$10.00
An old wargamer tripping, slipping and stumbling, down Memory Lane
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Recommend
246 
 Thumb up
10.62
 tip
 Hide
My first Geeklist and I have a hunch, my last. When I started this about ten months ago it wasn’t intended to be anything other than an exercise to improve my memory. I would usually just fiddle with it in the morning over a cup of coffee. In the end, I don’t think it helped my memory process too much but I was surprised at how much I was able to recall from so long ago. But it didn’t seem to do a thing for my short term memory. So while I may remember some game I played 45 years ago, don’t ask me what I had for supper last night, I haven’t a clue.

When this little saga was finished, I thought perhaps a few older gamers might also enjoy having their memories jarred. I’m sure my journey is very similar to most wargamers in my age group so please don’t expect anything earth-shattering here. I have also tried to include a bit of the history of wargames. If some of you older wargamers think I got something wrong, feel free to correct me. The thing for younger readers to bear in mind is that everything that came out back then was virtually new.

Feel free to add anything to this list from your own wargame Memory Lane. I’m sure that your story is probably more interesting than mine and I would definitely be interested in hearing it and I’m sure others would be also.

This list is humbly dedicated to the companies and designers named herein.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: hex [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
26. Board Game: Wacht am Rhein [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:3476]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1977. My interest in the Bulge got a huge boost when this game was published. A four map monster at the battalion level. All setup, it was a very impressive sight. But despite the size, it was not an overwhelming game. The monster games of this period retained a high degree of playability.

I was more than halfway through my second game of WaR when the next game on this list made its appearance. I took Wacht Am Rhein down and although I had enjoyed playing it, it was never seen on my table again.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
27. Board Game: Battles for the Ardennes [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:2209]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1978. Seeing a good thing in Napoleon's Last Battles, SPI came out with another quad game that could be linked into a campaign game. This time it included two campaign games, 1940 and 1944. Battles for the Ardennes was designed by Danny ‘Mr. Bulge’ Parker. Parker has designed several Bulge games published by various companies. My AH Bulge game was now permanently retired. BftA was now my Bulge game of choice and it still is today. I never played any of the quads individually. As with Napoleon’s Last Battles, it was the campaign game I wanted. BftA is an elegant game that delivers both good history and good gaming.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
28. Board Game: Stonewall: The Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862 [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:4653]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1978 (continued). Back in 1976, I had met a guy named Roy Massey who became a very good friend. He learned I was a wargamer and expressed an interest in playing. Stonewall was a smaller one map S&T game that used the Terrible Swift Sword system and since I was really into TSS at this time, I thought I’d try it with him. Bad idea. A good game but way over poor Roy’s head.

Any wargamer who has played with enough people has probably run into someone like Roy; great guy, eager and willing but couldn’t wargame to save his soul. But he kept trying!
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
29. Board Game: Napoleon at Bay: The Campaign in France [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2900]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1978 (continued). In 1978 I attended my first Origins convention in Ann Arbor, MI. That was a revelation! Just walking through the dealer’s room was a wargamer’s high. I seemed to buy many games by small publishers. Back then they were usually referred to as Third World publishers. There was no DTP and publishing a game back then was no mean feat; those guys had guts and drive. Some gamers claimed these small companies would be the salvation of the hobby. I never quite figured out just what I was going to be saved from though.

One of these new Third World publishers was Kevin Zucker who had left SPI and started Tactical Studies Group, which debuted at Origins in 1978 with Napoleon at Bay. Of course I had to have it. Zucker soon after changed the name of his company to Operational Studies Group and while it has been on/off a couple of times, he is still in business as of now and publishing exclusively Napoleonic games.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
30. Board Game: Napoleon at Leipzig [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:2106]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1979. Yet another game that was a favorite then and still is today. I attended the Origins convention that year at West Chester, PA and I bought this game from the designer, Kevin Zucker. I told him that I had been waiting for Napoleon at Leipzig for two long years. He laughed and asked his partner Jay Nelson if they had been working on it for that long. I reminded him that he had proposed it in the S&T feedback two years before. “Oh yeah”, he said. “I forgot about that.” Apparently his memory was as bad back then as mine is now.

