Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Miniature Wargames 399, July 2016
With the days officially getting shorter from now on, that surely means that there’s going to be more time for your hobby – so let’s get started!
In Down by the sea, the third 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 challenging situation of a scratch force suddenly assailed from land, sea and air!
Paul Robinson describes how the Grimsby Wargames Society came to stage one of the stand-out games at the recent Partizan show in Newark, a huge Wars of the Spanish Succession extravaganza with thousands of miniatures. The Editor has also added a short section with a suggestion for getting started with Marlburians.
In Express Delivery, Chris Birch of Modiphius provides us with an exclusive and exciting WWII scenario for the recently launched Airfix Battles. Can you get the supplies through to the front line?
New contributor Nick Hughes, well known for his no-holds-barred magazine reviews online, takes his chances on the other side of the fence with Demonstrate THIS. Hot on the heels of one of the most highly respected shows in the land, famed for the quality of its demo games, he asks whether they are really needed and, if so, how can they be invigorated?
In Grenouisse at bay part 1, The Editor describes the build-up to a weekend of early May Bank Holiday mega-games in the sleepy village of Ayton in Yorkshire, where gamers came from far and wide to pitch their imaginary armies against fearsome fictitious foes.
And finally we have show reports from Partizan 2016 by Mike Whitaker and RAGE 2016 held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds by Neil Shuck.
Of course, we have our regular spots too:
In his Briefing The Editor announces a major change in his working life and also wonders how rumours about his wargaming preferences begin; and in his World Wide Wargaming, he looks for inspiration for painting his ECW armies, meets with bloggers at Partizan, corrects a silly error in issue 398, and introduces a couple more Blogs of the Month.
Mike Hobbs steps into Neil Shuck’s shoes in Forward Observer and explores those areas of our hobby that are ‘not quite historical’ in nature.
Diane Sutherland gives us Caned palms in her Continuing tales of a wargames widow. She’s been palmed off with yet another project for husband Jonathan, but far from being bamboozled, she’s been listening to Oasis on the stereo whilst caning her mouse to find fronds amongst artificial aquatics.
In Fantasy Facts, John Treadaway has been exploring the recent output from EMP Games, examining the latest incarnation of the Thunderbirds game from Modiphius, perusing new products from Brigade in several scales, celebrating 25 years of Full Thrust from Ground Zero Games, and studying stealthy ninjas from Crooked Dice.
Boardgame specialist Brad Harmer-Barnes uses his Hex encounter column to plunge head-first into the realms of game design, making many discoveries about how difficult an exercise it really is!
In his Send three and fourpence column, Conrad Kinch tests out some ideas inspired by the latest Sharp Practice edition from TooFatLardies that owe as much to roleplay as they do to ‘standard’ campaigns.
Of course we have our Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal; our regular review slot Recce; and finally, our competition this month features the fantastic new Ancient Rome novel Fire & Sword from historian (and wargamer!) Harry Sidebottom accompanied by an exclusive miniature from Aventine.
The front cover photo, taken by the Editor, is of the ‘Best Demo Game’ winners at Partizan in Newark last month – just a tiny fraction of the nearly 200 beautiful 1/1200 ships on display in Steve Mercer and Andrew Hamilton’s “The Four Days battle 1666”.
Remember also to check out the new “Downloads” section on the new website at for additional material for Andrew Rolph’s article.
And lastly, a note about Neil Shuck, who has sensibly decided to take a well-earned break after serving in the Forward Observer role for more than five years – enough to wear out anyone! On behalf of us all, I want to extend our warmest thanks for his service and wish him well for the future. (He’ll probably pop up from time to time with something special.) Mike Hobbs has stepped in this month, but as of issue 400 the format of the FO column will change and there will be a new regular slot that will knock at the door of wargamers far and wide and take a peek inside their world. Who knows: it could be you!