1. What's this all about then?

Hello - my name's Michael Lovejoy, and I'm a miniatures addict - I've been collecting, painting and gaming with miniatures for 31 years.
In 2001, I started working as a freelance miniatures sculptor, turning my hobby into my job. Well, it was still my hobby too... so, more of a jobby, I guess. ;)
Then, after many years of sculpting for a variety of companies, I decided in 2013 to start my own range of miniatures. So, in April 2013, my wife Jo and I set up a business partnership called Oathsworn Miniatures. We started by running some small Kickstarter projects, which went well, and now we have a webshop up and running, with 40+ miniatures in it.
But while that's all good, it's not what I really want... what I want is my own game! And that's what this blog is about - my game, how I'm developing it, the rules, the miniatures, the art, everything. Including just how far out of my depth I am...

Where to start?
The first thing was to decide what sort of game I wanted to do. The sensible commercial decision would be to do a sci-fi mass battle game... so I went for fantasy skirmish. Really, I just thought about the kind of games I wanted to play.
The game I probably played the most over the years is Mordheim; I was working retail for Games Workshop when it was launched, and we really made a big deal of it in my store. I loved the fact that you didn't need many figures to play it, and especially that you could run campaigns, with characters gaining equipment and skills. Of course, it wasn't perfect; anyone who played it a lot will spot the issues involving armour, and dual wielding hand weapons, to mention just two... but still, it was a great game with a lot of atmosphere.

But I didn't want to try and make a Mordheim clone. For a start, I wasn't looking for a standard fantasy setting; I didn't want elves, orcs and dwarfs for example, and magic couldn't be massively powerful, certainly not the overpowered uberweapon it is in many fantasy games. I also wanted it to be grounded firmly in reality; that would limit the scope of the game, but make it easier to focus on the important stuff. So, I needed to decide on the game's setting.
I gave myself a few ground rules. Firstly, it had to be set in England, preferably the north east. I live there, and I'm familiar with it. Secondly, it had to be set in the 14th century. There's so much apocalyptic stuff going on then; floods, storms and climate change, famine, the Hundred Years War with the French, the ongoing war with Scotland, the Black Death, the Peasant's Revolt - it's just a non-stop torrent of devastating upheaval. Thirdly, I wanted to set it in a real town, preferably one that had suffered some kind of violence or destruction.
I started Googling... and very soon I had found the perfect candidate. A large, prosperous town on the east coast of England; and town which ... was an extremely famous borough, devoted to merchandise with many fisheries and the most abundantly provided with ships and burgesses of all the boroughs of that coast. But yet, by all its wicked deeds and especially wrong-doings on the sea, and by its evil actions and predations, it provoked the vengeance of God upon itself beyond measure. A town ruined by storms and flooding, beset by outlaws and pirates. A town, in short, that was a perfect setting for a skirmish game.

The town was named Ravenser Odd, sometimes spelt Ravenserrod or Ravensrodd... I went with Ravensrodd. And so the game's setting and name were decided.