Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Daaarrgh mateys, here be treasure!


I'm afraid blogging has taken third place behind two things beginning with B. Neither of which I feel the need to bother you about as they are in the news everyday. However, a little time away from blogging is a useful exercise sometimes and I have just been tinkering a little with things when not working.

I have made an entirely accidental discovery of some old wargames magazines which have been in a box for the last twenty years or so. It has been very enjoyable leafing through them. 

As you will have guessed from the picture, the box contains possibly the complete set of Practical Wargamer plus some special wargames issues from Military Modelling. I am surprised by how many I am familiar with and delighted to find some I really treasure. 

I imagine anyone reading this blog will remember PW, edited by the legendary Stuart Asquith.. If I recall correctly, it was a spin off from Military Modelling. The first issue was in the autumn of 1987, pretty much the same time as the first issue of WI. I think the last issue must have been around 2000 as I had just moved house when it folded. I was much disappointed as I was just about to resubscribe..

So here is one of my favourite PW issues.....Winter 1989

This issue featured the work of Clive Lane, a man dedicated to Airfix plastics and hexes. What a great combination. Here are a couple of tasters...

Another treasured magazine is this Wargames Manual from MM in 1983. This featured a fantastic article by Charlie Wesencraft.........

Large scale Napoleonics with each stand a battalion but able to change formation by the positioning of its various elements. A work of genius not seen, to my knowledge, anywhere else.

A great trip down memory lane when magazines were about doing stuff yourself and exploring the boundaries rather than just buying product (which is not a hobby!).

A couple of other things have also cropped up which are great and FREE!

  • Crossfire: A booklet of 2' by 2' Crossfire mini-scenarios including a campaign (Volkhov, Russian Front). Hopefully the first of many. Give them a try here.
  • Punched Magazine: The e-magazine with a game in it. This time round it focuses on COIN games. Not something I'm a fan off but worth reading nonetheless. Take a look here. In my view, issue 1 was more interesting (Franco-Prussian War).
Hopefully blogging conditions will improve from here onwards!


Norm said...

Well, I enjoyed that! A wonderful magazine that I don’t think has ever been equalled in terms of content for wargamers.

i had been trying to hunt down the issue that had the Clive Lane article, as I can remember reading that and being also being a boardgamer, was really influenced by the hex / figure combination. So I trawled the net and found what I thought was the right issue and bought it (September - October 1990). It had a Clive Lane srticle, but not the one I wanted - still, it was really nice to get my hands on an old issue and I have kept it.

Anyway, thanks to your post, I have just bought the ‘right’ issue from e-bay and look forward to that arriving. :-)

The Good Soldier Svjek said...

Yes I was a big fan of Practical Wargamer , much better content than the somewhat light weight mags nowadays .

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Thanks to you, I have now ordered a copy of the Winter 1989 issue of PRACTICAL WARGAMER so that I will have the opportunity to read Clive Lane’s article.

I met Charles Wesencraft at the first COW, and I liked his ideas for figure basing that I actually tried them out. At the time, I couldn’t find anyone else who was interested, and in the end I junkedvthe idea and rebased the figures.

All the best,


Simon said...

Funny you should mention PW magazine. After moving house, I rediscovered my copies of PW - although I had a a lot less than you. As I look at what editions of various wargame magazines I can keep further to downsizing, it is interesting to note that it is the older editions that are likely to be kept, including old Miniatures Wargames and Wargames Illustrated rather than the more recent ones. They just seem to be richer in original content rather than the current focus on lots of coloured photos!


Old Trousers said...

Hi Bob,

I have always wanted a gaming set up that looked like Clive's. I have his rules and scenarios somewhere in my garage and really need to dig them out. A job for the summer I think!

Hi Simon,

I completely agree. One day I'll have to clear out a lot of magazines and it will be the newer ones that will go. They just don't seem very inspiring.



Old Trousers said...

Hi Good Soldier,

Those were the days, WI and PW as well as MW until it went downhill. Almost a magazine every three weeks!



Old Trousers said...

Hi Norm,

I think the only magazine that came close was Battlegames. WSS is sometimes very good as well. However, they both miss the key element of PW in that it was written by people doing interesting things in their sheds. Also, some great 19th century battles were covered like Custoza.

Glad you found the right issue, I seem to have started a run on Clive Lane memorabilia!



Phil Dutré said...

If anyone's interested, I have indexed most issues of PW: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/p/wargames-magazine-database.html