Thursday, March 14, 2013

SPI's Ares Magazine 01 World Wrecker Review And Commentary - Free PDF Download

SPI was the bread and butter of science fiction war gaming back in the early 80's and Ares magazine was their their house organ. It had one very unique feature as well as the usual great articles. A war game in each and every issue. Times change and the company went belly up. The war games served two fold purposes to my friends and their DM. They were played and then turned into one shot adventures. The magazine was acquired by TSR and slotted into Dragon but it wasn't ever quite the same. The Ares section was fantastic but the magazine was all together another level of production.

 History of Ares 
Ares was a science fiction wargame magazine published by Simulations Publications, Inc.(SPI), and then TSR, Inc., between 1980 and 1984. In addition to the articles, each issue contained a wargame, complete with a foldout stiff paper map, a set of cardboard counters, and the rules.
There were a total of seventeen issues printed, plus two special issues. The SPI company published the first eleven bimonthly issues (and had prepared a twelfth) before financial difficulties led to the company being bought out by TSR in 1982. A further six issues, published quarterly, were put out by TSR and then publication of the magazine was ceased. However, the Ares legacy lived on for another couple of years; a large new section called the Ares Section was added to Dragon magazine starting with issue #84 (April 1984) and was treated as almost a magazine within a magazine. This special section provided support for science fantasy and superhero roleplaying games such as Gamma WorldMarvel Super Heroes and Star Frontiers. The Ares Section ran through Dragon issue #111 (July 1986) after which it too was discontinued.

Now The Internet Archive has some of the magazines available for download including the very first issue!  It includes some very interesting articles and World Wrecker game. SPI was my go to source for many science fiction war games and the state of sci fi back in the 80's. I'll be going over the Ares Collection ( what's there one issue at a time).
Here are the contents for issue number one. 
 Books (Greg Costikyan); Dragon...Ghost (M. Lucie Chin); Film & Television (S. Bukatman & Mike Moore); Games (Eric Goldberg & others); Gangsters (Henrik Nordlie (pseud. Redmond Simonsen)); Media (Howard Barasch); No, You're Not Going to the Stars (John Boardman); WorldKiller Storyboard (Redmond Simonsen).

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