Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames Issue 400

It is not every day that a specialist publication reaches a major milestone, but the August issue of MINIATURE WARGAMES WITH BATTLEGAMES magazine is the 400th to be published, and such an achievement is something well worth acknowledging.

The first issue was edited by Duncan Macfarlane, and was published in1983. Since then it has continued to change and evolve, and under Henry Hyde’s editorship it has become the – in my opinion – the premier glossy wargame publication.

My copy was delivered yesterday afternoon, and thanks to the current bout of hot weather I have been able to sit in the shade with a cold drink alternately reading and dozing.

The articles included in this issue are:
  • Briefing (i.e. the editorial) by Henry Hyde
  • World Wide Wargaming by Henry Hyde
  • Forward observer by Henry Hyde
  • My chinny chin chin: The continuing tales of a wargames widow by Diane Sutherland
  • Fantasy Facts by John Treadaway
  • A nasty encounter: Fighting the Great Patriotic War one battle as a time: Part Four by Andrew Rolph
  • Wargamer’s Rut: Coping with a misunderstood hobby by James Underwood
  • Lights, camera – action!: Miniature Wargaming: the movie by Henry Hyde
  • Marche ou Crève: Wargaming the French Foreign Legion by Phil Dutré
  • Wargaming my way by Paul Robinson
  • The Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal report by Henry Hyde
  • Grenouisse at bay part 2: The Wars of the Faltenian Succession continue by Henry Hyde
  • Send three and fourpence by Conrad Kinch
  • Hex encounter by Brad Harmer-Barnes
  • Broadside 2016 by Mick Sayce
  • Bovington 2016 by John Treadaway
  • Recce
Having met Andrew Rolph at COW2016, I was particularly interested to read his latest article about re-fighting actions from the Great Patriotic War. As usual I enjoyed reading Conrad Kinch's regular column, and James Underwood’s Wargamer’s Rut covered that all-too-familiar problem, the lead/plastic mountain and the average wargamer’s seeming inability to tackle it. I also enjoyed Phil Dutré’s Marche ou Crève, and love the wooden ‘flats’ used in the photographs and the stepped 2D mountains that are very like the ones that were featured on the Major General Tremorden Rederring’s Colonial-era Wargames Page.

Wargaming my way is an interesting addition to the usual columns in the magazine, and I understand that this will feature a different wargamer each month. This month it features Paul Robinson of the Grimsby Wargaming Society, whose main interest seems to be the the wars of the eighteenth century.

I had heard that a documentary was being made about wargaming, and Lights, camera – action! is the transcript of an interview Henry Hyde had with the film’s maker, Joseph Piddington. It would appear that this Kickstarter project is well underway and will feature a number of well-known wargame figure sculptors and manufacturers, terrain makers, and tabletop wargame designers. A trailer has already been made and it can be viewed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. There is also more information at


  1. I had a quick peek at the miniature wargaming the movie clip, not too impressed so far.

    I did recognise Henry and Rick and the Perries but who the rest were I have no idea. There may have been some clues in the dialogue but there was a lot of mumbling.

    I hope the real thing has a more clear soundtrack and adequate subtitles.

    1. Jim Duncan,

      I also looked at the trailer and at the various pages on the website. My feeling was that the film is going to portray wargaming as something where lots of beautifully painted figures move across almost diorama standard terrain. Not quite what I do, but it does represent the more photogenic aspects of wargaming.

      I have been in contact with the film's makers to point out that there are things that their film doesn't seem to cover, but as yet they have not replied.

      All the best,


  2. Thanks for pointing the new issues out. I am finding it increasingly difficult to buy in WH Smiths so sometimes miss a month...

    1. Legatus Hedlius,

      Even the branch of WHSmith at Bluewater seems to only stock a couple of copies of each issue of MWBG whilst having far more copies of WI and WSS on sale each month.

      All the best,


  3. Bob,

    Thanks for mentioning my March ou Crève article. It's always nice to bring out the wooden flats, and people seemed to enjoy the game. You're absolutely right about the stepped mountain profiles - I got the inspiration from the old Major Tremorden Rederring site, and provides a nice additional "vertical" playing surface. Perhaps there's an idea for your portable wargames ... increase playing area, without increasing horizontal table surface ;-)

    1. Phil Dutre,

      It was a pleasure to mention your article, and those wooden flats are very impressive.

      I did build some stepped mountains like yours, and until I bought my Hexon II terrain I used that a lot. I was then persuaded - against my better judgement - to pass them on to another wargamer ... and I have regretted that decision ever since. Perhaps I will make some more one day ...

      All the best,


  4. Bob
    Two more eastfront scenarios to go and then it's time for something completely different (to temporally change the saying). Some things 500 and 50 years removed.



    1. Rumblestrip (Andrew),

      I look forward to seeing the next two scenarios ... and whatever is lined up to follow them.

      All the best,