On the way back from the convention I made my first visit to Gettysburg. That sealed the deal and the Civil War was now a strong rival for my time and interest in Napoleonic history. Terrible Swift Sword was the inspiration for that visit.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
31. Board Game: Ney vs. Wellington [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2903]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1979 (continued). SPI’s monster Waterloo game Wellington’s Victory was great but I was running out of time and room for games of that size. Ney vs. Wellington was an S&T game designed by Joe Balkoski. It offered the WV system on a manageable scale and I think actually improved on the original. It is still a favorite that I break out quite often. I always hoped SPI would do more, smaller Napoleonic games that employed this system but it was not to be.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
32. Board Game: Pickett's Charge [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:5666]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1980. Yaquinto was a new company that had popped up at Origins in 1979. Founded by Steven Peek and Craig Taylor of Battleline fame, they had a good run and produced many quality games until folding in 1983. I had bought two of their Napoleonic games the previous year and I bought their brigade level Gettysburg game at Origins in 1980, which was again held in West Chester, PA.

Once again on my way home I stopped at Gettysburg. The Civil War bug was burrowing deeper and deeper.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
33. Board Game: The Alamo [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:7592]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1981. This was the last game I bought from SPI before they went under. I have been fascinated by the Alamo since I was a kid having grown up during the Disney Crockett craze. Yeah, I had a coonskin cap and a fringed jacket! I had also seen John Wayne’s The Alamo in the theater in 1960. This game delivered everything I wanted in an Alamo game and is still a favorite. The game's designer, Eric Lee Smith, did a good job with a difficult subject to simulate. But you probably need to be an Alamo buff to like any Alamo game.

I played this game a lot solo but I also played it with my friend Roy Massey. I thought, surely, Roy can win this game as the Mexicans and even if he didn’t win, he would at least have the satisfaction of killing all of my Texans. Not. In one game I blew his Mexicans off the walls and he didn’t even make it into the compound. Poor Roy.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
34. Board Game: A House Divided [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:622]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1981 (continued). Finally deciding that my good friend Roy Massey was significantly and permanently ‘wargame challenged’ I picked up a copy of GDW’s A House Divided specifically to play with him. I thought the game’s simplicity would allow him to have at least a chance at winning. Wrong again.

I didn’t expect to like this game. I thought the abstraction would be a turn-off. Surprisingly, it was fun and a very good game. Remembering the game, I recently picked up a 2nd edition copy to play with my wife. She does much better than Roy did.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
35. Board Game: Gettysburg: High Tide of the Confederacy [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1982. I picked up this neat little Gettysburg game at the Origins convention in Baltimore. I never could resist any Gettysburg game back then. This was a nice brigade level game by a new company, Phoenix Enterprises. They produced, I think, about five games and lasted only about a year.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Now I was wondering if these Third World publishers really were going to save the hobby because SPI was now gone. I had been mostly an SPI gamer for seven years and an era was over. I felt lost as a wargamer. For those old enough to remember, in the ‘60’s you were either a Beatles fan or a Stones fan. Oh, you listened to both groups but you were usually a big fan of one or the other. I was a Stones fan. Wargaming was a lot like that with Avalon Hill and SPI. You probably played games by both companies but usually one of them was clearly your favorite. I was an SPI fan.

If SPI had survived, would it look like Keith Richards does today?

When I left Baltimore I headed down through Virginia and toured Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and then into Maryland and toured Antietam. I ended up at…you guessed it, Gettysburg.

Poor Nappy was being moved to the back of my wargaming bus.
23 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
37. Board Game: The Civil War [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:574]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1983-87. In 1983 our paper ran a story about a guy who had just opened a game shop locally and he was selling wargames. I didn’t think he would last but I thought if I was buying games anyway, I might as well support him. I went into the shop to look around and met him. He had been a wargamer for several years and I learned that he also had a business partner who was a relative newcomer to the hobby. I invited them to my house for a game of TSS. They mentioned another gamer they knew who, coincidentally, lived in the subdivision directly behind mine.

The four of us played the first day’s battle of TSS and over the course of the next few months several other games. I then bought Victory Games The Civil War. I had now come full circle as VG was a subsidiary of Avalon Hill and was made up of ex-SPI designers who had jumped ship when TSR took over SPI. Victory Games had started up in 1982 and was a class act wargame company in every way with some very talented designers. The Civil War is another example of a game that if the designer, Eric Lee Smith, had done nothing else, he would have still earned a place in a Wargame Hall of Fame.

