"Alternative Armies in 2019"
A look at the year ahead by Gavin Syme
It has been a whirlwind of a year for us and now that it is about to end we thought we would give you a little snapshot into what is going on at Alternative Armies and the plans we have for what we will be doing in 2019. Possible and Confirmed Projects. What can you look forward to roughly in the first half of the next annum? Perhaps things like En Garde for Valon and Hazabot for Science Fiction. Confirmed is a follow up title for Sengoku, three more USEME books, a lot of 15mm and 28mm miniatures, expanded 6mm and more besides. Plus news on The Ion Age. A lot to read. Find out within and thanks everyone for your support. Gavin Syme (GBS)
So the year is ending and it's been really jam packed for Alternative Armies and The Ion Age. You can see what we have been up to by scrolling back through our two blogs here and here and you will see it was a roller coaster in 2018. I was delighted to be asked by Craig Andrews at Orcs in the Webbe to submit to the Advent Calendar and, in addition to two Flintloque tribute scenarios, I wanted to give all the readers a snap shot on what is going on behind the scenes and coming roughly in the first half of 2019 or so. Where to begin? Well with possible projects in early stages which we are taking a look at which I have been personally very keen on doing.
Possible Projects in 2019
Back in 1992 a set of rules called 'The Duel' was published by Alternative Armies. Written by Mac Coxhead along with Geoff Pass and Alex Bund it featured art by Pete Knifton and logos by 'H'. This was presented in a book which introduced the World of Valon and duelling between the Crystal Elves. Time has moved on and I am thinking on a follow up to what was done more than quarter of a century ago. Its proposed title is 'En Garde' and there is a working draft written of rules by Steve Danes the author of Furioso. We have new miniatures two of which you can see above and there is a clue in how they are armed. En Garde has a totally new and different engine running it and it would delve deeper into the game world in the time before Flintloque, namely at the dusk of Wylde Magicke and the dawn of the Elvish Civil War; a period not currently covered. A brand new engine, new artwork and a bigger setting. The draft rules cover sword duelling and also pistol duelling plus duelling from horseback as well as the noble academies and levels of duelling from honourable to spilt blood. Wider and deeper in play and in setting plus it is great fun; I love it! Currently we have done the playtesting and the engine, using D6, D8, D10, D20's thrums! It is a long way off complete but we have packs of new miniatures, sculpted by Sam Croes, Bob Naismith, Mark Ricketts and have also re-molded the two original packs of duellists. These might well come out before any book as they could be used in Flintloque and Slaughterloo as well. We might even put into En Garde some different special set ups for bar brawl duelling and three way fighting plus some free to print out arenas depicting areas of Lyonesse the capital of Armorica!
Another possible project between myself and Steve Danes is a clever little set of stand alone rules called Hazabot. If it happens it will be grid based and all about solo or co-op play as a contract droid doing corporate clean up on mining bases in space. Twenty second century and the legacy of Lucinda Calaprax is terrorising the solar system. Amoebans created to do the dangerous work in space have infested stations and asteroids and it is up to the Hazabot Company to go in and clear them out using heavy fire power and for pay of course! Play on your own or with a friend. Each with a modular robot going room to room in a randomly generated space installation while the game controls the infestation. Free to print out room grids and new miniatures. If it happens it will be a great half hour of fun with miniatures you could use in other games.
While En Garde and Hazabot are in draft form and a long way from being not only released but also on the official schedule, (so if it does happen it will be middle of the year after some of what follows now), we have other green lit projects much nearer to completion and here is some information on those. Be aware that these new awesome things will all happen but not necessarily in the order I present them. Let's have a little look...
Confirmed Projects in 2019
A second book following up on Sengoku Monster Hunter written by its author Steve Danes. This book takes what is in Monster Hunter and expands upon it. You will need the first book in order to make use of it and your Sengoku 15mm miniatures are ideal for play once more. There will be many new monster profiles such as Rokurokubi, Tsurube-Otoshi, Nurikabe, Snakemen and more. New encounters with such things as the Soba Shop, Mile Markers and Monks which are played out during an ongoing hunt. There will be five new legendary characters with their profiles and each of these will have its own miniature sculpted by Sam Croes. A new hunting ground add to those in the first book; the Underworld. Underworld has hazards such as rock falls, floods and the dreaded Ghost Light also. Lastly the prime thrust of the book and what gives it a name...Rampage! Six new scenarios which up the odds and make the hunters the hunted with many more monsters to face. A real risk for your Hunter. John Bell the sculptor of the Sengoku range has been very busy creating more miniatures and these will be adding to the range in 2019 too. More than thirty new poses including new creatures, humans, cavalry and the Gashadokuro a giant skeleton of the dishonoured dead. There will be more scenics added too, all sculpted by Mr Bell.
