display | more...

Strategy & Tactics (S&T) is one of the major wargaming magazines. It recently reached its 210th issue, and has been published for more than 36 years.

In 1964, Avalon Hill began publishing their house organ, The General. This showed a market existed, and S&T was launched by Chris Wagner in 1967. He was unable to get more than a thousand subscribers, and went bankrupt in mid-1969.

At the same time, James F. Dunnigan and the gang at Simulations Publications, Inc (SPI) were looking to break out. During the 60s, Avalon Hill followed a careful strategy of releasing two (that's 2, as in one two) new games each year. They didn't want to flood the market, after all. (That's not really fair; they had an institutional fear of overexpansion brought on by earlier disasters.) So just when SPI was all set to advertise like crazy, their advertising channel evaporated!

Dunnigan brought in Redmond A. Simonsen to do graphic art design, and the rest is history. For the next 12 years and 70 issues, every issue of S&T shipped with a complete wargame. Many were designed by Dunnigan. Most were influenced, in one way or another, by RAS. In fact, between 1970 and 1980, most graphical genre conventions, from the layout of a gaming magazine, to what the cardboard chits looked like, to how to represent terrain on maps, came from the mind of RAS.

The rising tide lifted all ships, too. AH found their sales doubling, and doubling again, over the next decade. The SPI method of producing dozens (literally) of games each year, and the success of S&T, spawned a host of other gaming companies. Metagaming and their magazine The Space Gamer. Decision Games and Fire & Movement. The Chaosium and Wyrms Footnotes. World Wide Gamers (3W) and The Wargamer. TSR and The Dragon.

What happened next? It depends on who you ask. Dunnigan writes that he left around 1980 to "pursue other interests". Others say he was not able to manage as large a business as SPI had become. Whatever the causes, SPI was losing money and was in dire straits by 1982. Via a murky set of transactions briefly discussed in SPI Died For Your Sins, TSR ended up owning S&T.

Since TSR was in the D&D business, they didn't quite know what to make of board games. After a few years, they sold the magazine to Keith Poulter and 3W. 3W dropped their own house magazine, The Wargamer, and kept up the S&T tradition of putting a game in every issue.

Unfortunately, the games weren't very good. In an attempt to raise sales, they brought back Dunnigan as editor. It worked; I was one of many who re-subscribed during his 18 month tenure. After Dunnigan left, Poulter sold the magazine to Decision Games.

The list of publishers is:
1967-1969 issues 1-18
Product Analysis Corp
1969 - 1982 issues 19-89
Simulations Publications, Inc (SPI)
1982 - 1988 issues 90-110
TSR
1988 - 1991 issues 111-139
World Wide Games (3W)
1991+ issues 140+
Decision Games

S&T is still being published by Decision Games. They are graciously hosting a comprehensive index of not only articles and games, but also errata for the entire magazine's run!

Sources:
http://grognard.com/st.html (Grognard history of S&T)
The Complete Wargames Handbook by James F. Dunnigan, 1997
http://www.decisiongames.com/mags/st.htm


Below is a comprehensive list of all games published in Strategy & Tactics by the publisher Simulations Publications, Inc. During the 1970s, James F. Dunnigan and Redmond A. Simonsen changed the face of board gaming as they published a complete game every two months.

The list below can be used (eventually, as I or others write them), to find short commentaries and reviews of the games. While a few exceptional games (like Panzergruppe Guderian) command high prices, most can be bought on eBay for less than $10. Some real turkeys (like South Africa) can go for much less.


A "." after the issue number means that a short review has been linked in.

Issue Game
19    Blitzkrieg Module System
20    Bastogne (I) & Anzio Beachhead
21    Chicago, Chicago and Flight of the Goeben
22    Tactical Game 14 (aka Renaissance of Infantry) and Panzerblitz Minigame
23    T-34
24    Battle of Moscow
25    Centurion (Tactical Game 13)
26    Grunt
27    The Battle for France
28    Lost Battles
29    USN
30    Combat Command
31    Flying Circus
32    Borodino
33    Winter War
34    Armageddon
35    The Year of the Rat
36    Destruction of Army Group Center
37    Scrimmage
38    CA
39    The Fall of Rome
40    PanzerArmee Afrika
41    Kampfpanzer
42    The East is Red
43    The American Civil War
44    Tank!
45.   Operation Olympic
46    Combined Arms
47    Wolfpack
48    Sixth Fleet
49    Frederick the Great
50.   Battle for Germany
51    World War I
52    Oil War
53    The Punic Wars
54    Dixie
55.   Breitenfeld
56    Revolt in the East
57    PanzerGruppe Guderian
58    Conquistador
59.   Plot to Assassinate Hitler
60.   Road to Richmond
61    October War
62.   South Africa
63    Veracruz
64    Raid!
65    Cobra
66    The Siege of Constantinople
67    Stonewall
68    Kharkov
69    Tannenberg
70    The Crusades
71    The Battle for Cassino
72    Armada
73    Panzer Battles
74    Ney vs. Wellington
75    Napoleon's Art of War
76    The China War
77    Paratroop (incl. Eben Emael, Crete, and Red Devils)
78    Patton's Third Army
79    Berlin '85: The Enemy at the Gates
80    Wilson's Creek
81    Tito
82    5th Corps
83    The Kaiser's Battle
84    Operation Grenade
85    Fighting Sail
86    Cedar Mountain
87    Desert Fox
88    BAOR
89    Sicily
90    The Battle of Monmouth

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.