Despite loving Battlegames when Henry published it I did not subscribe to it when Atlantic took over publishing for one simple reason - they didn't sell the electronic version as a downloadable PDF.
In fact the situation was even worse than that.
To read your electronic issue you had to download an app for your iPad (this would mean my old issues would be in iBooks, the newer ones in the Newsstand - it might seem a bit anal, but is it too much to ask that the e-mags are in the same place?). However the killer was that if you stopped your subscription you lost your magazines! In essence you were merely "renting" the magazines from Atlantic for the period of your subscription and whilst this allowed you to access a couple of years of back issues of both Miniature Wargames and Battlegames, you didn't actually own anything. Atlantic Publishing are not unique in this approach but I think it sucks.
So whilst I wanted to support Henry and the new Miniature Wargames, and despite the nice things people were saying about it, I was not prepared to "rent" an e-magazine and due to space/SWMBO considerations I could not buy the paper copy. My view was if Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy can sell you a PDF to download and keep, why couldn't Atlantic?
Well now you can. The app is still around and to access the back catalogue you need it (I would like to see the few Battlegames I have not got sold as downloadable PDF's but at least I can now read them) but at long last you can also download complete PDF's of the new Miniature Wargames onto your computer to keep. Hurrah!
So having now subscribed, what is it like?
First impressions are very good. I always enjoyed the old school Battle/Practical Wargamer feel of Battlegames, and Henry has built on this combining the charm of Battlegames with a more state of the art look akin to Wargames Illustrated but if anything better thought out.
The emphasis is on gaming rather than plain historical articles with a wargames paragraph tacked on and there is some interesting stuff in there that will be able to cross periods. Fantasy and SF get treated as a regular period as it should (hurrah!) and the standard of eye candy is very good indeed (with some excellent photos). My only criticism, and I'm not sure it really is even that, is the number of columnist pieces. I enjoyed all the opinion pieces but I am not sure whether four an issue is too many, perhaps they should alternate each month. Time will tell I suppose...
Overall, I am really happy with the new Miniature Wargames and glad to have finally subscribed now I can download and keep my PDF's!!!
Gromit of the Day: