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.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

First Contact with Flintloque by Andy Jefcoate

It is my great delight to present to you all the first in a linked up series of articles by Andy Jefcoate about his new forays into Flintloque using the beginners boxed set 5024 Escape from the Dark Czar.  With pictures of his own painted collection. Read on and enjoy!  GBS
First Contact with Flintloque 

Those of you who have read my earlier articles will know that in recent years I've done most of my gaming in 15mm scale as I simply enjoy doing large battles. This hasn't always been the case though and a lot of my figure collection is in 28mm. While you can still do large battles in the bigger scale it's also perfect for skirmish games. 

Skirmish gaming is the best way to try out a new period or genre as it needs only a few figures and therefore a small financial outlay in order to get started. You can quickly paint up a few miniatures and you're ready to go, or simply buy them pre-painted from the kind people at Alternative Armies who will happily do this for you! Painting figures is my favourite part of the hobby as I find it relaxing after a day at work. The small number of figures required for skirmish games lets you add additional levels of detail to figures if you wish and also allows for greater investment in the character of individual leaders or even specific soldiers. 

As I enjoy historical and fantasy gaming equally, Flintloque has always been on my radar and as 15mmcouk has now merged back into the Alternative Armies site I felt that the Universe was telling me that the time was right. I've not been disappointed! 

The first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the game setting.The world of Valon is huge with a large number of nations and races to choose from. Some are your standard fantasy races such as Elves or Orcs but with a twist, while others are much more unusual such as Rabbitmen or Dogmen. This provides some very interesting painting opportunities which when combined with the semi-historical Napoleonique uniforms is simply superb. 

Like most skirmish games Flintloque is perfect for small scenario driven games and the rich background gives a massive amount of inspiration. These can easily be linked into campaigns if you wish which gives you the opportunity to follow the fortunes of particular characters and their gallant (or not so gallant) followers. I therefore had a big decision as to where to start. 

After a long look through the fantastic ranges I was drawn to the new 'Escape from the Dark Czar' starter set. This is amazingly good value as for only 20.00GBP you get ten lovely miniatures in resin, the Flintloque Lite rulebook and you even get a set of dice. As I mentioned earlier painting figures is the main part of the hobby for me, but if this isn't your thing then Alternative Armies will supply a set with painted figures for only 40.00GBP!

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I chose the Witchlands. Did I mention that I enjoy painting dead things? You have to know your audience when making a statement like that and it's certainly not something to mention on a first date! I'm confident that if you're reading this then you'll understand what I mean. When looking at a new game I always feel drawn to a particular army and the undead forces of the Dark Czar definitely caught my attention. How can you not love a force led by vampires and mainly consisting of zombies or is it just me................ 

Joking apart the Witchlands is a brilliant setting and as I've also never got round to building and collecting snowy terrain then this was appealing too. Good scenery to fight over is a great visual boost to any game and often drives the scenario. 

The final draw was the Ferach army itself as it consists of so many nations and such a diversity of troops. There are special Witchlands versions of many of them, all wrapped up against the cold which makes the miniatures in scenarios very characterful and unique. I particularly like the special Witchlands Ferach Elf units and the Witchlands Dogmen so these will soon find their way into my collection. 

So,what did I put in my first order. Obviously the 'Escape from the Dark Czar' starter set went straight into my shopping cart, closely followed by a couple of Witchlands Dogmen figures from pack 56594, and then pack 55009 consisting of four zombie cossacks on foot. While this was only a small order I wanted to try the game out before deciding on the composition of any larger forces. Once my order arrives I plan to let you know how I get on and where I go from there. 

Thank you for reading. 


Thursday 25 May 2017

Sulphur 32mm first wave of releases now out

Alternative Armies has now placed the first wave of 32mm scale releases for Sulphur II on their page of the website.  We begin with some characters, infantry teams and the mighty Walker kit too.  You can see all of this by clicking HERE.

We will be releasing three more waves across the coming weeks which will include more infantry, vehicles and the rule book too in print and as a digital download.  This former Kickstarter project is now on general release and is perfect for any post apocalyptic gaming setting.  The miniatures are superbly detailed high quality resin with really character filled poses and the Walker kit is fantastic!

