Today is the anniversary of this major battle and I've done a lengthy review of the two books recently published by Ken Trotman on the Austro-Prussian War, together with an interview with the authors and a lot of extra information.
Issue 402 marks a major shift, the last of one era of the magazine and the prelude to a new future. Outgoing editor Henry Hyde has made sure that his last issue packs a punch, covering a broad range of topics as always.
In Prelude to Kursk, the last installment of The red empire strikes back – fighting the Great Patriotic War one battle at a time, Andrew Rolph concludes his series of Ostfront scenarios with the Germans making a brave bid to pinch out one of the Russian salients near Kursk.
In Memoir 1643, Arthur Harman provides a complete set of rules for seventeenth century battles played on hex terrain, owing much to popular ‘crossover’ boardgames, with glorious photos of Andrew Brentnall’s magnificent 12mm ECW collection.
In Little Wars – the first miniature wargames, Benjamin Bourn celebrates the man who got it all started, back in the mists of time – the master storyteller and wargame inventor H G Wells.
In Grenouisse at bay part 4, the outgoing Editor takes us into the final chapter of the Grenouisse at Bay campaign, the latest installment of the never-ending Wars of the Faltenian Succession. The players wanted action – and they got plenty of it!
Craig Armstrong tells us It’s the little things, extolling the virtues of sub-28mm gaming and exhorting you to tread the tiny path.
And finally we have a show report from The Other Partisan 2016 by Neil Shuck who travelled to Newark on our behalf.
Of course, we have our regular spots too:
In his Briefing The Editor bids a fond farewell to the magazine he has nurtured since 2006, wishing it and its loyal supporters well.
In World Wide Wargaming, The Editor takes his final reconnaissance flight over the digital front line, where our hobby is evolving at the speed of light and providing us with new opportunities.
The Editor completes his regular spots this month with Forward Observer, steadying his binoculars to scan the wargaming horizon and see what’s heading our way.
Diane Sutherland gives us Spanish walls in her Continuing tales of a wargames widow. She has been dreading husband Jon’s demands for even more scenery, so now she pins him to the table, mutters “Nuestra casa tiene altas paredes blancas,” and picks up the knife.
In Fantasy Facts, John Treadaway scans the forthcoming fantasy and sci-fi horizon and finds that it is full of delights for the discerning gamer.
Norm Smith has a go at Wargaming my way, our series featuring a different wargamer every month. He steps up to tell us about his unique approach, based around limited space and constrained circumstances. It never fails to amaze how creative wargamers can be! Next time, it could be you…
In Hex Encounter, boardgame specialist Brad Harmer-Barnes posts his valedictory column, casting a fond look over his shoulder at the hexes he has encountered along the way.
In his Send three and fourpence column, Conrad Kinch provides thoughts on wargaming as a group endeavour.
The Editor gives a special Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal report this month, which includes a new initiative, the Combat Stress Kit Collection, which makes it possible for you to send kits, miniatures and wargaming accessories direct to the veterans undergoing Occupational Therapy. Please help!
And finally, our regular review slot Recce.
Our front cover photo, by the Editor, was taken as fire took hold as Prunkland’s forces stormed the city of Contre Rivière in the climactic battle of the Grenouisse at Bay campaign described in these pages. The figures are mostly 30mm plastic Spencer Smiths of 1970s vintage, with some Foundry.
I have received numerous queries relating to the magazine in recent days and since many of these issues relate to matters over which I have no control, such as the digital edition and the new 16pp fantasy & sci-fi section announced in an ad in Tabletop Gaming today, it seems best to let you know about developments as they relate to me.
Issue 402 will be my final issue of MWBG. The publishers want to try some new ideas to take the magazine forward, as is of course their right, so I have decided that it would be best if someone with a fresh perspective shouldered that responsibility, and my resignation, which was accepted last week, takes effect once this issue goes to press.
Warners are in the process of appointing my successor who will take over from issue 403. No appointment has yet been made as far as I am aware, but of course I am sure that whoever takes over will do a great job.
I shall be saying my formal farewells in my final Briefing of issue 402 which goes to press at the end of next week, and of course you'll also read my final Forward Observer, World Wide Wargaming and the last instalment of the Wars of the Faltenian Succession. Lots to do!
Therefore, I would be grateful if you would allow me to complete my task as best I can over the next ten days or so, in order that this issue is up to the same standard as all the previous ones. Whilst I shall do my best to keep track of online comments, I must concentrate on doing a professional job right to the end, and the fact is that there will be many questions to which I simply cannot provide answers, and it is the team at Warners to whom queries should be addressed (contact details are all on page 3 of the magazine). I shall therefore refrain from commenting until my task is complete.
In addition, it must ask you to stop sending me submissions – until a successor is appointed, I can only pass them on to Warners for the next Editor to assess. Moreover, those of you who have already sent me submissions must let me know whether, for any reason, you do not wish your article(s) to be passed on to Warners. I shall assume that, unless I hear from you, you are happy for your article(s) to remain in the content armoury for the magazine going forward and the new editor will be in touch in due course.
It has been a pleasure and an honour to have steered the merger of Battlegames with Miniature Wargames, and I cannot express how grateful I am for all the support I have recieved over my ten years in wargame magazine production from all of you, but it is time for me to leave my baby behind and move on to pastures new, and of course you all know where to find me online.
