Miniature Wargames (MW) magazine is a main stream print title dedicated to the various facets of the wargames industry and hobby mainly in the UK. It can be purchased direct or from high street newsagents and bigger store chains like WH Smiths. It was from the branch of that chain in Ayr that I got my copy of issue 347 last week…upon its release!
I love wargame magazines (duh!) and took the first chance I had to read this one cover to cover. So here is a look at this issue from beginning to end with my own comments about each section included in italics for ease of reading.
Introducing the magazine an interesting column by editor Andrew Hubback which concerns itself with not only 2012 being the two hundredth anniversary of the Russian Campaign of 1812 but also on the need for marketing/shows/mechanics of rules sets. In addition a notice that the facet of MW that is Darker Horizons will be getting its own publication bi-monthly as of the third quarter of 2012.
I agree with Mr Hubbock that the promotion of rules sets is ever more needed for their success however success is what needs to be defined. I will not argue that my own titles are among the most known but they all do well and they all sell and all of this through personal service, company promotion, agents and shows. You need not be first among the many to be popular enough for ‘success’. I think a great let down of the most ‘famous’ and therefore ‘market leading’ wargame titles is their expense to purchase. Gloss costs as they say and it lets down the core idea of wargaming which is all about clubs, fun, comrades and above all affordable enjoyment. Be good, give value, remember the fun!
It is great news that Gary Mitchell will be getting Darker Horizons into its own imprint. Fantasy and Science Fiction are my main interests so those pages get more reading for me. It will be bi-monthly and Gary has already told me that 15mm.co.uk and Alternative Armies releases both metal and paper will feature..excellent stuff!
Reconnaissance Report and Diary
New Venue for the Derby wargame show, Osprey offers the chance to get your rules into their imprint, a set of gaming rules adapted from real life lessons to train US Special Forces, Diary Events and Letter.
All good reading here as news pages should be. Salute 2012 is not far off but more on that elsewhere. Keep in mind I am looking for aspiring game writers to get into print with 15mm.co.uk in the USE ME series. Drop me an email if you have an idea. I will send you the terms.
Steady as She Goes
Andrew Hubback crunches the numbers on the MW2012 poll of popular periods for miniature wargaming. Some are up and some are down. Big points are the revival of the Ancients period and the loosing of ground of 28mm scale to 15mm scale miniatures with science fiction on the up too.
This is a good and unusual article that on the whole ties in with my actual experience of scales and periods over the last year or so. 15mm has continued to grow and grow (pun intended!) as a scale and inside that the continual surge of 15mm science fiction miniatures. I like to think that the sheer number of UM001 USE ME 15mm Science Fiction books we have sold has contributed to this and its been seen in clubs all over the place. Flintloque is not really Napoleonic but it is to an extent and its also Fantasy. The graphs in the magazine did not separate SF and F but Flintloque has continued to perform well in the last year helped by the release of 5028 Bier & Bones.
I Predict a Riot
Andrew Hubback provides an in-depth article including mechanics suggestions for civil disturbance; riots if you will. Looking at the troubles across English cities last summer there is plenty to inspire and though not a mainstream subject of wargaming it is a very valid one. The article covers rioting from all angles, all forces involved, all weapons, tactics and so on before giving suggestions for rules when using this setting in play.
I have to give this article top marks. It is superb. All you would like to know about gaming and riots (on table of course!) across five pages. I actually have a draft of a rules engine ‘Civilus Uncivilis’ to cover this sort of thing for 15mm or 28mm scale though I prefer the smaller figures to give a grand size. Crowd movement and Kyng Mobbe. Thanks Andrew!
Once More into the Breach
Peter Hall discusses his project for a Hail Caesar game at Salute 2012. The article looks at the layout of Scotland during the classical period with the various tribes, their lands, their lives and battles. This is accompanied by brief force lists for his chosen game system. Mons Graupius is covered with suggested texts and ideas for scenarios involving Celts and Romans. But Peter still has many figures to paint to be ready in time – Tempus Fugit indeed!
This is a period I know a lot about, albeit from an angle. As the author of Erin 2nd Edition my knowledge of the period is based in the Myths not the reality of classical Britain. The article is a really interesting read and would be great for introducing you to the subject of Celts bashing Romans. The additional page on painting was not really to my taste but will appeal to others who are going to give this a shot. I shall most certainly be popping over to this demo table on the day!
The High Ground
Steve Eardley looks at wargaming on your own; going it solo. He discusses the origins of solo play, its implications both on and off the table, the loneliness of playing with yourself (oh err missus!) and also how to define winning when playing solo. The author also makes an offer of picking up his own solo wargame rules for free from him by email.
This is a great article and I have an interest in Solo Wargaming since it has grown in popularity in the last five years. Indeed every new title I produce has contained solo rules as an included add on since 2009. The information in the article has also influenced my thinking for UM012 Alien Safari (see posts previous to this for more) which will be a solo play title in the USE ME Series.
Stuart Asquith gives a complete account of the Battle of Isandlwana which took place in 1879 and was one of the worst defeats suffered by the Victorian British Army. Good maps of the battlefield, suggestions for wargaming, forces present are given along with contact details for the Victorian Military Society and suggestions for further reading on the subject.
A solid article but not on a subject that is of interest to me but I enjoyed it and Mr Asquith gives a fine account of the battle which is often overlooked for the ‘glory’ of Rorkes Drift.
Derek Coleman takes an in depth look at wargaming the biggest cavalry action of the US Civil War; Brandy Station prelude to the Battle of Gettysburg. A good map, lots of images of action, suggestions of forces based on historical accounts, suggestions for how to create the action on table including the importance of morale. Also given is an account of a wargame of the battle and how that turned out.
The biggest capture for me on this article were the lovely images provided by Alan Perry of his terrain, miniatures and backdrops for this period and setting.
Patton takes Champagne
Lee Sowers author of the World War Two rules Combat Action Command (CAC) gives an account of the US 4th Armoured Division’s relief of Bastogne in 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. All you need to play out this battle using the CAC rules including a turn by turn account, after action analysis, designers notes and then laid out statistics sheets for the forces.
There is more on CAC elsewhere in the magazine including a review.
Gary Mitchell presents his look at the science fiction and fantasy wargame market for the month. This time titled ‘Build a Rocket, Boys’ with a theme of mad scientists, a return from Germany, a colder cold war and the Undead. He covers 15mm, 28mm (lots!) and then gives a review of A Call to Arms.
This is the best bit of the magazine for me as its where most of the work I do would end up. The march of 15mm sci-fi continues (perhaps my work of five years with 15mm.co.uk, Laserburn and USE ME has something to do with this!) and the sheer diversity of makers and miniatures is well shown. Beam me up Scotty!
How to create a Greek Temple of the ancient period in 28mm scale by Paul McDonagh.
Great modelling article on how to create a simple built temple. It looks easy to do and the instructions are nice and clear as are the supplied images.
The latest titles in the wargame orientated military book publishing world are reviewed.
Reviews of ‘Armies of the Irish Rebellion 1798′ by Osprey in its Men at Arms series, ‘Ride Around Missouri’ by Osprey also looks at Shelby’s Great Raid in 1863, ‘Armies of the Adowa Campaign’ 1896 also by Osprey in its Man at Arms series. Casemate Publishers offer up ‘Hill of Squandered Valour’ an account of the Battle of Spion Kop in 1900. There are also reviews of American Forces in 1918, yet more on German Panzers, modern special operations vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vietnam Gun Trucks. All good reviews; recommended!
Hope you enjoyed this look at the magazine. Its a super read!