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Friday, 29 October 2010

SHM 15mm Cyborg Enslavers at

Hello Everyone,

In this second posting about the first nine miniatures in the SHM 15mm range we are looking at the brand new Cyborg Enslavers.  These machine filled humans are perfect for the Cyborg Enslavers in Alien Squad Leader 2.0 or as foes in your games of USE ME 15mm Science Fiction.

Half man and half machine these drones do the bidding of the machine masters, the queen of the hive, the controller of the souless cybermind....
SHM Cyborg Enslavers - Group Picture
There are several codes for these miniatures and each can be bought as singles HERE priced at £0.35 each.

Here are some single images of the miniatures. 

SHM03 Cyborg Enslaver

SHM04 Cyborg Enslaver

SHM05 Cyborg Enslaver

SHM06 Cyborg Enslaver in Power Armour

SHM07 Cyborg Enslaver with Support Weapon

These designs are by Steve Hazuka and were painted by Mark Taylor.
Thanks for reading,


SHM 15mm Sci-Fi Releases at

Hello Sci-Fi Fans!

The brand new SHM 15mm Range at has some goodies for fans of 15mm scale science fiction wargaming, for those who play Alien Squad Leader 2.0 or USE ME 15mm Science Fiction.  You can find all of the miniatures in this posting HERE for sale as singles allowing you to tailor your forces to your exact gaming needs.

Here we are going to look at half of the new SHM releases with the other half in another following posting. 

SHM01 Snake Alien with Energy Pistol
SHM02 Human Bounty Hunter with Pistol
SHM08 Young Wilthingian

SHM09 Wilthingian with Heavy Energy Rifle
These miniatures were designed by Steve Hazuka and painted by Mark Taylor.

Thanks for reading!


The SHM 15mm Range Launched at

Hello Everyone!

Latest news from is that the rumoured SHM 15mm Range is now a reality with the first nine miniatures now online in their own section of that great website for wargamers.  What is the SHM range you ask, well let me tell you.

Every now and again an aspiring designer will come along to Alternative Armies or and ask if they can have a commission for some new designs.  Often the answer is no, simply because of resources, schedules and other commitments.  Those who know will realise though that AA and do their best to give new talent a chance and will often commission designs for their ranges knowing the miniatures may not  be best sellers.  This is done to give new talent a chance and to get these novice designers some experience. 

However lately, in 2010, its come to the attention of that something more was needed and this is the SHM range.  ANY aspiring sculptor can send in 'greens' and once enough are collected they will get master molded and assuming all is well they will be released.  This gives designers and their often unusual designs a chance to reach the wider wargame market at no cost to themselves (and net a bag of their miniatures for free too!).

The first nine designs in this range are now online and will be shortly detailed here on the blog.  You can see them all HERE.  Or go directly to and choose the SHM Range button on the left.  Single minatures at £0.35 each or more (if larger or more complex).  

Have a look, you just might like this new talent which has been given a chance which many other makers simply will not give.

If you are an aspiring designer looking for an opening into the market then drop them a line HERE and ask about the SHM range.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Reviewing Wargames on HOF 15mm Octopods

Hello Everyone,

The excellent fellow Germy over at Reviewing Wargames has put up his fair and independent review of the HOF59 Octopod Command pack from's own HOF science fiction range.
Read this great review HERE.

To see all of the Octopods CLICK HERE.  For single castings CLICK HERE.

We hope to get more material reviewed on this website in the future and if we do then we will let you all know.  Its for a good cause too as all reviewed items are placed on Ebay for auction with the proceeds for charity.  Everyone wins!

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 18 October 2010

Work underway on USE ME 15mm Fantasy system

Hello Barkers,

I can now confirm that work is well underway on the second title in the USE ME (Ultra Simple Engine for Miniature Engagements) series of rule sets.  Following up on the success and acceptance of UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction rules is developing; USE ME 15mm Fantasy.

