Battlegames Magazine Issue 25 – Review

This week saw the arrival if the slightly delayed due to printers Issue 25 of Battlegames. This is for me by far the best mag on the market at the moment and which is still the only one I can guarantee I’ll read cover to cover. This is a landmark issue in some ways as it’s the first without a Charles S Grant Table Top Teaser. Charles is concentrating on other writing at the moment (check out Wargaming in History Vols. 1 and 2 – excellent!).

So what do we have in this issue…

  • Tiles of a wargames widow part 2. Diane Sutherland provides another terrain making commentary interwoven with the run up to the opening of the Wargames Holiday center on Crete. I would really like to get there one day. I may suggest it as a ‘special’ for my 50th’!
  • Grand tactical Napoleonics. Bob Barnetson and Bruce Macfarlane compare Volley and Bayonet, Grande Armee, the DBA variant De Bellis Napoleonicus, Age of Eagles and Napoleon’s Battles. This was useful for me as I’ve played Grande Armee and really enjoyed it but not really looked at other alternatives for the ‘big battles’. It was interesting to see the similarities between some systems. I think I’ll stick with Grande Armee for the time being though as I like the way it models command and control.
  • There then follows and article by Conrad Kinch with a method of resolving campaign matters in Free Kriegsspiel. I’m not sure I’d ever have the time to put in to making up the quizes though. As said in the article, good quiz rounds are hard to do well.
  • Jim Purky, also known online as ‘Der Alte Fritz’ outlines his 1806 project and why he chooses to go for BIG battalions. Jim’s blog is a great source of inspiration and he is a very generous chap as well – the RSM figures I’m using for my Savage Swans are courtesy of him.
  • Richard Clarke of TooFatLardies provides an interesting piece on tactics in the First World War and how playing at 1:1 is the best way to get the true feel for the period without getting ‘bogged’ down in the negative aspects of the period. A scenario is included as well.
  • The Table Top Teaser is replaced by the first in a new series of Command Challenge scenarios with Henry himself providing an excellent WW2 1941 Desert scenario and play report using Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC). I use the Modern version of these rules (Cold War Commander) and they are excellent fun. The annoying thing about this article is that it has chipped away at my resolve and I am weakening as WW2 Desert will likely be my next project in 1/300! A nice report and pics of Henry’s GHQ models and for me a highlight of this issue.
  • Henry also kicks off the The Battlegames Terry Wise Award in honour of the recently departed Terry. It’s good to keep these names in the picture as as we start to lose more of the hobby’s greats there is going to be a generation who don’t realise what we owe to these pioneers of the hobby.
  • Mike Siggins Forward Observer is always worth a read. He continues to eschew the new plastic ranges, which although I have no problems with the quality and principle of, they are just not for me! I likes me lead… 🙂
  • The Recce section has some good reviews but I was particularly taken with a review of painting racks. The messy pile of paints scattered around my desk really need sorting and some sort of rack is needed as the current setup just isn’t working! I’ll add the link later when I can be bothered to climb to the attic and get the mag! There are also reviews of Knuckduster 1812 American range (very nice) and Grant and Olley’s Wargaming in History Vol.2 gets a deserved excellent review.

So, all in all another excellent issue. The range of content confirms that Battlegames is not just ‘Old School’ and continues to go from strength to strength. The range of PDF options make it easy to try and also get back issues. Do the right thing – subscribe!

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