Wednesday 23 December 2015

Free Shipping Fantasy Monsters now at

We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. While the weather outside may well be frightful we have something that will warm the inner wargamer in you. Live now and into January 2016 we have a new page on our website called 'Free Shipping Products' and everything you find on that page is shipped for FREE anywhere in the world. Selected codes which if you buy one its shipped free anywhere, if you buy three or five or ten or more its shipped free anywhere. If you combine items on the page then they will all be shipped free anywhere. However if you add any item not on that page you will pay our standard shipping as usual. This is a great deal and if it proves popular we may well keep it going in the new year. Go HERE

So what do we have for you? The big four! That is the big four 15mm scale white metal fantasy monsters in our HOT 15mm Fantasy Range. These are: 

HOT35 The Hydra 
Seven headed serpentine behemoth that terrorised Lerna in the ancient days of Greek Heroes. Evil to the core! This pack contains one 15mm scale monster kit cast in high quality white metal. Assembled from three pieces and standing about 65mm tall the Hydra is a monster to be proud of. One of our most popular codes for near two decades it has now been re-mastered and re-molded. 10.00GBP each or buy three and save 10%. Go HERE

HOT100 The Ghoul Dragon 
"Between the realms of life and of death there are places in which the carrion lords of the damned reside. Of these Attor the Ghoul Dragon is most deadly...."Our one hundredth code in the HOT Range of 15mm scale Fantasy Miniatures we present The Ghoul Dragon. This gaunt and fearsome creature is made of white metal and supplied in three pieces. Perfect for use in any generic or specific fantasy setting as an Undead monster or a vicious foe as part of an army aligned to evil. But of course with a different paint scheme it could also be a Dark Elvish creature or anything else you choose. Stands about 65mm tall. 10.00GBP each or buy three and save 10%. Go HERE.

 HOT94 The Jabberwock 
Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Inspired by Lewis Carroll's classic and well loved poem from 1872 this white metal 15mm scale monster is supplied in six pieces which require assembly. Perfect for use in any generic or specific fantasy setting as a forest dwelling monster or as part of an army aligned to evil or chaos. Stands about 55mm tall. Terrify your foes! 10.00GBP each or buy three and save 10%. Go HERE

 P11 Old English Dragon 
A tremendous white metal monster equally at home in 28mm or 15mm scale and Alternative Armies has now put it back in to production. Its on as a Titanic Monster or Grand Dragon at our request as it is ideal for a grand dragon in 15mm scale! A classic 1980's monster is brilliant even by today's standards. Full of detail and expression it is a creature of rage and power. It is composed of five white metal parts these being the body, a foot, the tail and two wings which are straight forward to assemble. Once assembled the Dragons stands about 55m tall, 100mm or so across and about 110mm long including the tail. Suitable for any fantasy campaign and rules system and it belongs with you if you collect Dragons as well. 20.00GBP each or buy three and save 10%. Go HERE

We hope you enjoy this new free postage products promotion (so many 'p' to say out loud eh!) and remember the Seasonal Festive Range is online now only until 11th January when they will be put away until next winter. Three different awesome and unique packs of miniature and a sample pack too. Evil Snowmen, Killer Xmas Trees and the new Abominable Snow Monsters that come with a separate sprue of Christmas Hats! Go HERE

As we say here in Scotland have yourselves a Happy Hogmanay and a Grand New Year! 


Tuesday 15 December 2015

Abominable Weather a free Scenario for USEME

Hello USEME fans!

The festive range is back online until early January and that means a new USEME scenario adding to the stable of the Terminus Arc, Branch Face and Cold Thing.  We present the third themed winter scenario.

Abominable Weather -  A scenario for two players or solo play.  Can a back up team of Malamut Mercenaries make it across the snow plain to the Hegemony Station following their buddies while a group of invincible bobble hat sporting Snow Monsters try to eat them?

CLICK HERE to download the scenario from our dropbox account for free as a PDF to your computer or device.  Its easy and great fun and will only need a handful of miniatures some dice and about half an hour of your time.  Excellent!

