Take a journey with us back to April 1975, when a small wargame club in Amarillo, Texas (led by Steve Cole) produced an award-winning magazine filled with articles, variants, and reviews. This issue continued the "new" production methods and standard started in JagdPanther #8. The cover was another World War II photo, and the magazine was again 11x17 paper folded and stapled into a book. Counters were still paper printed and "ready-to-mount" by wargamers seeking innovative new games and willing to glue their counters to whatever sheet of cardboard came to hand and cut them out with a stout pair of scissors. The typewritten pages were "justified" in the sense that extra spaces were manually inserted between the last two words of the issue, producing an undesirable effect. We did at least have a table of contents.
The cover said "Volume 3 Number 1" while the masthead said "JagdPanther 9 Volume 3" since Steve Cole did not figure out until years later that he had no idea how that worked in the real world.
The editorial discussed concerns by some readers that history articles were taking over the magazine. (Two or three out of 24 pages were history articles, usually by Steve Cole who had read 1,000 history books and wrote articles out of his head without checking anything. It was another age.)
This history article in this issue discussed the possibility of a war between the USSR and the Western Allies in the summer of 1945, or rather, the impossibility of such a war.
Short variant articles included a potential Kurdish rebellion in Iraq being shown in the WWIII or Iran-Iraq games, a potential war between Charlemagne and the Byzantine empires in 800AD, a variant to some unmentioned tactical game covering the Rohirrim intervention in the war between Gondor and Sauron, combat engineers in the game Kursk, new ace rules for Richthoffen's War, tactical nuclear weapons in WW2, a Soviet invasion of Spain (combining NATO game pieces and the Spanish Civil War map), a slide-rule combat results calculator for Waterloo, a Third Reich game in which Hitler had been French, corrections of inaccuracies in the game Bar-Lev, quick variants for the game Sinai, a system to portray panic in Panzer Armee Afrika, a game about the Donner Pass tragedy, US warships for the game Jutland, rules to randomly determine Italian loyalty in Anzio, PT boats for the game Midway, a Cambodia variant for the game Year of the Rat, a variant for Poland 1939 where the Poles could lay out their own defenses, Portuguese units in the game NATO, Kampfgruppe (remnant) units in Africa Korps, Arab aircraft in Foxbat & Phantom, a variant for Year of the Rat showing the final collapse of South Vietnam, pari-mutuel betting in Panzerblitz (buy your units, then split up the pot based on what survives), rules to link the Goetterdaemerung game in the issue with War In the East (the maps lined up), and some random notes about games by Rand Games.
Major articles included a system for random event cards for use in almost any game, a variant of the Spanish Civil War game covering a potential uprising against Franco in 1940, revisions for Third Reich (including German amphibious units, ways to bet money on the game, German and Italian and Russian paratrooper units, and the London Blitz), a review and analysis of El Alamein, ways to combine the Goetterdaemerung map in the issue with France 1940 to allow the French to invade Germany first, more new ships for the game CA, a major revision to the game War in the East, rules to realistically limit Russian artillery in Panzerblitz, a new empire for Starforce Alpha Centauri, a review and revision of the game Wolfpack, and a variant for Turning Point.
The big draw of the issue was the complete game Goetterdaemmerung. (One feature of the game seemed to be how many different ways could be found to spell the title.) This game largely used the War in the East game system with a map that connected perfectly along the mutual edges. The game included paper counters, a 14×22 map of Germany, and four pages of rules.
This was to be the last issue of the Bronze Age of JagdPanther. The next issue would finally see the arrival of color covers and die-cut counters.
Written by Stephen Cole