The Alternative Armies Blog

Welcome to the Alternative Armies blog. This blog tells you all about what we are up to and it is where we post our latest tabletop gaming news and articles.
We cover Flintloque and Slaughterloo, High Fantasy, Other Ranges as well as our 15mm scale fantasy, science fiction and historical ranges.
Our game systems and free content such as PDF downloads and reading articles. Enjoy and do dig back in time to see what was going on before now.

Feel free to comment and ask questions. We are always happy to help gamers with their hobby.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

USEME Battle Report by Vic Dobson sees Security Force Alpha vs Octopods

I was delighted to receive a massive email from my good friend Vic Dobson which detailed his two player game of USEME 15mm Science Fiction a few weeks ago.  He said I could present it to the world so..for the delighted of all 15mm science fiction fans...here it is on our blog.  Security Force Alpha faces off against the Octopods on a table filled with HOF and Bradley Miniatures figures and vehicles.  Vic is all about the game so he tends not to paint up his miniatures or his terrain; though this time he went all out in bareness.  This gives the pictures a rather different look in bare metal and resin.  


Comment or contact me if you wish to ask Vic anything or know more.  GBS.  
Here we go..in his own words!

USEME Battle Report

My Sunday games was given over to USE ME and the long anticipated Security Force Alpha (SFA) versus the Octopods … and it went something like this …


The SFA force: GNAT Contender, 4 x Bearcat Battlesuit, 2 x Firecat Battlesuit, 1 x Meercat Battlesuit, 1 x SFA Command Squad, 4 x SFA Infantry Squad, 1 x SFA Sniper Team, 2 x Automata Squad, 2 x Patrol Droids = 1000 Points. Two new Special Rules are needed for the SFA force:

1). Mech Shield (for the Firecats) = +1 to armour from the front only, +10% points (none of the SFA mechs are armoured, so this really helped!)

2). Spotter (for the Meercat) = use 1 action to act as spotter for another friendly firer this turn, this allows that firer to measure range and trace LOS from the Meercat & not the firer; Only usable with vehicle Indirect Weapons, +10% points.


This is the Octopods: 3 x slow but well armed Heavy Bradley Tanks, 3 x fast but lighter armed Heavy Bradley Tanks, 2 x Octopod Rocket Pod, 4 x Octopod Rocket Cycle, 1 x Command Mob, 4 x Warrior Mobs, 3 x Seerguard Mobs, 1 x Mindbender Mob = 1010 points.


The battle area: 60 Inches x 48 Inches. With 2 hills, woods, thick hedges, dirt tracks, 8 buildings. The SFA will approach from the West (left), the Octopods East (right) ...


Having lost the roll, the SFA set-up first, but held back their Command squad and 2 Infantry squads in reserve …


The Octopod forces set-up. The Seerguard are set-up riding on the engine decks of the fast tanks (so any hits to the tanks will also hit hem, and vice versa) … Octopod Desant! The Command Mob and the fourth Warrior Mob are held back in reserve off table.

And so it begins … With all forces set up, the Octopds won the initiative and began to advance …


The fast tanks carrying the Seerguard roared off at speed heading around the bigger hill, hoping to reach the buildings before the SFA with their big mechs can interfere (or worse still, open fire … ). As the tanks grinds onwards the various Octopod Rocket craft shoot off at high speed heading to their destinies …


The SFA advance to meet the alien threat! The droid squads head along the dirt track for the buildings - they've been programmed to reach cover in the buildings then hold their positions. The Meercat dashes forwards, seeking a position to make use of its Spotter ability, whilst the Contender stomps forwards to take up position behind one of the buildings, from where it is to rain indirect death down on the invading alien scum … the smaller Bearcats and Firecats lumber towards the buildings with the intention of taking up A/T positions, the Bearcats dealing with the Octopod tanks whilst the Firecats are to hunt Pod the infantry …


The heavier armed but slow Octopod tanks steadily grind onwards as, behind them, the Octopod infantry take cover behind the tanks massive hulls. One of the tanks spots some SFA infantry in the far distance through a small gap between the trees and buildings & immediately directs a hail of fire from its 2 automatic weapons and 2 cannons …


Whilst most of the tanks firing would shame an Imperial Stormtrooper, the heavy cannon round lands smack in the middle of the squad and 2 SFA troopers bite the dust! Even as they do so the Octopods Rocket craft streak in to open fire on the SFA Bearcats and Firecats - their fire serves to knock down the mechs energy shields (the small purple dice mark intact shields). But the Octopods don't have it all their own way - the Meercat spots for the Contender and heavy missiles are soon on their way …


… missiles meet Rockets & detonate, and the Rockets, pilots and all, explode or burst into flames!

