Wednesday, 18 June 2014

This Week, I Have Been Mostly Reading...

...Magazines.  Well things are moving again, sort of, in that I've been doing even more reading.  I don't often buy wargame magazines these days (infested as they often are with too many space marines, zombies and in-your-face marketing) but here are the latest ones I've been looking at.  First up is Wargames Illustrated #314 from, what?  Is it really December 2013?  I'm really falling behind...
Anyway, this one featured the War of the Spanish Succession (WSS), which is this decade's new period for me.  Lots of nicely painted figures and an excellent overiew of the war as well as accounts of various WSS battles, including Blenheim (obviously) as well as one that Marlborough wasn't at (Cassano, northern Italy 1705) all very enjoyably written by Simon MacDowall of the Legio Wargames website and blog.  And all this plus an article on Jutland and some ACW stuff and only two pieces relating to Flames of War products, so I think we got off lightly there.

Then there was the impulse buy this weekend.  We had to try out Edinburgh's new tram and so we ended up in the Gyle Shopping Centre and, with nothing much to do whilst my son was engrossed in his Godzilla 'zine, I bought Minature Wargames #374.  The principal motive was that it has an article by Dr Kerry Thomas on mass painting of 15mm horses, which I often find difficult.  And what with quite a few WSS Blue Moon 15mm cavalry to paint (as Danes) I needed some ideas and inspiration.  Job done.
A bit more variety here though, it has to be said, particularly with an article on Chotusitz 1742 (War of the Austrian Succession) which isn't quite WSS but is in the right half of the appropriate century for me these days.  There is also something on the first part of an 18th century campaign system that looks promising (although to get the full flavour it appears that it may be necessary to purchase one or more of the Age of Absolutism books from Caliver).  I will draw a veil over the fantasy/futuristic product reviews and the new boardgaming columnist and all those hexes and dull cardboard counters.

I should add that I have never thrown out a wargame magazine in my life and therefore I was also able this week to pull off the shelf and review this timeless classic, Minature Wargames #1.
Well do I remember as a Glasgow University student walking by a newsagents on Byres Road in 1983 and seeing this and rushing in immediately and buying it (for 75p).  I could not believe that there was an actual real wargame magazine in print!  And it's a classic too, with articles by George Gush, Paddy Griffiths, Phil Barker, Terry Wise, Ian Weekley (always with the qualifier "of Battlements" lest he be confused with any other bearded Ian Weekleys out there) and of course good old Duncan Macfarlane, WI's first editor.

The thing is that I didn't remember that it included a guide to painting 15mm figures and a (free) futuristic space strategy game to be played out on a hex map.  Isn't it funny how some things don't change.