These days I don't see many wargames magazines. I advertise in MW but no longer get a voucher copy merely a link to pocketmags which is a right faff and I can't be bothered. WI -I have not seen a copy of since before the pandemic but visiting the site deluges you with so much shazam - kapow again I can't be bothered to faff about when I have books to write and soldiers to paint - as well as a business to run.. So the only mag I now see with any regularity is Wargames Soldiers and Strategy- for my money probably the best of the current crop.
Now to be clear magazine no longer occupy the place they once did. I have binned many of my old mags only keeping those that contained useful articles- which tends to mean magazines of some age. Much of the stuff I recently sent to the recycling was post millennium, usually because I find so much of that stuff intellectually bereft.
WSS is not like that at all. It mostly treats you like an adult. The current issue is no different and follows its usual pattern with a decent selection of reviews and a good selection or articles presented in the usual eye-candy heavy manner. All in '28mm' and all in the 'received style' that the punters seem to expect.
The Specialist subject this issue is the 'Wars of King Arthur'- the possibly historical one rather than the certainly mythical version-and the articles give a decent nod to the relevant sources before getting on with laying out the scenarios. Though the subject is not all that common the format for the articles follows the usual path and while being ostensibly not aimed at any specific rule set gives hearty nudges to the supposedly more popular sets.
There is a fine article on 'realism' by Alex Webster which will repay careful reading - despite its slight slant towards WW2- and the rather odd choice of Napoleonic eye candy- this piece contains useful stuff. However I did think as I read the piece that most of the problems the author lays out , all of which are perfectly to the point, could be solved by the use of an Umpire. I have never quite understood the antipathy that many gamers seem to have towards umpires and games masters in the historical arena, nor the seeming dominance that is placed on two- player games. After all a decent knowledgeable Umpire will not only make the game run more smoothly but, if he knows his work, he can get the most fun (assuming his players are adults of course).
Jeff Jonas' piece on the wars of the Successors - though not my thing is also a well done piece and worth a read. Nice pics of Elephants though my own hathi are either mounts for the rajas or there to pull the heavy guns- but not until I finish painting them.
|One of my Elephants doing his duty.|
The Irregular column caught my eye as it highlighted wargaming in youth work and despite an occasionally patronising tone accidental I assume, still had some interesting things to say about 'teaching games' and how to do it - some of which I already use when Umpiring and some of which I had not thought of but will use as occasion serves.
|I can do Heraldry- even though it might drive me blind- this on a 30mm flat.|
As for other stuff the How to on painting medieval troops might be useful if you know nothing but to be honest articles such as these rarely hold my attention despite the quality of the painting. I can do Heraldry though I accept that some chaps find it difficult. Much the same goes for the modelling Bocage piece I have a tables worth if I need it though again the writer knew what he was about.
I must admit though that I'm not keen on the 'primacy' of 'games mechanisms' in today's hobby as exemplified the the 'Let's Play piece- they chose Lion Rampant 2 and lauded it almost to the skies - now since I thought LR1 was mostly lightweight cobblers largely because it slaved everything to a silly points system and therefore forced non historical organisations upon you then this was not going to impress - it didn't.
Despite the above all in all a pretty decent mag that gives even a 'veteran' wargamer like me something to read. Can't be a bad thing. Recommended.
Agree WSS is the best of the crop, followed by MW and WI trailing behind. WSS picked up after moving from the Spanish publisher to the Dutch.ReplyDelete
Kawaransay also publish the interesting Ancient Warfare.
Agree Karwansaray do some really nice stuff.Delete
WSS is the best of the big three; MW & WI I get for eye candy and occasionally an idea for a game scenario. I have occasional articles published in MW, at least I get my name in print :)ReplyDelete
Yes I did a clutch of articles in MW a few years back - about a dozen all told I think but the current Fantasy leaning version puts me off- not to mention the new excuse for a layout.Delete
I used to get wargames magazines regularly but now it is very occasionally and find most of the content is of no interest to me, but you are spot on WSS is the best of the lot and usually has more interest in it for me.ReplyDelete
Most magazine now have comparatively little of interest as it is all so bloody lightweight.Delete
I generally only buy a magazine if there is two or more things of interest in it for me. WSS is the one I buy more often than the others. The problem is the regurgitation of wars and battles long ago covered in almost every magazine stable at least 4 times since I started wargaming in the late '70's. And I'm not a fan of the rules based articles either, whatever the rule systemReplyDelete
Know what you mean- there is nothing new under the sun. This even though there are plenty of wars and battles hardly ever covered. I'd opine that the focus has actually become narrower with fewer periods covered and those in a mostly lightweight manner the accent now being on 'games' rather than wargaming in the round.Delete