Due to be published this coming Friday, 19th December, issue 381 will keep you busy as you celebrate the festive season, sipping seamlessly from holly to mistletoe.

Briefing: with another twelve issues under his belt, the Editor looks back over the exciting year we've had in 2014 and looks forward to 2015, especially the events planned to commemorate Agincourt and Waterloo.

World Wide Wargaming: this month, Henry goes all journalistic and opens proceedings with a warning about the change to #EUVAT regulations in the new year that will come as a shock to most. Then, after introducing a couple of worthy blogs, he sets about showing you how to get started with your own, step-by-step.

Forward observer: Neil Shuck takes stock of the bonanza wargaming year we've had, and ponders his own progress in clearing out the old to, inevitably, make way for the new! He's optimistic about the coming year and scans the horizon to see what's coming our way.

A watery end: Diane Sutherland is prompted to explore riverine options and takes a top-down approach with a roll of roofing material. The things she does to keep husband Jon firing on all his scenic cylinders!

Fantasy facts: John Treadaway is intrigued by miniatures for Game of Thrones, bowled over by barrels and boxes, bamboozled by barricades, harassed by halftracks and excited by exoskeletal creatures. What a month!

The unwinnable war: Barry Hilton gives guidance to those foolish enough to venture into the world of rules writing, where it pays to be prepared for the challenges awaiting the unwary author. Comes complete with some pretty pictures from Barry!

Let’s fight Oporto 1809, part 3: Jonathan Jones completes his recreation of the Second Battle of Oporto 1809, and this time he provides a narrative of how the game actually played out on his spectacular wargames table.

Gravelines part 2: the Editor continues his series on siege warfare in the horse and musket era with an explanation of that pesky jargon of siegecraft, so gird your dictionaries and get stuck into learning the difference between a cordon and a counterscarp!

Send three and fourpence: Conrad Kinch is supplanted by Chapter Master Conradicus von Kinchslayer, who reports on the joys of the Oldhammer revival.

Mongol campaigns in Syria part 1 – the Battle of Ayn Jalut, 1260: After a suitable rest, Mick Sayce returns to continue his remarkable and thoroughly researched series on the Mongol conquests, this time focusing on their incursion into the eastern Mediterranean.

Warfare 2014: The Editor reports on a packed and popular weekend show, notable not only for its popularity, but also the spectacular amount of money it raised for our Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal.

Return to Baston House: John Treadaway returns to the special needs school where an armful of model tanks brought joy to the pupils and opened their eyes to all kinds of possibilities offered by our wonderful hobby.

Crisis 2014: the Editor has been here, there and everywhere this autumn, and was lucky enough to be at the fabulous Antwerp show on the glorious 1st November, where gamers were sunbathing outside!

Blast-Tastic!: Ashley Pollard reports from a new sci-fi show held this year, organised by Angel Barracks, which pulled in hordes of genre fans for a grand day out at this inaugural event.

Hex encounter: One man, one goal, one mission – Brad Harmer takes a look at the possibilities for solo gamers and also using solo games for group action. We've had such a great response from boardgamers demanding more in-depth articles that, as of next month, Brad's column is increasing from one page to two.

Recce: Our review team surveys the Gruntz 15mm rules; two fascinating and unusual books dealing with the struggle for independence in Rhodesia; Osprey's British Light Tanks 1927-45; Aviattic's WWI aircraft decal sheets; Warfighter, the Tactical Special Forces Card Game; Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War; Gripping Beast's Jugula Familia Set Two gladiators; MikeRoberts and Bob Bennett's Spartan Supremacy 412-371BC; and John Hill's Across a Deadly Field - the War in the East rules from Osprey.

• There are still a few places available for our Donald Featherstone Annual Tribute weekend, and as always, messages from your favourite advertisers.

Have a fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year.