No Battleaxe for the Warrior this evening!
Was it David Bowie who said ‘Fashion’ in his song and that its an important part of life? Either way my youngest, the Warrior, was stage centre a couple of nights ago at a local branch of a high street clothes store modelling their wares for small boys. He did a grand job and should be rightly proud of himself. Being able to follow instructions and modelling tips at the age of just four and a little bit is impressive. Sadly I did not see him myself as I was embroiled in other things that evening but his achievement is worth announcement. Well done lad.
He is available to hire if you have a catalogue shoot! Reasonable Rates! :-)
Today is Eve Hallow’s birthday. No one knows how old he is or even if he still lives at all. For in the depths of Saturday night he did emerge from the Crypt to make deathly merriment upon the streets of old Girvan town. Now I only managed to snap this quick photo of him (oddly I took several but the rest of the film was burred or over exposed) but merriment in great store he did indeed have. I witnessed such sights as him raising the dead, placing curses upon cute kittens, eating the crushed road kill from the very gutters while at all times his bony feet at the end of his ever so long legs tapped to a fiendish and yet silent rhythm. Those ladies of the night whose gaze fell upon his ghastly countenance were turned with immediate effect into aged hags as his cackling laugh echoed off the stone walls of the rain lashed streets. I only barely escaped with my life intact by distracting the clickity clack spiderish man with a thrown handful of Flintloque miniatures in the opposite direction.
Praise be to the very elysian fields that it is only once a year that madness descends and the Eve Hallow creature is allowed upon the streets without it being the witching night of Halloween.
p.s. Happy Birthday Buddy!
Today was a good day for shopping. I don’t mean the kind of shopping where I trail about after my good lady uttering the mantras of ‘that looks good’ and ‘your bum ain’t fat in that’ I mean the kind of shopping where circumstances provide a golden chance to acquire something you want at a great price and without hassle. Well this happened to me today in Ayr at the local branch of doomed HMV store and also in the mail this morning. Below you can see a picture of the haul. Sorry about the lens flare but shrink wrapping does that. I have listed the titles under the image with links to their IMDB pages if you want to learn more about them.
Anime, World Cinema and Bargain Bin gold!
This lot cost me just over thirty five pounds sterling including the postage on the Amazon order for Gazariki which was superb. The others were discounted on the racks, discounted and binned and then with a 25% blue sticker sale on top it was like Christmas at two pounds a pop!
I hope to review each of these films and series in the next couple of months. If anyone reading wants something put to the top of the que just email me or comment.
Its the one on the left…that on the right is typical size.
I wanted to share a little story with you all which has just been relayed to me by my Good Lady. It concerns my eldest son The Thinker and his visit to the dentist today. A visit to have a tooth removed…but before you begin to tut and chastise be aware that this tooth was being removed due to its desire to stay rooted into the mouth of a lad approaching eleven years old. I shall inform further.
My children do not get to drink fizzy drinks of any kind. Now I am not harsh but its for their own good for you see I am child of Glasgow in the early 1980′s where virtually all children had missing teeth due to such drinks. Sadly this is still the case for many in Scotland despite the evidence of tooth decay these drinks cause. So its a diet of milk, squash, water, fruit juice and the odd lemonade for a special treat..no caffeine either! Here in Girvan like elsewhere I regularly see idiotic parents giving toddlers or older children bottles and cans of fizzy drinks which they tip into blackened mouths and then howl from the sugar and caffeine rushes. None of that for my dearest three. So the teeth in the heads of my three sons are white and bright just like they are. This is literal proof for this science being correct. Take it from me.
The dentist removed my son’s tooth because it was so healthy and well grown that it did not want to come out to make room for the adult tooth coming in behind it. She remarked that not only was it one of the best mouths she had the pleasure to work on (mine is not too bad too, we all have the same excellent dentist) but also that the total lack of decay was astonishing. But what was really remarkable was the super size and strength of the tooth, which you can see above, twice or so the length of average. My lad did very well and not even a whimper when the pliers did their work. When he becomes a man his mouth and his mind will thank his parents.
Brush your teeth..better to have healthy ones pulled than a mouth of rot!
My own copy of Slaughterloo
Look at the thickness of that spine!
Having a flick through the pages.
The day is here (well it was yesterday but I do have to sleep) Slaughterloo Redux is in print, in boxes and being sent out to all those who ordered it from Alternative Armies. You can find out all about the book on the website and I will not repeat it here (there is also a folder of free files you can download too) as this is my personal blog and I just want to talk a little about the process of the book and the joy of its publication.
