Day two of the recent Stoke Rochford Gaming meet was given over to a Land Ironclads game. Organised by the Italian Stallion, Silvio la Verde, the game used the same terrain mats as the previous day’s Imperial Skies game. The rules were simplified from the original Wessex Games set but still retained the flavour and fast-paced action. Time prevented us from reaching a conclusion to the game, but highlights were an Austrian cavalry charge against British tanks (that’s cavalry on horse, not mechanised !), a Russian front-style slaughtering of many Ottoman infantry by rocket-firing British contraptions and the appearance of a Belgian colonial Ironclad Brigade. Thanks to David Frampton and Silvio for providing most of the hardware on table.
It’s been busy here at Brigade Towers lately, with a rash of shows, contributions to Kickstarter campaigns and trade orders (and I didn’t help the backlog by going away on holiday for a week !). However, we’re up to date on website orders again (Thomas Graves of Columbus, Ohio – please check your emails, we need to contact you about your order for 15mm buildings) and the pre-orders for Crisis are also ready (we’re still happy to take more – they need to be in by Wednesday, please).
Imperial Skies news first, with two stock updates. The good news is that laser-cut acrylic turn rulers are now back in stock again. The not-so-good is that we’ve sold out of the first printing of rulebooks, so we’re waiting on delivery of a new batch – I’m hoping we’ll have some for Crisis but there are no guarantees.
Our remaining new release schedule for the year has been thrown out a little bit with one or two items having to be pushed into the new year. But we still have some new bits this week – quite a few in fact. We’ve added all of the new turret types from the recent Aeronef battleship releases to the website as accessory packs, allowing you to convert or upgrade your models with extra firepower. There are other useful bits such as large battleship masts and funnels as well for further conversions or scratchbuilding. There are twelve packs in all at the same price of just £1.50 each.
The picture below shows as an example the various parts of the Vanguard that are now available:
VAN-7006 – Battleship Masts (x8) – £1.50 VAN-7012 – British Medium Turrets (x12) – £1.50 VAN-7013 – British Large Barbettes (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7014 – British Battleship Funnels (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7034 – German Large Rounded Twin Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7035 – German Large Rounded Single Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7036 – German Small Rounded Twin Turrets (x16) – £1.50 VAN-7037 – German Small Rounded Single Turrets (x16) – £1.50 VAN-7038 – German Large Battleship Funnels (x6) – £1.50 VAN-7046 – French Secondary Turrets (x15) – £1.50 VAN-7055 – Russian Heavy Twin Battleship Turrets (x10) – £1.50 VAN-7056 – Russian Heavy Single Battleship Turrets (x10) – £1.50
The weekend just past saw another gathering of the Stoke Rochford gamers. These take place (as the name suggests) at Stoke Rochford Hall in Lincolnshire, a hotel set in a Victorian mansion just south of Grantham.
Saturday’s gaming saw a large Imperial Skies action organised by the author, Robin Fitton. Three allied forces (Italian, British and the US Mediterranean fleets) took on the Central Powers of Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Turks over the eastern coast of the Med.
I won’t go into a detailed AAR, but in a nutshell the Italians got caught in a vice between the Teutonic might of the Austrians and Germans and rapidly perished in a welter of gunfire and magazine explosions. On the northern flank the Turks were stuck in a similar position between the British and US fleets, but through judicious playing of command points to keep the initiative they fought on, destroying the might of the British and then turning on the US forces who were suddenly distracted by the arrival of the Germans from the South. By the time we called a halt, the result was in the balance, but Robin adjudicated that although the Central Powers had the edge in combat, the allies had stuck to their objectives better and thus awarded them a minor victory.
Action over, we retired to dinner and a fine bottle of Chocolate Rum (thanks, Robyn !).
I’m sure everyone remembers the Paul Hardcastle song from the 80s (youtube link below), but 19 also happens to be the number of houses in our new 2mm scale Vietnamese Village pack. The houses are all on stilts and raised platforms, and the set also includes a village longhouse and, just for good measure, a rather splendid Buddhist pagoda.
