Like most chaps I have some odd habits- one of mine is that I'm a toilet thinker... I contemplate the human condition whilst enthroned. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this as it seems that for some chaps -especially those unfortunates with noisy brats etc the smallest room is the only place where they can get a bit of peace and quiet- possibly the only place where they get to read the latest crop of Wargames Magazines. Now I don't read THOSE in the Kharsi. I might be tempted to use them for a more useful purpose and the paper is too slippery and MIND THE STAPLES !!!
But it does lead you to wonder what Wargames Magazines are for. I've touched upon this in previous posts and frankly I have 2 distinct opinions one professional and one personal. They do not always coincide.
More than once on the various blogs I read there are reviews of the various magazines both positive and negative depending upon the mag and the content.
Now in my time I've read most of them MW, Battle(both before and after it was a Wargaming title) PW WI Dadi I Piombo La Gloire , Battlegames Vae Victis and WSS. All of them at various times have has something in their favour though I personally never saw the point of Battlegames it was too narrow too retro too low on content. From a potential advertisers view it had little to recommend it. From a readers view it was mostly 1970-80s retread stuff that I'd read before in MW or PW
As for the current crop of survivors None of them are what they were- with the possible exception of WSS- and the latest issue of that is rather good as is the latest MW- see the previous post- I even have a recent WI which provided some reading - as long as I ignored the middle bit and gritted my teeth at the "Corporate Style" of the Figure Fascists.
However none of that crop of magazines were truly awful and all had something in them to read.
So I ponder what do chaps actually expect of a wargames mag.
I realise that asking this question is opening a can of worms. It often seems to me that chaps answer questions such as that without thought.
"I didn't like it cos it was rubbish"
"Why dear Sir was it Rubbish"
"Cos I didn't like it"
and so on round and round
So what do I want to see in a magazine-
Stuff I can read that will tell me things I had either forgotten or didn't know in the first place.An article should hopefully lead me down a new path or make me want to re-examine a path I went down a few years ago. . A bit of eye candy is nice but by no means important. Reviews are pretty essential even though I personally rarely buy new products these days Notices about shows are useful- though personally I usually know about the one I go to- but this is not just about me.
Periods and subject should vary after all there is plenty of history about I'm not averse to the odd bit of Dwarf Fiddling within the pages Likewise SF - though the argument as to weather Fantasy and SCI-FI are each "Just another period" can wait for another post.
Now what I'd prefer to avoid.
I don't want to be patronised to treated like I'm 12 again. Certain writers and magazines often seem to think that no-one but they have ever read a whole book without pictures or that most of the potential readership are (in theory) ADULTS
Endless bloody scenarios for the hard of thinking really get my goat- can't these fellas read a book ?
Most scenarios were done to death sometime in the 1990s if not before so I accept its difficult not to retread but I do sometime wonder if some of our brethren prefer to be thick.
"Obey or be considered "Untermenchen" " - IE the "Corporate Style" of the figure fascists. Us these paints Paint this way- you are merely a brainless prole and BIG WARGAMER is watching you open tyour wallets and let him in Braincells not required . Yes I overstate the case more than a tad but sometimes it does feel that way.
The above leads to another question
Is "Wargaming" a large enough subject to support itself without the History - personally I think not After all how many different ways of rolling a diffferent sized dice are there. The Fantasy and Sci-fi chaps have their "Histories" but there is a body of opinion that says wargames shouldn't somehow know any - this is the most arrant twaddle imaginable.
Is our hobby only to consist of lightweight magazines and pretty rich boys showing off books . If that is the case we have fallen a long way since the thought and erudition of Grant or Griffith.