The End of the Line

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.

HS6-3801 – Colonial Light Tank – £1.00
HS6-3802 – Pioneer APC – £1.00

HSD6-3801 – Prosperity Armoured Squadron – £13.50
HSD6-3802 – Prosperity Mechanised Infantry Detachment – £9.25
HSD6-3804 – Prosperity Marine Detachment – £8.00

It’s Oh So Quiet…

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…

A Billion Suns – Review and Playthrough

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:

Ship Classes

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.

A Billion Possibilities

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…

ABS-006 – A Billion Suns – £12.99

Snowed Under

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…

AmRep Enhancements

First up, an important show update. Since we published new dates for Broadside and Salute earlier in the week, we’ve been informed that the organisers of Broadside have been forced to change the date again (they have our sympathies at the moment…) and it is now to be held on Saturday December 4th.

As a follow-on from last week’s 6mm New Ukrainians, two of our existing 6mm American Republic vehicles have been given a makeover. Since the NUA Vyriz and Bulava MBTs use the same turrets as the AmRep Kochte and Curtiss respectively, it made sense to replace the older versions at the same time (we had to make new moulds anyway). Both models are available individually or in company packs with 12 tanks and a command vehicle.

SF300-202 – M-83 Curtiss Heavy Tank – £1.25
SF300-208 – M-84 Kochte MBT – £1.00

IC-212 – AmRep Cavalry Tank Company – £11.75
IC-213 – AmRep Heavy Tank Company – £14.50

Show News

News of changes to some show dates came through this week. As the UK continues under a fairly strict lockdown, it’s difficult for show organisers to make plans without knowing what the situation will be next week, let alone in April or beyond. We’ve been informed that two of our regular shows, Broadside and Salute, have rescheduled to later in the year – in fact they’ve selected consecutive weekends in November. The new dates are:

  • Broadside – Saturday November 6th December 4th(Medway Park Sports Centre)
  • Salute – Saturday November 13th (ExCel centre)

Note that Broadside is being held at a new venue in Gillingham, and is also on a Saturday rather than a Sunday as it has been previously. UPDATE – Since this post was first published, we’ve been informed that the date of Broadside has changed again, and is now Saturday December 4th.

We’re now off to rewrite our release schedule, which generally revolves around Salute for the first half of the year and will now have to be ripped up…

Starship Painting Guide #2

Robin of Rottenlead has posted the second part of his guide to painting spaceships on Youtube, so if you fancy a watch, here’s a selection of stills to whet your appetite and a link to the video. We linked to the first part a week or two ago.


New Ukrainians in 6mm

We have a number of new releases at various stages of preparation, and it seems that many of them are 6mm SF. This is in part because we held back a number of new releases for the Joy of Six show last year which, like everything else, didn’t happen. So if you’re a micro-scale SF gamer then it could be a bumper time in the next couple of months.

This week we have the New Ukrainian Army for Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible. The 15mm NUA appeared last year and it’s now the turn of the smaller scale. There’s a bonus too, with three extra vehicles that haven’t yet appeared in 15mm (but will very soon).

The NUA have eight new vehicles altogether, plus three detachment packs. NUA forces can be fielded as either Elite or Veteran units – the packs include enough vehicles and infantry to field either option. The detachment list can be found on the Crucible website which detail the TOEs for both types of formation.

HSD6-3901 – NUA Heavy Armoured Detachment – £9.75
HSD6-3902 – NUA Support Detachment – £7.75
HSD6-3903 – NUA Light Recce Detachment – £7.50

HS6-3901 – Vyriz Medium Tank – £1.25
HS6-3901a – Burun II AA Tank – £1.25
HS6-3901b – Vyriz Medium Tank – £1.25
HS6-3901c – Groza II Artillery – £1.25
HS6-3902 – Bulava Heavy Tank – £1.25
HS6-3903 – Zhalo Light Tank – £0.80
HS6-3904 – Shershnem Tank Destroyer – £0.80
HS6-3905 – Yastrub MICV – £1.25

We would also like to give a shout of to Geek Villain – these models have been photographed on one of their splendid printed fleece gaming mats. This one is a Summer Field design. You’ll be seeing more of it in our photos, and I suspect we might be buying one or two more.