Its a sad but valid day today for its time for me to retire the Tabletop Wargamer blog that I had begun in an effort to show everyone my own personal efforts in wargaming at home away from work. I got a collection of Ion Age and Flintloque miniatures, I got a fine gaming buddy, I got terrain and even a spiffing table upon which to play…but… Time was not on my side.
As it happened the wargamers who provide me with a living were far more keen on me penning and testing rule systems and fiction than they were on reading about me playing! That is fine as I have to add that I have found it hard to get the time for focusing on my own efforts and I do not want my own efforts to compromise the happiness that my work brings others. Lastly exciting projects have developed that will need more of my time and involve blogging so you will all see me on another blog soon enough.
So Tabletop Wargamer is no more. Thanks to all those who contributed comments, emails and more to the fifteen thousand views it built up. If anyone wants any of the content from the blog, pictures, scenarios and such I have them but most are already on Barking Irons Online for you to read free. They are in the HOF Fire-Team and Flintloque pages on the whole.
‘I am numbers not a free man!’ To paraphrase ‘The Prisoner’.
Rumour has it that today a certain Emma is making an honest man of Craig Andrews (editor of Barking Irons Online and Orcs in the Webbe) by marrying him. Being ten years long, long service myself I offer my congratulations to the happy couple and wish them all the best for the future. Craig is a top bloke, I have known him for a number of years now and he deserves all the love that life can offer a man.
‘You can take the cudgel away from my head now my Good Lady…see I said nothing negative about ten long, long years service…. :-)’
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.
The Latest on BIO as of the weekend…its updated already since then!
Back in December I took part in the now annual Alternative Armies interview for the Orcs in the Webbe advent calendar. In that interview I was told that Craig Andrews, owner of Orcs in the Webbe and editor of Barking Irons Online, would be making a planned effort to kick the volume of content on Barking Irons up a notch. Well its now late January and Craig has certainly met his goal!
I contribute content to Barking Irons when I can. A lot of this is done in time time off work or at the weekend (yes, I don’t sleep much!). Now its not as much as I would like but I am only human. Craig has taken my work along with that of a dozen others and planned out news, reviews, articles and scenarios for half a dozen game systems published by Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk. My latest was a HOF Fire-Team scenario you can find notes for on TTWG blog but only yesterday an excerpt from The Trolls of Valon from 2012 was put up too. I am very impressed with Craig’s dedication to wargaming and to me as well. Add to this that he holds down as full time job and has just successfully moved from Birmingham to Bristol and you have a chap who can spin a lot of plates while also maintaining a formidable online presence.
There is no doubt that Craig Andrews is the soul behind BIO and that I among the hundreds who regularly look to Barking Irons for their gaming material each week are looking forward to what will happen in the rest of 2013 and beyond with this online magazine.
Craig is going to be looking for voluntary funding for OITW to cover his costs. I have told him privately and will now state it publicly that Alternative Armies will contribute largely to this in supporting OITW. OITW now also covers other game systems in the ‘black powder fantasy’ wargaming genre created by Flintloque so I hope those other brands will also assist Craig and that this will meet his needs.
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!
A while back I posted that I was going to get involved with the setting up of a new 15mm scale wargaming blog. This blog would be about a post apocalypse setting called ‘Terra Burning’ and I would be contributing posts and news and so forth from the point of view of USEME (the blog’s preferred rules system for play) and miniatures from 15mm.co.uk. Well the blog went live today and I have just put my first posting on it talking about wargaming on Terra Burning.
Craig Andrews has posted the last of the three parts of Tony Harwood’s ‘Headless Undead Fun’ arc for Flintloque over on Barking Irons Online. I have been wating for this for a wee while and indeed both he and Tony have put notes on the final scenario explaining the delay and what was going on. I am more than excited on this and have been patiently await it.
You can see scenario three entitled Getting Ahead Part Three – Just Get me the Hell out of Here! now. It is a cracking ‘steeplechase’ format scenario that sees Acting Captain Margahrah and his section try to cross several boards while the Undead try to stop them and prevent the wretched Halfling Posco from escaping their clutches. From there you can follow the links back to parts one and two.
The fiction in part one is well worth a read on its own and it explains why these Headless Shamblers exist and just what is at stake as the Ferach Grande Armee tries to retreat from the flaming hell of frzon Moskova and the Witchlands.
The first Headless Shamblers
Sometimes it takes time for elements to come together and for articles and material that wargamers are waiting on to be completed (I know this I think better than most!) but it is worth the wait and once more Tony Harwood with a little help has given us all some Flintloque gold. I hope he keeps his head!
This summer the UK has two big events on the go for 2012. These are the Olympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee which take place on the 27th July to 12th August and the 2nd to 5th June with the Jubilee coming first.
I would like to do my part to celebrate these two fantastic events (as I watch them from all the way up here in Scotland) so there will be three brand new free Flintloque scenarios put up on Barking Irons Online. These will be put up on or around the big days for each event and will be themed to those events. Here is a little sneak peek at what to expect:
Diamonde Jubliees – The Goblin Queen is celebrating her ascension to the throne of Al-Garvey and her guest Kyng Gorge of Albion, upon visiting her, has given her a gift of diamonds. Now those diamonds are in danger. Can the Blacke Watchit protect two monarchs and the jewels? A bonkers scenario for two players for Flintloque 3rd edition.
Visting a Kyng – Obidiah Hogswill is a nasty piece of work but sometimes he aids the Army of Albion indirectly by his actions. The deserter general and his minions have found out that a deposed Elvish princess has become the lover of a Dark Elf noble allied to the Elves of Armorica who is promising to seduce Kyng Gorge III! This princess is rumoured to have a sizable fortune in jewels among her baggage and Obidiah means to have them…after all Muvver says they is rightfully his! A trecherous scenario for two players for Flintloque 3rd edition.
Sharke’s Olympnik – Captain Sharke has stolen the box of medals that Marshal Sault plans to give out to his best officers. Now Sharke and his fellow Orcs must ride like the wind to escape not only a chasing squadron of Elf Lancers but also scattered troops from the Army of Armorica who bar their way. An exciting two player ‘steeple chase’ moving table scenario for Flintloque 3rd edition.
Each scenario will be a full length and is designed for two players and or solo play too.