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"What ever happened to Gen McCoy's Wargamer's Digest?" Topic

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5,273 hits since 19 Apr 2006
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HistoriFigs19 Apr 2006 6:42 a.m. PST

I have a question form a customer, and I don't have an answer, so I thought maybe the good folks here on TMP might have the information…

What ever happened to Gene McCoy and Wargamer's Digest?

I know that the magazine transitioned to Military Digest some time in the 80's but beyond that I have no information, so any info you may have will be appreciated.

HistoriFigs19 Apr 2006 6:43 a.m. PST

We all know it is Gene McCoy not Gen – typos!

Condottiere19 Apr 2006 6:46 a.m. PST

I think there is a yahoo group for collectors of the magazine.

OK, I checked:


Doesn't appear to be too active, but you may be able to receive answers there.

RudyNelson19 Apr 2006 6:53 a.m. PST

I had an article in it back in 1979. I still run accross issues at various conventions. I only have about 20 left in my collection. Nice 1970s Armerican Gaming magazine.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2006 7:06 a.m. PST

My group used to have a lot of pictures and articles in there back in the day.

The emre mention brings back those days of old. Why I can smell the Imrie/Risley paints…

Historicalgamer Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 7:49 a.m. PST

I have a very large collection I would part with.

James Manto Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 7:53 a.m. PST

I loved that mag when I was a lad. I still keep a few favourite issues and look through them when I'm feeling nostalgic.

The regular ww2 scenarios were really quite good.

swensont Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 8:14 a.m. PST

I had a subscription in the mid to late 80's. As the magazine got older, I noticed that more and more of the articles were repeats from earlier editions. I don't remember if I unsubscribed or if it just petered out.

I do remember ordering a book from thier book service and never getting it.

Clampett Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 8:37 a.m. PST

I purchased this magazine regularly between 1976 and 1981 (I didn't subscribe in part because I wanted to give Keystone Hobbies my business). I loved it. His "standard units" may have been the first attempt to wargame WW2 on a larger scale than 1:1, I've heard his "standard units" being mocked in the past, but I liked the idea. So did others, apparently. Look at Command Decision, Spearhead and so on.

The magazine may have had more "potted" history than I would have liked (a lot of wargame publications are guilty of this), but it had a lot of good introductory and "how to" articles as well.

It was in 1982 that I started to notice that articles were being recycled. Sometimes whole issues were nothing but. I was also angered because I had ordered five binders and only received one. I wrote back but never received a response.

I was really surprised to see an issue of WD's successor, "Military Digest" in a store in Montreal in 1988: I had no idea that it was still being published, or why it was still being published.

Is Gene McCoy still alive?

John Hawkes Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 9:27 a.m. PST

I have fond memories of it too. Still have my collection spanning the late 70s to early 80s. I dropped my subscription after not getting the promised payment for articles I wrote.
I believe Gene was a WWII vet, wasn't he? I asuume he passed away by now

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian19 Apr 2006 9:45 a.m. PST

I spoke with him @ 10 years ago (by phone). Still publishing the maps, etc.

I think his son has control now, I remember a re-release of Military Digest a while ago.

Still a good source for WW-II scenarios

Clampett Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 9:46 a.m. PST

As I remember he was a junior officer in an armoured unit, and served in the campaign in NW Europe. This explains, presumeably, why so many many of the tactical problems published in the magazine featured American armoured actions.

jgawne Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 10:13 a.m. PST

I sold off my collection last year- They went for a song, EXCEPT for the one issue with a Gary Gygax D+D article in it which some fellow int he UK was GaGa for.

vojvoda Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 10:59 a.m. PST

I have had the issues for several years in the mid 70s. I lost track of it around 1980 while stationed in Germany. I am on the yahoo group and do have a fair collection of the magazines still but do not know what happened when it finished.
James Mattes

Richard Baber19 Apr 2006 12:26 p.m. PST

I`ve bought nearly every issue through Ebay over the last four of five years. Its a good read overal, the "Standard Units" are OK – not usable, but OK – no worse than the modern systems.

