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"Battlefront acquires Wargames Illustrated and Gale Force 9" Topic


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McWong7311 Feb 2009 9:16 p.m. PST

Battlefront acquires Wargames Illustrated
link

Battlefront acquires Gale Force 9
link

Wasn't surprised about the GF9 acquisition, but I'm genuinely surprised at the Wargames Illustrated acquisition.

Thoughts people?

Gallowglass11 Feb 2009 9:20 p.m. PST

Uhmmmmmmm…….I'll get back to you.

aercdr11 Feb 2009 9:29 p.m. PST

My, my. The empire grows. I'm also surprised by the WI purchase. I look forward to the results. I think this is a good thing.

Another Account Deleted11 Feb 2009 9:35 p.m. PST

Interesting… I think they had been wanting a magazine for a while now…

GF9 is not surprising since they have been pretty much joined at the hip for a while now… ;)

nazrat11 Feb 2009 9:40 p.m. PST

I don't see a down side to this. It sounds like the companies that were acquired have pretty much kept their staffs and that the output of both will remain the same. We'll see!

shelldrake11 Feb 2009 9:41 p.m. PST

I wont be buying WI anymore.

PigmentedMiniatures Fezian11 Feb 2009 9:43 p.m. PST

I hope WI doesn't turn into a Battlefront WWII version of White Dwarf.

McWong7311 Feb 2009 9:50 p.m. PST

If anything I suspect we will see this accelerating BF's plans to release their "second game" (*cough*naps*cough*) and push it hard via WI.

Capt John Miller11 Feb 2009 9:51 p.m. PST

This is all a wait and see thing here.

WI as a BF house organ? Is this in preparation for BF's new period that rumors abound in the past?

Let's think this through here…

WI is going to crank up BF like there is NO tommorow. Can you blame them?

Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Feb 2009 9:58 p.m. PST

The GF9 purchase didn't surprise me either, but didn't WI go on a brief hiatus or had some change in ownership?

I don't get WI (or any other gaming mag these days) but I hope that it doesn't cause the content to disappear off the website. Actually, I particularly appreciate that they plan on continuing to offer coverage of other eras, scales and etc. It sounds like it'll be much like the early issues of White Dwarf in that regard.

In any case, congrats to all the parties involved.

Wyatt

IronMike11 Feb 2009 10:06 p.m. PST

I have to agree with Nazrat in the fact that I can't see the downside in this. WI has pretty much been eating it's own young for the better part of half a decade now, becoming less and less about wargaming and more and more about obsessing over historical trivia and spooging itself over pewter porn from UK shows. Anything that pumps new life (and brings new readers to) one of the flagship magazines of the hobby can't be anything but a good thing.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Feb 2009 10:19 p.m. PST

Some new blood and a different point of view might be a good thing for WI.

kyoteblue11 Feb 2009 11:04 p.m. PST

DELETED

Derek H11 Feb 2009 11:14 p.m. PST

From the Battlefront site

"It has always been a dream of ours (Peter and I) to show the world just how wonderful the entire historical gaming hobby can be in the same way we have done with WWII and Flames of War.

Oh dear.

A wargames mag written for thirteen year olds with attention deficit disorder.

Though I've not bought a WI in about eight years and usually can't even be bothered to read it in WH Smith.

McWong7311 Feb 2009 11:37 p.m. PST

I really can't see them turning it into White Dwarf, though that won't stop us saying they will.

Hastati11 Feb 2009 11:46 p.m. PST

I dropped my sub to WI last summer as I had got to the point it was only about the pictures. Frankly, there is only one really decent wargames magazine now and it is called Battlegames.

andyfb11 Feb 2009 11:47 p.m. PST

I just hope that they still have a broad spectrum of periods and rules in them…if they do release a Napoleonic game,i hope they don't try telling the world that they invented that "hobby" too…..we'll see eh?

Cheers Andy

Space Monkey11 Feb 2009 11:58 p.m. PST

Are the FOW people somehow related to the Games Workshop people?

Sturmpioneer Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Feb 2009 12:10 a.m. PST

Rumour says they were former staff and took a page from GW's playbook when Setting up BF. Just my 2 cents…

Arteis12 Feb 2009 12:20 a.m. PST

That is excellent news. Although reviled by some wargamers, I think BF has the business nous to bring WI up to stream again.

