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  • #72850
    Grimheart
    Participant

    Just came across a short but interesting article by Peter of Baccus which i trust is okay to link here…..

    https://www.baccus6mm.com/news/20-09-2017/Historicalgaming-‘Thetimestheyareachanging’/

    In general i agree with Peter about the magazines and the predominance of 28mm in them is one major reason i do not subscribe to any of them these days.

    This current predominance of 28mm does seem to be reflected in games and suppliers you see at uk shows as well i feel.

    So are the magazines just following the change, or like Peter seems to imply, are they at least partly responsible for it by neglecting to showcase smaller scales?

    Ps -Although the main areas i collect are in 6mm i do have collections in 28mm for the Old West, Fantasy and recently Doctor Who so i am not “just” a 6mm fanboi.

     

     

     

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    #72851
    Cameronian
    Participant

    Probably due to the plethora of ‘flavour of the month’ rulesets which are basically clones of each other.  The worst represented scale is 1/72, despite the number of avid collectors and gamers in the scale world-wide.

    JMHO

    'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."

    #72852
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I have long thought that many people assume 6mm is all about masses of troops and as such you don’t need to worry too much about painting them that well.
    As such I often see close ups of 6mm troops that are not to what I would consider a decent standard to promote it.
    A lot of time I see figures with loads of black primer undercoat showing through where people have just dabbed/spotted colour onto the raised areas.
    This I think does not translate well into a full page glossy spread in a magazine and further promotes the blobs/bits of rice argument.
    Where as in fact the figures have good detail but the paintjobs do not show this off.

    Making 6mm look as inspiring as 25mm is possible, it just requires more work.

    I am far from the best 6mm painter/modeller out there but if I can create nice looking 6mm gaming boards then so can others:

    #72854
    James Manto
    Participant

    28mm photographs easier and better so it’s easier to get sexy hi-res pictures for publication.

    Also 28mm is easier to cast. Fewer non-fills, easier to handle and you can sell a 28mm casting for much more per gram of material than  smaller scale figures. So manufacturers like the scale too.

    At shows 28mm games are bigger and therefore have a bigger visual impact.

    Not a 28mm fanboi just a realist.

    #72856
    willz
    Participant

    I don’t often buy  wargame related magazines these days as there is more interesting and varied choice of wargame eye candy and ideas on the internet (this forum being one of them).  I do 6mm, 20mm, 25mm, 28mm and board gaming all have there good and bad sides.  I have also noticed in the wargame magazines I glance at in Smiths (in a vain hope there will be something of interest) that most the items appear to be what I would call 28/30mm heroic style figures, whilst these figures and equipment are well painted and displayed.  I wonder if they have the adverse effect of putting off new enthusiast’s to the hobby as the standard to attain is out of what they think is the wargame standard.

    This is from Exeter wargame show 2017, 20mm Napoleonic wargame.  The figures look fantastic en-mase and to my mind is what wargaming is all about, lots of soldiers and a big battle.

    #72857
    Blackhat
    Participant

    Interesting – I chatted to Pete about this at Colours.

    The hobby does seem to be shifting to a model of boxed games that provide rules, figures, painting guides and everything you need even for historical gaming.  It also is shifting to smaller, skirmishy  games where you require fewer figures.  I can’t say I am surprised as newer companies in the industry have been aping the GW model for a while and GW has moved its games over to skirmish as well..

    I get WI each month as they send it to me but I don’t often do more than scan it as the mix of latest Osprey rules, chasing the latest trend, lack of scenarios and talking about actual wargaming doesn’t match my own hobby…

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #72858
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    What Angel Barracks said. And I unashamedly do it myself, paint 6mm figures to a standard that will look okay from 2 ft away, but wouldn’t look great under a magazine close up. I think my stuff looks a lot better then painted rice mind. I think that more – but by no means all –  of the gamers who are interested in doing really good paint jobs on their toy soldiers will gravitate towards bigger figures anyway as a vehicle for those great paint jobs.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #72859
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I’m not a 28mm fanboi either, roughly 50% of my projects are 28mm, with the other 50% a mix of 3mm, 6mm, 12mm and 15mm-18mm (oh, and Aeronefs and spaceships). That said, the thing I mainly find embittering is the embitterment of others in the hobby community over the supposed domination of 28mm. It’s one of my least favourite parts of everything that’s happening in the community, especially when there’s insinuations (not in this thread, or even in TWW, but in the larger community overall) that some people are ruining the hobby for others through their personal tastes and preferences. Embitterment breeds embitterment.

