Thursday, December 9, 2010

Warning Order Offers Glimpse into Historical Minis

With today’s ubiquitous desktop publishing and internet technologies, it’s easy for gaming clubs to publish online PDF newsletters about their interests and activities. The Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society’s newsletter, Warning Order, sets high marks for graphic design and content variety, providing interesting insights on historical miniatures wargaming, battle reports, and reviews several times each year.

The full-color, free download PDF releases to the Society’s website when the editors receive enough content to make 12 pages; but most issues run longer than that. Most articles, even battle reports, run only a few pages each. All come with color images of reviewed product, photos of miniatures and terrain on the gaming table, and tactical maps for scenarios.

The latest issue (Issue #28, Fall 2010) includes battle reports for scenarios played with General de Brigade, Warmaster Ancients, Age of Reason, Fire & Fury, and Blitzkrieg Commander 2 rules (complete with tactical maps and plenty of photos); reviews of Blitzkrieg Commander 2, USN Deluxe, The Sword and the Flame Action Decks, Republic of Rome, Guadalajara, and the new Wargames Illustrated format; an overview of terrain available in 1/285th scale; a variant for the classic Avalon Hill Starship Troopers board wargame; an editorial on World War III making a comeback in wargaming; and a host of other wargaming-related articles.

As of this date, the WFHGS has released 28 Warning Order issues, an impressive number for any club, and certainly a fantastic resource to hobby enthusiasts, who can find all the issues available for free download at the club’s website.

As with any fan-produced publication, Warning Order has some editing issues, and no articles contain any author bylines (one assumes the writers are club members). The magazine’s overall coverage of wargames obviously skews toward the club’s preferences, but is still impressive. Both historical miniatures and traditional board wargames receive representation.

Warning Order serves a variety of audiences. The newsletter offers newcomers a glimpse into the world of historical wargaming. For established enthusiasts of that hobby it provides potential scenario ideas (from battle reports), reviews of interesting products, and additional information and commentary on the hobby. Warning Order can also stand as inspiration for gaming clubs in its clean graphic design and engaging content.