Back in the autumn of 2012 when it became clear that the original print run of Slaughterloo 2nd edition was going to run out the decision was made to update it and put it into one book instead of a boxed set. The process of making one book out of three was larger than I originally though as not only had it to be combined but it had to be updated. The rules mechanics did not change but the army lists and statistics tables had to be expanded and tidied up along with more new material added. On top of this there was a new scenario to write and a new way of writing it (based on the Flintloque 3rd edition model) required. Page after page all the way up to one hundred and sixty eight pages. The biggest book I have ever worked on. The authorship is of course split between myself and Alex Draper but I oversaw the digital layouts and artwork editing myself. Over a hundred and fifty of Edward Jackson’s great ‘world of valon’ images are in the book and each of them had to be sized and rendered. Topping out at 175,000 words the editing and proofing took three weeks to complete. Hundreds of work hours but it was more than worth it as the book is a beautiful object in its own right.
You can see from the pictures in this posting, I wanted to show an actual copy instead of digital copy as normal, the quality of the print work and of the paper stock. The book has a great weight and is a joy to flick through and read at leisure and that is before you get to the actual game (Alex’s rules are superb!). You can read it as a reference book too. In a time when prices go ever up for wargaming material and the content gets ever slimmer and font sizes ever bigger this bad boy gives you the works for just twenty pounds. I believe in giving people a damn good read as well as a good game to play.
Unfortunately the weather in the UK did delay release and shipping by two weeks and by consequence this posting too. Obviously I did not see this coming but the company has not had a single grumble never mind complaint about the delay. Alternative Armies has many loyal gentlemen for customers, let me tell you. Snow and wind did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm though. Slaughterloo woohoo!
p.s. you might now ask how I am going to top this book…well 2013 is a long year and there is plenty of time. Just you all wait and see.
This post is a day late but yesterday was a long and hectic day so here we are; late but unrepentant! It was my youngest son’s forth birthday and he, the Warrior, was determined that it was to be themed around his most favourite thing in the world…Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The lad loves this tale. He has both the films, the audio book, the novel (though it is his brothers copy and he cannot yet read it!) plus clothing and everything else he can get his hands on for it. So a party on this line was the order of the day.
A Cake fit for a Prince! Custom Made and very impressive
I have to thank my good lady who frankly made all the effort with this birthday and the party. I do not have a lot of free time (wargamers hunting Flintloque miniatures can do that too you) so she designed and ordered custom invites, the fantastic artist’s cake (above) and she made what were frankly professional grade party bags made to look like they were from the Wonka Factory. These included candy canes and ‘re-wrapped’ cadbury bars in Wonka Wrappers. The attendance at the party was twenty odd, no more would have fitted in!
Little Wonka Bars!
Home made but Professional looking Wonka Party Bags
The wee guy was spoiled by his friends and family, when you are four its what should happen, and after unwrapped a pile of pressies he toddled off to bed and was out like a light!
I’ve been up for fourteen hours now!
So well done to all involved. The Warrior will remember this party and that day for a long time to come. But as an aside…what he really wanted for his birthday, two things. Firstly a little DVD player so he can watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in bed and…of all things…Eve Hallow to come round for some cake! Eve did so but cake and kiddies and the living dead don’t really mix!
A Happy Hogmanay to all and to all a Happy New Year too!
2013 eh….we are truly living in the future now. What will the new year bring? It’s hard to tell really what with all the trouble in the world, the uncertainty in the economy, the signs in the starts and other mumbo jumbo. But hey when was it ever any different. Me, well I am going to keep on doing what I have been and that is to bring wargamers top notch products at great prices. With what I have planned for this new year work wise it will be fun, fun, fun for all. But I cannot spoil the surprises all in one go so I will keep quiet on the new game titles, new miniatures and other new things too for now.
For myself personally its going to be an interesting year since I plan on doing several things I have been meaning to do and keep putting off for one reason or another. These are not ‘new year resolutions’ (who keeps to these anyway beyond the first week of January?) but more ambitions for living if you want to call it that. I want to play more of my own wargames, more HOF Fire Team and USEME and of course Flintloque leading to more Slaughterloo battles; these would be accounted for on TTWG blog and linked in places to Barking Irons Online too. I want to be a bit more productive too (did you just gasp at that, but yes I could do more) in my personal life as I have let things slide a bit in terms of keeping my space tidy and filing things away. Its also now been three years since the operation for an umbilical hernia that laid me flat out and that means I can go back to exercise without fear of tearing my internal ’stitches’. I have about forty pounds I want to shift off. I hope to get to a point where I can cycle 5k a day. I would say I will begin work on some fiction for separate publication by Kindle but this year looks too busy already for those plans. I want to spend more time with my children too as I am having trouble keeping Saturday a ‘no work’ day beyond 9am as I had promised them plus I hope not to suck as much at Xbox games to give my lads a challenge! So lots to think about and I hope I don’t drop the ball on all of these aims.
