Saturday, 21 December 2013

Battle of the magazines 2...

Making really unfair comparisons

A quiet month in magazine world. No WSS so just the usual from WI and MW but happily this month we also have an extra and rather long awaited guest publication.

Wargames Illustrated 314 £4.50 120pp: A Spanish Succession issue which leaves me a bit cold. Barry Hilton has an interesting article looking at why wargamers find it difficult to talk about their hobby with outsiders. I share this problem and like to think that it is because I have some self awareness and appreciate that really I am playing with toy soldiers, however one wishes to dress it up. Also, a nice piece on painting the Douglas Skyraider for Vietnam, bringing back some happy childhood memories of making the Airfix kit.

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames) £4.25 76pp: I'm pleased that this issue includes some inspiring writing by Jim Webster with rules for a biblical warlord game. Just the sort of article to encourage reckless (or more reckless) purchasing of interesting biblical plastics from Caesar. Also, the article of the month must be the one by John Treadaway about introducing school children with autism to wargaming. Just brilliant and heart warming!

Ok, so this is where we introduce our wild card!

Battles magazine #9 £22.00  162pp: This is the first edition of this magazine that I have received and it has been a long wait. Pretty much a year as the publishers humorous postmark recognises.

The magazine is produit en France (but is in English) and is run by Olivier Revenu who is a one man band. He has suffered from numerous problems with this issue, including printer foul-ups with the counters for the included game. Oh yes, its got a game! In fact the original reason for buying this edition is the Charles Vasey game, Flowers of the Forest about the battle of Flodden. The game looks great, and I'll get to this in a minute, but just look at the is a random page from the magazine so you get a feel for it.

Oh yes, this picture also includes top secret information about my Christmas lunch!
This edition has reviews of 17 games plus plenty of game related articles by such luminaries as David Isby (Green Fields Beyond etc). The writing is good, plenty of enthusiasm but with some rough edges and heartfelt opinions. No corporate mush and no filler. Admittedly, if you don't do board games, this isn't for you at all.

In terms of the game, it is beautiful to say the least. BGG will no doubt have some good pictures of this soon but here is my rough attempt to capture the oversized counters in this game.

These counters represent the main battles on the hex map with further counters on a roster showing their strength.

Sorry for the glare

The game looks simple enough and will play quickly. I'm really looking forward to giving this a go.

The comparison of the magazines is grossly unfair, Battles and WI/MW are not in the same market but as a consumer interested in miniatures and board games, these magazine co-exist in my hobby. If I had the remotest confidence in the future delivery of Battles I would sign-up for it now. Having said that, I might just anyway, who cares how long it takes if it is this good.

My Blogging activity has been hit quite hard by the problem with IE9/10/11 which the Googlies are attempting to fix. I have persisted with this post as it has been in draft for a couple of weeks and I have just got the latest edition of MW!. So I hope it works OK, otherwise I'm off to Chrome.

As I may not be able to blog with confidence in the next couple of days, Happy Christmas to one and all, and especially to my very first follower!