The Civil War has a fairly steep learning curve and as I was the host and the guy who owned the games it was my job to teach them. A couple of these guys were young and hadn’t been gaming long but they wanted to play the game so I studied the rules and over the course of the next three years we played The Civil War several times. They also liked Battles for the Ardennes but didn’t have much of a taste for anything Napoleonic. Worse luck for me but I never pushed anything on them. Beyond making suggestions, I always let them decide what we played.

Occasionally, my friend Roy Massey showed up and we gamed through 1986 and I believe, into 1987. Then over the course of about six months, Roy passed away and all the others moved out of town. Although Roy has been gone for over 23 years now I still find myself often thinking of him. Roy may have been a hopeless wargamer but he was a great friend.

I was now a solo gamer again. But not for long.
42 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
38. Board Game: Origins [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1988. For whatever reason, I can’t honestly recall now, I decided it was time to quit wargaming. In 1985 I had founded a Civil War Round Table which I originally thought would only last three years but it was still going strong and taking up a lot of my free time and free time was at a premium. I was gaming less and less.

It had been 24 years since I had first played Tactics II. I was now age 36 and 24 years was 2/3 of my life. I owned about 175 games, I had sold some at previous Origins conventions, and I now decided to dump most of them. I kept a dozen games that I couldn’t seem to part with and shipped the other 160+ games off to the Origins convention auction in Milwaukee.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
39. Board Game: In their Quiet Fields II [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:2857]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
1988 (continued). I was done wargaming. Or was I? I had driven to Milwaukee on the Saturday of the Origins convention as a sort of ‘Last Hurrah’ to wargaming and to see how my games were selling. While there, I wandered through the dealer’s area and saw a table set up by a new company called The Gamers; they were hawking their first game, In Their Quiet Fields. It was Antietam so I was naturally curious. I suppose the guy at the table trying to sell me the game was the designer, Dean Essig. And he succeeded. Why? I was only here to get rid of games, not to buy any more. Was wargaming some sort of addiction like alcoholism?

It went in the closet with the other dozen I had kept. Now I had a baker’s dozen. They sat in the closet for well over a decade.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
40. Board Game: Computerama [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I bought a computer in 1993 and tried some PC wargames. Some of them were satisfying, others not. But I soon discovered that with every computer upgrade, any games I did like were now unplayable. Well that just sucked. None of my board games had ever been made unplayable.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
41. Board Game: eBay: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:9776]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
2000. In 2000 my wife signed up to eBay. I was sure I didn’t want any part of it. After resisting for a few months I finally went into the site. I don’t know why, but I looked up wargames. And there they were, all the games of my youth! Okay, I got nostalgic. You get like that after a certain age and I was at that age. So I bought a few. And then I bought a few more. With some I asked, "Why did I ever sell this?" With others I asked, "Why did I ever buy this back?" Memory can play strange tricks.
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
42. Board Game: There and Back Again [Average Rating:5.57 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
2001-Present. So I was back. Well, sort of. Is it just like it was ‘back then’? No, I’m not the same. I’m older. I suppose I’m more of a regressing wargamer now. In the ‘70’s and ‘80’s I wanted to keep ramping up the size and complexity, now I want to ramp it down. My monster game days are pretty much over. Now the only one I own and play is TSS. I have a problem now remembering rules and maintaining the mental concentration more complex games require.

Also, gone are the days where I desire to own 200 games. I’m no longer that young, obsessed wargamer. I’ve become a minimalist in most things, wargames included. I’d like to only own about 25-30 that I actually play and I’m almost down to that now.

My wife is also a history buff and likes wargames but so far just smaller, quicker ones as she has MS and can’t really handle gaming much over two hours. So, many of the games I now own are geared to what she enjoys playing. Otherwise, I play solo at my own pace. Before, I would read about whatever I was gaming. Now I game about whatever I am reading. It sounds the same but it isn’t.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
43. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:620]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I soon discovered wargames had changed since I had left in 1988. Some game called We the People seemed to have changed everything. Now there were blocks, cards and area movement games.