There is no magazine at the moment that is specifically pitched to the new-comer end of the hobby, and I feel Battlefront have certainly achieved this with FoW. If BF follow their "keep it basic but good-looking" ethos with this mag as well, then they will be nicely positioned to fill a niche in the magazine market. WI could be the entry point magazine … the "front door", in effect.

Note: I am a New Zealander, so I am biased!!! But to counter that, I'm not a WW2 player at all.

Boone Doggle12 Feb 2009 12:37 a.m. PST

When I showed my FOW rulebook to a 40K player 2-3 years back he said it was laid put exactly like a 40K rulebook.

raylev312 Feb 2009 12:43 a.m. PST

It has to be a plus for WI…can't get any worse.

Richard Baber12 Feb 2009 12:43 a.m. PST

On a positive note at least you won`t have to chase Duncan for payment anymore :-)

This is a wait and see thing, White Dwarf carried on pretty much as before for quite a while before GW drove out the opposition from its pages. I would expect BF to do the same – their mag, their products, their rules.

Means little to me personally, I don`t play FoW or buy WI, of course if WI starts asking for submissions and starts to pay, I could well be convinced to contribute :-)

Tarleton12 Feb 2009 12:54 a.m. PST

I stopped buying WI and MW years ago. I don't think this will tempt me back to WI.

Jedispice12 Feb 2009 2:09 a.m. PST

I haven't read WI for years, since it started to be just like a glossy mag and every rules system was something by Chris Peers. Not that I dislike Chris Peers, but it was good to see a mix.

Now, change isn't necessarily bad. I will wait and see what happens, I don't play FoW, but I browse their site now and then as they have some good hobby tips, info and scenarios.

Ssendam12 Feb 2009 2:28 a.m. PST

Well Pigmentedminiatures said it first …

Is this White Dwarf all over again? In time I can see WI becoming the sales brochure for FoW. If you were heavily into Games Workshop games then WD was/is an excellent magazine but I still hark back to the days of variety.

On the positive side, what Games Workshop do well is to provide a complete game support from supplying the rules and figures to showing you how to paint them, supplying the paint, craft tools, scenarios, new releases etc. etc. Battlefront have a similar model and hopefully can avoid making the same mistakes.

I actually think I might start a subscription and see how this one goes :)

Fire at Will12 Feb 2009 2:29 a.m. PST

Interesting, hopefully a positive move as I've a lot of my subscription still to run. As said WI has had its ups and downs, but these are to be expected in a one man operation. It'll certainly shake up wargames publishing and may bring in new blood.

Ermintrude12 Feb 2009 2:29 a.m. PST

I hope WI doesn't turn into a Battlefront WWII version of White Dwarf
That's exactly what'll happen and I think it's a good thing. I unsubbed from WI about 12 months ago there's too much similarity between the wargames mags.

I bet the magazine will be professional, and many of the things it covers will be relevant to most WW2 gamers (painting tips, scenarios, history). The one downside is that the mag will cover only BF minis.

FoW is a big hobby, it needs a magazine covering it. It'll draw in younger players the same way GW / WD draws in younger players to the hobby. The difference is that this will catch people who are interested in minis gaming but not interested in fantasy games and scared by the fat 40+ gamers that predominate the hobby (me included).

Our hobby will grow because of this rejoyce! I will subscribe to WI now, as I expect a vast improvement in interesting and relevant content for WW2 gamers.

Richard Baber12 Feb 2009 2:38 a.m. PST

Ermintrude – Good points.

But I`m not an exclusive WW2 wargamer, I don`t play FoW even when i do and certainly not in 15mm.

I`ll look out for the changes in WI at the newstand before i reconsider re-subscribing.

Oh and if its WW2 related material you want check out the Society of twentieth century Wargamers (SOTCW) every issue is packed with WW2 era stuff – sotcw.net

Henrix12 Feb 2009 2:44 a.m. PST

I don't think it'll be bad, really.

Battlefront isn't GW. By a long stretch.

Grizwald12 Feb 2009 2:48 a.m. PST

"FoW is a big hobby"

In the same way as GW is a hobby (to the apparent exclusion of everything non-GW)?

Grizwald12 Feb 2009 2:49 a.m. PST

Only just seen this thread and frankly, I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn't 1st April.

