Archive for July, 2016

Fifty Great War Films

Posted: July 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

From The Battle of the Somme through to American Sniper, war and conflict has been a staple source of inspiration for the film industry since the turn of the 20th century. Today, this genre and its continued popularity, which has covered some of the most important conflicts in recent history, has become a means of educating the young and remembering the fallen. They are the war memorials of a modern society.
This new study, which includes classics such as Sergeant York and The Great Escape, and modern Hollywood epics such as Black Hawk Down and The Hurt Locker, details fifty of the greatest war films of the last hundred years.

Tim Newark’s Fifty Great War Films, is a nicely paced, and relatively light, read. Newark clearly demonstrates his knowledge of the subject, frequently touching on the cultural significance of war movies, which is very important. Although, while the cultural significance of war films in general is covered, there’s only passing mention paid to the impact of specific films.

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While it’s nice that all the films in the book receive an equal amount of coverage, the fact is that some films are more equal than others. After all, books could be (and have been) written on Apocalypse Now…yet here it receives the same about of coverage as Three Kings and The Thin Red Line. Sometimes the amount each movie receives is spot on, but you’re frequently left wanting more. With that said, Oh! What a Lovely War, and MASH receive superb write-ups.

The production quality throughout the book is very good. The layout is solid and pleasing to look at (very important in this sort of book), and the photographs are all of high quality.

Ultimately, these sort of books are designed to promote discussion and debate amongst friends, and if you have this on your coffee table, you can certainly be sure of a few good discussions. There’s plenty of old friends that will make you smile, glad that they’re included…and more than a few omitted that will make you a little angry. No Full Metal Jacket? No Zulu?

New on DVD

Unfortunately, too many “missed” titles and not enough depth on each that is included stop this from being an essential purchase, but as a “conversation starter” coffee table book, it works very well indeed.


Fifty Great War Films by Tim Newark is available now from Osprey Publishing.  Review by Brad Harmer-Barnes.

Osprey Games’ Frostgrave has progressed greatly since its launch a few years ago. And it’s something that makes me extremely optimistic for its continued success. 

For those not in the know already, Frostgrave is a miniatures game by Joseph A. McCullough, set in an ancient frozen city, and concerns warbands led by wizards who delve into the city to plunder its vast riches, and occult artefacts. It’s part wargame, part dungeon crawler, part equipment management sim. It’s successful on many levels, but my favorite element has to be the art style which is the guiding hand for the entire experience, be it in the style of the miniatures released alongside the rulebooks, to the books themselves, which contain beautiful selection of art by Dmitry Burmak (If you’re reading, Joe, I’d love to see some form of collected artbook in the future). 
So, in talking about Frostgrave’s success, it’s prevalent to talk about the expansion books which have released steadily over the last two years. July 28th sees the latest of Frostgrave’s releases Frostgrave: Into the Breeding Pits. Firstly, it must be said that the trend in stellar artwork is continued in this release, and put simply, it’s a joy to simply thumb through this book and take it in. 
Content wise, the notion that the overarching story of Frostgrave is progressing is tantalising, as I believe the team have created a compelling universe in which players can tell their own tales, as well as be part of the main narrative set forth by the creators. And as with the last release Frostgrave: Thaw of the Lich Lord, the setting and story seems to be evolving in a really satisfying direction, as they continue to add new forms of Wizard, Spells and monsters, And “Into the Breeding Pits” is no exception, adding spells such as “Beastcrafter” (falling under its own spell school) which allow you to add bestial features to your Wizard, depending on his or her level, as well as a handful of extra spells for the pre existing classes of wizards. 

Included in this release is the lighting modifier, which limits your field of view to 20”, Monsters with the burrowing ability and the new trap mechanic, which all goes to say that this expansion ups the difficulty in compelling new ways, and thematically, works to put the player on constant guard as they strive to find treasure in the dark. There are also the expected addition of new items and additions to the bestiary which adds yet more things to worry about. There’s a particularly nasty sounding fiend in the form of the Devourer, and even Hydras, which all adds to the already massive variety the game possesses. The main addition that I am excited about however, is the Gnolls. 

Rounding the book off are five scenarios that seem to follow the tenets set out by the Lich Lord release and maintain a nice sense of progression for your warband, though they can be triggered in a random order via the use of the dice roll chart at the start of the scenario section. 

To cap it off then, I must say that I heartily recommend this book. It continues what I initially loved about the game, and adds mechanics and other features that I had wanted included for a long time. Frostgrave players will already be eyeing this up to add yet more diversity to their game, and they should too! I’ll be getting my Cultist Warband ready to dive into the Breeding pits, just as soon as I’ve dealt with that pesky Lich Lord. 

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Words by Joe Crouch. You can follow Joe on Twitter.