And just in case you love the smell of napalm in the morning, we also have a Vietnam firebase with a mix of bunkers, gun positions and admin buildings plus a wooden watchtower.
As a side note, we’re currently experiencing some odd issues with our website – on a small number of orders it’s failing to correctly calculate the postage costs (unfortunately I can’t recreate it, which is making it tricky to fix). So in these cases we’re having to send PayPal invoices to cover the additional shipping costs, which is a bit of a pain but will have to do until I can fix it. One common thread is that it seems to be occurring with people who are previous customers, so it could be a caching issue (ie an old file which has been saved by your browser is being used). So it might be worth refreshing our website before you place an order – that might help.
Back from my break, today’s first task is to tackle the order backlog which has built up while I’ve been away. Hopefully this should be cleared within a week or so.
I’ve been in Menorca, which has a much richer military history than I realised. Of special interest are the network of defensive towers, very similar to Martello towers, dotted around the coast. There are fourteen in all (plus one other which has been incorporated into a larger fortress). Expect to see at least some of these, plus other buildings that I’ve spotted which have given me ideas, popping up in the Small Scale Scenery range. In fact, it seems that Menorca is a favoured spot for Inspiration Particles, as I’m returning with a head (and notebook) full of ideas, some of which will come to fruition, others will be consigned to the ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ dustbin.
In other matters, we seem to have a small pocket of missing/undelivered orders, including some Imperial Skies ones. At first glance some of these appear to be from a large batch which was posted on the same day – I’ll be doing some investigating when I get a chance. In the meantime, if anyone has not received an order or their Imperial Skies pledge, please either e-mail us or in the case of Imperial Skies, you can contact Robin via the KS page and he’ll pass it onto me.
We have one more show to go this year – Crisis in Antwerp on November 5th – so now seems like a good time to post a reminder about pre-orders. You can select the Collect in Person option on our website, then create your order as normal in the shopping cart, pay for it by PayPal or credit card, but without any postage charges. Alternatively, you can just e-mail us a list and pay by cash on the day. Because of geographical restrictions on our credit card machine, I cannot take card payments at Crisis, just cash (sterling or euros).
Right-o, off to the workshop to fire up the forges…
Following on from our initial release of 6mm Hammer’s Slammers’ vehicles, we have some additional support vehicles released today. The one that gets nearest to the frontline is the mortar version of the A21 jeep, diminutive but with plenty of indirect firepower.
Further behind the lines you’ll find the cargo and ambulance variants of the M9 combat car. The cargo version in particular is also used by other mercenary units as a transport hauler or as a gun tractor towing anti-tank weapons.
The Lightning Division are a mechanized unit of brigade strength. They are veteran troops originally from Mittel Europa on Old Earth and – in the late 330s TW – they decided to upgrade the motive power sources and transmission systems of their vehicles.
The M2A7 Blower employed by the Lightning Division from 349TW onwards is based on the M2A4F version, the command tank used by Hammer’s Regiment. This is equipped with a 22cm, discarding-sabot rail-gun and the rear of the turret bulge mounts a small turret with a 1cm gatling rail-gun.
Infantry are carried in up-armoured M9 Command Car, the M9A14 Crew Car. This has frontal reinforcement compared to a standard Command Car and has two roof mounted 1cm gatling rail-gun turrets mounted offset so that they can both fire forwards and backwards with little impedance.
The Lightning Division also use the standard A21 hover jeep, and we have a pack available with four each of the tank, crew car and jeep, plus four sprues of infantry figures.
The Brigadieress and I are off for a short break for a few days starting today (in fact we’ll be in mid-air when this is posted). It’s a bit of a last minute decision, but it’s the only time that we can squeeze in a break between shows. I’ve literally chucked everything out of the van from SELWG yesterday, grabbed a suitcase and a couple of hours’ sleep, then headed off to Gatwick. All orders up to the end of Thursday last week have been cleared, but anything placed since then is going to be delayed a little, although Phil will try to clear some while I’m gone. I may also not be responsive to emails for a week or so either.
I have left a couple of scheduled blog posts for your entertainment, including a new release announcement for Friday.
Photo by Ken Fielding/http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding, used under a Creative Commons license.