You can find the festive range on our Deals and Offers page until early January 2016.  You can find the whole USEME System on its own page.  We used UM001 USEME 15mm Science Fiction for this scenario.  You can also find it as a paid for download on our blog HERE for 5.00USD.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday 10 December 2015

Sam Croes customised 15mm SFA Winter Troopers

Festive Fun month continues with a great little blog article now.

Next week we will be presenting the annual free USEME scenario for winter 2015 titled 'Abominable Weather' a follow up to last years Branch Face and the year before Cold Thing both of which can be found on the links. The scenario will make use of the new SN03 Abominable Snow Monsters miniatures added to the seasonal range this month alongside the Evil Snowmen and Killer Xmas Trees. 

But before that I want to introduce you to the brave lads and lassies of Security Force Alpha (SFA) our generic near future packs in the HOF range but with a difference... 

Our lead designer Sam Croes is a wizard of the green stuff and many other things too. He has an extensive collection of miniatures of his own many of which have been 'tweaked' by his hand into unique poses or looks. His own collection of SFA miniatures is no different. These images show you his Winter Troopers converted from standard Security Force Alpha miniatures. 

Below are the larger images but as you can see the collection of Winter SFA Troopers is composed of seven different unique miniatures. The command poses are all converted from HOF95 SFA Command. An officer with re-breather for extreme cold climate as well as fur lined uniform and a communications trooper with the sat dish augmented with long ariel gear to manage the extreme conditions. Lastly a sniper with additional fur lining and a long cloak along with bigger scope on his rifle. The trooper poses are taken from HOF96, HOF97 and HOF99 and are armed with sub-machine guns and large bore combat shotgun. The normal uniform has been made better for artic weather by the addition of extra linings and fur trimming as well as a re-breather supplying warmed pre-warmed air. Some of the troopers have weather proofed fabric packs on their backs allowing them to carry survival equipment and extra food. 

We hope you liked this quick look at these converted miniatures. The Security Force Alpha range contains seventeen different packs and more than thirty poses and is well suited to near future, present day, post apocalypse and many more settings. Designed by Elton Waters (Infantry and Skimmer) and Sam Croes (Turret and Charger) the SFA sits well in your collection as the faceless enforcers of your will! 

Have a good festive time and look out for the scenario soon. 

Thanks for Reading. 


Friday 4 December 2015

Tabletop 15mm Balrog and Troll re-molded and released on offer!

We have re-molded and now make offers on a pair of classic 15mm scale monster in the Tabletop Games range of miniatures.  A fiery classically styled Balrog and also in the early 1980's style a Troll. Great for your skirmish and battle games and until the end of the month they are 25% off regular prices.  Go HERE or read on for more details.

526 The Balrog
Balrogs are tall and menacing with the ability to shroud themselves in fire, darkness, and shadow. They are armed with fiery weapon. They cannot not be readily vanquished and only dragons rival their capacity for ferocity and destruction. This code contains one large white metal 15mm scale monster.  This miniature is about 35mm tall and supplied in two parts the body and the wings.  Great for commanding your evil army or acting as a behemoth.  Supplied unpainted and without a base. Other miniature is 15mm tall and shown for scale only and not supplied.  Purchase one pack or three packs with a saving.  Price 5.00GBP.

531 TTF Trolls
The Tabletop Fantasy Troll is styled from the 1980's idea of a creature of the rivers and mountains. A vicious hunter and eater of Men.  This code contains two identical white metal 15mm scale monsters. The miniatures are about 24mm tall.  Good as Behemoths or thugs in your army.  Supplied unpainted and without a base.  Other miniature is 15mm tall and shown for scale only and not supplied. Purchase one pack or three packs with a saving.  Price 4.00GBP.

These are our last releases for 2015 and from here we will only have a free scenario and modelling articles online for you to read.  We will continue shipping out orders as normal until the middle of the month.  From there look out for more information.

If you have not seen our Festive Range of 15mm miniatures then they are online now and only until 11th January 2016 when they will be withdrawn from releases until the end of next year.  Fun and funky!  Go HERE.  I recommend the sample pack.  Its got a saving and I got mine today!