What is Sulphur?

Sulphur is a set of 32mm scale sci-fi skirmish rules with its own extensive range of miniatures including infantry, vehicles and heroes. Sulphur has a distinctly post-apocalyptic feel to it which creates battles between rusty and improvised looking war wagons, ragged looking infantry squads, menacing heroes and satisfyingly impressive heavy weapons. The rules allow players to customise their war-wagons with their favourite weapons and equipment - and the vehicle miniatures themselves all come with a range of weapon options.


Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday 23 May 2017

15mm Body Blanks or Dollies released

Now released at Alternative Armies a pack of formally internal use only industry quality 15mm scale blank bodies. These 'dolly' poses have been used for work in the HOF 15mm Sci-fi Range and the HOT 15mm Fantasy Range as well as the bulk of the 15mm ranges at The Ion Age too. Now you can get these mixed male, female, average and tall blanks to use with your own projects and of course they will mold up just fine if you choose to release what you make yourself. Go HERE or read on for more information. 

DOL1 15mm Blank Dollies (11 poses)
A pack of 11 white metal 15mm scale blanks or 'dollys' which Alternative Armies sells to you so that you might create your own 15mm scale miniatures. Rights are given to produce finished miniatures from these blanks (but not to reproduce the blanks themselves) and they will withstand typical vulcanisation rubber or resin processes. They can be worked with normal tools. These blanks are body and legs allowing sculpted heads and arms to be added for very flexible use. There are eleven different blanks in the set. 

The image shows them with letters and they are as follows: (A) Average Male Standing, (B) Taller Female Walking, (C) Average Female Standing, (D) Average Unisex Standing legs apart, (E) Average Male legs apart, (F) Average Male leaning back, (G) kneeling Female, (H) kneeling Male, (I) Taller Male running, (J) Taller Male standing, (K) Taller Male walking. Resulting Humans will be between 5 1/2 foot to 6 1/2 feet tall in scale. 

You can select from the drop down menu the following pack options. EACH PACK HAS 11 BLANKS IN IT. A pack with one of each blank. A pack of only Average Male poses (A,D,E,F,H) in multiples. A pack of only Female poses (B,C,D,G) in multiples. A pack of only Taller Males (I,J,K) in multiples. Go HERE

We have three different weekly offers of 20% off a code and all its variants. A Flintloque, High Fantasy and 15mm scale offer. These change every Monday morning and lasts seven days. To see the current one go HERE

Thanks for Reading, 


Friday 19 May 2017

An introduction to the Furioso Renaissance Wargame Rules

Alternative Armies will be releasing in early June 2017 a brand new multiple scale set of wargame rules written by Steve Danes.  It is called Furioso and it will serve scales from 6mm to 15mm to 28mm for any of your miniatures.  Focused on Renaissance Warfare in the Sixteenth Century it is a simple to learn but tactically challenging set of rules.   We are introducing Furioso to you in this article Go HERE to our Altuos 15mm Renaissance range or read on.

“Furioso is a set of wargames rules that covers European warfare in the sixteenth century. The rules allow players to fight large scale land battles with a simple to use and enjoyable gaming system. Wargaming the sixteenth century is an attractive prospect for players, it is an interesting and colourful period full of garishly dressed soldiers and colourful and exotic troop types. The period also shows signs of the beginnings of modern warfare with the introduction of the firearm and the tactical developments that went with it. Armies struggled to find a way of incorporating this new technology into traditional practises. Much time was spent experimenting and introducing new battlefield tactics - and yet the tried and tested methods of medieval warfare continued to produce spectacular victories. Few could stand against the awesome charge of the French Gendarmes nor face the ferocious onslaught of the Swiss pike-square. Despite this, warfare did evolve during this period. The arquebus and musket replaced the bow and crossbow, knights began to put aside their lances and take up the pistol. 

Already the nature of pike & shot warfare that would dominate the seventeenth century was already beginning to take shape by the end of this period. Furioso is designed to re-create large scale battles such as those fought at Fornovo, Cerignola, Bicocca, Dreux, Moncontour, Clontibret, Yellow Ford, Ivry - to name but a few! 

