Sorry for the all caps title but this is big, and incredibly sad, news.  Today I received an e-mail from Henry Hyde, editor of Battlegames Magazine, stating that he is stopping publication of Battlegames Magazine.

Details are posted on the Battlegames website.  Henry’s open letter is reproduced below.  Subscribers have also received e-mails providing options for handling the remainder of their subscriptions.  That e-mail is also eliciting feedback from subscribers as to how they would like Henry to proceed (I voted for a Digital Only subscription).

I am sorry to inform you that following a review of the business, I am no longer able to proceed with further printed issues of the magazine in its current format.

It has become clear that for some time now, I have been subsidising the publication, which has been squeezed by increased print costs, increased competition in the wargames magazine market, substantially increased postage and distribution costs and now, a dramatic fall-off in advertisers. To incur further debt by proceeding to print at this point would be completely irresponsible. Whilst you have been patiently awaiting news of issue 27, I have been struggling to come up with solutions to the problem, but it is clear that no simple solution exists.

I blame no-one else for this situation and I apologise for failing you. Six years ago almost to the day, I made the decision to start a company in what I knew was a niche market, and I am proud of what I managed to achieve, but the blunt fact is that I should have recognised the writing on the wall sooner and am now in considerable financial difficulty as a result. I have been operating as a one-man-band in a precarious financial position from the outset, with no fall-back position, and I have paid the price. It is now imperative that I resume my former career in graphic and web design for the time being, as well as my new one in writing, in order to prevent complete financial meltdown.

I am conscious of the support and encouragement that I have had from so many of you over the last five years or more, and this is not a decision that I take lightly. As you know, Battlegames has been very much ‘my baby’ and I’m sure you can imagine my bitter disappointment, but facts are facts.

I am hoping that I can salvage something from the ruins and have already received a couple of suggestions that have potential merit, such as producing a high-quality quarterly journal without advertising, with a higher cover price to compensate for this, but of course it would be crucial that any future printed matter would have to be profitable to make it worthwhile. Producing Battlegames is a highly labour-intensive exercise, and I am no longer in a position to subsidise the publication in any way.

If sufficiently large numbers of current paper subscribers are willing to convert to the digital subscription, then it is possible that Battlegames might be able to live on in electronic format, again probably quarterly, with occasional printed ‘specials’ and additional e-publications of the kind I had been hoping to produce all along. However, I am aware that many of you are not keen on electronic formats, and I fully understand your position. After all, I started Battlegames so that I could have the *printed* magazine that I wanted. If a digital version of Battlegames were to become viable (at present, with just 150 digital subscriptions, it is not), then I would consider redesigning it to optimise the publication for on-screen viewing, taking into account the most popular methods of viewing digital content such as iPads and Kindles, as well as on PC or Mac screens.

Whilst I am sure there will be plenty of comments online over the next few days on TMP, WD3 and elsewhere, and I shall be issuing a press release along the lines of this email, I am so busy trying to deal with my predicament that I will not be able to respond on forums.

I fully understand that you are likely to be upset about this news but once again, I can only apologise and assure you that if it had been possible to continue Battlegames in its current form, then I would of course have done so.

Until I have had sufficient responses, I cannot yet determine the viability of continuing either in a revised printed format, or with a digital-only option, but I will of course keep you fully updated as soon as I have a clear idea of the response. I would urge you, if you have not already done so, to sign up for the email newsletter on the home page of the Battlegames website at which is by far the easiest, quickest and most cost-effective way for me to stay in touch with you.

Previous editions will, of course, remain on sale in the Shop here.

Thank you for reading what has been an extremely difficult message for me to write.


P.S. I am also extremely grateful for your support for the Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal, which has now raised more than £10,000.

In my relatively short time subscribing to Battlegames and communicating with Henry my wargaming life has been considerably enriched.  I hope we can all be supportive of Henry and helpful enough to allow things to be straightened out.  As Henry says, “I fully understand that you are likely to be upset about this news but once again, I can only apologise and assure you that if it had been possible to continue Battlegames in its current form, then I would of course have done so.”

This just goes to prove that it is important to support the institutions that are important to us whether we do that by shopping at those stores, subscribing to those publications, or telling advertisers we found out about them from a place they support.


  1. Drew

    I am sad to hear he may be closing his doors. I hope he is able to generate enough interest to make this a potentially viable project through e-distribution. Thanks for letting us know about this.

    I wish Mr. Hyde all the best in his future endeavors.

  2. Jonathan J. Reinhart Post author

    There has been a lot of commentary on TMP, not all of it good, about the end of publication. After reading those comments, and speaking with some other gamers and subscribers, it seems that the negative comments fall into certain categories.

    *Henry should have given notification sooner that the magazine may shut down.
    *Henry should have realized the magazine would close in enough time to stop taking subscription orders.
    *Henry should have placed Battlegames first instead of his book and other projects (art design, editing, etc).
    *Henry should make restitution to subscribers.

    I’ve told Henry of my support for him and he has gotten in touch with me thanking me for my support. He hasn’t remarked about the negative commentary other than to say that there are people on TMP who support him and are doing so vociferously.