The fast Pod tanks carrying the Seergaurd reach the far side of the tall hill and begin to trade fire with the SFA mechs facing them … time for the Seerguard to jump down and do their thing! Meanwhile, the slow but steady march of the droids sees them reach the buildings and begin to fan out looking for good firing positions. Somehow the Octopods tanks seem to be slowing down the Octopods advance … must be all that stopping to fire they're doing!

And it only gets worse …


The Octopod forces are too slow! The Seerguard and their tanks are way ahead of the rest of the Octopod infantry & tanks, and despite their heavy armour they're not quite as well armed as the SFA mechs, especially the feared Contender. As their Rocket Pods & Cycles explode and crash, the Octopod Leader can be heard yelling at his 'Pods to hurry it up!


The last surviving Rocket Pods & Cycles lash the SFA mechs with fire - more energy shields collapse, and then a heavy cannon round from an advancing Octopod heavy tank decapitates a Bearcat with a single hit! The Bearcat, which had broken through a hedge & was busy directing a hail of fire at the approaching tank, staggers, stumbles and collapses. Hearing this, the SFA infantry squad in the open (who were originally planning to advance and support the mechs) stops and hunkers down. Up by the big hill, the Seergaurd, now dismounted, form up and begin to close with the buildings - the idea is to take and hold them, preventing the SFA infantry from flanking their tanks …


As the threat from the advancing Octopods grows, the Contender finally leaves it's firing position and directs a veritable hail of fire at the Octopods - and all the while the Meercat continues to provide its spotting support, allowing the Contender to lash out at the Octopods. The SFA droids identify the approaching Seerguard, line up, lock, load and open fire in unison, and the first Seerguard falls. But, even with the Contenders fire support, another Bearcat takes a massive hit from an Octopod tank cannon and falls to wrack and ruin … and a final, valedictive strafing run by the last Octopod Rocket Pod downs the Contenders energy shield … fearing an Octopod breakthrough, the SFA commander sends in 2 of his reserve squads … but not his own, mind … it does pay to be cautious! Especially when enemy bullets are involved … but our heroic Octopod leader isn't so squeamish and brings his command mob and his final warrior mob into the battle at a jog …


… and the Contender calmly swats the Rocket pod down, whilst directing a heal of gunnery into the furthest Octopod tank, breaching its armour with 1 hit and causing it to explode in flames (can you smell fried squid?). Their squishy hearts filled with rage, the Seerguard dash into melee with the droids … er, aren't we meant to be melee specialists? It does not go well … Now that the Contender has moved and the Octopods advance is obscured by cover the Meercat pilot runs forwards, seeking a better targeting position, and behind him the sniper team run forwards too …


As the SFA droids continue to mechanically batter the 'melee specialists' in melee combat the Octopod commander is asking himself if perhaps they're not on the right pills? Maybe he should execute their trainer? As the rest of the Seerguard are moving into position to try and tackle the SFA mechs one of the mechs brandishes its flamethrower & turns to face them. The slower Octopod tanks grind ever onwards, but one finds itself being distracted by the approach of the Meercat behind a hedge …

And now it gets hotter …


A lone missile from the Contender, fired indirect without spotter support lands on one of the advancing Octopod heavy tanks, scattering Octopod infantry like confetti and leaving a good sized dent in the tank to boot! The SFA droids continue to beat the 'melee specialist' into submission (and death) and the fresh SFA infantry run towards the buildings and hedges with the intention of taking up covered firing positions - let the 'Pods come! And they are ... very slowly! The Seerguard who are mech hunting soon realise the enormity of their mistake - the Firecat unleashes its flamerthrower and many 'Pods go up in smoke!