Players will find themselves commanding or at least trying to command the armies of the period. Players will quickly realise that some of their forces have minds of their own. Gendarmes are likely to charge off at the earliest opportunity - even if this means an entirely unsuitable enemy in terrain not exactly suited to the fully armoured knight. 

Players may wish to try and soften up an enemy before unleashing their Swiss pike squares but they will rarely get the opportunity. Impatient Swiss units are likely to have closed with the enemy before a cannon shot is fired - even if that means charging across terrain that is likely to disorder their densely packed ranks. More defensive minded players can protect their armies with extensive earthworks that will disrupt the enemies attack and provide valuable cover from enemy fire. However, players may find that the enemy are not happy to wait for these constructions to be completed and will launch surprise attacks before such works are finished. And of course, in a time when increasing numbers of mercenaries where employed, players will need to make sure that sufficient care is taken to avoid last minute pay disputes, strikes, mutiny’s and all of the other trials that would complicate the lives of sixteenth century commanders.
Furioso can be fought using any scale figures from 6mm to 28mm. The rules themselves have a very simple system at their heart. If you want to do anything you need to roll a d6, a score of five or more will achieve success, a score of four or lower means failure. Modifiers are applied but this is to the number of dice rolled to achieve success and not the score required. Success will therefore be measured by the number of successful scores achieved. At the start of a turn, players will roll one Initiative die for each unit, better quality and motivated units will receive a bonus to this score, poor quality unit’s a deduction. Units will be activated in sequence with the highest scoring unit going first followed buy lower scoring units - and units that score zero or less won’t be doing anything! This means that play will pass from unit to unit rather than one side activating all of their units and then the opposing side activating all of theirs. The result of this kind of mechanic means that players will have less control over their overall force and may find it difficult to execute a strategic plan - but in a period when many commanders would be personally leading their troops in to battle and fighting sword in hand in the front rank - that seems like an entirely realistic ambition for the period.

Also included in the rules is a series of random events of Hazards that cover such situations as Swiss troops striking over pay, raiding cavalry stealing an armies baggage and a whole host of other misfortunes that commonly befell armies of the period. To the rear of the rules are a number of army lists for all of the major armies of the period. Also included are unit cards for all of these units which you can copy for use. These will be used during the deployment phase of the battle so that opposing armies will have only a limited idea of their opponents composition and dispositions. And finally, we hope you enjoy playing these rules. Our intention with this game is to provide a fun and entertaining way to explore the tactical changes and challenges of the period with a healthy dose of ‘period-feel’ thrown in for good measure. We think this has been achieved - and we hope you agree too!”  S.Danes 2017

To go along with the pre-order period of the book which will end early on Monday 5th June with all orders shipping worldwide during that week we have an offer on the entire Altuos 15mm Renaissance Range which will allow you to order up some miniatures to go with your new rulebook.  We have taken 10% off every single code in the range.  Every Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Command code with a hundred to choose among from 15th to 17th century.  This promotion will end at midnight 4th June 2017. Upon general release the print book will be full price and a digital download version will be released as well.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday 16 May 2017

Albion Orc Sailors released for Flintloque

The last release for Flintloque and Slaughterloo this month is now online at Alternative Armies.  Following up on the Abandoned Good Wagon we have a pack of four new poses of 28mm scale white metal Orcs in the service of the Royul Navye.  These can be added to your grand alliance forces and used at sea or in landing party scenarios.  Go HERE for the pack or read on for more information and images.  Sculpted by Elton Waters.

“The Royul Navye is the largest sea going fleet in the World of Valon.  Exploring and fighting all over the globe its hundreds of ships both large and small have crews that number in the hundreds of thousands.  From bustling ports such as Plymuff and Porcsmuff the ships of Kyng Gorge keep the armies of Mordred contained to mainland Urop and exchange broadsides with any who challenge Greate Britorcn.  Some vessels have one gun deck while most have two and some three with only the most massive having over one hundred cannon.  Each ship carries officers, gun crews, passengers, marines and of course sailors.  While not trained as soldiers the sailors are handy with a musket and able to give a good account of themselves both at sea and on land.  Currently, after the disaster of Kooruna, the Navye is conducting hit and run landings up and down the coasts of Nepolise.  This is forcing the Todoroni governors and Ferach Empire regiments to be pulled away from the war in Catalucia proper.  Some of these landings have involved hundreds of soldiers supported by as many armed sailors and have captured and carried away a vast amount of loot and supplies as well as notable prisoners such as that along the coast from Pondlerno.”

