Sadness and Strangeness Weekend

The news this weekend in Scotland has been all about the terrible helicopter crash in Glasgow in which, it seems now, several (now confirmed nine) people lost their lives.  People in the helicopter died and also in the Clutha Vaults bar that it landed upon. This is very sad and the reasons are not quite clear as yet.  I actually got two emails to Alternative Armies and some to my own email account asking if I or anyone I know had been involved in the accident.  The answer is no. Everyone I know is safe (I checked all my friends who live in the city too).  I used to go into the Clutha when I was a student (scene of many fun evenings but no more about that) but its been years since I have been in that part of Glasgow.  My thoughts are with all involved.  A sad weekend for Scotland.

The one in the middle is the most real

But the other news item this week that caught my attention came from one of my favourite places, the land of the rising sun Japan.  Lady Gaga, there on promotional work, unveiled two singing life sized dolls.  Creepy in the extreme but ultimately disappointing as the early twitter and news posts spoke of them being actual AI (Artifical Intelligence) capable of hugs, kisses and conversation.  Robo Geisha!  But no.  They are impressive constructs certainly, but just a gimmick.  Seems I will have to wait a bit longer for Bladerunner to become real.    Have a look at this video for the build guide.

A weekend of sadness and weirdness.  I am glad to see it over.


Support Cyberpunk Horror

What’s this?  An appeal to donate money to a new charity for man machines that do grotesque things?  No, its just a catchy title for this posting which concerns what I have been up to over the stretch of yet another Bank Holiday in the UK.  Aside from talking Flintloque with Eve Hallow and a few other things I have been putting to bed three new paid for PDF downloads to be added to the growing list of such that sells.

Released back in time for Salute 2012 this year there have been a number of wargamers eagerly awaiting the time when UM010 Support Pack, UM011 Cyberpunk and UM013 Eldritch Horror would be put out for use on computer screens, portable devices and the infamous ‘ease print’ for a cheap hard copy too; all for the princely sum of just five dollars.  Each of them involves little in the way of real work (well as I would count it) but it needs a dozen or more hours of digital layouts for the purpose designed files for screen viewing and searching.  I have had close to a hundred emails saying how much this is appreciated as few company’s seem to take this time and simply issue a PDF of the print file which often does not display properly and is not tagged for searching.

Each time a new release is made for USE ME I sit back and think of how great it is to see the series grow.  I have said before that I did not expect thousands of copies sold, magazine and blog coverage, a frankly awesome day of sales at Salute 2012 or the constant ping of download versions flying off to far off lands.  All from my own home brewed rules set.  It will soon be time to set up an account and then make these and the rest of the digital titles available through specialised online sellers of such versions.  Not to mention the next new print titles too.

Release is going to be end of this week with an email campaign too courtesy of Mail Chimp.   If you are reading this later than that then refer to the below.

If you want to learn about USE ME then go along to to see the series.


WIP – USE ME Cyberpunk rules as a download

A page from the download edition of UM011

This has been a tough week for me a lot of work on and not a lot of free time to go with it.  Next week proves to be much the same but it also has my eldest’s tenth birthday to look forward to but more on that next week!

In the time I have had I took a project from the pile and decided to try and get it done in the twenty or so hours I had spare.  What is this project you say!  Well it is the conversion of UM011 USE ME Cyberpunk from a printed title into a dedicated PDF electronic title.  When it is released it will be added to the growing list of PDF titles which already includes most of the USE ME series and also MOTH as well.  Like the others it will have three parts, full colour separate cover, a full colour main body and an ‘ease print’ plain version of the main body.   All in a zipped file for just $5.00.  Bargain! has done well with PDF versions of its USE ME Series with electronic sales being about twenty percent of the total compared to print.  So far UM001 USE ME Science Fiction is the best selling and most popular but this does not surprise me as it is also the bigger paper seller too and it into its third print run!

I take some time over the conversion to electronic from print as I for one do not like it when I purchase a download only to find it is just a scanned version of the print book.   The files I produce are designed from the outset to be read on screen and as such feature bookmarks, links and other live material for easy navigation and use.  On top of this the ‘ease print’ version is for those who want to go to a copy shop or home print their purchase; it has all of the artwork, colour, table graphics removed leaving plain text.  It takes some extra time but from the email we get wargamers appreciate it and I am all about customer satisfaction!

There are a few dedicated miniature packs for this title including my personal favourite of the year so far…the Corporate Ashigaru.

HOF76 Corporate Ashigaru

I cannot give you a release date for this yet but it will be in the next month or so I imagine.