hundred words….

“You want this little sparkling box? You want to try and take it from me? Don’t even think about it. My father gave me this when I joined up. Told me to use it when the time came. It’ll turn you into a wet stain on this grey dirt before you even get your rifle up. It’s my box of tricks.” 
Private Ricky Falacan, 403rd Regiment, Fulton Prime. 4322 IC 

There are places in the Prydian Precinct which were never the remit of Humanity. Places where other creatures ruled and something of their technology remains behind them. Sometimes such things are unearthed or relics from the dim past of the Ban of Prejudice are found. Many of these rare weapons and items of equipment find their way into the hands of far traders, rich nobles or sons and daughters of the original locator. A lot of them are located to the edge of the Precinct that leads to the Galactic Core. Cost in points is given and follow the special rules as laid out. 
Note: If you wish to add any of these items to an existing template type of infantry, infantry scale vehicle or vehicle you can do so using the rules for them if allowed. Simply remove a weapon and its points cost and replace it with your choice modifying the points cost total appropriately. 
Clade Dancers: Often coming up illegally among Far Traders for sale these large slab like objects are too heavy for ten men to lift and are thought to have originated in one now totally ruined and abandoned temple complex on Clade Prime where they were its floor tiles. They are inert and can be fitted into structures or larger vehicles. They have no effect upon machines but they tamper with the complex minds of Humans. When one is nearby to people they describe strange visions of dancing shapes which grow stronger with proximity with an influence much like excessive alcohol when very close. They can be destroyed and are so when the structure (a Hab Dome) or large vehicle (like a Mullo or Taranis) is destroyed. When one is in play there is a chance of losing Activation Tokens during the Initiative Phase…… 

I intend another update on the book at the end of October with another snippet but I hope you enjoyed the above and the pictures too…man I had some fun with the new Cold Climes planetary militia. They use the exact same rules as the typical Planetary Militia which are in The Khanate Return but geared up for Arctic conditions. I want to thank everyone for their support of The Ion Age and my living from it.

GBS

Flintloque, USEME and I go digital download!

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Last week the four books that currently make up Flintloque 3rd edition not only went back into printed stock but also, for the first time, they became digital paid downloads.  Otherwise known as purchasable PDF books. While other companies have been trading in downloads for several years successfully now it has only been in the last month or so that Alternative Armies and by extension 15mm.co.uk and my baby The Ion Age did the same.  When the decision was taken it was set to me to task out a platform from which to make the digital publications available.  After running tests on several installs I settled on one that seamlessly integrates with the physical products on the websites and is very easy for customers to use and also to return to for their purchases.  We began with DarkeStorme my high fantasy skirmish system for 28mm and 15mm miniatures and then moved across to HOF Fire Team and Age of Might and Steel before turning my other loved system books Patrol Angis and Callsign Taranis into paid downloads.  Then it was onto the main event…Flintloque!

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A busy few weeks and then the time arrived this week and with my usual flourish I presented the books plus a mega bundle to the world.  Early notice went to the Notables who were quick to get involved.  The reception has been very positive across the board and especially from the regular wargamers who play Flintloque who in some cases purchased the books as digital to go with existing print or both at the same time to expand their collection.   What has surprised me is actually the uptake on the printed books in conjunction with the same digital title as well as miniatures (above are the Pudigroan Dogmen and our funky three barrelled cannon).  I have asked and been told that the desire was to read the books while waiting for a package to arrive with paper being very much preferred at the gaming table.  This makes sense to me actually as I read books virtually but often purchase in print those I enjoy and tend to always buy wargaming books and RPG books in print only.  It seems that digital downloads are here to stay at Alternative Armies.

As always if you are a customer who continues to allow me to make my living in this wonderful manner I thank you and hope you enjoy what I do.

When the time comes that I have finished the next Flintloque book which is titled ‘Retreat to Kooruna’ it will be a print and digital download title and as such it will be the first Flintloque book to debut as both mediums.  I look forward to seeing how this is greeted by the fan base of the World of Valon.  While the first ever campaign book for Flintloque will get more, much more, coverage as it nears release you can see the cover art by Edward Jackson below.  Back in December 2015 one of the full scenarios from the forthcoming book was published in the Advent Calendar on Orcs in the Webbe.  Click on the link and you can read it or on this LINK you can have it as a PDF to your device direct.  It is one of a dozen to be in the book.

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Flintloque grows every month with new miniatures, new items and new material.  It has been a part of me for more than a decade and it will continue to be so long, long into the future.  In fact some wargamers would never forgive me if I stopped creating new content for the game!

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On Friday last week the whole USEME series of wargame books went digital download at 15mm.co.uk and while it is true that I nor any other author in the series such as Omer Golan Joel or Kurt Benson have added to its dozen titles in the last two years or so that will change.  We have six small books in various stages of development.  In the meantime I am really pleased to see people still remember my USEME and in honour of that the digital editions are cheaper than the print booklets.  A whole game system for three pounds.  Excellent!

