The merger of 15mmcouk back into its originator parent Alternative Armies is complete meaning that the cart is closed and all the products are now on their new pages on the much larger Alternative Armies website. I would like to thank you all for a great decade and for supporting my idea to boost that scale.
A decade that saw us become a leader in the booming expansion of 15mm scale tabletop gaming along with bringing a number of great game titles to market such as USEME and to restore Laserburn to its rightful classic status. Thousands of miniatures across Historical, Fantasy and Science Fiction lines usable with any 15mm game system and we think now four times larger than its beginning size.
This is our final blog article and all of the 15mm scale news will now be delivered on the Alternative Armies network of email, social media and its blog which you should now follow if you liked what we did and will do. If you visit the Alternative Armies website you will be prompted to join the Mailchimp email list which we would like you to do since we will continue to have 15mm releases across many ranges such as HOT, HOF, Altuos and more. Our own mailing list for 15mmcouk will slow and cease.
So as well as saying farewell this article is here to give you a list of all the of new sections of the Alternative Armies website which were our 15mm ranges. Click on each of them to visit them from here. A handy list indeed which you can see HERE.
About ten years ago Alternative Armies decided to separate off its 15mm ranges and to place them in their own website. In our strategic review we have decided to bring all the ranges that make up 15mm.co.uk back to Alternative Armies. They will be placed in their own new sections of the Alternative Armies website and gradually removed from 15mm.co.uk. The process will continue until all the ranges are taken across and then we will shut down 15mm.co.uk. Both of these websites are part of the same great company and the fulfilment of orders and contact with customers will continue as normal. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org will not be deactivated and we will send out messages during the process inviting Tabletop Gamers to join the Alternative Armies community and mail list if they have not already done so.
You will have noticed that the Alternative Armies website has a new look and is now even roomier. This is purposeful for the planned merger and features a new headline list of pages called ’15mm Ranges’. We ask you to support us over the coming weeks of this merger and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us on email@example.com. We took this decision for many reasons including the maintenance time in multiple large websites, the commonality of customers across them and also our plans for the scales of 15mm and 28mm which we have for this and coming years. We know this is a surprise but all will be well and we are the same great people you already know and all of the miniatures, game systems and more you are familiar with will continue on. The team that runs both websites will continue as it is with one much larger website.
You can continue to order from 15mm.co.uk as the ranges migrate across and if a range has migrated it will be on its own new section of Alternative Armies with a link.
We will keep you informed of progress. We have have some great new products and rule systems coming in 2017. We began with 5024 Escape from the Dark Czar a new beginners set for Flintloque and we will soon have new 15mm miniatures to show and a rule set too…
Thanks for Reading.
(I placed this here as I know some of you look to this blog before others. Exciting times!)
Alternative Armies and by extension 15mmcouk and The Ion Age now have a dedicated group on Facebook overseen by myself. A place to talk miniatures and games and ask questions.
All interested are welcome so please come along and join.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Today marked a grand day for me personally. A day I have been working towards since last year. A day that proves if you try hard enough you can actually achieve next to anything. Do not take that as some sort of self improvement propaganda its simply a plan with a lot of hard work. Thousands of hours and admittedly a thousand disappointed people (I do have to sleep and see my children) have taken me to this day. While I will resume my game development and so on soon today is all about the Three Platforms. Alternative Armies on its new website launched Project Darkhelm, 15mm.co.uk on its new website released the second to last re-mastered code for Laserburn and lastly following up on last month’s awesome early supporter deal my baby The Ion Age ramps up for its One Year Anniversary with another great offer on hover vehicles. We are back to the situation of one year ago plus more with weekly releases across three platforms or websites and their connected blogs.
Click on the links for details and forgive me not explaining it all here as I have already typed some six thousand words today plus other tasks.
I would actually be interested to hear if anyone out there manages so many different brands and systems and their support. We could have quite a good conversation I think. I admire other workers in the industry and enjoy the chats I do have with several of them each week. So. A little round of applause for me and a bow, thank you. I would have posed this yesterday in lead in but I was happily attending my old haunt Glasgow University to attend the graduation of my sister in law Kirsten Loy. Congratulations girl and well done. A full post soon on this with my own reflections at returning some 12 years to the day since I myself graduated and not since.
Enjoy the pictures and thanks for all the kind words on Google Plus and other forums too. I adore you all…really 🙂
Here be Dragons!