    I don’t read the magazines very often (I wish I had the time and money) but when I do, I enjoy the fact that they’re largely free of such controversies. Yes, more non-28mm content would be welcome, but I don’t “unwelcome” any of the 28mm content on the grounds that it has supposedly displaced something else. It’s all good.

    I once started a thread here on TWW about my anguish over the fact that there’s no glossy magazine that mainly covers “indie” fantasy and sci-fi miniatures gaming (by “indie” I mean “not GW or PP”) all the while there’s no fewer than three mainly-historicals ones. The obvious response from a historicals gamer’s point of view is that it’s entirely up to fantasy and sci-fi gamers to make their own one; the responsibility and the burden can’t reasonably lie on historicals gamers. To a draw a parallel, if the three glossies are to be viewed as almost entirely 28mm-centric, then isn’t it up to non-28mm gamers to make their own glossy magazine that’s mainly about non-28mm gaming?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Rhoderic. Reason: Less lesses, more fewers
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Rhoderic.
    #72870
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    I haven’t bought any of the magazines for a few years, is Wargames Illustrated not dedicated to 15mm FOW anymore?  That got to be a bit annoying, to be honest.

    For trends in gaming, I think it works at both ends of the hobby.  New recruits who enter via GW are used to smallish numbers of big figures.  Older gamers with failing eyesight and existing large collections might want to switch to smaller numbers of big figures for any new projects.  I don’t see it as a problem so long as there are enough people bucking the trend to keep the manufacturers of other scales in business, which seems to be the case. 🙂

     

    #72874
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Come to think of it, do we know that WI, MW and WSS are actively rejecting submissions of non-28mm content? As opposed to just not receiving any?

    I’m not saying that’s not the case, I’m just saying I can’t claim to know, and I’m wondering if I’m alone in not knowing.

    #72875

    Interesting article. The author may well be correct.

    Personally, I don’t really care.

    That statement is not made from any sort of cranky old man standpoint but because I’ve never been main stream.

    I have several armies, many thousands of painted figures all in one scale: 1/72. Mostly plastic with about 25% in metal (OK; these are in 20mm if you want to be pedantic). This has always put me on the outer & although the ‘Horror of Plastic’ is not as prevalent as it once was, it still exists. This aesthetic isolation has been compounded by a geographical one. I’ve spent most of my life in the Antipodes which is not exactly a hot-spot for historical gaming. Finally, there’s always been a personal choice not to belong. For years I gamed solo, and this was followed by further years (down to the present) where gaming is indulged in only with a very select group of like-minded pals. We tend to like big games with many hundreds of figures but time constraints often mean much smaller games like this:

    [/url]

    (please forgive my pal’s shirt. He’s a Richmond supporter.)

    I do watch trends with some interest. I have subscribed to various mags in the past: notably ‘Practical Wargamer’ & then ‘Battlegames’. But really wargame fashion affects me only slightly more than Fashion in general (evidently red will be big in 2018 & Athleisure is holding strong).

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Deleted User.
    #72878
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    28mm photographs easier and better so it’s easier to get sexy hi-res pictures for publication. Also 28mm is easier to cast. Fewer non-fills, easier to handle and you can sell a 28mm casting for much more per gram of material than smaller scale figures. So manufacturers like the scale too. At shows 28mm games are bigger and therefore have a bigger visual impact. Not a 28mm fanboi just a realist.

    I’m old. I can’t focus on anything smaller…

     

    Also, Mr. Berry should stop taking it quite so personally.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #72880
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Early on in the linked piece, the author says:

    “These publications are important. Despite competition from the growth of the internet, they still hold a mirror up to our hobby and provide snapshots of trends, approaches and activity.”

    I part company with him on that one. I stopped buying mainstream UK wargames magazines a couple of decades ago, because the main effort seemed to be glossy pictures of beautifully-painted miniatures, and that is not an aspect of wargaming that interests me. It does, however, fit perfectly well with a perceived emphasis on 28mm (a scale I still cannot take seriously). I have been known to spend my money on back issues of US or French magazines — S&T, Against the Odds, or Vae Victis — because they have a boardgame in them. I recently downloaded a shedload of old “Moves” magazines, and I keep my old copies of “Fire and Movement”, “The General”, “Jeux et Strategie” and even, dammit, “The Phoenix”, because these are filled not with eye candy, but with what I would call wargaming criticism. The only UK wargaming publication I currently subscribe to, The Nugget, I read avidly for the same reason, and never mind that it has to be one of the most visually unimpressive publications on the market. What’s more, almost none of the people I seem to interact with in my wargaming — on the intertubes, in Wargame Developments, Connections UK, my old Horsham group, or my current club — seem to regard the UK glossies as especially significant. Whatever it is the magazines are holding a mirror up to, it bears precious little resemblance to wargaming as I know it, even if (as we Brits often seem to do) one narrows the meaning of “wargaming” to mean wargaming with toy soldiers.