Thanks for Reading


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Snow Monsters, Killer Xmas Trees and Evil Snowmen at

South Pole, American Hegemony Station, Deep Winter 2082......

“We have had no contact from Alpha Response Teams in twenty four hours its our job to go in and make sure AH Base is functional and to find out what has happened.  Malmute Executive Response ain't paying us by the hour so lets get this done.  Once the chopper is on the snow get out and secure the immediate area.  There is little chance of any welcoming committee so keep your safeties on.  Don't want to hole a civvie now do you.  After all it ain't like they got claws!”

Its the start of a month plus of festive season fun for and as the little story above tells you its going to be a little mad too just like last two years.  Our Deals and Offers page once more plays host to a seasonal range of miniatures in 15mm scale that will be around during this next short period of the year only.  We begin today and we end in 11th January 2016 when the SN range is put away until next time.  You have a month or so to get these miniatures until next winter.  We have already put up all our releases for the month including these but we will be giving you a USEME Scenario nearer the big day and an article on Sam Croes collection of customised SFA Troopers that feature in the scenario.  So if you like the spirit of Christmas and of Wargaming and you have fun in your heart read on!

Two years ago we introduced our seasonal range of festive miniatures with their first code SN01 Evil Snowmen and they went down a treat and we promised that we would expand the range by another code every time the cold came back.  So we did.  Last time we brought in the SN02 Killer Xmas Trees and they were pretty mad.  This time we have expanded again with two hulking brutes!  The brand new code SN03 Abominable Snow Monsters which come with a separate sprue of little hats you can put on or leave off.  We also have a collection code giving you one of everything and saving 10%.  Ruddy Good Fun! Throw some Snow Balls!  Go HERE or read on.

SN2015 Seasonal Fun Sampler Pack – Save 10%   10.30GBP
This collection code gives you one of every pose in the 2015 SN Festive 15mm Range.  The pack contains five SN01 Evil Snowmen in five poses, three SN02 Killer Xmas Trees in three poses and two SN03 Abominable Snow Monsters in two different poses plus a sprue of Christmas hats.  Unique and fun with a lot of uses from a festive themed army to a post apocalypse campaign, arctic warfare or even science fiction and more you can get into this range here.  Supplied Unpainted and without Bases.  This collected code saves you 10% off single purchases.  Go HERE.

SN01 Evil Snowmen - 5 Magic Creatures  2.50GBP
This code contains five different 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  Our not so friendly snowmen suitable for any festive themed scenario or army.  Each of them stands about 10mm tall and poses are hat with hatchet, top hat and candy cane, wool hat and rifle, saucepan and scarf, severed head and knife. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases.

SN01VB Evil Snowmen Horde - 20 Magic Creatures  9.00GBP
This code contains twenty 15mm scale white metal miniatures taken from five different poses.  Our not so friendly snowmen suitable for any festive themed scenario or army.  Each of them stands about 10mm tall and poses are hat with hatchet, top hat and candy cane, wool hat and rifle, saucepan and scarf, severed head and knife. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases.  This bumper value pack saves you 10% off list price! Go HERE.

SN02 Killer Xmas Trees - 5 Magic Creatures  5.00GBP
This code contains five 15mm scale white metal miniatures in three poses.  From one side these approx 22mm tall trees are nice and friendly with sparkly baubles and paper bands adorning them but turn them around and horror they are all teeth and doom!  Unique and fun with a lot of uses from a festive themed army to a post apocalypse campaign and more these monsters will get your opponent's attention for sure.  They go great with our Evil Snowmen. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases.

SN02VB Killer Xmas Tree Forest - 10 Magic Creatures  9.00GBP
This code contains ten 15mm scale white metal miniatures in three poses.  From one side these approx 22mm tall trees are nice and friendly with sparkly baubles and paper bands adorning them but turn them around and horror they are all teeth and doom! They go great with our Evil Snowmen. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases.  This bumper value pack saves you 10% off list price! Go HERE.

