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Yaah! Magazine is back with eighty splendiferous full-color pages dedicated to the games you love. With issue number six, editor Tom Russell and his merry band of writers have put together a number of features on an eclectic variety of titles, each illustrated with handsome photographs, and anchored by stylish, one-of-a-kind layout by our esteemed art director Guillaume Ries. We here at the Pig like to think that Yaah! is one of the best-looking mags on the hobby market.
And not to toot our own horn too much, but we'd like to think we're the best-written gaming mag going. Stylish prose and keen insight results in reading that gives you plenty to think about while being a pleasure to read. More than rules summaries or mere reviews, each article relates the experience of playing the game, from sweaty-palmed tension to squeals and peels of surprise and delight. And nowhere is that sheer, splendid quality more on display than in our sixth issue, which is brimming with a number of great articles.
Regular contributor Matt Foster explains the appeal of the venerable Panzer Grenadier, imparting a nuanced understanding of what makes his favorite game tick. The folks at Avalanche Press were kind enough to design a PG scenario especially for us, and Matt was kind enough to give a whirl, delivering a nice juicy AAR on top of it. Matt's passion for the game, and inimitable wit, comes through with every sentence. Passion, style, and humor also abound, as usual, in Ania B. Ziolkowska's piece, an epic ode to Stronghold 2nd Edition, the revamped fantasy best-seller that's proving to be even more popular the second time around.
Naval gamer Norm Lunde, who contributed to our fourth ish, returns to our pages with a piece on Osprey's deluxe sub/anti-sub game, They Come Unseen. Alexey Beznin, who we last saw in number two, delves deeply but concisely into last year's insta-hit Waterloo 200. This issue also sees the return of Brad Smith and John Burtt, who each contribute one-half of a thoughtful and absorbing diptych on GMT's Next War series. Brad Smith also writes a particularly insightful piece for our Set-Up section about the use of nuclear weapons in wargames. Regular contributor and all-around nice guy Roger Leroux highlights the distinct pleasures of Cole Wehrle's "Great Game" game, Pax Pamir. Mr. Wehrle himself gets into the act with a wondrous piece on the long-awaited The US Civil War. It's a breathtakingly thoughtful and ambitious piece that grapples with the game, its drawbacks, and its ultimate success, while putting it in the wider context of games on the topic, and even wargaming itself.
And of course Ye Olde Editor does his part, too, with a piece on the hot solitaire deck-builder Airborne Commander, and an interview with Flying Pig's own mad genius, Game Designer, Publisher, and Sucker Punch Super-Fan Extraordinaire, Mark Holt Walker.
So, lots of good stuff, and that's before we even get to the scenarios section, where, true to form, we have a little something for everyone. You a Combat Commander fan? Boom, here's a scenario that pits Co-Belligerent Italians against the SS. You like Panzer Grenadier? Boom, here's "Riding Shotgun", which our own Matt Foster described as "an excellent scenario for gaining a practical education in assault combat". Did you ever wonder if, like peanut butter and jelly, or pretzels and horseradish, if In The Trenches and Sticks & Stones went together? Boom, Mark Walker has you covered. Did you just get your copy of Flying Pig's Night of Man? Boom, see if the outnumbered humans can hold the "Hot Gates" against waves of alien armor. Are you still playing last issue's game, Shadows in the Weald? Then, verily, I doth say to thee, "Boom!", here's a three-scenario mini-expansion that introduces a tricky new Hero and a new Hireling type.
Then there's this issue's game. Designer Arrigo Velicogna's Lion of Malaya finds a motley assortment of Indians, Australians, and Brits trying to hold Singapore and Malaya against the Imperial Japanese war machine. Clever fatigue rules simulate the mounting exhaustion and dread. Nuanced air rules-- that's right, baby!, Air rules!-- and the assignment of tank and anti-tank assets deftly emphasizes their importance in modern warfare. The Commonwealth is in a desperate situation, but the game's just as tough for the Japanese, who must win a total victory, or no victory at all.