“At the going down of the light and in the morning we shall remember them….”
It is one hundred years since the beginning of World War One and today that is most salient with me as it is Remembrance Sunday. Silence to remember those who fell in all the conflicts from that day to this in wars all over the world. I have done my part with fund raising and donating for the correct Poppies that came my way in the street from hands both young and old. Remember them, we owe them that much.
This day holds significance for me as I make my living from ‘war’. Not real war. But the kind of pretend conflict where when the sun sets everyone stands up and returns home. This life of mine is only possible in part due to the sacrifices made by soldiers of days now long gone and more recent. They ensured our freedom. You can disagree with the motives of war of the goals of war but for the men who leave and never return there should only ever be respect. So let this life of pretend war of mine bring excitement and joy to thousands across the world but for today let it be tempered with the horrid reality of battle.
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.
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.
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 🙂
This is taken from the Alternative Armies blogger blog as of noon today. For your information as a follower of this website of mine. GBS :
Alternative Armies is moving!
We are about to move our website and email accounts to a new service provider and system. This will greatly improve what we can show you (we are beginning Project Darkhelm and we have a lot of Flintloque miniatures coming) and make us more effective for offering deals, viewing on mobile devices and blogging too. While the process of moving should be painless we do need to tell you all some information. So please read on.
The process will begin on Wednesday 18th June 2014 at 8pm GMT and we estimate it will all be complete within fourty eight hours. However it may take up to a week. We will let you all know once the shiny new site is up and running. We will have launch offers too so something to look forward to.
We will be deactivating our payment gateway and current website and email system between 4pm and 7.45pm GMT on the 18th of June 2014. Please DO NOT email us on our normal email address during the transfer period as we may lose your email in transit. All orders placed with us will be filled and dispatched as normal and all email already in progress with us will be answered by our proxy.
Our sister brand www.15mm.co.uk is going to help us out during the transfer with our email as a proxy. If you want or need to contact Alternative Armies during this period please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will pass it directly onto us and in turn we will respond by that email address. We will announce here that all is well on the new site and email systems once ready so that live will continue as normal for us and our customers.
Lastly once the new website is up and you can see it please delete all your page links to parts of the current website as they will no longer work and check your computers cache too as this may show you a ‘ghost’ vision of the website that no longer represents the live one. Its an exciting time and you want to ask me something please do it in the comments below as well. Go HERE.
Gavin Syme (GBS)
Creative Manager – Alternative Armies
I was going to do a blog post this evening about how the build of the mighty new Alternative Armies website is now complete and that preparation to move over to the new site will begin soon. I was going to do a blog post about it being only 100 Days until Scotland must choose to be in this union or become an independent nation once more. I was going to do a blog post about the great success of the latest Ion Age early supporter offer or about the great reception to the re-mastered Sabre Jet Flyer for Laserburn or even about the massive efforts we have been going to for project Darkhelm. But no. I little piece of my world died this afternoon for my comedy hero of my entire remembered life is dead. Rest in Peace Rik Mayall aged only 56.
Its not a big tribute. Its just what I feel. On the odd occasion where it has gotten a little dark for me in life the comedy programme of Rik kept me going. I know literally all the lines of Bottom dialogue off by heart. I own four copies of Guest House Paradiso in an effort to support him. I have seen him live on tour. I own all the Young Ones, all of The New Statesmen, the movie Drop Dead Fred and even the little known Filthy Rich and Catflap and the Dangerous Brothers. Since the 1980’s and boyhood I have adored Rik Mayall. Hell in the last blog post I put up there was a still of Ade Edmondson leading it, that is how much its on my mind most weeks. I had hoped for another series of Bottom, of another Tour. Really anything but no chance of that now.
I do not yet know what happened to Rik but it must have been quick and that is something. Time will tell. My thoughts are with his wife and three children. Enjoy these video links:
No more work for me today. Email will have to wait this evening and instead its going to be a DVD and a few beers. Anarchic comedy one last time before it becomes legend.
Weekend Viewing…guess the show!
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.
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!