GBS, Bob, Eve Hallow and wee Bob too!
It has taken me a wee while to get to this posting here due to work commitments (I am only one Man damn it!) but I wanted to tell you all about a visit of several days that I had been looking forward to from my good friend in America Bob McAlister and his family. During a visit to Scotland last week the jolly three came by and spent a few days here in Girvan. A good time was had by all and several field trips undertaken as well. Bob had sent me a package last year which I posted about and I took the chance to repay him by a filling with beer at the Roxy Pub here in Girvan and getting him hooked on Irn-Bru.
While he was here Bob and I played out the Typhon demo scenario for Salute 2013 on a cut down sized playing area and yes I won but only just. It was a close call. Below you can see Bob and I talking shop before play commenced. Typhon is a super game for a visual experience and my Droves of Shades gave a powerful account of themselves against Tyro and her Cyclopes too.
Getting ready to Play Typhon. Bob is the handsome fellow on the right!
During our excursion to Glasgow we visited Static Games and I picked up a stack of second hand books and magazines including some very early White Dwarf issues. If time allows I will post on these later in the month.
Bob and his family were delightful company and we all missed them when they left. The world can seem a large place but really in these days of jet travel, skype, email, facebook and more its not so big after all.
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 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.
Keep it up Craig! Keep the Flag Flying.
War in Catalucia and Zombie Dawn
After a busy weekend on the website of Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk I went into work to find that two of my titles had sold out their current print runs. The first third edition game book for Flintloque and the ninth title in the USEME series too. Both of these will be out of print for a while as I have to organise re-prints but both will come back into stock as they are core books and popular sellers. Indeed War in Catalucia will be in its third print run when brought in again and the total number of USEME booklets sold is nearing four thousand now.
While Zombie Dawn will be brought back into print just as it was there is a chance that I will take a few days to ‘update’ War in Catalucia. That does not mean any changes to the mechanics of the game (third edition is the most awesome incarnation of Flintloque ever as it is) rather some more background material and art taking into account the three years since release with more stats and army list information and the like. More as and when as normal on this.
The winter of 2012 and into this year has been good for Flintloque and USEME with new players taking up the offer of a free limited miniature called Gerrrard the Wolf and the masses of content on Barking Irons and the great new Orcs in the Webbe. USEME continues at a pace with weekly messages stating ‘release more titles!’ a firm favourite.
Thanks to all those who bought my work!
A Happy Hogmanay to all and to all a Happy New Year too!
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!
Happy New Year!
Today is Christmas Day and its been a roller coaster already so I have not much time to blog but I wanted to put up a little missive on this day for a few reasons. Firstly to thank all those who have been so kind to me and to my family at this time of year. An embarrassment of riches has come to us from all over the world. It makes me truly grateful and personally, the thought that people have put into getting me gifts is way too much. Japan, America, Australia and elsewhere in little packages. I am loved and love in return. You should not have but I am glad you did. To balance this I have made donations to charities both here in Scotland and further afield too to spread the joy that I have received. My Good Lady, the Poet, the Thinker and the Warrior echo this and have been very thankful for what they have received too.
Secondly yesterday saw the annual Festive Season interview on Orcs in the Webbe between myself and Craig Andrews. He calls it Annual Grilling and it is. I know of no other gaming company which would answer so many questions for its public, but I aim to please at all times. Have a read and then watch me across next year bringing the text into a living form of wargaming.
Lastly I wish you all a warm and cosy festive season and thank you too for reading and commenting on this blog. It means a lot to me. If you have the chance to be good to another person then do it, the cost is little and the darkness so often apparent in the world is kept at bay by the simple acts of man’s kindness to others.
Its nearly Christmas (or on my fantasy world of Valon it is known as Cryptmass, but more on that elsewhere) and that means my annual entries to the excellent Orcs in the Webbe advent calendar are now appearing online. Every year Craig over at ‘OITW’ collects material from fans and writers and artist who love the medium of Black Power Fantasy and lines them up for a month of free content which is read by thousands of wargamers and others.
This year Craig asked me for two pieces in our customary way for his birthday (Happy Birthday Craig!) to do with his favourite Valon fantasy race, the Dracci, Children of the Dragons. I was happy to agree to this and penned a short story called The Mirror of Zyrgone which features not only the Dracci but another perennial favourite Captain Sharke of the 105th Rifles. Following this (for the 19th of December) a Flintloque scenario called ‘Sharkes Mirror’ which lets wargamers play out the events of the tale. I followed the tradition begun by Cornwell himself in naming the scenario ‘Sharkes ????‘ and ‘mirror’ had not been used so there you go!
Its a great little action packed tale so please do go along and have a read at it. Craig is a great chap who takes on a lot in working up not only Orcs in the Webbe but also is editor of Barking Irons Online so it was the least I could do.
