Requiem for a journal

By Rob Morgan

It is with great sadness …

Actually, I do from time to time write obituaries, but this one is for a much-loved magazine. A letter which arrived recently, addressed to Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers Member 516, tells me that after 95 issues, each one a valuable 50-page contribution to the  world of wargaming, on land, sea and air, The Journal has ceased publication. It would be foolish to say that with only one out of the last five or six issues published at all, it was unexpected.

But, with the two world wars and a thousand other complex conflicts during the 20th century, covering the entire face of the globe, this must be one of the most astonishing wargame closures of recent times. I’m not just saying that because I had a regular column and SOTCW published me for the best of 20 years, but because this really is a loss! I’ve recorded others, of groups which could never, ever, pretend to be anything more than a fringe interest. Magazines like Frontovik of the Eastern Front 1914-21 Society, and Abanderado! and News from the Front representing the Spanish Civil War — all three gone. Yet, for the entire century, arguably the biggest of all the wargames periods from the point  of view of gamers, historians and manufacturers, to slip into an abyss in wargames terms is something far worse, and must surely bode ill.

The Solo Wargamers Association may well pick up a few more members with SOTCW’s virtual disappearance. The Journal had some fine writers and carried decent articles on war at sea, but that’s just my narrow view. It’s a demise worth all of us reflecting upon.

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3 Responses to Requiem for a journal

  1. Mark Wheeler says:

    Rob Morgan has just pointed me to this post. Hopefully some good news – I along with others are going to try and reinvigorate the SOTCW more along the lines it used to be, but with more than a nod to what I think people now want.

    If you would like to be kept in the loop maybe with a view to joining and helping us re-launch, please email me at

    Mark Wheeler

  2. Mark Wheeler says:

    The SOTCW forum is carrying on as an online presence-only for the time being, and an alternative proposal for the post-1900 period called ‘Model Wargames Developments’, or MWD, is gathering momentum. There are seventeen members so far and work is progressing on publications. Most likely MWD will not have a forum, but to build community will have frequent news orientated pdf’s, alongside a conventional quarterly(ish) wargames rules and scenarios publication issued by email, and hard copy by post for those that want them. I am also proposing that the group will have a more sedate nature than many of the ‘instant consumption’ online groups that exist today. A hint of nostalgia perhaps; it’s proposed MWD will have a more modelling, special offers and kit sales, and wargaming news and miniatures background bias, much like the original SOTCW Journal.

    So, minimal cross over between the MWD and other groups, and room for all, I think!

    Please e mail me if you are interested –

    Mark Wheeler

  3. Reggie Phillips says:

    There is already “Wargame Developments” and it has been around for quite awhile. Perhaps you might want to rethink the name change.

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