Old Soldiers Magazine - Replacing The Boardgamer

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Aug 23, 2004
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My name’s Tom Cundiff. I’ve been a contributing writer to the Boardgamer, a wargame magazine, for the last 5 years, and an author for other magazines for the last 15. Last spring, the Boardgamer announced it was going to cease publication because its publisher had been offered a position with a major wargame company, MMP. Well, since that time I, as one of the last writers for that magazine, have received numerous requests that I either take over the Boardgamer, or begin a new magazine to take its place. It’s taken a good 4 to 5 months of repeated e-mail requests to get me to make that attempt. Here then is a description of what I propose. Feel free to contact me with any questions at the e-mail address provided below, or merely to add your name to the subscribers list.

Old Soldiers Magazine is a publication dedicated to the preservation and play of out of print wargames (not just Avalon Hill games as was the focus of the Boardgamer) and to providing an arena for the smaller wargame companies to showcase their work. For 40 years the wargame industry has pumped out game after game and the result is that our shelves are packed with games we do not play. The cause is multiple, but amongst the top reasons is the lack of an arena promoting their play, the existence of opponents, and the continual production of new games upon the subjects covered by the old games. Wargamers have become used to moving to new games upon a subject because that’s what is promoted within the hobby press. If one doesn’t move to the new games, they’re left in their dens playing their old game solitaire. This promotes the sales of new games, but it doesn’t promote the play of games or the development of expertise with a specific game or system. In short the genesis of a game’s demise is its sale prompting the development of yet another new game upon the same subject. It’s a never-ending vicious circle. Old Soldiers Magazine is founded in the knowledge of the coming demise of the venerable magazine ‘The Boardgamer”, which in turn replaced the much revered and vaunted father of all wargame magazines ‘The General”. We seek to be as good or better than the Boardgamer, but realize that we will never reach a place in the hearts of wargaming the way the General did. We look upon the Old Soldier Magazine as a vital service to the wargaming community. It is our hope that our old wargames never “fade away”. This is the purpose to which we are dedicated.

Old Soldier’s aim is to provide the publication in several types of media. For our subscribers outside of North America, the magazine is made available as an e-mail magazine sent directly to your mailbox. This option is also available for the computer generation wargamer who desires a “paperless” magazine. Within North America our goal is to provide a print magazine. The print magazine will be black and white until such time as subscription rates permit multi-color printing. Though the production costs of an e-mail magazine for our overseas customers is small, we intend to charge them the same for the service and use the extra funds to subsidize the production of a yearly die punched counter set. We hope that in doing things this way we will be able to supply the counterset to our subscribers for free, but I cannot promise that there might not be a nominal fee for these. Our ultimate goal is a subscription rate of less than $20 a year (USD) and no more than $25. The ultimate price has yet to be determined and rests upon the number of subscribers and printing costs, quotes of which have not yet been received.

The magazine intends to provide Strategy, Tactics, Variant, Series Replay, and Historical articles. We aim at a minimum of 50 pages per issue to be published quarterly, with hopes of moving to a bi-monthly publication rate. Other types of articles would be those that analyze the literature of specific events such as the Napoleonic era, or specific battles such as Gettysburg or Normandy. There is so much written these days that the casual wargamer or militarily interested individual doesn’t have the faintest idea what books are worth reading and which are not. Game review articles would seem to be unnecessary for the older Out of Print games, which are the main subject area of this magazine. Reviews for the games we seek to serve were written in the long years past, and therefore there is no need to repeat those articles. Articles on true wargames are always welcome. Articles upon miniatures wargaming are also welcome, science fiction, sports, and German type games may see print on a case-by-case basis. Fantasy games involving such things as zombies, gryphons, orcs, etc. … are not topical.

If you are interested in subscribing, just drop a note to that effect to tgunslinger@excite.com Feel free to also contact me at that address with any questions

Take Care,
Tom Cundiff
Old Soldiers Magazine
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