Sunday, 3 November 2013

Battle of the magazines

Sifting the wheat from the chaff

Well, its that time of the month when I find I have spent money on magazines again. Its some money too, not just a bit of loose change. Therefore time to take stock of these purchases and not a bad month in which to carry out such a review. I shall define my criteria at the end!

Wargames Illustrated (313): 120pp £4.50 FPW themed with some interesting stuff on St Privat and Worth. Designer notes on the Britannia supplement for Hail Caesar (which looks really good). Lots of pictures and lots of FoW. As I don't play FoW (although I really like their Firestorm Campaign system) this really isn't one for me. I do feel very connected with this magazine having been buying it since 1987. I bought the first edition at Liverpool St station from W H Smiths and read it on the train home. However, that's several divorces ago so time perhaps for a change.

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames (367): 76pp £4.25. I loved Battlegames and for me this does not provide an equivalent substitute. However, leaving aside quite a lot of chat type articles, this magazine does provide some great stuff this month. The second part of Wiener Planspielregeln which features a Mortain scenario and more pictures of battlefields with squares. Brilliant. Also, "An onslaught of spears" by Jeffrey James which features the use of "Middle Age Spread" rules for the Danish/Saxon battles immediately pre-Norman invasion. Great and inspirational. This has had me looking up old issues of the Nugget and rummaging in the garage.Top stuff indeed.

Wargames Soldiers and Strategy (69): 82pp £4.20. Smell the quality of the paper. This is what Battlegames used to smell like (choose from napalm, victory or teen spirit). A cold war themed issue complete with matrix game of the Cuba crisis and lots of pictures of Soviet tanks. I don't always get the theme in WSS but this one is up my street with contributions from people who really know their stuff. Also good reviews of Longstreet and Gods and Mortals. The best bit is an article on French Napoleonic cavalry, "Sabre in hand", which breathes new life into the stale arena of Napoleonics.

Well, what's the criteria? I can always tell my favourite magazines, they are inevitably crammed with bits of paper, floppy from continued handling and (for someone who has OCD like needs to keep stuff neat) some pretty fearsome finger marks!  This weeks winner is MWWB and, based on previous issues, it continues to be in the forefront because it is inspirational.