Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Miniature Wargames 431

The latest issue of this magazine arrived on Friday, and I have managed to read it over the past few days.

The articles included in this issue are:
  • Welcome (i.e. the editorial) by John Treadaway
  • Forward observer
  • Send three and fourpence: How not to write a wargame scenario: The Battle of the Alma: Part Two by Conrad Kinch
  • The Battle of Kings Mountain: Developing a set of rules to fight battles in the American War of Independence by Dave Tuck, with photographs map, and terrain by Malc Johnston
  • Take me to the river: Race to the Dan River February 1781 by Jon Sutherland, with photographs by Diane Sutherland
  • Cobrar Mambises!: An engagement in the Ten Years' War in 19th century Cuba by Glenn Clarke
  • Darker Horizons
    • Fantasy Facts
    • If you go down to The Woods tonight ...: The Woods: an ancient story, a classic feel, a new breed of miniatures game by Geoff Simms
    • Creating the Night Stalkers: An interview with Manic Games by James Dyson, with photographs by Manic Games
    • Gaslands: Customise and print a 3D model by James Floyd Kelly
  • Tigers at Minsk: Hex-based rules and terrain for this epic clash by Mike Jones of the Crawley Wargames Club
  • Surviving Stalingrad: Setting the scene for this titanic struggle by Kevin Preston, with photographs by John Treadaway
  • Recce
  • An unexpected site: The continuing tales of a wargames widow by Diane Sutherland
As usual, Conrad Kinch's Send three and fourpence was a good read ... but so was almost everything in this issue. I am always on the look-out for possible scenarios, and Jon Sutherland's Take me to the river looks like one that I could re-fight using figures from my Napoleonic collection. I also always enjoy reading other people's rules, especially if they explain them clearly ... and Dave Tuck's The Battle of Kings Mountain certainly does that and contains another short scenario I might be able to use.

For those wargamers who – like me – are always on the look-out for something different on the Colonial wargaming front, Glenn Clarke's Cobrar Mambises! covered a period that I knew little about, but which has potential to be something a bit different to try. The two Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War articles – Mike Jones' Tigers at Minsk and Kevin Preston's Surviving Stalingrad – both 'hit the spot', especially as I am in the midst of renovating some of my 20mm-scale Russian World War 2 wargames figures, and have some German opponents sitting in the wings awaiting their turn.

I must admit that after my disappointment with the last issue, this one has given me far more to get my teeth into, and from my own personal point of view, it gets a 10 out of 10 for value for money.


  1. It has been a long time - a decade at least - since I last bought a war games magazine. I have occasionally found myself going through the ones I do have (several years' worth of battle and Mil Mod, mainly, but some others) and rediscovering items of interest. What is on offer here, leads me to wonder if a rethink is required!

    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I subscribe to the printed edition of MW and the ePub edition of WSS ... but only buy WI when it has something of interest in it, which is not that often.

      As I get older, I am finding that there is not a lot that is totally new in the wargame magazines that are on sale (I don't count articles about the latest set of popular rules to be 'new'), but that I like those that feature articles that I can go back to in the future. MW does that more often than the others, whereas WSS has some interesting opinion pieces that tend to make me think. WI seems to be very commercially-orientated and full of pictures of painted figures that I (and I suspect most wargamers) could only ever replicate if we did nothing but paint all day, every day. I've heard it referred to as 'wargames porn' ... and that is not a million miles from the truth!

      I'd recommend browsing before your buy, if that is possible.

      All the best,


  2. Bob, I find a lot that interests me on your blog.
    I, also, browse before buying the magazines. There is only so many articles on re-fighting battles that appear every 2 years in a magazine that you can stand before becoming bored.
    I was a little disappointed that the same author had almost the same article in two magazines one month apart. His new article may be interesting to read though.

    1. Peter Holland,

      I know what you mean about the repetitiveness with which certain types of article reappear every couple of years. These tend to be 'pot boilers', and sometimes seem to have been published to fill space or so that some recently-taken photographs can be published.

      As to magazines publishing similar articles by the same author ... well, having written for magazines in the distant past, some editors didn't communicate with the writers as well as they should. I sent an article to one magazine and heard nothing for months. I actually had a copy of the article in an envelope to send to another magazine when my original article was published! It was sheer luck that it didn't get published twice. (I can remember an article about a Colonial version of DBA/HOTT that was published by two magazines in the same month!)

      All the best,