Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Tale of Caracan the Afara Strider

Birds wheeled in the air above the silent forest clearing and a blue sky domed the world of Ogof III as Laydon Maltax placed his helm back upon his head.  He was a young man but a man who had seen more of war than anyone would wish to.  His short cropped blond hair rubbed at the padded liner of his helm but he was used to it; far too used to it.  His armoured lance had stopped here overnight and despite official orders to the contrary they had shut down their three Afara type striders and took their rest under the plainly seen stars rather than in the cockpits of the machines.  It had been a risk but a small one as the enemy was a distance away and their movement through the thick woods had been in secret.  Plus they had the advantage of a wide area Chameleon Circuit field which hid them from anything but nearby careful eyes.  Now it was morning and the mission resumed to keep Ogof III in the hands of the rightful Kingmaker.

As Maltrax took to the recessed ladder in the left leg of his strider, named Caracan, he looked to his left and to his right as the two other pilots did likewise and ascended to the access hatches of their own machines. The three Afara type mecha towered over the smaller trees and their heads reached high into the upper branches of all but the oldest trunks. He climbed up past the knee and then to the waist before circling around Caracan and then on up to the back of the strider's neck.  Once there he typed his command key into the tiny numeric pad under its armoured cover.  Some preferred a retinal scan or a print reader but Maltrax used numbers as was his way.  With a heavy thud and then several clicks the access hatch lifted up and out from the machine's back allowing its commander to slide himself into the cockpit space.   It was dark inside and he took his familiar place in the chest of the war machine.


The Flexpad Containment Couch was inert and as Maltrax placed his legs into the places for them and then his back into the upright holder he turned the main activation   switch to command on.  Slowly the containment couch fitted itself to him and soon only his hands and head were outside of it.  As the Groatvey MkX Heavy Ion Reasc Fusion Reactor came online he pressed more studs and thumbed the twin sticks which met his fingers.  Caracan shuddered slightly as the joint locks on its legs and arms and spine were released and the Sislain Fibamuscle bundles all over the Afara took the strain.  More than twenty tonnes of titanium alloy armour and weapon systems took less than twenty seconds to give Maltrax a line of green lights in his vision.  He finished connecting the last strands of data cords to his helm making his vision and hearing that of Caracan and then just for a moment he felt giddy as the primary node of the strider took his sense of balance as its own.  He lifted one foot and then the other almost feeling the ground under the massive three toed feet with their Hakamould Type 5 Maxdure Foot Pads.  He checked the status of the Anda 60mm missile pod mounted on Caracan's shoulder and confirmed its load of Felta Type 6 munitions and thirty one shots left in the magazine.  Then he slowly brought the mighty Otca powered sword to readiness.  Its nine foot blade glowed to an orange and then to a blue edged intensity.  Only he carried a sword while the other members of his lance had large lasers and projectile weapons.  It was his honour in The Code Gallant and it was a lethal instrument when put to use.

The three mecha were ready to commence their mission and as each pilot signalled commitment Maltrax looked to his shield which covered most of one arm of Caracan.  It was more than a foot thick slab of titanium which was scored and pitted across its blue and white surface from the impact of enemy rounds.  The shield protected the strider as it closed with the foe and one corner of it was missing entirely where a Duxis Battlesuit of the bitch Princess had lopped it off with its own powered sword.  Maltrax let go of the weapon controls and rubbed at his temples.  Even though he could not touch them through his helm the reflexive act calmed him.  It took Retained Knights a lot of training to operate larger walking machines such as the Afaras and Magogs and some simply never managed it while other suffered nausea or headaches of varying intensity.  He only suffered for the first minutes of operation but he gladly did this knowing the potentially dangerous price of an artificial mind aboard Caracan.  Before the Gurtan Activation and the massacre that followed all of the larger machines had some degree of sentience which meant the pilot thought about acting and the artificial mind did the rest.  Not now.  Never again.  Some pain was worth the safety and primacy of human kind.

An hour passed as the lance advanced towards the positions of the Prydian Army.  Hawk reconnaissance had confirmed enemy armour including several Mullo Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Striders too.  Around a hundred Retained and several hundred Muster with supporting Battlesuits and Portable Weapon Platforms.  The Canlastrian assault would be to the left of this gathered retinue of the enemy while his own Afara's would come in from the forested right in surprise.  It was a fine plan and Maltrax had been listening to the secured comms signals from their own knights as they flitted into place, their armour blending with the surrounding landscape as they went.  They had no ground crawling armoured vehicles of their own but they did have a high degree of veterans and many Anvil 888 launchers.  When the assault began it did so with the booming retort of a fifteen Anvils whose rounds streaked and converged upon a single Prydian Mullo which exploded in a shimmering blinding hail of metal; its twin Fretan Railgun turret was thrown straight up in the air.  A few seconds later a barrage of 12.5mm Angis Rifle caseless bullets destroyed a second Mullo as two lances of Retained focused all their fire upon it. Many bullets were stopped or ricochet from the hull but hundreds penetrated and vital systems were shredded along with the crew.

The comms net went silent as the cacophony of battle made speech impossible.  Ghostly text flickered across Maltrax's helm and reported on casualties and the progression on the assault.  The seconds they had to remain hidden were torture.  To be in the fray was his life and his duty.  But victory was duty in essence and so they stood still and paused.  Fifteen seconds passed and then the command was given to attack.  As one the three Afara Striders ran out of their cover and fell upon the flank of the now responding Prydian retinue.

