About ten years ago Alternative Armies decided to separate off its 15mm ranges and to place them in their own website. In our strategic review we have decided to bring all the ranges that make up 15mm.co.uk back to Alternative Armies. They will be placed in their own new sections of the Alternative Armies website and gradually removed from 15mm.co.uk. The process will continue until all the ranges are taken across and then we will shut down 15mm.co.uk. Both of these websites are part of the same great company and the fulfilment of orders and contact with customers will continue as normal. The email address email@example.com will not be deactivated and we will send out messages during the process inviting Tabletop Gamers to join the Alternative Armies community and mail list if they have not already done so.
You will have noticed that the Alternative Armies website has a new look and is now even roomier. This is purposeful for the planned merger and features a new headline list of pages called ’15mm Ranges’. We ask you to support us over the coming weeks of this merger and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We took this decision for many reasons including the maintenance time in multiple large websites, the commonality of customers across them and also our plans for the scales of 15mm and 28mm which we have for this and coming years. We know this is a surprise but all will be well and we are the same great people you already know and all of the miniatures, game systems and more you are familiar with will continue on. The team that runs both websites will continue as it is with one much larger website.
You can continue to order from 15mm.co.uk as the ranges migrate across and if a range has migrated it will be on its own new section of Alternative Armies with a link.
We will keep you informed of progress. We have have some great new products and rule systems coming in 2017. We began with 5024 Escape from the Dark Czar a new beginners set for Flintloque and we will soon have new 15mm miniatures to show and a rule set too…
Thanks for Reading.
(I placed this here as I know some of you look to this blog before others. Exciting times!)
Last week the four books that currently make up Flintloque 3rd edition not only went back into printed stock but also, for the first time, they became digital paid downloads. Otherwise known as purchasable PDF books. While other companies have been trading in downloads for several years successfully now it has only been in the last month or so that Alternative Armies and by extension 15mm.co.uk and my baby The Ion Age did the same. When the decision was taken it was set to me to task out a platform from which to make the digital publications available. After running tests on several installs I settled on one that seamlessly integrates with the physical products on the websites and is very easy for customers to use and also to return to for their purchases. We began with DarkeStorme my high fantasy skirmish system for 28mm and 15mm miniatures and then moved across to HOF Fire Team and Age of Might and Steel before turning my other loved system books Patrol Angis and Callsign Taranis into paid downloads. Then it was onto the main event…Flintloque!
A busy few weeks and then the time arrived this week and with my usual flourish I presented the books plus a mega bundle to the world. Early notice went to the Notables who were quick to get involved. The reception has been very positive across the board and especially from the regular wargamers who play Flintloque who in some cases purchased the books as digital to go with existing print or both at the same time to expand their collection. What has surprised me is actually the uptake on the printed books in conjunction with the same digital title as well as miniatures (above are the Pudigroan Dogmen and our funky three barrelled cannon). I have asked and been told that the desire was to read the books while waiting for a package to arrive with paper being very much preferred at the gaming table. This makes sense to me actually as I read books virtually but often purchase in print those I enjoy and tend to always buy wargaming books and RPG books in print only. It seems that digital downloads are here to stay at Alternative Armies.
As always if you are a customer who continues to allow me to make my living in this wonderful manner I thank you and hope you enjoy what I do.
When the time comes that I have finished the next Flintloque book which is titled ‘Retreat to Kooruna’ it will be a print and digital download title and as such it will be the first Flintloque book to debut as both mediums. I look forward to seeing how this is greeted by the fan base of the World of Valon. While the first ever campaign book for Flintloque will get more, much more, coverage as it nears release you can see the cover art by Edward Jackson below. Back in December 2015 one of the full scenarios from the forthcoming book was published in the Advent Calendar on Orcs in the Webbe. Click on the link and you can read it or on this LINK you can have it as a PDF to your device direct. It is one of a dozen to be in the book.
Flintloque grows every month with new miniatures, new items and new material. It has been a part of me for more than a decade and it will continue to be so long, long into the future. In fact some wargamers would never forgive me if I stopped creating new content for the game!
On Friday last week the whole USEME series of wargame books went digital download at 15mm.co.uk and while it is true that I nor any other author in the series such as Omer Golan Joel or Kurt Benson have added to its dozen titles in the last two years or so that will change. We have six small books in various stages of development. In the meantime I am really pleased to see people still remember my USEME and in honour of that the digital editions are cheaper than the print booklets. A whole game system for three pounds. Excellent!