54051 Albion Orc Sailors
This pack contains four different poses of 28mm scale white metal miniatures.  Sailors of the Royul Navye these Orcs are bare footed and wearing straw hats along with short trousers and shirt.  Armed with bessie muskets as well as a Cutlass (sword), hand axe and long barrelled horse pistol they are excellent for inclusion in your Grand Alliance forces alongside Orcs, Ratmen and others.  They fit in excellently with the TRA naval packs.  This code is supplied unpainted and unassembled but with our cartouche style bases included.  You can purchase a pack or you can choose a pro-painted and based pack as well ready for immediate use in your gaming table.  Go HERE.  8.00GBP per pack.

For those interested in conducting landing operations or any sea starting scenarios in Flintloque we have other codes which will be of use to you.  Details of these follow and you can find rules for Orc Marines, Gunners and regulars in 5025 War in Catalucia with more in 5027 Grapeshotte as well.

This pack contains three different Orcs armed with muskets and sword.

This pack contains three different Orcs in command and senior sailor poses.

This pack contains three different Orcs with pistols and musket.

This pack contains one ship's cannon with four poses of Orc gunner with gunnery implements.

This pack contains one Ogre with big sword and Kannonderbuss pistol.

This pack contains three Orcs in command poses which go with 54019.

Get the cannon kit from TRA003 on its own!

All of the naval packs can be easily combined with other Albion Orc codes for use in play.

We have three different weekly offers of 20% off a code and all its variants.  A Flintloque, High Fantasy and 15mm scale offer.  These change every Monday morning and lasts seven days.  To see the current one go HERE.

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday 11 May 2017

HOF111 Scrofa AFV 15mm vehicle released!

All across the Human Colonies and on Terra itself there is a need for security after, during and even before the high rollers and expensive kit arrives in the battle zone. Security Force Alpha is just that force filling in as police, paramilitaries, mercenaries and planetary militias too. They are the faceless grunts that do the thankless jobs needed by all those who govern, control or enforce. Use them as you will from the near to the far future!

We are proud to present the first 15mm HOF Science Fiction release since the re-integration of our 15mm lines back into Alternative Armies and it is a new light vehicle for use in the Security Force Alpha part of the range alongside our Charger APC's, Maginot Turrets and the infantry packs.  It is also a vehicle well suited (like the HOF109 Skirmmers) for use with Rim Mercs on frontier worlds. The Scrofa armoured fighting vehicle is a wheeled 15mm resin vehicle with several assembly options.  Designed by Sam Croes. Go HERE or read on for details.

HOF111 Scrofa Wheeled AFV
This pack contains the resin parts to assemble one 15mm scale six wheeled Scrofa vehicle kit as a top hatch carrier or turreted variant with hatch open or closed.  The Scrofa is the smaller brother of the Charger and is a common military transporter of the Human Colonies and Security Force Alpha.  It is at home in any near future or such 15mm scale game system.  Parts are: Scrofa Hull (with integrated equipment rolls), Six Wheel Unit, Options Sprue (Hatch Top, Turret Top, Hatch SFA Crewman, Closed Crew Hatch). Approx 60mm long, 35mm wide and 20mm tall when assembled.  Very easy to assemble and great value; part of Security Force Alpha (SFA) in the HOF Range.  From battles to peace keeping or law enforcement roles it suits them all.  Supplied unpainted and unassembled. Mono image shows parts.  Images with SFA Trooper and other codes are for scale only and not supplied. 4.00GBP.  Go HERE.

The SFA part of the range contains a huge variety of generic poses of 15mm white metal miniatures and vehicles allowing a wargamer to assemble a cohesive force for their campaigns. A whole integrated range within HOF which contains vehicles, tower, infantry, command, scouts, elites, female and more!  Go HERE for the HOF Range.  Here are a few codes chosen to show you.

