The first holiday that the Brigadieress and I went on together was to Northern France. One of the towns we visited was St Omer, and I remember thinking at the time how striking the Hotel de Ville (town hall) was, sitting as it does in the big market square.
Wind forward quite a few years and I’ve finally managed to get a 2mm model made of the Hotel de Ville, which is part of today’s new releases. Alongside it we have some terraced town buildings, nominally French in style but at this scale they could be used in many European countries. Each strip of buildings is 40mm long, and there are eight in the set. We’ve also made up a pack consisting of the Hotel de Ville and two sets of terraces to make up a complete market square.
Two bits of news first – we’ve had a restock of Hammer’s Slammers figures in both 6mm and 15mm from Ground Zero Games, so all of our army, detachment and troop packs for the Slammers Regiment are back in stock.
We’ve also just heard that Colours has unfortunately been postponed again – the organisers don’t feel that they have enough certainty to go ahead so thought it better to pull the plug early, which is fair enough.
So this week’s main release is some more additions to our 6mm Monorail, which first took to the tracks last year. We have a Lunar Station, plus some additional carriages – a pair of engine cars which together make a short train for both passengers and equipment, and a pair of hazardous waste transporter cars. They ended up being code-named the Moon-o-rail, which has stuck…
Of course you don’t have to use it on the moon – the station makes an excellent alternative to the existing Desert Station in more advanced settings.
Recently we remoulded the 15mm checkpoint model; while doing so I couldn’t find the master for the concrete barriers that come as part of the set. So we had to get those reprinted, and at the same time we tweaked the design a little (they’re no longer slightly asymmetrical) and created a larger production mould so we can turn them out in larger numbers.
Since they’re a handy item, very useful as cover for infantry or barriers to prevent vehicle access, we’ve released them as a pack of eight pieces. Each is 40mm long, making a total of 320mm per pack. At 12mm high, they’re also usable as 6mm walls.
Today we can finally release some new 15mm Hammer’s Slammers models – these have been caught in development hell for quite a while now. The New Ukrainian Army get some much needed artillery and support upgrades in the form of the TOS-6 Rocket Launcher and the Groza II self-propelled artillery vehicle, plus air defence from the Burun II AA tank. The Shershnem gets a light assault gun variant as well.
Even if you don’t game in the Slammerverse, these would be ideal support for our Neo-Soviets since they are based on the hull of the Bars tank.
Yesterday, for the first time in three months, I left the workshop on time and with the order queue empty – for a brief period we were completely up to date with orders (of course, by the time I got home 25 minutes later there was already a new one…).
This feels like a cause for celebration, so we feel it’s time to start rolling out some of the many new releases that we’ve been sitting on. Back before A Billion Suns sent everyone into a spaceship-buying frenzy, we promised lots of new bits for the 6mm SF gamer. This is the first of those, and another addition to the Hammer’s Slammers range.
Back in the dim and distant days of 2020 I wrote a blog post about painting 6mm armour with contrast paints, using some new brand new models for the Prosperity National Army as test subjects. Six months later, those models are finally hitting the website. There are two vehicles, the Colonial Light Tank and the Pioneer Amphibious APC, each with a variety of turret options. We also have three associated detachment packs – Armoured and Mechanised Infantry (both Trained units with 15 TUs) and a Marine detachment (these are Veterans, so 10 TUs). The planet of Prosperity is the setting for one of the best known of the Hammer’s Slammers stories, Rolling Hot, with its climactic armoured battle.
We haven’t posted here for several weeks, which is most unlike us – so much so that several regular customers have emailed us to make sure that everything is OK. Thanks you very much for the concern, we are fine, just incredibly busy! The release of A Billion Suns has generated a huge volume of orders, even more than the first lockdown last year, so that we’ve been receiving around two-and-a-half times our usual volume of orders. It’s taken five (long) days a week to clear these, leaving little time for new releases, blog posts etc (although we have kept up with the accounts and VAT, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs waits for no one…). Apologies also if you’ve had a slower than usual response to emails or social media contacts.
