As ever, the December issue is bursting at the seams with lots of great wargaming articles to keep you busy for the next month, and you haven’t got long to wait: issue 368 is published at the end of this week, 22nd November.
• Neil Shuck’s Forward Observer column takes the usual gallop around the wargaming scene, pausing to consider the surprising revival of Ex-Illis, the upsurge of rules for the Crusades, developments for Dead Man’s Hand, forthcoming ancients rules, a starter set for Dropzone Commander, the Fall of the Reich supplement for the Plastic Soldier Company’s Battlegroup rules, a game inspired by Aliens, and finally a round-up of all the current Kickstarter projects on the go.
• Our wargames widow Diane Sutherland turns her attention to pre-modern haulage this month, creating wagons of her own to paint and load with a wide range of wares. These are suitable for anything from ancients up to the early 20th century, so now would be a good time to raid your local coffee chains and stock up on wooden stirrers!
• Our regular feast of Fantasy Facts from John Treadaway covers new releases from Dashing DIce Games, Lancer Miniatures, Ainsty, C P Models, Rebel Miniatures, Brigade Models, Pig iron, Antenoceti and Crooked Dice, ranging from armed and dangerous lizards to beautiful interiors for your S-F games. Plenty to get excited about!
• Diamonds are forever is a collaborative piece, penned by a party of players who indulge their imagi-nations! If you recall the huge weekend organised by the Editor in 2012 which pitched warring ‘European’ nations into the cauldron of somewhat North-African-ish Byzarbia, then the latest madness created by Paul Bright will make perfect sense – a foray into nDunaland (which has a suspiciously South African tinge to it), with the nations that came off worst in Byzarbia plotting to clear their debts by the simple expedient of snatching a diamond mine. An epic undertaking which led to a spectacular 18th century-style encounter, read the players’ fun-packed accounts!
• Mission: Baston House School is a report by John Treadaway describing his visit to a local special needs school with an armful of Armourfast AFVs, glue and spray paints to introduce a handful of youngsters to the joys of making and then playing with military models. The outcome was both moving and delightful and certainly thought-provoking. Thanks to John and his wife Fiona for this special piece.
• Command challenge – a river crossing mini-campaign. Now, here’s a special kind of contributor: Andrew Rolph wasn’t happy that there weren’t enough articles in the magazine about the stuff he really loves – so he plucked up the courage to write some of his own and send them in. Cracking articles they are too, and this series of battles set on the Eastern Front of WWII produces an epic see-saw affair that could keep a couple of friends, a club or even a solo wargamer busy and excited for days. Well done Andrew!
• Why are many rulesets so complex? Keen competition gamer Martin Stephenson has had his fill of incomprehensible rules, and so has put pen to paper to explain where he thinks the problem lies and offers suggestions for solutions. A precise and surgical piece that sheds light on the way rules are often written.
• Conrad Kinch uses his Send three and fourpence page to discuss the tricky problem of deception in wargames, an aspect of warfare that is often elusive and sadly neglected. Game organisers and umpires will find much to experiment with here.
• Salamanca’s siren call part 4: this month, The Editor considers the thorny problem of reproducing the challenges of horse and musket era command and control on the tabletop and examines different systems that can be used to achieve the right historical flavour but also a good game.
• Another new contributor this month, Mick Sayce begins a series on the remarkable Mongol incursions of the early 13th century with Battle of the Kura River February 1221. Part of ‘the longest reconnaissance in the world’, the battle saw two Mongol ‘tumens’ pitched against a desperate defence mounted by Georgians, Armenians, Alans and others. Mick provides you with all the information you need to reproduce this fast-moving action on the tabletop.
• Canaanites for Christmas. Veteran contributor Jim Webster returns with another inventive offering, this time recreating Biblical campaigns with nothing more than a pack of playing cards and a couple of boxes of plastic figures. As well as providing simple and fun campaign mechanisms, Jim also makes suggestions for fighting battles using DBA or Basic impetus to get the maximum bang from just a few bucks of outlay. Highly entertaining!
• Gosh, lots of new faces this month! Malcolm Johnson and Dave Tuck show that Diane Sutherland isn’t the only terrain-making expert around, producing some beautiful canal sections for our delectation in Canaletto or canal grande? Expect to see more from the guys from Grimsby in future issues.
• Competition: this month, you have the opportunity to win a copy of John Ray’s rare and mouth-watering masterpiece A Military Gentleman of the 18th Century. Don’t miss the chance!
• Recce is slightly briefer than usual this month because we just had so much good stuff to cram in, but covers a great selection of books and rules in time for you to fill your Christmas stocking.
And to round up, we have the booking details for the very first Featherstone Annual Tribute weekend, a page of eye candy from Crisis, and good news about the inexorable progress of our Combat Stress Appeal.
That’s all for this time – I’m already working on the January issue!