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Lone Warrior LW172, and the Case of the Hidden Clues

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  • Seur D'Armadilleaux
    Sometimes you have to read a magazine cover-to-cover, to get all the hidden clues. And that s the case with Lone Warrior, where so much useful information is
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 9, 2010
      Sometimes you have to read a magazine cover-to-cover, to get all the hidden clues. And that's the case with Lone Warrior, where so much useful information is disguised as "stuff I'm not interested in". Take the latest issue (LW172) for example. There are 50 pages of dense-packed "how-to" ideas, including:

      Assigning (and acquiring) victory points (Chris Hann)
      Bazaar-brawl Scenario (Stewart)
      Bending a rule set to fit a "similar" battle (Chris Hann)
      Bringing an Historical Battlefield to Life (Chris Hann)
      Character Creation for Solo Wargames (Graham Empson) tables & how they were arrived at
      Giving Mission Statements to various elements (Chris Hann)
      Gunboat design for Colonial periods (Mike Crane)
      Gurkha's dry sense of humor (Stewart)
      Historical Alternates to Dice-Casualty calculations (Marvin Scott)
      Hyboria revisited (Campaigns in the Ancient Worlde) (Kevin White)
      Modular Intermateable Table-maps (Kevin White)
      Pacific Assault --- complete scenario & rules; from HBO to hex-grid (Mike Crane)
      Pancho Villa Solo and Alternate History (Chris Hann)
      Practical applications of Mythic to Solo Wargaming (Stewart)
      Simplify 30 years of Solo Figures for Wargaming in 5 easy steps (Jonathan Aird)
      Sources of ideas for Solo Wargaming (Stewart)
      "Surprise, surprise" or The Lost Detachment (Chris Hann)
      Troop Activation (Chris Hann)
      Visibility and Night Fights in burning ruins (Chris Hann)

      And there you have it, a veritable "feast" for the Solo Wargamer. All capably brought to you by the best editor for Solo Wargaming in the business (That would be Rich Barbuto, noted author, lecturer, and occasional painter of 28 mm figures, when he doesn't have MORE assignments piled onto his plate).

      (OK, truth in advertising, Rich is the ONLY Solo Wargaming editor in the business at the moment, but why quibble?)

      You too can join the party, and get your copy of clues-to-better-solo-play by subscribing to the Lone Warrior. It's still a steal at $25 US funds per year (quarterly, 50 pages an issue, no ads). And at $25 per year (US funds, in North America) or $40 US funds for the rest of the galaxy. Please send to Solo Wargames Association, 1707 Ridge Road, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Paypal is equally accepted, by sending funds to: lonewarrior@... (and make a note of your mailing address, or Rich will think you just want to go on his next tour of some muddy battlefield)

      New! NEW! KNEEWWWE! Rich has a limited number of back-issues, and these are available as sample issues for the pauper's plate price of ONLY $5 per issue (includes shipping) for North America, or $8 per issue for the rest of the galaxy. For all you quibblers and Romulans, who always want to see the goods before you plunk down your hard earned Latinum Credits for a whole year's subscription, well now you have no more excuses. You can order up your OWN trial copy (I'd recommend the current LW 172) and peruse it at leisure, without impinging on Intergalactic Copyright or Rules of Acquisition.

      I'm not sure if Rich knew what he was offering, but you could even get a whole year's subscription in back-issues, for (Psst!) $20 US (NA) or $32 (Galaxy), as long as the supply lasts. (That's a really good deal! You can't even get them at this price on eBay! Just don't let Rich know, he's loosing his Storm-Trooper Shirt on this one).

      Solo Well and Prosper!

      Seur D'Armadilleaux
    • Dale Hurtt
      ... I just received 171 in the mail... Sorry, but I am going to take a contrary view here. I ve purchased several years of LW, both in paper form and from the
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 12, 2010
        > Take the latest issue (LW172) for example.

        I just received 171 in the mail...

        Sorry, but I am going to take a contrary view here. I've purchased several years of LW, both in paper form and from the now defunct MagWeb, so here is my view on the current state of LW.

        > Assigning (and acquiring) victory points (Chris Hann)

        Not in 171.

        > Bazaar-brawl Scenario (Stewart)

        Never read that. The NW frontier stuff is generally a narrative battle report, with occasional random tables. Reminds me of my old "Judges Guild" subscription, in the early days of D&D, where it was all random wandering monsters and encounters.

        Issue 171 had, what, 15 pages on this article alone? (I'll have to go back and count; that sounds too high, but...)

        > Bending a rule set to fit a "similar" battle (Chris Hann)

        Not in 171.

        > Bringing an Historical Battlefield to Life (Chris Hann)

        Are you talking about the Pancho Villa scenario? Now THAT was an actual scenario.

