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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

USE ME - Folder of Free Files this Friday!

Hello Everyone,

With sales of the brand new USE ME 15mm Science Fiction rule system growing by the day (thank you all for your kind words about my work!) over at they have been collecting names and email addresses for the ZIP folder of free files promised in the booklet and online.

I have been informed that they have cleared their server so that the mailing out the zip folder to those who asked for it can commence from Thursday morning of this week and that by Friday all direct emails to will have been answered.

Additionally the USE ME free folder will be posted up onto the Notables Yahoo Group on Friday where it can be downloaded for free anytime. This yahoo group is now also the place to ask the writer of the rules any questions you might have in your games using the rules.

If demand asks for it there may well be additional scenarios and optional rules placed in the Barking Irons magazine or even for free on the Notables Group or here.

For more information on the game system CLICK HERE.

To view and apply to join the Notables Yahoo Group CLICK HERE.



Thursday, 16 September 2010

USE ME 15mm Sci-Fi Rules - Now Released!

Hello Everyone,

The pocket sized powerhouse rules set that is USE ME 15mm science fiction has been released today! We present a special posting with a good look at the game from every angle plus some images from the book of pages to give you a feel for it. Its a super little set of rules which can be used for any sci-fi or near future setting and I am really proud of it too! Read on below and at only £3.50 its a bargain too!

UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction
(A6 Booklet, 32pp, Colour Covers, ISBN and Barcode) £3.50


USE ME means 'Ultra Simple Engine for Miniature Engagements' and this system delivers just that. Tactically challenging, easy to learn and for any age of wargamer interested in ANY science fiction or near future setting. From skirmish to full battles, games last from five minutes to an hour. Play in your lunch break or in the evening when the idea of a really complex system with a long set up time really does not appeal. Pick up any of your sci-fi miniatures and vehicles and get playing in minutes. This complete rules system is printed in A6 format which is a booklet which will fit in your pocket (110mm by 180mm) making it truly portable as well as fantastic value for your money. USE ME is just that...its for you!

I would like to tell you all something of the origins of what became the USE ME system for miniature wargaming; it will give you an insight into why we decided to publish the system for others to make use of as well as for our own use. A few years ago when was still in its infancy the lads at Alternative Armies decided to play some 15mm games (sci-fi, fantasy and some renaissance scenarios too) to get us used to and into the whole scale and feel of 15mm miniatures. We did not have any rule systems of our own to use for this scale or settings and though we looked at some of the other systems out there, with a view of getting one or two in to try, we decided in the end not to. Not because we only wanted to play our own rules, far from it. I have played over thirty different games that I had no hand in designing. Rather it was due to the fact that we were all knackered (read this as 'beat' if you are American!) and we wanted something easy, something super fast, something generic and something that we could learn in five minutes and get a game in when we had twenty minutes spare. Oh and some of us wanted a system that was open enough for our children or total new comers to the hobby to be able get into and not be scared off by. I drafted up the original concepts and soon we were lasering, lightening bolting and glorifying ourselves with a lot of satisfaction. Over time this original draft was tinkered with and other variants produced for other settings and scales until back in May 2010 it was suggested to me that we might want to let others in on this 'secret' engine that our own lads were using for just about anything that wasn't Flintloque, Firefight 2.0 or Alien Squad Leader 2.0. I agreed and here we are.

The USE ME game system. You will need some miniatures, some terrain and a few six sided dice (D6's) to play the game. This is not much and indeed most of the time everything in play needs only 1D6 roll to make a decision. In the game all miniatures and vehicles are de-marked into of CHARACTERS (from Infantry to Vehicles, to Flyers and everything else) and these into TYPES which allow you to create anything you want in science fiction with a few tables of TYPES with points costs attached.

The Turn Sequence of the game follows a simple path of firstly the Initiative Phase where all players roll 1D6 and the highest roll wins the initiative for the turn (important later on!). Then the main part of the turn, the In Play Phase where all characters in the game are activated not by the side upon which they fight but by their Elan Rating. This means better troops and vehicles move and fight before poorer quality troops and vehicles and within each Elan banding from 6 to 1 activation begins with the initiative holding player. When activated each character can choose TWO actions, these include move, ranged fire, melee, hunker down, special action, unique action. The character may choose two different actions OR the same one twice with a modifier; very flexible in battle. Ranged fire and melee are based on opposed single D6 rolls with modifiers for troop type and weapon ratings. This super fast system results in targets being Killed, Struck or Winged by attacks. Killed removes them from play while the other two results negatively effect their further performance in the game. The hunker down action allows characters to take cover against attack while special actions cover those things detailed in the USE ME Advanced Rules and unique actions are created when needed for a scenario.

