Christmas has never really felt like Christmas without an annual to flip the pages of. It was, therefore, particularly pleasing to receive the Wargamers Annual through the post as the turkey sandwiches and a mince pie or two were being served up.
The text below is a transcript of the video, for those who prefer to read rather than watch.
Edited by Charles Grant, this A4 sized full colour soft back book runs to just over 100 pages and contains 15 articles by various authors, covering a wide range of wargaming topics. A fine way to end the festive season with some childhood type page turning then?
First there’s a Wellington in India article about the storming of the fortress of Aligarh. This was a demonstration game, designed for the show circuit, and is accompanied by some great eye candy photos showing the game in action. The accompanying text discusses how the game was planned, built, and played.
The high standard continues with an interesting article by Jim Purky about his 54mm Sudan collection, Dale Smith’s glorious looking Venetian Landsknecht game, and Mark Hargreaves’ First World War game set in Mesopotamia, to name but three.
Although there are battle scenarios, most of the articles take the approach of describing how the authors undertook a particular collection or game, such as Robin Miles and his Dark Age Challenge or Alan Tidmarshes 17th century Hussar project. Enjoyable and informative reading – this type of article is always interesting, giving you the chance to see how different people approach the hobby.
Angus Konstam provides an interesting piece about how to write a book for Osprey, whilst Graham Cummings discusses developments in 3D printing – so this is a very varied offering that covers even the latest developments in the hobby.
Terrain modelling is covered by Charles himself, discussing how to make desert rocks, and there is even a Sci-Fi game for fans of space hobbits and such like. Given that this edition is billed as a ‘Lockdown Special’, it is hardly surprising that a solo game is also included. It deals with a fictional WWII German parachute landing during Operation Sea Lion. One for all of you gamers who are slowly being driven stir crazy whilst ‘working from home’.
Overall, it is a thoroughly enjoyable book – exactly right for those nostalgic feelings of opening an annual on Christmas day. Production quality is high, the photography and the miniatures used are of an excellent standard and the variety of articles, by different authors, ensures you will find something in here that interests you.
Of course, if you like this sort of mixture of articles, on various wargaming topics, you might also want to check out *cough* the fine publication called Wargames Illustrated, which is like an annual every month, Christmas or not. But enough about us! If you’re stuck for something to read whilst in lockdown, why not treat yourself to a post-Christmas present of The Wargamers Annual 2021?