        > Character Creation for Solo Wargames (Graham Empson) tables & how
        > they were arrived at

        Interesting approach. But this was more about adding character to gaming - Adventure Gaming - with little about how the soloist is to use the material. But, the approach was (basically) described and was interesting.

        > Giving Mission Statements to various elements (Chris Hann)

        There was only one Chris Hahn article in 171. Are you combining 171 and 172 (which I did not think was even out yet)?

        > Gunboat design for Colonial periods (Mike Crane)

        That was in 171. "Design" is not quite what I would call it, but okay.

        > Gurkha's dry sense of humor (Stewart)

        Ah! You are counting articles more than once.

        The humor is almost always dry to disappointing in LW. The worst example was the fake 20/20 interview with a solo wargamer. What value does something like that provide? It was not even funny. (Obviously, humor is subjective.)

        > Pacific Assault --- complete scenario & rules; from HBO to
        > hex-grid (Mike Crane)

        This looked like a good article. Much higher quality than the usual LW fare. Haven't dug down to see if it is "complete". Rules usually aren't when they have less than a page dedicated to the actual rules. Did not immediately spot the "solo connection". It probably would have fit just as well in an issue of Miniature Wargaming.

        > Pancho Villa Solo and Alternate History (Chris Hann)

        It sounds like you ARE counting articles more than once.

        > Practical applications of Mythic to Solo Wargaming (Stewart)

        For how many issues now? What NEW practical application would that be?

        > And there you have it, a veritable "feast" for the Solo Wargamer.

        The problem is, most of it has nothing to do with SOLO wargaming, which makes it just another wargaming magazine. The reason I bring this up is because this issue was my last; time to renew. I told myself that if it did not get better, did not bring more value, did not provide more ideas for SOLO wargaming, I would bag it.

        > (OK, truth in advertising, Rich is the ONLY Solo Wargaming editor
        > in the business at the moment, but why quibble?)

        But, he is not the only magazine editor whose subject is general wargaming. Solo wargaming is a niche (as we all well know), and people buy it for material pertaining to that niche. They may ACCEPT the general material, but that doesn't that is what they want. I am sure getting enough quality, on-point material month after month is, well obviously, impossible, but that may only point to the niche being too narrow to sustain a magazine.

        By the way, I did like the Solo F&IW charts produced in a recent issue. Of course, I liked the it previous two times it has appeared in issues over the years...

        So what's the answer?

        1. More people write about a broader base of subjects: Easy to say, but from a business point of view it is impossible to predict or control.

        2. Recognize the problem for what it is: People need to understand that they have to take lots of the general and non-specific in order to get that one or two nuggets with a year's worth of issues.

        3. This subject is too niche: Maybe this is just an extension of #2 above. If the subject is too niche, then you cut down on issues, reducing the amount of non-specific material required, or you accept that there will be a lot of filler in order to keep the issue count higher.

        Still haven't finished the current issue, so I haven't made my decision on whether to renew or not. Much of the material that looked good this issue is not specific to solo wargaming, but if it is good material, maybe that is okay. We aren't talking about a LOT of money here (at least to me). But, I have been thinking about this a bit recently, as I starting going through the old issues from the most recent, and I was hard-pressed to find something of use.

        Of course, I can say the same thing about Miniature Wargaming. Wargaming Illustrated provides superior eye candy and the occasional scenario for the club, so I continue to buy it. Battlegames provides solid wargaming scenarios and good reviews, so that continues to be a keeper. Slingshot is excellent, such that I finally was able to finish out and purchase the missing 2006 year, so now I have them all.

        I really would like LW to be one of those magazines that's a keeper. But, with so many resources on the internet, like this forum, and the one for Solo DBA, plus a few select blogs, it really is hard for a magazine to compete.

        Well, back to reading.

        Dale
      • Derek Hill
        Just one minor quibble with your dissection. D Armadilleaux s list specifically refers to issue 172 while you re talking about 171. All other statements may
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 12, 2010
          Just one minor quibble with your dissection. D'Armadilleaux's list
          specifically refers to issue 172 while you're talking about 171. All other
          statements may well be fair, but you're commenting on a different issue of
          the mag.

          -Derek

          On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 1:53 PM, Dale Hurtt <dale_hurtt@...> wrote:

          > > Take the latest issue (LW172) for example.
          >
          > I just received 171 in the mail...
          >
          > Sorry, but I am going to take a contrary view here. I've purchased several
          > years of LW, both in paper form and from the now defunct MagWeb, so here is
          > my view on the current state of LW.
          >
          > > Assigning (and acquiring) victory points (Chris Hann)
          >
          > Not in 171.
          >
          > > Bazaar-brawl Scenario (Stewart)
          >
          > Never read that. The NW frontier stuff is generally a narrative battle
          > report, with occasional random tables. Reminds me of my old "Judges Guild"
          > subscription, in the early days of D&D, where it was all random wandering
          > monsters and encounters.
          >
          > Issue 171 had, what, 15 pages on this article alone? (I'll have to go back
          > and count; that sounds too high, but...)
          >
          > > Bending a rule set to fit a "similar" battle (Chris Hann)
          >
          > Not in 171.
          >
          > > Bringing an Historical Battlefield to Life (Chris Hann)
          >
          > Are you talking about the Pancho Villa scenario? Now THAT was an actual
          > scenario.
          >
          > > Character Creation for Solo Wargames (Graham Empson) tables & how
          > > they were arrived at
          >
          > Interesting approach. But this was more about adding character to gaming -
          > Adventure Gaming - with little about how the soloist is to use the material.
          > But, the approach was (basically) described and was interesting.
          >
          > > Giving Mission Statements to various elements (Chris Hann)
          >
          > There was only one Chris Hahn article in 171. Are you combining 171 and 172
          > (which I did not think was even out yet)?
          >
          > > Gunboat design for Colonial periods (Mike Crane)
          >
          > That was in 171. "Design" is not quite what I would call it, but okay.
          >
          > > Gurkha's dry sense of humor (Stewart)
          >
          > Ah! You are counting articles more than once.
          >
          > The humor is almost always dry to disappointing in LW. The worst example
          > was the fake 20/20 interview with a solo wargamer. What value does something
          > like that provide? It was not even funny. (Obviously, humor is subjective.)
          >
          > > Pacific Assault --- complete scenario & rules; from HBO to
          > > hex-grid (Mike Crane)
          >
          > This looked like a good article. Much higher quality than the usual LW
          > fare. Haven't dug down to see if it is "complete". Rules usually aren't when
          > they have less than a page dedicated to the actual rules. Did not
          > immediately spot the "solo connection". It probably would have fit just as
          > well in an issue of Miniature Wargaming.
          >
          > > Pancho Villa Solo and Alternate History (Chris Hann)
          >
          > It sounds like you ARE counting articles more than once.
          >
          > > Practical applications of Mythic to Solo Wargaming (Stewart)
          >
          > For how many issues now? What NEW practical application would that be?
          >
          > > And there you have it, a veritable "feast" for the Solo Wargamer.
          >
          > The problem is, most of it has nothing to do with SOLO wargaming, which
          > makes it just another wargaming magazine. The reason I bring this up is
          > because this issue was my last; time to renew. I told myself that if it did
          > not get better, did not bring more value, did not provide more ideas for
          > SOLO wargaming, I would bag it.
          >
          > > (OK, truth in advertising, Rich is the ONLY Solo Wargaming editor
          > > in the business at the moment, but why quibble?)
          >
          > But, he is not the only magazine editor whose subject is general wargaming.
          > Solo wargaming is a niche (as we all well know), and people buy it for
          > material pertaining to that niche. They may ACCEPT the general material, but
          > that doesn't that is what they want. I am sure getting enough quality,
          > on-point material month after month is, well obviously, impossible, but that
          > may only point to the niche being too narrow to sustain a magazine.
          >
          > By the way, I did like the Solo F&IW charts produced in a recent issue. Of
          > course, I liked the it previous two times it has appeared in issues over the
          > years...
          >
          > So what's the answer?
          >
          > 1. More people write about a broader base of subjects: Easy to say, but
          > from a business point of view it is impossible to predict or control.
          >
          > 2. Recognize the problem for what it is: People need to understand that
          > they have to take lots of the general and non-specific in order to get that
          > one or two nuggets with a year's worth of issues.
          >
          > 3. This subject is too niche: Maybe this is just an extension of #2 above.
          > If the subject is too niche, then you cut down on issues, reducing the
          > amount of non-specific material required, or you accept that there will be a
          > lot of filler in order to keep the issue count higher.
          >
          > Still haven't finished the current issue, so I haven't made my decision on
          > whether to renew or not. Much of the material that looked good this issue is
          > not specific to solo wargaming, but if it is good material, maybe that is
          > okay. We aren't talking about a LOT of money here (at least to me). But, I
          > have been thinking about this a bit recently, as I starting going through
          > the old issues from the most recent, and I was hard-pressed to find
          > something of use.
          >
          > Of course, I can say the same thing about Miniature Wargaming. Wargaming
          > Illustrated provides superior eye candy and the occasional scenario for the
          > club, so I continue to buy it. Battlegames provides solid wargaming
          > scenarios and good reviews, so that continues to be a keeper. Slingshot is
          > excellent, such that I finally was able to finish out and purchase the
          > missing 2006 year, so now I have them all.
          >
          > I really would like LW to be one of those magazines that's a keeper. But,
          > with so many resources on the internet, like this forum, and the one for
          > Solo DBA, plus a few select blogs, it really is hard for a magazine to
          > compete.
          >
          > Well, back to reading.
          >
          > Dale
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
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          >
          > Shortcut URL to this page:
          > http://www.onelist.com/community/SoloWarGameYahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >


          --
          http://littlebigwars.blogspot.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Dale Hurtt
          ... No, I stand corrected. As I said, I have been reviewing all of the paper copies of LW recently when the new issue came in. I did receive 172 (not 171) and
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 13, 2010
            > Derek Hill wrote:
            >
            > Just one minor quibble with your dissection. D'Armadilleaux's
            > list specifically refers to issue 172 while you're talking about
            > 171.