    All the best,

    John.

    #72882
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I didn’t read it as taking it personally or being ’embittered’ about 28mm. Maybe I am just in a good mood?  Nah.

    I’m an old git  mature gamer too, and I paint things to be viewed at correct distances –

    6mm-3ft,

    15mm- 4ft,

    28mm – would you mind standing in the corridor?

    I have most sizes of figure and will continue to buy most of them up to and including 28mm.

    I wouldn’t mind a better spread of game/figure reports in magazines, but people have to write them, and I know I haven’t written anything for years.

    But I am probably not representative anyway, because whilst I can admire a well turned gaiter, I am not really too bothered about staring at hundreds of photos of painted toy soldiers for the sake of it. I like history and game playing and where figures add something or convey something in the experience that is great, but I’m not too fussed about the figures themselves being the driver for my involvement in the hobby.

    That sounds a bit po faced doesn’t it?

    All I mean is I like all sorts and sizes of figures and would happily read about any of them, preferably with a good bit of history, rule mechanism or scenario advice attached.

    I’ve got loads of Baccus figs by the way – they are ace!

    EDIT – Scribbling while John wrote – yeah, mostly what he says too.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    #72884
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I agree with what John  says. I haven’t bought a paper magazine since the 90s, and no-one I know does.

    If looking at pretty pictures of toy soldiers interested me (it doesn’t), I could find plenty on the interwebs. As they seem to be the main focus of the monthlies now i see no point in handing over cash for them. The halcyon days of the MAP mags and authors like Wise, Asquith, the Grants, Vasey (who was never afraid to call a spade a spade 😉 ) et al are long gone. Which is a pity.

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #72893
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Heh. I actually find that the three glossies are increasingly becoming “just right for me”. It’s all relative, of course. There are still things they could be doing better (subjectively, to suit my personal tastes) like having more non-28mm content, but in overall terms, they’ve moved in my general direction.

    Where I would previously have rated the three glossies at 6-7 in terms of how interesting and relevant they are to me, I now rate them at 7-8. I don’t really know why I haven’t already begun reading them more often. Inertia, maybe.

    #72897
    willz
    Participant

    As I previously said I rarely buy wargame magazines these days (though I do buy the “wargames annuals”), nothing against them most the time they don’t have anything I am interested in.  From my perspective they don’t seem to cover the basic aspects of the hobby, simple painting or converting figures, tactical problems or solutions.  Maybe its me but they come across as trying to sell pre-packaged games and rule sets, now I understand all this is based on a business models and all power to their elbows but most of the time its not for me.

    #72899
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    From my perspective they don’t seem to cover the basic aspects of the hobby, simple painting or converting figures, tactical problems or solutions.

    I suppose that for me, they’ve become better at capturing my imagination. The glossy photos of skirmish games, where nice-looking miniatures and nice-looking terrain come together to form a greater whole, are conducive to that. I know there’s much of that to be found in blogs and forums as well, but I’m a junkie and I’m never really content with any amount of it. The magazines are a way of mainlining it 

    #72912
    John D Salt
    Participant

    It’s lucky we don’t all like the same things, or they wouldn’t sell many mixed biscuits.

    All the best,

    John.

    #72913
    McLaddie
    Participant

    Interesting thoughts from someone deep into the economy of the hobby.  The wants and preferences of gamers and what magazine articles and advertisements promote or display is a symbiotic relationship and they feed off one-another. But like any wheel turning on several spokes, shove in a stick and the spoke it hits and stops the wheel will seem to be the most important one.

    I think if there is a driving force behind this 28mm preference, the one with more power than the other ‘spokes’, it is the game designers and thus publishers. They create games that favor one type of figure or another. They make one size of figure more available with a wider selection. Any advertisement however wide-spread, magazine article or game at a convention or garage is going to be circumscribed by that.

    I chose to do the Spanish Civil War in 15mm. I would have been far better concerning availability, variety and support if I’d gone with 28mm.