SN03 Abominable Snow Monsters – 2 Magic Creatures  6.00GBP
This code contains two 15mm scale white metal miniatures in two poses.  These are both one piece and come with a separate sprue of two Christmas Hats which may be mounted on the miniatures or left off. Abominable Snow Monsters approx 35mm tall these creatures are covered in fur and have sharp claws and even sharper teeth. Unique and fun with a lot of uses from a festive themed army to a post apocalypse campaign, arctic warfare or even science fiction and more these beasts will add some scare to your games.  They go great with our Evil Snowmen and Killer Xmas Trees. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases. 

SN03 Abominable Snow Monster Gathering – 6 Magic Creatures  16.20GBP
This code contains six 15mm scale white metal miniatures in two poses.  These are all one piece and come with three separate sprues of two Christmas Hats each which may be mounted on the miniatures or left off. Abominable Snow Monsters approx 35mm tall these creatures are covered in fur and have sharp claws and even sharper teeth. Unique and fun with a lot of uses from a festive themed army to a post apocalypse campaign, arctic warfare or even science fiction and more these beasts will add some scare to your games.  They go great with our Evil Snowmen and Killer Xmas Trees. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases. This bumper value pack saves you 10% off list price! Go HERE.

Few companies I think put as much effort into customer service as Alternative Armies does (our sister to and The Ion Age) and while the other two brands do their own fun things here at we have the festive range.  I hope you enjoy it and we will return with an article and scenario to follow up on Branch Face later this month.  All of our releases for this month are already on our website, the last for 2015.

Merry Festive Time!

Thanks for Reading.


Friday 27 November 2015

Free Worldwide Shipping and Offers until 1st December has begun its Black Friday Weekend offers and promotions. From now, over the weekend, until the early morning of 1st December 2016 GMT we are offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING on all orders anywhere (no limit per customer) on orders over 10.00GBP product value. This applies to all of our ranges, all of our books, miniatures and anything else we sell. Just add items to your cart and proceed to checkout and the website will automatically do the rest. Go HERE and explore. Its time to expand your forces for the winter campaign season! If you wish to combine up orders from our other websites (we operate Alternative Armies, and The Ion Age) then you can do so. Email us on with a list of what you would like and we will send you a paypal invoice saving you the shipping! 

We have a tremendous range of miniatures to offer you. If you are a wargamer who likes Science Fiction then we can offer you Laserburn, Loud Ninja Games, HOF 15mm Science Fiction, Asgard, USEME, Alien Squad Leader as well as SHM 15mm Science Fiction, Star Vikings. We also have 6mm Science Fiction and Fleet Scale Mecha. 

If you are a fantasy wargamer we have HOT 15mm Fantasy, HOTT 24AP Armies, HOB 15mm Fantasy Buildings, Tabletop Classic Fantasy, Sengoku Japanese Fantasy and USEME. 

Historical 15mm wargamers will find Brickdust Napoleonics, Isarus Dark Age, Medus Medieval, Altuos Renaissance (including the new Da Vinci Tank!), Potomac American Civil War and Pony Wars Wild West and USEME. 

We also have a range of Bases, a range of Terrain and Accessories and the range of Ganesha Games printed rule books. 

Lastly we have our Deals and Offers page where there are bundles, reductions, end of lines and more all reduced from list price and our free postage offer applies to EVERYTHING! Thousands of miniatures to choose from. 

Just go to our website HERE and then browse using the top menu to choose your range to view.

Thanks for Reading, 


Thursday 26 November 2015

Terrorclops and Wasteland Buddies released by Loud Ninja Games!

Produced and sold across the world by the Loud Ninja Games range continues to go from strength to strength and now adds two more unique styled codes to the 15mm Wasteland Mutants part of the range.  These are the last releases for LNG in 2015. Following up on the initial two packs of Mutants (RAP014, RAP015) we present the hulking Terrorclopes and the paired up Wasteland Buddies.  If you are a fan of Post Apocalypse or Horror or other genres of wargaming where oddity exists then these miniatures sculpted by Eli Arndt are for you!  Read on or click here to go to our website and to see the range HERE.

