DGS Games

Grogheads Reviews YAAH! magazine issue #1

Flying Pig’s new magazine is out there.  We’ve already interviewed the editor.  Now see what Vance thinks about the finished product.

Vance Strickland, 13 June 2015

Click images to enlarge

I usually don’t read magazines. Not sure why, but the format to me seems to never have enough information on any particular story contain therein. Books are great and for fast information I usually prefer the interwebs or radio or TV. Wargame magazines are different however. I love to pick one up and devour the articles about games that I might be interested in or have never even heard of.

When I heard that Mark Walker’s new company, Flying Pig Games, was putting out a new magazine as well,  I had to pick it up. mark stated early on that the magazine was not going to be a mouth piece for his game company and that it would be about more than just “war games”.

YAAH! comes with a right bold cover and in a very large ziplock bag

YAAH! comes with a right bold cover and in a very large ziplock bag

Just inside the front cover Tom Russell introduces himself as the editor. Now I had never heard of Tom before this moment, but it appears that he is an accomplished writer and creator of board games. In the EZOC, Editor’s Zone of Control, he lays out that YAAH! is striving to be a magazine about all type of conflict based game not just war games in the traditional sense. This, to me, is great because it will expose me to a variety of new games that I normally might miss because of my usual narrow focus on traditional hex and counter “War Games”.

The magazine is broken onto 5 main sections: Setup, Games We love, Scenarios, This Issue’s Game, and The Comlpeat (sic) Wargamer. This immediately points out another philosophy of the magazine that Mark wanted to have. That of not bothering to review or write about games that the writers didn’t enjoy playing. Life is too short for bad games or writing about them after all.

Bill Molyneaux, who knew?

Bill Molyneaux, who knew?

The first section, Setup, was short and contained a short blurb about each of the writers in this issue and an Interview with Bill Molyneaux. I must admit that I had seen the name before but knew nothing of the man. It’s always nice to find about more people in the industry that I buy games from.

D&D 5th ed., back to the dungeons with better tools

D&D 5th ed., back to the dungeons with better tools

Next up is the meat of the magazine, Games We Love. Here we are treated to well written reviews/descriptions/exposés of six games including the cover story about Rivet Wars.

Command & Colors: Napoleonics, just in time for Waterloo's 200th.

Command & Colors: Napoleonics, just in time for Waterloo’s 200th.

Each of the writers is able to express their enjoyment of the game they are talking about in concise and clear terms. You can easily pick up on the enthusiasm they each have for each game.

Victory Point Games' State of Siege series, conflict gaming goodness

Victory Point Games’ State of Siege series, conflict gaming goodness

I enjoyed each of the articles because they all have their own style on how to present the games. each had unique view points to express and made me want to look into each game some more.

D&D Attack Wing, who doesn't like big dragon minis?

D&D Attack Wing, who doesn’t like big dragon minis?

Campaign Commander Vol. 1: Roads to Stalingrad, real wargaming with blocks.

Campaign Commander Vol. 1: Roads to Stalingrad, real wargaming with blocks.

The main event - Rivet Wars, WWI Steampunk minis wargaming.

The main event – Rivet Wars, WWI Steampunk minis wargaming.

Then we come to the scenarios section. Included are a scenario for each of  Rivet Wars and D7D Attack Wing. Also included is a module by Tom Russell that can be used with D&D or Pathfinder or many other dungeon crawler type rules. All the more to entice you into exploring the articled games more deeply.

This issue comes with two games, Stamford Bridge and A Hill Near Hastings, that are closely related and designed by Tom Russell. Tom also includes an interesting article about the history around the Stamford Bridge game. each games uses its own map, on either side of the included 11″x17″ map sheet.

Vikings in England

Vikings in England

The bridge at the end of it all

The bridge at the end of it all

King of the hill

King of the hill

Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and Normans oh my!

Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and Normans oh my!

Both games use a common rules system called Shields & Swords by Tom Russell. Some of the counters even do double duty. The rules are only 5 pages long and there’s an included Player Aid sheet. All these are part of the magazine and might have been better off as separate sheets so as to make it easier to use while playing. The counters are a nice 5/8″ size, die cut and well printed on both sides. Both games are quick play, under an hour each, but present the players with very interesting situations to struggle with. Both games are good fun.

The rules of war

The rules of war

Lastly is a short article about wargaming and professional studies. Interesting stuff and maybe a spark to get some of you to pursue wargaming as a career.

PHD in wargaming? Sign me up!

PHD in wargaming? Sign me up!

Overall the magazine is well printed. The font throughout is a nice easy to read size, for us older gamers. The picture quality is top notch as well. And it’s all bound like a book, no staple through the middle here. At 60 pages there is only one half page ad for Flying Pig Games’ Night of Man and one full page for the next issue. A welcome change from most magazines that are more advertizing than content. I bought this issue on pre-order for $24.99 USD, regular price is $29.99. I had to have the first one in hard cover, but because of the exchange rate and shipping costs to Canada, I’ll probably buy the next issue as a PDF download for $14.99.

Pick up the magazine a read something for a change. You never know, you might find your next gaming purchase inside.

Have fun.


 

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One Response to Grogheads Reviews YAAH! magazine issue #1

  1. GJK says:

    Great review Vance, I enjoyed that. It harkens me back to the days as a teenager receiving the latest copy of “The General” or “F&M” in the post. Today, I try to imagine reading a magazine. I’ve found that I can’t bury myself in a book any longer like I used to. Why? Because the interwebs is right there and it’s much more tempting to pull up message forums (ahem, Grogheads), silly facebook, boardgamegeek and others for a “quick read”. I think that one day, as my financial situation dictates, I am going to go on an electronics sabbatical and take with me a couple of my favorite board wargames, some wargame magazines and a few books and then relive that part of my youth. 🙂 Thanks again, this was great!

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