Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Magazine Followup- Wargames, Soldiers, et al

A few months ago I listened to an interview with the editors of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (WSS). They explained that their business plan was to produce a magazine that catered to the historical gamer, but primarily in the aspect of gaming. Thus, rather that presenting extensive historical background the magazine would get right to the play itself. At that time I had read the first of the new issues and found it decent but not remarkable.

With the second of the new series WSS has become a very exciting magazine that delivers exactly what it promised. This month's issues has so many good qualities I don't even know where to start. For starters, WSS has developed a distinctive editorial voice. In the majority of articles I feel like I'm chatting with an upbeat enthusiastic chap (heh) who loves gaming in the same way I do- a bloke (and yes, I'm loving the British terms) who likes a fun, friendly game where the object is a relaxed afternoon with friends rather than a cutthroat tournament battle ending in in an argument over obscure rules. The writers in WSS seem like people you'd want to hang out with.

Further, the theme of WSS is clearly that all miniatures gaming is fun and who wouldn't want to know about more periods, styles of gaming, scenarios, and hobby techniques? This month featured pieces about a pirate battle, a series of battles in the English Civil War, and a playtest of ancient battle rules. I'm left wanting to play pirates, ECW, and ancients! There's a review of a set of rules for a fantasy pirates campaign and news regarding new plastic War of the Roses figures. Well, I always did want a WotR army and fantasy pirates- sign me up!

Finally, WSS features a great selection of photos that are taken from personal collections of actual players. Many of the miniatures are of showcase quality but some are simply well done- well done enough to be inspiring in that I could do a similar job. Once again WSS is getting me excited about the hobby.

Now in reality I'm studying for a medical exam and will not be painting up pirates, pikemen, or men at arms anytime soon. Still, WSS is proving a very enjoyable magazine. I'm looking forward to the upcoming issues.

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