- Slaughterloo Box Set OOP
I had been watching the shelf for near a year but it finally happened last week…Alternative Armies sold its last stock copy of Slaughterloo; that being the boxed set of three books and card sheets released in 2006. A while back at a company meeting it was agreed that when the day came we would remove the game from sale for a month and then bring about a new version. This was going to be a new edition but progress has been halting and there is no rush as the existing mechanics of the game are excellent and vastly more than the old first edition. I can almost hear you all now reading this and saying ‘what no more Slaughterloo..you devil..why? We love that big battle wargame’.
Fear not! Slaughterloo will continue. In fact it will do so at Christmas of this year for at this very moment I am working on ‘S2 Redux’. That is a new run of the game. Same mechanics, same rules, same content but in a different format to the box set. Coded 5030 Slaughterloo will become a single thick book along the same lines as Flintloque 3rd edition became in 2009. Bigger than any one Flintloque book this one will contain all three of the box set books with updates in the army stats tables to account for the passage of time. All of the cards, tokens and so on to play the game will be in the book for photocopy and personal print…but also on the Alternative Armies website as free digital downloads. Excellent value and all in one place. Sneak peek below of the new cover with brand new artwork by Edward Jackson and logo by Sam Croes.
The draft new cover!
More on this on Barking Irons Online nearer the time.
Uncle Rogipoos and Jose survey their new premises!
A few weeks ago Tony Harwood asked me to do him a little favour. What is it you ask! To send on a gift to Roger Willcox, or as he is better known to the Notables Yahoo Group ‘Uncle Rogipoos’. I was delighted to do this for Roger as he is a very entertaining and stand up fellow who often makes me laugh with his crazy tales of adventure on the group. Also to help out Tony who is a very talented modeller and fan of Flintloque. Above you can see the item which was the gift. The coop of the Were-Chickens of Beesdone. I could not resist having a look and taking some pictures. This image shows the coop along with Uncle Rogipoos and his pet Armadillo Jose, two miniatures from the VLE10 set based on Roger’s characters.
I can say that Roger got the gift in perfect time for Halloween as Tony asked me. He did open it a day early and I accept the blame for this as a recent bad head cold made me forget to email Roger and tell him not to open it to the 31st! But hey ho. I know Tony is planning a book on his wonderful terrain, perhaps the coop will feature in it.
Since I began this blog I have been asked to give an account of a new set of Flintloque miniatures from their deepest origins through concept to greens to white metal and release. This process often takes six months if not near a year in some cases so it is only now that a project has come along that I have been able to detail in such a manner. Interested? Well you should be for this is the stuff of miniature making magic!
Back when Flintloque 3rd Edition 5026 Death in the Snow was published in 2010 the realm of the Witchlands was greatly expanded and among those expansions were more troop types and unit profiles. In the months that followed the feedback from the new book was really good and one of the most talked about subjects was ‘Undead Todoroni’. After all had the Todoroni of Nepolise not come a long way since the late 1990′s, from a unit of militia to a whole army in their own right with cavalry, artillery and more? With that army in the Witchlands it stood to reason that there must be re-animated Zombie Toads! I had come to this conclusion on my own and as a result I squeezed in a mention of the ’777th Croaked Line’ in the army structure of the Dark Czar. This mention caught players attention and led me to a conversation with miniature designer and Toad Mad man Rob Alderman in May this year.
As you can see above we came to an agreement over what a potential set of 28mm white metal Undead Todoroni would look like. Rob’s sketches along with his own and my own input worked out a concept and then a design tender that would meet the needs of fan’s of the shambling dead. Over the course of a week we batted it back and forth, consulted mortal Todoroni uniforms and other Undead formations and agreed on a total of nine greens to be created. This took Rob about ten weeks among his other tasks as a designer and working man (he is a busy chap!) with a couple of checks of progress and some images to finalise creative direction. Once carefully package Rob sent the greens to me at Alternative Armies where they arrived in late August. You can see them below!
As you can see Rob followed the initial sketches and expanded on them too. My own input kept his sanity hat screwed on tight and we worked out that in doing a full (and with nine greens it is a full unit) set we would need to provide not only troopers but also the command and the always found Witchlands requirements of a Vampyre and a Liche. Since no Undead Todoroni exist in the Flintloque range they would also be ‘firsts’. Details discussed included the style of dress and demenour of a Todoroni Vampyre (slick and slightly camp as it turned out), if a Zombie Todoroni cannot sing like normal Todoroni then what is the unit musician doing (playing an accordian of course!), the standard bearers flag pole topper (a homage to Mad Queen Maria’s glove puppet Mr Froggy). As well as those we decided to vary the level of decay in the troopers (as in the rules of 5026) and to avoid bayonets as many gamers now prefer their muskets bare. Late on in the process we decided to drop the fourth trooper and replace it with a unique and new miniature for the Undead…a Zombie Todoroni Chef! Why..well humour of course, it is Flintloque’s goal. The last addition was a dead Todoroni. This figure has several purposes in that it could be a dead mortal Toad (battlefield marker) or a corpse ready for re-animation or such.
So that is it for the initial stages of this new set of miniatures. Any questions just post below or email me direct.
This is the first of several postings on the ’777th Croaked Line’ and in the next one I will be detailing the master molding stage and white metal ‘tins’ along with an account of each pose.