The good news is that we’re pretty much up to date with orders – almost everything from March has been cast, packed and shipped (there is one person who’s placed several large orders that we’re pulling together) and we should get everything that’s arrived over the extended Easter weekend done by the end of the week.
So to celebrate, we’re putting the Kerberos spacestation back on the website – Phil’s remoulded it, all orders that were delayed have been shipped and he’s even managed some extra stock!
And here’s a further peek at some new stuff that’s in the pipeline (a long way down the pipeline in fact, almost bursting out of the end…
Before we get to the main topic of this post, a quick update…
We’re still a few days behind on orders – we almost catch up, the another bunch of orders arrive and we slip behind again! The delay isn’t too severe, around a week (as I write this most orders up to February 23rd have gone, and tomorrow I’ll be working through the 24th and 25th). As far as possible we treat orders on a first in, first out basis, but sometimes it makes sense to group orders for the same items together and do them all at once, regardless of when they arrived.
In a further twist, the mould for the Kerberos space station has just expired, so we’ve taken that off sale briefly while Phil makes a new one. As a consequence, if you have already placed an order that includes a Kerberos then you might be delayed a little further. As always, feel free to drop us an email if you want to know how your order is coming along.
Guerrilla Miniature Gaming – A Billion Suns Videos
We wanted to post up links to some Youtube videos by Guerrilla Miniature Gaming dealing with A Billion Suns.
The first is a detailed review of the rulebook:
The second is a play-through showing aspects of the gameplay and featuring a lot of our ships (very nicely painted, it must be said).
And they’ve also started a Solo campaign – here’s episode 1:
Ships in A Billion Suns are categorised from the tiniest fighters up to huge dreadnoughts. We’ve created a handy chart that puts all of our spaceship models into the appropriate category for the game, which you can download as a PDF.
Not every fleet has a ship for every category – but for us this was a handy exercise as it shows up where there are gaps in some of our major fleets that need to be filled. For utility vessels you can also pick from our range of Merchant Ships, which are ideal and can serve in any fleet.
It’s still all hands to the pump at Brigade HQ, we’re slowly and steadily working through the order backlog – we’ve now caught up to Feb 14th and with luck should have cleared the backlog by the end of the weekend. However, we just had to find some time this week to get something new on the website.
Today sees the release of A Billion Suns, the new starship combat game by Mike Hutchinson of Gaslands fame. ABS isn’t just another line-them-up fleet combat game, instead you take control of an interstellar corporation exploiting the riches of newly discovered star systems. There are no pre-defined fleet lists, you need to make decisions about what resources to deploy to fulfil your contracts, balancing risk against potential reward. Contracts are assigned randomly, so each game should be different. And you can play on multiple tables, jumping between star systems.
Pop over to the official website, where Mike makes a much better job of explaining it all.
The rules are not tied to any particular set of miniatures, you can use whatever you like, although we would obviously be very happy if you used at least some of ours 🙂
We will be creating some specific packs to support the rules, just as soon as we get five minutes to draw breath…
We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog for the past week or so – nothing untoward is going on, we’re just busy, really busy. We’ve had a lot of orders lately, far more than we’d usually expect this time of year, on top of which there’s been a restock order for one of our overseas stockists plus initial stock orders for not one but two new UK stockists. All of this has left us about a week behind on mail order – everything that arrived on or before January 30th has been posted, and a few from Jan 31st have also gone but that’s as far as it goes.
To complete this perfect storm of delays is, well, another storm! We’ve had a cold snap and quite a bit of snow in our corner of the UK this weekend which has made the workshop inaccessible for today at least, so our hopes of making some dents in the backlog have been put on hold for another day or two until the roads clear. But when the weather eases we’ll be back at the centrifuge at full pace and getting orders out of the door.
In the meantime I’m going to use my unscheduled snow day to work on some new releases – we have a lot of models lined up in various stages of readiness across most of the ranges so the extra time to work on them is a definite bonus. Here are a few of them…