RAP028 Terrorclops (1) 5.00GBP
This pack contains one 15mm scale white metal multiple part miniature.  The Terrorclops is a monster, a mutant, a killer and a radiation beast that will give your force some kick.  Thickly muscled with one staring eye and an arm that ends with a bone spear the Terrorclops is covered in bony protrusions and buboes as well as weeping wounds but it is the open ragged toothed maw of its stomach that causes true fear.  This massive mutant will crush you and then eat you!  Cast in white metal and supplied in two pieces this model requires assembly and stands 37mm tall from sole of foot to top of raised arm.  Useful in 28mm scale too.  Go HERE

RAP029 Wasteland Buddies (1) 3.00GBP
This pack contains one 15mm scale white metal miniature.  The Wasteland Buddies are two lifeforms that have teamed up to survive the rad lands and the mutant cannibals that want to make each of them dinner.  Virtually mindless but brutally strong Buster provides the muscle and the motive power wielding a rock tipped club while Mister sits on  his shoulders tiny but smart wearing a mask and holding a long barrel rifle.  On their backs are many packs and items useful for trade and survival.  Cast in white metal and supplied in one piece this model requires no assembly and stands 24mm tall from sole of foot to top of head.  Go HERE

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday 25 November 2015

Far Eastern Corporate Mercenaries army list PDF for Alien Squad Leader (ASQL)

Following up on the excellent essay 'So, Why play Alien Squad Leader?' by Alex Self author of the game system we have another treat for players of ASQL today with a free army template.  This template is given in plain type PDF for easy reference or printing at home or on the screen.  You can download it from our dropbox for free by clicking HERE and you can find Alien Squad Leader on its page at HERE.  Enjoy!

Far Eastern Corporate Mercenaries 
Human mercenary armies belonging to the wealthy clan corporations of the Earth’s far east, where profit is king, and the maintenance of a precarious balance of power within their sphere of influence is the primary motivation of the clan masters. This political world encompasses galaxies, and clans both great and small, who will often consider selling their services to other human, or even alien powers for even a small, calculated advantage. Their dominance has been based on the adherence to a strict hierarchy and cultural code of honour that even their most humble warriors are expected to obey.

This army template is a new one not in the book and its a V2 play test one meaning it can be subject to change but we have found it pretty rugged and ready to be used on your wargaming table.  It was designed around two central ideas those being a new way to fight and motivate an army (which is the basis for all new templates in ASQL) and secondly the Corporate Ashigaru miniatures in the HOF 15mm Science Fiction range.  You can find those HERE on a refined search on our website.

HOF22 Corporate Ashigaru Personalities
This pack contains ten white metal 15mm miniatures human males dressed in cyberpunk neo-japanese armour taken from the following poses.  A Cyber Diamyo with separate back banners, a Standard Bearer, a Communications trooper, a Medic, a signaller or assistant Ashigaru and two poses of dead Corporate Ashigaru.  Every pose is in the pack with additional random extras.  Perfect for commanding your Corporate Ashigaru force in the field.

HOF23 Corporate Ashigaru Troopers II
This pack contains ten white metal 15mm miniatures human males dressed in cyberpunk neo-japanese armour taken from the following poses.  Trooper running with SMG, Trooper with SMG throwing a grenade and Trooper kneeling with SMG.  Every pose is in the pack in fairly equal amounts.  Alongside HOF76 this pack is your core infantry for Corporate Ashigaru.

HOF24 Corporate Ashigaru Support
This pack contains ten white metal 15mm miniatures human males dressed in cyberpunk neo-japanese armour taken from the following poses.  Trooper with shoulder held missile launcher, Trooper with heavy energy weapon, Trooper with mini-gun.  Every pose is in the pack in fairly equal amounts.  Alongside HOF76 and HOF23 this pack is your 'up gunning support' for your Corporate Ashigaru squads. 

HOF25 Corporate Ashigaru Leaders
This pack contains ten white metal 15mm miniatures human males dressed in cyberpunk neo-japanese armour taken from the following poses.  Lesser Officer with Sword and Pistol, Lesser Officer running with sword (separate back banner), Lesser Officer advancing with sword (separate back banner).  Every pose is in the pack in fairly equal amounts.  This pack is your squad leaders for Corporate Ashigaru. 

