The Grenadier Magazine

The magazine focused on reviews and discussions of various wargames and related products.

The Grenadier was founded in 1978, evolving from Game Designers Workshop's Europa Newsletter. Originally titled The Paper Soldier, the first issue under the new banner The Grenadier Wargaming Quarterly appeared in January 1978. The first issues were digest size (5-1/2" by 8-1/2") with 32 pages, and dealt exclusively with Game Designers Workshop products as well asgeneral military history. Beginning with Issue 4, it ceased being a house organ and other company's games began to be discussed.

In 1980, The Grenadier was slated for discontinuance, and Issue 12, dated January 1981, was the last issue published by Game Designers Workshop. Jeffery Tibbetts offered to continue publication, and Issue 13, dated June 1981, was published by J Tibbetts & Son. The issue was physically printed by Tibbetts and son Robert on a press in the garage of author Thomas J. Bates.

Issue 14 saw the abandonment of the digest format in favour of a larger, magazine style (8-1/2" x 11"). Tibbets assumed the role of editor. In the final issue, number 35, he gave the following farewell:

It is with a mixture of great pride and a certain amount of bittersweetness that I announce that this is the last issue of The Grenadier to be done by the current Editorial Staff.

The irregularity which has become a hallmark of The Grenadier has been the product of my personal incapacities to juggle multiple priorities - being a husband, parent, corporate publishing executive, and simple Editor - these have caballed against my most excellent intentions and pious pronouncements to delay the important transfer of information from the Seats of Power to You, the Readers.

It would be both easy and facile for me to slip into a slough of self-pity brought about by the betrayal of Others, Named and Un-named. That would, however, be self-analysis...I have tried to do more that(sic) I have been personally capable of fulfilling. That is both my pride and my sin...

I am pleased to tell you all that Dr. Jay Selover, former Editor of Fire & Movement has agreed to assume the editorship of The Grenadier and that he is prepared to work toward a monthly schedule. (Gasps of horror and incredulity!)

In bestowing upon Dr. Selover the Editorial Dignity of The Grenadier, I am passing my complete Trust in his understanding of the topology of Wargaming, his ability to marshall excellence from contributors, and his abiding faith that games are for fun.

Pacific Rim Publishing also produced CounterAttack magazine, BattleTechnology magazine, and Animag.

Sample Issue - No. 34

Even the latest issues of the magazine were crude in comparison to The General, but the tactical wargamer could find much of interest in the pages. The page at right comes from Issue 34 (October 1988); aside from draconian notices to subscribers regarding lost issues, primitive looking business card advertisements, and photo-humour essays, the issue contained among other things a thoughtful editorial on the nature of what-if questions and a seven-page treatise by James Collier on how Advanced Squad Leader was different from Squad Leader. The latter is particularly noteworthy when one notes that in the May-June 1983 issue of The General, Collier's article "Glass Anvil: A Dissenting View of G.I.: Anvil of Victory" had been published. He had concluded the article four and a half years previously by stating

Finally, there is left the even more philosophical question of where SQUAD LEADER is going. The expansion gamettes have introduced a policy of not just introducing new boards and counters with which to play by the same old and tried rules, but of adding to and enlarging upon those rules. But, with this added complexity there is an undue hesitancy to make a firm commitment to a truly high order of realism. Players who really stress ease of play will reject this complexity anyway, while those who seek realism will be frustrated. If both "gamer" and "simulator" are disappointed, the entire project will stall and may well perish.

Collier's comments in The General merited a lengthy rebuttal in that magazine at the time of publication by three developers who made it clear that Collier was just one playtester, and one whose remarks had been coloured by his having been firmly in the "realism" camp. His article in The Grenadier is interesting in that context, noting on page 7 that ASL "is further distinguished by being meticulous in its detail and very sophisticated in its play option because it has been extensively researched and documented in an effort to create as much realism as can be tolerated in a non-computerized game." There are no dissenting views from the "playability" camp presented in the later article, however. Nonetheless Collier provided an evenly balanced view with much material for the tactical wargamer of the time to consider when contemplating a move to the new game system.

Issue 34 also contained a historical article on South African troops in the Second World War, but with organizational breakdowns only to the divisional level, and some half-page computer game reviews - including reviews for SSI's Battalion Commander and another for Kampfgruppe. As might be expected, a four page article on GDW's Europa is included, as are a historical article on a contemporary tour of the British Cabinet War Rooms, a game review and historical article on Central America, a combination editorial and book review column, a second book review column, a three page article on the changes in the wargame magazine publishing industry, a one-page listing of Charles S Roberts and Origins awards winners, and several pages of game reviews. A contest, feedback survey page, and hobby news page rounded out the issue.

Much content from the early issues is now available to subscribers at http://www.magweb.com.

Cover Gallery/Issue Listing

#1
Jan 1978
#2
Apr 1978
#3
Jul 1978
#4
Oct 1978
#5
Jan 1979
#6
May 1979
#7
Aug 1979
#8
Jan 1980
#9
Apr 1980
#10
Jul 1980
#11
Oct 1980
#12
Jan 1981
#13
Jun 1981
#14
1982
#15
Spring 1982
#16
Jan 1983
#17
Apr 1983
#18
Jul-Sep 1983
#19
Oct-Dec 1983
#20
Jan-Feb 1984
#21
Mar-Apr 1984
#22
May-Jun 1984
#23
Jul-Aug 1984
#24
Jan-Feb 1985
#25
Mar-Apr 1985
#26
May-Aug 1985
#27
Jan-Feb 1986
#28
Mar-Apr 1986
#29
May-Jun 1986
#30
Jul-Sep 1986
#31
Feb 1987
#32
Jun 1987
#33
Mar 1988
#34
Oct 1988
#35
Feb 1990

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