    #72920
    OB
    Participant

    It’s interesting to see how many folk here no longer buy the various magazines.  I stopped doing so in 2000.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #72922
    MartinR
    Participant

    I also haven’t bought a glossy since the turn of the millennium, there just isn’t enough to interest me.

    And as for those bloated “28mm” figures, there are one or two people at the club who play with those, but most people don’t.

    So tbh I think the Wargames magazines only represent a portion of the hobby and certainly not mine.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #72929
    McKinstry
    Participant

    I think the idea that they photograph better is valid. I also think that many of the magazine editors/writers may simply have that as a preferred scale.

    Personally I have always been a smaller scale guy be it 3mm/6mm/10mm or preferring my ships in 1/2400-1/6000 and I take a certain snarky relish in suggesting to my 28mm friends that the ideal use of 28mm figures is melting down into lots of useful 6mm.

    In actuality I think the smaller scales are doing fine and growing nicely and what the magazines do really doesn’t matter.

     

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #72931
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    What appears in the magazines is the result of many factors. I wouldn’t consider the content of the commercial magazines to be an accurate representation of the state of the hobby, independent of whether one finds the content interesting. Instead, I think one has to look at hobby blogs to get a good overview of the hobby “as it is actually being played”. Blogs have taken over as the channel through which one learns about the hobby as it is, and not about the hobby as a commercial product.

    But, wargaming trends do change over the years. How many people still have the time to pursue “wargaming on a 5×9 table, with hundreds of historical 18th century soldiers.” Time is limited, and is no wonder that many wargamers prefer shorter games with a limited number of figures. Only wargamers are are in it for the long run might have the energy to pursue a project that might take several years.

    I don’t think that’s a problem though. The face of gaming changes. Many of us have lived through the roleplaying golden age, or even the collectible card games golden age, and now we are in the boardgame golden age. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from pursuing his interest in the hobby. After all, your preferred gaming style might be hot gain 10 years from now.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Phil Dutré.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #72968
    irishserb
    Participant

    Honestly, I don’t think that there is a problem with what the magazines are covering.

    I stopped buying magazines in ’93, having bought maybe three issues since then.  When I bought them, it was mainly for inspiration, and that mainly came from the photos.  The majority of my miniatures are 6mm, closely followed by 15mm, with 28mm a very distant third, and then a small number of miniatures in a variety of scales.

    When I bought magazines, it was generally depictions of larger scale miniatures that inspired me.  I bought 6mm and 15mm as a result of this inspiration, as those scales fit the scope of the games that I wanted to play.  Typically, for me and the groups that I belonged to, scale has always been a pragmatic issue.

    Within my gaming groups over the years, there was never more than two of us that regularly bought magazines at any one time, and I can’t ever remember any of us buying a specific miniatures line, or playing a specific game system as a result of an article in one of them.

    My expectation would be that today, the magazines have smaller circulation in what is now a larger or more populous hobby market, and would be surprised to find that they are leading the direction of the hobby.

    I came into the miniatures side of the hobby, almost 40 years ago, being introduced to the hobby circa 1978 to 1981.  Of the first six games that I was exposed to, five were historical, five where 25mm scale, and four used skirmish style rules.  My experience has been that skirmish style games have always been present, and in significant numbers since 1982.  My experience has also been that traditionally, a significant segment of classic big battle historical gamers have always been somewhere between dismissive and insulting of  skirmish style games.  And, I don’t mean to pick on big battle gamers, my experience is that every subset of gamers exhibits prejudice; big battle, skirmish, miniatures, board games, etc. all have their noise makers.  I also suspect that the traditional big battle gamers, who sort of founded/invented the hobby (at least from my perspective, and somewhat over simplified), may have had a disproportionate impact on the potential diversity in gaming styles through much of the history of the hobby.

    I further suspect that two things are true.  First, that the frequency of classic big battle gamers is relatively constant.  That these style games appeal to a subset of the community, and that they continue to do so.  Second, that the hobby market place and population segment has grown, and that part of the growth is the result of more varied styles of games and marketing approaches.  I suspect that a part of the appeal of the skirmish style game is the smaller amount of work that needs to be done to get the game on the table top,  and the packaged game marketing approach make the process of fielding the game even simpler and faster, than it might have been in the past.

    Quite simply, I suspect there have always been far more potential skirmish gamers out there, than big battle gamers.  And, that the current trend is a function of more diverse games reaching the greater potential.  Thus, the magazines are simply chasing, not leading the current trend, which is a function of the preferences of the greater market place.

