The Wargamer

The Wargamer was founded in 1977 by Keith Poulter and published by World Wide Wargames (3W). Poulter, a Political Science teacher in an English school, got involved in wargaming in 1975 and began the magazine as a hobby. Beginning with issue 13, the magazine was printed in Hong Kong resulting in "notorious difficulties."1 Poulter parted company with his school and made the wargaming industry his full time career. By 1986 he had five full-time staff employed, with a total of 12 people involved in the publication of the magazine in addition to 3W's boxed games. In a 1986 interview, Poulter predicted that in 10 years he would no longer be involved in wargaming, indicating he would like to turn to fiction writing.2

Like Strategy & Tactics, The Wargamer provided a game in each issue. However, no tactical subjects were covered by the magazine games.

When 3W took over ownership of Strategy & Tactics following the sale of SPI there was no need for two competing magazines and The Wargamer ended its initial run with issue 62.

Keith Poulter, however, wanted a magazine to continue to support S&T, by providing wargame reviews and general hobby news and information. Christopher Cummins, knowing that 3W had also acquired the rights to Moves, expressed his interest in returning that magazine to print. Poulter made Cummins assistant editor, co-ordinating various strategy and analysis articles. Cummins felt that the previous audience of The Wargamer was better served by a revival of that title, and in 1988 beginning with Issue 6 began offering "timely reviews on time" under the banner of Volume 2 of The Wargamer. In the May/June 1988 issue, it was announced that 3W had acquired Diverse Talents Inc., who published Fire & Movement, Battleplan and Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer. A planned merger of the two operations would see 3W publishing all three magazines, as well as Strategy & Tactics. By the end of the year, Poulter had offered Fire & Movement to Cummins, which at that time was the main competition for readership. Cummins agreed, and brought F&M back to a regular publishing schedule in 1989.

Volume 2 of The Wargamer printed articles on games by a variety of publishers, and published a series of anthologies of various categories of wargames, giving a historical look at the development of the wargaming hobby through the lens of its collective published works. An effort was made to focus articles on games released by Strategy & Tactics.

By 1990, Cummins and his staff felt that The Wargamer, Volume 2 was "suffering from a split personality" in that it had reviews like F&M had, and strategy and scenario articles like the older Moves title had. The decision was made in June 1990 to reintroduce Moves. The Wargamer ceased publication with Issue 25 of Volume 2 in the winter of 1990. The final editorial by Chris Cummins noted:

Having been the only person involved with Wargamer, Volume Two from beginning to end, I guess the responsibility to sum up the experience falls to me. Overall, I feel the magazine was a success in a number of areas, and even its end is a success of sorts...

From my point of view, Wargamer, Volume Two had its greatest success in its timeliness, both in coming out on schedule, as well as making the reviews more timely. The other major area I feel we succeeded in was reader contact and feedback.

The second volume provided much for modern tactical wargaming fans such as ASL scenarios, scenarios for Sniper/Hetzer, and an article on tactics for the relatively obscure Iron Cross game that S&T had published. There were also reviews of the many tactical level games published during the brief run of the magazine, including computer titles; for example there was a full length feature article comparing Accolade's Steel Thunder and Microprose's M-1 Tank Platoon tank simulators.

Cover Gallery/Issue Listing - Regular Issues, Volume 1

Number 1
Number 2 Number 3 Number 4 Number 5 Number 6
Number 7
Number 8 Number 9 Number 10 Number 11 Number 12
Number 13 Number 14 Number 15 Number 16 Number 17 Number 18
Jan-Feb 1982
Number 19 Number 20 Number 21 Number 22 Number 23 Number 24
Number 25 Number 26 Number 27 Number 28 Number 29
Feb 1984
Number 30
Mar 1984
Number 31
May 1984
Number 32
Jun 1984
Number 33 Number 34 Number 35
Nov 1984
Number 36
Dec 1984
Number 37
Jan 1985
Number 38
Feb 1985
Number 39
Mar 1985
Number 40
Apr 1985
Number 41
May 1985
Number 42
Jun 1985
Number 43
Jul 1985
Number 44
Aug 1985
Number 45
Sep 1985
Number 46
Oct 1985
Number 47
Nov 1985
Number 48
Dec 1985
Number 49
Jan 1986
Number 50
Feb 1986
Number 51
Mar 1986
Number 52
Apr 1986
Number 53
May 1986
Number 54
Jun 1986
Number 55
Jul 1986
Number 56
Aug 1986
Number 57
Sep 1986
Number 58
Oct 1986
Number 59
Nov 1986
Number 60
Dec 1986
Number 61 Number 62
Mar 1987

Cover Gallery/Issue Listing - Regular Issues, Volume 2

Vol. 2 No. 1
Jul-Aug 1987
Vol. 2 No. 2
Sep-Oct 1987
Vol. 2 No. 3
Nov-Dec 1987
Vol. 2 No. 4
Jan-Feb 1988
Vol. 2 No. 5
Mar-Apr 1988
Vol. 2 No. 6
May-Jun 1988
Vol. 2 No. 7
ORIGINS Aug 1988
Vol. 2 No. 8
Sep-Oct 1988
Vol. 2 No. 9
Christmas 1988
Vol. 2 No. 10
Jan-Feb 1989
Vol. 2 No. 11
Mar-Apr 1989
Vol. 2 No. 12
May-Jun 1989
Vol. 2 No. 13
ORIGINS Jun 1989
Vol. 2 No. 14
Jul-Aug 1989
Vol. 2 No. 15
Sep-Oct 1989
Vol. 2 No. 16
Nov-Dec 1989
Vol. 2 No. 17
Holiday 1989
Vol. 2 No. 18
Jan-Feb 1990
Vol. 2 No. 19
Mar-Apr 1990
Vol. 2 No. 20
May-Jun 1990
Vol. 2 No. 21
Jul-Aug 1990
Vol. 2 No. 22
Sep-Oct 1990
Vol. 2 No. 23
Oct-Nov 1990
Vol. 2 No. 24
Dec 90-Jan 91
Vol. 2 No. 25
Holiday 1990

Cover Gallery/Issue Listing - Special Issues

Special Edition #1


  1. "Interview: Keith Poulter" (Breakout! The Australasian Gamer's Quarterly No. 23). Image also from that source.

  2. Ibid. As it turned out, in Strategy & Tactics No. 140 (February 1991), it was announced that "after 14 years of publishing wargame magazines Keith Poulter has had enough" and his semi-retirement from the business was announced in order that he might write on the American Civil War. 2008-present    email: The Tactical Wargamer