Caracan rose to the challenge of battle and all of its systems were functioning at peak efficiency.  Maltrax added a fusillade of 60mm missiles to the blinding flash of a 15Mw Valerin laser bolts, Bodkin armour piercing shells and 50mm grenades.  Enemy Muster were flailed by the attack and died with no hope of evading or even turning to face their trio of assailants.  They turned their fire on a third Mullo which was rotating its turret to bring twin Angis cannons to focus upon Caracan.  Its titanium hull shuddered under the impacts before a Bodkin shell entered the control cabin and obliterated the two crew.  It was at this moment that the strider pilots as one saw the six approaching Duxis Battlesuits.  The Duxis had evidently been held in reserve or hidden by Chameleon fields up to now.  Maltrax gave the command and he turned Caracan towards the approaching battlesuits while his two fellow lance mates continued to pound at the flank of the main Prydian force.







Six upon one were sporting odds even for an experienced pilot such as Laydon Maltax and he knew it.  Evidently the foe knew it too.  They split into two groups of three and while one tried to get around Caracan the other three made straight for him.  Knowing he could not allow any of them to pass him Maltax used all of his remaining missiles upon the three trying to evade him.  Eighteen 60mm explosive missiles flew from Caracan's shoulder and while some missed most found their marks upon the running battlesuits.  One was instantly vaporised as the ammunition for its Bodkin was set off.  Another slumped to the ground its arm tore off and chest brutalised by explosions; its pilot might live on but he or she was out of the fight.  The third took three missiles losing its arm shield and then the arm to absorb the detonations.  It reeled and then righted carrying on towards the other two Afara's.  Having done what he could and seeing the red glare of an empty ammunition reserve upon his display  Maltax focused upon the other three Duxis and just in time.

Experience in the fray sharpened his reflexes and just in time the shield on the arm of Caracan rose up and in front of its body.  Its surface boiled as laser bolts struck it and then rang like a bell under the striking of two rail gun rounds.  Titanium glittered to the ground but the mighty shield held.  Legs twice the height of a man strode onwards closing the distance.  Again the shield rang and vibrated with beam and projectile impacts and his sensor nodes told Maltax that one rail gun round had struck and severed the empty Anda missile pod upon Caracan's shoulder.

The Strider and three Duxis met in a dance of death and destruction that lasted mere moments.  Only one of the enemy battlesuits was armed with a powered close combat weapon and it had a spear and shield combination.  Maltax swung his shield out and away from Caracan's body and used its immense kinetic energy of its mass and his closing speed to strike one Duxis which had been upon him with its Valerin laser cannon.  The impact caved in the whole chest and head of the Prydian battlesuit killing its pilot instantly.  As he did this the spear armed Duxis dove in trying to and getting beyond the swinging shield and the tip of its spear met the lower chest of Caracan with a howl of energy and tearing titanium alloy.  Warnings sprung up in Maltax's vision but he ignored them and struck out with the nine foot blade of the Octa sword at the third Duxis which was readying its rail gun for a point blank shot.  The blade came down and across the enemy and severed the focusing barrel of the railgun before cutting through the right leg of the battlesuit.  It fell to the burning grass and the energy stored in the primed sequence ready rail gun released turning the damaged Duxis into a boom of spinning fragments.  The spear came away from Caracan's chest with clumps of Sislain Fibamuscle clinging to it.  Being within the minimum arc of the striders sword and shield Maltax was left with few options, none of his weapons could be used; but he had one trick left to use.   Lifting the left leg of the machine he lashed out with a kick.  The Hakamould Type 5 Maxdure Pad under the foot connected with the withdrawing energised spear and was split and burned by its field.  However the momentum of the kick carried it on and the spear with it crashing the spear into the upper body of the Duxis.  The spear flared and died as it was crushed into the chest and head of the battlesuit.

Unable to prevent it Laydon Maltax allowed Caracan to sink to one knee as its left foot smoked and sparked.  He had stopped the Prydians and now they would carry the day.  Canlaster was one step closer to winning this world.


A quick note before I go on.  I set myself a challenge for the fiction here and it was along the lines of NaNoWriMo.  Not a whole 50k words novel of course but rather one draft in under an ninety minutes and then a single five minute edit on 2000 words.  After that it goes to virtual print regardless of condition.  Did it work?

I hope you enjoyed this little story of an Afara Strider named Caracan.  The idea of the tale came to me during the play testing of Callsign Taranis and I have kept it with me in my head awaiting a time to put it out for others to read.  You can become quite attached to a mecha it seems and in fighting against the Prydian Army who are normally the good guys I was pained when Caracan was damaged and even took 'him' out of the fray for fear of total loss.  Canlaster is my favoured League when not taking the white and red side.  


The Afara model was constructed and painted by Sam Croes who also added the decals to give it a more regal look.  He also created for Callsign Taranis a frankly superb technical drawing page which you can click on and enlarge here.


We have a month long special offer...it is a bloody good one....25% off all three variants of the IAF128 Afara Strider our resin light mecha which is 55mm tall. The Afara is generic enough for many settings and it is designed for tabletop gaming being easy to assemble from few parts and durable to use in play too.  I am also told it can be easily converted and altered with parts from our other codes such as IAF065 Vehicle Conversion Kit.  The discount is online and all you need do is add to cart, reward points are as normal and can be used on this offer too.  Offer ends 1st April.  


Click on the links to learn more and remember you get IMP43 Female Muster Banner Bearer in every order for free until months end.

We have no more releases this month and next month will be all about the Shia Khan as many of you are patiently waiting for.

