Aint’a gonna study “Modern War” no more…

Greek Civil War, redux

Next War in Lebanon, redux

Struggle for Kandahar: the rest of the story

Decision Games’ magazine-with-game Modern War is dead.

Yesterday on Consimworld and Facebook editor Ty Bomba confirmed the rumour that had been flying around:

Ty Bomba – Aug 10, 2021 7:45 am (#2506 Total: 2512)  BookmarkEmail to Friend
The End of Modern War Magazine

Issue No. 55 is the last and final issue of MW, for both its no-game newsstand and hobby editions.

About the “Central Front Curse” — I am sure the regular attendees in this website’s Central Front Series folder WILL be blaming my “Seven Days to the Rhine Series” for the magazine’s demise.

When I asked Dr. Cummins about that, however, he said they had chosen issue 55, and its completion of the 7DttR Series, as the final issue “in order to go out on a high note.”

The simple problem has been — since the start of MW — insufficient subscription sales, which was then compounded on the single-issue impulse-buy side by the effective demise of bookstores during the worst of the pandemic.

I didn’t care for the 7 Days to the Rhine series, and while it wasn’t Central Front, it wasn’t Warmaster Chess either… though that series of games had nothing to do with the demise of Command magazine.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I long ago reached the conclusion that most wargamers, while they may have an incredible knowledge about certain historical periods, are no more interested in contemporary events than non-wargamers. Therefore they won’t subscribe to a game magazine devoted entirely to contemporary events, and magazines live and die on subscriptions.

A look at the 55 issue run shows more than 30 titles were hypothetical subjects: about 10 of them “past hypotheticals” like Objective Havana and the 1970s-80s “Cold War Goes Hot” chestnut and 20 were future hypotheticals like the “Putin Boxes The Compass” series. Twenty-two were devoted to actual conflicts, 13 from the 20th century and 9 from the 21st. So it goes.

Well, I will just say “Ave!” and turn the page, and hope that Javier Romero will be able to find a good home for some of the very good work he has been doing.

About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

11 Responses to Aint’a gonna study “Modern War” no more…

  1. Pete S/ SP says:

    A shame in a way but understandable from a market driven point of view. I’ll be sure to pick up the 2 forthcoming (to this side of the pond) issues I am after.



    • brtrain says:

      Lo, the Market has spoken… the Invisible Hand writes, and having written, gestures rudely.

      There are gamers who are interested in contemporary topics of course, but they still need only one subscription each no matter how fervent that interest… and it is not enough.

      I am also informed that Chris Lockwood, the editor in chief for all three magazines, left recently so this may signal a bit of retrenchment at DG. I am also informed that the four or five MW game designs that were furthest along in development will be appearing in future issues of S&T, which used to run one modern title every year or two before Modern War was launched.

  2. Aaron Danis says:

    I hope DG ups the modern conflict content in S&T. That is what Doc stated in the letter to readers in MW Issue #55. I will e-mail that to you separately.

  3. jasonwintz says:

    MW was the only mag in the DG stable I subscribed to. I will not be subscribing to S&T, though I will purchase any mags with games focused on the modern era. I get your point about how even MW didn’t fully focus on contemporary conflict, but I found the hypotheticals fun and did appreciate the contemporary games.

    • brtrain says:

      At one point I subscribed to all three, though I did not pay for any of them… DG had generous product-credit policies if you wanted to take your compensation for writing articles and designing games in subscription extensions. It beat four cents a word cash. But that was long ago, and I just pick up the odd issue every couple or three years.

  4. David R says:

    Well that is a shame, I had just re subscribed! Seriously though, the old Cold War games were a bit silly, but some of the others were rather good, and nice and simple to adapt or play.
    Hope they keep some modern subjects alive through S&T

    • brtrain says:

      I was not pleased with how they treated my contributions, historical and hypothetical. See the links above.
      You will likely get an automatic extension to S&T, that is if you already subscribe to S&T.
      The content for that magazine is pretty firm for the next two years or so it appears, so you will have a bit of a wait unless they pop in a couple of surprise switches.

  5. bastognebulldog says:

    I subscribed to MW for a number of years, but grew a bit tired of the hypothetical cold war games, most of which had been covered elsewhere before, and the Putin moves north, south, east, and west types of titles. There are plenty of contemporary situations worthy of consideration that MW did not tackle. There also were plenty of post-WW2 conficts that could have been examined. Oh, well. Maybe someday S&T will do some more of these. Nonetheless, it still is sad for me to see MW go.

    • brtrain says:

      Just as there were and are relatively few wargamers who are interested in playing out contemporary or recent actual conflicts, there are even fewer designers willing to plough that field. Though those designers may continue to plod along (I am one of them), I doubt S&T will do much to fill that gap.

  6. Pingback: Punched #3 out now | brtrain

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