Feeling a bit rejuvenated, blog wise, I think now would be a good time to get something off my chest, namely the current state of the wargame magazine world. This view is naturally subjective, but I can easily argue that I am qualified to have an opinion, God knows I've bought plenty of the damn things over the years. In fact I have a bit of a dilemma,in that something has to give magazine wise, before my roof joists do. I am going to have to either give away a lot of magazines, or cut them up and keep the best bits.
But I digress...........
I have got the latest Wargames Illustrated, issue 305 and I can usually judge if I have enjoyed it by the length of time, it takes me to read it. This copy took minutes.
Now I know it is owned by Battlefront and will naturally feature their Flames of War ranges, I can live with that, I even have two of their armies.
But somehow the magazine just seemed a bit too, well glossy.
I know that doesn't explain what I am trying to say, but the range of articles with the wonderful terrain, figures, rule writers etc,etc seems just too slick somehow.
Again this is my opinion, for what it is worth, but if a new enthused would be wargamer bought that magazine, what would he think? Would he be inspired, probably, would he want to take up wargaming, maybe, how would he be able to pursue this wish?
There's the rub, nowhere in the magazine is there anything to point a newcomer in the direction that they require. Is there anywhere in the magazine that could help a newcomer to understand what wargaming is actually about. Well no, in fact what is on show is pretty unobtainable for a lot of wargames veterans.
Going on from there, the magazine is so damn slick that there is no friction, ah that word again, but this time I mean, no letters, views, or articles that run counter to the image that Wargames Illustrated has created. Where is the debate, where the alternative view, where is the wargamer with their latest ideas to amend some rule or other.
Wargames Illustrated gives us the perfect wargames world, great figures, great rules and lovely terrain, set in a perfect environment.
Not every wargamer likes 28mm figures, not every gamer likes Flames of war, and not every wargamer can emulate the tables created by Ron Ringrose, God I wish we could.
The magazine seems to provide a vehicle for a group of wargamers who are effectively professional, or the next best thing to it.
Is that a bad thing?
Well its good that wargamers can portray a lovely table and figures, if the public actually attended a wargames show.
Also such a table/game would hopefully inspire wargamers to try that little bit harder to emulate the game on show, but somehow I dont think that will happen.
Who can afford painted buildings by The Grand Manner? Who can afford beautifully painted mega sized units?
Who can afford professionally built terrain?
So whats my gripe then? I think its basically, Yes its nice to see some ones lovingly created collection, as a feature each month, but for Gods sake, introduce some ordinary people into the equation, and let them show the wargaming world that there is an alternative view,away from the ideal of perfection. Otherwise our wargaming future will become as regimented as the Games Workshop world, God forbid.
Here endeth the lesson..........................