As I lay in my sick bed (well, on the sofa) on Monday my day was significantly improved by the arrival of this months issue of Wargames Illustrated. It usually takes me quite a while to read through a whole issue but with no other distractions - and little else I can actually do while laying on my back - I got through this issue in short order. And as usual I rather liked it.
The Theme this month was the Early Desert War between the British and the Italians and as usual coincides with the imminent Battlefront release Hellfire and Back. I'm quite interested in this period and theater of war and if I'd not gone for NW Europe/ Normandy I would have chosen North Africa for my FOW armies. Death of an Army charts the rise and fall of the Italian offensive against Egypt in September 1940. This campaign was a disaster for the Italians and ultimately drew the Germans, and Rommel, into the desert war. This is the only article in this issue for this theme, which is unusual, but its a strong start to the magazine with some great pictures sure to get the painting hand twitching.
Next up is The Hard Ride a look at the use of armored trucks in Vietnam from 1966 onward. The article includes some very interesting information about the M35 "Gun Truck" including a picture of the only modern survivor on display in the US Transportation Museum. At the end of the article is a scenario based on events involving elements of the US 11th Armored Cavalry 'Blackhorse' Regiment. In November 1966 the regiment was ambushed by over 1000 Viet Cong from the 274th Dong Nai Regiment in a long running skirmish along the road that passed through the village of Ho Nai.
One of my favorite articles in this issue (because its all about tanks) was Cruiser Weights. This looks at the evolution and design of the British Cruiser Tanks from the A9 Cruiser Mk 1 all the way through to the A34 Comet. Each vehicle is discussed, its development analysed and its weaknesses reveled. The best bit for me though was the fact that for each tank listed there is a painted example from the FOW line.
End of Empire is the alternative history pulp game by Spirit of the Game. Set about the turn of the century towards the end of Queen Victoria's reign and with a distinctly tongue in cheek feel about it. In the words of the author "The heroes tend to have stiff upper lips, bristling mustaches and the bad guys are cads, bounders and Johnny Foreigners". This looked a lot of fun and utilized models from several historical ranges and manufacturers.
There is loads more inside the magazine including pictures from the Salute 2011 Painting Competition Winners. An article on how to use Army Painter Quickshade also caught my eye as I'm considering giving this product a try. Also interesting is an article about the Czech Legion of WWI. I thought this was a very well balanced issue with plenty to interest everyone and it certainly helped me through an otherwise unpromising afternoon.