But none of these looked solitaire friendly so I continued playing the older games I already knew. Besides, I don’t always do well with new game concepts any longer and I had no reason or incentive to try anything new.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
44. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:259]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
But then I suddenly needed some smaller, quicker games to play with my wife. After inquiring here on BGG about CDG’s, I received many helpful comments and purchased Washington’s War and Richard III. The former came highly recommended and the latter is my wife’s favorite historical period.

So this old hex and counter, curmudgeonly gamer has dipped his toes into 21st century wargaming. Though not without some kicking and screaming.
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
45. Board Game: Thanks a Million! [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bradley
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Well, this certainly got longer than expected. Does this rambling tale have any point at all? I suppose the point is that like many here, wargames in many ways changed the direction of my life. First, AH’s Waterloo, SPI’s Napoleon at War, Napoleon’s Last Battles and Wellington’s Victory inspired me with an interest in Napoleonic history that endures to this day. SPI’s Terrible Swift Sword did the same for Gettysburg and the Civil War. VG’s The Civil War expanded my interest in that period. I went on to form a Civil War Round Table and was very active in ACW history for a decade.

I’m sure for many of you, some games were the same as mine and probably others were different. But it doesn’t really matter which games, the point is the effect that they had on our lives and the occasionally unexpected direction that they took us in.

So thanks to all those great companies and game designers. In addition to the game designers mentioned above, I’d like to add Redmond Simonsen, Mark Herman, and Irad Hardy and the many others that I have unintentionally omitted. Thanks for the countless hours I spent wargaming and thanks for the memories! At least while I can still remember them!

PS. And a very special thanks to my older cousin Mike Palermo, who first introduced me to wargames and who was like a mentor to me in more than just this. Sadly, he is no longer with us.
29 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
46. Board Game: Panzergruppe Guderian [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1213]
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
mbmbmbmbmb
Remember when this game first arrived in STRATEGY AND TACTICS? Oooh, a Russian Front game, you'd think. Oooh, it's on a battle I don't know much about, you'd think. You'd sit down with your favorite wargaming buddy after reading the rules and strap in for the ride of your life!

How long did it take us to figure out how to play the damn thing? The rules weren't hard--it was learning to grok the situation...basically an operational-level meeting engagement...both sides wondering what the hell do I do now??? Great asymmetry in both sides with a minimum of rules and chrome.

Inspired so many follow-on games. Still an awesome game to play, even after nearly 40 years. Definitely an SPI "classic"--and a magazine game at that!
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
47. Board Game: Richthofen's War [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:4335]
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
mbmbmbmbmb
After starting with Midway, my parents got me this game with a few others for my birthday and for Christmas. I remember opening the box to this and just marveling at the map--how super realistic it seemed to me back then (and still does). It looked like a color photograph!

But then there were the pieces and the cool folder that described all the aircraft that you could fly in the game. Of course, who could resist those red German counters that were in Richthofen's "Flying Circus?"

We played this game again and again, nearly wearing out the counters. It didn't take long for some of the "gamey-ness" to be discovered (which Richthofen's War Maneuver Cards neatly solved!) and I remember a few abortive attempts to play the campaign game. It was only until the advent of Wings by Yaquinto that finally got me to give up this title. But I'd had quite a run with it.

We even made up our own Snoopy's "Dog-House" counter (it performed like a Sopwith Camel) and took to the skies with that sometimes....
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
48. Board Game: Tobruk: Tank Battles in North Africa 1942 [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2796]
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
mbmbmbmbmb
It must have been 1975 as this game first was advertised as an ultra-realistic tactical game of desert armored warfare. I do remember how much it cost--$12.00! As much as Rise and Decline of the Third Reich! All the other bookcase style games were $10.00, so this had to be oh-so-cool and worth the extra two bucks. So I eagerly mailed in my money and awaited the game. Oh boy-oh-boy, wait'll the guys see this! PanzerBlitz and even Panzer Leader will be NOTHING compared to this!

My buddy got a first edition (with really dark brown Germans and light green Italians, if I remember correctly. It took me a while to save up as I wanted a subscription to STRATEGY AND TACTICS first (I'd just subscribed to THE GENERAL and that put me out some bucks)--when I finally got my copy of the game, it was the revised edition with the light grey Germans and the yellow Italians. That was the better edition. But those with the earlier counters felt like they had more gonzo/mojo playing with them. Whatever.

