Getting 8 or so wargamers to hole up for an entire day takes a bit of effort. Hats off to Conrad Kinch who disguised the Waterloo Campaign in three connected C&C Napoleonics scenarios. As the French, our gallant victories in the first two battles weren't enough to see us to the finishing line. Such a success, that plans are in motion for a similar game of Battle Cry...
I know, not a wargame by any stretch, but a damned good time was had by all in this roller-coaster ride of a post-apocalyptic game. This is the game that got me back into regular roleplaying with my group, so kudos are due.
The long-awaited Pulp meets Predator game was well-received. I ran this for what seems like a record-number of players at Gaelcon. The tension and heroism in that last game went to 11!
Blogs of the Year
An entry on my best blogs list for the second time, not just for his ongoing work on BattleTech or his great moderns, but for his Aliens vs Predator project. Take a look around the great work on the Marines and terrain for gloomy corridors
Tamsin's workrate beggars belief; in her celebratory prize draw I was lucky enough to get some post-apocalyptic survivors (including some familiar-looking pesky kids!) done by her
While concentrating on Longstreet for the past while, there's a good variety of projects going on over at Lord Ashram's. I was especially impressed by the 15mm moderns
Having contributed significantly to this one, I am very biased. But I'm quite proud of my involvement and feedback has been very positive on the smaller-scale scenarios in this book.
With BattleGames having been on the ropes less than a year ago, it's dizzying to think that the new merged magazine seems like a mainstay of my hobby reading (and arriving twice as often to boot!)
This unmistakably civilian sci-fi vehicle looks lovely; Antenociti's range sets the standard for me now.
Projects in the Pipeline
With the death of Tom Clancy late in the year, I revisited Rainbow Six to see if there was anything suitable for refitting as a wargames scenario. I've decided that Rogue Spear (the old PC game) might be a better fit, and a takedown inside a warehouse and/or cargo ship is definitely on the horizon
Istvan V Dropzone Massacre
I didn't get this off the ground at all this year, so I'm going to make a concerted effort to paint up my 50-strong force of marines with supporting units this time around.
This short dark conspiracy series was exceedingly well done, albeit quite disturbing. It followed the hunt for a comic book manuscript, which held a secret vital to stopping/continuing vast world-altering machinations.
I was very dubious when I first heard of this project. But I must admit to having been won over by the two central performances by Hugh Dancy (as Will Graham) and Mads Mikkelsen (as Hannibal) as well as the visual style of the production. The writing has been nigh-ingenious and the psychological horror is top-notch (whilst using the gore factor in a relatively restrained way)
This Cold War thriller about two deep cover Soviet agents living in the US. Wigs, disguises and the constant danger of discovery make this one a bit more pulpy than usual, but it's highly enjoyable and well done once you buy into the idea.
Books of the Year
Slim, Master of War: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare
So, the title's a bit of a mouthful (as well as making a grand claim) but this history of the 'forgotten' 14th Army in Burma and it's path from defeat to victory tells a powerful story on the ability of one general to turn around the fate of a fighting force
This straight-forward account by a CIA officer of his involvement in intelligence and military actions against Al Qaeda is well worth a look. It's heavily redacted in places, but despite this the narrative places the blame for Bin Laden's escape from Afghanistan squarely on central command's shoulders.
Henry Hyde's all-encompassing coverage of tabletop miniatures wargaming is a must-have for gamers of all stripes. As would be expected the layout and photography is top-notch.
As always, I hope you all have a great 2014!