Saturday, 22 October 2016

Miniature Wargames Issue 403

My copy of the November issue of MINIATURE WARGAMES magazine was delivered on Thursday afternoon. It is the first issue to be published since Henry Hyde left and John Treadaway took over as editor, and I must admit that I opened it with some trepidation. It had the words 'NEW LOOK' emblazoned in the top left-hand corner of the cover, and the cover showed that it was now being laid out in a very different style from that used by Henry.

I need not have worried. The magazine may look different, but the content hasn't changed that much and I don't think that I will cancelling my subscription just yet.


The articles included in this issue are:
  • Welcome (i.e. the editorial) by John Treadaway
  • Forward observer by Iain Fuller
  • Wargaming my way by Noel Williams
  • Send three and fourpence by Conrad Kinch
  • Dreadnought Battlefleet by Martin Pike
  • The Battle of Crete by Jeff Brown
  • Back to Back Wargaming by Jim Webster
  • Competition
  • Critical Hits
    • Fantasy Facts
    • New Release
    • Frostgrave in-depth
    • Panzerfauste in-depth
    • What we're playing: Bushido
  • Simple Ancient Rules: Belli Minimi by Harry Pearson
  • Recce
  • Painting toy tanks in double quick time by John Treadaway
  • Teddy O'Rorke: The continuing tales of a wargames widow by Diane Sutherland
  • Club Spotlight: WAR – The history of Warfare
  • Club Directory
My only criticism is that the number of pages allocated to Fantasy – an area of wargaming that does not particularly interest me – has been increased but this has been done by expanding the magazine and not by reducing the amount of space used to cover more conventional wargaming ... so I do not feel aggrieved at the change in any way.

My 'stand out' article of the issue is Conrad Kinch's Send three and fourpence because it describes his experience of using Tim Gow's and Bertrand Plastique's excellent LITTLE COLD WAR rules, and the way he has modified them for use with 1:72nd-scale figures and vehicles on a 6' x 6' 6" tabletop.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      Credit where credit's due; it was an excellent article.

      I always look forward to reading your column each month.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob
    Can't agree with you on this one I'm afraid. I was neutral to the change of Editorship. Although I thought Henry did a good job, I have no reason to dread John's tenure

    However I thought this issue a disappointment. I will let my subscription run and make a judgement after after a few issues but I thought that there were three fairly significant shortfalls
    - the mixed layout of sometimes two and sometimes three columns, multiple fonts and inconsistent heading/sub-heading layouts, coupled with, what seemed to me, a greater reliance on photographs was chaotic and distracting. This may be a 'getting used to it' issue
    - I am reasonably sure I spotted a typo or spelling mistake in every article. One or two might be slip through, but in every bit of writing?
    - I thought the quality of the content was down, with articles which seemed to be underbaked or, literally, somewhat pointless, simply meandering to a stop. No scenarios or 'off the page' usable material other than a single set of rules. Plus, a niggling thing for me, no comment on the incorrect OOB for my scenario from the issue before, which rendered the scenario unplayable. Nor is there anything online (as far as I am aware) about it.

    So hopefully just some teething problems and an unfortunate batch of available material but I didn't think it an auspicious start.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rumblestrip (Andrew),

      Having read your comments, I had a second, hard look at the magazine, and I can see the validity of what you have written. I had already looked at its running mate TABLETOP GAMING, and it would appear to me that they share a common 'house style' ... and it might take a bit of time to get used to it.

      I'd missed the typos, but as so many publications seem to be full of them these days, that's hardly surprising. I didn't note any significant change in the quality of the articles, but that may well be because I was expecting the new editor to select a different style of article and to edit them in his own particular way.

      I must admit that I thought that they had put the correct OOB online, but when I checked, I couldn't find it. You are right; a correction should have been noted in this issue and on the website.

      I remain hopeful that the magazine will develop under its new editor ... but if it begins to be full of pot-boiler articles or too much fantasy, I will cancel my subscription.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I have the electronic version of the magazine and every picture was low resolution.
    Other than that I agree with Andrew above: poor editing and chaotic layout. I was sometimes reading on the iPad and the next part of the article was on the next page which would have been facing on the print copy. Reading downward then moving to the next page to finish the article and then return to the previous page to start the next item was very annoying.
    Not a good start I am afraid but I'll give it a few issues to 'settle'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobby,

      There is no excuse for using low resolution images, and it sounds as if the electronic version of the magazine needs some work. We produce a PDF edition of THE NUGGET, and we try to make sure that these sort of problems are avoided.

      Let's hope that these are just teething problems.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Bob, I tend to agree with Andrew: leaving aside the Fantasy supplement (which I did skim through to see what it would be like), there seemed to be less text and the content just didn't seem the same quality as the majority of Henry's issues.
    I'll let my subscription run and hope for the best, but I have a feeling I may not renew next time...
    Regards,
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

      It seems that I am swimming against the tide with regard to the 'new' MINIATURE WARGAMES! I am certainly going to see how the magazine develops under its new editor, and I'll cancel my subscription if it becomes necessary.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Finally got hold of a copy today. Haven't had time to read it in depth so can't comment on the supposed typos that others have mentioned but my first impression is that the layout is 100% better than the previous incarnation. Finally looks like a 21st century magazine rather than a rehash of a 1960s Wargamers' Newsletter. Decent photos (at last) and - it might be my imagination - more genuinely commercial advertising? Content is still only very occasionally to my tastes but so far I'm happy with the new regime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But it was precisely because BG was somewhat reminiscent of Wargamer's Newsletter that many of us liked it!
      Arthur

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    2. Jeremy Ramsey,

      The layout of the 'new' magazine is a lot more 'modern' than the one found in its predecessor and - as I wrote elsewhere - is similar to the 'house style' used in its sister publication, TABLETOP GAMING.

      The old WARGAMER'S NEWSLETTER was produced using very different methods to those that are currently used to produce the majority of current wargame publications, so a true comparison is difficult ... but the content of the latter was much appreciated by its readership.

      As I have already written, I am going to see how the magazine develops under its new editor before deciding whether or not to cancel my subscription.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    3. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

      I must agree that BATTLEGAMES was very reminiscent of the good old WARGAMER'S NEWSLETTER, and that was one of the reasons why I began to read it regularly.

      All the best,

      Bob

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