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
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.
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
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