Sunday, 13 November 2011

Battlefields Magazine 1995-2000

The recent news about the likely closure of the printed edition of Battlegames Magazine got me thinking about the traditional trajectory of many wargaming magazines and their seeming inevitable demise.

The two titles usually quoted are Battle Magazine (which died a slower death through first being incorporated in Military Modelling), and Practical Wargamer, which lasted around 12 years, I believe.

The magazine I missed the most is almost never mentioned in this company or elsewhere, so I thought I would try to correct the record a bit.

Coming out a little erratically over a period from March 1995 to around 2000, Battlefields Magazine was published by Partizan Press and edited by Ben Wilkins, joint author of the Forlorn Hope rules with Pete Berry, succeeded by Mike Oliver from issue 7. It ran from a preview edition (Vol 0 Issue 0) to 10 issues in Vol 1 and one issue (I think) in Vol 2.

Contributors included luminaries such as Paddy Griffiths, Ian Knight, Charles Esdaile, Carl Reavley (published posthumously), Paul Stevenson, Mark Bevis and John Barratt, among others.

I particularly liked the magazine for three reasons:

firstly, the emphasis on scenarios, well researched historical analysis, and the impact of this analysis on the wargame;

secondly, the quality of the authors involved;

and thirdly, the quality of its graphic design, benefiting from Partizan's ability to access their own publications for illustrations and resources.

The idea behind the magazine is outlined in the first editorial, from the preview edition of March 1995.

I contacted Dave Ryan at Caliver Books/Partizan Press for permission to post some material from the magazine and check a few facts. he kindly gave permission to post several articles, which appear in posts below.

Some back issues are still available from Caliver/Partizan, and there is also a master index of articles available here. if you haven't come across the magazine before and are interested in checking it out, I would suggest it might be interesting to acquire a copy or two.

1 comment:

Eric Elder said...

I just discovered the magazine. Great stuff. Exactly the information I need. But...alas, the magazine is no longer being published, but at least back issues can be found.