After a busy weekend on the website of Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk I went into work to find that two of my titles had sold out their current print runs. The first third edition game book for Flintloque and the ninth title in the USEME series too. Both of these will be out of print for a while as I have to organise re-prints but both will come back into stock as they are core books and popular sellers. Indeed War in Catalucia will be in its third print run when brought in again and the total number of USEME booklets sold is nearing four thousand now.
While Zombie Dawn will be brought back into print just as it was there is a chance that I will take a few days to ‘update’ War in Catalucia. That does not mean any changes to the mechanics of the game (third edition is the most awesome incarnation of Flintloque ever as it is) rather some more background material and art taking into account the three years since release with more stats and army list information and the like. More as and when as normal on this.
The winter of 2012 and into this year has been good for Flintloque and USEME with new players taking up the offer of a free limited miniature called Gerrrard the Wolf and the masses of content on Barking Irons and the great new Orcs in the Webbe. USEME continues at a pace with weekly messages stating ‘release more titles!’ a firm favourite.
Back before Christmas my good friend Bob McAlister and his family sent myself and my own family a package all the way from their home in America (see this previous post). I promised not to open it for a few days but what with work and family I kept it until the big day at Christmas and I stuck to this revised promise like a dog to a bone. Indeed I often passed the box and my hand reached out…but no! Waited. When opened there were many goodies in the box for my Good Lady and my wee three too but I will stick to the gift sent to me. I present to you a short review of Charge! or How to Play Wargames by Brig.P.Young & Lt.Col J.P.Lawford published by Athena Books in 1986.
Vintage wargaming books from before the ‘age of commercialism’ when it was a hobby for gentlemen and the idea of science fiction and fantasy on a table was truly outlandish are a pet love for me and I own quite a few including many of Fetherstone’s titles such as Complete Wargaming (which is better overall than this book but also far more in depth). I had wanted ‘Charge!’ for a while but copies were expensive so Bob had done me a real favour by getting me a copy far cheaper in its native North America. Charge! is written as a set of ‘horse and musket’ rules with attached scenario and introduction. Despite thirty years passing the rules look very solid and I threw some dice and used my Flintloque figures for pieces and they worked well. A lot like the kind of rules I like to write, flexible, fun, hobby based and no more complex than they need to be. The book is split into two parts as far as the rules go, the basic game and the advanced game. This is something lacking in British titles of this period and is something that has come over from the USA in my generation.
Charge! is not a book about Wargaming as such, it is a book of wargame rules that despite what the author says is best suited to wars of the high 18th century and not earlier or later periods. I enjoyed reading it and will revisit it in the future too. As far as I know this book is out of print but it can still be had for those who want to seek it out. If you can get it cheaply, or from a good friend (!) then I recommend you do. Thanks again Bob.
When you have a spare ten minutes head on over to Youtube or click above and check out Rob Alderman’s video on his Undead Todoroni of the 777th Croaked Line. The video is a mix of product review and painting example and also character essay. A good watch. Rob is getting really good at his videos and it shows. He is a little hard on himself though when he should not be. I have had a lot of feedback from regular players of Flintloque and Slaughterloo who love these unique and fun miniatures.
You might remember my short series of postings about this set of miniatures. If you want a recap and to read them again then go here for the final one and follow the links backwards from there.
Below you can see an image taken from an as yet to be published Flintloque scenario with these miniatures in prime place. Enjoy!
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.
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.
A few of months ago on this blog I announced the creation of my own dedicated wargaming blogger place called Tabletop Wargamer or TTWG Blog. I have made the best progress that I can in creating terrain and collecting miniatures in that I began with nothing having no personal collection left from my ‘ill period’ in 2008-9. This included getting on my feet with my own Flintloque miniatures (not the thousands of pro-painted miniatures that Alternative Armies produces annually) and I did that with Wyndorc’s Korsucan Rangers section of twelve miniatures. At the same time fellow Ayrshire wargamer Eve Hallow expressed an interest in moving away from the increasingly juvenile and straight jacketing Games Workshop hobby to games which I had written especially Flintloque and USE ME. Wargames which are more fun, less serious and more free in their choices of uniform and disposition. I was happy to oblige.
So on Saturday evening Eve and I got together and faced off over the table in what I think will be the first of many wargames between us. We played as stripped down version of Flintloque.
If you are interested in what happened and want to see more pictures and story then go on over to TTWG blog and have a read. All comments welcome!
In a crypt near me a creature stirs from its slumber to emerge into the world of wargaming…that creature is none other than my good friend Eve Hallow. Now that is not his real name, and it is a he, for apart from his luscious locks he does not much look like a lady. Like some other gamers he likes a ‘handle’ when online. Eve lives near me in Ayrshire and as a result we can get together now and then for a game or two. His favourite systems include HOF Fire-Team, USE ME Eldritch Horror and something called Warhammer 40k as well. In addition to gaming he also is a fine figure painter and dabbles in sculpting too.
You can visit his wargaming blog to learn more about what he and I have been up to in the last month or so. I have also linked it in my blog roll to the right as well.
We can expect to hear more of Eve Hallow in the next wee while as he has entered his first ever miniature into the SHM range and he has also painted up four of Fjodin’s SHM 15mm Alien Creatures too for use on 15mm.co.uk later this season. You can also expect some AAR’s as well as we lock horns playing 15mm sci-fi, perhaps MOTH too and if he is brave enough some Flintloque.
Until then Stay Ghoul! (Terrible pun, but he said it first!)
A ‘rough’ of the new Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk blister backer card
Some of you might have noticed I have been in a ‘hobbit hole’ for the last two days and have not answered my usual three dozen or more personal mails a day. Well I had been handed a new and urgent task; to replace the current now almost extinct blister backer used by Alternative Armies and 15mm.co.uk. I had expected to be doing this but due to the placing of a large trade order into the USA last week it was moved up the job list to ‘do it right now!’ status.
Those who purchase their miniatures from stores or at conventions will know what a blister backer is. A piece of card with all the needed information about the company and about the product which goes inside a blister of miniatures allowing the customer to know what he is looking it along with how much it costs. These used to form the back of a blister but those were ‘heat sealed’ use once blisters which we have not used for a decade or more. We use a ‘clam shell’ plastic blister which is more secure but also is reusable and many wargamers use them to transport finished figures too! So they full fill the same purpose but are no longer the ‘back’ but the name remains much like ‘watching a video’ does despite it being a DVD!
If you click on the image above you can see a low rez rough of the new design. Size wise it is 105mm by 75mm in dimension. It is simple and effective and tells you all you need to know over an attractive mottled blue with the famous Alternative Armies ‘arrowhead’ embedded in it. The blue is used as it is the best colour behind white metal miniatures to be able to see them properly and the blank white area on the front is for the placement of the ‘product label’ which tells the customer what code he is holding. This is different for each pack of course.
I will be catching up with the backlog of email soon as I can but this is turning into one hectic week!
My good friend Sam Croes has painted up some of the newly re-released Asgard Science Fiction range which I sent him as a get well soon present earlier this month. To be frank his skill with a paint brush makes me puke! Might as well burn all my own at this point 🙂 For more on this classic range see my previous posting.
Asgard 25mm Space Marines (SM3, SM3A, SM9)
Asgard classic 25mm space marines - Rear
Go along to his blog and have a read as to how he painted them and perhaps you can match it with your own efforts.
As for me. Well I will make do with drooling over the pictures you see here.