We’re asking you to place your votes on the Wargames Illustrated Awards 2020 – a chance to reward the fantastic folks in the wargames industry after their work through a challenging and unusual year.
The final category is The Best Wargames Illustrated Article of 2020. Editor Dan and Project Manager James had a chat about their favourites to determine our suggestions. Their picks are included in the dropdown on the survey but we thought you might like to hear the reasons behind their choices.
As the Editor of Wi I can honestly say that I never clear an article for publication which I don’t enjoy reading myself. Having said that, I can’t pretend that there aren’t some articles that grab my interest more than others. So, whilst I would fight the corner of every article we feature in the magazine, the twelve I have selected here are the ones that as a reader (rather than an editor) I have enjoyed most of all.
November 395 (pages 44 to 49)
Billhooks Field Defences and Stakes by James Griffiths
It’s a big bonus to have a highly skilled modeller ‘on the books’ at Wargames Illustrated and our Project Manager James did us proud by knocking up this ace article using bits and pieces laying around the office.
October 394 (pages 52 to 59)
Corunna 1809 by Jim Graham
It is the measure of a good article when its ‘not your period’ but you casually start reading and find you can’t put it down. That was the case for me with this article by Jim Graham about the British retreat from the Peninsula.
An honourable mention to my best sidebar(s) of 2020 – Veteran game designers Simon Hall and Rick Priestley told us their thoughts on their own games in the Hail Caesar vs MeG article – on page 29 and 30.
September 393 (pages 66 to 71)
Conversion Masterclass by Bob Amey
I always do a metaphorical mini fist pump when we receive a top quality article that focuses on 15mm (they are few and far between) and this one by Bob Amey about converting 15mm Ancients not only ticked that box but went above and beyond anything we have featured on 15mm figures for years.
August 392 (pages 22 to 26)
The Pressures of Command Part 1 by Pete Brown
Pure wargaming, with history playing second fiddle to the tabletop mechanics of Command and Control. Written with aplomb thanks to years of wargaming experience and an affinity with other gamers.
July 391 (pages 96 to 99)
Hunde, Wollt Ihr Ewig Leben by Jürgen Horn
It’s often nice to have something really cool to look at with only a minimum of words to have to read, and that’s what we got with this project showcase by Jürgen Horn in which he took us on a tour of his Stalingrad Army Project.
Best of Bite-Size (page 31 to 37 – #3)
A Mere Matter of Marching – War of 1812 – David Bickley
I always enjoy reading articles from our regular contributor (for over thirty years!) David Bickley, but I particularly like his ‘project’ pieces in which he tells us about his latest army build. So to be fair this could have been one of half a dozen similar articles from David, but I went for this because it’s his latest.
An honourable mention to the cover of Bite-Size #6, a tribute to the team and their online efforts during Lockdown.
April 390 (page 80 to 83)
Recreating an Airfix Classic – The Pontoon Bridge by Jan Karman
Jan had been threatening to write a series of articles about recreating the Airfix models of my youth for a while and when he did it didn’t disappoint. This one was actually the second in the series – the Gun Emplacement coming earlier in the year.
March 389 (page 70 to 73)
Airfix-ation by John Stallard
I really enjoyed hearing what Warlord Bossman John Stallard had to say about his Airfix collection/obsession. I hope you did too.
February 388 (page 88 to 93)
How to Improve MDF Buildings by Paul Davies
Paul Davies has been How to-ing for us for years, in which time he has covered a myriad of different subjects. In this article Paul shared some top tips which improved my MDF buildings beyond compare (unless you compare them with the buildings of other people who had also read the article).
February 387 (page 18 to 23)
We Built this City … by Pete Brown
It’s that man Pete Brown again, sharing his gaming knowhow in an engaging article about the magazine’s theme topic of urban wargaming.
I’ve only been working at Wi through the last few issues but I’ve been reading the magazine for much longer. It was a treat and privilege to go through 2020’s issues and pick out my favourites, but it was also a tricky challenge. There were so many great options and I wish I could have picked a top three for each issue. I’ve done my best to represent all of the different things that I think Wargames Illustrated does well in my list.
November 395 (pages 52 to 59)
What a Corker! Marlborough’s Irish Invasion 1690 – Barry Hilton
What a corker indeed! Barry Hilton mixes interesting history and gaming with his always incredible and inspiring photographs here. It’s always extremely exciting to get a link to Barry’s next article and check out the eye candy.
October 394 (pages 44 to 51)
Stoke Field 1487 – A scenario for Never Mind the Billhooks – Andy Callan
Andy Callan’s created my current favourite game, but it didn’t really seem right to put Billhooks itself in as an ‘article’. I’m building a large Lancastrian force; this scenario will certainly be a dramatic outing for them once they are painted up, so it gets the top spot here.
September 393 (pages 60 to 65)
Wars of the Roses Wargames Armies – Simon MacDowall
As a bit of a newbie to the period, but drawn in by the appeal of Never Mind the Billhooks, Simon MacDowall’s beginners’ guide was an essential primer for me.
June 392 (pages 46 to 53)
Medieval Campaigns and Medieval Strategy – Dr Steve Tibble
If you are looking for accuracy you can’t go wrong with this article from Dr Steve Tibble, an undeniable expert on the Crusades. Part one of an in-depth series, it examines medieval strategy and multiplayer games.
July 391 (page 48 to 54)
Battles of the Lost Age – Oathmark – Joseph A. MacCullough
It’s always nice to mix in some fantasy with the historical content in Wi. This battle, led by Othmark designer and Wi contributor Joe MacCullough, introduces the major mechanics of the game through an entertaining article and fight.
Best of Bite-Size (page 31 to 38 – #1)
Meet the Resistance – Neil Smith
This is an area of WW2 that I’m particularly interested in and Neil Smith’s look at the resistance is a brilliant mix of history, historical images, and wargaming scenes. It’s a little gaming light, but it’s inspiration heavy and will undoubtedly lead to more gaming from me exploring the possibilities presented!
April 390 (page 90 to 95)
Tactica 2020 Show Report – Dan Faulconbridge
Much as I’m loathe to give the Boss a chance to win this category for a second year running, his article on Tactica 2020 is bursting with truly inspirational photos of beautiful gaming tables, all gathered at a rapid pace. Well done Dan!
March 389 (page 40 to 45)
Myth of the Charge – Bill Gray
Great stuff from Colonel (Retired) Bill Gray, examining the many myths and realities of the charge. Casts a very different light on battle and the ‘glory’ and excitement we as gamers generally apply to all charges.
An honourable mention to the best sidebar of 2020 – The Airfix Pose game – on page 73
February 388 (page 22 to 32)
“The Seasoned Campaigner” – Pete Brown
Prolific contributor Pete Brown had many articles in the running for the best of the year, but this one, looking at veterans and green troops, and their relative merits, was really fascinating. Some great, varied photos in this one too.
An honourable mention to the best cover of 2020. A beautiful piece by Neil Roberts.
January 387 (page 32 to 37)
Building a Ruined City – Alan Sheward
As a fan of terrain building, with an interest in all things Stalingrad, this look at Alan Sheward’s phenomenal table really stood out and caught my eye.