Sunday, 4 April 2021

Is it really that long ago?

Just a short post.

 I picked up issue 400 of Wargames Illustrated yesterday! Leaving aside content for the moment I found it hard to believe it was 1987 when issue 1 was published, this was Duncan’s follow on from Miniature Wargames which had started 4 1/2 years earlier.

I remember popping to the local newsagents and picking up a copy and thoroughly enjoying the read and the photos over a cup of coffee

The quality of the magazine, in my opinion, was excellent and was quite often the catalyst for many a Wargaming butterfly moment. At Duncan’s suggestion I spent hours creating an index for the first 200 issues (which I still have) and the rights of which Duncan bought off me just before he sold the mag.

So 34 years later I still buy the magazine more out of habit and misplaced loyalty! 

The style and content has changed but I think more in a way that reflects the hobby and  the expectations of the ‘new gamers’ 

About every 6 months I dissect the magazines cutting out articles and or pictures that I will find of use, and yes sometimes the magazine provides Lean pickings.

However I still feel that Minaiture Wargames under Duncan’s stewardship and WI for at least the first 200 issues have helped our hobby immensely.

So happy 400th issue WI.


Independentwargamesgroup said...

I know the feeling well Graham, where did the time go? My relationship with WI is a confusing one. I get it every month hoping there will be something that really catches my eye and every month I feel cheated. The magazine looks colourful and interesting but like supermarket apples the appearance means nothing and there is no substance to the damned thing. The two magazines Duncan produced did so much for wargaming and brought a niche hobby to so many people who wouldnt have become wargamers. Sadly when he lost control of the magazines something disappeared from them. I have carefully kept the magazines he edited whilst the many others he didnt languish in the garage.

Norm said...

I too am an issue one initiate. Agree about the influence of the magazine, though looking back, that influence is the triangle of mags, shows and no internet, the same triangle exists today with different dynamics.

Like you, I pick up the magazine as a ‘thing’ that I do.

Der Alte Fritz said...

I have all of the MW magazines that Duncan published and stopped reading it a couple of years later under the new editor. I picked it up again when Henry Hyde was the editor and let my subscription lapse after he left. I started WI from the beginning through the end of Duncan’s management, dropping it a dozen issues after he left. Duncan’s photography was the best and he really made things come alive and make you want to start gaming a particular period. His magazines always had an informal “down home” feel to them that I liked.

With the internet creating so much content available with a few clicks on the Computer, I wonder if there is even a need for magazines anymore.

ronniec said...

I very much agree with all that’s been said and gave up buying magazines a couple of years ago.
I’d be very interested to know whether the model railway fraternity have the same issues with their magazines (no pun intended). Is there something to be learned from them?

Graham C said...

I gave up being confused with WI I pitch my expectations low now so on occasions I’m pleasantly surprised.
With regards the Railway model magazines I think my simple answer would be no - still full of small adverts from companies, lots of info and how to articles - better photos but I don’t think the average Railway modeller has changed that much whereas Wargaming has diversified so much into types of game, company marketing etc. I don’t think it’s bad - just very different to what I’ve grown up with 😁 Do we still need magazines? I think there is a place - I like WSS and let’s be honest if they didn’t sell they wouldn’t last they days of amateur publications have definitely gone.

ronniec said...

Interesting thoughts, Graham. Many thanks. I’ve never looked at WSS; must give it a try.