I have now lived in the town of Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland for ten years exactly. This anniversary kind of crept up on me really since I had kind of forgotten how long I had been here but since I was reminded of it by my lovely wife I decided a short blog post was in order to celebrate. So ten years. What does that mean to me?
I came to Girvan knowing nothing of it. Not even a name on a map. A total unknown. I came with no expectations of the place more than the purchase of a place to live. In the time that has passed since then the town has changed and I have changed and do you know what we have both had problems and triumphs and I feel that we fit together well. The town is friendly and the people hardy and industrious too. Crime has not touched me and the summers have warmed me and the skies and seas nourished my children. To know the names of many people you pass in the street is wonderful and to have the chance to assist the community is great too.
My work keeps to tied to a computer screen almost all the time and I have done well and achieved much in the environment that this little town has given me. I am happy here. I have brought people here from the rest of the UK and Europe as well as North America and further afield as guests and they have all enjoyed their time in Girvan. Admittedly those who came in the summer enjoyed it more!
I will not get into politics or problems as this post is about my ten years a resident and I am sure some people reading this will disagree with them and point out issues. Issues like the Swimming Pool and empty shop units for example but those are by the side for me. All places have issues and I much prefer being here rather than in any city. Eyes bright and cheeks rosy.
So ten years in Girvan…here is to ten more years from this man who was once a son of ‘Maither Glasgow’.
Thanks for your time.
I normally post up across social media and industry websites about two dozen times a week reporting on all the excellent things that I get up to in this brilliant job. But this time its a little bit more special so I decided to feature this news here too. The big whoop at Alternative Armies just now is the offer on the awesome modular wargaming miniatures the Elf Dragoons. Their creator Sam Croes, a fine friend of mine, took the time to write up and photograph an article on building and painting one of them. Sam is a master figure painter and a damn good designer too so its well worth a read and a look too. See it HERE.
Thanks for taking a look.
Over on the Alternative Armies blog which is one of the onlines places which I organise and run there is a short but great posting about a brand new version of my Flintloque 3rd edition wargame rules. What’s so different about it? Well its been translated into Italian which is excellent as it means the community of wargamers in that lovely land can now play and read in their native tongue. Go HERE to read more and to download it if you want to have a look.
Flintloque is adored by thousands of wargamers all over the world who enjoy something unique and with humour but without all the high prices and often soul lacking materials that some other wargame systems have. I am seen as the father of the community and its a great place to be. There is a lot happening for the game during the rest of this year and this version of the lite rules is just an awesome bonus. Ciao!
“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.
Original Blog Post Here.
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 🙂
A surprise for me this morning as I was made aware that some good lads in the podcast miniature broadcast business had taken the time to review one of the many systems I have authored or otherwise worked on. In this case it was Flintloque and especially 3rd edition. Here is the link. The section on Flintloque begins at 1.04.50 hours into the broadcast (if you want to skip to it) and its very informative. Have a listen. I recommend headphones if you have a noisy room around you.
I might take some wee issues with some minor parts of it but then it is my ‘baby’ as it were but overall the fan of Flintloque who champions it in the interview Mike Hobbs fights his corner very well pointing out the adoration that many have for the game and its miniatures. Along with the high quality and value of the books and rule system. As he points out its been around for near twenty years now and its been bubbling away the whole time. Actually just one wee issue…’a fundamental flaw’ with the system. Sorry its not a fundamental flaw if you simply do not like Flintloque, that is not a flaw its only your choice. After all WW2 wargaming makes me snore.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Weekend Viewing…guess the show!
The new Alternative Armies website build is progressing well and its on track. Functionality will be greatly improved and options to buy single miniatures from all codes will be there too. All in all its a lot of work but I am enjoying it. Another update in a week or so. What I have noticed is that the deep architecture of Flintloque does indeed go back to the middle of the 1990’s and it brings back a lot of memories of that time when I used to just play the game rather than be in charge of it. Actually Flintloque has been ‘GBS’ longer now that it was overseen by anyone else.
As an aside latest news today makes me rhyme the title of this little blog post once more (Boak being the good Scots work for being sick). The news is HERE. Simply sickening, simply wrong. Simply understandable from people like that and any child will sing and say anything when you point a gun at them. The power of conversion eh. Enough said.
There will not be many posts on this blog for a while. I am currently involved in several big projects the main one of which for now is the building of the new all singing and all dancing Alternative Armies website. This is a big task and I am seeing to it personally as it involves a lot of thinking and checking and product knowledge and no one knows the fictional worlds of the website like I do. So off the back of a rather unpleasant encounter I had a while back in Ayrshire (no names as I avoid to give offence when the same was not extended to me) while out with my children I give you ‘Fictioning while Website building’.
This unpleasant encounter I will not go into details of but sufficient to say like many things in the world that creates hate it was about a book. Not taking no for an answer I was forced to verbally bludgeon a fellow that would not quit assailing me about my own lack of belief in his brand of ancient nonsense. Scared children and raised blood pressure later it set me thinking. I create fiction for a living, I create worlds and characters and motivations and desires. I place them in books and hope to profit by them. Much like the subject of the above video which puts what I know from my own reading eloquently and better than I can about a book that fills the minds of men with other fiction. Enjoy and more over…think.
More on the Alternative Armies website and other projects as they come nearer fruition.
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.