Monday, January 27, 2014

Magazines - worth the investment?

A couple of things happened last week that made me stop and think.
Firstly a renewal reminder for WSS dropped through the letter box.  £52 for two years - nearly two battalions worth of figures for the Ramillies project.  I decided to spend a few days thinking about that.
Then MWBG No. 370 was delivered.
This issue appears to reinforce my conclusion that the magazines aren't worth while anymore.

Why do we buy them in the first place (or rather why do I buy them)?

For news of up and coming ranges?  A number of websites do that already including "Wargame News & Terrain" who regularly feature in the column to the left.
For "How to Articles"?  Lots of blogs do that and in greater detail than the magazine is able to depict.
For "History"?  Hardly, since there is so much out there in the ether if we just "google" it - and especially since Henry desires MWBG to be wargame led rather than by the history.
For the eye candy?  Not much of it in evidence over the last few issues of any of the magazines.  Duncan used to have some terrific photos when WI first launched but recently it seems a poor show.
For articles on how to recreate battle X?  Sometimes.  Although the over long Salamanca series was one issue too long for me, most of them get it right provided I have an interest in the period.

I think I may have answered my opening question here.  I actually spent as much time looking at the adverts in MWBG370 than I did reading the mag. 
I always certain columns (Siggins, Kinch & the cover article for WSS).  I always skip certain articles (Fantasy Facts & boardgames reviews).  I only ever read terrain articles if the photographs look good (this months haystacks in MWBG were anything but good IMO).

So overall I don't think I'll be renewing my subscription.  The difficulty will be making sure I convert that saving into lead.


David said...

I have not purchased a general wargames magazine for a number of years and rarely look a them in Smiths - almost everything in them is available on the web

I do enjoy and subscribe to Slingshot and the Journal of the SOTCW. They tend to have more interesting content and less eye candy for eye candy's sake. With them I also feel as if am am part of a wider community which my sub helps to maintain.

Tony said...

I agree.

The only exception for me is if I find some modelling/wargaming magazine in a charity shop for 25p.

Then it's a bargain.


Sgt Steiner said...

Wargames mags are much cheaper online nowdays but am personally finding (in MW/BG) way too much fantasy gaming content for my liking. Might well be what sells but not for I. Somewhat surprisingly am finding myself purchasing individual issues of WI online more often than not.

Paul Robinson said...

I subscribe to several on line magazines and find reading them on the Ipad okay. Paper magazines end up in the recycled bin very quickly - sometimes seems as though I'm just giving money for waste paper.

legatus hedlius said...

I still buy them all. The articles I like are ones where rule writers explain their rules I bought Donnybrook on the basis of an article last month - or, and their are not enough of these, where they interview a figure manufacturer. I do like the articles featuring one battle. I just wish you could get more back issues on CD, like MW, so I can dump all my hard copies and gain some space!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Having asked others for thoughts on the same question on my blog, I've also come to the same decision... the magazine just isn't doing it for me.. the latest issue is still sitting in the postal bag.....

Dave said...

Hmm looks like a lot of us are going through this phase and we are voicing our thoughts through the blog medium

I wonder are we roughly around the same age and been in the scene for roughly the same time period, it might be a demographic thing. 50 yo here with a good 35 years in the hobby give or take the odd hiatus.

To be honest I would much rather a fire-wall magazine similar to what the newspapers are doing. I will admit to still being a subscriber to WS&S and will probably renew, there is a certain something about this print mag that I find appealing.

Clarence Harrison said...

I used to buy them all, but WI is the only one I really enjoy anymore. To me MW hasn't been very good for a long time and some of the other mags were harder to get in the US at shops near me.