Fleet Scale Success from Eli Arndt!

Since August I have been watching the progress of Eli Arndt’s tiny Fleet Scale Mecha designs and I am pleased to be able to say that Eli giving me the chance to get them into production has turned out brilliantly.  This month will see them released in their own part of the 15mm.co.uk website along with a special Barking Irons Online article for them all about their presence in USEME and how to make best use of them overall in gaming.

FS01 Sprue

FS01 Fleet Scale Mecha or 6mm Power Armour

FS06 Sprue

FS06 Fleet Scale Mecha or 6mm Power Armour

These are some of the smallest wargaming pieces I have ever dealt with and on average each of them is 6mm or less in size.  That said some clever mold making and production sees them in white metal which was then painted by Eve Hallow. They will be released as single miniatures and as value sprues which are a little cheaper.  There are nine different, and they are different, mecha and from the paint schemes I asked Eli for Eve has done a super job (I heard him gibber when he handed them over that never again…too small!).

O.G.Joel has a draft of a 6mm rules set for USEME and these will fit in lovely.

Well done Eli!


A Mercenary Dream Realised for HOF

It has been a big, big year for 15mm science fiction miniatures on 15mm.co.uk and that means its been a big year for it for me too.  I have commissioned and accepted more than fifteen packs for the HOF range (and accepted two dozen SHM miniatures too) and while most of these have now been released some are still to come.  Of those still to come the next ones on the release schedule have been spoken of before on this blog the Rim Mercenaries.  So it really is a mercenary dream realised.

These are coming out this Friday and were designed by Elton Waters.  I plan an article on Barking Irons Online about them and the theory of the expansion and a little discussion about WHY more Rim Mercenaries and how it ties into the USEME series and O.G.Joel.


I Can Feel the Burn!

Maj. Diz Aster over on Firebase Aries 15 blog is getting set to unveil a new adventure in miniature wargaming.  I was intrigued by the image above and the cryptic clue and asked him for more details…to my delighted surprise I have been offered and have accepted a senior position in the new adventure which will feature USE ME heavily.  More on this when the time is right…but I can feel the burn!


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 15mm.co.uk 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 15mm.co.uk to see the series.


O.G.Joel takes on a new USE ME project

The Space Cockroach (as Omer Golan Joel refers to himself online) is a busy man indeed.  On top of his gaming interests and work he writes USE ME series titles and as of this week he and I agreed that his next project will be USE ME 6mm.  Covering World War Two, Ultra-Modern and Science Fiction this planned new rule set will be in the usual format and will feature all arms from infantry to vehicles, aircraft, orbital support and so on.  You can read more about his plans over on this post on his blog.

I am looking forward to this set of rules since O.G.Joel and I both feel that the ‘engine’ of USE ME is well suited for adaptation to 6mm and that the wargaming market is in need of a fast, easy and tactical set of game rules for this scale and setting.  More of this when the time is right but I think 15mm.co.uk might well be publishing this title at the end of the year or early in 2013.

Expect another posting on the talented Space Cockroach on an ultra-modern theme soon.


Danger on Outpost 32!

I really do need to keep track of time.  Really I do, as I seem to have lost a couple of months.  I blame the summer holidays from the schools.  Having the three little demons at home has thrown me for six and no mistake.  My own work output has dropped by about half over the last eight weeks.  Leaving aside the fact that I personally think that eight weeks is WAY too long for children to have off school (poor overworked teachers they say, what about all of us who work on while they relax for twice the time I get off in a whole year!) my reason for this post is to announce a return to normal once more with my next project about to go on general release as of the end of this week.

Danger on Outpost 32

This follows up on the WIP posts from back in May.  Have a read of those for the concepts and so on behind the USE ME Starter Packs and the over all plan.  But DOOP32 (catchy eh!) is all you need to play in a handy box which, trust me on this, is really good for carrying about your current Flintloque project too.  A rulebook, two dice, twenty seven miniatures and twenty seven bases along with a set of sheets with three scenarios and rosters.  The miniatures are from the HOF range and the SHM range and include some crackers such as the Prang that Eli Arndt designed for the range. Packed full of Fun!

You will be able to see more images once it is uploaded to the site along with a link to download a PDF of the included sheets, so you can read them and use them if you already have the rules and miniatures to hand.