The second Firecat quickly backs up as 2 Octopod tanks loom large, followed by a mass of 'Pod infantry. The last surviving Patrol Droid is destroyed by the damaged Octopod tank with a single shot, but the Droids finish off their fight with the Seergaurd (whose trainer will no longer be in need of execution - he got bashed in the head by a droid too!) and turn to face into the flank of the approaching 'Pod infantry hosts … in the distance, behind the hedge and buildings, a loud explosion announces the destruction of another Octopod tank. The gutsy Seerguard who, despite the flames, close with and assault the Firecat manage to knock down its energy shield … and the Meercat, having advanced behind the Octopod, now begins to supply high value targeting data for the Contender …


It's no fun being an Octopod! This day, all 'Pods die ... or at least that's how it looks to our brave Octopod leader! A single missile from the Contender lands with a huge bang in the midst of 1 Octopod mob, blasting them in all directions (including into their afterlife!). The survivors run forwards, only to be met by the Firecat, who ignores the nearest Octopod tank and unleashes a gout of flames and automatic weapons fire into the Octopod infantry - more 'Pods are roasted and blasted. As the SFA infantry take up positions in the hedge they cheer the Firecat on! The other Firecat is less fortunate - having eliminated all but 3 of the 12 Seerguard that had stalked & then attacked it it finally fell to a Seerguard melee attack. The SFA surviving droids take cover in a building and start to hunt the Octopods Mindbender - one of the Psykers guards is killed, the other crippled, but the terrified Psyker escapes the building and runs towards another building where another mob of 'Pods are cowering & trying not to draw the attention of the nearby Firecat ... then disaster overtakes the SFA - the Contender is destroyed by a volley of fire from an Octopod tank and collapses into burning ruins ...



The last surviving SFA Mechs hurriedly turn to confront the 'Pod tanks, but their heavy armour defeats the mechs weapons ... but at least the last Octopod bodygurad is killed by the droids! That'll teach him ... with their best units now destroyed the SFA are in a serious bind - tackling the 'pod tanks will require using infantry melee attacks, meaning leaving cover and taking fire from the tanks and the 'pod infantry ... the Meercat, with the Contender downed, is now just a fast miving automatic weapon. Desoite this lack of heavier weapons the Meercats pilot stops to trade fire with the damaged 'Pod tank that has been creeping towards the centre of the action ...


The SFA give it their all! Using bundles of grenades they dash out and assault both the nearest 'Pod tanks ... they're unsuccessful this time around, but as their assault goes ahead the last of the faster 'Pod tanks succumbs to the combined fire of the last 2 Bearcats. The Firecat meanwhie, wastes fuel trying to burn out the Octopod command mob hiding in the building - so much for not drawing the mechs attention. At least the building offers protection from the flames!

And finally....

It only took me seven hours to get to this point … but I DID stop for num-nums! And coffee and a read and other activities ...


The Firecat continues to pin down the Octopod command mob in the building, but in doing so it ignores the Meercats need for support for too long - the Meercat finally falls to the heavier weapons of (and a lucky hit by the) crippled 'Pod tank … the SFA infantry continue their assaults upon the 'Pod tanks, one of whom is damaged in the process. This leads to the tanks abruptly lurching forwards to try and shake of their attackers, and a rather silly/funny chase ensues - infantry chasing tanks! But the SFA quickly come to realise that they will end up taking fire from the tanks AND the (badly depleted) 'Pod infantry …


… and as the 'Pod fire intensifies, the SFA commander (still safely off table - and now not likely to join in!) decides it's time to withdraw the last of his forces before they can be overwhelmed by the 'Pod tanks. When the SFA call it a day and leave, the 'Pods claim victory … perhaps …

Holy moley what a game to the end. Once I'd decided to withdraw the SFA (I needed to tidy up and do work things!) I added up the value of characters lost by both sides and found that, despite the fact it was the SFA who backed off first, it was the 'Pods who'd lost the most in PV, serving to balance their 'victory' - it was an utterly Pyrrhic one! In effect, a draw …


The game was immensely good fun, and my new special action rules worked as I'd hoped - the Firecats were fine until attacked from behind in melee, the Meercat proved very effective, and had the Contender lasted to take advantage of the Meercats spotter position behind the 'Pod advance, the SFA would probably have won.

