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.
Thanks for your time.
I began a test today with a wargame rule system I wrote back in 2005 and then re-issued in 2010 before now in September 2016 turning into a digital download. The system is DarkeStorme and it is one of my earliest stand alone titles. I am actually rather proud of it really since it has held up well. Set on the fictional world of Valon where the mighty rule system Flintloque takes place but in an earlier age of sword and sorcery it was my idea to create a ‘third age’ to replace the lack lustre earlier system ‘Dresda’ which was in a world before Flintloque. DarkeStorme focuses on warbands of a dozen or so miniatures of any fantasy race and has full rules for monsters, magic and more as well as progression and RPG elements. A lot packed into sixty pages….mainly due to this being written before I had a lot of parenting responsibilities which makes working life a tad more complex. I am not joking!
The test is to find out if the customer base of Alternative Armies wishes to purchase paid for PDF’s (digital books) as well as print books. DarkeStorme has sold over a thousand copies in its time thus far in print so it is an ideal place to try out this test. The purchase is made straight from the website using the existing shopping cart and the links are delivered on screen to download from there. Thus far we have sold a half dozen or so e-copies and it is a good start. You can visit the page HERE and read the official blog post HERE.
How do I feel about my work, often running to hundreds of hours per title, being distributed in this fashion? If you had asked me a few years ago I would have refused straight off since I have watched people being ‘pirated’ our of existence by file sharing networks in the gaming industry. That and the customers simply did not ask for PDF’s in anything but ‘bolt on’ small items and preferred printed books with their miniatures. Now though the world has turned and customers are asking for both particularly with The Ion Age title Patrol Angis. So I will wait and see what happens. My feeling is that we will be putting out more titles as digital downloads including the big books such as War in Catalucia for Flintloque. Heck, it may even result in me penning original works for digital download only. The future will tell.
Thanks for your time as always on my little page.
“This last decade has seen suffering on a scale not seen for centuries since the obliterating horror of the Aldan Crucible. In the twenty years since the murder of my father in rightful battle and following this my abduction as a child, Prydia has been aflame and never more so than in the this decade now closed. None know the true count of this conflict but it is in the billions of needless deaths. All these deaths needless and the result of the ambitions of the rebel barons and their leagues. Now, here, in the liberation of Bosworth IV we have reached the high water mark of the Leagues. They will rise no more. Edmund Bluefort, leader and lord of the League of Canlaster, is dead this very day in fair joust. With his death and the returning of this planet to freedom I send out this message across all the systems in the Precinct. Freedom is coming and the darkness will be lifted in the months and years to come. As long as it takes, you will all be liberated and returned to a worthy peace. Coming from the skies the red and white of the Prydian Army will drive out the rebel barons and their lackeys one planet, one settlement at a time. The flame that threatened to burn us all and reduce us once more to savages will be put out. Already it gutters and fails. That which has been ruined will be rebuilt and restored. Prydia is rising once more and now more than ever before we must stand united against threats that may come to us from beyond our own stars. This civil war will end!”
Princess Daphne Cyon addresses the Precinct from Zone 62 New Bosworth 4330 IC
My space opera setting just doubled in size!
You can read all about my latest book Callsign Taranis online on its page of the website. I am very proud of this expansion book and though it took longer than hoped or expected to chisel to a finished monolith it is now crossing the globe to all those who made the choice to order it up early. Thank you! I only wish to add some pictures here of what the book likes like internally. Its pages and their quality. We decided to get the book printed in Scotland and went for a high quality paper and bind meaning Callsign Taranis will stand up to the rigours of long term use by wargamers. It is a thing of beauty and that is important and I think we will do this again. It costs more and means we make less money but at the same time the customer gets a ruddy good product and we keep people in work here. This also applied to the larger format pre-print with new cover art of the original Patrol Angis book to which this new one is the expansion sequel.
“In Callsign Taranis you will find the expansion rules covering the use of Vehicles in play as well as Structures and other bolt on mechanics. There are also game statistics for the vehicles of the Prydian Civil War and additional skills, equipment and items for your troops. Following on from Patrol Angis is part two of the Prydian Civil War background. Also in this book is the Support Phase and the Between Games development of your forces. Rules for how to play larger games of Patrol Angis and how to generate random terrain. A bolt on section for Building your Forces with Vehicle and Mixed platoons. This and more all in a packed sixty four pages! 15mm Wargaming!”
The Ion Age is my own baby. My forth child as it were. It is by a long margin the smallest compared to Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk but it is growing and between myself and Sam Croes we are creating something special, something unique.
I have made the choice that although I will not be posting much here on my own site I will be putting up short articles with my own look at some of the books and products I am involved with closely. What I have written or been impressed by. If you want to see what I am up to most every day then look to the right and follow me on Googleplus and or Facebook. My own site is for musing and mutterings beyond these.
Today saw the start of the festive season for Alternative Armies (15mm.co.uk goes for it next week and The Ion Age on 1st December) and in the tradition that makes wargaming miniatures great we have a Christmas figure! Yes these days its not as popular as it once was for a variety of reasons which is sad but the loyal audience for Flintloque that continues to walk the path with me year after year deserved something nice so something nice they got. Follow this link for the full story but in short the image here shows you a Dwarf character in 28mm which while good for festive is also good all around too. 52014 Heinz DerMead the brewer!
It is a goal of mine to keep the fun in wargaming and the originality of it too.
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.
Real interest straight off the bat with the new free miniature from my baby brand The Ion Age. And why not, she is lovely. Have a read on the link.
This Saturday the long anticipated wargame show Blast-Tastic is happening in Bristol in the UK. The show is a new venture specialising in science fiction wargaming mainly in the 15mm scale. I had long planned to attend the show (one of the first to sign up to it!) but due to circumstances beyond my control (other meetings scheduled on the near thousand mile round trip pulled out on us!) it had to be cancelled. This is actually rather upsetting as I had been really looking forward to going and had already got the stock ready and the demo game of Patrol Angis too! The game is near completion and this would have been its only gaming public appearance before publication.
But all I can do is put a link to the details of the show and ask if you are near Bristol to consider attending on Saturday.
Seems a weekend in the rain of Ayrshire is now mine. 🙁
I normally post up across social media and industry websites about two dozen times a week reporting on all the excellent things that I get up to in this brilliant job. But this time its a little bit more special so I decided to feature this news here too. The big whoop at Alternative Armies just now is the offer on the awesome modular wargaming miniatures the Elf Dragoons. Their creator Sam Croes, a fine friend of mine, took the time to write up and photograph an article on building and painting one of them. Sam is a master figure painter and a damn good designer too so its well worth a read and a look too. See it HERE.
Thanks for taking a look.
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.
Sometimes art takes many forms and today I got to see an example of Pyrography which is, to us lay folk, the art of burning images into wood. An ancient and worthy form of art in my opinion. Now to the matter in hand hot as it is! Shani wife of Mark and a fan of The Ion Age made her loving husband a unique present of a dice box as seen in the image above. It was fashioned to match the cover of the coming Patrol Angis rulebook which you can see below.
I think Shani did an excellent job of it. You can see the original post HERE.