Battlegames? It arrives before the print copy hits the shelves, or in this case, before Salute as well.
What have we got, then?
First off, a brand new cover. You've probably seen it around the net, but if not: there it is. Definitely striking - there have been comments that being white it looks like a certain model railway magazine, but I don't see that as a problem: it certainly stands out from both WSS and Wargames Illustrated.
Next impression? It's predominantly black on white with a nice clean layout, which I really like - I have trouble with light text on dark: while it looks great, it can be seriously unreadable for long runs of body text.
Ok - graphic design aside: what's in it?
What isn't in it, and this is mentioned in new editor Henry Hyde's editorial, is the "Darker Horizons" section - that's now gone, and non-historical gaming is as much a part of the magazine as historical. As a predominately historical gamer, I rarely read it anyway, but this was compounded by it being printing light-on-dark! I strongly suspect that having SF/Fantasy gaming articles in the main body of the mag is going to cause people who might have skipped the Darker Horizons section to read them by accident, and hopefully get more out of them than they might expect. The other thing on the editorial that caught my eye, is a glorious piece of art from one of my favourite artists, Victor Ambrus from Time Team. I'm a huge fan of his style, so, nice catch, Henry!
As an aside: I'm going to try not to flag bits of the magazine as 'from Battlegames' and 'from the old mag', but if you're a Battlegames reader, you'll notice a bunch of regulars have made it across, and to be fair? Quite rightly so.
So what have we got? Picking out a few highlights: near and dear to my heart, an excellent hands-on review of Dux Britanniarum, for one, and by way of contrast a command challenge scenario for Dux Bellorum. Diane Sutherland has a great piece on tricks and tips for putting together some of the ranges of MDF buildings that are growing more and more popular, and there's a delightful little retake on H.G.Wells Little Wars. Among many others, including - a piece on photography for wargamers - so if you can't wait for me to finish my series, you know where to go! :D
In fact, to be honest? There's nothing I felt minded to skim, which is pretty rare for a wargames mag. A good read, and a great start to a new era.
On to the next, Henry!