The ‘New Look’ Miniature Wargames magazine – first impressions
The first issue of Miniature Wargames magazine under the helm (quite literally, from the look of the picture!) of new editor John Treadaway has dropped onto people’s doormats and hit the newsstands in the past week.
As is only to be expected, the change of editor has been accompanied a change in style of the magazine, which starts at the front cover – including the new tagline “The Magazine for all Wargamers”. The ‘new’ style is somewhat reminiscent of what how the magazine used to look prior to Henry Hyde becoming the editor, which is further reflected in the interior page layout. Overall the design still looks pretty clean, although we do see some changes with text over pictures, or reversed white text on a black background for a couple of articles. It’s notable that these are in the ‘Critical Hits’ part of the magazine – again, this seems to be reverting to what we’ve seen before, and seems to perpetuate an idea that reversed text fits that genre – I’m not convinced that this change, however visually appealing it looks on the page, makes the articles any easier to read.
But what about the content?
Well, the regular columns ‘Send Three and Fourpence’, ‘Forward Observer’, ‘Wargaming My Way’ and ‘Wargamer’s Widow’ are still in place, though ‘Forward Observer’ is now somewhat different in style and content. The rest of the magazine includes a set of WW1 Naval Battle rules, ideas for gaming the WW2 invasion of Crete, a discussion on hidden movement (using WW2 as an example), a reprint of a set of Ancients rules, now adding elephants, camels and chariots, an article on painting AFVs (using sci-fi vehicles as an example) and what appears to be the start of a new series about wargaming clubs, this time highlighting the Wargames Association of Reading.
Then there is the new sci-fi / fantasy section of the magazine: ‘Critical Hits’.
John’s previous ‘Fantasy Facts’ review column has moved here. There are a couple of in-depth features on games – this issue looks at Frostgrave, with an interview with author Joseph A. McCullough, and Panzerfauste, discussing the rules with Rob Adlerman.
There is a brief overview of Bushido, and a page about Infinty: Operation Red Veil – although these seem to be little more than infommercials, to be honest.
If you simply flicked through the magazine, looking at the pictures, the magazine gives the impression of being very World War II, Fantasy and Sci-Fi heavy
Overall impressions of this new magazine are somewhat mixed. There is certainly a fair amount of interesting content, although it’s also notable that the text density appears to have been reduced in favour of larger, more numerous, pictures.
There is no doubt that the magazine has changed, which is only to be expected. As with most things, time will tell what the ultimate impact of this is as John settles into his editorial role.
I must say that the magazine is better than I expected. Several of the regular features carry over which is welcome. I am not a fantasy or sci-fi gamer so the new section ‘Critical Hits’ is of only passing interest. I did notice several spelling mistakes or missing words which never happened whilst Henry was in charge. Still I have renewed my subscription. I would say that at present Wargames Soldiers and Strategy is my number one mag (I wish it was monthly) and a much improved Wargames Illustrated being my second choice. Still it always a good day when any one of these mags drops through my letterbox.