Saturday, January 5, 2019

S&T Magazine Library

Volume 1, No. 1.
Recently, I've been diving into the back issues of Strategy and Tactics (S&T) Magazine looking for the "comparative quantified units" features. More on the CQ's later but over at Strategy and Tactics Press I highly recommend the S&T Premium Membership.

The benefit of this membership is access to the extensive magazine back catalog. For those unfamiliar with S&T Magazine, it ranks up there with Avalon Hill as one of the hobby's vanguards.

S&T started as a fanzine discussing AH games and offering mods but evolved into a military history magazine accompanied by a folio game.

A good history of AH, S&T and the board game hobby can be found in Greg Costikyan's article A Farewell to Hexes (SPI Died for your Sins). This highly recommended article also discusses issues faced by the game publishing industry.

The back issues contain a wealth of information and I strongly agree with the following quote from Costikyan (who incidentally, was no fan of their games):

"The historical articles were of the highest quality, and quite unlike anything being published in the historical magazines of the period, since SPI, befitting its gaming orientation, tried to quantify almost everything, providing copious tables of comparative data on, for instance, the merits of World War II-era tanks. Other journals tended to be far more descriptive. As a result, S&T acquired a readership even among military history devotees who had no interest in the games."

It was those copious tables I remembered from my dad's old S&T magazines that prompted me to subscribe to the Premium Library.

I am biased as somewhere in those back issues I have four or five published articles but the real bias comes from S&T being a constant in my wargaming career.

Currently, all the back S&T issues up to #294 (SEP-OCT 2015) are available. The earliest issues are scans copied into a .pdf file, some with highlighting and notes. The later issues are all printed to .pdf (i.e. ability to search within the document for keywords, unlike the scanned versions) and are magazine quality.

Also included in the library are back copies of World at War and Modern War magazines and for the oldest of the old school, all the Moves Magazines (an in house organ equivalent to AH's General magazine). I spent the past couple of days digging into the Moves back copies and there is a ton of goodness in there I never appreciated as a kid.

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