Wargames Magazines.

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Wargames Magazines.

Post by Peeler » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:01 pm

I think this has been done before, but I thought I'd do it again. I was in WHSmythes today, and flicked through a few magazines, I won't name them as I don't want to slag them off, but it occurred to me yet again, that they really had nothing in them that interested me. And that was as true of the wargames ones as well as Woman's Own (oops, sorry WO). Is it just me being yet more stale & stagnant & happy with what I'm doing & not wanting anything new, or is there actually just nothing much new?

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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by Zenbadger » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:40 pm

I actually like Miniature Wargames these days but I am not averse to a bit of Sci Fi or fantasy. It also helps that it appears on my Readly app every month so I don't have to trek into a city to get one. I only really want some reviews, some nice pictures, some adverts and maybe an inspirational build/paint/battle report or two. I have never really been fussed about the celebrity opinion column type pieces or the long rambling history articles and I would pay double for a good painting guide type article but they just don't appear any more.

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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by Tim Hall » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:43 pm

It's been done before but it is a valid topic I think. Of the big three, WI, WSS, and Miniature wargames is there much to choose?

For my money, the best in quality and content is "Wargames Soldiers and Strategy", with the caveat that if the main/theme topic doesn't interest you, then there is not a great deal of point buying it.

"Wargames Illustrated", has a lot less in the way of "substance", the pictures are pretty good, and it has got some of it's independence back, but it is kinda lightweight, a historical White Dwarf almost.

"Miniature Wargames" is at the bottom of my list, frankly it doesn't even make the top three. It's not John Treadaway's fault, he is a good guy, but he just does what he is told, Warners are calling the shots. They abandoned a perfectly good layout and design, the articles are pretty poor, and they don't seem to encourage contributors. And nobody is proof reading the copy anymore, the typo count and basic errors of grammar and reliance on auto correct is out of control. It was sad that they sacked Henry, but that was a clash that was well on the cards. On the plus side they have got rid of a lot of Sutherland content, and that is no loss.

None of these three are worth subscribing to, and like Mark, I only browse if I happen to be in Smith's (I certainly no longer go out of my way to get there), if I like what I see during the browse I might buy, but not often. Sadly the Toy Soldier magazines, and there are only two, fare little better, and more often than not are all adverts or pictures of rich men's collections, so pointless that you might just as well just show a picture of their wallets or a bank statement.

Are magazines even relevant anymore? With so much good on line content, which is more up to date as well, probably not. Mostly I only read them when in the bathroom anyway, and I have a good stock of older magazines that fulfil that job very well. And reading through them, I think we were better served in many respects, if only the photography had been a lot better.
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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by Shahbahraz » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:16 pm

Seconded. I have a digital subscription to WSS, but the rest I would only purchase for a freebie I wanted. Most of the content I can get better on a range of blogs for free.
Wargames dreams never die, they just get left in a box.


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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:43 pm

The 80s and 90s saw some smashing articles in both MW and WI, but I think the writing was on the wall for wargaming mags when contributors found they could make (a lot) more money by self-publishing their primary research, instead of essentially gifting it to a magazine editor - no word-count limits, no content restrictions, just what they wanted to print the way they wanted it printed. I can't really work out why any company with a decent website and a presence at shows would actually want to advertise in them.

(I also agree that sacking Henry was stupid.)

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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by Etranger » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:58 pm

I'd pretty much agree with all the comments above. I buy WSS reasonably regularly, some WI, usually if there's a freebie (although their hiatus this year wasn't really noticed!) & MW I'll flick through but generally don't buy.

The various military modelling magazines are also far less interesting than they used to be. Mostly out of the box reviews, and, bar the occasional background articles I rarely buy them. Military Modelling magazine itself is missed though.

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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by tim.w » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:19 am

Again as above. I got a x3 issue subscription to WSS while in hospital with the bairn in summer as I couldnt get to the shop, which was shut anyway. It took about 3 months to arrive and I could have bought it several times over in shops as lockdown eased. Cancelled the sub in the end. I did enjoy all the issues and still buy it when I see it.

I've looked at WI digital subs but they're mega bucks to get full digital access, which is a shame as this is where they do well. Their youtube reviews are very well done I think. I dont buy as many of these as I do WSS but it can be a decent mag now, had a rough patch being just an ad for 15mm WWII. I dont do Frostgrave but its so good I enjoy reading about it and seeing the games/figs.

MW is just sad as it is now.

Print media is already a dinosaur. I produced a magazine for over 10 years and it long outran the move away from print. In the end the internet won. I think thats why WI will survive well in digital format with add on video interviews, reviews etc. The only reason 3 niche print magazines remain is that there are enough dinosaurs still buying.

I like to collect old Wargames mags as they have more of the old school we tend to like in them, since it was current school back then. I still have a hoard back at my mums garage Im hoping are staying dry?

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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by Paul » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:10 am

With the sort of content we have available on the internet hard copy magazines are obsolete. I'm sure most of us bought them for two or three articles per issue at best, but mainly as a catalogue, painting inspiration and notice board for our favourite manufacturers. T'internet does all of that so much more efficiently.
Were Warners right to let H go? Well, perhaps contraversially, Yes. Henry is a great Editor and enthusiastic wargamer but he was not taking things in the direction Warners wanted. Keeping him on would have led to more conflict and an unhappy H. Whether or not the Warners way is the right way is a subjective thing but the magazine appears visibly poorer for his lack of involvement.

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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by Penda » Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:41 am

I would guess that I'm not the only Senior Citizen posting on here and if that's true then I suspect our views reflect that on many issues, not just on Wargames magazines. In past years I would buy all three main magazines, and even Henry's bi-monthly, though I found it too backward looking for my liking. Now I only have a sub for WI, though clearly it's a different beast in some respects to how it was in days of yore! Only change is certain in life I've found and that applies in our hobby to many aspects, not just the magazine's style, focus and content. The latter of course being the most contentious as Editors are at the whim of contributors in what is essentially a hobby magazine. Now obviously I'm far from neutral on the issue of magazines as from time to time I've written for WI. As that spans all three eras of ownership I can say that the focus of the magazine articles has definitely evolved as the hobby itself has. Those of us of a certain vintage have years of experience in the hobby, many, many new entrants do not. WI has evolved I know to reflect that, even to the point where the digital focus drives the business and sustains the print magazine to some extent. But one aspect of WI has never changed and the clue is in its title, the photographs of figures and games! In my view it's worth the small price just for that, even if I'm not in that month's! Of course in the end it's a matter for each individual and their interests/budget to decide. There will never be a 'Bickley Illustrated', I must accept that some months no magazine will touch the spot entirely for me or for any of us, but I do think the hobby would be poorer without them all.
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Re: Wargames Magazines.

Post by levied troop » Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:04 am

Actually bought 4 magazines this year, the first in ages. 2 for ‘Billhooks’ rules/articles and 2 out of idle boredom. WSS has the edge in terms of quality and interest (if the main topic is one I was interested in) but t’net has pretty much replaced them. Except probably for campaign ideas.
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