I did infact find a reference to an obscure battle in Morocco 1914 that peaked my interest and eventually led to an article of mine which was published in Miniature Wargames last year. All credit to Wargamers Digest and Gene McCoy :-)

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2006 1:00 p.m. PST

I was an avid reader until I too failed to receive books forwhich I had sent payment. That was the end of my support fot the magazine.

swensont Inactive Member19 Apr 2006 2:10 p.m. PST

Doing a Google search, I found a reference to Miltary/Wargamers Digest in a library collection at Ft. Knox. Here is the entry:

MILITARY DIGEST (8755-9307) (Formerly: Wargamers Digest)- Sep 1980 – Nov 1994 (Irregular)

Looks like it was published at least until Nov. 1994.

Stavka20 Apr 2006 12:37 a.m. PST

I have a few back copies I picked up back in the '70's at a local hobby store. Some good stuff, a bit heavy on US in WW2 but now I realize why. I too assumed that he had probably passed away by now.

Never order books by magazine publishers is my long-held motto, but First Empire were pretty good.

Hastati Inactive Member20 Apr 2006 5:24 a.m. PST

One interesting side note about McCoy publishing was they also did porn. Hey, even wargamers have to make a buck or two!

RudyNelson20 Apr 2006 8:46 a.m. PST

In the 1970s and into the 1980s, most US Army bases did have Wargamer's Digest in their libraries. This was where I saw my first copy.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian20 Apr 2006 12:46 p.m. PST

Only issue I had with the Battle Stations was that the "solution" map was usually offset a foot or two that allowed a different approach or tactic to be used.

Still great scenarios.

soldiers10 Inactive Member13 Mar 2009 4:12 a.m. PST

I have the entire print run of Wargamer's Digest but I am looking for the missing issues I do not have of Military Digest.

Anyone have some for sale, please let me know.

OT, but I am also looking for GDW's Command Decision Command Post Quarterly issues too.



lebooge Inactive Member13 Mar 2009 7:33 a.m. PST

I subscribed in the early/mid '80s and enjoyed them a lot.

Then like others I noticed the recycling of articles and figured that since I already had most of the content in old issues that there was no need to pay for them again (and again).

Supergrover6868 Inactive Member13 Mar 2009 11:15 a.m. PST

Wargamners Digest stoped in 1984 and Military Digest was the same magazine geered towards "professional military" and even had some General Dynamics ad's in them other then that there was no difference between the two. They both featured these series 78 standard units which some folks were raving about. When I read the issues at my local library I found these units where simply platoon level To'Es like those in Combined Arms/Command Decision. So I agree with the above its allot of the same stuff you see in other places.

I have heard many stories of the kind above about not recovering products and even some cases of paying for subscriptions and not getting the issues. I tried to contact a gentlemen about this who had a picture of a Mike McCoy at a game convention. I assume its a son or other relation. I never got a response even about that.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2010 12:46 p.m. PST

I used to have alot of these mags. The main issue for me was the re-surfacing of the sames articles under new titles near the end of the mag. My best friend also had problems with them having paid a subscription and never receiving any mags. He even got an apology for the delay at one point and still got no mags. At one time this was the best thing going for wargamers. It really got bad after the name change.

Virginia Tory20 Feb 2010 8:15 a.m. PST

Huh… I still have a batch of them, up through the early 80s. The scenarios and AARs still provide some nice fodder for gaming scenarios, especially Napoleonic stuff.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2010 2:56 p.m. PST

Wow. They published the first articles I ever sold, in 1974! I discovered WD in about 1973 and subscribed faithfully until the early 80s, when it got too WWII-heavy for my gaming tastes. But this magazine and its advertising were responsible for getting me into miniatures gaming, in my isolation in South Texas. This was how I knew where to go to buy figures and where I kept up with what was going on in the distant world of miniatures. I always got paid and received a comp copy (eventually) for what Gene bought but not until published, which was often a long wait. And he never raised his rates from $25/article! The magazine usually re-drafted my crude battle maps but sometimes ran my own art/graphics (I'd shudder to see these today). I still have some of the issues with my stuff in them, but by no means all.

Colonel Quack Inactive Member10 Jul 2010 10:29 a.m. PST

If you have not done so, check out this link to tye Yahoo Group site for WD.



rcleary171 Inactive Member13 Jan 2018 10:25 p.m. PST

Yahoo has gone through some format changes; here is the latest link:


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