Although the magazine has been going for a while, this is the first issue (77) of Paper Wars I have seen. I am not a fan of game review magazines generally, because the quality of the reviews often disappoints. (It is not a trivial task to write a good review – something that goes beyond a list of game contents.) Recently relaunched by Compass Games, I decided to take the plunge because the publishers were adding a game, and curiosity got the better of me.
Paper Wars issue 77 arrived just before Xmas. It’s a color, glossy, magazine running to 70+ pages, though that includes the game rules in the center. The layout is attractive, though my aging eyes could have done with a slightly larger font size. There’s one obvious editorial mistake: the inside front cover advert for Compass Games new Breaking the Chains game (2020 hypothetical conflict with China) has two identical paragraphs of text. Whoops! That apart, the overall impression is a favorable one.
Apart from the game included (Anzio – covered separately) the magazine has reviews of:
- Julius Caesar by Columbia Games
- Atlantic/Pacific Navies by Clash of Arms
- Market Garden by Victory Point Games
- Fighting Formations by GMT Games
- Reichswehr & Freikorps by Decision S&T
- 1812: The Invasion of Canada by Academy Games
- Ranger by Omega Games
- Strike on Sarhu 1619 by Formosa Force Games
- Joan of Arc’s Victory: 1429AD by Turning Point Simulations
- Fighting Eagles by High Flying Dice
- Night Drop by Battles Magazine
The reviews of Julius Caesar, Atlantic/Pacific Navies, Fighting Formations, and Joan of Arc’s Victory were my favorites: thorough, fair, and telling me what I wanted to know. The rest were not bad reviews; just not quite as good. The only bit that jarred was Robert G Smith saying he had given Reichswehr & Freikorps a ten on Boardgamegeek. (That’s not what I remember of the game, but I will need to back and look at it again, now!)
My major concern is wondering if there is a market for print reviews given the abundance of web available material. But, for now, I’m pleased with the magazine and looking forward to the next issue. I wish them well.