"We have plans to re-launch the magazine soon"

Well, I guess sales have been steadily decreasing so a "re-launch" might help …

"with an increased page count, a wider range of articles covering every game, scale and era of the historical hobby"

They mean it won't become "Battlefront Illustrated"?

"combined with broader distribution globally so that getting hold of the foremost historical gaming magazine will be easier than ever"

Easier than ever? It's in all the newsagents already.

PaulRHollands12 Feb 2009 2:51 a.m. PST

Fow is not a Hobby.It's a game/rules set.
A single manufacturer owning one of the few magazines that exists is unlikely to be good for impartiality or variety.

Buy Battlegames!

Arteis12 Feb 2009 2:55 a.m. PST

Remember Airfix magazine?

Whatisitgood4atwork12 Feb 2009 3:08 a.m. PST

"Easier than ever? It's in all the newsagents already."

All? I haven't seen it here in Singapore. They did say global, and if their global distribution includes this part of the globe, I will try it.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2009 3:17 a.m. PST

The deed is done, we can only sit, wait and see what becomes of it.

Palafox12 Feb 2009 3:24 a.m. PST

I have a subscription until September, so let's see how all this turns out.

thehawk12 Feb 2009 3:25 a.m. PST

Many WI articles had become wikipedia with pictures in print. So no loss. WI was fine in its day but magazine publishing is now more professional.

I think WW2 1/72 with Dragon armor, AB figures etc is the pinnacle of WW2 gaming. A few army officers who have played FOW don't think it is realistic. (Bob, tell me about how suppressing fire and artillery and MGs really work again.) However other rulesets have their own problems.

I admit having bought FOW paint sets and the German paint scheme digest. But my thoughts are that FOW is one for the kiddies like WD.

GW openly states that it is a toy company. FOW should come out of the closet too.

I actually looked at a GF9 multi-figure base/tray pack yesterday. The tray had about 10 holes, There were only 4 figure bases though. Hmmmm.

True Historical wargaming is about history and that's what FOW lacks.

Ermintrude12 Feb 2009 3:36 a.m. PST

"FoW is a big hobby"
In the same way as GW is a hobby (to the apparent exclusion of everything non-GW)?
Not quite. GW insists you use GW minis. BF have never done that. And although I fully expect the magazine to focus on FoW products, I genuinely see that as a good thing, because most of the info I think will be relevant to all WW2 gamers.

A single manufacturer owning one of the few magazines that exists is unlikely to be good for impartiality or variety
There are lots of magazines out there, mostly presenting the same stuff in the same way. I'm hoping this will be a bit different.

Buy Battlegames!
I already subscribe to Battlegames, and Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy (and Kobold Quarterly). This will be a new subscription for me, adding to what I buy, not dropping anything else

I`m not an exclusive WW2 wargamer
I can see that, if you subscribe to WI and are not an exclusive WW2 gamer then you might loose out, but there are plenty of other magazine out there (MW, WSS, BG all spring to mind immediately). But as you say that "I`ll look out for the changes in WI at the newstand" it seems you're not a current subscriber, so obviously the magazine isn't offering what you want now anyway.

The problem I see with the wargames mags at the moment is that there's too much similarity. BF are a bit different than most in this hobby look at the way they present their rules and their products, and the background info they have on their website they make it attractive and they aim to make it accessible.

I'm looking forward to their painting guides, their how-to terrain making articles, their unit histories and vehicle markings, even their AARs of the games they play because the minis are painted and photographed so well they'll give me ideas.

bobstro12 Feb 2009 3:44 a.m. PST

I travel frequently throughout the US, and try to make a point to find and visit any shops selling historical miniatures or supporting wargames wherever I go. With the exception of four shops, I haven't been able to locate a shop that sells anything related to historicals BUT FoW. None of the shops that do carry it seem to have started out carrying anything historical. Lots of Warmachine, WH40K, RPGs and the like. So what market penetration I am seeing seems to be coming from Battlefront making inroads into the usual gamer haunts.

While I can understand the grumbling about Battlefront, anything that helps historical gaming get more exposure is a good thing. Magazines can help a potential player see beyond the meager selection on the local store walls. If historical gaming in general gets exposure in the magazine, and that magazine winds up in the same shops as FoW, I think that's a positive development. With any luck, the shops will pick up other historical lines as well.

