2015 has arrived. A new year, and lots of great new Osprey titles lined up. It can be a strange time for the Osprey team when a new year kicks off, because we already inevitably have our eyes fixed on the future, with 2016 titles already being commissioned and a third of our 2015 books already completed and either waiting to be printed or already being shipped to our warehouses. But have taken a moment out to reflect on what is coming up this year... and there are some real gems in there.
There is one HUGE milestone on the horizon for Osprey - our 500th title in the Men-at-Arms series. It is a phenomenal achievement for our favourite series, and with the series going from strength to strength it shows no signs of ending any time soon. We have a few celebratory events planned in for the release of MAA 500 Armies of Castile and Aragon - but also want to take the opportunity to thank the fans of the series for their support over the past forty-odd years, and in particular for their ongoing suggestions which have helped us to continue to uncover new subjects to cover in the Men-at-Arms series. In fact, that is why we chose Castile and Aragon for the 500th title in the series, as this blog explains - it would have never happened without fan support.
Phil Smith, the Games Manager here at Osprey also points out there is another Men-at-Arms title that we are really looking forward to:
Men-at-Arms 499: Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-70 (March 2015). A topic I've wanted us to cover for a long time, and one that represents the 'strand' of MAAs that I love the best - the uniform-centric ones are great, but the 'primers' that cover a whole conflict in brief and touch on all the belligerents are far more inspiring. Plus, it has (outstanding) artwork by Giuseppe Rava - what's not to love?
I couldn't agree more Phil - and of course, the subject has been requested in the Book Suggestion box any number of times over the last few years - we are pleased to finally make your wishes a reality!
The one piece of our publishing plans that we don't release early (too many secrets!) is our standalone General Military and General Aviation lists. But there are a couple of titles that we just cannot wait for. The first is the brilliant Airborne: The Combat Story of Ed Shames of Easy Company by Ian Gardner. Ed Shames is well known for being one of the famed Band of Brothers and has been a huge supporter of Osprey over the years. It is a huge honour for us to be able to publish his wartime biography. April cannot come fast enough. Other great highlights include an epic WW2 Eastern Front Atlas, a great reproduction of a book first published in the immediate aftermath of Waterloo - The Battle of Waterloo, and a book that delves into Finland's wartime experiences during WW2. Plus, SR-71 expert Paul Crickmore is back!
Our two key aviation series are getting an overhaul this year. Aircraft of the Aces and Combat Aircraft were probably starting to feel a little neglected to be honest, after all over the last decade we have looked at each of our series and given them a bit of an overhaul, but ACE and COM missed out. So, as this blog reveals, both of these series are getting a new lick of paint and will be getting the attention they so richly deserve.
Resident Osprey aviation fan Michael Kazich has this to say about the title he can't wait to get his hands on:
Got to be Ki-61 & Ki-100 Aces!
Well now, I always love an opportunity to get excited about forthcoming Osprey books, but I have a feeling 2015 is going to be an exceptionally good year for me in terms of our publishing schedule.
Anybody who has spent more than five minutes with me will know I’m a massive JNAF and JAAF enthusiast. For a combination of reasons, it is very difficult to find material about these subjects, but that fact only serves to stoke my interest! I’m insanely lucky to be working at Osprey, which is without question the leading English language publisher of information on these topics. Listening to some of the Osprey old hands about the production and publishing process of ‘Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45’, the monumental scale of effort that goes into researching Japanese WWII subjects quickly becomes apparent.
That’s why I am astounded, and delighted, that we’ll be completing the Japanese Army Aces mini-series that we developed from the JAAF Aces original. So far the individual focus on ace pilots of the Ki-27, Ki-43 and Ki-44 fighters has been excellent. The Ki-61 and Ki-100 represent ‘the final frontier’ of single-engined Japanese army fighters to be covered, and I expect good things! The Ki-100 is my favourite army fighter, and the fact that it was only deployed late in the war means that the JAAF pilots were really up against it. So learning about the elite few that were still able to claim kills in defence of the home islands against vast swarms of menacing American carrier and land based aircraft fills me with unspeakable anticipation!
2015 sees the long-awaited comeback of a series that has been sorely missed over the last couple of years - Fortress. There are two Fortress titles slated for a 2015 release, with a couple more already lined up for 2016, so we are looking forward to seeing this great series once again finding itself on the shelves of your local bookstores (or probably more importantly on your bookshelves / e-reading devices). It can be quite a challenge getting a series back up and running, so expect to hear a lot more about Fortress in the coming months! Also, you might have noticed that I mentioned our CMD title on Atilla the Hun would be the final book in the series. I was wrong - expect at least one other CMD in 2015!
Our Waterloo trilogy in the Campaign series is completed in 2015 - this is one of the tightest set of deadlines we have worked to for a series of titles in the Campaign series in a long time, three books all out within a year of each other - very ambitious, but we are very pleased with the outcome! Another highlight would be the arrival of Taranto in the Campaign series... This was one of those mysterious vanishing titles we get asked about all the time - but it is coming soon.
Osprey Games kicks into high gear in 2015. I can't say much more about that just yet, but suffice to say it marks a bit of a sea-change for Osprey. But never fear, alongside that, the likes of OWG, BOLT and Frostgrave (written by Osprey editor Joe McCullough) continue our great wargaming line. With the Jurassic Park reboot on the horizon, it is also worth keeping an eye out for Dinosaur Hunter: The Ultimate Guide to the Biggest Game from Osprey Adventures.
And lastly, what am I most looking forward to in 2015? Well I am going to cheat somewhat, because the titles I am most looking forward to are the ones that owe their existence to the thousands of you that drop suggestions into our Books I'd Like to Read dropbox, who vote every month in our book vote and who spent so much time and thought helping us with the Filling the Gaps and What Subjects Should We Revisit blogs - because this year our list is dominated by your suggestions! I will probably pull together a full list of the titles that you helped to bring to fruition in a couple of weeks, but just a quick run through of some of them gives an indication of how many there are...
Lancaster Bomber, Fall Gelb, Dornier, A-10, Sea Peoples, Spetsnaz, Byzantine Warship vs Arab Warship, Triple Alliance, Spanish Civil War, Castile and Aragon, Greek-Turkish War, Roman Warships, RLI, Composite Bow and Hand Grenades - just to name a few - were all the product of your feedback and suggestions. So, thank you all very much!
What do you think your Osprey 2015 highlight will be?