Wednesday 2 May 2012

Magazine Subscriptions in Sync

I'm immersing myself in magazines this week with both my subscriptions arriving on the doormat within days of each other. I won't go into too much detail about each issue as I'm still reading through them and you can get a sneak peak at the contents on their respective websites here WI Issue 295 and here WSS Issue 60. Having said that there are a couple of articles that have leapt out at me and I thought were worthy of a mention.

First off Wargames Soldiers and Strategy. This was my first Subscription copy of the magazine to be delivered and right off the bat convinced me I had made a good decision. This months Theme is Airborne Troops, and as I am painting US Paratroopers right now it instantly struck a cord. As always I enjoyed the Reviews section of the magazine, showcasing recent miniature releases and the Editorial (don't know what it is about Guy Bowers intro each issue but I always look forward to reading it!).

There are a series of excellent articles in this issue tied into the theme but one of those that caught my eye was an interview with Warwick Kinrade the designer of the new WWII skirmish wargame, Normandy Firefight. I'm very tempted by this game for three reasons. First it only needs a handful of miniatures to play being based around each player having only one or two 'men' to control. Such a small investment in both time and money to get the game started is a big draw to this game. Secondly its designed with several scales in mind, with 20mm being the lower end of the scale. Only a couple of weeks ago, at Salute, I was admiring the 20mm WWII figures by AB Miniatures and wishing I had a reason to buy some! The third reason is that if I went with 20mm much of my current WWII terrain could be used saving even more money in start-up costs. I'm tempted, very tempted!

Another article I really enjoyed in this issue was the regular column This Gaming Life by Rick Priestly. His long experience and insight in the hobby industry - particularly within GW - comes across in every paragraph and its a joy to read.

Wargames Illustrated this month is a little more varied in its content that previous issues. The theme is the Crimea tying in with their Siege of Sevastopol game that was at Salute a couple of weeks ago. One of the things I like about WI is the way it brings together a wide range of material on a given theme. So this issue has the usual Overview article, in this case 8 pages of background information on wargaming the conflict including basic painting guides etc. Then there are Battle reports (in this case the Battle of Alma played at Cold Wars in Pennsylvania) and of course the Sevastopol game itself. Now I'm not about to down tools on my WWII collection but this bringing together of material is very useful if you want and overview and a bit of flavour. So next time the Rejects play a Crimea game I'll whip out this issue for a quick primer!

In addition to the themed material there are a couple of other articles that I have enjoyed in this issue. The new painting series by Matt Parks is shaping up to be very interesting, even for an old Grognard such as myself. There's also an interesting review of the Clash of Empires game in particular looking at the latest supplement (Age of Ravens) for the late Dark Ages/Early Medieval period. I'm very much a magpie gamer and am easily distracted by shiny things, or in this case the beautiful eye candy miniatures showcased in this article. If I had unlimited time, resources and space I'd collect everything...thank crunchy I don't!

The main benefit of these two magazines is that I'm getting to see all the adverts and news relating to the wider hobby, even those periods I'll probably never play. Of course the downside is that my huge pile of old magazines (taking up space and quickly becoming a bone of contention with the otherwise placid Mrs BigLee) will now grow at twice the speed it did before!


  1. Ahh, my call to arms, Lee I shall drop into WH Smith tomorrow on the way to work for WSS - nice one!

  2. Looks like you and me are in the same boat, just finished my 101st LMG platoon. Will pop out on Saturday and get me a copy! Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Thanls for the heads up on the next issue of WSS. It's the only wargaming mag I can find in shops locally, and I never fail to find something of interest in it.
    I usually pass wargaming mags on to friends who seem even remotely interested in the hobby, in the hopes of making converts of them, which keeps them from cluttering up the place.

    "Thank crunchy" ? :)

    1. "Thank crunchy"

      Its a miss-spelled reference to a UK TV Advert from the mid 1980's for the 'Crunchie' chocolate bar. The tag line of the Ad was "Thank Crunchie its Friday". It worked its way quite deeply into popular culture at the time and for people of a certain age when they want to proclaim relief for something its not uncommon to hear them say "Thank Crunchie for...."

  4. I have a over large pile of MW and got rid of my WI years ago. I have not bought a mag on my return. The real problem with them is they are too general that so much would not get read or when they are specific they do not apeal as it's not my period etc. Horses for courses I guess



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