USEME has half a dozen titles in the works by three authors including myself and these are at various stages of readiness. I am looking at adding titles in the near future and these may well be digital download only. This will be based upon consulting with several dozen customers at random to see what they prefer.
As you all might have noticed I have posted here a lot less now than I did before while my work on the blogs I support at Alternative Armies, 15mm.co.uk and The Ion Age has increased a lot in the last six months. Well due to a number of factors I no longer have the time to make my own posts here on personal matters and on work matters. There are other channels I can be found on including my own email (feel free to contact me the link is on the right) and my facebook page as well and I always welcome feedback and enquiries.
So I am not here, but I am here and work and life continues. Thank you all for your comments and support over the last two years. I may well return…..
Over on the 15mm.co.uk blog today I put up a short post about the possible expansion of the popular HOF105 Galactic Knights pack of miniatures along with the top suggestions for what the extensions might be. The extension depends on reaching the magic number of 500 packs sold. I am sure this will happen. We were thirty off when I put the post up and as of right now we are twenty one packs short. So with that settled what will the expansion be? Read the link before continuing.
While it will depend on feedback in total I have my own guess. My own guess is that everything and more than was suggested will be asked for but the majority will ask for support weapons and also a female pack of Galactic Knights with a possible bare headed or command type bolt on. Will I be correct? We will see end of this month or so when the numbers are tallied. Sam Croes is keen to make more of these unique humans in 15mm scale but he has totally deferred to public input on this.
I would like to thank everyone of the hundreds who email us and comment and react every month about our products. Your energy keeps me smiling.
Its our biggest code on the Ion Age so far and this little look at it gives you a taste before release day. Our birthday month is heating up and thanks to everyone who has sent in kind words and picked up the figures they missed from the Year One Collection. Read on and dream of a grand space opera setting. Go to the Ion Age blog and excuse me after a massive typing day for not saying more here inside my own head blog.
“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…
The new Alternative Armies website build is progressing well and its on track. Functionality will be greatly improved and options to buy single miniatures from all codes will be there too. All in all its a lot of work but I am enjoying it. Another update in a week or so. What I have noticed is that the deep architecture of Flintloque does indeed go back to the middle of the 1990’s and it brings back a lot of memories of that time when I used to just play the game rather than be in charge of it. Actually Flintloque has been ‘GBS’ longer now that it was overseen by anyone else.
As an aside latest news today makes me rhyme the title of this little blog post once more (Boak being the good Scots work for being sick). The news is HERE. Simply sickening, simply wrong. Simply understandable from people like that and any child will sing and say anything when you point a gun at them. The power of conversion eh. Enough said.
There will not be many posts on this blog for a while. I am currently involved in several big projects the main one of which for now is the building of the new all singing and all dancing Alternative Armies website. This is a big task and I am seeing to it personally as it involves a lot of thinking and checking and product knowledge and no one knows the fictional worlds of the website like I do. So off the back of a rather unpleasant encounter I had a while back in Ayrshire (no names as I avoid to give offence when the same was not extended to me) while out with my children I give you ‘Fictioning while Website building’.
This unpleasant encounter I will not go into details of but sufficient to say like many things in the world that creates hate it was about a book. Not taking no for an answer I was forced to verbally bludgeon a fellow that would not quit assailing me about my own lack of belief in his brand of ancient nonsense. Scared children and raised blood pressure later it set me thinking. I create fiction for a living, I create worlds and characters and motivations and desires. I place them in books and hope to profit by them. Much like the subject of the above video which puts what I know from my own reading eloquently and better than I can about a book that fills the minds of men with other fiction. Enjoy and more over…think.
More on the Alternative Armies website and other projects as they come nearer fruition.
Today I spent a couple of hours taking photographs. Not so unusual for me but today was a little different in that the pictures were for the upcoming conversion packs for 15mm miniatures on The Ion Age. Above is one of the final composed images for one of the pack codes. You can read about this over on The Ion Age blog. These pictures were an absolute swine to take for several reasons. Firstly the sheer size of the pieces in them. Most are half a centimetre or less in length which means they would rather stick to Human skin than the paper I placed them on. Then the positioning, even the slightest breeze or knock sends them flying and that includes the ends of my chubby digits (no artist am I!). Lastly lighting. Lighting is tricky with all miniatures as shadows can destroy a good picture. The issue with these tiny white metal pieces is that they suffer shadows in images often not evident to the naked eye due to size. Solution was a single high powered light source and then taking shots from directly above while staying out of the light cone.
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!