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Subject: Donald Benge died in accident rss

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Just got the news about the tragic death of Donald Benge (Conquest). His car got hit on Wednesday, 4th. by a drunken driver.
Damn it!

I am lost for words and offer my condolences to his familiy and friends.

From KNBC:

LOS ANGELES -- A 73-year-old man Valencia died Friday in a head-on crash on the eastbound Ventura (134) Freeway in the Eagle Rock area, and the wrong-way driver was in custody on suspicion of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter, authorities said.

The collision occurred just east of the Glendale (2) Freeway around 4:30 a.m., shutting down all eastbound lanes for several hours, said California Highway Patrol Officer John Seumanutafa.

According to the accident report, patrolling CHP officers spotted the driver of a Honda Element -- a 32-year-old Burbank man -- speeding about 85 mph westbound on the eastbound 134.

The officers, who were eastbound in their patrol car, noticed the approaching vehicle's headlights and swerved to the right to avoid a head-on collision, the report states.

As the wrong-way vehicle passed the patrol car, it collided head-on with a 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier, killing the driver.

The driver of the Honda was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena for treatment of minor injuries and was expected to be booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, Seumanutafa said.
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Bill the Pill
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What a drag. He was a really nice, albeit stoic, man.
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A tribute page has been set up by his fencing friends:

http://www.swordplaystudios.com/press/benge.html
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John Di Ponio
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Ya know....it always sucks when someone is killed due to someone elses complete negligence!!!
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It's so strange...

Yesterday, my shipping assistant was going through my personal collection and brought a game to me to ask how it was...the game was Conquest.

I had forgotten I even had it (ok, I've forgotten *most* of the games I have), but it's a game that has never received any attention from me before, and I've owned it for several years.

Then I read this and saw that this was the designer of said game, and it was a little freaky.

Needless to say, this is very sad news. And yes, the fact that it happened through no fault of his own makes it even more tragic. And it makes me grateful every day that my family is safe and with me.

Our best to his family and friends during this very sad time.

Tom
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Bill Gallagher
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Donald Benge will be missed by the gaming community. He was a regular at Los Angeles-area conventions, demonstrating and teaching both the two-player and four-player versions of Conquest.

My condolences go out as well to his family and friends.
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Brian Morris
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The second notable death at the hands of a drunk driver in recent days. Bob Clark who directed the classic film A Christmas Story along with his son were killed by a drunk driver last week.
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Rich S
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I hope that dude is charged with murder and not manslaughter. Everyone knows the dangers of drunk driving and he obviously ignored them. Turds like him should be thrown onto a desert island and left to rot for the rest of their lives.
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Barry Kendall
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Sad news. I bought my copy of "Conquest" after the designer demoed it with me. His intensity and focus impressed me; he struck me as a man who did not suffer fools gladly but who was also eager to introduce people to his game, not for commercial reasons but because he sincerely believed it to be a solid mental challenge.

Another gifted designer whose life was taken away by a drunk driver was Jim Murphy of Command Perspectives, who designed excellent regimental-level games on Sharpsburg and Second Manassas and who was working on a regimental-level Gettysburg design at the time he died.

When I think how a simple ignition control system could prevent these needless deaths for less than a hundred dollars per vehicle, I marvel at how cheaply human life is held in this self-indulgent society.
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Robert Wesley
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Yes, that is quite unnecessary for many instances, where those responsible for causing the misery of any others, are let OFF with some lesser sentencing. These sorts of people ought to just be SHOT and left as "carrion, to serve a more useful 'purpose'! Anyone that is caught the 1st time, should be granted SOME leniency, but STILL have a "penalty" assessed. After that, there's NO "excuse" for this to take place again, and if it does, "game OVER, man!" Harsh, but they'll 'make' and set an E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T "example" for any others foolish enough to do likewise, I'm sure! None of this "3-strikes & you're OUT" BS either, if they haven't learnt anything FROM the 1st instance, they don't DESERVE any additional 'chances' of messing other folks' "lives" UP, with their irresponsible disregard.
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Kevin Wilson
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The Nicholas Cage of games! Oh god, not the beeeeeesssss!
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Donald seemed like a very cool guy when I met him while I worked the LA cons for Alderac Entertainment Group. He was cheerful and determined, and I took an instant liking to him. His game was pretty fun and looked awesome too. He was probably one of my earliest exposures to more modern boardgames than Monopoly, and he left a lasting impression on me. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

-Kevin Wilson
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J.L. Robert
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I had just re-introduced myself to Conquest this past weekend, and had even signed up to Donald's players database. I was looking forward to potentially seeing him in May, at the Gamex show in Los Angeles. This comes as a total surprise, and his passing is a loss to the gaming community.

As has been stated, he has been a fixture at Los Angeles-area conventions, promoting his game with endless enthusiasm. He truly loved his creation, and was always eager to discuss it with whomever would take the time to spend with him.

I hope that he was able to prepare aides to continue his work, and to continue to produce and promote Conquest, as a legacy to his efforts.

I'm saddened that we have lost a true gaming pioneer. Prayers and deepest sympathies to his surviving family and friends.
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Derek Carver
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Donald's fame preceded him in that here in the UK I heard of CONQUEST very early in its life and got a copy shipped over from the States - metal bits and all.

We became devoted to this amazing game and in due course Donald came and stayed with us when he was over in the UK some years back. And since then we've met up during the Essen games fair.

It is so tragic to think that anybody - and particularly a respected member of our worldwide friendly boardgaming community - should so innocently become a victim of a lunatic driver.

His empty chair at Essen this year will be a sad reminder of our loss.

- Derek

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Steve R Bullock
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Really a tragic thing...I think Mr. Benge had some of the most unique and clever playing pieces I have ever seen. I loved the way you could place the units inside a ship or on land units. The man truly was a an inspiration to anyone who ever wanted to put his own game out. I never met the man, but I am saddened and angry at the circumstances of his death.

May his family be strong, and his soul at rest.
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Forest Cole
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I'm very sorry to hear this. I just started getting into his Conquest games within the last year, and have found them both fun and challenging. I had some email communication with him for a while trying to get some of the old puzzle books (there are little puzzle books for Conquest similar to chess puzzle books), and he was always very helpful, even sending me some extra materials - there's a 3-player version described in one of the old Conquest zines he sent me. I also got one of his newer versions where camels, keeps with drawbridges, etc are included called Grand Conquest. He left a great example for an independent developer supporting his own game and adding to it - making increasingly interesting versions, not just selling tons of cookie cutter expansions - for literally decades.
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mrbeankc wrote:
The second notable death at the hands of a drunk driver in recent days. Bob Clark who directed the classic film A Christmas Story along with his son were killed by a drunk driver last week.


That sucks.. I love that movie.
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Wolfgang Welke
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Donald left no relatives, so he is mainly mourned by his friends and all Conquest-addicts.
We are grateful that his work has come to a conclusion by creating the long awaited new version called Grand Conquest.
At first sight the differences to good old Conquest might seem small, but integrating camels, the already known catapult and siege engines gave new strategic possibilities that we still explore in regular matches.
His strategic hints will indeed be missed at the game fair in Essen, but his booth will not be deserted.
For additional information visit the German Internet site www.grand-conquest.de, which may be translated to English in the future.
At last let me refer to Quest-Chess, a Chess variant with Conquest principles, for which Donald designed interesting problems.
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