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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Sunday 29 May 2011

Wargame Magazines

Caught up with my growing pile of wargame magazines this weekend. I hope the great choice we now have reflects a healthy and viable hobby rather than the economics of publishing. Perhaps it is both.

Wargames Illustrated has long been my favourite. Good use of photies and a good balance between historical and gaming articles. It has come in for a fair degree of criticism since being taken over by Flames of War. However, in fairness there is plenty of non FoW material in every issue.

I gave up on Miniature Wargames some years ago. It started to look very dated and tired and I found little of interest. Under new direction it has certainly improved. Not sure if they are not trying to reach too wide an audience with the computer and fantasy sections. A risk that they appeal to no one enough.

Very pleased to see Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy back with an English language version. I like the themed issue format and they have a strong historical focus that appeals to me. Strong presentation has always been a feature of this magazine.

At the risk of contradicting myself I still enjoy the Battlegames format. It may not have the presentational strength of the others but it is strong on content. Maybe I am just nostalgic about my early wargame experiences.

Not sure about Recon but I have persevered. I want to see plenty of reviews in my wargame magazines but I am not convinced that it justifies this as the main content. Some of the reviews are also a bit eclectic for my taste.

Let's also not forget the wide range of society publications. I take Slingshot, Arquebusier, Hobilar and the Foreign Correspondent to name just a few. These don't tend to be up to the presentational standard of the commercial offerings, but often have great content.

Overall, I think we are well served as historical gamers by our magazines. I hope they all flourish.

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