HOF28A Charger MkII Wheeled APC
HOF28B Charger MkII Hover APC
HOF28C Charger MkII Tracked APC
We have three different Charger APC Vehicle types to choose from The Charger is the workhorse military and police transporter of the Human Colonies and Security Force Alpha. Parts are: Charger Hull, Propulsion Unit, Options Sprue (APC Top, Turret Top, Hatch SFA Crewman, Closed Crew Hatch). Approx 60mm long, 30mm or 40mm wide and 35mm tall when assembled.  Very easy to assemble and great value. Make yours a military vehicle or law vehicle or an infantry fighting vehicle. The Charger is part of Security Force Alpha (SFA) in the HOF Range.  From battles to peace keeping or law enforcement roles it suits them all.   Supplied unpainted and unassembled.  5.00GBP. Go HERE for Wheeled, go HERE for Hover and go HERE for Tracked variant.

HOF27 Maginot Turret
The brand new Maginot MkII pack contains the resin pieces to assemble one 15mm scale Maginot Defence Turret. The Maginot is a stationary structure that acts as a strong point for your forces in play.  It is at home in any near future setting. Parts are: Turret Main Body, Turret Ring and Top (rotatable in mount when assembled). Easy to assemble from two parts. Approx 45mm tall and 30mm across when assembled.  The Maginot is part of Security Force Alpha (SFA) in the HOF Range. From battles to peace keeping or law enforcement roles it suits them all.  Supplied unpainted and unassembled. 5.00GBP.  Go HERE.


This release takes the popular generic near future Security Force Alpha up to seventeen associated codes with about fifty five different poses of infantry plus five vehicles making it and ideal choice for security forces, police, frontier guard and more. 

Here is a list of the infantry packs:

HOF104 SFA Elite Troopers
HOF7 SFA Jump Pack Troopers
HOF8 SFA Jump Pack Sergeants
HOF95 SFA Command 
HOF96 SFA SMG Troopers I
HOF97 SFA SMG Troopers II
HOF98 SFA Sergeants
HOF99 SFA Shotgun Troopers
HOF100 SFA Support Troopers
HOF101 SFA Anti-Armour Troopers
HOF102 SFA Riot Team
HOF86 Human Medical Team

We have a weekly 15mm scale offer of 20% off a pack code.  It changes every Monday morning and lasts seven days.  To see the current one go HERE.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday 9 May 2017

Psi Paladins and Techno Barbarians KS Pledges now shipping!

Alternative Armies is happy to announce that the pledges are now shipping worldwide for Ganesha Games Kickstarter supplement 'Psi Paladins and Techno Barbarians' for Mutants and Death Ray Guns.  All of them from us here in Scotland.

We will be releasing the new 28mm miniatures from this campaign into the Ganesha Games sci-fi page of the website, alongside the Space Simians and others, towards the end of this month.  It is likely we will make a nice weekend offer to go with it for those who missed the Kickstarter or those who want to get more of the figures.  Love those Combots!

PSY01 Psi Paladins (4)
PSY02 Techno Barbarians (3)
PSY03 Lord Phalag and Companions (3)
PSY04 Combots (4)

Above are the codes under which we will be releasing the miniatures for general sale.  You can have packs or choose poses from within the packs to tailor your forces to what you exactly wish.

Any questions about the Ganesha Games miniature range can be asked directly of us on  See the original campaign HERE.

The majority of miniatures for Ganesha Games 28mm are excellent High Fantasy ones which you can see in their glory HERE.

Thanks for Reading.


Friday 5 May 2017

The Ostarian Dogman army of Simon Hutchinson

This short article and its pictures are a treat for players of Flintloque and Slaughterloo.  The owner of this wonderful Dogman army in the pay of the Emperor Klaffenhund sent me these images last year and what with one thing and another it has taken me until now to show them off on our blog.  So without further ado  here is Simon Hutchinson's Ostarian Army.  

Every image is followed by a short account of it and all the pictures were taken during a game of Slaughterloo in Australia between Mr Hutchinson and Mr Ward with his Orcish and Grand Alliance army (who took the day by the thinnest of margins I am told).

Ostarian Line Infantry advance along the road
A battery of Ostarian field guns prepare to fire!

Cavalry clash at the crossroads!