Thanks for talking the time to read this rhubarb everyone. I've got a lot more pics but I wanted to keep this to a 'moderate' size and I could've gone into it a bit more but perhaps it's better I didn't!

Vic

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Dragons in Sengoku Monster Hunter a free download

Last month Alternative Armies released the re-mastered DRG5 Ki-Shu Oriental Dragon and it went down well.  At the time we said there would be rules for their several scale suitable creature for Sengoku Monster Hunter the solo play game of Hunters in mythical Japan.  The time has arrived and author of the game Steve Danes has provided rules for putting an encounter with a Dragon in your adventurers.  Go HERE for all our free downloads or read on.


A powerful monster this encounter will be a challenge for most Hunters.


Dragons in Monster Hunter
A one page free article which fits into Sengoku Monster Hunter and Rampage.  CLICK HERE to download.  Dragons have a mist cloud and sometimes have gems in their hides as well as a deadly breath attack.  The article has an encounter token to cut out for your pile and a stats line for play.



You can find Ki-Shu along with the entire 15mm range for the game HERE on our website.  Monster Hunter can be played solo or with up to four players and has two books these being the core rules and the expansion called Rampage.  In print and twenty percent less as digital downloads.  There are over one hundred miniatures in the range as well as value sets.  The game is so varied and it is never the same twice.  There are other free files on the range page.

Thanks for Reading,

GBS

Free Slaughterloo mass battle files updated to download now

Fans of the World of Valon who have progressed from skirmishing with Flintloque in the mass battle fun that is Slaughterloo have a treat now with an updated file of free download aids for the game.  These aids assist when printed out giving you the cards for your Generals and your Commander in Chief along with blank division rosters and Quick Reference Sheet plus optional smoke counters. Following the new character profiles and bolt on rules for Exploring Officers we took the chance to present these aids for 5030 Slaughterloo anew.


There are a total of four free files in this blog post and we start with a round up of this months new releases suited to Flintloque and Slaughterloo.  Black Blob Crowfoot, the Major of the 45th Regiment and the Orc Exploring Officer all came out with new foot versions and uniformation articles with game stats and rules.  


You can download the each for each by clicking below or visiting the website page for the code.

54024 Black Blob Crowfoot – Click HERE to download.
54025 Major 45th Regiment – Click HERE to download.
54026 Exploring Officer – Click HERE to download article for such officers of all nations.


Slaughterloo Free Game Aids
The 5030 Slaughterloo free files for play including General and C-In-C cards plus blank division roster, smoke counters, quick reference all in one zipped folder to download.  Click HERE for the file.  Go HERE to visit the website where you can get the mighty 168 page book in print or as a digital download at 20% less than print.  There are also divisional army packs (DAP) for each army containing many units of 28mm miniatures with a saving of 15% off single prices plus free worldwide standard shipping too.

All the miniatures used in Slaughterloo are used in Flintloque too and typically you will Begin in Flintloque and build up your skirmish sections into units and then over time proceed to the mass battle game.

Thank you for your time,

GBS

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Dave Alsager and Commander Murdos 15mm Taranis Tank

It is my great pleasure to present to all the 15mm science fiction fans out there Dave Alsager (player of Patrol Angis and collector of Ion Age miniatures) take on the special Commander Murdo's Taranis main battle tank.  Thanks to Dave for permission and if you click the images on the blog they will enlarge.


“I painted the tank to be of the Gryllus Company, which is entry 17 on the poster Uniforms of the Prydian Precinct but it was pointed out to me that the colors were different (brick red, not the orange I used).  So instead I named them the 'Morning Glories' an offshoot of the 'Dusk Knights' my own force as a cavalry division.  Dusk Knights due to the hue of the Chameleon Circuits in their armour and their battle tactics...they strike at dawn or in dim light.”

David Alsager told me what is above and I think his force looks really awesome!  Here is a composite of views of his take on RWP02 Commander Murdo's Taranis Tank.  There are a lot of free files to download including special rules for this tank see them all on this PAGE of the website.


Here are his Dusk Knights.  A varied force composed of course of the mighty Taranis Tank as well as Retained Knights, Desteria Knights, Grav Bikes and Battlesuits.  




