Due to be published Friday, 20th February, issue 383 is packed with wargaming goodness. Our front cover image by Steve Jones will stir the hearts of horse and musket and micro-gamers everywhere!

• Briefing: The Editor looks forward to actually getting some games this year, though they may not be of the kind readers expect.
• World Wide Wargaming: The Editor passes on some wonderful news about the ‘Post Our Paint’ campaign run by Leon Pengilly, introduces another pair of worthy blogs, looks at the significant new Kickstarter for PSC’s new WWI version of Commands & Colors, and wraps up with some more advice for bloggers.
• Forward observer: Neil Shuck opens with a brief look at the ‘lead mountain’ phenomenon, before plunging into a scientific excuse explanation for the wargaming project cycle, from initial temptation through to abandonment. He’s also been rummaging in the shed, and continues his challenge to recreate a classic wargame.
• Teddy O’Rorke: Diane Sutherland has gone all colonial, and provides a step-by-step guide to building an MDF kit, accompanied by the strains of “Men of Harlech…”.
• Fantasy facts: John Treadaway considers how fantasy and sci-fi figure sculptors get their inspiration, before plunging into his bulging postbag, which includes a revived range of Spacelords from em4, new Colonial Defence Force in 1/100 from GZG, more Hammer’s Slammers stuff from Ainsty Castings, 10mm SF buildings from Brigade Models, who have also sent in their 1/100 Mercenary Legion range and a 1/3000 spaceship .
• Tyrell’s crisp attack: Well-known wargame designer Dan Mersey presents a skirmish scenario with errant English knights sallying forth to wreck siege engines, whilst furious French rush to rescue their wounded commander. The stage is set for a classic encounter suitable for any era.
• Mongol campaigns in Syria part 3 – the Battle of Al Salamiyya 1299: Mick Sayce brings the series to a conclusion with an account of an action also known as the Third Battle of Hims on 22nd December 1299, where the Mongol invaders finally took their revenge on the Mamluks.
• Gravelines part 4: The Editor turns his attention to the business of attacking a fortress, how to assess the strength of the defences and the options available to the attacker.
• Command challenge – paddling in the Piave: Steve Jones waves his magic wand yet again, and produces a historical scenario based on an action between the French and Austrians in 1809, but then also shows how it could be fought in the American War of Independence or the Dark Ages, with maps, OOBs and pretty pictures of his collection.
• The sands of Sudan: Carlo Pagano describes the process he went through to piece together one of the most famous rulesets of recent memory: peter Gilder’s much-vaunted Colonial rules as played at his Wargames Holiday Centre in Scarborough.
• Wednesday night fight: Dave Tuck describes a large Franco-Prussian War game played at the Grimsby club which prompted them to switch rulesets, a decision we’ve all made from time to time. Being wargamers, when are we ever completely happy with a ruleset? Lovely picks by Malc Johnson.
• Send three and fourpence: Conrad Kinch is no longer ‘trapped in the triangle’ because he has seen the light – or, rather, the hairs on another, more talented and dedicated man’s brush.
• Hex encounter: Brad Harmer celebrates the achievements of legendary board game designer John Hill, creator of Squad Leader and many other games, who passed away in January.
• Recce: Our review team surveys a host of books and games, including a brand new book from the pen of one of wargaming’s doyens, Charlie Wesencraft.
• There is still just one place available for our Donald Featherstone Annual Tribute weekend, we have a report from our Combat Stress Appeal and of course, messages from your favourite advertisers.

I’ll be at Hammerhead at the end of this month – hope to see some of you there!