Sunday, June 12, 2011

Magazines! Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy

I've found that there's as much or more gaming up here in rural New Hampshire than there was in the center of Boston. That's been a nice surprise but at the time of our move I thought I'd be completely out of the loop here in the big woods. For that reason I got some magazine subscriptions in order to keep in touch. They haven't been needed as a lone lifeline to civilization but they have been fun and worth mentioning.

The first magazine I picked up was Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy (WSS). WSS has a complex history- it was originally a Spanish magazine which was imported to the United Kingdom and translated into English. British wargamers enjoyed the magazine but not enough to keep it in print and the Spanish publishers let it go. Dutch publishers then purchased the rights to the title and it returned to the shelves this year. I heard about it over the grapevine and it seemed like an interesting title to try.

WSS looks pretty promising one issue in. The editor's goal is to provide a magazine very much dedicated to gaming and the hobby behind it. As a result they feature columns by famous game designers Rick Priestley and Richard Clarke, very useful pieces on painting techniques and terrain construction, and a variety of gamine and campaign suggestions. The quality of the material is top notch and the photographs are stunning.

On a positive note WSS acts as a great source of inspiration for gamers. The technical articles were handy and the gaming material did it's job- it made me think, "wow, that could be a fun time period to try out." I hate buying a magazine and finding it packed full of advertising and WSS certainly delivers a good ratio of content to fluff.

I would like to see WSS develop more of an editorial voice. Issue 54 is good but a little generic. I like a magazine with it's own identity and "feel" to it. I'm hoping that future issues will begin to present material in a fashion that says "sure you can find reviews and articles online but you can only find them written in this appealing way here at WSS." I think the magazine has that potential and certainly with the high powered columnists they have on board I have every reason to be hopeful.

In summary, Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy is a gorgeous wargaming magazine that delivers a lot of inspiration and content for the dollar. I'm looking forward to the next issue. I got my subscription through On Military Matters.

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