I am sure all of this will pop up here on the blog and elsewhere too. Lets see how I get on!
Happy New Year!
Today is Christmas Day and its been a roller coaster already so I have not much time to blog but I wanted to put up a little missive on this day for a few reasons. Firstly to thank all those who have been so kind to me and to my family at this time of year. An embarrassment of riches has come to us from all over the world. It makes me truly grateful and personally, the thought that people have put into getting me gifts is way too much. Japan, America, Australia and elsewhere in little packages. I am loved and love in return. You should not have but I am glad you did. To balance this I have made donations to charities both here in Scotland and further afield too to spread the joy that I have received. My Good Lady, the Poet, the Thinker and the Warrior echo this and have been very thankful for what they have received too.
Secondly yesterday saw the annual Festive Season interview on Orcs in the Webbe between myself and Craig Andrews. He calls it Annual Grilling and it is. I know of no other gaming company which would answer so many questions for its public, but I aim to please at all times. Have a read and then watch me across next year bringing the text into a living form of wargaming.
Lastly I wish you all a warm and cosy festive season and thank you too for reading and commenting on this blog. It means a lot to me. If you have the chance to be good to another person then do it, the cost is little and the darkness so often apparent in the world is kept at bay by the simple acts of man’s kindness to others.
The Warrior Shepard
After yesterday I will admit to a bit of a case of nerves when I attended my youngest son’s nativity play at Girvan Nursery (which is attached to the primary school) but I am happy to say that there was no drama off stage at all. The Warrior, above in all his finery, played a Shepard. He is not the actor that my middle son appears to be and much prefers his toy soldiers (not white metal, just a one pound bag of green and grey plastic ones!) and and pop guns but he put on a grand show. Singing, clapping, miming the actions. He is smart as a button which was plain to see as he reacted quickly to instruction and made no errors during the performance. I enjoyed the show…it always reminds me of a horde of little goblins arms and legs flailing madly as they tumble around in a cloud of dust. Pure madness in the best possible way.
It was a little sad for me though as that was my last nursery grade nativity play . The Warrior begins school next summer and he is my youngest so that is that for the nursery with all three of them passing through its excellent caring hands.
On a separate note the image below makes me smile. This is the Warrior in his day to day mode as it were. Just as popular as his brothers. He handed out his birthday party invites for January today (before school breaks up)…I had to get thirty made to meet the list of those who want to come!
The Warrior and his Fans!
The Thinker injured in the Festive Wars!
Its been a big and accident prone day for the Syme family for you see…today was my middle son’s Christmas play at school and he had been cast in a leading speaking role as Herod…but…he had a fall.
Girvan Primary is a great school and my feelings in this were reinforced again today by this accident. It was totally my son’s fault, in putting on his golden costume he tripped and banged his head. He is fine but a scalp injury was the result and those as you will know bleed profusely. Myself and my good lady were already in the school and about to take our places in the audience when we were called to him. The staff had made him comfortable and were fussing over him and as the picture shows he had a bandage on his head. I was rapidly told of the incident and what had taken place with a high level of professionalism. I drove the lad to the Girvan Hospital where he got the best of attention (local hospitals with A&E departments are a wonderful idea!) and was checked over without any delay. He wanted to return to the school to tell his class and teacher he was fine so we did. All of his friends were frankly ecstatic to see him and not less than six different members of staff stopped us and checked on him by name and how he felt. Girvan Primary is indeed a super school.
So my son missed the play and his chance to shine on the stage at least. But shine he did. I was so proud of him stoically sitting while he was examined without a peep and polite to a fault to all the teaching and medical staff he encountered despite the visible pain he was in. It also made me realise more (as I do not spent any time normally in the school) than ever just how central to his class he actually is. ”There is a lot of potential in his noggin and it would be a shame to dent it further.” I head this a dozen times in an hour. He even insisted on us cleaning and returning the golden costume to the school!
Tomorrow is my youngest son’s play….perhaps I will get to see this one