Thanks for Reading,

GBS

Monday, 20 March 2017

Video play of Patrol Angis by Dorkside Cookies

At the weekend a new video was put up giving a look at some play of Patrol Angis the central title in 15mm scale Ion Age tabletop gaming.  Dorkside Cookies and Jason made a really nice video with the play though of one of the three scenarios given in the book for the starter set. Enjoy!


You can see all the books as print and download in the Patrol Angis series on our website HERE.


I enjoyed the video speaking as the creator of the rules system.  I have played with a dozen different gamers and have seen a dozen games played and heard of a great many more.  It was well explained and got the game over well.  Patrol Angis is a vicious game of space opera combat and it scales up well in use of Infantry to Battlesuits to bigger vehicles and more forces.  Like most games the more you play the easier you find the progress of play.  Some players find it hard to accept the base 2+ to hit meaning its normally hard to miss a target.  Jason played scenario one 'Stalking in the Forest' and found it challenging as the Prydian player which is odd to me personally as during testing and since the white and red win more than 50% of the time.  Tactics are vital against Battlesuits and use of cover too.  I did it by being in the woods at all times and using Anvil 888 plus precise fire actions from larger Troop Elements and targeting the closest Yordan suit each activation with little movement favouring ranged fire precise until the way was clear.  A lot comes down to terrain placement and to the use of support grade weapons as battlesuits are tough for infantry only forces if caught in the open. 


I do hope Jason plays on and decides to scale up to Callsign Taranis or to get into the Shia Khan when the new book is released.  I also hope he finds an opponent for his regular gaming.  I have a small circle but often play solo also.

Thanks Jason!

GBS

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Six Different 15mm Khanate Weapon Platforms, Gun Crew and Anti-Gravity lifter released!

The Ion Age makes all of its releases for the month of March today with a lot of new 15mm Shia Khan Empire codes all focused around portable weapon systems.  Check out the Shia Khan Empire on our website HERE or read on for more information about these new codes.  All of these releases and next months too are working towards the release of the next Patrol Angis book which is scheduled for April 2017.  Giving you a full infantry force for the client races of the alien Khanate.



There is a lot to show you and these releases add portable weapon platforms of two types and six variants as well as legionary gunners and an anti-gravity motive unit for use with the platforms.  Now you have firepower to take on the Espaten Portable Weapon Platforms and the Havelocks of the Muster and Retained.  Here are the details of each new pack:


The first encounters with infantry support grade weapon platforms came with the initial break out from the Belkus Depression by those Shia Khan forces which had followed the digging machines.  Though a watch was kept on the edges of the crater, which has once been the famed passages of the labyrinth, by planetary defence platoons they were rapidly overwhelmed by the aliens which poured out into the sunlight.  The digging machines had no more than cleared their drive sections of the soft dirt and Legionaries as well as accursed Maligs followed them.  Being some distance off due to the background radiation left over by the detonation of the fusion core the defence troopers had time to made transmissions back to Pelacan city to inform and then call for reinforcements.  What was not expected from vids and audio from the gateway chamber was the immediate reach the enemy had.  It was the first encounter with code name Selene and code name Hypnus portable weapon platforms.

Floating forwards at a steady pace with two alien operators running alongside each of them the Selene platforms opened fire first upon elements of the 3rd Pelacan Regiment at a range beyond their ability to strike back.  A barrage of 20mm cannon shells and laser beams were followed by the shrieking rage of 12.7mm rounds by the thousand and it killed many of the troopers who were unable to find thick enough cover.  It was however once the aliens drew closer and the troopers loosed off anvil rounds and bursts of grenades from their Moth type 12's that the other Khanate platforms entered the fray.  The Hypnus have a single operator who seems to be bonded to the weapon platform by a chair behind a thick gun shield.  The weapons carried by the Hypnus are dangerous in their own right giving off in many cases a degree of radiation or gene potential damage.  Atomic Destabilisers and Triple Plasma mounts tore through Aketon armour and the hulls of a half dozen Steornede Battlesuits at close range with ease.  This led to the loss of the craters edge and marked the start of the remorseless advance of the aliens.  Portable weapon platforms have proven tough to deal with without armoured support and the Khanate makes great use of them especially in urban areas to hold taken junctions and structures.

Academy Auto-Trainer Series 66, New Glastonbury, 4337 IC


IAF131 Selene Portable Weapon Platform – Three Variants
The Selene is a portable weapon platform which acts as support for Khanate infantry. The pieces are the four legged stand and a chosen top mounted weapon. These parts make one complete platform. The options for the Selene are the Mars 20mm Chain Cannon (A), Maia 12.7mm Scatter Cannon (B) and the Juno 18kw Laser Cannon (C). These go with IAF133 Legion Gun Platform Crew.  You can get an idea of the size of the finished portable weapon by noting that each of them is standing on a 30mm round base (their basing size for Patrol Angis) and again they are labelled with the letter corresponding to their variant weapon. Each pack contains ONE kit. You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs with a saving.   Price 2.00GBP per pack.  Go HERE.


Kalidaral reclined in the last chair in which he would ever sit.  When first he had lowered himself into the chair it had been comfortable; its padding molding itself to his contours.  Later it had become uncomfortable and then painful to him and then even the pain had dimmed away to nothing.  Now he felt nothing from his body and time was hard to grasp for him too.  Had it been hours? Days?  Weeks or perhaps months since he had been given the honour of the Hypnus acclamation and been fitted with the collar and the circlet.  Since then he had been carried upon the honoured set and fitted to a frame carrying the mighty atomic destabiliser cannon.  Then taken through the sparkling curtain of the gateway and brought to this strange new world. Now his vision was of red and of death; his nerve impulses not his own any more.  Aliens came within his view and thoughtless he would bring death to them with a blast of screaming energy.  So it had been, so it would be evermore.  So far from Jalania and her loving embrace....