DOOP32 was a small project that came about due to some conversations mainly with Chris Knowles (head blogger on Dropship Horizon blog) and a few dozen requests from customers who desired to get a whole game in a box for USE ME.  It was about fifteen hours work all in.  A testament to the rugged simplicity of the rules system and the 15mm scale.   I do not know how well it will sell but time will soon tell and I await wargamer responses with eager nervousness.  One additional point worthy of mention is that many of the requests for a starter pack was that it be affordable as most wargamers are working to a tight budget these days.  Well I took this on board and DOOP32 is very affordable at only twenty pounds which is spot on budget for what you get.

You can see the whole USE ME Series on 15mm.co.uk.


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!

15mm.co.uk 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.


A brief look at Miniature Wargames Magazine Issue 351

Miniature Wargames Issue 351

I know that at least two dozen of you who regularly read this blog have asked me via email why I have not yet reviewed the current issue of Miniature Wargames.  After all you say ‘you are in it’ and it features an advert for the USE ME series from 15mm.co.uk which was reviewed in MW349 back at Salute 2012 time.  Well it has been out for more than two weeks but I only got my copy a week ago in the mail.  By then I had missed my ‘early morning weekend review’ slot which I use at the weekend while the kids are asleep to tell you all about magazines, books and films.  I have a little time now so here is a brief outline of the magazine and what I found most interesting about each article therein.

This issue has the following articles in it.  I really enjoyed them all this time with a good variety and some more unusual subjects too:

Murat in a Muddle.  1812 The First Battle of Krasnyi

John Walsh begins his coverage of the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s disasterous campaign in Russia with the lesser known action at Krasnyi.  This was a very informative article full of good wargaming ideas.  I have a lot of knowledge of this period and campaign including many text books and Mr Walsh does it proud.  Plus this is the first article with its OOB’s and so on available as downloads on the Miniature Wargames publishers webpage.

Shock of the New.  Salute 2012 Report

Andrew Hubback and Gary Mitchell co-author a four page article with their take on the pinnacle UK wargame show.  This went into a lot of detail and contained a lot of information that, though I was there, I did not know.  A pie chart of the popularity of periods and scales showed that 28mm and Science Fiction are in the ascendency and 20mm and 19th Century gaming are the smallest sector (as far as Salute games go).  Gary also singled me out for praise on the last page of the article which was very kind of him.  I do my best and it was a pleasure to meet him and Andrew.

Blood on the Danube.  Pike & Shotte Preview

Five pages given over to glossy coverage of Warlord Games new title for 16th and 17th century battles.  Very pretty and very nice to read but a touch expensive for me at thirty pounds.  But 15mm.co.uk will soon have the entire Renaissance range out which covers this period and I have an idea for a USE ME series title for the period too.  Budget gaming a plenty!

Rise of the Tokugawa. Part 1: The Sekigahara Campaign

Kevin Jones goes to one of my favourite nations and one of its most interesting points in history for his new series of articles on 17th century Japan.  The rise of the Tokugawa clan over all the other warring diamyo of Japan is a dramatic tale well suited to tabletop recreation.   The Battle of Sekigahara is the focal moment of this article and it plus its build up engagements are well detailed.  The battle itself is outlined and briefings given for the commanders plus a column on rules variations.  Excellent and I look forward to the next installment.

The High Ground.  Funny Business

As usual Steve Eardley’s monthly instalment of reviews and views on wargaming makes me think and laugh.  Just what you want!  Topic this time is humour in gaming…something the writer of Flintloque knows all about.

Wargaming Gettysburg.  Part 1: Little Round Top

 Jon Sutherland does a grand job on Gettesburg but to be honest I skimmed this article as I seem to see so much ACW and articles on Gettysburg that it seems to blend together.  One for Civil War USA fans.

Frost at Arnhem. Part 2: The Refight

An after action report or AAR (this American term seems to have totally killed the British term Battle Report in the last couple of years) by Russ Lockwood on last issues’ scenario for WWII.  A good read but it did seem to take up about two pages too much space.

Darker Horizons. Sir Patrick has a Point

The normal rambling star of every issue delivers gold again.  Darker Horizons is several pages of gold for Sci-fi and Fantasy players.  Crammed full of release information, options, web addresses and general ranting it is worth the cover price on its own to me.  Well done Gary Mitchell.  I am looking forward to when this section gets its own magazine.

