The Battlegames Blog

Ongoing thoughts from the Battlegames Editor

About Battlegames

Henry painting wargames figuresHi, I’m Henry Hyde, the Editor of Battlegames magazine, a bi-monthly publication dealing with the wonderful world of playing wargames with miniature soldiers. Whether the subject is historical, fantasy or sci-fi, Battlegames has it covered.

I commission articles from many of the world’s foremost gamers, including Mike Siggins, C.S. Grant, Stuart Asquith, Bill Protz, Phil Olley, Ross Macfarlane, Barry Hilton, Jim Purky, Angus Konstam, Bill Barnetson, Arthur Harman, Dan Mersey and many more. Our focus is on high quality writing, accompanied by photos and illustrations that focus on that the articles are about: so ‘mind candy’, rather than just ‘eye candy’. Many gamers have already labelled Battlegames “the thinking wargamer’s magazine”, and I don’t mind that at all!

Our strap-line is “the spirit of wargaming”. What do I mean by that? Well, for me, it’s partly an expression of a ‘back to basics’ approach. Wargaming is supposed to be fun, an enjoyable pastime to release us from our everyday mundane pressures. It’s also an extremely creative hobby – wargamers spend much of their time researching, modelling, painting figures, building scenery, organising their units and studying tactics. Add to this the pursuit of excellence in a game that is infinitely variable, and you’ll realise that wargaming is highly challenging, a pastime one can study for a lifetime but possibly never completely master.This is a hobby, therefore, that I’m proud of, and want to tell the world about. It has a great deal to offer our children, of course, who can learn a great deal about history, literature and arts and crafts from the hobby, in addition to being able to express their competitive instincts in a safe and friendly environment. But for adults too, it offers a relaxing refuge in an increasingly stressful world, and many gamers like to sit and paint a few figures whilst listening to music, or play a game with close friends accompanied by amusing banter, a real tonic after a tough week at the office. All these things are part of “the spirit of wargaming”.

Battlegames issue 6Because the hobby is so infinitely varied, you can invest as much or as little time and money as you like. There are a few wargamers who have spent their lives and a small fortune amassing beautifully-painted armies to fight huge battles over custom-built terrain that would put most model railway layouts to shame. On the other hand, many youngsters will happily zap each other’s unpainted space marines across a bare table for half an hour after school. Most of us aspire to something between these two extremes – a nice collection of a few modest armies that we can field with friends or at the club a few times a year, perhaps with the luxury of a permanent table in the attic or shed which we can decorate with some home-made or purchased pieces of scenery like hills, trees, houses and rivers.

What these things have in common, however, is the role that imagination plays in wargaming. Those youngsters, in their mind’s eye, see the red trace of laser fire zapping across the rocky moon, and hear the roar of the giant insect-like monsters as they charge towards the hapless spacemen. On the other hand, the historical gamer of experience may secretly hear the bugles call as his cavalry draw their sabres and nudge their mounts into a trot at the beginning of a charge, smell the sulphurous clouds of musket smoke as the defending infantry fire volley after volley. And the gamer who builds beautiful scenery might imagine the tiny farmers sowing seeds in the little ploughed fields, or hear the laughter and clink of glasses in the miniature inn she is building.

These are wonderful things to think about, creative and inspiring activities that enrich our lives. The fact they may also have a practical application in the everyday world is also useful: wargamers are used to planning and managing projects that may take days, weeks, months, even years to complete. Budgets neeed to be allocated, resources gathered, and then items produced or manufactured, demanding a high degree of skill and concentration of effort. Many projects require the participation and collaboration of many individuals of varying interests and possessing a wide range of talents, sometimes geographically widely separated. The fact that such enterprises work more often than not is little short of miraculous. The look of pride, for example, on the faces of a group of friends who have successfully completed a demonstration game for a wargames convention, speaks volumes for the satisfaction to be gained from the hobby.

Part of the “spirit of wargaming” has to do with the generosity shown by old to young and by experienced to inexperienced within the hobby. Whether it is someone demonstrating a painting technique to an onlooker, or a member of one of the many online fora answering a question about a historical uniform or weaponry, I have seen countless examples of people being generous with their knowledge and time. And it often happens that a veteran gamer with a near-priceless collection will happily see it being used by newcomers who may, as yet, have little appreciation of what it is they are handling!

For all these reasons, therefore, and many more that I’m sure I’ll think of later, I’m passionate about our hobby. This is why, of course, I started Battlegames: how better could I serve this extraordinary band of creative men and women, the sculptors, the terrain builders, the manufacturers, the publishers, the writers, the illustrators, the figure painters, and most of all the gamers, who have given me so much pleasure over a period of more than 35 years?

Here’s to another 35.


17 Granville Road
Hove BN3 1TG
East Sussex


4 Responses to “About Battlegames”

  1. marchf said

    Hi Henry

    I am using this as my internet access is banned from the Battlegames site itself (category “games” – definite no no at work!), but would like to send a word document to you – how can I do this please?


    You can email me at

  2. ltcfraiser said

    Hello, Henry. I’ve ordered a subscription as well as some — well, all right, to be accurate – all of your available back issues. The anticipation is killing me, but it’s okay.

    Wonderful idea, great site, swell blog! If you like, you may email me at lwillis4@satx-dot-rr-dot-com. Thanks again for a wonderful magazine!

  3. ltcfraiser said

    Received the back issues; I am without words – I know from my own prior mis-deeds just how difficult it is to publish a quality magazine and you have succeeded beyond what I had expected, even given the outstanding appearance of Battlegames. Thank you very much and keep up the hard work!

  4. Andrew said

    Hi there,

    I must say I really enjoyed the podcast with the newsletter, well done. I really look forward to the next. Loved the reading of Bernard Cornwells text. Its one I’d not read till now, but that will change now I think.
    Most of all a really great theme to the whole show.

    Have to say since starting to read Battlegames, I have given most of the other wargames magazines, as the their content just does not compare. I like the fact that your magazine I have to stop and read, rather than just flip from pretty picture to pretty picture… oh its finished.


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