USEME has half a dozen titles in the works by three authors including myself and these are at various stages of readiness.  I am looking at adding titles in the near future and these may well be digital download only.  This will be based upon consulting with several dozen customers at random to see what they prefer.

Thanks for your time.

GBS

Galactic Knights..what will be chosen?

Over on the 15mm.co.uk blog today I put up a short post about the possible expansion of the popular HOF105 Galactic Knights pack of miniatures along with the top suggestions for what the extensions might be.  The extension depends on reaching the magic number of 500 packs sold.  I am sure this will happen.  We were thirty off when I put the post up and as of right now we are twenty one packs short.  So with that settled what will the expansion be?  Read the link before continuing.

While it will depend on feedback in total I have my own guess.  My own guess is that everything and more than was suggested will be asked for but the majority will ask for support weapons and also a female pack of Galactic Knights with a possible bare headed or command type bolt on.  Will I be correct?  We will see end of this month or so when the numbers are tallied.  Sam Croes is keen to make more of these unique humans in 15mm scale but he has totally deferred to public input on this.

I would like to thank everyone of the hundreds who email us and comment and react every month about our products.  Your energy keeps me smiling.

GBS

Mullo AFV goes public on the 18th September!

I know something huge is happening on Thursday 18th and to be honest regardless of the result I am sure I will survive and prosper.  But I am fairly tired of talking about it and being pushed for an opinion.  So while I will be putting up the results and my thoughts on it..for the moment lets look at something awesome instead.  The latest 15mm model designed by my good friend Sam Croes goes up on offer at The Ion Age upon the morrow and its a beauty too.  The Mullo Armoured Fighting Vehicle a space opera dream made real.

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Ain’t she lovely! Thanks for looking.

GBS

I got me a tower..of sorts.

Its our biggest code on the Ion Age so far and this little look at it gives you a taste before release day. Our birthday month is heating up and thanks to everyone who has sent in kind words and picked up the figures they missed from the Year One Collection. Read on and dream of a grand space opera setting.  Go to the Ion Age blog and excuse me after a massive typing day for not saying more here inside my own head blog.

GBS

Ion Age Year One Collection now online!

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Have a look at one of the blogs that I run.  My baby brand The Ion Age is about to be one year old and its got me really pumped up and happy.  There is a lot of 15mm scale science fiction wargaming on the global market. In fact its just about the most vibrant and busy genre and scale as far as I can tell.  This means the ideas and therefore the competition is intense.  Far more so that back in 2005-6 when I brought Laserburn back to the market and Alien Squad Leader gave my 15mm.co.uk dominance in the marketplace for a few years.  Despite and because of this The Ion Age is doing really well with the ethos of fun, afforable, characterful space opera with a more old school look and taste.  In fact its going well enough to be occupying more of my own time than I expected.  So August will be a month of celebration and offers and gifts as well as new releases.

I will be talking more about this and also addressing my own personal failings to get Patrol Angis to the market within the first year but more on that later.  For now its pumped and happy.

GBS

Taken from Alternative Armies blog – Modular Elf Dragoons

“Captain Sharke looked grim. The scars on his face were livid in the cold of the Catalucian mountains and there was a fleeting inch of snow on the barren ground around him. With an eye long used to war Sharke was watching distant horses down in the sheltered valley while he and a half dozen Rifleorcs were up the hill side where they could not be followed. Damn Dragoons, damn ruddy Elves. Why was it always these pointy eared prancing Ferach that made his life hell. Everywhere in Catalucia the threat of roving patrols of Dragoons kept the Army of Albion on its toes. While the distant port city of Kooruna was the goal of the marching army he was headed away from them on his own mission. Well he would be if he could just get shed of these damn Dragoons. Sharke told the rest of the Orcs to get to their feet and they grumbled and grunted in cold limbed discomfort. It was warmer in the valley, the wind did not cut as deep into sodden uniforms. But on the ridges and hill tops they remained; for a sabre from horseback could and would cut all the deeper.”

Ever since the start of the germ of the idea that would become the huge range that is now Flintloque was first shown to me many years ago (1996) something has stuck in my mind. Those who have had the fortune to play Flintloque or Slaughterloo with me in person will know that I am a big fan of the Ferach Empire of the Armorican Elves. That is the nation that I like to play on the wargame table. Yes, I choose the Elf Voltiguers in the original box set not the Orc Rifles!

So, what was my idea. Well, during the writing period of 5025 War in Catalucia it occurred to me that although the miniature range had a large variety of Elves and a set of excellent elite cavalry in the form of the Corps Imperial des Dragons the Armoricans did not have Line Dragoons. That is the typical cavalry version of the typical infantry found in 51504 Elf Line Infantry; something for all seasons and reasons. Ferach Elf Line Dragoons were something that had a good fit to the Catalucian campaign and indeed beyond. I asked around and players agreed that this would be a set of miniatures ideally suited to battlefield and skirmishing alike. With that agreement the long process was begun in the winter to bring Ferach Elf Line Dragoons to the wargaming table.