Well, I confess that when I got the game, I was dazzled by the charts and tables even before I got that far into the system. I'd never played miniatures games before, so those routines were all new to me. Indeed, the whole miniatures philosophy was new to me. But here it all was, in a board game format. I got over the completely featureless map and set up the first scenario with a friend. Nine GRANT tanks versus what seemed to be hordes of German armor. And despite all the dice-rolling, we were hooked.

We played all the scenarios, even though the infantry rosters and added rules (to say NOTHING of all that DICE ROLLING) slowed things down considerably. It just FELT so REALISTIC! So we'd take all of a long day to play, and it was worth it. But it was definitely a mechanistic approach to warfare and we soon tired of the scenarios after playing them so much. AH advertised TOBRUK-ARNHEM in the pages of their magazine, THE GENERAL and we couldn't wait for that! TERRAIN! Real TERRAIN!

Then, along came Starship Troopers and after that came the venerable purple box Squad Leader and we never went back to this game ever again.

Still have my beat up copy and even a pristine one in the shrink. Can't give them up, even though I'll never play them!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
49. Board Game: Air Force [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2500]
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
mbmbmbmbmb
While many remember the Avalon Hill version of the game, I'm referring to the earlier Battleline edition. The one that came with those double-thick counters and jelly trays to put them in. That one.

This game rocked my world when it came out. For one thing, it was a bit more difficult to learn how to fly the aircraft compared to my experiences with Richthofen's War. The solitaire scenario where you flew against V-1 "buzz bombs" in order to shoot them down was a great starting point. But soon we were taking to the air, single aircraft versus single aircraft, peppering each other with our machine guns. Soon we were doing two ships versus two ships and learning something about air combat maneuvering.

The game did a great job at highlighting the differences between aircraft and letting you develop tactics that you could draw out of your historical readings.

It wasn't long before we had to introduce bomber formations into the game, but these seemed a bit less satisfying than the straight up dogfights. Bomber formations seemed pretty strong; fighters got shot out of the sky pretty frequently in our games.

I never got the old Battleline Dauntless and the Air Force Dauntless Expansion Kit expansion kit as my friends had them when I went to college. That was too bad--I should have gotten them when I had the chance. Of course, when AH produced their versions of Air Force and Dauntless I got and played those, but--alas--no expansion kit ever was forthcoming. And the AH version game boards just didn't jazz me...and the charts--while colorful--seemed harder to use. But some of the fixes to the game system were welcome and we kept playing these for quite some time. Indeed, it was only until the Fighting Wings series came out that I finally stopped playing these games for good.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
50. Board Game: Sniper! (first edition) [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:4021]
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
mbmbmbmbmb
This was one of those games you just never got tired of playing in college, usually because beer was involved and it was fun to relate to those poor dogfaces on the map. The game also lent itself to all sorts of modifications and was good to introduce new guys to wargaming with. The rules were pretty easy to understand and we had raucous times hosing soldiers down who were caught "preparing a grenade" under the muzzles of our guns. But most of all, we'd generate our own scenarios and pieces.

Typically we'd do multi-player games. One favorite way to play was having two players be the Germans defending the "Hofbrau Haus" in the middle of the urban board with a counter representing a keg of the Nazi's finest brew and two reinforced fire teams. Two players started on the east side of the map with a reinforced fireteam each of Soviets, two players on the west side with a fireteam each of Americans. The goal was for one of the Allied players to capture the keg counter and haul it off to their side of the board within the time limit. Soviets could not shoot at the U.S. and vice-versa. But if the keg wasn't taken off the board by the time limit, then the Germans won.

We added all sorts of variants and generally messed around a lot with the system, but there were those times when we'd do straight up military-style engagements in the more traditional scenarios, even with those whacky trapezoid vehicles.

TSR/SPI did a great job in updating this game (and its brother Patrol!), refining the system and adding in all sorts of features that made the play experience both more realistic and more fun. But I'll always remember those beer-soaked games back in the dorms with the SPI original!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Prev «  1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.