Some uses for aliens

By Rob Morgan

This one isn’t the best of photos, but I was in the local “Pound Shop” buying crayons and colouring booksfor my granddaughter. Next to them were racks of “toys,” poor quality for the most part, but I usually take a look as you don’t know what of interest will turn up in packs marked “Made in China.” There was a packet marked “Space Aliens,” containing 12 not-too-bendy green alien figures, each 30-35mm tall, with round 40mm diameter hard plastic bases, and ready painted. They are obviously based on ideas taken from the film “Alien.” The torso and head are a give-away, but the arms ….!

The figures (there are three variants) are decent enough to a) require no painting, b) require no basing and c) are of a size that will fit in with most ranges of 20/25/28mm figures. One variant is waving its hands high in the air, the other two are “advancing,” as the old wargamers used to say. Back to the arms — a touch “Edward Scissorhands” these. Each arm tapers to a long “scythe” blade, half as high as the overall figure. Impressive, yes, but it does limit the unfortunate aliens’ combat role to slashing and thrusting, and to do that with both hands at the same time is almost impossible, with the added possibility of self-amputation!

However, these may well be turning up in discount shops across the land, and I thought they might have some value in a science fiction game. As variations on the opponents of Sigourney Weaver perhaps, in the spaces of a starship? They would be limited by the confines of corridors and equipment when using their long blades — which could be poisoned or electrified maybe. A second thought was that these would be blades attached securely, but capable of being dropped if need be, As a raiding party, umpire-controlled, to simply steam through an encounter, targets for both sides, or used by an army for lethal pursuit at high speed. They look fast enough! Certainly, if you can write up a few basic rules for them, they would make a decent, if short-term, appearance (but umpire controlled) on a battlefield.

One of these unusual beasts, half cyborg maybe, has had his blades trimmed to be used as an “Alien” in the cinematographic sense, with my 15mm TTG space figures, old now but reliable and oft-gamed.

Remember the old adage: Buy it when you see it.

Posted in Periods - Science fiction | Leave a comment

Fast and Furious Ripsaw model review

Jonathan Aird reviews an AFV-like vehicle from Mattel that can be used in several ways, depending on the scale of figures it’s matched with.

The review is on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Science fiction | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to the Blog!

Just a quick mention that today, May 7, marks the eighth anniversary of this blog’s first appearance. On this date in 2011, the Lone Warrior Blog sprang into existence, following several months of discussion and planning.

Thanks to all the blog’s readers and double thanks to all the contributors over the years who have helped make the blog what it is — articles, reviews, game reports, solo wargaming news, and hundreds of comments.

May the future of this blog, the Solo Wargamers Association, and Lone Warrior magazine/journal be just as bright, if not brighter, in the coming eight years!

Posted in Lone Warrior blog | 2 Comments

A sample article for May

A new sample article from past numbers of Lone Warrior has now been posted. This one is by George Arnold and is titled “The (Linear) Battle of Las Palmas.” In it, Arnold describes his use of Armati-inspired rules to provide a medieval game that felt more like an  historical battle and less like a tabletop free-for-all.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Battle reports, Periods - Medieval, Solo wargaming | Leave a comment

Requiem for a journal

By Rob Morgan

It is with great sadness …

Actually, I do from time to time write obituaries, but this one is for a much-loved magazine. A letter which arrived recently, addressed to Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers Member 516, tells me that after 95 issues, each one a valuable 50-page contribution to the  world of wargaming, on land, sea and air, The Journal has ceased publication. It would be foolish to say that with only one out of the last five or six issues published at all, it was unexpected.

But, with the two world wars and a thousand other complex conflicts during the 20th century, covering the entire face of the globe, this must be one of the most astonishing wargame closures of recent times. I’m not just saying that because I had a regular column and SOTCW published me for the best of 20 years, but because this really is a loss! I’ve recorded others, of groups which could never, ever, pretend to be anything more than a fringe interest. Magazines like Frontovik of the Eastern Front 1914-21 Society, and Abanderado! and News from the Front representing the Spanish Civil War — all three gone. Yet, for the entire century, arguably the biggest of all the wargames periods from the point  of view of gamers, historians and manufacturers, to slip into an abyss in wargames terms is something far worse, and must surely bode ill.

The Solo Wargamers Association may well pick up a few more members with SOTCW’s virtual disappearance. The Journal had some fine writers and carried decent articles on war at sea, but that’s just my narrow view. It’s a demise worth all of us reflecting upon.

Posted in Periods - Twentieth century, Wargaming | 3 Comments

Review of ‘The Leopard and the Cliff’ book

Derek Clark reviews an historical novel set on the Northwest Frontier just after the end of World War I.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial, Periods - Twentieth century | Leave a comment

Simple WWII rules added: ‘Blitzkrieg’

Kevin White’s simple but playable rules for infantry and armor combat in World War II have been added to the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

A report on Salute 2019

Jonathan Aird does his annual visit and report on his trip to Salute 2019.

Lots of photos and information, all on the Miscellaneous page.

Posted in Gaming conventions | Leave a comment

’25 and Out’ rules added

There’s now a new addition to the Complete Rule Sets page, this time another of Mike Crane’s clever mechanics, this one for tracking a B-17’s bombing missions over World War II Europe early in the U.S. air effort.

The rules are titled “25 and Out” and follow an individual bomber’s attempts to successfully complete 25 missions and be rotated safely back to the States.

The rules are on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Air gaming, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

Sample article for April

Marvin Scott authored this month’s sample article from past issues of Lone Warrior. This one provides the historical background and some skirmish-type rules for the fatal encouner between Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment