It was time to renew my subscription to Miniature Wargames Magazine and the timing was perfect for a Wargame Wednesday post.
This magazine will suit all those interested in historical miniature wargaming though; not to fear, their companion magazine Tabletop Gaming focuses on SciFi and Fantasy games. From Tabletop’s 9 April issue: “Reviews including Mechs vs Minions, Aeon’s End and Doom, Star Wars painting guide, the next instalment in our Dungeon Master’s Guide to RPGs and a chat with Warlord Games about its Doctor Who and 2000 AD miniatures games.”
The website is worth a look. There are three links at top for Historical Games, Miniature Games (SF&F focus) and Board Games (Euro, etc.). Of course, content available on the web page is not as in-depth as the magazines but it’s still worth your time to browse, check out news on the latest games and books and enjoy the outstanding photos taken at game conventions.
For US readers the only negative factor is the magazine is out of the UK so the advertisements and coverage of conventions and events won’t help you find something in your area. There is an online database of clubs but (for now) no US clubs are listed. One of my back copies had a list of upcoming conventions for the year and there were a few US ones listed but that was about it.
Magazines come out bi-monthly so an annual subscription of six print copies for UK readers costs £30 with the same price for digital versions available on iTunes, Google and Mac/PC downloads. European subscribers pay £50 for print and £30 for digital and the Rest of World pays £60 and £30 (around $77 and $39 dollars). I’d say for US subscribers the digital version is a deal at around $6.50 per issue.
I’m not sure if there are any equivalent magazines in the US. There is Strategy & Tactics plus Counterfact Magazine but they use the original S&T model of historical articles with an old school board game (map and cardboard counters) included.
I did a quick search and found Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy and when I saw prices advertised in dollars figured I found a US magazine but it’s from the Netherlands. I have to say the heart of miniature wargaming remains in the UK.
I’ve said it in earlier WW articles but I contend that the main reason miniature wargaming survives as a hobby in the modern age is mostly due to the artistry of the hobbyists. Initially, the gamer has to invest time and effort into painting the figures and if the army is a historical one the gamer takes great pride in historical accuracy. A sense of ownership and artistic pride grows as the figures come to life through painting. Combine this with the attention to detail given to the terrain then the game itself becomes aesthetically pleasing display. Finally, miniature gaming allows for more social interaction. A drawback in the modern age is a lot of the game mechanics must be done manually (figuring combat odds and line of sight, moving units, etc.) but this disadvantage also allows for breaks in play unlike a head to head game of Starcraft or like game where you are in for the ride with adrenaline pumping until someone wins. Pros and cons and one is not better than another but I do enjoy a good miniature game from time to time and appreciate the effort of gamers in putting on a good display.