A Look into 2019 for me…

It has been a whirlwind of a year for us and now that it is at an end we thought we would give you a little snapshot into what is going on at Alternative Armies and the plans we have for what we will be doing in 2019. Possible and Confirmed Projects. What can you look forward to roughly in the first half of the next annum? 
Perhaps things like En Garde for Valon (the follow up to classic The Duel game) and Hazabot for Science Fiction (can you clear an infested space station?).

Confirmed is a follow up title for Sengoku, three more USEME books, a lot of 15mm and 28mm miniatures, expanded 6mm and more besides.

Plus there is news on The Ion Age. A lot to read.

Find out in full with the whole article which is over on Orcs in the Webbe.  Go HERE to read it and thanks everyone for your support.

Gavin Syme (GBS)

Ion Age Year One Collection now online!


Have a look at one of the blogs that I run.  My baby brand The Ion Age is about to be one year old and its got me really pumped up and happy.  There is a lot of 15mm scale science fiction wargaming on the global market. In fact its just about the most vibrant and busy genre and scale as far as I can tell.  This means the ideas and therefore the competition is intense.  Far more so that back in 2005-6 when I brought Laserburn back to the market and Alien Squad Leader gave my 15mm.co.uk dominance in the marketplace for a few years.  Despite and because of this The Ion Age is doing really well with the ethos of fun, afforable, characterful space opera with a more old school look and taste.  In fact its going well enough to be occupying more of my own time than I expected.  So August will be a month of celebration and offers and gifts as well as new releases.

I will be talking more about this and also addressing my own personal failings to get Patrol Angis to the market within the first year but more on that later.  For now its pumped and happy.


Going on all three platforms now!

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 🙂


Pioneering with The Ion Age

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!


Duxis be Done!

Work, work, work.  Twelve hour days, long time.  But there are moments of utter joy among the hours of trudge and one of those came around noon today.  Sam Croes design the Duxis Battlesuit went live today on the Ion Age website in the form of two early supporter bundles.  The bundles were my idea, after all, I know how much I love freebies and a saving.  At noon the offers went live and within mere minutes the orders started coming in as I sat and watched.  Lovely comments too, lots of adoration of this latest miniature in all its variants.  Its not about the money in the job I do, it never is, but after a project has been in the works for some time the moment it is public can be nerve racking.

You can read the full blog posting about this over on the Ion Age Blog.

The offers run for two weeks and I have some blog posts planned that will give hints of more new products to come on the heels of the battlesuit and before Salute 2014 in April at Excel in London.  What are these products…I will not say so there!

Now back work.


Bloggy Endus Hiatus!

Hello All!

I have been gone some time.  Well not gone rather sitting here as always working away but rather working solid in my ‘downtime’ on the playtesting of Patrol Angis as per the last post here some six weeks ago.  Six weeks, gone by a flash aside from the warm summer evenings now dark and stormy.

Just a quick post to say I will be getting back to normal now and to thank everyone in the test group for their efforts.  You can see the six weekly blog posts about it by me over on The Ion Age blog.  They make for some fine reading.  I will be redrafting the rules engine based on the results of the playtest over the festive period for release next year.

A lot has happened with me in the last month and a half so perhaps some retrospective posts will feature plus some movie reviews and books reviews too now that I have time to leisure once more. Perhaps even a wargame or two if I can drum up a foe.


Bloggy Hiatus – Patrol Angis playtesting

You all know that I work hard.  Some of you might even know that twelve or thirteen hours a day is not that unusual.  A few know that I work weekends too and that sometimes I just can’t get it all done.  Well one of those times has arisen and I have decided to take a ‘Bloggy Hiatus’ on my personal blog.   This means I will not be posting here unless it is urgently awesome to do so.

Why?  Well I am now in the midst of several projects including the public playtesting of Patrol Angis.  Patrol Angis is the main 15mm skirmish system I am writing for The Ion Age.  Its taking up a lot of my time replying to the thousands of words of feedback and I am doing this at home in the evening, prime bloggy time.  There are other things too but that is the main one.

