Sunday 15 January 2012

Wargames Soldiers and Strategy 58

Last weekend I picked up Issue 58 of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy and it was so good I've nearly finished reading it already. As usual this issue is dedicated to a theme (this month its Napoleon versus the Austrians) but also contains a range of other excellent articles, news updates and figure reviews to round off the content. Full details can be found here but the following articles in particular caught my eye.

Rick Priestley's excellent feature column This Gaming Life continues with a look at the much maligned mechanic IGOUGO. Once again Rick shows the depth of his knowledge and experience in providing a well rounded article discussing the relative merits of this sometimes controversial rule convention and its alternatives. With each article I read by Rick it becomes clearer and clearer that his understanding of wargaming is not just limited to those games he has had a hand in developing.

Another great article is Mark Blackhouse's You are no good Private Hook! Recreating the battle for Rourke's drift in 1:1 models to participants is clearly not practicable except maybe for large clubs, so Mark instead focused on action inside the hospital. His scratch built building was simple but effective and I could instantly see several applications for the model created.

The article Soldiers of the Imperial Army in the Pacific - Painting WWII Japanese by Helen Bachaus was also very interesting. In it she looks at Japanese uniforms from WWII. I've not seen these focused on for a long time and I thought it was a very interesting and informative article as well as being illustrated with some excellent photo's.

Richard Clark and Nick Skinner (Two Fat Lardies) also gave an interesting interview to the magazine about the latest edition of their WWII Company level wargame I ain't Been Shot Mum. The more I read about this game the more tempted I am to buy a copy just to check out the rules. I'm not the sort of gamer who finds rule-books easy to read - I much prefer to learn by playing the game - but various other reviews I have read say these are an easy and fun set of rules to learn. Obviously I've committed myself pretty heavily to Flames of War but I 'm beginning to think it would be useful to expand my understanding of other rules systems for the same period.

This magazine is definitely growing on me and I am seriously considering taking out a subscription so I don't miss future issues.


  1. Finished it last night, it was a very good issue.

  2. 'Tis a great mag, I used to subscribe to it, but haven't since it relaunch, I know I'll end up, just don't want it popping through the letter box, I can hear the Mrs already " Not another silly soldier magazine, how come you can afford them when we nee............" it goes on far too long!

  3. Just get a subscription Ray, she'll find out anyway! They always do ;-)

    I dont have the issue yet but perhaps I could briefly comment on Rick Priestly's article by drawing your attention to an article in WI 255 Philosophy & the art of Wargaming (shortened) in which Kevin Clark makes some comments on the IGOUGO system and whether it is the way forwards in rules systems and many more interesting points (the type of article that WI sorely lack nowadays). Thanks for the summary Lee sounds like a great read.

  4. I have bought some WSS single pdf issues (the postage cost is really expensive to Spain) and have found the magazine very informative, specially since Wargames Illustrated is now fully FOW oriented.

    In relation to IABSM I cannot recommend more the rules, but before jumping into it, you have to consider that they are a totally different scale and philosphy to FOW: realtively small-scale actions (company-sized), system's key focus on leaders and historical tactics and,finally, no "balanced" scenarios like in FOW (based on a point system) but historical encounters where one side is actually weaker than the other... but still can claim victory if outperforming the historical results. For 10GBP the pdf version, I think it's really value for money. And best of all, you don't need to change your FOW-based miniatures

  5. Thanks for the review Lee! I don't buy this kind of books for the games, but for the painted minis. They give me inspiration to paint mine.


  6. I've really come to like WSS. We have a special deal with them now- if you go to subscribe use the code "wwpd" to get 15% off your subscription!

    Very high quality magazine, definitely rivals WI!

    1. That's not fair that...I can feel my resolve breaking down. Looks like a subscription is on the cards now.

  7. Thanks for the review, Lee (and for the heads up about the WWPD discount Steve!). I'm going to pick up a copy this week in Smiths and have a proper look. Cheers.

  8. Right now, WSS is the only magazine to which I subscribe. It's great.
    Reading your review reminded me that I skipped a couple of articles and need to revisit this issue.


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