Based on the core mechanics of the science fiction version of USE ME the Fantasy version will be able to cover Skirmishes, Battles, Campaign and Solo play.  Using a variation on the mechanic to combine single characters up into formations of ten to fifty miniatures.   Also included will be magic, monsters, titans, artillery, healers, heroes and much more.
We promise that this version of the USE ME mechanic will entertain and give fantasy players a very versitile system that can cover anything from five a side fist fights to several hundred a side pitched battles.

More information is to come and internal playtesting is about to begin.
(Above you can see HOT91 Orc Command, view it HERE )

If you are interested in getting more information about this set of rules please email Alexander Scott HERE and ask to be put on the 'USE ME 15mm Fantasy list' and he will do the rest for you.
Thanks for reading.
Gavin Syme.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A Winner for the Notables 3rd Painting Competition!

Hello Barkers,

Last night the week long poll on the Notables Yahoo Group ended with a winner being decided by common vote among group members in the 3rd Notables Flintloque painting competition.

With 60% of the vote entry number five was triumphant and that entry belonged to long time Flintloque fan Mr Tony Harwood from England.  Here is a picture of his winning entry.

Mr Harwood gets the glory, the fame and a prize for his efforts.

A special mention to the other four entrants, well done on your own efforts too.  Better luck next time.

You can read more about the winning entry on Mr Harwood's own blog HERE.



Monday, 11 October 2010

FREE Optional Additional Mechanics for USE ME

Hello Everyone,

I have created four pages of FREE ADDITIONAL MECHANICS for use with UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction game system from  As promised these rules are NOT needed to play but do add something for players who wish to use some of or all of them in their own settings for play.  
Here is a list of all the subjects covered in these four pages;

What Are Optional Additional Mechanics

Close Combat Specialisation

Anti-Vehicle Specialisation

Psionic Specialisation

Characters Firing for Supression in Play

No Additional Mechanic for Firing into Melee

Firing Non Lethal Rounds in USE ME

Civilians and Random Movement in USE ME

Optional Morale System

2D6 Integrated Morale System

The Hive Mind and Non Sentient Aliens in USE ME

Weather Effects in USE ME

Here are hi-rez 300dpi A4 sized images of the pages.  Click on each of them and have a read, you can save them or print them from your computer.

I am open to suggestions for more FREE optional advanced rules for USE ME and already have three more bits of mechanics in development.

You can also discuss and download these pages as a PDF from the Notables Yahoo Group in the USE ME folder in the FILES section.  Join Now!

USE ME, one of the most fun, easiest and affordable rule sets on the market today at only £3.50 for the book.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.

Gavin Syme
(Author of USE ME and editor of Barking Irons magazine)

AAR on USE ME on Kings Sleep Blog!

Hello Everyone,

Latest news in from, another excellent look at the USE ME 15mm science fiction game system, this time on the Kings Sleep wargame blog run by Andrew a fan of the game and 15mm sci-fi in general.

This After Action Report focuses on the use of the USE ME rules onboard a spaceship called the Titan which is mapped out in a one inch square grid. That's right USE ME played as a skirmish on a grid on a spaceship...far out...but did it work?

The answer is yes and in a detailed turn by turn account along with some great pictures of the game Andrew takes us all through the action ending by saying; 'Buy These Rules, they are fun!'.

You can read all about it HERE on the Kings Sleep blog and also checkout the posting before that one for an account of building the Titan spaceship.

Thanks for Reading.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

VOTE NOW in the 3rd Notables Group Competition

Hello Barkers!

This just in from the Notables Yahoo Group. HERE

This is all under message 11118# and details a competition now underway which every member of the group is able to vote once upon. Read on for more!


Hello Notables,

The poll is open and the competition is now underway!

There are five entries, numbered one to five. Go to the Group and then to the FILES section and the top folder named 'AA Notables', inside this folder are five PDF's download them and have a read and a look.

