| ||Amateur newsletter devoted to the promotion of ancient and medieval wargaming, with a strong interest in history and existing rules systems.|
|Size||44-page, digest-size newsletter (if you don't count the inside covers)|
|Frequency||6 times per year|
|Subscriptions||US$25 for six issues, US$30 overseas. Payment must be in U.S. funds.|
|Editor||Terry L. Gore|
|Publisher||SAGA Publishing Company|
Take one recent issue, for example. For some time, the readership have been debating the relative merits of the two most popular rulesets -- DBM and WRG 7th. In this issue, Glen Boise writes (in a letter to the editor) that the two rules systems, since they deal with different scales, aren't comparable at all (it's like comparing apples and oranges). So perhaps the debate is over.
And perhaps a new one is opening up... Terry also publishes an agitated letter from Thomas Coveney, who has written to cancel his subscription out of disillusionment with the entire hobby. Thomas complains that no current set of rules "...have anything significantly to do...with...representing military history in any of the periods covered by any of these rules."
Harsh words, but in his editorial, Terry concedes that Thomas has a point. He says that he tried a new rules system out lately, and that perhaps it has a better grasp on certain periods of ancient warfare. The system? Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WHFB). A set of fantasy rules. Yet he says that in certain eras -- those which favored heroes leading mobs of basically disorganized troops -- that perhaps Ancients gamers could learn something from WHFB.
This interchange should give you an idea for the range of the ideas and the open-minded dialogue in Saga, that the editor and his writers are more concerned about the hobby itself, and less about promoting tournament results or finding ways to distort some set of rules.
The articles in Saga are a wild mix, some merely being letters which have been typed into article form, and others being essays carefully crafted by their authors. The range includes:
|Battle Reports||Usually brief, generally mentioning the rules in use (DBM and WRG 7th predominating). There's a lot of "this is what I did wrong" and "by my mistake, you can see how better to plan your tactics."|
|Ideas for expanding upon the existing games, such as adding leadership ratings or scouting to DBM.|
|History||One writer is currently doing a series about a Roman Emperor (though, to be honest, I found this to be of little practical benefit). On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed the piece on Welsh Longbows in Norman Service (reprinted from Slingshot, I should note).|
|Errata||They've just printed the official DBM rules amendments, for instance.|
|Reviews||Figure or new rules system reviews. A very nice piece lately recounted battle reports of the same scenario, played with both DBM and Shieldbearer rules -- an excellent way to show the distinctions between rival rules systems.|
What's the final word? If you are into Ancient or Medieval wargaming, then you may want to consider subscribing. This is an amateur publication with everything the word "amateur" entails, but the quality of the ideas presented here is top-notch. I enjoy it.
|16 January 1999||subscription rates changed|
|14 June 1997||reorganized|
|28 August 1996||reorganized|
|24 April 1996||reformatted|
|Comments or corrections?|