HOF76 Corporate Ashigaru Troopers
This original pack contains ten white metal 15mm miniatures human males dressed in cyberpunk neo-japanese armour taken from the following poses.  Trooper standing with SMG, Trooper with SMG running and Trooper advancing with SMG.  Every pose is in the pack in fairly equal amounts. Alongside HOF23 this pack is your core infantry for Corporate Ashigaru.

HOFP01 Corporate Ashigaru Platoon
A special pack containing one of every pose we have of the Corporate Ashigaru.  A sampler if you will or the ultimate skirmishing character pack.  A total of nineteen miniatures taken from codes HOF22,HOF23,HOF24,HOF25 and HOF76.  Leaders, Personalities, Troopers, Support Weapons, Casualties.  Save 10% off single miniature purchase.  

Each miniature stands approx 16mm tall from sole of foot to top of head and aside from those with back banners supplied they are all one piece white metal castings.  All designed by Elton Waters.  Every pack can be purchased as a pack or as single miniatures or as 'buy three packs save 10%' on the page.  With the exception of the platoon pack.

Thanks for Reading.


Tuesday 24 November 2015

So Why Play Alien Squad Leader? by Alex Self

It is my great pleasure to introduce an essay written by the author of Alien Squad Leader (ASQL) which gives the author's ideas behind the game system and his hopes for it and for wargamers who love 15mm scale science fiction.  Read on below and you can find ASQL on our website HERE. You can also download this essay as a free PDF from our dropbox account by clicking HERE.  Enjoy! GBS

So, Why Play Alien Squad Leader?
By Alex Self

Why aren’t you playing Alien Squad Leader (ASQL)? I do get concerned that the game is easily dismissed by veteran gamers, but why do I think this? After a casual perusal of the rules, I guess it is easy to notice the core 2D6 game mechanics, the limited classification of weapons and armour, and the generic army templates, and make the assumption that this is a simplified game for beginners, with little to recommend it to the veteran gamer. Or, perhaps you are a wargamer that needs his science fiction battles to be grounded in a strong narrative background with game mechanics that represent plausible outcomes bearing some resemblance to contemporary combat experience, so that your imagined miniature warfare is as realistic as possible? 

Well, I confess, ASQL does indeed have simplified and stylised core rules, with no coherent background or setting that attempts to explain how all the various factions might co-exist within the same universe. Silly and inexplicable combat outcomes are possible! But this is not an oversight. It is a deliberate development of a game that attempts to satisfy some key requirements. Allow me to explain to you what I had in mind when designing the game.

Big Games with Lots of Miniatures
I like playing big battle games. I originally conceived ASQL as the science-fiction equivalent of the large 15mm Ancient and Medieval battles that I played using the DBM rules by Phil Barker and Richard Bodley Scott. They typically involved hundreds of miniatures.  In order to make this work with long-ranged weapons, I had to scale down the numbers to a large-scale skirmish, but I was still thinking in the region of around 100 figures and 3 – 8 vehicles per side, on a standard 6 foot by 4 foot wargames table. It is perfectly possible to play a game of this size with ASQL (a 200 point game) to a satisfactory conclusion within 3 hours. However, to accomplish that, you need streamlined and efficient game mechanics, with minimal reference to the rule book, so that the players can concentrate on manoeuvring their miniature armies and making tactical decisions, not poring over charts and tables.

Incidentally, it is not essential to collect a large army to enjoy ASQL. You can have a perfectly satisfactory game on a 4 foot by 4 foot table using 100 point armies – around 50 figures and 3 vehicles per side. And all within an hour and half.

Tactics over Number Crunching
I have read that a good game allows the players to make many meaningful decisions that give them a chance to influence the outcome of the game by the choices they make. A random factor is required to represent the element of chance, and to provide the excitement of risk, but, on the whole, the choices made available to a player in the game must provide them with the opportunity to win the game by exercising their skill in decision-making, which are, in turn, based on sizing up priorities and probabilities. ASQL provides many such opportunities; which units do you attempt to activate first when your command phase could end (via a failed command test) at any moment? Should you move your units as a group (easier to move, but making a good target) or individually? Should a unit stand and fire at the enemy or seek to out-manoeuvre them (at double speed)? Should your command stands take part in the fighting or keep out of harm’s way? Should you seek to degrade the effectiveness of enemy units or attempt to destroy each enemy unit outright?

