Saturday, 24 January 2015

Not the battle of the magazines...again

More inspiration than I can shake a stick at

I haven't posted any thoughts on wargames magazines recently, largely because they have been very uninteresting. I do take the usual suspects and find that Wargames Soldiers and Strategy is generally not only the best produced (with the shiniest, thickest paper) but also the most informative. That, of course, depends on their chosen theme for the issue. Wargames Illustrated is only occasionally interesting and, unfortunately, Miniature Wargames is a bit variable.

This month, things have picked up a bit with new and interesting things to ponder.

The Foreign Correspondent, for example, has the following interesting bits:
  • Balloon to Balloon combat in 1870.
  • A review of Chris Pringle's Bloody Big Battles.
  • Wurttembergers (hurrah!) in the Siege of Paris.
  • The Battle of Schleswig, 1848.
The Battle of Schleswig is unfortunately feeding my growing interest in the Danish wars of the C19th which also reinforces my interest in the Baltic. On the other hand, I think I'm going to save some money by not investing in BBB. I don't say this in a critical way. The review of the rules is excellent and gives a really good insight. Think Fire and Fury with 1,000 man bases. It is simply that the intended types of scenario are far too big for me to handle with the time and space at my disposal. I suppose that I should have realised that Bloody Big Battles was actually about Bloody Big Battles! Having said that, the scenarios would be of great interest. Time to resub to the FC!

In looking at magazines, I'm really looking for inspiration. Miniature Wargames this month (February 2015) does provide some of that.
  • An 1809 campaign games with a very useful map and OB!
  • An article on Rapid Fire at 21 years old.
  • A big selection of reviews.
Its the reviews that have caught my eye in particular as they are wide ranging and cover some interesting stuff:
  • Battle on the Lomba, a book about the SADF in Angola (AK47 old style!).
  • GMT's Glory's End/When Eagles Fight games. I have the magazine edition of When Eagles Fight and I have been very tempted to get in on the table during my Tannenberg researches.
  • Class Wargames, a book about left wing wargames of the C20th including Guy Debord's game of war. I find the latter extremely interesting as I have a copy of the game (with cardboard counters) on my bookshelf. This has gone straight on my wish list. I recommend the article on Geographical Imaginations which links through to an e-copy of the book on the Kriegspiel site which also hosts a computer version of the game (which is shortly to be relaunched). Every now and again we need a healthy input of real intellectual dimensions and you can get that from both of these sites.
Debord playing his game with his wife, loser does the dishes. 
Much to ponder but hopefully not too much to knock me off my immediate course of action. I survived last weekend's diversion to Stalingrad, although I took an immediate dive into the War of the Spanish Succession and Neil Thomas' One-Hour Wargames. His Horse and Musket rules are perhaps one of the better ones in the set because the combat engine replicates really well the degrading of units by fire over time. Expect another hex grid conversion imminently!


ChrisBBB said...

Just an FYI re BBB (as the author): in response to popular demand, in recent months I have created a number of smaller 'starter scenarios', with just a few units and simple(r) terrain, on a 4'x4' table. These are intended primarily to help new players learn the rules before they play a Big Battle, but of course are also suitable for when time and space etc are more limited.

These smaller scenarios include:
Montebello 1859
Langensalza 1866 (you can find a couple of players' photoreports on the web)
Spicheren 1870
and there is also a nice Latin American one, Tacna 1879.

All of these are in the BBB Yahoo group files:
and some are also on Flickr:

BBB still won't be for everyone, of course, but if this extra info helps anyone then I'm happy.


Old Trousers said...

Thanks Chris that's very helpful, I'll give a heads up on this.



ChrisBBB said...

Appreciated. Nice blog, by the way!


Old Trousers said...

Thanks Chris, I take that as a big compliment!