    Or maybe I’m completely wrong.

     

     

    #72974
    Norm S
    Participant

    I attend several UK shows and I buy each of the three UK mags and subscribe to one of them and I do get the sense that there is a growing lack of scale diversity in both those places, with the larger scale being favoured. There are several reasons and several solutions, none of which make anything right or wrong.

    I am also seeing an increase at game shows of what I would call kitchen table gaming – that does at least feel like a more honest representation of what many of us will be gaming on at home.

    Shows and mags have limited circulation when compared to the presence of the web, which is diversity rich, so perhaps it is misleading to allow the content of shows and magazines to form our opinion of what most people are doing and what is ‘trending’.

    Regardless of what scale one chooses to play in, it is generally well supported and probably more-so now than it has ever been before, so in some respects it hardly matters what the big picture is or what anyone else is doing – the individual should generally be getting the game / style / choice that they want.

    It is worth saying that this site is very good at being receptive to all scales, there is room at the table for everyone.

    #72991
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Peter from Baccus has written an update on the Baccus’ forum: https://www.baccus6mm.com/forum/General/General/774-4-28mmgamesinthemags/

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #73002
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    He dares rebut my accusations of bitterness??! Vendetta! Vendetta! 

    Well, OK, while I did read shades of bitterness in the sentence that had the word “oozing” in it*, I was also remarking on other similar comments I’ve seen in the online community in the past. It seems to me that the dominance of 28mm in magazines and shows/conventions has become an “old familiar” of a community-wide gripe in recent years, so I was treating this thread as a discussion on that general attitude as opposed to being laser-focused on Peter-of-Baccus’s article. I was kind of assuming others were doing the same, but really, I should have been more clear about what my remark was pertaining to.

    * In fairness, it’s difficult using anything even remotely resembling strong language on the internet without being misinterpreted. Happens to me, too. On that count, maybe I should have used a milder word than “embitterment”. Sorry, Peter of Baccus 

    #73003
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    The only people I’ve ever noticed pushing a scale as being the right one that everyone should use are 6mm fanatics.  There’s quite a few examples of that on the Baccus forum thread Whirlwind linked to.

    #73005
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    The only people I’ve ever noticed pushing a scale as being the right one that everyone should use are 6mm fanatics. There’s quite a few examples of that on the Baccus forum thread Whirlwind linked to.

     

     

     

    #73023
    Cerdic
    Participant

    I suspect that the people who have mentioned the ’28mm is easier to photograph’ aspect have pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    I remember once, years ago, reading an article about putting on some horse and musket battle or other. The figures they were using were 6mm but the photos were mostly of 28mm figures! Just for illustrative purposes…

    #73046
    Blackhat
    Participant

    The only people I’ve ever noticed pushing a scale as being the right one that everyone should use are 6mm fanatics. There’s quite a few examples of that on the Baccus forum thread Whirlwind linked to.

    I think that some of the people Victoria is referring to post on a number of forums rubbishing everything but the scale they play in… It happens but I tend to ignore it.  They believe they have found the holy grail of wargaming and want everyone to see the light and if it works for them then that is great. It won’t influence me, any more than being stopped by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the street is going to change my opinion on religion…

    Mike

     

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #73049

    Pitch my tent in the ’28mm provides more eye candy’ camp. Over the decades print media has moved away from textual information and towards glossy visual. As I think society in general has. I haven’t bought any gaming magazines since the late 1980s.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #73051
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    The only people I’ve ever noticed pushing a scale as being the right one that everyone should use are 6mm fanatics. There’s quite a few examples of that on the Baccus forum thread Whirlwind linked to.

    I think that some of the people Victoria is referring to post on a number of forums rubbishing everything but the scale they play in… It happens but I tend to ignore it. They believe they have found the holy grail of wargaming and want everyone to see the light and if it works for them then that is great. It won’t influence me, any more than being stopped by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the street is going to change my opinion on religion… Mike

     

    Indeed. That meme was me about to say that 6mm IS the one true scale, then thinking better of it.

     

    😀

    #73053
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Indeed. That meme was me about to say that 6mm IS the one true scale, then thinking better of it. 😀

    I think we all have our own idea of what looks good and works well, and it may be several different scales or just one preferred one.  A huge part of what I love about this hobby is everyone does it their own way and there is so much variety to admire and be inspired by. 🙂

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