ASQL is quick. The basic 2D6 mechanics can be easily understood over the course of a single game, but the cumulative consequences of making many, many, rapid decisions over the course of the game is not.  And here is where the challenge lies. Especially when you consider that each army template includes a combination of special rules and unit composition which defines their unique strengths and weaknesses in the game, and which may limit or diversify their tactical options.

Competition Friendly
ASQL acknowledges the pleasure of a game that is a battle of wits between opponents, rather than emphasising co-operative/group play, or driving a narrative. The timing of decisions is important, as an outcome can have a knock-on effect that can then be exploited by the next action determined by the active player. Within this context, clever exploitation of the game mechanics is accepted, and even encouraged. Therefore it is important that the rules are relatively “clean” and unambiguous. This is another reason for the simplicity of the core rules, for, as you can imagine, once special rules are introduced, the variety of exceptions to the norm multiplies and it becomes increasingly difficult to anticipate every combination of circumstances that could arise in the game.

Also important in competitive gaming is the perceived fairness of the game, opportunities for optimising army builds, and clear win conditions. ASQL’s play testers try hard to ensure that all the available armies possess not only a unique character, but that they all have a fair chance of winning the game, if played well. We acknowledge that some armies are more straightforward to use effectively than others, but we strive to ensure that all of them are capable of winning, especially if the army composition is determined before randomly generating the game scenario. There are no “super-units” in ASQL, but most army templates will force players to make hard choices between a variety of effective unit types. Generally speaking, most armies will trade-off between durability/firepower and manoeuvrability/quantity, although some of the armies (non-humanoid aliens especially) are intentionally limited in choice. The scenarios have different objectives that have the effect of levelling out the relative capabilities of the armies, and there are terrain placement rules that favour the defender, while allowing the attacker to deploy after seeing where the defender’s army is positioned.

Playability over Realism
The game mechanics of ASQL represent a level of abstraction that does not intend to provide a plausible reason for every combat outcome (you could put this down to the “fog of war”). Consequently, strange and inexplicable things can happen, which may not be to the taste of every wargamer, depending upon the level of credibility that you require in your games. Incidentally, ASQL aspires to a similar level of credibility to that of your average science fiction movie – ie. not alot! But that should not deter your enjoyment of the game. My fellow ASQL play testers actually find it quite amusing to imagine how say, a group of alien reptilian warriors armed only with spears have managed to defeat a heavily armoured main battle tank in close assault, or why an unscathed unit of elite space commandos on the periphery of a desperate firefight have refused to obey orders to engage the enemy for the third turn running (“it’s the Ort radios sir – the cheap trash isn’t working!”) , but that is the kind of luck that can play out.

Straightforward and easily understood game mechanics allow players to quickly ascertain how the game works. With ASQL, this can sometimes have a negative effect, because some players consequently assume that the game has no depth. However, I believe that this enables players to more deeply immerse themselves in the game, and concentrate on the decisions they are making in the full knowledge of the pros and cons attached to any particular course of action. Yes, when a gamer faces a unique alien faction for the first time, there will be new things to learn, but the number of special rules attached to each army template are few enough that they can be explained reasonably quickly to an opponent at the start of the game, and some are iterations of the same rules that apply to other armies, albeit in a different combination. However, as in a game of chess, understanding a number of simple rules is not the same as mastering them.

Not adhering strictly to plausible/realistic outcomes also means that ASQL can include colourful troop-types such as “Primitives”, allowing gamers to field alien natives armed with bows and arrows; bug-eyed, slavering monsters; units of alien zombies; and cavalry charges – all great fun, but clearly unlikely to exist on a battlefield dominated by rapid-firing long-range weaponry.

