Parli italiano? Vuoi giocare?

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!

Thanks Gianmatteo!

GBS

Taken from Alternative Armies blog – Modular Elf Dragoons

“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.

GBS

Original Blog Post Here.

Meeples and Miniatures 128 on Flintloque

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.

Enjoy!

GBS

The Ramp Down of Salute 2014

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

GBS

Orcs in the Webbe 2013 Advent Interview

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!

GBS

Muskets, Shako’s and Fantasy from the Talented Mr Minadeo

The Injia Game set up for play!

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.

A Furry Top O’ the morning to ya!

Well done Bob!

GBS

Tony Harwood publishes and ships his first book!

Book Anyone?

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.

You can see some of Tony’s work over on Barking Irons Online and also on his own Blog along with the book itself.

Well done Tony!

GBS

Tabletop Wargamer Blog is no more…

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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’.

GBS

Salute 2013 for GBS

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The Shirt and the Badge

Well that is Salute by for another year and while others have posted their reviews of the show (very few this year compared to previous years, or perhaps I am missing them) I have just got to it as its a long trek home and the wind down afterwards always takes a day or so.  So how was the show for me and for Alternative Armies?

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The front of the mighty Excel Centre home of Salute 2013

Personally for me I thought that Salute 2013 was down on last year in terms of attendance and that the average spend in the trade hall was lower too.  How do I know this, well I don’t for sure but I can guess at it from the following information.  No que at the gents toilets at 1pm, only a minute’s wait for a coffee at 2pm and a virtually empty hall half an hour before the doors closed.  The crowd was never all that dense at any trade stand.  As always the Warlords were polite and helpful and the Excel staff were excellent.  The weather was lovely and the traffic shuffle out of London was easier than normal too.  Oh and I noticed some of the free plastic miniature sprue that was this year’s entry gift left laying once all the stands were broken down so I have a good half dozen of them!

For Alternative Armies it was a good day considering the above and while the total take was down on last year the overall month of promotion (which ends this Friday) was WAY up on the year before mainly due to a great pulse of SHM, Laserburn, Security Force Alpha and HOT orders on 15mm.co.uk.  So all in all it was a super top month for the company.

I did not purchase anything this year at Salute which is odd and for once I did not get offered any freebies either (not a lot of give away for me awwww!) but it was kind of my plan as what I did want to do with my wargaming budget this month and what I got for doing Salute was to get a brand new wargaming table.   So no new rulebooks, figures or terrain but I did get the table TODAY and its a beauty but more on that in another posting.

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A photo for the Typhon demo game 2013

I have also decided that I will not be doing any more demo games at wargame conventions myself as I did not get to play Typhon myself at all.  My attention was taken up with conversations, hand shaking and other duties.  It seems my infamy is too great just to toss the dice all day anymore.  Thank though to Craig Andrews of Barking Irons and Orcs in the Webbe fame for fielding the Typhon game four times in the afternoon.

Eve Hallow attended Salute for the first time this year and he did an excellent post about it too.  He travelled to London with my good lady wife…but he did make her carry his dirt filled coffin all the way to Excel!

Great to catch up with Edward Jackson, Steve Young, Bob Naismith, Sam Croes, Craig Andrews, Bill Hilton, Sandy B, Rob Alderman, Elton Waters and Russ Grey on the day; you guys make the trip worthwhile alone.  Thanks also to the hundred plus wargamers who spoke with me I can’t name you all but I took all your input and suggestions onboard and thanks for the kind words too.

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Feel the Force in one to one scale!

So good result all in all.  I will see you there next year!

GBS

A Week Until Salute 2013

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This Years Salute Badge

It is seven days now until the biggest wargame show in the world takes place down at Excel in London.  Salute 2013 is a lot of fun for me on the day.  A chance to meet and greet, chat and play a game or two as well.  But it is a ruddy lot of work before hand as well.  Those who work in the wargame industry will this week be spending their time making stock, filling orders, packing racks, painting miniatures, counting books and more besides.  I often think that some wargamers do not realise that in our time of automation this industry needs a person to create every miniature and fill every blister pack too.  The materials in the massive hall at Salute will most likely represent a million hours of effort on the part of the traders.

How will I and the company do on the day?  Who knows!  It is all part of the excitement for me and every year is different as the ranges and products we offer evolve and change.  This will be my twelfth Salute in a row and maybe the fifteenth I have attended.

I will say it a lot on the day but I want to say it here as well to all the customers of Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk :  “Thank you all for keeping me in the best job in the world!”

GBS