Modelling.  A House of Cards

This two page article is all about making your wargaming buildings from paper and card rather than from resin or plastic.  This is a superb feature by Steve Goodman that I re-read several times.  It is also the first time I have seen paper given this space in a magazine for a long time.  For those interested check out Dave Graffam among others.

Paper Buildings article. Superb!

There were a few parts of the magazine of special interest to me and perhaps to fans of my work and of 15mm.co.uk in particular.

The MW351 Advert for USE ME

Advert for the USE ME Series on page 4. A prime slot!

Getting a Special Mention

Gary Mitchell gives me high praise on page 21. While all true it did make me blush!

Roll on next month!


Cultists, Ashigaru and Arid World Warriors – Concept to Completion

A while ago I discussed with Elton Waters some idea for expanding the HOF 15mm Science Fiction range at 15mm.co.uk.  We went over many ideas, keeping some, discarding others and also paying a lot of heed to the hundreds of requests that customers had made in responce to being asked ‘what next?’ in miniature designs and releases.  While I cannot discuss everything we worked out (that would spoil the surprises to come this year!) the time has come for the first three of the agreed sculpting sets to be set loose on the world!

Starting last week and over the next few weeks three new packs will be added to the 15mm.co.uk website.  I have included some of my thoughts on each of them under the pictures. They are:

HOF76 Corporate Ashigaru

This pack is one of my personal favourites of the year so far.  The Corporate Ashigaru went up on the 15mm.co.uk website Friday last.  Full of character these three came about from an ideas session about who would be perfect for troops in a ‘Cyberpunk’ setting.  While the HOF range already had cyborgs and so on one area not covered was Japan.  The Japanese feature heavily in vintage Cyberpunk writings and wargames so what better than some near future hired guns in armour that mimics that of the Tokagawa period of Japan’s history.  Great for skirmish gaming and as bodyguards to your leaders. So look out for HOF76!

HOF77 Cultist Command

It would be no mistake to tell you just how popular the current HOF Cultists are.  Infantry and Heavy Weapons packs go out all over the world to wargamers and many of those happy customers come back and ask for expansions to that part of the range.  Highest ranking among the requests were ones for a Command set featuring characters who would be fit to lead their fanatics on their missions.  So Elton and I agreed on a theme, that of robes and bare feet, then we thought about poses.  I knew we needed a ‘grand pooba’ a head honcho (far left) and a second in command (one in on left) to get the Cultists properly instructed.  But on top of that Elton came up with the idea of the ‘propagandatron’ (middle) upon which the cult can broadcast its views to the world while in battle.  Added to this someone to wave the flag and a general runner rounded out the concept and then the sculpts.  HOF77 is bound to please many.

HOF78 Arid World Warriors

I like to introduce new ideas and new sections into the ever growing HOF range and on that note we either pick an idea from the ‘suggestions’ pile (like we did with the HOF Rim Mercenaries) or I let the designer make a suggestion.  In the case of the Arid World Warriors it was the latter and Elton suggested some Human warriors from a very dry environment.  Lots of science fiction settings take place in deserts and other dry places so when you need an enigmatic tribe or some plain old raiders to take on your regular forces these are your fellows for the job.  HOF78 is a first in the range.

So get along to 15mm.co.uk and check them all out.


Winter of ’79 Blog inspires USE ME Modern Warfare players

The Winter of ’79 blog run by my good mate Mark Hannam (the original creator and runner of Dropship Horizon blog) is a fasinating place to visit and makes you feel like you have stepped into an alternate reality.  His passion in creating a world where end of the 1970’s in Britain came out rather differenty is an inspiration and I greatly enjoyed trawling the posts and looking at the pictures (like the ‘mock’ Osprey campaign book cover above…brill!).  But why was I there?  I do not game modern period most of the time.

Well I went along because 15mm.co.uk had half a dozen emails and comments sent to it over the weekend referring to the Winter of 79′ blog along with purchases of our own UM004 USE ME Modern Warfare pocket sized rules system.  It seemed obvious enough to me that wargamers were looking at the blog and then buying USE ME rules for setting their games there in 20mm scale.

Well done Mark!  Great Blog and Great Imagination.  I hope your continued recovery from illness gets you back to full strength.