    Neil Shuck, of Meeples & Miniatures fame, made a post discussing this epic news. In his post he announced that Henry will be a guest on M&M to discuss the issue. Neil beat me to the punch. More information will surely come out then.

    It seems very wise of Henry to communicate in private with subscribers and well-wishers instead of posting on internet message boards or blogs. The company’s affairs need to get in order, plans need to be drawn up, and he needs to transition away from this life he’s led for over six years.

    I don’t have a crystal ball telling me the whys and wherefores but I want to speculate, and that is all it is, on the three categories of complaints.

    Henry should have given notification sooner that the magazine may shut down
    Issue 15, way back in 2008, carried a “warning” if you wish to call it that. The editorial stated “My ability to keep Battlegames at this new and beefier size is dependent on….the continued support of the advertisers….and your response to those advertisements”

    That same issue announced an increase in the cover price because of rising overheads and the magazine being “a very small minnow in this vast economic sea.”

    Issue 16’s editorial touched on this issue when it stated “…this issue has fewer pages than last time, but that is purely because the massive increase in advertising that we saw int he previous, pre-Christmas issue, has subsided again, like the waves receding on the beach.”

    If those remarks are not a sufficient warning, then I don’t know what is. Did Henry need to use size 72 bold red text on the cover of each issue saying “WITHOUT SUFFICIENT ADVERTISERS BATTLEGAMES GOES BUST”…..

    I just don’t understand people who say Henry didn’t give sufficient notice of the magazine coming to an end. The announcement was unexpected. There’s no doubt in that. But, if we look carefully we can see that signs exist all around. Simply take a look at the publishing industry and it is apparent that print publications are suffering.

    Henry should have realized the magazine would close in enough time to stop taking subscription orders

    My expectation is that Henry had a feeling the magazine would need to close. He probably was aware of that awhile back. But, my guess is Henry became aware of the problem and then spent the remaining time exhausting every possibility to keep the magazine afloat.

    One of those measures would be keeping subscription orders open for as long as he did. In hindsight it is easy to opine that Henry should have closed subscriptions as soon as he realized there was no saving the magazine in its current form. The possibility existed, however, that keeping subscription orders open could result in the magazine staying afloat.

    Henry should have placed Battlegames first instead of his book and other projects (art design, editing, etc).

    Without knowing the finances of Battlegames Ltd. there is no way to know whether Henry’s other projects fiscally added to or took away from the magazine. Again, my presumption is that Henry used his varied talents on a variety of paying jobs in the hope that the income from those other projects would allow the magazine to stay in publication.

    In his notice on the magazine closing he notes that he has been subsidizing the magazine for a long time. If the magazine wasn’t paying for itself, or providing enough to cover Henry’s company and personal bills, then his taking on side jobs makes perfect sense. Designing box art for Perry Miniatures, editing Mr. Grant’s book, publishing his own Wargaming Compendium. All of these provide added income thereby offsetting expenses for publishing the magazine.

    Henry wasn’t placing his other projects before Battlegames and its subscribers. He was, in my estimation, doing other projects to enable Battlegames and it subscribers staying in first place.

    Henry should make restitution to subscribers.

    This comment hasn’t been made as often as some of the others. The people who have made this comment clearly did not spend sufficient time to comprehend Henry’s notice. His notice to subscribers does state that he does not have the funds to make monetary refunds to the subscribers. BUT, and this is the important bit. He outlines four ways subscribers can receive product in lieu of money.

    Henry offers:

    ” *Equivalent value in paper copies of previous issues or the Table Top Teasers (issues 1-3 sold out, remainder subject to availability)
    *Equivalent value in PDF issues, either as downloads or on CD
    *Equivalent value in digital subscription if viable
    *You can, of course, decide to waive your outstanding subscription if you wish.”

    When a company, such as a limited liability corporation, folds it does not necessarily need to provide financial restitution to all creditors. There are certain rules to this, which I am no expert on, but my belief is that magazine subscribers would fall below financial institutions, printers, paper suppliers, etc. Eventually the money is gone and creditors need to take their fill from other holdings such as product and materials.

    Henry is trying to do the right thing by allowing subscribers to receive paper copies of past issues, digital copies, or a digital subscription if the magazine continues. Some people have said that Henry making restitution is “the principle” and not any need for the money they are out.

    The principle is that instead of saying “screw you” to subscribers Henry is instead making good by providing product. The alternative could very well be that Battlegames Ltd. doesn’t NEED to give ANYTHING to subscribers. I think Henry’s actions yet again prove him to be a gentleman of the highest degree with impeccable character and honor.

    If you’re a person who is all about “me me me” “take take take” then think of it this way. What is better? Getting NOTHING. Getting product.

    I applaud Henry for trying to do the right thing, for notifying customers of the problem and the reasons behind it, and for trying to work with subscribers to create a plan for the future.

    Battlegames Magazine is one of the best gaming magazines I have ever read. I am proud to be a subscriber. My hope is that it will continue as a digital subscription magazine, which I will gladly subscribe to.

    Maybe digital publications are not your thing. But, as Cort N. taught me this weekend we can always print out and staple the digital file if we really “need” to physically hold it. I’m happy enough reading Battlegames on a tablet computer or ereader.