In small games of USE ME every character acts on its own, this is a skirmish, but in larger games a simple mechanic allows you to combine three to ten characters into one SQUAD which then acts under its leader in play. All actions for squads are no more complex than for single characters. In this fashion you can go from ten miniatures a side to one hundred in ten squads and have a battle that takes only a fraction more time to play.

The USE ME advanced rules. The core game is easy to grasp and provides what is needed for play but we have also included some extra material for players to use if they so wish. These are covered firstly in the Off Table Action Phase and cover long range artillery support, high level air support and orbital support too. They also cover the insertion of drop troops on to the table. Secondly a page of Special Actions are given which for an additional cost you can apply to your chosen characters. Energy Shields, Auto Repair, Sniper and Hero class are all there to make the character a bit more resilient in play.

After the USE ME game finishes. Most of the time you will want to play a quick game, cause some carnage and send a lot of little metal men to their dooms. But it need not be the end if you want to carry on. USE ME has mechanics in it for updating your Force Roster (with your troops on it from the game just finished) to see what happened to those characters who were Struck or Winged in play to see if they recover in time for the next encounter. This makes rolling those dice nail biting and really important for the next scenario. Plus you can make a second lot of rolls for any characters Killed in play to see if a slim chance of them rejoining your forces for the next game. A simple system for linking games together follows and then a page containing narrative approaches to forming a whole campaign and ideas of how to do it. The end of the game on the table is just the start.

Playing USE ME on your Own. In the last few years the importance of solo play wargaming has grown into being a central tenant of many game systems. With this in mind, especially for this game which is fast and quick to play, we decided to import and adapt the excellent solo bolt on mechanics from Flintloque 3rd edition published by Alternative Armies. This solo play bolt on allows you to play as the attacker or defender with ratings for Aggressive, Neutral or Defensive opponents combined with simple guides to the sorts of behaviour that any character type will adopt when attacked or making an attack. This adds up to a game where playing solo is easy and fun no matter what kind of mission you have in mind.

The Endless Settings of USE ME. One of the core ideas for this game system was to make it capable of carrying out skirmishes, battles and campaigns in ANY science fiction or near future setting allowing players to import any and all of their own ideas or those from Books, Television or Film into play. The character types table allows you to set your miniatures, your ideas, your setting to the game with little trouble. Just choose the Elan Rating, the Weapons, the Movement rates etc for each of your miniatures and vehicles and fill out a force roster with their names and statistics; as simple as that. Vast future cities, interstellar wars, post apocalyptic nightmares and all else between USE ME can do them all.

USE ME is a pocket rule system that does not pretend to be anything else. Its fast, its fun and its affordable. With many rule systems these days taking themselves far too seriously and with some being priced at an amount that makes purchasing them a long term goal for most of us USE ME gives you what it promises and in a format that will make you smile. Try it, you might want to USE ME yourself!



USE ME contains a lot of material in its little pages, enough for some cracking single games, linked games, campaigns and even solo play too.

Here is a run down of just what you get in the booklet.

Frontis Page Introduction & Contents What you Need to Play The USE ME Rules pg The USE ME Advanced Rules Character Types and Costs Tables Miniatures and Templates Force Rosters After and Between Games Linked Games and Campaigns USE ME Solo Play add on HOF Miniature Range Listing Laserburn Range Listing Free Resources Listing and Code


The USE ME 15mm Science Fiction rules can be used with any suitable range of 15mm scale miniatures however we recommend that you look at our own science fiction ranges. These include the HOF 15mm Science fiction range of more than sixty packs of high quality miniatures and the classic Laserburn range which features over one hundred different humans, aliens and vehicles.


When you purchase a copy of USE ME 15mm Science Fiction from you get access to two brilliant promotions. Here are the details.

Firstly this booklet qualifies for our specially discount MAGAZINE postage rate world wide. If you order only this booklet (no other books or miniatures) then you can select magazine for your shipping region and pay only £1.00 postage (UK and Europe) or £2.50 (USA and ROW). All non UK orders are by airmail too! Secondly when the booklet is in your hands turn to its back page and your can gain access to the following. Firstly an email to get a free folder of resources in PDF form for the game (Force Roster, Templates, Counters, Sample Scenario and Force Lists). Secondly a promotional code to use on the website which will get you not only 5% off your next order from us but also included in that order will be a free casting of the Zidhe soldier pictured on the booklet cover (worth £0.35).