This stand alone book written by Steve Danes will fit with any miniatures and spans a three hundred year period which is Solo play. Doom Squad is a game of covert operations carried out deep behind enemy lines. Players control a small number of elite troops and have to complete difficult missions against a much larger but generally ill-prepared enemy. It is in four sections. Jäger: from the end of the eighteenth century to about midway through the nineteenth century so covers the Seven Years War, the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Rifleman: midway through the nineteenth century and ends as the new century begins and so it covers the Crimean War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War. Stormtrooper: covers the first half of the 20th century. In this section players will be able to represent stormtrooper, trench raider and commando operations during the First and Second World Wars. Special Forces: the final section goes from the 1950s to present day and covers covert operations by the world’s elite fighting forces. Difficult, small operations which you can slot into other bigger games or use on its own. The artwork in the book including the cover was created by Andy Gorman the Boy of Bronze who drew the art for DarkeStorme and HOF Fire Team.
There are three new titles in the 'Ultra Simple Engine for Miniature Engagements' series coming in 2019 and each of them brings something different to the gaming table. USEME Valiesk is a campaign book for UM004 Modern Warfare set in a fictional nation across its recent history. Written by Omer Golan Joel with some input from myself it contains army lists and scenarios plus the history. USEME Prohibition Gangsters is a set of rules with setting written by Bob McAlister giving you Al Capone and Tommy Guns for fighting out quick tabletop skirmishes in the 1920's. Lastly is my own long delayed title much asked for but not yet completed title Alien Safari. With artwork by Edward Jackson this short booklet places you at the head of a small team of big game hunters on dangerous worlds where you just do not know where or what will pop out of the foliage and try to eat you! Solo play and lethal!
New Releases in Miniatures 2019
That is what our publishing side of things is going to be doing. So what can you expect in terms of new miniatures from Alternative Armies? Not an exhaustive list (where would be the thrill in that) but rather an idea of what to expect across our ranges and scales.
We already discussed Sengoku and the more than thirty new miniatures lined up for it to be released in 15mm scale. Elsewhere in 15mm scale we will be re-releasing in new molds some more classic Tabletop 15mm Fantasy which we have gotten ready over the past weeks. There are not many left to present but it does include some characters and monsters. In the HOT 15mm Fantasy range we have completed our big plan for this year with the new packs of Wraiths and Wraith Riders so there will be a new whole army developed... suited to a hotter and more primitive clime and it will include monsters. I have seen the sketches and concepts and they look great!
Working in conjunction with Fred Richards and Sam Croes as the sculptor, the HOF 15mm Science Fiction range continues to grow and following up on the new Security Force Alpha infantry as well as bikes and portable weapons this year we will be kicking off the show with a new pack of uplifted Yetis in January! A fantastic idea with a Native American feel. Alongside this we will be giving you casualties for popular parts of the range like the Cultists, Rim Mercs and Octopods plus some small scenics. Sculpting work by Elton Waters already confirmed includes a Hazmat Team plus Media Team and speciality Security Force Alpha poses. More than forty new poses lined up. Lastly in the HOF range we will be presenting something on a much bigger set of legs... but more on that when the time comes.
Following up on a successful Kickstarter campaign Bradley Miniatures will be releasing its next wave of 6mm scale science fiction tanks, super heavy tanks, walkers and a mighty dropship too for regular purchase. A dozen new packs and the Corvo Dropship which is a monster in 6mm scale. There are plans afoot for further new packs during the first half of 2019 too.
Alternative Armies is home to some talented designers and some wacky ranges as well. Will Grundy of Grinning Skull has new releases lined up for early in 2019 adding to his range. These include many new Zarglain aliens such as minor warriors and top important commanders. We will have new releases into the 28mm Fantasy and 15mm Science Fiction lines by top chap Kieran Billings (he of the Big Mouth Beast and Air Squid) who is on a bit of a spider tack just now with packs of giant multi-scale use Arachnids and also smaller Arachnids too... plus a new big code which will be in support of our Alien Greys!
