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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Miniature Wargames 435

During a visit to a nearby branch of WHSmith, I was somewhat surprised to see that the latest issue of this magazine was already on sale, even though my subscription copy had not yet been delivered by the Royal Mail. I decided that rather than wait for the ‘missing’ magazine to make its tortuous way through the postal system, I’d buy a copy … so I did.


The articles included in this issue are:
  • Welcome (i.e. the editorial) by John Treadaway
  • Forward observer
  • Send three and fourpence: I contain multitudes: Co-operative & Solo Historical Wargames by Conrad Kinch
  • D-Day Special Features Commemorating 75 Years
    • Raus! Raus!: Load your torpedoes and gun your ship’s engines in an exclusive ‘what if’ scenario for Cruel Seas with text and photographs supplied by Warlord Games
    • Spreading the Ham and Jam right to the edges: A D-Day scenario by Colin Phillips, with photographs by John Treadaway
  • Dorylaeum: Crusading in Anatolia, July 1, 1097 by Jon Sutherland, with photographs by Diane Sutherland
  • Darker Horizons
    • Prepare for war!: Move over Warhammer: Conquest is bringing grimdark to the world of fantasy an interview with Leo Mavrokefalos conducted by James Winspear, with photographs by Para Bellum
    • Fantasy Facts
  • Show Report: Being Partizan: The Editor goes to the first of the Partizan 2019 shows with text and photographs by John Treadaway
  • The Great Expedition: Drake’s Raids in the New World 1585 to 1586 by Chris Swan, with photographs by John Treadaway
  • Slightly unbalanced: An ad hoc WWII scenario mechanism for the Western Desert by Dave Tuck, with photographs by Malc Johnston
  • Recce
  • Compare & Contrast: Trying out Games Workshop’s Citadel Contrast by James Winspear
  • How To … build a fantasy house: Part One: Architecture in miniature! with text and photographs by James Winspear
  • Moult Free: The continuing tales of a wargames widow with text and photographs by Diane Sutherland
  • Club Directory
So, what did I think of this issue?

The magazine had yet another freebie attached to it by sticky tape, but unlike the last issue, I was able to remove my two 1:300th-scale MTB models without tearing or damaging the cover.

I really enjoyed Conrad Kinch’s Send three and fourpence: I contain multitudes: Co-operative & Solo Historical Wargames article … and not just because my PORTABLE WARGAME rules and blog as well as Wargame Developments and THE NUGGET get a mention! He very clearly sets out to refute a couple of assertions made in a recent MEEPLES & MINIATURES podcast (Episode No.264) by Joseph McCullough – the designer of FROSTGRAVE, RANGERS OF SHADOW DEEP, and GHOST ARCHIPELAGO – that ‘Fantasy and Science Fiction wargamers are ‘ more interested in story while Historical wargamers are more interested in simulation’ and ‘historical solo/co-operative games were ‘… virtually non-existent’’ … and do so very well indeed. In my opinion – and bearing in mind that I like to think quite a bit about the whys and wherefores of wargaming – the magazine was worth buying just for this article.

It was also good to see a couple of D-Day-related articles, but on the downside, why were there two terrain modelling articles in the same issue?

All-in-all, I felt that this was a better issue than last month’s … even though I’m still waiting for my subscription copy to arrive!

With an enviable degree of synchronicity, the Royal Mail delivered the subscription copy of this magazine just as I was about to press the 'Publish' button!

You could not make thing like this up and be believed!

10 comments:

  1. About subscriptions issues of MW not arriving: I guess this happens to me about once a year (1 issue in 12). I mail them and usually get a replacement copy very fast.

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    Replies
    1. Phil Dutré,

      Funnily enough, it has never happened to me before ... but recently other post has been delivered later than expected, and the Royal Mail cannot give me any adequate reason why.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. I also liked the Conrad Kinch article, but I thought his views were a bit limited ... I've played quite a few historical games in which the focus was on story, but I agree that the recent batch of commercial games tend to be somewhat formulaic ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Phil Dutré,

      What I liked was that - for a change - a mainstream wargame magazine had an article that was not related to a particular game system or a 'how to paint/build ...' topic. WSS tends to have more thoughtful articles than the rest, but this was a bit of a change for MW. I hope that it is a trend that continues.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Bob,
    Slightly off topic but I was reading the magazine Freemasonry Today which arrived in the post and there was an interview with Jonathan Spence,the Deputy GM,and his hobby is painting metal 28mm soldiers. Hopefully historcal figures!
    Guy

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    Replies
    1. Guy,

      I also saw that, and did a quick trawl round the wargamers that I know are in The Craft, and discovered that I could put together more than enough people to form and hold a Lodge. Bearing this in mind, perhaps we might be able to getting the support of the DepGM to hold an event for charity at GQS.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. Bob,

    My copy arrived about a week ago. I find I have normally read mine before your report appears but have been assuming that this just reflects the time you take to read it; maybe it actually does reach me earlier for some reason? So far I've never had a copy go astray.

    I managed to damage both the back and front covers removing the model boats, so it's fortunate that I don't really care about this, though I still wish they'd adopt a more modern system (like the glue magazines used to use to attach DVDs to their covers). The S boats look nice even if I've no idea how to put them together as the picture in the magazine is a Fairmile D. It seems odd to give away freebies but not bother to provide the necessary instructions.

    I also enjoyed Conrad Kinch’s article and like you do not agree with – or really understand - Joseph McCullough’s claims. Anyone can say something like “let’s have a quick DBA game” and plonk down two armies with no background story but equally they can do the same with a bunch of space marines and Orcs (or a pair of HOTT armies to give an example that is almost exactly equivalent to DBA). Not really my cup of tea but a function of the aim of the game and not the degree of fantasy. Indeed, I'm incline to regard DBA Assyrians v Aztecs as a fantasy rather than a historical game.

    I found the terrain modelling articles a bit odd. Not only was the house was just a house – there seemed no reason to call it a fantasy one – but this is very much old hat having often been done before and anyway is the kind of information easily available, complete with videos, on the internet. Diane Sutherland’s tree article though was a bit embarrassing. I have no problem in using toy like trees to indicate woodland on a battle field but for what was supposed to be a realistic model this was terrible, like something from a fifty year old railway modelling magazine where everything was horsehair and sawdust,

    Best wishes,
    Mike

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  5. Mike Hall,

    I usually get my copy in the post about two or three days before the magazine is on sale to the general public ... but this time it seems to have been held up somewhere in the Royal Mail system.

    This time I managed to get the two model S-Boats off the cover of the magazine with only a small amount of damage to the paper ... but I am a bit in the dark as to what goes where (and that is after looking at a number of my reference books!) I cannot see myself using them, but I think I know someone who will find a use for them.

    As will be obvious from the battle reports that I have written in the past, I like my battles to have some sort of back-story and to have a narrative to them ... and that applies to one-offs as well as to battles that have been fought as part of a campaign.

    As I make a lot of my own terrain, 'how to ...' articles have to offer me something new if they are going to inspire me. Neither of these did ... but they may have been of help to a newcomer to the hobby, so I can tolerate their inclusion.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Mine arrived a couple of days ago but have to sheepishly admit I haven't opened it yet.

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    Replies
    1. Rob Young,

      Carpe diem! It's a bit of a Curate's Egg of an issue, but the good bits out weight the not so good.

      All the best,

      Bob

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