I know something huge is happening on Thursday 18th and to be honest regardless of the result I am sure I will survive and prosper. But I am fairly tired of talking about it and being pushed for an opinion. So while I will be putting up the results and my thoughts on it..for the moment lets look at something awesome instead. The latest 15mm model designed by my good friend Sam Croes goes up on offer at The Ion Age upon the morrow and its a beauty too. The Mullo Armoured Fighting Vehicle a space opera dream made real.
Ain’t she lovely! Thanks for looking.
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!
I reached the needed one thousand asks and finally signed up for Facebook this week. I actually have been trying to avoid it due to the extra work involved. Those who know me know that I just have to answer every comment and email and message sent to me and sometimes it takes me literally hours each day. I do wonder sometimes if the old adage ‘if someone takes the time to write to you then you write back’ is meant to apply to the information age but in any event its what I do.
You can find me by searching Facebook for me as: Gavin B Syme.
As result of this taking up of Facebook I am making efforts to join up with communities on that platform and making friends too. By extension the weekly news, blog posts and product releases that I make from work are also going to feature on Facebook too. It will not take long for me to get as noticed as I am on Google Plus.
Aside from this the current heat wave that is going on in Scotland is making life sticky for me and its been a ruddy long day too. That being said that fact that we are so busy is a great thing and as I look towards the first birthday of my baby (that is The Ion Age not one of my actual children!) I am so proud of how well it is going. It seems that honesty, quality, service and pricing never go out of fashion. My good lady cheered me up by send me a picture this afternoon of the Poet and the Warrior having fun in the park in Girvan with the free kite display. These huge kites are easily 50 to 150 feet long and it really makes the sky line pretty in the 25c to 30c heat.
“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.
Original Blog Post 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 🙂
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?
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.
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!
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.
Look for our 18 foot tall banner!
There is a week to go. It might be more than a week in actual time but with the drive down to London to take into account from here in Scotland the Salute 2014 wargame show will begin for me in one week’s time. Three days away from home and family and my one actual convention in person this year. Its been a year for re-structuring for the company and that includes our scale of commitment to Salute. We will be having a smaller stand and no demonstration game this year. Also since its the first time that my own baby The Ion Age has been in existence at this time of year the whole of the trade stand is being occupied by our fantastic 15mm science fiction range. That being said we are well under way for new websites, new resin production plant and some of the most kick ass products on the market.
The ramp up to Salute is one of the most busy times of my year and this year is no different. In fact it looks like its a record year for pre-orders for collection on the day (many of these are from Flintloque players and also fans of Alien Squad Leader) and if it keeps going we might have to leave some of the stock behind here to make room for packages! I am not overly surprised at the Alternative Armies pre-orders as this is the first time in my involvement in wargaming that a show I attend has no Flintloque at it. I got permission to make an excellent offer to fans including the expected discount but also a free brand new character miniature.
I have something a little different in mind too and the company will be making several new product releases at Salute 2014 on the day. These will be new codes which will be previewed just before the show on the relevant blogs and then released during the week following the show. Meaning those there on the day will get the first look and chance to buy. In fact the theme for the day is ‘Malig Madness…15mm Space Goblins’ so that is more than a clue plus for 15mm.co.uk I will have the entire brand new Loud Ninja Games range and two new packs purpose designed for the Human Colonial Army template in Alien Squad Leader 2.0.
I would be the first to admit that I am tired. I work hard, I work all the time but this event stokes it to the maximum. That being said I am super keen on going as I just love to shake hands and see all the people who make an effort to come along and see us or me personally. The day itself is also excellent with all of the traders and games put on with a lot to see. There is no bring and buy this year and I will be interested to see if the attendance is also down on last year. Over the last two weeks I have seen many more comments online than before about wargamers choosing not to attend.
In any event this will be my last posting here for a while and I will have no time for musing before the big day. If you are going along pop by the Alternative Armies stand and say hello…I will be the guy with the big smile and the Ion Age t-shirt on.
Snapping at my heels for a over a year is what is new to everyone else in the world but is an old friend to me. The Loud Ninja Games range of Chuhuac or Space Raptors in 15mm and 28mm scale. You can read all about the now full release of these miniatures through 15mm.co.uk on the blog that I run there or you can go right to the website and see them all there. As it is those places will show you the product and tell you about it but it will not tell you my own feelings which I am putting here.
Its been a long and at times a bit sore road across more than a year to get the Space Raptors from concept to green to production and then produced in the very large numbers needed for the fulfilment of the funded Kickstarter that brought them into existence. Every challenge was met by myself and the rest of us at 15mm.co.uk and we overcame them all. I have enjoyed it all though and so far the happy emails and online forum posts have proved that wargames adore them too. I have to praise Eli Arndt though who has remained positive and energized about the Chuhuac right from the start and has put the comments of his customers first all the time. Now that the Space Raptors are on regular retail sale the wider world will get a chance to own them and as of this morning quite a few people have taken up the challenge. Personally I do not care much for space dinosaurs as an idea and I won’t be gaming with them but it does not matter as you would not expect me to adore every release of the hundreds a year I oversee. Would you?
Loud Ninja Games should be set to grow with the support of the wargaming community across the globe and I look forward to seeing what other madness comes out of the mind of the ‘I See Lead People’ blogger. Trying to turn an idea in to reality is a challenge even when you have the experience and skill set to do it. But trying it as a newbie to the industry takes nerves of steel. For many it does not work out and the hurdles along the way can trip them up. But not this time. Oh’ and I made a new friend too.
Well done Eli my friend!
There is a lot going on at work just now. Major product releases one after another. This has meant less time for me to do much in the way of hobby or personal time projects but its well worth a blog post here. So what has the week for me been?
Its all been about buildings, vehicles and aliens in 15mm scale. 15mm scale means that a human being of average height is about a centimetre and a half tall as a miniature. Its a great scale as it means very large objects can be modelled affordable and well without a huge expenditure of energy. The aliens were the brand new Prang, alien raiders and soldiers over on 15mm.co.uk. These chaps made by my friend Eli Arndt over in the USA are great fun and suggestions for their use range from pirates to bodyguards. If you are interested in seeing them pop along to the blog for that website. The vehicles, well that was Sam Croes beautiful Skylark Patrol Flyer a resin kit in 15mm scale for The Ion Age. You can see it on top of the tower in the above image. Terrain came in the shape of the landing pad that tops off the tower in the above image. You can read more on the Ion Age blog.
Typically I do the writing, blogging, web work and photo editing for releases and I am not interrupted much by customers or fans while doing it but in the last seven days its been a total opposite. Many have been praising and asking about these new items. This is the focal point of this posting. It makes me smile. Being asked what something will look and what it will cost and if there is a story to it is very invigorating it makes you realise that people care. Frankly it makes me sure that investing my time and efforts into this universe was the right thing to do.
That said I do hope to read my copy of Escape from New York over the weekend..if I have time.
I am now on Google Plus. If you are keen on keeping up with me more directly than here on the blog go along to this link and sign up to follow me. The system is easier for me to manage than Facebook is or Twitter so it suits me best. I will be expanding my presence on the plus as time passes but for now I am on the whole rattling around the 15mm science fiction communities to be found there.