            No, I stand corrected. As I said, I have been reviewing all of the paper copies of LW recently when the new issue came in. I did receive 172 (not 171) and all of my comments apply to that issue. There were 10 articles in the index, and only one of which was written by Chris Hahn for example, so when I saw several bullets with Chris' name, it implied several articles. That lead me to wonder what he was talking about.

            Now I can see that it was a bullet list of what he felt he pulled from the articles. I don't agree with that list and felt a straight list of articles, with a sentence or two of what he got out of it, would have been a little more representative of a review.

            The articles in 172 were:

            Why Did I Ever Do It My Way (Jonathan Aird) - Ruminations and advice on wargaming projects. Nothing about solo wargaming.

            The Great Game and the Pamirs Face-Off at Tagh Dum Bash (Bob Stewart) - Write-up on Bob's narrative NW frontier campaign. This is Part 23 and 24 (no, I am not kidding). Although Mythic is mentioned, it is just Bob telling you how he interpreted his die rolls; it is not about using Mythic. That was an article LONG ago. Nor is there a scenario, such as one would find in Battlegames, that you the reader could recreate and play. One would expect a map, a list of forces, objectives, and victory conditions. And because this is a solo wargaming magazine, instructions or suggestions on how to game the scenario solo. It is 13 pages of narration interspersed with die rolls. It can be entertaining, in the same way as an Imagi-Nation blog.

            Pacific Assault Introduction (Mike Crane) - This is a scenario inspired by the HBO series Pacific. It has a map, list of forces, scenario rules, plus the general rules for play (the last is done in 1/2 a page). He also talks about the figures he used to model the pillboxes, etc. All in all a good, general wargaming article. Nothing about solo wargaming, but given the static nature of the Japanese, one could say that the scenario itself is designed for solo play.

            Pacific Assault Battle Report (Mike Crane) - This is a blow-by-blow of the previous article. It includes several maps so you do not have to refer back to the hex numbers and unit numbers on the map several pages before, so is easier to follow the battle flow. It includes every die roll and interpretation, so if you are trying to use the rules of the previous article, it will help you understand them.

            Colonial Gunboat Design (Mike Crane) - This is a good general wargaming filler page of plans on making a colonial gunboat from wood. It gives you the dimensions of the pieces and three views (front, size, and top) of the plans. I agree with Mike's assessment of: "Make one. I think you will like it."

            Basic Character Creation (Graham Empson) - Graham relates how his collaboration with Bob Stewart has gotten him to take the Mythic plunge and do a narrative campaign. This article is a series of tables describing how to origin of a character (the implication being officers) in the ACW. He takes an interesting approach in that he looks at the statistics of Union troops to determine the odds in his tables. Then he creates tables for traits and previous occupation. He wraps it up with an example. Character creation is very much in the realm of some solo wargamers, just as it is with Imagi-Nation types, so I think this article rates as "solo-gaming-appropriate". :)

            The Keys to Columbus, "Pancho" Villa's Raid into the U.S. as a Solo Wargame, Part 1 (Chris Hahn) - I am still reading this article, but I can tell you that this and the Pacific Assault articles gives me pause to re-thinking the decision to not renew. This is another Other Wargaming Magazine quality scenario. Lots of background, lots of references, maps, discussions of what happened historically, scenario special rules, and, because the period is not widely known, rules to convert the period to TSATF. Skimming through what I haven't read, however, are the rules about how to make this a solo wargame. Part 2 (next issue) is an AAR of the solo wargame, so perhaps the rules are the lead-in to the AAR next issue.

            From the Editor - The editorial page with discussion of running out of articles, calling for more, and getting enough to be well into the next issue. A couple of personal notes. Ends with another call to action: "Keep Lone Warrior a lively and useful journal."

            A World of My Own - Battle at the Border (Kevin White) - Supporting material for an ancients campaign. Table for determining diplomatic relations. Narrative about the start of the campaign, with die rolls and sample diagrams, but nothing comprehensive. Two pages on a battle report that was not fought solo.

            Alternatives (Marvin Scott) - Look at alternatives to using dice or cards for determining hits (emphasis on vehicles). Very much in the vein of Little Wars. Interesting filler, but no solo component.

            Well, I want to get back to Hahn's article.

            Dale
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