The New Model
By Mike Bennighof, Ph.D.
Publishing a magazine is really hard. Way harder than making books and games, which is pretty hard in its own right. Yet I always wanted Avalanche Press to have a magazine. That was a foolish desire, but over the years we’ve managed to splice together the good parts of publishing a magazine without taking on many of the negatives. We have our web magazine (Daily Content), and for Gold Club members we have the Golden Journal to deliver physical game parts, and we have Gold Club Premium Content to deliver bigger stuff via download. It’s a pretty sweet combination.
We’ve revised the Golden Journal to look more like a real magazine: it has a full-color cover, and sixteen pages of stuff inside, plus some real, silky-smooth die-cut playing pieces and/or a map or other game part.
It’s still free to the Gold Club, but only for a limited time. Then the price goes to $9.99. That encourages early adoption, but makes it possible for new members to get the old issues without our having to handle large orders for only free stuff (when you have to put it in a box, then it’s gotten too large). We won’t reprint them, but we will print plenty of them so no one will miss out.
There are no subscriptions; members do have to pay the shipping cost. The Golden Journal has no schedule: we publish one when I damn well feel like it. It’s not sold in any stores, and we’ve made these changes in part to make the Journal unprofitable for online discount vultures.
It’s still a lightweight little thing. But I think it’s the thing we make here that I enjoy the most, because it’s based solely on my own whim and what I think would be cool. After spending two decades running this firm to feed other peoples’ egos while driving myself into poverty, it’s about damned time I did something to feed my own.
As for the old-style Journals, we’ll bring back Sherman tanks, because too many who wanted it were left out (too many laser-cut pieces were defective). Otherwise, we may re-use some individual pieces but the people have spoken - they want new stuff!
Here’s what we’ve done:
Number 25: Land Battleships
Our first new-model Journal is all about the Soviet T-35 and Fire in the Steppe.
Number 26: Armored Cruisers
And our second has armored cruisers for Great War at Sea: Cruiser Warfare. Some “long” pieces for ships that appear on “small” pieces in the game, a few with adjusted values, and some ships that never existed but should have, because they look really cool.
And here’s what we’re planning to do. Pieces are printed, for release in the first half of 2019:
Number 27: Sherman Tanks
A reprise of the Moon Day Golden Journal, with more text but the same pieces (die-cut and silky-smooth this time). The first version had laser-cut pieces and we had to toss out a huge number of them for poor printing or cutting (curiously, almost none suffered from both). That meant that some who wanted them missed out, so we brought it back.
Number 28: British Carriers
The British Eastern Fleet gets a carrier force that can stand up to the Japanese First Air Fleet, so we can have some stand-up carrier battles in the Indian Ocean. Or try to; the Brits are still flying Fulmars and Albacores, and get to add some Skuas and Rocs. It’s an expansion for Eastern Fleet Second Edition, with some updated pieces, too.
Number 29: Ancient Armor
In the years just after the First World War, the United States Army took delivery of tanks ordered for the conflict but not ready in time to be shipped to France: the “Liberty” heavy tank and M1917 light tank, copies of British and French designs. In 1940 the tanks still existed in storage, and were offered to Canada for training use but eventually were scrapped and recycled. But you get to take them to Flanders and send them into action in this variant for Road to Dunkirk.
Number 30: Caspian Princes
It’s a tiny, but complete, Second Great War at Sea game tucked into the Golden Journal. Russian and Turkish flotillas and air forces battle for control of the Caspian Sea, with coast-defense ships and small destroyers. Everything you need to play (except dice) is included, which is pretty cool.
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Mike Bennighof is president of Avalanche Press and holds a doctorate in history from Emory University. A Fulbright Scholar and award-winning journalist, he has published over 100 books, games and articles on historical subjects.
He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, three children and his dog, Leopold.