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.
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.
The Ion Age is continuing to grow in infamy (I like that word more than fame, it suits the world just now rather well) and today I saw my first ‘conversion’ of our miniatures. Above you can see some Shia Khan Pioneers in 15mm scale turned into Galafraxian Black Guards. Yes those are eye stocks!
This made me smile among what is now a truly awesome amount of work which I must carry out. I try not to let customers down and as such I answer every email sent to me and I try to make things run smoothly all the time. I will be working on Patrol Angis full time as of this week along with an overhaul of the Alternative Armies website. That will keep me from posting overly much. I have signed up to follow Allison M the chap who created these images and made the conversions.
The quasi-humanoid, photosynthetic Garafraxians (colloquially called “Chloros”) use heavy armour to protect their fragile bodies during combat. Their long eye stalks give them excellent depth perception and peripheral vision however, so they generally extend them out of their suits except when in immediate danger. The suits are lined with red-LED arrays to maintain their metabolism far away from their home star’s nourishing rays.
You can find the original blog posting HERE. Lastly congratulations to the blog runner…enjoy those coming sleepless nights and demands on your time!
Another year has passed in my life as a wargame writer and general all around fine fellow and over the previous few years a marker of this passing has been the annual Orcs in the Webbe interview. Now that the chaos of Christmas is behind me (and a Merry Mithras Day to one and all) I wanted to put up a short posting here on the blog about this year’s interview. You can read it here and it makes for interesting reading. Firstly thanks to Craig Andrews for the interview and for carrying on all his efforts into Black Powder Fantasy for wargamers everywhere not least Flintloque fans. Secondly I often don’t realise just how many tasks I take on during a year and the interview gives me a chance to reflect upon this both for the past and the future. I seldom take a day off and I think it shows in the loyalty of our customers to Alternative Armies, 15mm.co.uk and The Ion Age too.
I think the biggest thing for me to come out of the interview was that, as I expected, The Ion Age has taken up a lot of my year but also that my role in the company has changed. We have a larger team on all projects now and where once I was sole creative input there are now several voices in this area. I hope that this means I will have time for more side projects perhaps even some creative writing.
Lastly an apology to Craig to whom I had promised a piece of lengthy Dracci related fiction for the Calendar this year but due to a combination of atrocious weather which shut us down for several days, personal illness and sheer workload I was unable, the first time ever, to meet the deadline. Sorry! Looking at it, its not often I drop the ball but I am only Human.
Have a read at the Interview if you have the time. Its fun stuff indeed!
Mark over at Beighton’s Shipyard blog has posted a short review of a wargaming title I partially authored a couple of years ago along with Omer Golan Joel. Its the sixth in the USEME series and its a set of rules for simple and fast fleet scale starship battles in miniature.
I have to say he did a grand job. Its not a simulation set of complex rules, it was never meant to be. Its fast and fun and with enough variety and bolt on mechanics to be adaptable to most settings. I have used it myself several times for everything from dogfights with five a side fighters to a whole fleet of dreadnoughts in the dark and also with Eli Ardnt’s fleet scale mecha for a special robotech style struggle.
Check it out!
Also if you are wondering what ‘The Big Mac’ is…well I know, I wrote it, but you will have to read it to find out!
My good friend Bob Minadeo runs a great wargaming blog of which I am a frequent visitor and sometimes blogger about. He recently put up a posting with a double claim to fame for it was not only in celebration of his latest published rules set (which he let me look at and is excellent) but also the putting into it the awesome fantasy nature of Flintloque. Using his newly published rules from 2 Hour Wargames and all pro-painted miniatures from his collection by Alternative Armies Bob has put up a posting with plenty of images and its a fine read too.
I like to think I contributed a bit to the process….I helped with the uniform of his Othari Cavalry as Skinners Gnolls and I sometimes assist in choosing miniatures and bits from the massive World of Valon range to suit his latest slightly demented on table scheme. Such as the miniature below which featured in the ultimate part of the ’98 Campaign.
Recently in a conversation with a friend the subject of baby names came up. Now I know that is not something you would expect a fellow like me to think about but I have done it three times in the past for myself and also chipped in a couple of suggestions for others. So why this posting?
Aside from a fun little read I decided to do a quick browse for ‘choosing baby names’ and came across this video. To me this is an example of a poor way of choosing names for your children. Have a watch. The first mother chooses something that will cause endless confusion for her daughter (but not to worry it makes her sound edgy and trendy..well for at least a year as nothing changes like trends!), the second something traditional (after suffering a bit of brain death beforehand) and the third…well she is the best of all. The third will not tell you the name of the child for ‘internet security reasons’ thereby making her whole appearance on the video pointless (incidentally I found her and the name in less than two minutes online so bang up security job there self promoter!).
My idle muse on this is actually quite simple. When you have the joy and honour to choose a name for a child do it with kindness and care. It is the biggest choice you will ever make for that baby, toddler, child, teen, adult, parent before you. Ignore trends, ignore your friends, choose wisely and choose fittingly too. That name will benefit or hinder them for their entire life.
I followed my own grandmother’s rules, you might find them amusing or useful:
1. Choose something you are not afraid to shout out loud in the street.
2. Never choose anything beginning with the same letter as your surname (alliteration is not cool!). Simon Syme anyone?
3. Avoid the names of children of your friends or the friends themselves. Also give each child a different starting letter in their names, avoids you accidentally calling the child their siblings name!
4. Find out the most common regional names where you live and do not use them (in South Ayrshire it is James and Claire for my generation).
5. Trends change and celebrities are vapid. Have integrity and give the chosen name time to solidify in your mind before committing to it.
I have known Tony Harwood for more than a decade and he is a great fan of Flintloque so when he mentioned online that he planned to publish a book of his terrain ideas and works I was very interested. Tony makes wonderful terrain for several different game systems and also for a couple of companies too. All of this is in his own unique style. I actually own a piece of his terrain which Tony very kindly gifted to me last year (is it in the book we will see!) for the Sharke’s Gingerbread adventure at Salute.
My House is a very, very fine Gingerbread House
One hundred copies of the book have been printed and it looks like it is selling well. I have held off ordering just now as I wanted Tony to expand his fan base and I will pick up a copy once the huzzah calms down a bit. Writing, Editing, Laying Out and Publishing a book is a daunting process (trust me I know!) and all that before you take it to a market and attempt to sell what you have come to love and often loath so much to interested parties. Tony’s works deserve to be seen by all those who are interested in wargame terrain and how it can be constructed.
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’.