Thursday 24 April 2014

Wargames Magazines - The Road To Success

I have written previously in this blog about the positive role that the current 3 glossy magazines play in our hobby. I continue to hold to that position, yet I don't subscribe to any of these publications. Furthermore, the current issue of each one was checked out recently online (a great facility to have - thank you editors) and rejected for purchase. Why would that be? 

After some reflection I came to the personal conclusion that the problem could easily be summed up - too much diversity. Our hobby has become a very broad church and editors are sensitive to the criticism that they are leaving out one branch or other of the pastime. So we have modelling articles, painting articles, sci-fi articles, steam punk articles, articles about wars you've never heard of... you name it.

It's time to get back to basics. Every wargamer knows in his heart that playing battles with model soldiers has just three periods - ancients, horse and musket, and modern. Don't they? After all, this is what we learnt from Mssrs. Featherstone and Grant in the 60s and 70s. Come on, even my dog knows that wargaming is divided into three periods.

How much more proof do you need? Good boy Biffy!

So the lesson is obvious. Every issue of a wargames magazine should have at least one decent article dedicated to each one of these periods. And when I say decent article, I mean a good historical or fictional scenario with some solid background that can be adapted from one part of the period to another (say, from Napoleonics to Seven Years War), and including a nice little battle report. With a well drawn map or maps. And none of that skirmish nonsense or other diversification - I'm talking about solid, mainstream wargaming.

But what about sci-fi, fantasy, or steam punk fans? Perhaps they should get their own magazines going. For steam punk, you could call it Nutcase Monthly, or some such. Oops, sorry guys. Only joking. I appreciate that to most of the population we're all nutcases.

So there you have it. Gather in your traditional, core audience and all will be well. Our future lies in our past.

Editors, ignore me at your peril!