Saturday, October 05, 2013

Miniature Wargames (with Battlegames) #366.. a(nother) review

...so how has the magazine fared since I last reviewed it [clicky]??

Just finished #366  (which is the latest as I write - dated October) be interested to hear the view of any of any of my fellow ex-Battlegames reading bloggers...

Forward Observer: Is it me or does Neil Shuck have the most unusual tastes..??

He always seems to review the more unusual products, that I find myself looking for the relevance to my gaming experience...  so this month we got "Ninja's" and "Gods and Mortals" & fantasy skirmish rules...  couldn't agree more with him re. the White Queen historical accuracy vs popular drama discussion, however...

Wargames Widow: Using crepe and foam to make woodland Indian long houses.. I probably won't use the terrain as described, but an interesting idea, and method stored in memory for possible alternative applications..

John Treadaway: Skip...

"Stop Thief!": Dan Mersey small skirmish scenario set in the Zulu Wars, but applicable to other periods - I read it with interest but it seemed a little simplistic, and my interest wasn't piqued enough to try it..

Wild West: A long time ago I used to play Wild West skirmish for a time (the "Annals of Cedar Gulch" are still up in the loft somewhere) so I found this pretty interesting- and I've actually cut it out to keep

Tealight Ironclads - interesting, but seen the methods used before - not everyone will have though, and the magazine is aimed at all levels..

CK's column: as good as usual (you know where to send the cash  ) and given the obituary to Don Featherstone in this issue very apposite given that that this month CK deals with battlefield walks - always one of Don's favoured activities... good advice  given re. preparation but I'm surprised no mention was given to the Battlefields Trust site [clicky] which is absolutely top notch for background/maps etc. He's also a "vile canting fellow" for not picking the right Bath pub to celebrate his walking of Lansdown - as any fule no the best pub in Bath (if not the whole of Christendom) is the Old Green Tree, though the Volunteer Rifleman's is a good second..

Wargaming the Siege of Malta: Bit Malta'd out to be honest - read the Scarrow book [clicky] earlier this year (see book reviews) so a lot of the history was known...  not really my period...

Tribute/Obituary to Don Featherstone: Very nicely done gentlemen, Chris Scott's in particular was very moving...  I'd have bought the magazine for this alone if I wasn't a subscriber...

Wiener Planspielregeln: a history of the Austrian wargaming pioneers from the 1950's onwards.. long article (which I read all of) but the game involves grids..  loved the pictures of the old games though, almost identical to the pictures of the early games in the Featherstone article...  cardigans, sleeveless jumpers and ties abound

SpyFi masterminds: Wargaming James Bond...  skip....

Recce: A good and varied selection of reviews - quite interested in some of them - a  shame about the ECW rules though!

The score stands 7 out of 10 this month...  highlights were the Obituary to Don, the Wild West article and rules, Recce and CK....  low points as ever were the Fantasy Review (wasted paper for me) and the SpyFi article....

All of the previous purely my view of course... 

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for your review - i read it with interest, I picked this issue today and haven't ficked through it yet (I'm way behind on my mag reading). I'd be interested to hear your thought's on the other two wargames mag's.
    Thanks again
    Dan

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    1. Hi Dan - I don't take the other magazines... used to take Wargames Illustrated regularly but then it was consumed by Flames of War and i got the impression I was paying to be advertised at.... WSS is hit and miss...sometimes I get it if the feature period s of interest.... my problem is that I've been wargaming for 30 odd years now, and while I don't know everything it takes some fairly arcane subject to grab my interest..! :o)

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    2. I agree with the your comments on Wargames Illustrated - every month I keep thinking I'll end my suscription in January as it's too much flame of war. photo's are good though. Much prefered the old version.

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  2. What a fantastic picture, inviting neat and the darkened interior through the open door. The step worn by generations of thirsty punters I can smell the slight hint of hops and barley. I'd kill for a local like that, in fact after staring at that picture id kill for a pint.

    John

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    1. John - I can do no more than provide you with the following - which is a view of the snug.....

      http://www.heritagepubs.org.uk/images/pubphotos/Bath-OldGreenTree-FrontRoom.jpg

      .. the weight of the world slips from your shoulders the moment you enter that room.. :o)

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  3. I like MW under the new format, but this month I could find very little that fell within my areas of interest, so MW366 was a lot of "skip" for me. Hopefully next month will be better.

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    1. Alte - agreed - I am far from disappointed with Henry's journey so far... but he has a way to go to (re) reach the dizzy heights of some of those early issues of Battlegames.... signs are promising though...

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  4. For some reason I was sent a free copy this month (perhaps because I do the advertising for our club show). The DF obit was indeed fascinating as was the extract from his magazine on the first wargames show in the UK. Generally though, it simply confirmed my current philosophy on commercial warames mags in general - I find so little of interest that I rarely even bother to seek them out in the Newsagents for a brief scan. I much prefer the likes of Slinsghot and the SOTCW Journal - better mags and you also feel part of a wider wargaming community.

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    1. David - interesting comments... for one year I was a member of the Pike and Shot society, I received several of their regular publications but to be honest the contents were of such dryness I found myself reaching for (several) pints of beer after each issue.... it was like they had dessicated all the fun out of wargaming and were competing so as to be the most "clever"... what I strive for is the balance of fun and fact...

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  5. A fair couple of reviews on MW. I find more interest in blogs than the mag at the moment. I only subscribe to MW and WSS and of those two WSS is the better for me but I doubt I will renew either.

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    1. Paul - I think that is probably the most telling comment - the preponderance of Blogs and the advent of the Interweb has gone a huge way towards raising the bar as far as any paper magazine is concerned... who's going to pay £4+ a month when effectively you can get the content free on the web? Some of the blogs out there are hugely inspiring and aspirational... maybe 7/10 just means I'm getting jaded?!

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    2. I share your thoughts Paul although I will renew my wss and pick up mw from the news agent if there is something that appeals

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  6. I was only an occasional reader of Battlegames (if there was an article that really appealed) and I very much regret that I'm probably heading the same way with MW. Issue 366 is the weakest of the current regime and I really struggled to find anything of interest. I usually get to the end of the various editorial/comment pieces and think "What on earth was that all about?" The whole look of the magazine and particularly the quality of the photography seems to be getting blander? Might be my imagination but there also seemed to be less advertising in this issue - not a great sign (biggest advert was for the editor's own book!!). I think this is a great pity because I've been a regular reader of MW since it began. As to the competition - WI gets a lot of stick because of the Flames of War content (which is of no interest to me) but I normally find something worth reading and the photography is of a consistently high quality. I've only been getting WSS for a couple of years but I think it's steadily improving and I really like their review sections.

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    1. Thanks Jeremy - I really must re-try WSS..

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  7. Leaving aside the Don Featherstone related content- which of course makes the mag very atypical. I find my self agreeing with j
    Jeremy in principle if not in detail . I always find the columns worth a read- even the fantasy sometimes and of course Mr Shuck can only write the news he gets- his note anent Skytrex was well a tad inaccurate as to the Fate of Command Decision but the rest- well no not really. It was 1974 again and I've been there done that Mind you if you don't have access to horses as I do then the horse painting chart was a bit useful . However one slightly mediocre mag is far from the end of the world

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