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Announcing. . . The Wargamer's Notebook!

Way back in 2010, Phil Olley put out an excellent magazine called The Classic Wargaming Journal.  Doubtless, some of you remember it, and some of you probably also subscribed like we did.

Each issue of Phil’s CWJ contained things like battle reports, how-to articles, scenarios, and even a regular column.  The whole tenor and style of articles captivated us, and we were bereft when the CWJ came to a premature halt after only five glorious issues.

So, we pose this question to all of you - Can lightning strike twice?

Now, we know already that there are many others around the globe who enjoy games of toy soldiers in various forms.  We also know many of you replay the great battles of history on your tables, across your floors, and even your lawns while others take a fictitious approach.  We know that you thrill at the spectacle of brightly painted miniature hussars, hoplites, and helicopters advancing to do battle too.  Old school.  New school.  White basecoat.  Black basecoat.  Flat finish.  No varnish.  Minimal stylized scenery.  Highly realistic terrain.  Whatever.  It’s all good.  Regardless of whether your chest swells at the thrill of 1/72 plastic victory, or you swoon at the agony of 54mm wooden (or even 2mm hair roller) defeat, we’re convinced that you might get a kick out of what we’re about to propose.  

Ok.  So, just what is it we’re on about?  Glad you asked!  Ladies and Gentlemen, we present:

The Wargamer’s Notebook

We’ve decided to assemble an initial issue, and we seek your help in the form of submissions and expressions of interest from potential subscribers. We are planning to get the first issue out in January 2017 and then quarterly as we go forward.

This will be an “amateur” publication, like one of the many wargaming society journals whose roots stretch at least as far back as Donald Featherstone’s Wargamer’s Newsletter.

Just to be up front about it, The Wargamer’s Notebook really is an amateur publication, and unlike the glossy pro-magazines, contributors cannot be paid.  We hope the amateur volunteer element will shine through, and that contributors’ enthusiasm and passion for historical miniatures wargaming in a certain style will be the main attraction.

Here is what we envision for The Wargamer’s Notebook:

TWN will include:

  • 3-4 battle reports/ scenarios per issue. These need not be long… a few paragraphs or a few pages, an order of battle, and a map. A photo or two if you wish.  Give us an account of a recent game as it happened. What can we say?  We miss Charles Grant’s “Tabletop Teasers.”  

  • Some “how to” articles… eg scratch building, painting, conversion work, etc. Simple stuff that anyone can do. We have one on the stocks already for building a Boer War blockhouse!

  • Game or campaign mechanics articles. Generic mechanics, house rules, ideas, guidelines that people use, why they use them, and how they have found them to work on the tabletop.

  • Fun. Nothing fancy, just good old fun and inspiring food for thought.  Tabletop chicken soup for the wargaming soul kind of stuff.  Sound good?  We think so too. We want to know what you love about the hobby, what’s the latest bit of fun you got up to. Fun, fun funny fun fun.

Before anyone asks, TWN will not include:

  • Advertising. Obviously.

  • Articles geared to a specific rules set, figure range, or the latest offering from one of the figure companies (although if you reckon you’ve got a cracking battle board for Saga, we’re all ears).

  • Text imploring you to buy the latest figures or rules to conform to the latest way that everyone else is doing it.  No, no, no! We want to hear what you are doing!
  • Potted political or historical articles.

  • So called “wargames navel-gazing”.

Contribute for the fun of it, for satisfaction, and for La Gloire!
We’re prepared to embark on our tabletop journey around the world and back again with The Wargamer’s Notebook for fun, and for as long as there are readers willing to contribute, who also find value and enjoyment in it.

We’ll toss the ball over to you now. Maybe there is something in it, and you’d like to help get the idea off the ground.  

If you’d like to join in the fun, please drop us a line at:

With Our Best Glossy 30mm Regards,

Greg Horne (The Duchy of Alzheim) & Stokes Schwartz (The Grand Duchy of Stollen)


Neil Moulden said…
Put me down for issue one. I still have my wargamers notebooks and I really enjoy this type of publication.I picked up a stack of old wargamer's news letters a few months ago and have been reading and re-reading the articles ever since.
If I can help with an article/batrep I would be glad to. Unfortunately as you may be able to tell my grammar isn't up to much (i love spell check).
tradgardmastare said…
Can't wait!All the very best with this venture.
Would be very interested in this new publication, I still have all the old ones and they are a prized edition to my wargaming library . By the way tried to use that email link and it didn't work for me , Tony
Put me down for issue one...

Arguing devils advocate... your (excellent) list of things you want to include.. isn't that exactly what a blog is? and if that is the case, aren't there 100's of "WGN's" already available? You know the main difference between Wargamers' Newsletter and now is of course this wonderful old medium we're currently communicating on... if Don had had the interweb back then I don't doubt that Wargamers' Newsletter might have been a blog....

Which all sounds very negative... and it isn't meant to be, since our aims are commendable... and I look forward to the first article!
Ed M said…

I think Steve-the-Wargamer makes an excellent point about blogs being everyone's newsletters today (heck, I have a blog). Having said that, I think that the attraction of the "Notebook" would be that is a "not blog"--something that arrives emphasizes content over presentation. Compared to the early MWANs, for instance (which I still read), Phil's retro publication was high end (perhaps too high end?).

Aim low! :)

Bon Chance!

Would this be a hardcopy that actually arrived in the mail?
A J said…
Sounds interesting. Will it be an e-publication?
Prince Lupus said…
Absolutely super idea. Although it,s jolly nice to get a stapled journal in the post I hope it will be e-mailable. Carbon footprints and all that. I have my own stapler!
Phil said…
Good luck with this new, and very exciting, venture Stokes.
All the best.
David Cooke said…
Well done! Just what I like in a Wargames mag and none of the stuff that I don't. Looking forward to it.
Im sorry I am a bit late in commenting, I have literally just come back from holidaying in Southern Italy. This is a brilliant project, and yes I will be subscribing etc, well done on deciding to give it a go. I am a tad jealous though.
Hendrid said…
Just picked up on this, and a commendable project it is too. Look forward to the first issue. Best of luck.

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