Creativity over Official Miniatures Ranges
There is no official miniatures range for ASQL, and that’s how I like it. The range of commercially available 15mm science fiction models has increased at a phenomenal rate since ASQL was published by Alternative Armies through its brand in 2009. One of the reasons for having generic army templates is that, within a given theme, the gamer has a wide range of choice in interpreting how that army looks. Also, the scope to vary the number of models per base, and the relatively large infantry base size for squads/fire-teams means that mini-dioramas can be modelled if that is to your taste. And this is important, because I have noticed that there is nothing that a tabletop miniatures gamer likes more than expressing their individuality and creativity in their model armies! I have already seen how the themes for ASQL army templates provide a jumping off point for gamer’s imaginations, to the point where collecting a model force to represent each featured army can start to become addictive!

And, Let’s Hear it for the Aliens!
The clue is in the title. Yes, ASQL was conceived as an antidote to all those other human-centric science-fiction wargames. Although even the humans get some weird and wonderful army lists such as the Outlaw Gangs, and the Human Eastern Corporate Army (not in the current rules, but a free expansion on the website). Perhaps it is only natural that most gamers identify with the armed forces of humanity, but I saw ASQL as a wonderful opportunity to develop some unique and imaginative alien fighting forces, almost all of which are inspired either by science fiction movies, tv series, or existing ranges of wargames models.

Each new alien faction comes with a themed set of special rules that determine it’s character and likely battle tactics in the game, which are usually alluded to in the introductory synopsis that accompanies each army template. In play-testing, we try to limit the number of special rules to the minimum required to make the army markedly different to those already established, whilst at the same time delivering a sufficient level of characterisation that evokes the desired theme.

In my opinion, the (much requested) provision of a system to allow custom-built armies within ASQL would essentially undermine the carefully constructed ethos of the game. The depth and challenge of ASQL lies in facing opposing armies that behave differently to yours, and adapting your tactics in order to maximise your strengths and exploit their weaknesses.  There are enough unique army templates, which in combination with the game scenarios, should provide endless re-playability. Allowing players to custom-build their armies removes that commitment to uniqueness, and risks the introduction of countless bland wargames armies without discernible weaknesses.

A Unique Game System
Many new science fiction rule sets have appeared since 2009, and yet I believe that ASQL remains unique. It’s blend of HOTT/Warmaster style mechanics adapted to long-ranged combat, and combined with faction-specific special rules caters for quick, fun, competitive games, and continues to attract sales of the rulebook at a steady rate. Fancy something different from a human-centric gritty sci-fi small skirmish? You never know, you might find an imaginative, big, fast-moving Alien Squad Leader battle a refreshing change.

November 2015.

Monday 23 November 2015

Free Shipping Worldwide and Offers this Black Friday Weekend!

This message is being put out across all of our brands, blogs, websites and email listings. Alternative Armies, and The Ion Age will be making a brilliant Black Friday Weekend set of offers at the end of this week. From Friday 27th through to the end of St Andrews Day Monday 30th November 2015 we will be offering free worldwide shipping on all orders on all websites (and by email if you want to combine up your order across our brands) on every order over 10.00GBP product value. The cart will automatically give you free domestic, international, courier shipping depending on your location and order size and all you need to do is put items in the cart of proceed to checkout. 

On top of this we have special offers on the websites for the weekend which differ for each website. For example Hab Domes are half price and a free miniature and reward points for The Ion Age. has brand new Loud Ninja Games releases and offers on them plus bundle deals on vehicles and fantasy. Alternative Armies is giving discounts on all Albion Orc cavalry units and characters and also the whole OH High Fantasy range will be released with multitude bundles and more! 

On Friday 27th visit or or or email us on with your proposed combined order and we will send you a paypal invoice by reply. Offers will end when we switch to December on the 1st of next month at some point GMT in the morning of the 1st December. 

So what is happening before the big deal weekend? 

Here at we are delighted to be working with our sister brands and we will have several things happening before Friday. These will appear on our website and blog as the week progresses. Here we go! 

Why Play Alien Squad Leader – An Article by Alex Self (PDF) 
Far Eastern Mercenaries – Playtester ASQL Army Template (PDF) 
RAP028 Terraclopes (1 Wasteland Monster) – Loud Ninja Games 
RAP029 Wasteland Buddies (1 Wasteland Character) – Loud Ninja Games 

Thanks for Reading,