The third issue of the 'all things to all gamers' e-zine for the UK & Ireland The Gazebo was published a while back, but I haven't even gotten a chance to post my articles from it here yet.
You can view and/or print it from here but if you want to download it instead you'll need an account (pretty quick sign-up though).
I've always been interested in what inspires gamers to break new ground and start another project. This series of articles is a brief overview of things which caught my eye over the last few months - some have already prompted me to try something new, some may lurk in the long grass until their time has come. I hope that something here grabs your attention and calls you to action!
Wargaming Zorro in Black & White is an absolute gem of a site – you have to see it to believe it. First time I happened upon photos of the miniatures, I just assumed it was a black and white image effect. Have a look. If you’re still dubious take a look at the picture in the first post to see the setup with a full-colour miniature.
If the prospect of painting miniatures in black and white piques your interest, have a look at this post showcasing mobsters on Carmen’s Fun Painty Time.
I saw a nice review on The Shell Case a couple of weeks back bringing WarMill to my attention. They’ve recently begun releasing laser-cut MDF terrain, which snap together in a modular fashion by the enterprising gamer. Perfect for your 28mm sci-fi urban projects.
Still on my modern gaming drive, S&S Models have released another batch of 20mm vehicles. Have a look at Shaun’s post on The Guild. I’m particularly interested in the M-ATVs (the Humvee’s replacement) as there’s loads of different options along with oodles of stowage available.
We take a voyage into Horatio Hornblower territory this issue - Nelson and the Nile by Brian Lavery doesn’t just address the battle which took place in Aboukir Bay , but places it in its strategic context, with military and political factors at play. Lavery has a deep understanding of the maritime world and the culture of both navies, and his narrative integrates the daily lives of the sailors aboard with the loneliness of the admirals in command.
The finely crafted books of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series is a great place to continue this train of thought. The Mauritius Command (the fourth book) follows the pair as Aubrey takes command of a squadron sent to the Indian Ocean to conquer the French-controlled islands there. Seeds for a joint naval/land campaign will surely be planted as Jack Aubrey struggles with his mission.
Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne is a fast-paced journal of a US naval officer’s attempts to make sense of, and survive a zombie apocalypse. Layout-wise, the book is interesting: as well as the day-by-day entry aspect of it, there are photos and diagrams ‘taped’ into the book along with a few hand-written notes in the margin and the odd stain.
Probably preaching to the choir on this one (unless you’re a comic-book purist) , but if not see if you can catch season 3 of The Walking Dead (Update: Part II of the season starts this side of the Atlantic on February 15th). After the Comic Con panel in July, I can’t wait to see all the new faces…
Film / TV
Guilty pleasure alert! Strike Back: Vengeance has started on Sky1 and though seems unlikely to win anything at the Emmys (though it did get nominated this year!) this special forces romp might just tempt you into a military/espionage-themed roleplaying game. Though there’s a lot of high-octane machismo and the situations seem a little contrived, there’s not much wrong with the tactics shown.
Going to have to break out the D12s and the ‘Hard to Kill’ rule to make this work in Force on Force…
The Wargames Holiday Centre in Hampshire seems like a wonderful idea. A huge gaming area with custom made terrain and beautifully painted figures from just about any era you can think of. I’m seriously considering organising a visit with a few friends – bed & breakfast, refreshments, some great gaming and a few pints afterwards. All I need is the brownie points for the weekend away!