October 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of Wargames Illustrated magazine. By happy coincidence (or the clever application of mathematics) this is also the 300th issue of the magazine. So WI300, cover date October 2012, will be a very special bumper-issue of the world’s premier (and bestselling) tabletop historical gaming magazine.
WI300 will be a massive, 300-page issue (a regular issue is 124 pages). The theme for this issue is ‘Last Stands and Against the Odds’. We have chosen this as we wanted something that was both dramatic and period non-specific. More than half of the magazine will be dedicated to the theme, and there are articles ranging from the Ancient, Medieval, Horse and Musket, Colonial, American Civil War, to World War Two and Modern periods (plus much more).
This issue of Wargames Illustrated contains the following content:
Our 300th issue ‘opens fire’ with an article from our colleagues at Battlefront, announcing, and showcasing, their forthcoming Flames Of War boxed game - Open Fire!
Crimson & Bronze
First-time contributors to WI, Ben Johns (an avid student of history) and Tim Toolen (an enthusiastic modeler and painter) present their thoughts about the warriors at the heart of the most enduring ‘Last Stand’ myth - the 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae.
The Last Stand of Spartacus
An enduring legend himself, Howard Whitehouse presents this tale of the “gladiator-turned-general” Spartacus, who led an impressive slave revolt in the waning years of the Roman Republic.
We've Come a Long, Long way Together
David Bickley has been around the block a few times, and in this reflective article he talks about how our hobby came to be where it is at today, presenting personal and shared experiences along the way.
The Invasion of Mona, 60AD
Wargaming generalissimo, and prolific tea drinker, Rick Priestley chose a classic encounter between the Romans and the Ancient Britons for his ‘Last Stand’ - the Invasion of Mona, aka Anglesey.
This is the stuff legends are made off! Eight gamers, a 16’ x 5’ table, over 1,000 figures and a Dark Age poem are the ingredients for this epic wargame, in which author, umpire and WI favorite James Morris presents his ‘Last Stand’ article which pits the flower of Celtic chivalry against the invading Saxon hordes.
Creating the Art of Military History
As wargamers, we are all interested in finding out how the soldiers our miniatures represent actually looked on the battlefields of their day. We were lucky enough to chat with two of our favorite artists who specialize in military history, Keith Rocco and Mark Churms.
The Battle of Karbala 680AD/61AH
Warhammer Ancient Battles II author Martin Gibbins turns his talented hand to SAGA, presenting a new Battleboard for the Arabs and a scenario for the most famous ‘Last Stand’ in Islamic history.
""He Who Holds the Door"
WI regular Chris Peers takes Dark Age wargaming inspiration from a casket in the British Museum.
Alfred's Last Battle
Prof. Ryan Lavelle makes a welcome return to the pages of WI with a ‘Last Stand’ introducing gamers to Dark Age naval warfare.
England's Greatest Battle
In this article about the Battle of Agincourt, 1415, WI regukar Neil Smith shows us how - ‘Against the Odds’ - Henry V was able to pull off a victory over the flower of French chivalry.
The Last Fight of the Revenge
Andy Callen made his article-writing debut in Wargames Illustrated One, and he makes a welcome return here with the story of how he brought a great hero of Elizabethan England; Sir Richard Grenville, back to life in a naval wargame.
The Models of Ian Weekly...Revisited
Our almost-resident model maker, Paul Davies, has had a long-term interest in the brilliant wargaming models of the late Ian Weekley. Back in the early days of WI we rarely showed plans for buildings, and never showed step-by-step photographs. In this article Paul brings us both in this homage to the work of Ian Weekley.
The Baby Wore Red
Although the British Army has built itself a wonderful reputation over the centuries, it wasn’t always such a stellar fighting force. Barry Hilton shows us how the 17th Century English infantry fought their way ‘Against the Odds’ to become a force to be reckoned with.
The Lightning Brigade at Alexander's Bridge
Our American Civil War entry for our ‘Last Stands and Against the Odds’ theme sees Union state-of-the-art firepower up against Confederate grit and determination.
"The Legion May Die, But Never Surrenders"
Paul Davies presents the tale (and modeling and wargaming scenario) behind the ‘Last Stand’ of 49 men of the French Foreign Legion in exotic Mexico - the Battle of Camerone, 1863.
"Do Not Let Even a Dog Get Away"
Shortly after the end of the American Civil War, there was a great drive westwards, with white settlers determined to carve out a piece of America for their very own. Nick Buxey presents the first part of a
two-part series about the clash of cultures, with a focus on one of the most famous incidents of its day - the Fetterman Fight, 1866.
Can we Introduce Generalship into Tabletop Wargaming?
That was the question posed by Arthur Harman in Wargames Illustrated One. We decided that this article, and the age old question, deserved a reprint 25 years later.
"Also, Custer Died"
Peter Panzeri has studied the iconic Battle of Little Bighorn since he was a young boy, even penning an Osprey book on the subject. For almost the last 20 years, Pete has been running various wargames of the battle, from the US to Europe. Here he presents his thoughts on the historical fight, and the great game we were lucky enough to attend.
"I Can't Understand It"
The foremost expert on the Anglo-Zulu Wars, Ian Knight not only guides us through the massacre at iSandlwana in 1879, but presents some great ideas about how to wargame the event in its entirety, or broken down into some key elements of the battle.
The Final Problem
We take a diversion from history in this article to bring you a showdown between super-sleuth Sherlock Homes, his sidekick Watson, and Jack the Ripper!
Gunboat Diplomacy and the Shortest War in History!
Once it had been submitted, we joked with contributor Bob Giglio that his article on the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 27 August, 1896, might take longer to read than the actual “war” took to fight (38 minutes).
Lord Emsworth's Last Stand
David Bickley returns with his ‘Last Stand’ offering, taking us into alternative WWII history to deliver a scenario in which Hitler dispatches a group of Fallschirmjäger, Wehrmacht and a vet (!) in search of a prize pig.
Hold the Line
The Battlefront Studio Team present their choices of the greatest ‘Last Stands’ of WWII. See if you agree and are inspired to refight any of them.
The Glorious Gloucesters
Pete Brown has contributed a lot of articles over the years, and when he heard about this issue’s theme he decided to revisit his first, submitted over 17 years ago - the Korean War battle of Imjin River.
We talked with Teras from Geek Nation Tours about his novel business idea, and he was certainly excited to tell us about his recent ‘wargaming celebrity’ endorsement from Donald Featherstone!
Black Hawk Down
When David Tuck (of the Grimsby Wargames Society) was asked to join in on this anniversary issue, his mind immediately leapt to the incident that occurred in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. See how David and his mates tackled this modern day ‘Against the Odds’ epic.
The Halls of Mars
Earlier this year Barry Hilton gained access to the vault of the famous Dave Thomas. Inside he discovered dozens of wonderful wargaming units, many of which have graced the cover of Wargames Illustrated. We take a new look at the “top nine”, as it were.