IAF132 Hypnus  Portable Weapon Platform – Three Variants
The Hypnus is a slaved portable weapon platform which acts as support for Khanate infantry. The pieces are the four legged stand, legionary crew piece, gun shield and a chosen top mounted weapon. These parts make one complete platform. The options for the Hypnus are the Hydra 14Mw Laser Swarm Cannon (A), Helios 80kw Atomic Destabliser (B) and the Triple Jupiter Plasma 46mm Mount (C). You can get an idea of the size of the finished portable weapon by noting that each of them is standing on a 30mm round base (their basing size for Patrol Angis) and again they are labelled with the letter corresponding to their variant weapon. Each pack contains ONE kit. You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs with a saving.   Price 2.00GBP per pack.  Go HERE.


IAF130 Khanate Anti-Gravity Propulsion Unit 
While it is perfectly fitting to have your Selene or Hypnos Portable Weapons static on the battlefield giving fire support or acting in a defensive and dug in formation you might want some pace to them and a way to get them around during the heat of battle. To that end we have a motive system suitable for them. For use by the Legionaries of the Khanate. This pack contains four identical 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  These fit with the IAF131 Selene and IAF132 Hypnus platforms.  Price 4.00GBP per pack.  Go HERE.


IAF133 Legion Gun Platform Crew
This pack contains two 15mm scale white metal miniatures in different poses. Two Legionaries in glimmer suits with the first holding the remote control interface for a portable weapon and the second with interface range finder. Combine these portable weapon crew miniatures with  IAF131 Selene Portable Weapon Platforms or use them for other purposes in your forces. Choose from a pack, three packs with saving or single poses. Price 1.00GBP per pack.  Go HERE.


Information Burst
With all of our releases made for the month of March 2017 we want to remind you that you get IMP43 Female Muster Banner Bearer who fits right in with your Muster or Patrol or even Planetary Militia platoons in play free in every order.  Until the end of February she is included at one per order (you can order more of her this month by going to the Year Collection page) and you get your Reward Points on your account too.  


We have two more things to show you later this month.  An example page from the coming Khanate Return book the third in the Patrol Angis series and an article about an Afara Strider in the service of the League of Canlaster taken from our own gaming collection.  The Afara is generic enough for many settings and it is designed for tabletop gaming being easy to assemble from few parts and durable to use in play too.  I am also told it can be easily converted and altered with parts from our other codes such as IAF065 Vehicle Conversion Kit.  Lastly we have a new month long special offer...it is a bloody good one....25% off all three variants of the IAF128 Afara Strider our resin light mecha which is 55mm tall.  Click on the links.

Thanks for Reading

GBS

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

IMP43 Female Muster Banner Bearer free for all March 2017!

What a mad short month February was as most of my attention was taken up with the merger of 15mmcouk back into Alternative Armies and with getting a concept article on the coming Shia Khan book out on the blog plus a whole Legion Pioneer Ordos.  Wow!  All in twenty eight short feeling days.  Now we are in March and it will be an exciting month for IonFans with several new Khanate 15mm releases plus preview page of the coming book and ending with details of when the book will be out to be in your hands.  All of this to come.  Now onto the news for the start of the month.  A new free monthly and a special ones at that.  A banner bearer free in every order placed automatically.


The Ion Age is all about space opera adventure and warfare in the far future and to that end it assumes not only the use of powered armour and powered swords but also of concepts such as valour and heroic nature.  In Patrol Angis this concept is carried into the game on the tabletop with an Advanced Rule on page 38 called 'Valour' where the sight of a banner waving in the breeze of battle inspires troops all the more.  All of our command packs of miniatures have a banner bearer in them and these are considered core poses.  This month we present IMP43 Female Muster Banner Bearer who fits right in with your Muster or Patrol or even Planetary Militia platoons in play.




We welcome the 43rd free monthly 15mm miniature and month of our little space opera setting. Free in every order every time all month before being retired. This miniature is automatically put into every order at the rate of one per order regardless of order value. It can also be bought in any amount on the monthly IMP page of the website for this month only too before being withdrawn on the first of next month. We are into Year Four now and if you missed it you can see the Year Three Collection on the website.  Standing 17mm to the eye line the Female Muster Banner Bearer is fitting for any platoon and is wearing standard Aketon Armour and holding a Tumbler SMG.  Her banner is sculpted to the figure meaning all you need to do is choose the design to go upon it.  It is a superbly impressive 15mm scale figure. There is a growing page on the Ion Age website where the current and all former IMP series free miniatures are shown so that you can see what came before. Enjoy looking at what came before.  This miniature is worth 0.60GBP.



We ask you to sign up for a website account with us on your first order. Why? For one reason only. Not to send you emails (we never will. If you want our emails sign up for our Mailchimp list on the right top of the blog home page) or to pester you; but only to keep track of the Reward Points that all orders with us earn. Reward Points through our online partner Sloyalty which can be used once accumulated to get discounts or free stuff at any point in the future. Learn more about this HERE. Every order earns Reward Points! Yes free extra value. Part of our promise to keep the fun in wargaming. 


Lastly we have a new month long special offer...it is a bloody good one....25% off all three variants of the IAF128 Afara Strider our resin light mecha which is 55mm tall.  We will have a fun article later this month with an Afara in the service of the League of Canlaster taken from our own gaming collection.  



