Fighting Fantasy

As editor of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, I have to make decisions with my boss Jasper Oorthuys about the direction the magazine takes. We have many lengthy discussions on what we’re doing right and where we might improve. One of the main points of contention we’ve repeatedly gone over is whether should we have Fantasy and Science Fiction in the magazine. Should we fight fantasy or learn to embrace it?

Gates of Antares Jetbikes

I’ve been primarily a historical gamer (of sorts) for as long as I can remember, even if my early ‘games’ purely involved imagination and no rules or dice! I say of sorts, as all historical gaming involves a certain amount of fantasy. Napoleon might win Waterloo or Rommel might beat Montgomory and so on. Some battles I’ve played have been historical reenactments, but most have been two equal forces just turning up for a fight. Likewise when Caesarian Romans turn up to fight ancient Egyptians, we are in the realms of fantasy, not history.

In Her Majesty’s Name - Victorian Sci Fi at it’s finest. 

There is another side to my gaming however. I’ve dabbled in fantasy and science fiction gaming since I discovered Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) at the age of 13. And, of course, there was Warhammer in its various incarnations… Then there was Hordes of the Things. I loved that game… I even played a long campaign in 6mm with several players. I also ran a successful space battle campaign which lasted several months - players explored systems, built resources and fleets which then determined how many points they’d use in their favourite games system. We used Full Thrust alongside Battlefleet Gothic. That, however, had to end as I spent my gaming nights calculating everyone’s moves and not actually playing games! We ran one similar with 40K as well…

Jason and the argonauts - where history meets myth.

There have been a number of recent Fantasy and Science Fiction releases from major games companies, it truly seems as if Sci-Fant gaming is on the rise. Just look at Gates of Antares, Frostgrave, Otherworld or Dragon Rampant to see only part of this trend. I could name more… In truth Fantasy and Science fiction has always been a big part of the hobby and our recent surveys have shown this to be so. It’s only in recent years that it has become more mainstream - or perhaps better put as not being dominated by a single company.

Alakazam! A Frostgrave wizard.

So, dear Blog reader. What do you think? Currently we’re sticking with only 3 to 4 pages of Science Fiction or Fantasy per issue, so the magazine won’t change that much. Should we dabble a little more into Sci-Fant or stay the course purely as a historical magazine? Jasper and I would really like to know. Please reply below, on Facebook or message me at … Thanks!

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