Once you have decided which one is your favourite remember its number and then go to the POLLS part of the group and cast your ONE vote for your chosen entry. Numbers one to five match the entries. The poll closes about 8pm on Tuesday 12th October 2010 and then the results will be posted to the group.

The winner will get fame, celebrity (of the AA kind!) and a prize from my very own swop drawer that contains items many Flintloque gamers would kill for!

Please do your part as a member of this group which takes up a lot of my free time and for these five fellows who have spent weeks getting entries ready and cast your vote. It will only take a couple of minutes.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Notable's Review of USE ME 15mm Sci-fi rules

Hello All,

So that you can all read it I have pasted in here a transcript of Notables Yahoo Group message number 11065#. Its a short review of UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction rules by member Omer Golan-Joel. You can find the original HERE Enjoy! Gavin.

I came across USE ME (which stands for Ultra Simple Engine for Miniature Engagements) ( quite accidentally, while checking the site for new miniature releases. However, as I am quite interested in fast, rules-light games - both RPGs and wargames - USE ME caught my attention, especially since it seemed as a promising candidate for a mean through which I could introduce my spouse (already and RPGer) to tabletop wargaming. Also, the price was right: 6 UK Pounds including shipping, which is about $10; so, even if I would've ended up with a ruleset I didn't like, the risk of purchasing it wasn't THAT significant. So I ordered it.

I've received USE ME three days ago and read through it. This is a tiny, thin booklet of 32 A6 pages, out of them the basic rules take only 14 pages (introduction included!). And the rules are as simple as promised on the site, using only a single d6 for each roll and having a very small number of tables. I've already memorized most of the rules, except for some of the modifiers, but for that I've created a quick-reference sheet which fits nicely on an A5 page.

The rules themselves are very simple and straightforward. Each unit (called "character" in USE ME) has a type (infantry, light vehicle, heavy vehicle or super-heavy vehicle), a weapon type (sidearm, rifle etc) and an ELAN rating. The latter (ELAN) is a simple rating going from 1 (bad) to 6 (great) denoting the character's overall quality - encompassing things such as training, morale and so on into a single digit. ELAN influences a lot of things in USE ME, but first and foremost the order in which units are activated - they are activated from the highest ELAN to the lowest, with initiative (1d6 vs. 1d6) determining which side can activate first at each ELAN rating present on the table. Characters can act twice per activation, and can choose freely between action types for each action (for example, move and shoot, shoot and move, move and melee, shoot twice or move twice), with double actions of the same kind (e.g. shotting twice) incurring a minor penalty. Note that all unit types - infantry to super-heavy tanks - use essentially the same rules in this game, which is a good thing.

Ranged combat is simple as well - the attacker rolls 1d6 (plus or minus modifiers for ELAN, range and so on), and if the modified result is 4 or more the shot hits. If it hits, an opposed roll of 1d6 by the attacker vs. 1d6 by the defender is rolled for penetration, modified by the attacker's weapon and the defending unit's type; units can also be armoured for added protection. Depending on the penetration roll, the target could be unaffected, winged (i.e. lightly wounded), struck (i.e. severely wounded) or killed outright. The two wound types can be marked with markers placed on the table next to the miniature or on its base. Melee uses the same procedure, but hits are automatic (i.e. you only roll for penetration) and the defender gets a free counter-attack.

Characters could also be grouped into squads, which makes their activation, movement and targeting a bit simpler when using a large number of miniatures in the same scenario. Squads have a squad leader, and all movement and targetting uses the squad leader instead of measuring the distances for each and every member of the squad.

Simple rules for off-table support (including ortillery, that is, orbital bombardment of your gaming table!), for multi-battle campaigns, for snipers and drop-troops and for solo play. A simple (two A6 pages) point-buy force-building system is also included.

All in all, USE ME feels quite completely, especially when you consider its size. While I haven't tried it out in play yet, I get the feeling that it lives up to its promise of being a simple, fun, straightforward ruleset for miniature games.