Head on over to the Ion Age Blog for the latest and I will see you all at the end of the month.  I intend to do Movember again this year so pictures and fun will come from that.

Happy Wargaming!


The Ion Age by Gavin Syme….now live!

Today is the day that the hardest secret I have had to keep in my professional working life becomes common knowledge.  Today I personally told five thousand wargamers and by extension of that over this week maybe two or three hundred thousand more through forums and news portals about the existence of The Ion Age.   A brand new wargaming website, brand new products, brand new approach and all based on my favourite science fiction setting which I first learned about nearly twenty years ago.

Its been a slow build and a lot of work but over the last year the pieces have been put in place and the future literally written as I expanded and hardened the fiction that already existed into a bigger and better format upon which a lot can be hung.   It is one thousand years since the end of the great Khanate War and the betrayal of Prydian space by the fanatical Templars and after an age of darkness and an ongoing bitter civil war between powerful Marcher Barons a great leader has emerged to take command of the Prydian Army and its knights.  Princess Daphne Cyon has her work cut out for her though for as well as the Leagues of Yordan and Canlaster there is the situation in the Camarthen star cluster to now contend with…..

There is a blog for The Ion Age upon which I will be putting the majority of my thoughts on this subject as it grows and encompasses more and more.  Have a look and bookmark it or follow it.  The blog will fill you in on the rest of the details such as the free miniature with every order (changed every month see below), the weekly releases, the loyalty system with earned goodies, new rules sets and more.  Oh and what is coming on Thursday of this week.


That is it for now.  After all I have a universe to build but stick around to see a future filled with hope, bravery, mighty deeds and not the same old hand cranked gaming fodder.  This is the Ion Age and  its going to be a blast!


A Little Gift from a Good Friend!


I got a little gift from a good friend.  As you can see it is from foreign fields afar and rather strong in the spirits department at 50% volume.  It is in a wax sealed stone earthenware bottle.  I am a fine fan of Gin and other spirits so I look forward to trying this fine bottle out.  Though I do think I will hold off until cooler weather (its about 27c here just now).  You can learn more about Filliers here and below is some information about the eight year old Jenevers:


Filliers old jenevers are split up according to the amount of time (5, 8 or even 12 years) that the carefully selected juniper berry distillates are left to age in oak barrels.

Stone pitchers containing 5- and 8-year old jenever:

Our malt wine made with maize, rye and malt ages for five or eight years in American oak barrels dating back to 200 l. We blend them constantly in separate barrels with carefully selected juniper berry distillates that have been aged for five or eight years. This guarantees its unique and unadulterated quality and flavour.

Look and taste the 50° Jenever:

Colour: copper, golden brown
Aroma: very sweet and particularly pleasant, complex
Flavour: bitter and sweet, with hints of vanilla, pepper and cinnamon.
Finish: long, bitter with sweetish hints of vanilla.



Kingdom of Heaven – Movie Making Book Review


Get yer books only a Pound, only a Pound!

Taking a stroll through a local pound shop a couple of months back with a good friend I stopped in front of the ‘all books £1.00’ display and among the tacky crap (who wants a PJ and Duncan 1993 fan sticker book honestly!) I spotted a pile of thick glossy movie tie in books.  Ah ha, I thought and had a dig through.  While most were for chick flicks and kids movies there was one that caught my eye.  The Kingdom of Heaven story behind the film and the making of the movie introduced by Ridley Scott.


Costumes used in the film

In its pages there are three main parts.  The Introduction, the Kingdoms of the Holy Lands (Part 1) and Swords and Stones (Part 2).  The introduction by Ridley Scott discusses the notion for the movie while part one has sections firstly on the history of the actual Crusades then their leaders followed by how you dramatise such stories and then lastly choosing the cast for the film.  It is the second part that most interests me with sections on computer graphics, scene setting, costumes (see above), weapons, artillery, heraldry and more with plenty of images to go along with the descriptions.

For one pound I just snapped it up!

Books like this are always useful.  I might get something out of it for historical wargaming or even ideas for science fiction or fantasy too.  As for the movie to go with it…it left me cold I seem to remember.