Wargame Magazines

Issue 402 (Oct 2016), the importance of which being that it is the last issue edited by Henry Hyde. John Treadway now takes the helm.


Henry has been a major force in the wargame magazine industry over the past 10 years and has during that time nurtured many a writer and brought the magazine to a point that for me is reminiscent of the now defunct Practical Wargamer, but with a modern twist. He created Battlegames, a magazine that stood on its own two feet for 33 issues before being merged with Miniature Wargames and in so doing, much of the feel of Battlegames found its way into MW.


This issue is particularly significant to me as I have an article published in it as part of the 'My Wargaming Way' series and so to have this as part of Henry's last issue is just a nice thing.

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This is the front cover of Wargames Soldiers & Strategy - issue 86 (Sept 2016). The bi-monthly magazine is something of a glossy, with velvet smooth paper, large font and carefully photographed figures. The current editor is Guy Bowers, who has just authored Osprey's Black Ops rules. Anyway, the magazine oozes a sense of quality.

Each issue has a themed topic, something I am not keen on .... Unless you happen to be interested in that particular theme, which in this issue I am, it is Russia in the Napoleonics Era, so this issue is a cover-to-cover read. I am just enjoying the article about the fight for Utitsa on the southern flank of the Borodino battle. Using General de Brigade and with a conversion paragraph for Black Powder - see I've told you too much, you now want to go and get this magazine. 

The next issue also looks be be cert to buy (for me at least) as it covers the English Civil War.

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The Practical Wargamer was a UK bi-monthly wargame magazine published between 1987 and early 1999. Stuart Asquith was the editor. It is difficult to put your finger on it exactly, but this has been my favourite magazine ever, it is a fondly remembered and much missed. The nearest I can get to describing it is that is felt like a magazine written by wargamers for wargamers as obvious and as daft as that sounds. 


This is the cover of issue 14 (Sept / Oct 1990), which I have just bought off e-bay specifically to get the Clive Lane article on hexes, following a nostalgic pang, as I was writing an article that included reflections on my wargaming past. He mixed figures with hexes and this piece, all those years ago, was the initiator to a style of wargaming that has become increasingly important to me.

 

This is a shot taken from Clive's article in the magazine, giving a clear depiction of his table. The bright flat green hexes giving its 'old school' credentials. This set-up covers the re-fight of Redinha 1811. For scales, he always selects a battle fought on a frontage of three miles or less, with turns representing 20 minutes. His units on the table used a figure ratio of 1:30 to represent a battalion, though these in turn were representing higher level formations such as brigade, which he calls slip scale in the article, also known as bath-tubbing, so that OOB are actually using ratios of 1:100.


Units get given an order chit, there are 12 different orders in his rules and as players reveal them, they must be strictly adhered to, so the Hussars may be told to wheel out to the left in anticipation of blocking an enemy move, but that enemy may be doing something totally different, but forces must still comply with their orders, requiring the players to second guess their opponents intentions.


It has been a joy reading the issue again (and again :-) ), I have thought about it many times over the years. There is also an Arthur Harman article in this issue .... Little wars and Kriegsspiel.

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My own magazine submissions to the Miniature Wargames magazine;


Hexes on small tables (issue 379) - Just a general outline of the advantages of bringing hexes to the table.


Containment - The aliens have made it to Earth ... Again! (Issue 390) - Background story, rules and 3 linked scenarios dealing with an alien incursion into a town and the military response. Written for hexes, easily converted to open tables.


Wargaming my way (Issue 402) - October 2016, as a contributor to the series in which a gamer discusses how and what they game.