The Afara is generic enough for many settings and it is designed for tabletop gaming being easy to assemble from few parts and durable to use in play too.  I am also told it can be easily converted and altered with parts from our other codes such as IAF065 Vehicle Conversion Kit.  The discount is online and all you need do is add to cart, reward points are as normal and can be used on this offer too.  Offer ends 1st April.  Click on the links to learn more. 


As always if you are reading this bulletin later in the month or further into the future please do have a look at our blog and use it as a time machine to read all the excellent content that is there going right back to our start. Try August 2016 for instance where you can find a parts article on the Afara plus civilian pack releases and our Uniforms of Prydia poster too.

Thanks for your support and for enjoying The Ion Age!

GBS

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Two 15mm Shia Khan Pioneer packs and platoon pack with free extra miniature released!

“Legion are bad enough. Let me beat on Maligs all year along instead of Legion. But those Pioneers they are way worse. They might not have those rigs the Nox have but those plates can still deflect a burst of Moth Rifle fire with no problems. I remember one time with the 658th a few months back. We were in this place, must have been a zero ball stadium or something, big and oval shaped with stripped out seats. They even had a burned out Happy Burger shack. Shame that, I used to enjoyed that gloop. Anyway there we were all set up nice and ready. No Anvils, Bodkins or Rons with us but command figured we had the Moth Type 12's with those 40mm grenades and our rifle rounds would be plenty. After all we had seen the six Tesserans coming down the bust up Rubbacrete strip towards us and we were just waiting. Fixed on the entry tunnel levelled barrels.

In they came. I saw the green suits, Medusa Legion, just for a moment before the comms signal to fire came. We opened up with everything and I watched the entry tunnel turn to powder and flame. Three seconds and we ceased. I expected green mist and nothing twitching but that ain't what happened, not at all. Turns out those alien scum bags had put in two Tesserans of Pioneers first and they had just sat down wrapped in those damn armour plates when we rained on them. Sure we dropped a couple of them but at that range and without AP it wasn't enough. As we reloaded they stood up and gave us a kiss back with a dozen Flora pattern grenaders. I lost some mates that day.

As I said Legion are bad enough but the Pioneers....screw that...that's a job for those shiny Retained lads!”
Majoris Killian Jones, Camarthen Prime, 4331IC



On our website at the end of last week and now with its actual release news we present all of our releases for February 2017.  Two new 15mm Khanate packs and a new platoon pack with an extra free unique miniature.  All building towards the next Patrol Angis book called The Khanate Return. Check out our blog article HERE to read all about the ideas and concepts going on with this title. Here are the details of the new releases and remember you get IMP42 Commander Gongji free in every order, worth 0.60GBP, automatically as well as your Reward Points on your account with us. Go HERE or read on for more.


IAF124 Legion 3rd Pioneers
This month the Shia Khan Empire expands again with a third code of 15mm Legion Pioneers in their distinctive Segmentum armour plates. This code contains eight new white metal poses composed of an Ordo (officer) in cloak armed with a Cupid 0.5Kw Pistol and Juno 2.0Kw Laser Rifle and seven different Discens (privates) armed with the Juno 2Kw Laser Rifle. Your core rifle squad. The suit worn by Pioneers lacks the reactive glimmer of Legionaries but has the same auto-aid ability and breather function plus the protection of the Segmentum armour plates. As always this code can be bought as a pack or as single miniatures or select the three packs and save 10% option on the page. Go HERE. Price 4.00GBP per pack.


IAF125 Legion 4th Pioneers
This month the command for the Khanate Pioneers is released.  A code of eight 15mm Legion Pioneers in their distinctive Segmentum armour plates. White metal poses composed of senior officers, comms, banner bearer, medic and casualties too. Your command and personalities squad. The suit worn by Pioneers lacks the reactive glimmer of Legionaries but has the same auto-aid ability and breather function plus the protection of the Segmentum armour plates. As always this code can be bought as a pack or as single miniatures or select the three packs and save 10% option on the page. Go HERE. Price 4.00GBP per pack.



IAFP09 Pioneer Ordos Platoon Pack (with unique miniature) 
This platoon pack contains a full Ordos of miniatures as well as an additional free unique miniature found only in this code.  An Ordos of thirty two Pioneer type Legionaries composed of four Tesserans of eight Segmentum armour clad Legionaries plus one Pioneer melee expert with powered sword.  A full force for your wargaming table.  This platoon pack is composed of the following packs:  IAF012 Pioneers 1st Tesseran (Maia Mpis), IAF019 Pioneers 2nd Tesseran (Flora Grenade Guns), IAF124 Pioneer 3rd Tesseran (Juno Rifles) and IAF125 Pioneer 4th Tesseran (Command and Casualties).  Lastly the melee expert Pioneer. The Legions of the Shia Khan Empire are the main fighting force of the Empire. Legionaries are their core who command themselves and oversee the hordes of Malig Space Goblins and instruct the hulking Warlords too.  Organised into standard Tesserans (8 Troops) and Ordos (32 Troops) they are a flexible and effective fighting force.  Legionaries are respected by the Retained, equals of the Muster and feared by the Planetary Militia. This code comprises thirty three different poses of 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs with a 10% saving applied on screen. Supplied Unpainted and without Bases.  Go HERE  16.00GBP


Noble Knight Games
Our North American Agent carries all of our products in all scales along with a lot of products from us and Alternative Armies too. This includes our entire 28mm and 15mm lines. So if you already use this great company or you want to since you are in the USA or Canada you can get your Ion Age products there. Browse from the main page link to all of our products on NKG. Go HERE.


