By Rob Morgan
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, there were half a dozen model and wargaming shops within a few miles of where I live. They often threw up odd items which might never be seen again. Like the complete range of Atlantic figures and scenarios, those useful Wild West sets with rafts and tepees and figures which just about fitted with the old Airfix stuff. Still got some of them.
There were also magazines which seemed to flourish and then vanish. One small shop on the arcade sold this magazine for about five or six months in 1978. Little Wars was rather costly, selling at far more than the $1.50 US price, but I bought a couple. The magazine, rather light with only 30 pages, and more than a third of it advertising, did have some interesting short articles and brief reviews of material we simply didn’t see here. It was an entirely US-oriented publication. Any mention of UK manufacturers gave the US agent as contact.
There were articles on medieval weapons, on museums like the Victory Air Museum in Illinois which was under threat of closure in 1978, articles on the ‘Legion of the United States,’ and a few battle reports. One I kept was hilarious, an OstFront scenario in which eight Panthers and four Tigers with a few a/t guns destroyed an attacking force, a table-top attacking force, of 60 T-34s and masses of infantry. In the same issue, there was a delightful analysis of the Fascist Italian command structure, which proved invaluable later on.
The editor of Little Wars was Joe Orlowski, a name vaguely familiar to me from wargaming publications elsewhere, I think. I don’t know any of the other writers’ work. It was published by TSR Hobbies, and may well have survived much longer on the shelves of hobby stores in the USA than it did in this small town.
Anyone know more?