May Day is one of those days in the year when things seem more possible than not. What do I mean by this? Well simply put that on this day depending on what you believe its time to:
- Smash the Capitalistic System
- Go on Strike
- Celebrate a Pagan God or two
- Dance around a Maypole
- Lick the dew from the morning grass
- Run about kissing random people
While I may have done some of these things (not telling you!) it did put all me in the mind to suggest a ‘free postage’ weekend at Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk. Its a holiday weekend in the UK so I think across four days, Friday to Monday, it will do a lot of bored and itchy wargamers good to know they can cash in on my ‘urge to splurge’. It will be interesting to see the results.
As for the image in this posting, that is what will be on the two websites and associated email campaigns too. I knocked it up…like it? I am no artist, not like Mr Jackson or Mr Croes but I like it plenty. Its like me…blunt! :-)
Eve, GBS and Sam
Its been a hectic week for it was time for the ‘creative staff meet’ hosted this time by me here in Girvan in Scotland. As you can see from the picture above myself (centre…ain’t I pretty!), Sam Croes on the right and the crypt keeper himself Eve Hallow on the left (yes, he does manage speak with that on!) had a jolly time of it. Being face to face allows for a lot of conversation and ideas to flow quickly and they did. It did mean that I have been out of the office all week but I do promise to catch up on, what I am told, is all of the fifty plus emails for me that are awaiting answers.
As well as work we did do some sight seeing too as it was Sam’s first time here in Ayrshire so I took him to see Alloway and the land of Burns along with some scenic sights. This was made easier by four dry and sunny days in a row which for Scotland is a rare thing. Eve did not come along…sunlight does not agree with him strangely…
Sam was kind enough to give me some pressies from his homeland of Belgium and I gave him some goodies from here as did Eve Hallow. I have not pictured all of the presents as I drank some of them and ate others but I will review the excellent looking comic books and the music too. Time should not be so pressed now for me.
Gifts from the lands of Ghent!
Its rare to have so much talent in one room and it was a blast and I can’t wait until we all meet up again in London at Salute 2013 in April. In a time of instant communication and ever faster computers sometimes you just can’t beat working shoulder to shoulder on exciting things for the future of miniature wargaming. Eve say’s he might even turn up to Salute without the mask or his shovel for digging up corpses!
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.
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!
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.
Since August I have been watching the progress of Eli Arndt’s tiny Fleet Scale Mecha designs and I am pleased to be able to say that Eli giving me the chance to get them into production has turned out brilliantly. This month will see them released in their own part of the 15mm.co.uk website along with a special Barking Irons Online article for them all about their presence in USEME and how to make best use of them overall in gaming.
FS01 Fleet Scale Mecha or 6mm Power Armour
FS06 Fleet Scale Mecha or 6mm Power Armour
These are some of the smallest wargaming pieces I have ever dealt with and on average each of them is 6mm or less in size. That said some clever mold making and production sees them in white metal which was then painted by Eve Hallow. They will be released as single miniatures and as value sprues which are a little cheaper. There are nine different, and they are different, mecha and from the paint schemes I asked Eli for Eve has done a super job (I heard him gibber when he handed them over that never again…too small!).
O.G.Joel has a draft of a 6mm rules set for USEME and these will fit in lovely.
Well done Eli!
- 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.
There is just a week to go now until the release of the 777th Croaked Line and since I posted the second part of the three that make up this arc about the Undead Toads a lot has happened. In the last week or so I have taken delivery of two painted sets, both by pro-painters, each with a vision of just what these new and unique miniatures should look like. There is no official uniform or flesh tone for Zombie Todoroni as it has never existed before so there was a free hand for both Rob Alderman and Eve Hallow to do their thing on a set each.
I have many images of the two sets but I am saving most of them. Here is one shot of each of them so as not to disappoint or to spoil next week. Eye Candy!
Eve Hallows spooky and bloody ‘burtonesque’ 777th Croaked Line.
Rob Aldermans recently and long dead Bella Lugosi militia inspired 777th Croaked Line.
Along with the official release on Alternative Armies which will consist of a core set, trooper blister, recently dead blister and full unit too I have arranged with Craig Andrews over on Barking Irons Online to provide news of the release and an article about the characters of the set with lots of great images and a scenario entitled ‘Deep Freeze Toads’. A bonanza for Flintloque players who have suffered my lack of attention at the expense of 15mm sci-fi of recent months. I will not gush for long here in this post as this will happen in the article but I adore both these Flintloque sections. I adore Rob’s clean lines and crunchy flesh while Eve’s use of bright skin and blood spatter combined with stark black and white skeletons is superb.
So until next week..which do you prefer? Which will be the official uniform for the Croaked Line?
Its been a great build up but my role here is all but done…its Barking Irons turn now.
No books left…..
This morning I gave the nod for 15mm.co.uk to include an update for the Alien Squad Leader 2.0 game system. This update was to mark the book for the game system as out of stock. Essentially the last couple of dozen copies were polished off in the free postage offer that has just ended. So where now for ASQL2.0? Well the market has changed in the three years since the book was released and even in the last year since a new run was printed. ASQL has been a success for the company and for Alex Self its creator and it is still a very powerful and unique rules system but more and more wargamers are asking for it as a PDF download paid for title and not in print.
I am speaking to Alex over the next week and a choice will be made. Print or PDF or both? We will see. If you have an opinion then email me on the address to the right or post a comment below.
Carrying on from the first part of this posting about the 777th Croaked Line for Flintloque and Alternative Armies I present to you all the end result of the molding process. White Metal miniatures!
Below you can see all of the poses in this brand new regiment both front and back views.
Vampyre Officer, Skeletal Liche, Skeletal Standard Bearer, Zombie ‘squeeze box’ player
Rear View of the above four
Zombie Chef, Decayed Zombie Private, Fresh Zombie Private, Skeletal Zombie Private
Rear View of the above four
Poor Dead Luigi!
Going from the top we can see all of the white metal loveliness. These are ‘tins’ that is master mold castings which are then used to make the production molds which will make all of the miniatures which will go out to Flintloque players all over the world. These are brilliant miniatures filled with character and inspiring a lot of adoration even at this point.
Being an Undead formation the unit code for these miniatures will be twenty eight figures strong which will be released alongside a pack of all the poses and a couple of blister codes for trooper boosters and extra dead Todoroni. So far reaction to my asking has been that the casualty should be in the core pack but not in the unit code. This might change. I know Todoroni players will want a pack of corpses for their mortal troops demise on table.
I am going to save naming these miniatures and character ideas until I see them painted up and complete which brings me onto the next part of this series of wee articles. Rob Alderman is busily painting up his own set of the 777th Croaked Line in a uniform of his choice…but…Eve Hallow is also painting up a set of the same with his own idea of the uniform. My plan? To bring you both versions! As this is a brand new Undead unit there is a lot of leeway with uniform choices and flesh tones. Rumour has it that Rob has gone for a variation on the Bella Lugosi Militia uniform and Eve has riffed on the historical uniform of ‘Kingdom of Naples’ line infantry. We will see what is what soon enough. I will be impartial and intend to studio photograph both sets…perhaps a vote on the Notables Yahoo Group to chose which uniform becomes the one for the official website page.
Until the flesh rots people….