How is that for value on a rule system priced at only £3.50! Get your copy today!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

28mm High Fantasy - Legions of the Dead

Brains...want fresh Brains!

Well that's enough about my own burnout for today at least ( joke!) but this week at Alternative Armies its all about the Undead with codes released into the High Fantasy range which is excellent for players of DarkeStorme and all other 28mm scale fantasy systems.

Legions of the Dead

VNT10 Zombies.
A great pack of useful poses to build up a horde of the living dead.

Above is code VNT11 Zombies II.
A second pack of the shambling dead which adds even more poses to your legions.

The Eternal Guard code VNT12.

An Undead Mage, Skeletal Champion and Zombie standard and musician

VNT13 Skeletal Warriors.

The core of any warband or battle unit of skeletons.

VNT14 Skeleton Archers.

Put some extra holes in the enemy with these bone bowcasters!

VNT15 Skeleton Polearms.

Spears, Axes and attitude; these lads have them all!

VNT16 Skeleton Command.

Perfect for leading any group of the above miniatures into battle.

All of these packs are £8.00 (for five) or £6.00 (for four) or just £1.75 each because of course with this range you can choose to buy the whole pack or any amount of any of the poses from it; total flexibility (unlike the Undead!) for you to choose from. All the miniatures are supplied with a plastic round base included.

Thanks for reading!


The Dead Walk - Latest Painted Miniatures!

Hello Barkers,

Just out now on the Alternative Armies website are the latest additions to the Pro-Painted ranges in 28mm scale High Fantasy miniatures. For use with DarkeStorme or with any other fantasy wargame or roleplay system these miniatures are excellent value and really useful.

This time is the turn of the Zombies...arrgh, moan, shuffle...bite!

Above you can see two sets of Zombies in classic poses, shuffling, moaning and ready for endless war. Also the bottom image shows an Eternal Guard command set which has an Undead Mage, a Skeletal Champion and Zombie command figures. Very useful sets these.

Each of these packs can be bought as a complete set or you can select any miniature from them and order it as a single or in any amount you wish. At only £4.00 each or five for £18.00 they are super (the price includes not only the metal casting at £1.75 but also the plastic base and the paint job and the sculpted basing effect too!) and I am considering a warband for DarkeStorme this month as I have little time for painting at present.

CLICK HERE to go to the page and check them out.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 13 September 2010

USE ME 15mm Sci-Fi System – Released Later this week

Hello Barkers,

Latest intel from just in this Monday morning is that the USE ME game engine series will be beginning with the following title released later this very week.

UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction
(£3.50, A6 Format, 32pp, Colour Covers, IBSN + Barcode)

There are many systems on the market for 15mm science fiction wargames all with a lot to offer but this little fellow offers you something that is rare these days. That is a fun, fast, easy system which is totally generic. In a size that will fit in your pocket, at a price which is extremely affordable. Not only rules for the game but also linkage mechanics and full campaign mechanics too.

Look to THIS posting from back in July here on the BI Blog for more on the origins of USE ME.

Using only 1D6 and capable of fielding any troops the engine in this game is very robust and suitable for 8-80 year olds, but its mainly aimed at gamers who want to play anything from a skirmish with ten a side to a full battle in 15mm scale in anything from five minutes to an hour.

The book will be going on sale at on Thursday 16th September 2010 and around that time I will be putting up a full posting looking at the contents of the book and some looks at pages along with telling you just what you will get from this pocket sized fighter.

Thanks for Reading!


Friday, 10 September 2010

The Whyte Revolt - Part Two

Hello All,

Today sees the second part of the brilliant free Whyte Revolt arc for Flintloque right here on the blog.

You can navigate to it by clicking on the page link called Whyte Revolt at the top of the blog or by clicking HERE.

The second part of the adventure arc is a scenario, a scenario which sees the newly created whytes trying to escape from their prison and out into the snowy vastness of the Witchlands. Will they succeed or will the Vampyre and his minions sent to stop them succeed?

Enjoy the second part and post any comments you might have here.



Friday, 3 September 2010

The Laying on of Walls

Hello Barkers,

As I have some time at the moment (with other company business keeping me in late this evening) I thought I would share something that is on my desk which has been on the go for several months without getting very far!

Those of you with good taste who play Flintloque will already have a copy of the new Grapeshotte 3rd edition book, you can find details HERE if you do not, and you will see in it that the subject of sieges is covered. This allows your section of characters to take part in, among other things, breaches, walls, towers, artillery and of course mines.