I am sure that the team at Warners will keep you apprised of future developments and I wish them, and the magazine, every success for the future.
As the Olympics reach their climax and the wargamer about town looks for new things to hold his attention, issue 401 lands on his doormat just in time!
In To the next river, the fifth installment of The red empire strikes back – fighting the Great Patriotic War one battle at a time, Andrew Rolph continues his series of Ostfront scenarios with a desperate defence of a river line by a hastily cobbled together kampfgruppe in danger of being overwhelmed.
In Centreville refought, Mike Batten and his friends from the Shrewsbury Wargames Society discovered that they had inspiration in common, sparked by the late, great Terry Wise and his simple games with Airfix toy soldiers.
A Piper at the Gates sees John Treadaway setting out a scenario for the popular ‘hard’ sci-fi ruleset Hammer’s Slammers, which can easily be translated to most modern settings. In addition, he recounts how The Editor mercifully avoided disgracing himself in his first ever Slammers encounter!
In Grenouisse at bay part 3, The Editor continues his account of the latest installment of his image-nations campaign, which brought players from around the UK together at the ﬁnal showdown weekend in Ayton, Yorkshire. This month, he plunges us into the opening action of the campaign. However, it was not a battle that opened the hostilities, but an 18th century covert mission gone wrong!
Tony Harwood has been Making More Hay, following up his first haymaking project that appeared in issue 392 with a delightful covered haystack suitable for any historical or fantasy setting. So pick up your pitchforks and get cracking!
And finally we have a show report from The Joy of Six 2016 by Neil Shuck who reports on this specialist micro-scale event.
Of course, we have our regular spots too:
In his Briefing The Editor considers the many ways in which our hobby is fulfilling, involving as it does so many creative strands.
In World Wide War gaming, The Editor continues his research into the English Civil War, now trying to find suitable model buildings; looks at the Kickstarter success of Miniature Wargaming: The Movie; and picks another pair of Blogs of the Month.
The Editor completes his regular spots this month with Forward Observer, scouting out the latest offerings from The Plastic Soldier Company, Black Hussar, Crusader Miniatures, Totentanz Miniatures, Total Battle Miniatures, Lancashire Games, Rapier Miniatures, Rapid Fire and Tiny Wargames.
Diane Sutherland gives us Corking outcrops in her Continuing tales of a wargames widow. She’s never one to waste a bit of cork, especially if there’s a decent bottle of red underneath it, but lately husband Jon has been driving her barking mad with demands for realistic rocky outcrops. Once again, our heroine proves that there’s no recycling challenge she cannot meet.
In Fantasy Facts, John Treadaway returns with his regular monthly roundup of genre goodies, including one that was a complete mystery! Even knee-deep in gnolls, he’s managed to find the time to play a bit, but realises that the games just aren’t as big as he remembers...
Author and well known demo game supremo Steve Jones of the Newark Irregular picks up the Wargaming my way, our series featuring a different wargamer every month telling us just what it is about the hobby that they love. Next time, it could be you!
In Hex Encounter, boardgame specialist Brad Harmer-Barnes makes some recommendations for recreating that Hollywood feeling, perhaps without the glamour, but with plenty of entertainment.
In his Send three and fourpence column, Conrad Kinch our roving reporter from the Emerald Isle manages to corner the creator of Commands & Colors and many other successful gaming systems Richard Borg, in an attempt to extract the latest intelligence from this wargaming hero.
Of course we have our Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal and finally, our regular review slot Recce.
Our front cover photo, taken by the Editor, shows action during his first ever game of Hammer’s Slammers, hosted by our genial F/S-F Editor John Treadaway.
And a reminder, if you would like to feature in the new Wargaming My Way column, here’s the brief. Write about whatever you love about the hobby, the games you like to play, the periods/genres you love, how you like to paint, who you admire… Basically, write about why you love wargaming, and more importantly how and why you’ve ended up pursuing it your way. Length, no more than 2,000 words, plus supply half a dozen or so images to accompany the piece. So, over to you! If you’d like to feature, send your submissions in the usual way to [email protected]. I also advise using Dropbox or Wetransfer.com as a more organised way of sending your material, rather than just attachments to an email.
Terrain Squares for Wargamers Collection Part 2 On Sale Now
Following the positive feedback I received about the Terrain Squares Basic Collection, (though with 27 variants, they certainly weren’t all ‘basic’!), I realised there were so many more possible permutations that would be useful to wargamers that I decided to carry on creating more. Terrain Squares for Wargamers Collection Part 2 is the first of the extra volumes, and there will be more in due course.
This collection contains:
Stream bend with hills
River bend with hills
Meandering river with hills
Road bend with low hills
Straight road with low hills
Two contour hill
Little and larger hills
Cluster of small hills
Lone small hill
Kink in road
Kink in road with low hills
Cart track bend
Cart track meets road
Meandering cart track
Meandering cart track with hills
Wooden bridge over river
Stone bridge over river
Large open wood
Open wood with cart track
Straight road through woods
Extra terrain elements (trees, walls, hedges, intact and ruined buildings and rough ground. Cut them out and place them on your terrain squares).
These large (10cm x 10cm) squares are at 200dpi – great for printing out! – and can be mounted on card to help you plan your own scenarios, or even be enlarged to form 2D terrain in their own right, which could be used for games with miniatures (especially micro-scale), ‘block’ units or even games like Airfix Battles. However you decide to use them – have fun!