I’m delighted to announce that the first issue under the new ownership of Atlantic Editions Limited is humming away on the presses right now and is due to be published in time for Christmas. As you can see, a few changes have been made to the style of the front cover, but inside you’ll find it crammed with the same kind of juicy content you’ve come to expect from what many of you call “the thinking wargamers’ magazine”.
This issue actually features more articles than normal, because I wanted to give a clutch of new contributors a bite at the cherry — as you know, it’s always been my policy to encourage talent when I see it, and I’m sure you’ll agree that these new recruits have earned their place in the ranks of top-quality contributors to the magazine. I want to encourage you to have a go at submitting your ideas. Don’t be shy — everyone has to start somewhere and I have a reputation for being very proactive in helping newcomers to find their ‘voice’ to complement the grumbling veterans already in our pages!
• Foam? Cor! Diane Sutherland finds Jon has been hoarding black electronics packaging foam which, by some miracle, she transforms into a quaint French village, complete with boulangerie. C’est incroyable!
• Forward Observer. Neil Shuck jumps into the saddle and immediately puts his personal stamp on the column that looks at all the latest developments in the hobby. Welcome aboard, Neil!
• Into the lair of the Beast. Dark Ages expert Dan Mersey and I paid a visit to Gripping Beast earlier this year, and this is Dan’s account of the fascinating day we spent with Darren Harding and colleagues, including a game of Saga that Dan would rather forget…
• The race to St Léger. TooFatLardies partner Rich Clarke demonstrates the strengths of I Ain’t Been Shot Mum with a post- D-Day teaser, pitching the Royal Dragoon Guards and Green Howards against an outnumbered but expertly-handled German defence (and an ideal excuse to indulge in some new PSC StuGs…).
• Wargaming blind. Battlegames reader Mike Stewart is visually challenged, but it hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his favourite hobby! This is the remarkable story of his battle to carry on gaming despite what many would think of as insuperable difficulties.
• Painting 1/72 plastics. Lee Clapham may be new to the pages of Battlegames, but he clearly knows a thing or two about techniques for getting an effective paint job onto soft plastic miniatures in a hurry.
• Chronological relocation for scenarios. Che? An Arthur Harman classic, packed full of good ideas as we have come to expect from this most cerebral of gamers. He explains how to look outside your chosen period for inspiration. There’s also a little challenge from your Editor…
• The Grenouissian Intermezzo, part 2. The campaigning begins, with the allies and mercenaries from both Granprix and Grenouisse at sixes and sevens. I’ve used quotes direct from the orders submitted by some of the participants to illustrate the chaos of the opening days as good intentions went awry.
• Command challenge: Malatitze. Well-known Belgian gamer Bart Vetters has supplied us with a stunning challenge based on the Great Northern War battle of Malatitze. This has all the classic components of a dawn raid, set in this much-neglected corner of the horse and musket era — and of course, it’s easy to convert to whatever period you prefer (see Arthur’s piece above).
• After the delay of several months, you’ll be keen to catch up with our Recce section, Tricks of the Newark Irregulars provides the Diary of Events for January-March 2012 and there’s momentous news about the Combat Stress Appeal. In particular, Simone Drinkwater (previously of Casemate Publishing) describes our mad, sun-drenched Sussex March that she and I completed on 1st October.
• And finally, a little surprise: Thoughts from an armchair sees the unexpected and welcome return of a recently-departed guru of the hobby. Yes, you can’t keep a good man down for long, and Mike Siggins just couldn’t stand the sound of his own silence, so we’ve found a comfy seat for him near the fire where he can ramble on about whatever takes his fancy.
Anyway, that should keep you busy over Christmas, and there’s some more information I need to give you as well about where Battlegames and I go from here:
Now owned by Atlantic Editions Limited, who also publish Miniature Wargames, the magazine has a more secure future with the backing of a well-established and professional publishing company. As a result of the handover, my role has changed somewhat:
• Battlegames Ltd no longer exists. My design, writing and editing business is now Henry Hyde Limited: see http://henryhyde.co.uk/
• As soon as issue 27 is published, I shall no longer be administering ANY matters relating to subscriptions or single issue sales, whether paper or digital. The print and production company, Warners, will be taking all that off my hands. Their contact details are given in the magazine.
• After publication of issue 27, digital subscriptions and single issues will be handled by Exact Editions. You can download free examples of their format from the Atlantic Publishing website.
• Again, once this issue is published, all matters relating to advertising will be out of my hands unless you would like me to design your advertisement for you (as Henry Hyde Limited). Ad sales will now be handled by Media Shed, who will be in contact in due course. (This is the same company that sells ad space in Miniature Wargames.)
• I shall continue to have editorial control, and all articles and photos should still be sent direct to me, but at the new email address of henry at henryhyde dot co dot uk
• All contributors will now be paid direct by Atlantic. I shall be in touch with any outstanding previous contributors personally.
• I shall still be designing and laying out the editorial pages of the magazine. The advertising pages, front cover and some ‘in house’ ads are now handled by Atlantic’s in-house team. My hope is that much of the ‘feel’ of Battlegames can be retained.
• Keep your eye on the Atlantic Publishing website. A new section is being built behind the scenes for Battlegames, and as soon as that is ready, all magazine sales of any kind will be directed there. The eventual future of the current Battlegames website has yet to be decided (the “Battlegames” name now belongs to Atlantic), but The Battlegames Blog will be continuing as a personal project, as will the Battlegames page on FaceBook and the Battlegames Twitter account.
So, I hope you enjoy issue 27 and in the meantime, here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!