Hussars lay about themselves against enemy Orcs and Dwarves

The view from the Grand Alliance side of the battle

Orcish Dragoons are thinned as the Dogmen Hussars push ahead

Lethal Volley!  This adds to the mighty of the artillery shooting

The two armies lined up before plat commences

I think you will agree that the miniatures look lovely as does the gaming table with its terrain.  I really like the buzz and feel of the battlefield and it is to the players credit.  At the moment the Dog Army as shown consists of the following units and officers.

Emperor Klaffenhund 
General Wagsalittle
General Woofington
General Barksalot
General Digsabit

These are taken from the following codes if you wish to have a look on the Alternative Armies website and of course if you want Slaughterloo the rules you can have them as a digital download HERE.  LE020 Emperor Klaffenhund and 56510 Dogman Command.

1 unit of 12 Frei Corps Von Chum
2 units of 12 Frei Corps
7 units of 20 Line
1 unit of 20 Chasseurs
2 units of 20 Grenadiers 
2 units of 10 Cuirassiers 
2 units of 10 Hussars
4 Artillery Pieces each with 6 Crew

This sizable fighting force's troops are from among these codes roughly in order of the army account. 56504 Frei Corps Von Chum, 56516 Dogman Jagers, 56506 Dogman Line, 56514 Dogman Chassuers, 56513 Dogmen Grenadiers, 56508 Dogman Cuirassiers, 56509 Dogman Hussars plus 56512 Dogman Artillery Crew.  The guns themselves are mixed from 59502 Ferach Artillery Set.

Simon is planning on adding to this army as well as expanding out his Witchlands Undead army and more Ferach Empire too.  Big battles are ahead!

I wish to thank him for sharing these excellent pictures and the account of his Ostarian Slaughterloo Dogman army.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday 1 May 2017

59524 Abandoned Provisions Wagon released!

Welcome to May and Alternative Armies first release for the month. A new terrain piece in 28mm good for Flintloque or any horse and wagon or Napoleonic setting and system. A scenic piece in high quality grey tone resin. An abandoned wagon loaded with food, books, furniture and more ready for recovery or looting. It joins last month's abandoned beer wagon in our 28mm Terrain Range which you can see HERE or read on for more information. 

We have several terrain pieces with more to follow in coming months adding to the range. Have a look at our abandoned wagons. 

59524 Abandoned Provisions Wagon 
Sometimes battles go wrong and you have to leave things behind while your army flees for its collective lives. Wagons left in fields filled with a diverse load of food, furniture, books and baskets. Looted and broken down the wagon sits ready for others to take from it what they will. This 28mm scale resin terrain object is a great piece for World of Valon and historical wargaming too. Place it on your battlefield! It is one piece and measures 70mm long, 50mm wide and 35mm tall. 

This 28mm scale resin terrain object is a great piece for World of Valon and historical wargaming too. Place it on your battlefield! You get purchase one or three with a saving or get it pro-painted and ready to use. Go HERE. Lots of images including scale and plain casting to see. 6.00GBP 

59523 Abandoned Beer Wagon 
Sometimes battles go wrong and you have to leave things behind while your army flees for its collective lives. Wagons by the roadside and in this case filled with casks of ale or fine wine or just plain gut rot. Looted and broken down the wagon sits ready for others to take from it what they will. This 28mm scale resin terrain object is a great piece for World of Valon and historical wargaming too. Place it on your battlefield! 

It is one piece and measures 70mm long, 50mm wide and 35mm tall. You get purchase one or three with a saving or get it pro-painted and ready to use. Lots of images including scale and plain casting to see. Go HERE. 6.00GBP 

We have a new set up for Weekly Deals which began on 1st May. Each week we have three different offers all at 20% off normal price on all their options including painted and ready for play. We have a Flintloque deal, a High Fantasy deal and a 15mm scale deal. Get something for your wargaming and check them out every monday when they change. HERE

We also have a Latest Releases page where all of our codes from about the last six to ten weeks of releases are sited as well as in their own pages. If you want to see what Alternative Armies has been doing it is a great place to start. All of our ranges, all our game systems, 28mm and 15mm. All HERE

Thanks for Reading, GBS