Salute 2014 is over and I am back in Scotland now. I got back on Sunday afternoon but its taken until now for me to take care of all the email and other matters to have time to make this posting. My own blogging comes last on the list and is mainly for my own amusement here on this domain. That being said I hope the three thousand of you who look at it each week enjoy the read. Anyway with the dust settled and some time to muse on it…just how was Salute this year for me and as an event?
Come and look at the table!
For me this Salute was the most easy going ever with the entire event going off without a hitch and even the traffic in London being remarkably light. I was tired sure but nothing like the mad days of 2004-2010 for this wargames show. I met a lot of nice people and in among the praise of how much they were loving The Ion Age and wishing it good growth I also took some flak from Flintloque fans. Did I not know this was the first Salute since the 1990’s that Flintloque did not dominate the trade stand? Well I did and I did it on purpose; sorry guys! Makes me think though Flintloque has been ‘me’ for so long now that it did feel a bit strange not to have it there. We did fine in terms of our sales and I was happy with that and as always we dropped off a stack of ‘collect on the day’ pre-orders. I want to thank all those who supported us and me and I wish them well.
The Ion Age in the ‘flesh’ got a lot of admiring looks
As an event this Salute was rather more quiet that previous years. Less excitement and buzz in the massive hall at Excel and without the bring and buy the gaps between the rows of stands was very wide indeed. I think attendance was down a bit as well. Certainly I tend to notice things like this and my notes from 2013 said the same thing down on 2012. Not to be pessimistic but it seems possible to me with the changing nature of the hobby that such a big show might not continue as it is. A smaller trade stand suited us and other traders had done the same thing perhaps noticing what I had. I have not seen this opinion online elsewhere but then maybe I am wrong on this…when I look back at this post in a year I will know for sure. Just call me Hari Seldon perhaps!
Perhaps this sign will be gone next year?
Now. On with life and with business. Its Malig Madness release week on The Ion Age and its the Maginot Turret kit on 15mm.co.uk and Slaughterloo is back in stock from the morrow on Alternative Armies. Plus the sun is shining. Life is mighty fine by the sea here in Girvan and there is a LOT coming your way over the coming months.
Look for our 18 foot tall banner!
There is a week to go. It might be more than a week in actual time but with the drive down to London to take into account from here in Scotland the Salute 2014 wargame show will begin for me in one week’s time. Three days away from home and family and my one actual convention in person this year. Its been a year for re-structuring for the company and that includes our scale of commitment to Salute. We will be having a smaller stand and no demonstration game this year. Also since its the first time that my own baby The Ion Age has been in existence at this time of year the whole of the trade stand is being occupied by our fantastic 15mm science fiction range. That being said we are well under way for new websites, new resin production plant and some of the most kick ass products on the market.
The ramp up to Salute is one of the most busy times of my year and this year is no different. In fact it looks like its a record year for pre-orders for collection on the day (many of these are from Flintloque players and also fans of Alien Squad Leader) and if it keeps going we might have to leave some of the stock behind here to make room for packages! I am not overly surprised at the Alternative Armies pre-orders as this is the first time in my involvement in wargaming that a show I attend has no Flintloque at it. I got permission to make an excellent offer to fans including the expected discount but also a free brand new character miniature.
I have something a little different in mind too and the company will be making several new product releases at Salute 2014 on the day. These will be new codes which will be previewed just before the show on the relevant blogs and then released during the week following the show. Meaning those there on the day will get the first look and chance to buy. In fact the theme for the day is ‘Malig Madness…15mm Space Goblins’ so that is more than a clue plus for 15mm.co.uk I will have the entire brand new Loud Ninja Games range and two new packs purpose designed for the Human Colonial Army template in Alien Squad Leader 2.0.
I would be the first to admit that I am tired. I work hard, I work all the time but this event stokes it to the maximum. That being said I am super keen on going as I just love to shake hands and see all the people who make an effort to come along and see us or me personally. The day itself is also excellent with all of the traders and games put on with a lot to see. There is no bring and buy this year and I will be interested to see if the attendance is also down on last year. Over the last two weeks I have seen many more comments online than before about wargamers choosing not to attend.
In any event this will be my last posting here for a while and I will have no time for musing before the big day. If you are going along pop by the Alternative Armies stand and say hello…I will be the guy with the big smile and the Ion Age t-shirt on.