I know some dispute the need to "grow the hobby", but man, the current hobby can be damned hard to find, even when you're searching for it! I've started my own version of "1,000 shops to buy at before you die", but so far, there are only four non-BF historical shops that I'm aware of. I'd appreciate any pointers to US-based stores with good selections. There have got to be more.

And while we're at it -- Why don't more manufacturers put a "link to resellers" page up?

BF is clearly the company players love to hate. It sure would be nice if others would show their heads a bit more!

- Bob

bobstro12 Feb 2009 3:49 a.m. PST

thehawk wrote:

[…] GW openly states that it is a toy company. FOW should come out of the closet too.
As should all miniatures manufacturers. I don't find 15mm WWII miniatures from any other manufacturer any more 'serious', do you? These are still games we play. Some of us just take them more seriously than others.

- Bob

Grizwald12 Feb 2009 3:55 a.m. PST

"I've started my own version of "1,000 shops to buy at before you die", but so far, there are only four non-BF historical shops that I'm aware of. I'd appreciate any pointers to US-based stores with good selections. There have got to be more."

You're lucky you've got any. B&M shops have virtually disappeared in the UK.

"BF is clearly the company players love to hate. "

Actually, it's the GW business model (that BF follows closely) that gamers love to hate.

bobstro12 Feb 2009 4:05 a.m. PST

Mike Snorbens wrote:

[…] "BF is clearly the company players love to hate. "

Actually, it's the GW business model (that BF follows closely) that gamers love to hate.

I do feel like I'm in a Monty Python sketch sometimes. "This hobby's not dead, it's SLEEPING!"

So what is a NON-GW business model that works in this industry? I see several manufacturers putting out fine products with decent web pages, but not a single link to a shop where I can actually look at their product and buy it. Most (IMO) seem to be focused on a web-only marketing strategy, and the brick and mortar shops (and associated gaming groups) be damned. Other than BF (and the big-name fantasy/sci fi games) no manufacturers really seem to be interested in putting product on shelves. Most being small outfits, this makes sense, but seriously: What business strategy works that doesn't "seem like" GW? Whatever it is, I can't seem to find it despite looking for it!

- Bob

Frothers Did It Anyway12 Feb 2009 4:07 a.m. PST

Excellent post, Ermintrude.

Well done, BF, I say! Although I'm not much of a FoW player their website is a goldmine of useful WW2 information which can be used by players of any rules. If it becomes a FoW version of White Dwarf I'll be one happy camper.

Actually, it's the GW business model (that BF follows closely) that gamers love to hate.

Yeah, a successful business model. And in the next breath the same people bitch about wargaming being such a minority interest.

Arrigo12 Feb 2009 4:08 a.m. PST

uhm I think that BF is one the way to become the new evil empire… bleah

It will be definetily wikipedia with pictures and that bombastic style of FoW…

Red358412 Feb 2009 4:35 a.m. PST

…erm…how about we wait and see what the magazine actually looks like when it finally changes [if it does]…

I don't play FoW and don't really have an opinion on the merits or otherwise of the game [and actually liked WI!] but I don't see the point in saying 'that's it..I'm never buying WI again' if I don't know what the changes will be.

Whatisitgood4atwork12 Feb 2009 4:37 a.m. PST

[Yeah, a successful business model. And in the next breath the same people bitch about wargaming being such a minority interest.]

True. Perhaps it is because there are so many hobby businesses in this hobby, but there is an attitude among some that professionalism is somehow a bad thing.

I hope they are successful. I will read a couple of issues and hope I get enough out of them to keep buying.

kevanG12 Feb 2009 4:38 a.m. PST

Will they still take advertising from their rival suppliers? …..or will they be priced out?

bobstro12 Feb 2009 4:49 a.m. PST

only the Shadow knows…

PJ Parent12 Feb 2009 5:06 a.m. PST

I think the smart move is to have advertising and articles on everything in the hopes that you might win that Nap player over to FOW or convince that 28mm player to pick up some 15mm stuff. WD failed in that it became an advertisiment that's preaching to the choir. If you are not already a GW player you aren't likely to buy WD, but if they keep WI open to everything then everyone will buy it and BF will reap the advertising. I think each company really has to hold the opinion that their product is really better than the compitition and that the consumer will buy from them even with other options available. I think BF should have this opinion and hold onto the idea that their product is better sculpted (an opinion thye should have), better packaged, better priced and better presented. If they (or any company) don't have this view then they need to change their product. I have a subscription and will continue.

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