You might have seen our Armoured Goblins on the march to the future blog article all about the idea that one chap, Zac Martin, had for bringing classic miniatures from the end of the 1980's into the present. Plate wearing Goblin knights developed from two packs into four, into six and next year into ten or more. Old School Fantasy. Oldhammer feel and we will be adding open handed infantry for use as spears, pikes, swordsmen and more. We have a cannon with crew in development too. We have more Dodo riding cavalry in the works. Muted talk of a whole army... perhaps... but man what a skirmish force it will be in 2019!
Elsewhere in the classic ranges we have been getting more 1980's packs from the TOR Torture Chamber range re-molded and ready for release. Dungeon scenics, diorama and more use some of them a little risqué (we will put black boxes over little metal nudity) these sets will once more be back in the world.
There is one pack left in our own High Fantasy range left to get back to the world. Four 28mm miniatures not often seen which are a Sea Captain a Lumberjack a Forester and a Half-Orc Thief. Beyond these it will be all brand new sculpts and we have a confirmed plan to expand our VNT range with more creatures along a theme in the coming spring into summer. Scaly and toothy featuring infantry as well as war machine and cavalry too.
We may well be kicking off a new 28mm science fiction range at Alternative Armies. After all we cannot let Ganesha Games and The Ion Age get all the larger scale glittering future eh. A few wargamers have noticed hints and comments made by me about 'RUFUS' and here I can confirm that the model does indeed exist and will be released. Robotic Unit Fighting or Utility Servant. Will it be alone... we will see.
The World of Valon has not been forgotten and indeed I saved it for last since we began this journey with a possible new title for the game world of Flintloque and Slaughterloo. We will have a new unit code for the Tuscani sculpted by Elton Waters giving players a crack unit of light infantry Wild Elves armed with the biggest rifles in the Ferach Armee. Dressed in campaign uniforms they will have separate back packs which can be fitted onto most other figures. The terrain range will be expanded with a wave of new demi sized pieces which fit right in with our Abandoned Beer Wagon and can also be used in other game systems... more than ten new codes!
Further into the year Alternative Armies will create something which has been consistently the most requested new code group ever since Mike Roberts created Slaughterloo and Alex Draper expanded it into second edition. Namely the Ostarian Empire artillery park! A mammoth undertaking: the Yapzburg Horse Artillery will feature a whole new artillery crew (Poodles of course) as well as a new limber and gun carriage. There will also be character officers and casualties. A boxed set and every part on its own too. There will be news on this at the time and it will be a long undertaking adding a fourth type of artillery to the choices for Slaughterloo. Sculpting by Sam Croes and Mark Ricketts.
The Ion Age
Lastly some information on my own little Ion Age and what it is up to just now and into 2019. IonFans would have seen and I thank you for custom on the new Magog Mecha kits our first large scale robot kits. They were a great way to end the year and to clear our deck for the next book in the Patrol Angis series; Baron. Baron has been talked about but not much progress had been made since initial play testing on the Starvaulters (the new faction in the book) this was down to my own workload. I am delighted to say now that Baron will be a joint effort between myself and Aris Kolehmainen. As one of the foremost players of Patrol Angis he is ideally placed to do the rules writing for the book and this leaves me with the setting of the Prydian Civil War.
There are new miniatures coming for the 15mm range too. We will be releasing a whole lance of Starvaulters as well as personalities for them too. All sculpted by Sam Croes. As well as these elite space knights we will be adding another whole client race of the Khanate Empire in miniature. There will be new releases in the Xin and the Maligs plus the Desteria. Oh and I can confirm now that with the instance of members of the Alternative Armies Tabletop Gaming Facebook Group, email and other mediums we have commissioned Lord Pompous as a multi-part character miniature which will be out soon!
Thank you for your time in reading and here is to the new annum... there is nothing better than gaming!
An Orcs in the Webbe Exclusive! The above article was published on Orcs in the Webbe on the 24th December 2018 as part of its 2018 Advent Calendar.
You can order a host of marvelous things from Alternative Armies by clicking here or on the big AA graphic below. Once there click on the little magnifying glass icon in the top right to use thier excellent search feature to find the products you want.