Of course, much depends on how you define "house organ" magazines. Magazines with games in them--are they house organs? I suppose so. So both STRATEGY AND TACTICS and MOVES magazine were "house organs." FIRE AND MOVEMENT (before DG got it) was not. Once DG got it, it is. I guess.

Okay, my favorite CURRENT "house organ" magazine is AGAINST THE ODDS, followed by MMP's OPERATIONS. I read ATO cover to cover, to include the game rules, when I get it in the mail. I read nearly all of OPERATIONS when I get it in the mail as well. S&T, F&M, and others...I'll confess, I don't read cover to cover.

My favorite OLD "House Organ" magazine was--probably for purely nostalgic reasons--The Avalon Hill GENERAL magazine. I don't need to explain it. Those that agree understand why, those that don't never will, and I don't begrudge them.

Least favorite house organs. I can't remember the name of the magazine, but Terry Shrum of Fresno Gaming Associates put out a mag that was much like their games--graphically slick but pretty much devoid of meaningful content. Sigh. I think there was only two to three issues...

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FGA's magazine was 'Boardgame Journal'

One of the best independent magazines out there since it' was first published and still going strong is 'Paper Wars'

Yes F&M was the very Top contender for the Best of the Best but like Eric said,since Decision took it over it's more a house organ now.
I do miss Panzerfaust/Campaign. also Battleflag was nice. And even if 3W published it the old 'Battleplan" was a great magazine for nothing but variants & scenarios for all game companies .

Yes for the House Organ mag's 'The General,Moves,S&T and Wargamer vol 1 were at the top.
Volume 1 Wargamers had the better games and better inside reading hen they were based back in the UK,
One magazine that was a house organ was the UK 'The Phoenix' for SPI( SimPubs). an excellant magazine with there articles and scenarios/variants.

And ATO up there plus Panzer Digest and Operations. at least we have some choice to make for reading.Not as good as days gone by but good enough.
Since taking over editorship of F&M, the only thing that I hear from DG is "where's the next issue?" They have absolutely no input, nor have they tried to have any, in what content goes into the zine. Some recent issues have had no DG content whatsoever. We've also panned several of their games. So how F&M could still be perceived as a house organ after the last 4 years completely escapes me. They don't even include their Desert Fox ad in the mag anymore.
Jon, that's a very good point. I do remember raising my eyebrows on some F&M articles on DG titles--thinking, "wow...Doc let them publish this!" Which I think speaks well of the editorial integrity of the magazine (no, I'm not trying to butter you or Christopher or anyone else up). So we're back to that basic question--how do you define "house organ magazine?" Maybe F&M shouldn't fit under that label if it's defined as "promoting the publishing company's own games..."
I might also add that F&M is no longer just a review magazine. Less then half of the magazine pages are devoted to reviews now. These days it includes new scenarios, strategy, replays, designer commentary, industry news, previews of upcoming titles, etc. I've gone out of my way to make it a diverse and indispensable piece of wargaming equipment. I even completely changed the look of it to remove it entirely from the rest of the DG stable of publications.
I'm partial toward Against the Odds, as I develop the TPS line of games for their parent company. But is a magazine with a game in it, in which most of the editorial content is oriented around that game or history, really a "house organ" in the sense that Moves and The General defined the term?

Likewise, Fire & Movement was always a review magazine that often happened to be published by a game publisher.

Moves was good, but The General was always my favorite. Of all the defunct magazines of any type, it's probably the one that I miss the most, even over Command. There was something about that matte-finish paper and the in-depth treatments of games, many of which had already stood the test of time, that made one want to play enough to actually wear out components (which I did). The General did more than promote the sales of Avalon Hill games, it promoted their play.

Of the current ones, C3i is my favorite, and along with The General, Fire & Movement (especially its formative years) and the Canadian Wargamers Journal, it is a primary influence on Line of Departure. I've learned a lot from C3i, including how to put together a coherent mix of features rather than a hodgepodge of whatever fits. Plus, it gave me the idea of offering color supplements, though mine are downloads rather than slick high-grade products that GMT can produce.

My only major criticism of C3i is that we don't get enough of it.

Now if you want my LEAST favorite of all time, it's that dreck FGA put out. I too forget its name. The content was bad, and even the graphics were not up to FGA's usual standards. Say one thing about those guys, they could make a bad game look pretty, but I remember the scans in their magazine were horribly done.

Beavis and Butt-Head were right about one thing: You can't polish a turd. FGA proved the boys' corollary wrong though: It's not cool to try.
It's probably worth discriminating between magazines that have games in the them (like STRATEGY AND TACTICS, WORLD AT WAR, AGAINST THE ODDS) and those that don't (like FIRE AND MOVEMENT if we think it's really a "house organ"...and Jon makes a good argument that it probably shouldn't, OPERATIONS, C3I, and others). Yup, if I had to break them out like this, C3I would make the top of the "other" list for all the same reasons--additional components, cards, and the like, for GMT games. These extra scenarios and variants keep you playing their games again and again. The drawback--in addition to Jim Webaneth's comment that we never seem to get enough--is the price (well worth it, however) and that you really don't "subscribe"--you purchase each issue when it comes out. Sigh.
I thought one of their issues was decent and the one with the cover spoofing Monster games was funng. I'll make a PDF of it and put it up later....
I still miss Zone of Control - been rereading those for the past week.
Speaking of "House Organ" magazines, have any of you checked out ours called Frontline General News? It's mostly dedicated to previewing and supporting our games but I try to tie in the history behind those games and include some interviews with veterans, historical articles, etc. beyond just previews and examples. I've posted a link to the latest issue below, which features an interview with a WWII veteran Naval Officer. I'm interested to hear your comments on the content, format- anything.

Issue 12

After taking an extended break to have a son, finish the first release of the Frontline General series, and prepare for the now-past Gen Con, I'm working on a new issue to add a new free scenario for players of the game, give some insight into our Gen Con experience, and give a general idea of our plans for the future.


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