Information Burst
The Xin have their month on our calendar and so we welcome the 42nd free monthly 15mm miniature and month of our little space opera setting.  Commander Gongji is free in every order every time all month before being retired. This miniature is automatically put into every order at the rate of one per order regardless of order value. It can also be bought in any amount on the monthly IMP page of the website for this month only too before being withdrawn on the first of next month. We are into Year Four now and if you missed it you can see the Year Three Collection on the website.  This month's miniature is a superb character by Sam Croes.  Standing 17mm to the eye line it is a heroic officer for your Xin forces at the platoon or squad level.  Armed with a powered sword.  There is a growing page on the Ion Age website where the current and all former IMP series free miniatures are shown so that you can see what came before. Enjoy looking at what came before.  This miniature is worth 0.60GBP. Go HERE.

Thanks for Reading,

GBS

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Khanate Return for Patrol Angis Ideas and Concepts

"A matter gateway is active on Carmarthen IV. Losses are mounting, send everything; everyone.  Send them now.  The Khanate have returned." 

That above is the line which began the idea which has now become 'The Khanate Return'.  Later this spring in 2017 the third book in the Patrol Angis series of 15mm tabletop gaming will be published by Alternative Armies in The Ion Age.  This third book will fully bring back in the enemies of mankind first introduced all the way back at the dawn of the 1990's; the Shia Khan Empire.  I had always been interested in massively expanding the Khanate both in terms of the miniatures for them but also their lore and their story.  After all just who are they?  Lets learn a little more....

Shortly after I launched the new Ion Age and its website we released IAF006 Legionary 1st Tesseran, sculpted by Sam Croes, which turned to 15mm scale the 28mm miniatures we already had.  This began the process which was building towards the coming book.  Over the last three years or so we have released more Legionaries, Warlords, Nox and Pioneers plus Malig space goblins making an excellent force for the Khanate but all working towards a much larger goal.  We will be releasing a lot more codes before, alongside and after the new book to make the Shia Khan a full all arms force in The Ion Age.  What we have right now in February 2017 you can see on the website HERE.


This article gives you a look at some excerpts from the manuscript of the book as well as its general contents plus some extra special early looks at both concept art and sculpts which are coming up.  We are at the point of playtesting the new troop elements and vehicles in the book and we expect to finish this during February all being well.  We hope to have the book ready in time for the April offensive which we do every year.  So what are these concept pieces first, second and third shown.



The first concept sketch shows you our idea for the MkII Psychoborg.  Updating on the original robotic terror machine with a metal human skull and massive shoulders we kept the look but changed the style to make it better suit the newer miniatures which are coming beyond the original ideas.  The Psychoborg is one of the two reasons that the Prydian Precinct came up with Battlesuits...to put them on an equal footing.  These robots are twice the height of a man.  This and the 'humanscare' ability of these robots which drives soldiers away in terror makes them formidable foes.  We intend an easy kit with several weapon options and posable head.  The second concept sketch is an experimental one for bringing in female characters to the Khanate Empire.  Drawn in non battle dress rather than the full glimmer suit worn by all legionaries it shows the Elvish nature of Legionaries.  Above her is a sketch concept of a maser weapon which we are considering putting into the statistics tables.  The third sketch is now outmoded in that we have moved beyond this in our designs for the Khanate vehicles which will go up against our Adders, Mullo's and of course Taranis tanks.  The 'bulbous shoe' design was replaced with a conjoined tri-wheel arrangement which better suits the narrative of the setting in that every soldier and every vehicle these aliens possess must be brought through a comparatively narrow Matter Gateway from far across the galaxy.   The Matter Gateway is the central focus of this new invasion.



While we have just completed having a full 'Ordos' (platoon pack) for each Khanate troop type with a Pioneer Ordos we have now turned most of our 15mm scale concept sketches into miniatures which will be released across this spring into summer.  No confirmed release dates at this time but as a treat here are a couple of photos of sculpts with a little information on each. 

Were you a fan of the excellent computer game 'Joust' way back when?  I was.  Our goblin Maligs love the crazy dangerous aspects of space opera warfare and as a result they have insane vehicles such as the Infernus Ball Tank with twin flame throwers and the Orba ball bike which is very difficult to control.  We are ramping this up by another notch with the 15mm scale Skrak Terror Birds above.  These vicious giant birds each take a single goblin rider into the fray...unless they decide to eat the rider that is.  We will have a pack of these cavalry with bird only option plus a handler and nest pack too.

The second image shows you parts from one of the two portable weapon platform code sets which are coming for the Khanate.  Operated by Legionary gunners the 'Selen' platforms are much like the Espaten ones for the Retained Knights in that they have options for different weapon mounts.  These weapons include the Maia Cannon and the Juno Laser Cannon among others.  There is also a second platform with a 'slaved' operator called the 'Hypnus' with several other weapon options.

Look for these codes and others for the Khanate from March onwards at The Ion Age.

But what about the book...the loved 'fluff' that consumes a thousand hours of my life each time it is published.  What will be in the Khanate Return title?  Read on in part two of this article below with excerpts of the fiction and a look at the working cover of the book.  We then end with a little surprise.


