Wednesday, January 14, 2015

RIP John Hill

I never met the man nor knew anything about him, but as a wargamer in general and an ASLer in particular, one can't help feel a genuine sense of loss upon hearing the news of his death.
John Hill is most known as the designer of the extremely popular Avalon Hill board game Squad Leader in 1977. Hill founded Conflict Games Company in the late 1960s and owned a hobby shop, The Scale, in Lafayette, Indiana, for several years. Among his many titles were Verdun, Kasserine Pass, Overlord, Battle For Stalingrad, Tank Leader, Eastern Front Tank Leader and many others. He also designed Hue, based upon the fighting near the City of Hue in the Vietnam War.

In 1978, Hill was named to the Wargaming Hall of Fame, receiving the Charles S. Roberts Award at the Origins gaming convention in Chester, Pennsylvania, on June 23, 1979.
As the developer of the morale model and the champion of the design-for-effect philosophy, he influenced a wide variety of games, both tabletop and electronic.



Blogger Positive Dennis January 14, 2015 9:20 AM  

I owned and played Kasserine Pass and Hue. Good games.

Anonymous Alas January 14, 2015 9:38 AM  

Fond memories of playing the original ASL, Cross of Iron, Crescendo of Doom, and Anvil of Victory in the 1980s...

Anonymous Daniel January 14, 2015 11:41 AM  

He certainly influenced Ambush!, a game my daughter randomly pulled off the shelf to learn just last Friday.

Remove the DM. Rally.


Anonymous Jack Amok January 14, 2015 11:48 AM  

Sad news, but thank you Vox for helping the world remember his accomplishments.

Anonymous Barg Uist January 14, 2015 12:07 PM  

At least he left us some nice things before he went the way we all will. Few things are more pleasant to myself, in the creator sense, than having my creations appreciated by others. May he rest in peace.

Blogger MidKnight January 14, 2015 1:17 PM  

Never knew him, but knew his games. MHRiP

OpenID thenoisyrogue January 14, 2015 2:20 PM  

This sad news makes me want to drag out my old ASL games. Unfortunately I can never find anyone willing or able to play.

Anonymous Vollenweider January 14, 2015 8:00 PM  

RIP, Lt Hill.

Blogger Akulkis January 15, 2015 2:58 PM  

I attended Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) in the mid-1980's.
Imagine my delight when finding the wargamer's club (which was composed of not only students, but several staff and faculty members) that Squad Leader was more or less invented there.

Blogger Akulkis January 15, 2015 3:05 PM  

Those wishing to play SL or ASL and lacking opponents:

Download the vassalengine tarball (Linux or Macintosh) or installer (Loseblows). Written in Java, the vassalengine works practically identically on Linux, Macs, and Loseblows.

Go to Modules, to find the (many) files for Squad Leader
or the (even more) files for ASL by following the link VASL site.

Why so many files? mapboard files are in separate module extension files, as well as counters for several bellligerants]

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