I have been wanting to put on a reasonable sized two or three player game set in the shadow of the wall of a mighty fortress in Catalucia, perhaps of Badjobz itself. To do this I need some miniatures and characters along with a scenario. I have these. But I also need some fortifictions.

The kind I have in mind will result in something like this....

So to go about fashioning my scenario (which may end up in Barking Irons magazine or even as the demo game at Salute 2011!) I need some walls and other parts of a fortification.

The typical fortification looked like this during the Napoleonic wars....

As you can see the walls are flat faced, tall and thick as well as being made of stone. This presents quite a challenge in 28mm scale for any wargamer as the resultant scenics to depict it on the table can be really heavy or simply bespoke which though impressive makes changing their use rather difficult. So I thought of a little hobby that I personally have had over the years and that is paper modelling.

Mike White (rules author of Flintloque 3rd edition) is a fan of paper modelling for vehicles and such in 28mm scale while I prefer to use it for items that are too tough or time consuming to make from white metal or sometimes even resin or foam...i.e buildings.

So I looked about for what could be had by way of fortress walls, towers and such from the jolly old internet and I round some files that suit the purpose very well indeed. See below...

These parts are from heavy paperstock and in 28mm scale so they stand about a foot tall which is perfect. I think I need about five sections of wall, three towers and perhaps a gatehouse if the scenario demands it. The paper models can be had for free from the internet, let me know if you would like the web address for them.

I have a cracking set of Joccian Engineers that are just crying out to undermine this wall and reduce it to 'mache' (I mean rubble of course!). The set can be seen HERE.

If you lot are interested I can certainly let you all know how its going when I have more time to work on it.


Lesser Goblins now in 28mm High Fantasy range

Hello Barkers,

Its been a wait of two weeks for some of us but the brilliant KC1 Lesser Goblins pack is now on the Alternative Armies website and is out to buy! Click on the image above to make it larger.

The pack contains eleven little goblinoids armed with a mix of sword, sword and shield or spear and what is great is that there is a whole host of different poses meaning almost all of them are different! Each stands approx 12mm in height making them knee height on the fearsome Mountain Orcs in pack code KC2.

These miniatures have been off the market for many years and are fondly remembered by a lot of wargamers who have been customers of Alternative Armies since the 1990's.

Your Orcish army needs a horde of these little blighters as fodder for Elven or Human troops and at only £6.00 a pack they are super value.

You can see them HERE.



Painted Releases from Alternative Armies

Hello Barkers,

Its friday once more and this time we have a couple of postings but first up is the second lot of pro-painted fantasy releases in 28mm scale from Alternative Armies. Its a real treat this time as we can see some of the last lot of 28mm fantasy releases now as finished miniatures for use right onto the table out of the box they come in!

As always you can learn more on the Alternative Armies website by clicking HERE and then browsing the sub-sections by racial type.

Below are images, click on them to make them larger along with the codes and titles. At an average of only £4.00 per miniature (that includes not only the casting itself but also the painting, the base and the sculpted basing effect as well) these are superb value and adorn my own gaming table at home (three small children prevent much painting!).

As before you can buy the whole pack or select singles in any quantity from it. This is very useful as it allows you (or me in this case) to get one pack of 95519 Mountain Orcs and then to add eight more mixed of the Sword and Spear armed warriors in that code to make up a full warband for DarkeStorme.

95522 Orc Artillery (3)

95519 Mountain Orcs (6)

KC2 Mountain Orcs (3)

KC1 Lesser Goblins (11)

Thanks for looking.


Introducing a new Barking Irons writer

Hello Everyone,

The next issue of the Barking Irons magazine (BI No 3) will see the first article in print written by Mr Gregory Rumbles of Nevada, USA. He joins our esteemed ranks with some science fiction missions for Firefight 2.0, Alternative Armies 28mm system set in the Ion Age.

With a real feel for the mechanics of the unique Firefight 2.0 game Mr Rumbles has beaten several other contributors into print for the game with a series of loosely linked missions set in the streets of Zone 17 on wartorn Bosworth IV. Each of the missions can be played on its own or linked up into a campaign.

Each of Greg's missions features a moral or political choice to be made by the players which sets these missions apart from the more standard fare already out for Firefight 2.0. Will squads switch sides, can buildings be demolished in play, are the vaults of future banks secure? All this and more.

So look out for 'Check Point Charles' in the next issue of the magazine!