A thousand years ago the Ban of Prejudice was lifted when in the climactic battle for Aldan IV the accursed Templars detonated the Aldan Crucible and in doing so created a both a dark age and the end of the Great Khanate War.  Their matter gateway in the Aldan system destroyed the Shia Khan Empire had no easy way to reach the worlds that became the Prydian Precinct as their empire lay so far away that no Dragon Ship could navigate to that region of space without immense difficulty.   Gradually the Shia Khan became a memory and then a legend held by folk as a tale and nothing more.  

Had it not been for the occasional wreak and discovery of artefacts they would have remained that way.  Had it not been for Hugo Sevaris the Khanate would have faded away.   But Sevaris became the most notorious traitor in human history when he used arcane knowledge to activate the matter gateway in the Camarthen star system.

Despite a desperate action in the deep Belkus Labyrinth the Camarthen Planetary Militia with the aid of the few hundred Retained Knights of Prydia on the planet could not stem a tide of Shia Khan troops which emerged from the purple light of the matter gateway.  A  civilian fusion reactor taken from a nearby city was detonated and the  Belkus Labyrinth destroyed burying the gateway and those coming from it under hundreds of feet of stone and earth.  A message was sent to New Glastonbury at the fastest possible speed.

"A matter gateway is active on Camarthen IV. Losses are mounting, send everything; everyone.  Send them now.  The Khanate have returned." 

It did not take long for the Legions of the Shia Khan Empire to dig their way to the surface and begin once more their determined drive to conquer mankind.
Knight General Obermann.  Fleet Command.  4329IC


Amy Barker was terrified.  She faced death and knew that her life was at an end.  The last hour had been a fleeting panicked flight from an ever escalating battle which it was clear the Camarthan planetary militia were losing and losing badly.  It was hard to believe that she had only been on this planet for two weeks and now she was alone, kneeling next to a reprogrammed fusion reactor that had only just arrived from Pelacan city.  It had been by sheer chance that she had taken this research posting and also chance that she had ended up in this small sealed chamber while all those she had met since her arrival were either dying or already dead.

With a shrill note her com-tel wrist communicator burst into life.  Amy pushed the small button on its side to accept the incoming private call.  Immediately it's small speakers echoed to the rattle of gunfire and shouting voices.  All those sounds had been blocked by the heavy door to the chamber in which Amy now knelt.

“Amy.  Can you hear me?  It's Professor Turner.  You have to activate the overload circuit on the reactor.  You have to do it now or all of his has been for nothing.  Amy can you hear me!”

There was a pause as a voice shouting orders next to the professor made him stop momentarily before continuing.  Amy opened her mouth but Turner continued first.

“Amy.  You must do it, the Wicca Protocol must be implemented.  They are nearly here.  I can see them.  I...”

With a howl of distortion the transmission cut out and a moment later Amy felt more than heard the booming echo of very nearby energy weapons fire.  It made dust fall from the roughly hewn ceiling of the chamber, some of which landed in Amy's now filthy blond hair and also upon the squat frame of the reactor.  She lifted her hand and let it hover over the inert flat display screen in the middle of the reactor's casing.  Could she make herself, will herself, to press the button that would activate the already set programme to overload the portable fission reactor and create an explosion.   She glanced at the door, the only way into the chamber.  Outside that door was something supposed long vanquished but very real indeed.  Forces unchained by their greedy and na├»ve curiosity. 

Looking intently at the cracks in her fingernails Amy held her hand steady but unmoving over the display.  Her thoughts tried to rally, tried to overcome the rising blind panic that threatened to overcome her.  She realised that her whole body was shaking and despite her best efforts she could not prevent the movement or even reduce it.  Her mind continued to seek for a way out, an avenue of escape, but it was pointless.  Professor Turner had been in the chamber beyond the one next to where she was.  There was one door into each of those chambers and beyond that she knew were kilometres of tunnels before she could even begin the long ascent towards sunlight.  She was trapped.  Well and truly.

Amy was brought from her thoughts jarringly back to the present by a hollow boom that reverberated around the chamber.  She looked to the door.  Had it moved.  No, she realised the rock wall around the door had splintered and been pushed towards her and she could see flames licking around the gaps.  They were here and with tears steaming down her face Amy knew she was the only human now left in the Belkus Labyrinth.  It was time.  They would pay for the dead, for their needless killing.  With that Amy strangely felt at peace.  The choice has been made.  She brought her hovering hand down hard on the activation stud and the display lit up.  It was a short sequence and it had begun.  It could not be stopped.

A thrumming drone began to fill the chamber as the reactor reached its operating levels and then began to exceed them at an increasing rate.  Another boom followed by the crashing fall of rock threw Amy to the ground.  With blood in her eyes she managed to rise to her knees as hulking shapes entered the scarred chamber.  Amy knew only seconds remained and as they surrounded her and then the now pulsing and glowing reactor.  Amy grinned through red rimmed teeth.

“Welcome to Carmarthen IV; you alien bastards.  Your gonna' have a blast!”

The illuminated green digits of the display ticked down the final few seconds to zero and then near everything for twenty kilometres all around was vaporised into a heavily radioactive dust cloud.....


“Make your rounds count.  Auto-Targeters off, I want manual sighting and aim for the upper chest and heads.  We have one chance before they make haste for our demise.”

The ten Retained Knights, all that was left of the 6th Lance, were ready in a single line and the final reminder over comm link into their helms was not necessary.  All had their weapons ready and aimed at the chipped rubbacrete entrance to the abandoned building.  Once it had held children who had gone about their daily learning without knowledge that they would soon die and all that would remain would be faded pictures on grimy walls.  The Retained knew that three Warlords were about to come through the entrance.  Warlords, the toughest of the slave races used by the Khanate each with the might of five men and carrying guns that were the envy of portable weapon teams.  Prydian remote drones had picked up the trio who were evidently not expecting to find enemies in the building.  Even so Warlords were very hard to kill even with 12.5mm AP rounds from an Angis Rifle.