We have more than twenty different mighty Taranis Main Battle Tanks designed by the legendary Bob Naismith which have tracked, wheeled, lifter and anti-gravity propulsions as well as projectile and energy weapon systems and armoured personnel carrier types.  See them all HERE on the website.  Big vehicles for your collection.

Thanks for Reading,

GBS

Alternative Armies – Covid 19 Update

Following the Scottish Government announcement last night of ‘effective lockdown’ to be introduced from 23rd March onwards for three weeks or possibly longer the company has put in place measures to maintain service to customers in accordance. We have sent all staff who are able to work from home to their homes to do so. We have removed all but essential members of staff in all areas. This has resulted in our normal level of service being reduced but we remain open online and dispatching. We maintain good stock levels of products and materials and we are confident in our ability to meet orders with a longer delay than usual. 


While the Covid 19 situation remains fluid, we take the safety of our staff very seriously; we observe all current Health and Safety advice from Holyrood and Westminster. 

As and when the situation changes, we shall update this statement to keep Alternative Armies customers informed. 

You can contact Gavin Syme our creative manager as normal through social media such as our Facebook Group, MeWe page and Twitter feed you can also reach him on our reserved email address of info@theionage.com which is now tied to his home location. Please ask any questions you may have. 

The company typically works a couple of months ahead of present day so our release and event schedule will remain intact with the March to War mega event occurring at the start of April 2020. 

Please keep safe and keep well following official guidelines on social distancing and self-isolation. 

Thanks for Reading, 

GBS

Monday, 23 March 2020

A Retained Knight drawn by Christian Cuello

My good friend and sometimes sculptor and artist Christian Cuello has given me a pleasant surprise with a brand new piece of hand drawn artwork.  Click on it on the blog to enlarge.


Drawn with the stippling effect which used to be common in wargaming artwork in the glory times of the 1980's this picture captures the essence of the armour and determination of the Retained.  Enjoy!  Mr Cuello has a brand new presence on Facebook which you can join and see his art in this style check it out.


Miniatures from The Ion Age ranges come in 15mm Scale and in 28mm Scale.  I believe that this artwork is based on IA017 which is in pack IB05 Retained Esquires a solid core for any force.  It could also be one of the knights from IAF002 Retained Post Beta but I think it is IAF017 for the win!



We have a total of four free blog articles this week before the month ends.  Two are small, one is medium and one is huge!  Covering The Ion Age as well as Sengoku Monster Hunter and USEME as well.  All author and fan created content for your enjoyment.

Thanks for Reading,

GBS

Friday, 20 March 2020

Orc Exploring Officer on foot and mounted for Flintloque

We move on with the Flintloque releases for 2020 with a classic mounted code which has now been re-mastered and now has a brand new FOOT version of the same character in the pack.  Superb for skirmishing!  There are three of these releases this month this week and this is the third of them.  Each has a free insert of game statistics for Flintloque and Slaughterloo on its page of the website as well.  Seek out this officer!


Read about this ongoing project in full on our BLOG.  See the FLINTLOQUE tab on the blog to get all these posts in a line up as they proceed.  


54026 Exploring Officer
Exploring Officers such as Major Orcquin provide vital intelligence to Wheeling-Turn and other generals by riding far ahead of the army and scouting.  Where are the enemy?  Where are the bridges and fords?  Can the local fighters lend us aid? This metal and resin pack contains three 28mm miniatures these being a mounted Orc character with Horse and the same Orc character on foot. Represent your character on and off his mount! Choose from a pack or the mounted or foot miniature on its own. Supplied with bases and unpainted.  Go HERE.


Article – Exploring Officers in Play
This free to download two page article tells you more about this character and also gives you game rules and statistics for Flintloque and for Slaughterloo for using Exploring Officers of any army so that you can put them on the table in your army.  CLICK HERE to download and check out our FREE DOWNLOADS page for links to hundreds of articles for our games.



All of this month we have taken 10% off on screen from all of the one hundred and fifty plus codes in our NEW RELEASES pages as an offer (this includes all the releases from this month too!).  The new releases section will re-set on 1st April when this offer ends before beginning its new fill with releases for 2020 to 2021.  Oh and if you place an order you will get a free Space Brain worth 2.25GBP included automatically in your package as a gift.  Excellent!

Thanks for Reading,

GBS