Snapping at my heels for a over a year is what is new to everyone else in the world but is an old friend to me. The Loud Ninja Games range of Chuhuac or Space Raptors in 15mm and 28mm scale. You can read all about the now full release of these miniatures through 15mm.co.uk on the blog that I run there or you can go right to the website and see them all there. As it is those places will show you the product and tell you about it but it will not tell you my own feelings which I am putting here.
Its been a long and at times a bit sore road across more than a year to get the Space Raptors from concept to green to production and then produced in the very large numbers needed for the fulfilment of the funded Kickstarter that brought them into existence. Every challenge was met by myself and the rest of us at 15mm.co.uk and we overcame them all. I have enjoyed it all though and so far the happy emails and online forum posts have proved that wargames adore them too. I have to praise Eli Arndt though who has remained positive and energized about the Chuhuac right from the start and has put the comments of his customers first all the time. Now that the Space Raptors are on regular retail sale the wider world will get a chance to own them and as of this morning quite a few people have taken up the challenge. Personally I do not care much for space dinosaurs as an idea and I won’t be gaming with them but it does not matter as you would not expect me to adore every release of the hundreds a year I oversee. Would you?
Loud Ninja Games should be set to grow with the support of the wargaming community across the globe and I look forward to seeing what other madness comes out of the mind of the ‘I See Lead People’ blogger. Trying to turn an idea in to reality is a challenge even when you have the experience and skill set to do it. But trying it as a newbie to the industry takes nerves of steel. For many it does not work out and the hurdles along the way can trip them up. But not this time. Oh’ and I made a new friend too.
Well done Eli my friend!
Its been a long search and at times a painful one but at last I own a paperback copy of the Escape from New York novel by Mike McQuay. A close run thing (much like the Escape story itself!) with many bidders and a final price that might make you sweat but which is still less than buying a copy through a book dealer it has just arrived in the mail. I will do a review of the book once I read it but you might ask for now..why are you interested in a novel about a film that is thirty years old?
The answer is Snake Plissken (played by Kurt Russell) the character has had a big impact on me for as long as I can remember. Sure the film is a little ropey and in places it drags but it and its characters have real presence that many newer movies do not. Snake is an anti-hero living in a nightmare police state future America with a military past hinted at and a fame that he does not want. The book is meant to expand on Snake’s background and give weight to tag lines in the film. I sure hope it does. The novel is significant because it includes scenes that were cut out of the film, such as the Federal Reserve Depository robbery that results in Snake’s incarceration. The novel provides motivation and backstory to Snake and Hauk — both disillusioned war veterans — deepening their relationship that was only hinted at it in the film. The novel explains how Snake lost his eye during the Battle for Leningrad in World War III, how Hauk became warden of New York, and Hauk’s quest to find his crazy son who lives somewhere in the prison. The novel fleshes out the world that these characters exist in, at times presenting a future even bleaker than the one depicted in the film. The book explains that the West Coast is a no-man’s land, and the country’s population is gradually being driven crazy by nerve gas as a result of World War III. Awesome!
I actually do have a plan beyond the obtaining and reading of the book and that plan is to try and get 15mm.co.uk to back my idea of more HOF codes that are suitable for the EFNY setting. We already have the SFA which will stand in for the thuggish guards and we have HOF55 (pictured above) which will, with more packs coming this season, stand in for gangers in the prison city. But we don’t have what I yearn for….a Snake for the nest. A miniature like that could be put into many projects and wargaming settings. Perhaps a Maggie and a Cabbie along with a Duke and a Hauk too. Sometimes I get my way but with 15mm.co.uk’s customer base wanting it too…well perhaps this post will assist in that. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are as keen as I am. Eye Patches are cool!
Migration was a success and now 15mm.co.uk has a brand new fully functional website. As I said back on Tuesday it might take a day or a week or more but it went like a dream in the end. It was a lot of work to build this site and honestly the messages coming in saying how nice it is makes me feel very happy. If you have an interest in what I do please go and have a look at the website. Several thousand products and images. Takes a lot of collate and insert.
On a separate but related note Alien Squad Leader 2.0, Alex Self’s fantastic 15mm science fiction wargame rules system is now back in stock as of this morning and the print run is selling already. I had the privilege to write the fiction that was inserted into the pages of the manuscript and I had a hand in the layout while the great cover was done by Jim Brittain. I have lined up quite a few new products for the HOF line that supports ASQL in the coming months and I will be giving details of each army as it develops into a full box code over on the 15mm.co.uk blog.
Now…the Ion Age calls and I can hear a Skylark singing (cryptic eh!).