“Here they come.  Take the lead one first'”

Stooping to get in the first Warlord entered the long dusty room its ten foot tall frame filling the whole entrance and the lowered barrel of its Maia Scatter Cannon noisily scrapping the floor.  As it straightened up the next Warlord came in behind and as it did so the first alien saw the knights and immediately started to raise its weapon.  Without a command the ten Retained opened fire.  The air was filled with over a hundred Angis bullets which tore great holes in the Warlord's lorican armour and then into its body.  The 12.5mm rounds detonated with a bang and then the Warlord's head simply exploded and it pitched forward into the floor with a wet crash.  Behind the fallen foe the next Warlord had its Mars 20mm Chain Cannon almost to the right level to open fire and its multiple barrels were spinning.  A number of the Angis round struck it and giant paused.  The pause was fatal as the two Retained, one either end of the line, each armed with an Anvil 888 launcher let fly their own projectiles.  They had waited until the first enemy had dropped and the two TX9 Hollow Charges, essentially just really big 60mm bullets, hammered into the second Warlord just as its finger activated the chain cannon.  Its left arm was thrown away and its right leg blown off at the knee which caused the 20mm shells of the chain cannon to rip into the wall and ceiling of the room missing the knights.

“Reload.  Free Fire!'

There was blood as mist in the air and it would take the Retained a number of seconds to eject the spent magazines from their rifles and load more.  They had brought down two of the monsters but now the third was in the room and its Helios 80kw Atomic Destabliser went off with a scream of super heated vapour.  In the blinding flash of loosed energy six of the knights were obliterated, their powered armour no protection at the destabilising of bonds at the atomic level.  The remaining four Retained on the right of the now gone line fell sideways as the red and white peeled and blistered from their titanium alloy armour.  But their hands were slamming magazines in all the same.   It would take the Helios time to charge again and perhaps the Humans would get lucky....perhaps.
Gullyville Edu Fact, Taranga District, Camarthen Prime 4330IC


These excepts are taken from the discovery of the alien artefacts on Carmarthen IV (also known as Carmarthen Prime) and from the story of the fight to stop the Khanate in the Belkus Labyrinth deep underground. Then lastly the hopeless campaign to save Pelcan City from the advance of the Legions as they try to take the planet.  It is a really cool story and campaign giving a great number of tabletop gaming scenarios for you to play Patrol Angis. The book has still to have its final contents confirmed as, with every project I take on, I always create too much content and then have to trim it down but here is what currently will be in the book.  These are broad sections to give you an idea of just how this Army Book for Patrol Angis will expand your Ion Age gaming.

THE KHANATE RETURN
The third book in the One Hour Wargame series is our first Army Book for
Patrol Angis. You will need the core rule book to make full use of it as well
as Callsign Taranis as it gives campaign and army lists for a new setting. Here
are the main sections what will be in this sixty four page book:

THE CAMARTHAN CAMPAIGN
A Matter Gateway is now active, and the Shia Khan Empire has once more
returned to the Prydian Precinct. A second Khanate War has begun in the
Camarthan star system!

THE SHIA KHAN EMPIRE
Army Organisation along with the Armoury

ARMY LIST FOR THE KHANATE EMPIRE
Full statistics for Troop Types, Armour, Weapons and Vehicles

ADVANCED RULES FOR THE KHANATE EMPIRE
Special skills as well as unique abilities for use in play

THE PLANETARY MILITIA
An addition to the Prydian Army you can field the Planetary Militia in “The
Khanate Return” and in your other games of Patrol Angis. Troop Types,
Armoury and Advanced Rules.

CAMARTHAN CAMPAIGN SCENARIOS
Get your games of Patrol Angis off to a flying start as the Khanate Empire
features in three great scenarios set in the Camarthan Campaign.

This is a lot in a packed sixty four pages I do hope you enjoy it.  I have had a blast writing it!  Now for the news....




This month's releases are actually online right now and the news for them will happen next week in detail.  Brand new Shia Khan Pioneers two new eight figure packs plus a Pioneer platoon pack (33 miniatures) with extra unique free miniature in it.  Plus we have free postage this weekend in conjunction with Alternative Armies in celebration of the merger of 15mmcouk back into the now massive choice Alternative Armies website.  Check out the new releases HERE and all orders over 12.00GBP get free worldwide shipping plus Reward Points on their account and this month's free monhtly miniature too.  Offer ends 9am GMT Tuesday 21st February 2017.  Excellent!

Thanks for Reading and ask any questions you have here or on the blog or by email to info@theionage.com.

GBS

Monday, 13 February 2017

Patrol Angis book and rules reviewed in depth by Ian at Just Play website


There is a new review of the core 15mm rule set at The Ion Age namely Patrol Angis.  The review is in depth and independent which is the best kind of review (at least to me!).  It looks at the book itself along with the setting, the mechanics of the game and a number of other angles which Ian, who wrote the review, found interesting.  It is located HERE on the Just Play website which has a lot to offer upon its pages.  Enjoy!


I enjoyed the review.  I often find it odd reading reviews of my own work but Ian has a lovely style and really captured what I was thinking during the process of creating Patrol Angis.  You can find the book as well as its sequel Callsign Taranis and its excellent value starter box set on the website HERE.


Thanks for Reading,

GBS