Thanks for the memories!

By Mike Crane

Now that Lone Warrior has gone to .PDF format, as a regular reader I would like to thank everyone who has made the publication and the blog a success up to the present time. Of course, my thanks goes to Richard Barbuto, the editor who has devoted so much time and energy to the publication in the past, and to George Arnold, who has been the able and faithful blog administrator. But I would also like to thank all of the writers who have contributed articles to both. Your articles have been great! Thanks!
I know the advantages — yes, the necessity — of going online with Lone Warrior magazine: no more rising expenses for publishing and postage, beautiful colored pictures, etc., but I must admit that I miss the hard copies with their colorful covers. But, life means change and I will embrace this change also. Reflection really makes me appreciate all of the work that has been done to make it successful thus far.
Reading the thought-provoking article by Rob Morgan in the blog concerning the purpose of the three holes punched in the hard copies started me to wondering about other possible differences that contributors from other countries might encounter.
Do other differences exist? Maybe. The truth is that I have never thought about differences before and I like it that way. The wargaming articles have either been of interest to me or not, but I have never thought about the nationality of the writers until now. Although I have my favorites, I still am not sure who is from where—for example, I think Kevin White is from Great Britain and Marvin Scott is from America but I would not be willing to bet any money on it. Who cares? I love their writing. Anyway, I do know for certain that three British writers — Rob Morgan, Paul Le Long, and Jon Aird — have contributed an extraordinary amount of terrific material to the magazine and the blog. A thousand thanks, my friends! I have enjoyed reading your articles immensely and I have learned more from them than I ever could have learned on my own. The hobby is richer because of your efforts. My hat goes off to you. And again my thanks goes to all who have contributed articles in the past — regardless of where you are from.
So, let us disregard any differences we may find and continue to unite in our support of the solo wargaming hobby. If we will, Lone Warrior magazine and the Lone Warrior Blog will continue to prosper in the digital format for many years to come.

About mike crane

I am a retired high school teacher living in Texarkana, Arkansas, USA. Although I enjoy wargaming in all periods, my favorite eras are WWII, Colonial, ACW, and Napoleonic. I enjoy making rules that are simple, fast, and fun.
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6 Responses to Thanks for the memories!

  1. Rich Barbuto says:

    By Rich Barbuto

    Mike, thanks, as always, for your contributions. Long time readers will know that Mike has contributed many, many articles, games, and illustrations for Lone Warrior. I did a quick tally of where our readers come from. Here’s what I got: the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany and Malta. There may be others because the PayPal documents I see only have snail mail addresses for about half of our readers. Now for the story on the 3-hole punch. Many years ago when Kenn Hart and Graham Empson entrusted me, a total unknown, for the production of the North American version of Lone Warrior (starting with issue 109), I asked myself what would I want with the magazine? The answer came quickly; I would want to store them in a binder. Since this was the North American version, I punched (American printers use the word ‘drilled’) for an American standard 3-hole. It’s good for standard American ‘letter’ size paper, 8 1/2 by 11 inches. [As an aside, when I’m president, the US is going metric.] When the Lone Warrior headquarters shifted across the pond, I continued the American standard 3-holes. There was no money to drill in any of the European standard patterns. Of course, now that we are pdf, I don’t think that it is an issue. Is it?
    So, Mike, that’s what I know. Thank you for your heartfelt post. The notes I receive from readers echo your sentiments. Even though we do much or all of our gaming alone, it is comforting to know that we are connected to hundreds of others like ourselves.
    An interesting observation here. Since going all-digital, our renewal rate is well over 80%. That is higher than with the hard copy version. So, it seems that more readers are responding to the drop in cost and are willing to accept the loss of a paper magazine. Mike, let me assure you that I miss holding a ‘real’ magazine, turning pages, and reading in any place I want. But I love the color images you and other contributors send! Mike, thanks for writing.

  2. Mike Crane says:

    Rich, thank you very much for this information. It is very gratifying to know (1) that there are readers from so many different places around the world and (2) that the subscription renewal rate for Lone Warrior is up. I didn’t realize this but I am glad to hear it. Please accept my personal thanks for your comment to this article and, again, please accept our collective thanks for your dedication to the hobby in general and to the Lone Warrior in particular.

  3. JAird says:

    I guess I’m about as nostalgic about hardcopy magazines as it is possible to be – I still have hundreds of the things, and also still have pangs of regret about (some) of the minor culls the “collection” has seen along the way (oh – why did I ever get rid of those 1970’s and 1980’s RPG Fanzines?).

    However, I think that it was a wise move to recognise that Lone Warrior magazine and the solo topic is a niche in a niche hobby, and that the potential gains from going electronic were, without doubt, unarguable. As many colour pages as we can produce, more articles if we can manage it (and with several new writers appearing over the last few issues it certainly looks as if we can!), and a significant price reduction. Plus the on-going pleasure of the Blog.

    And Chris, whilst I appreciate the kind words please believe that I am in awe of the number, and quality, of the articles you produce : long may it continue.

    As to Lone Warrior – I think it’s very much a case of onwards and upwards. More subscribers, more writers, more colour. Does it get any better than that?

  4. Mike Crane says:

    Thanks for the comment, Jon. You are completely right about the advantages of going digital, of course. Oh, well. Reason triumphs over nostalgia again. Dang it!

  5. Paul Le Long says:

    Mike – many thanks for your very kind words. Personally I agree with Jon that your own articles have been both a delight and an inspiration – I still play several of your games (Battle of Britain, Kamikazee, ACW Ironclads on the Yazoo…).

    I too am nostaligic for the hardcopy format – there’s nothing like holding a book or magazine in your hands and electronica just can’t compete with that. Where it does compete is in the ability we now have to cram lots of photographs and graphics into LW – that’s a big plus for me.

    In the end, I suppose I don’t care what format LW comes out in, so long as it continues. I can’t tell you what an inspiration it’s been over the years.

  6. Mike Crane says:

    Paul, thank you for your comment and your compliment as well. Your writing has meant a lot to me. I guess that being a solo gamer means I don’t write and tell you every time I get a good idea from one of your articles. You would have gotten a lot of mail since you have written so many articles that included ideas inspired by all of your other gaming experiences. Your explanation of the Heroquest rules was so plain that even I could understand (“Shields and Skulls—a simple skirmish game” LW 186). However, my favorite article was your historical ACW battle of Bull Run that you called “Third Bull Run” (LW 178). I played it twice and called it “Fourth and Fifth Bull Run” and the South won each time. Thanks for all you have contributed to the hobby—especially that game.

    As for the .pdf format, I meant what I said although I did not say it as well as you did. I think Rich Barbuto did exactly what he had to do to make the Lone Warrior viable. While serving as the head of the history department of the US Army War College at Ft. Leavenworth, as an author with a book writing schedule, and as the editor of Lone Warrior, Rich also learned how to produce the magazine in a .pdf format. Wow! I am a computer illiterate myself and I am impressed with his virtual accomplishment! (But, I wonder what he did during all of his spare time?)

    By the way, I understand that Rich will be retiring this Friday from his teaching position at the War College. Let me add a “congratulations” to my “thank you” for Rich. (And, trust me on this, Rich, there IS life after retirement.)

    One of my New Year’s resolutions was to thank everyone who has made the Lone Warrior magazine and blog such a success. I did it, Paul. Not well, maybe, but I did it nevertheless. Thanks again!

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