There are a few drawbacks to USE ME, however. First and foremost is the lack of any morale system (though ELAN is said to encompass morale, among other things); characters will fight to the death no matter the odds, which is not very realistic unless you're using armies of robots or bugs. Also, the system seems to be geared towards typical, rifle-centric troop engagements, lacking specific rules for more unique weapons such as flamethrowers, submachineguns, shotguns and man-portable rocket launchers. But the good thing is that, with such a basic, generic framework of a system, you could easily solve this problems with a few very simple house rules (e.g. roll under ELAN on 1d6 for morale).

The rules are advertised as being generic sci-fi, but I think that they could be very easily used for any modern (i.e. 1900+), post-apocalyptic or near-future game. I might even be planning a WWII game using these rules, set in Stalingrad!

The bottom line is that if you're looking for a simple, fast, beer-and-pretzels system to have casual wargaming with, USE ME is a perfect match. If you're looking for something more complex and/or realistic and/or simulationist, you should look elsewhere, such as F.A.D (


USE ME reviews on respected 15mm sci-fi blogs!

Hello Everyone,

At the tail end of this week as the packages containing copies of the most excellent USE ME 15mm Science Fiction game system were being opened and read by players all over the world I was contacted by two great guys concerning reviews of the game on their own blogs.

I love to read independent reviews of game systems by those who know and love their scales and genre's of wargaming. The Orky 15mm sci-fi blog and Basement Gaming Bunker blog are two such places where chaps who know their stuff give an honest and worth reading opinion on my 'baby' as it were.

I would like to share those reviews with all of you. Below are two links to follow for the reviews.

The Orky 15mm SF Blog

Basement Gaming Bunker Blog

If you would like to know more about USE ME then CLICK HERE

Additionally I am well up for doing more additional FREE material for USE ME to add in extra optional elements in play as some are suggesting. Look to the Notables Yahoo Group for this and of course if you want in just apply or email me direct or post in the comments of this posting.

See you at the Front!


Pro-Painted HOTT 2nd Ed 24AP Armies back at

Hello Everyone,

Latest buzz from is that due to customer demand they have put their excellent pro-painted, based and ready to play out of the box HOTT armies back on to the website. Below is the HOTT1003 Orc Warhorde 24AP Army.

These 24AP armies give you all you need to play. All of the white metal miniatures are included in the price as are all of the plasti-card element bases plus the hand painting (all done here in Scotland by Alternative Armies team of experienced lady painters!) and the sculpted scenic basing effect applied to the element bases. Superb value for money, for today's busy wargamer who just wants to play!

There are seventeen armies to choose from including Dwarven, Elvish, Undead, Goblin, Orc, Dragonman, Celtic Myth, Elemental and more.

Below is the link to the page. You can get each army Painted & Based or Unpainted with Bases, click on the army you like and select your chosen finish from the option menu on the page.

HOTT 2nd ED 24AP Armies

With the HOTT Rules now online for free this is the time to get in on this classic and very well respected and popular game system.

Oh, and those of you who are customers of who have vouchers from them in your packages those vouchers ARE valid on painted even bigger saving!

Thanks for reading,


Friday, 1 October 2010

USE ME 15mm sci-fi FREE FILES now on Notables Yahoo Group

Hello Everyone,

The free folder of files for use with UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction rules system from is now on the Notables Yahoo Group for free download any time.

Also I can announce that Alex Scott at has now successfully send out every single request via email for this folder of free files. Email him ( if you wish to get the files via email, asking for 'USE ME free files'.

The zip folder is just over one megabite and contains a lot for you to add to your games;

1. Front and Back covers of the UM001 booklet.
2. What is USE ME?
3. Templates for USE ME Games.
4. Counters for USE ME Games.
5. Blank Force Roster.
6. Example filled in Force Rosters.
7. Free USE ME Scenario for HOF Miniatures.

Get it today and enjoy!

Thanks to all of you from for all your support.