Digital Subscriptions and Grumpy old men

God I feel old.....

I do try to do some product reviews along the theory that "I wish someone would  have mentioned this before."  Of late, I have been lamenting my two Digital Subscriptions for wargames magazines.  First the background:  I have a sizable collection of MWAN, WI's, Couriers and other magazines stretching back into the 80's.  I made the mistake of trading off all my old White Dwarfs (Issues 50-200+) back in 1998, so I tend to horde my magazines as I never know what direction my interests will take, or what pictures I want to see again.  My desire to reduce the "crap pile" tends to work against this.  Over the year I have been mostly collecting my rules in PDF format and have scanned in many of my Favorites (Spearhead, Modern Spearhead, Battleground WWII) so I can keep them accessible.  I was interested, therefore when Wargames, Soldiers and Strategies offered a digital subscription along with Battlegames.  My timing on these seems to have been terrible.

I discovered WSS digital option when I saw they were going to do an issue focusing on the 1809 Campaign.   Perfect!  Sign me up.... so I did....  and was told that since I signed up two days after the release of that issue of the magazine I wouldn't get that issue.  Wait?! Isn't it just a PDF you are going to email me?  Response: 'Yes, but that isn't how our subscription system works.'    Flash forward one year, and I transferring PDFs over to my new Nexus 7 (we loves the precious!).  I discovered that I couldn't find all of my back issues of WSS.  No problem, I saved the emails with the links.....  Turns out all of the links are set to only target the most recent copy.  I email WSS about it, three weeks.. no response.   I am going to let this subscription die.

Battlegames.  I love Battlegames, it is like a colorful MWAN.  I was paying $10 a copy when I could find it at Matrix Games in Tacoma, WA.  I enjoy listening to Henry Hyde on View from the Veranda and frequent his website.  I will buy his book, if he ever gets around to finishing it.....  So I got a digital subscription....a few weeks before he announced the first "death of battlegames"  ...crap.

I was happy then, when Atlantic Publishing allowed him to continue the good fight.  I was less than thrilled to see my PDFs replaced with a subscription to Exact Editions.  This gave me access to all of the back issues, but also meant that I would lose access to all of it at the end of the year, and I couldn't keep the files.

Henry is now taking over Miniature Wargamer, a magazine that I basically stopped buying because it seemed a horrible compromise between the content of Battlegames and eye candy of Wargames Illustrated. I am interested to see how he can recover this magazine, but I am hesitant to even try a digital subscription again if I can't just get the PDFs.

Not meant to be a rant, so much as a "here's what to expect" if you are thinking about digital subs.  For me, I find that they may be useful for the "read and discard" mindset, but us packrats just need to stick to paper.


  1. Hi!
    Perhaps it helps if I say that we actually adapted, or expanded, our digital subscriptions since you first subscribed. You were not the only one to ask for your subscription to begin with the most recent issue, so we now offer that option.
    As to three weeks, no reply, that's not how we do things. Do you remember who you sent that email too? I can tell you now that if you made an account in our store when you subscribed (optional when you signed up, default for digital subs now), all back issues of your subscription are accessible through it.
    I certainly won't claim we're perfect, but we do try to learn from what our readers tell us.

    On behalf of Karwansaray Publishers

    Jasper Oorthuys

  2. Hi,

    Email me at and I'll sort you out Dartfrog.

    I have looked through my emails for the past four months (which amounts to quite a few!) and found nothing so far. If I did miss something I apologize. I am very keen to sort this out so please do drop me a line.



  3. Glad to hear you received proper resolution. I pick up a digital copies of WSS on an issue by issue basis and have had no problems with the interface. Having the pdf available on my iPad is very convenient.


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