Alternative Armies prefers to produce miniatures in white metal that are single piece with an integral base meaning little in the way of assembly but with a potential for conversions and personalisation. This time I wanted to try something a little different with the Dragoons. I wanted more variety in horses and in riders too. Not a plan for the whole range, oh no, but tried out here. After a lot of concept sketching and looking at uniforms and horses we came up with a modular system in white metal that I hope will really appeal.

The next blog post about the Ferach Line Dragoons will show and tell you a lot more but for the moment I will say that the modular concept reached a state of master molding at the start of this month. It has worked better than I had hoped and it means the ability to assemble a horse in a variety of poses and riders in such a variety of posing that a whole unit will never look the exact same twice. These will be fitting foes for fleeing infantry Valon wide and in every Elf army.

If anyone has questions please do ask them or email me with them and I will do my best to answer. I know its been slow for Flintloque in the last year but that is changing. This is the start and there is a lot more to come. Something about a sea port city and trying to get there next…

Thanks for Reading.

GBS

Original Blog Post Here.

Alternative Armies is changing Website!

This is taken from the Alternative Armies blogger blog as of noon today. For your information as a follower of this website of mine.  GBS :

Alternative Armies is moving!

We are about to move our website and email accounts to a new service provider and system. This will greatly improve what we can show you (we are beginning Project Darkhelm and we have a lot of Flintloque miniatures coming) and make us more effective for offering deals, viewing on mobile devices and blogging too. While the process of moving should be painless we do need to tell you all some information. So please read on. 
The process will begin on Wednesday 18th June 2014 at 8pm GMT and we estimate it will all be complete within fourty eight hours. However it may take up to a week. We will let you all know once the shiny new site is up and running. We will have launch offers too so something to look forward to. 
We will be deactivating our payment gateway and current website and email system between 4pm and 7.45pm GMT on the 18th of June 2014. Please DO NOT email us on our normal email address during the transfer period as we may lose your email in transit. All orders placed with us will be filled and dispatched as normal and all email already in progress with us will be answered by our proxy. 
Our sister brand www.15mm.co.uk is going to help us out during the transfer with our email as a proxy. If you want or need to contact Alternative Armies during this period please email us on sales@15mm.co.uk and they will pass it directly onto us and in turn we will respond by that email address. We will announce here that all is well on the new site and email systems once ready so that live will continue as normal for us and our customers. 
Lastly once the new website is up and you can see it please delete all your page links to parts of the current website as they will no longer work and check your computers cache too as this may show you a ‘ghost’ vision of the website that no longer represents the live one. Its an exciting time and you want to ask me something please do it in the comments below as well.   Go HERE.
Gavin Syme (GBS) 
Creative Manager – Alternative Armies

To Lark and Land my Resin Week

There is a lot going on at work just now.  Major product releases one after another.  This has meant less time for me to do much in the way of hobby or personal time projects but its well worth a blog post here.  So what has the week for me been?

Its all been about buildings, vehicles and aliens in 15mm scale.  15mm scale means that a human being of average height is about a centimetre and a half tall as a miniature.  Its a great scale as it means very large objects can be modelled affordable and well without a huge expenditure of energy.   The aliens were the brand new Prang, alien raiders and soldiers over on 15mm.co.uk.  These chaps made by my friend Eli Arndt over in the USA are great fun and suggestions for their use range from pirates to bodyguards.  If you are interested in seeing them pop along to the blog for that website.  The vehicles, well that was Sam Croes beautiful Skylark Patrol Flyer a resin kit in 15mm scale for The Ion Age.  You can see it on top of the tower in the above image.  Terrain came in the shape of the landing pad that tops off the tower in the above image.  You can read more on the Ion Age blog.

Typically I do the writing, blogging, web work and photo editing for releases and I am not interrupted much by customers or fans while doing it but in the last seven days its been a total opposite.  Many have been praising and asking about these new items.   This is the focal point of this posting.  It makes me smile.  Being asked what something will look and what it will cost and if there is a story to it is very invigorating it makes you realise that people care.  Frankly it makes me sure that investing my time and efforts into this universe was the right thing to do.

That said I do hope to read my copy of Escape from New York over the weekend..if I have time.

GBS

Tiny taking of Tinny Pictures

Today I spent a couple of hours taking photographs.  Not so unusual for me but today was a little different in that the pictures were for the upcoming conversion packs for 15mm miniatures on The Ion Age.  Above is one of the final composed images for one of the pack codes.  You can read about this over on The Ion Age blog.  These pictures were an absolute swine to take for several reasons.  Firstly the sheer size of the pieces in them.  Most are half a centimetre or less in length which means they would rather stick to Human skin than the paper I placed them on.  Then the positioning, even the slightest breeze or knock sends them flying and that includes the ends of my chubby digits (no artist am I!).  Lastly lighting.  Lighting is tricky with all miniatures as shadows can destroy a good picture.  The issue with these tiny white metal pieces is that they suffer shadows in images often not evident to the naked eye due to size.  Solution was a single high powered light source and then taking shots from directly above while staying out of the light cone.

Its not all glamour for me every day!

GBS