While I was at Salute on Saturday I made sure I picked up a copy of the new and improved Miniature Wargames magazine. As you probably already know this months issue is a relaunch (of sorts) as the magazine now incorporates that other stalwart gaming magazine Battlegames. In addition to absorbing Battlegames the new magazine has also acquired the editor, the redoubtable Henry Hyde. I was lucky enough to bump into Henry towards the end of the show and quickly wished him luck with the new venture. Now that I have seen the first combined issue I'm reassured that the new magazine is in very safe hands.
The 'new' magazine retains a lot of the features regular readers already enjoy but very much in the simple and elegant style of Battlegames. Wargaming is very much at the heart of every article and is no longer relegated to a footnote at the end. That's not to criticise the old format, I enjoyed it a lot, but sometimes change can bring with it new vitality and reinvigorate an old warhorse, or in this case two old warhorses.
So, the verdict. I like the look of this revamped magazine, I enjoyed the articles and the features and there was plenty of eye candy as well. The layout is simple and clean so it looks, paradoxically, both rather modern and slightly retro. I also liked the fact that on the whole the advertising was isolated away from the articles, not mixed in with them as in some magazines. I actually enjoy the adverts (its a way of getting a feel for the hobby and the latest developments) but its not something I like to see in the middle of an article.
The quality of the writing is also an important part of any magazine (obviously) and the articles in this issue grabbed my attention from the editorial through to the closing pages. I really felt at the end that I was better informed about the current state of our hobby as well as being inspired and energised by the games featured.
It was a thought provoking and inspirational issue and has convinced me I needed to subscribe after years of buying as-and-when I found a copy in a newsagents. And this time I have opted for my first digital subscription so I can read it on my Android Tablet. I recently gave away a huge collection of magazines and couldn't believe how much space was taken up with paper copies that frankly would never see the light of day again. I kept them more out of sentimentality than anything else and they were starting to fill the shelves. So opting for a digital subscription may prove to be the way forward for me, although I'm clearly years behind the trend.
Update: I forgot to add that with the digital subscription from Exact Editions you also get access to a load of back issues of both Miniature Wargames and Battlegames. I've already found a couple of cracking articles from previous issues, including a great one by Henry about the war in the Western Desert.
I've had a subscription to MW for sometime and I quite liked the recent look to MW but as you say a change is as good as a rest. I haven't read through the whole mag yet so can't really comment on the whole content but the look is certainly fresher than before but plain white will do that. I don't think the simpler style that Henry has gone for draws you into an article that you maybe wouldn't read otherwise where a more adventurous page setting style perhaps would. I'm not a fan of the font either (a bit too 'The Times' for me) but that's a minor point. The new mag is certainly a great vehicle for Henry to spread his editorial wings as it were, but I hope it doesn't just become Battlegames MkII, as I wasn't really a fan of the Red Mag. Your comment on the digital subscription thingy is certainly interesting though with some freebie's which is always nice, food for thought.ReplyDelete
You know the old saying "you can't please all of the people, all of the time". That certainly seems to apply in the wargaming magazine world. Personally I like a cleaner page, its much easier to read, although you're right about adventurous page styles drawing you in. Having said that the new Miniature Wargames couldn't be more different from the likes of Wargames Illustrated, so hopefully it'll carve its own niche and appeal to a different group of wargamers. It's now definitely as case of one being 'eye candy' and the other 'brain candy'.Delete
I'm kicking myself for not having gone down the digital route when I recently re-subscribed to Wargames Soldiers & Strategy. I'll just have to make the change next time I renew.Delete
I've got a digital sub for Wargames Soldiers and Strategy and it's got to be my preferred option now. No clutter if nothing else.ReplyDelete
Bought the new Miniature Wargames (now with added Battlegames) yesterday and I'm a bit disappointed. Decent mag, yes, but it's really Battlegames with a different cover, (typeface and setting accepted). I'm not a Grammar Nazi, but there were a couple of things which would have earned a 'see me' from my old English teacher and a healthy crop of cliches - yes, I know they're not professional journalists. Good wargaming stuff (as such mags ought to be), but it'll have to get its skates on to live up to Henry H's marketing blurb. There'll obviously be a carry over from the old mags (predominantly Battlegames from what I can tell), so I'll give it three more editiona before I sub it or pick it up on an ad hoc basis. Cor, I'm sure Henry will be worried about that ;O)
Lee, does the MW sub give you the issues (as WSS does) or just allow you access whilst you maintain your sub? I heard it was the latter but the MW website is vague to say the least (and not up to date on the digital page).ReplyDelete
I'm with you Lee on the cleaner page (font excepted) and I do like the front cover which definitely grabs you. Think your spot on with the eye candy/brain candy theme too, it's been a while since there was much of real use to a gamer in WI (though the piccies are real nice). My current sub has still got a few issues to go so I'll be watching with interest to see how it shapes up or as Crazy Joe says and go the occaisional 'of interest' issue when the sub runs out.ReplyDelete
Electronic subscriptions are the way to go. I may just get one. When The Lone Warrior went digital I immediately had no excuse not to sign up.ReplyDelete
Might have to enter the digital age myself now and get a subscription for my tablet!ReplyDelete