Flintloque Elves from Alternative Armies

Just finished painting my first figs from Alternative Armies. AA is a wonderfull company based in Scottland. Originally I discovered them while looking for do dads to embellish models and their bases: they have a nice selection of barrels, anvils, trays with bottles, wagons and dungeon furniture. They also have an extensive line of classic fantasy figs and the line that they are famous for is Flintloque (fantasy being in Napoleanic uniforms with muskets). The Flintloque / Slaughterloo Games are a little "tongue in cheek" kind of funny in the whole premise of Napoleanic evles, dwarves, ogre, trolls, and goblins but I found it appealing since I love fantasy & history games (most weekends I sit in on a game simulating a battle from the 7 Years War). As for the rule system I have yet to buy and read it but I can surmise a few things about it: the company seems to have been around for awhile with well fleshed out miniatures lines and since their flagship line is of limited utility for use in other games (French elves, British Orcs!!!) they must be doing alright and that implys cutomer loyalty to their flagship games: Flintloque and Slaughterloo. So I would expect the rules to we well rounded and ballanced and fun.

As for Product #51017 Chasseurs of the Garde ($5.00 British Pounds): Ferach elf light infantry, my fist impression was that the elf faces were very narrow and long and that the ankles were too thin. After painting I’ve decided I liked the the slight weirdness of the faces since it gave an air of alienness to the elves (some manufacturers distinguish their elves strictly on the one obvious elven feature, ears, almost to the point of comicalness). Having thier elves wear a distinctive style of face along with the pointy ears is a sublte distinction for a race but I perfer it as other manufacturers are really just producing humans with pointy ears. Sadly the ankles were to thin as one snapped when I attempted to trin the base (pre-slotta) to base them on a cobble stone base. Its not really a problem if you dont trim the integral base like I did and if you do the ankle was easy enough to drill and pin. (The reason for the thin ankles, I beleive, is that the soldier is suppose to be wearing "gators" but I thought they were a little short and maybe the remedy would be to file and scuplt new ones with greenstuff).
All of the details on the figs were crisp without "blurring" – faces had distinct eyelids, eyes, and eyebrows and the the flint and lock mechanisms on the muskets were easily destinct – a real plus. I thought the musket was a little short but I’m not a real expert on 18 century firearms and yeah their elves they dont have to match historic Chasseurs exactly its just that the length of rifle was what I expected on a Wild West figure not a mussel loading flintlock.
There was minimal flash and no casting defects Overal a very paintable figure and at a rough cost of $2.50 (US) each I thought their quality to cost ratio made them a great buy.

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One Response to Flintloque Elves from Alternative Armies

  1. Thomas says:

    Just Read the Flintloque Rules cover to cover (a "lite" version is available if you join the company\’s yahoo group the Notables).  First I\’d like to congratulate Alternative Armies on the arrangement of the rules. They were straight forward and easy to follow (not always the case with wargame rules written by someone with a different culture to you- Flintloque originates in Scotland but to be fair the rules systems that drove me a little crazy originate in England!).  Secondly, I would like to congratulate AA on their super fantastic customer service! When I first developed an interest in the game and only wanted to check it out without committing alot of money to it before deciding to jump in I asked (by email) if they had a light version of the rules available by download to try it out. The answer at the time was no but the rep promised to kick the suggestion "upstairs". Well I ordered a few things from their various lines and suddenly a month and a half latter they had a "lite" version of Flintloque in PDF available to download. Good move on their part since I now own a copy of the rules and I\’ve tripled the number of figures I\’ve bought from them. They dont have an obvious "parts" service on thier site yet they are very willing to fill individual orders by email even when you dont know the name of the peice your looking for! I Cannot comment more on how refreshing it is to deal with a manufacturer in the gaming business that really treats the customer as king as apposed to companys that treat customers as the village idiot!!! Ok sorry for babbling on about their customer serive it was just so shocking in the postive that I almost fell off my computer chair.     My first impression of the game is that it is an accurate clean system of rules that wont require a lot of page turning and head scratching to play. The morale checks were one feature that I really liked. In some games a failed morale means straight up removal from play (route & remove from table) whcih seems a bit arbitrary but also seems to be the best solution for those rules. In Flintloque there is grades of morale failure and while its possible for a run for the hills failure there is a lot of room for dive for cover failure and fall back away from the enemy failure or even freeze in place failure. While I personally would not like to have a trooper freeze in place for a turn that would be infinetly better to having him removed from play.     I found that the turn sequence was very appealing as well. Players commit models to actions before initative or morale checks which means that you can have troops who wont or cant carry out the actions you want them to during the turn. That adds to the atmosphere or reality in that soldiers on the battlefield dont always do what their general wants or intends. (I\’ve grown to dislike games where every figure moves exactly where the general wants and the worst loss of controll is a failed morale check).     The mechanics for combat seem simple enough and I expect that experience players play with nothing more than a few laminated reference sheets.     Finally, the flow and feel of the rules make me think that they would be great for American Civil war or any other historical genre of the blackpowder era. the biggest obstacle their would be making up a new tables for movement since the movement rates for dwarves and ogre wont apply. The weapon\’s stats should easily convert as most seem to be patterned on real world models. The artilery rules would convert straight up across the board and as for cavalry just delete all the fantasy based mounts.     Overall I think this is a very playable game.

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