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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hard-core wargamers only

A rather interesting situation has presented itself. I was looking up a much-anticipated reprinting of a board-and-counters wargame that is a particular favorite of mine, and in doing so, I reached the conclusion that the publisher was a one-man operation that is desperately in need of the sort of volunteer help that has made Castalia House so successful.

In the interest of paying things forward, both Ender and I have volunteered certain of our services that are needed; we are translating the new rules into two languages and I'm planning to create a weekly blog post at CH dedicated to wargaming to which various wargamers, myself included, will contribute. This weekly post will prominently feature the publisher's games, particularly the occasional new release. We're also going to help proofread and playtest the game being reprinted.

I think other wargamers here will be interested in helping out in various capacities, which could even involve petty investment to help cover the initial print runs. These are the sort of hobby businesses that die on the vine without the support of the community, and unfortunately, the sort of men who are inclined to rescue the obscure heritage of the past are almost always the sort of men who have absolutely no ability to build the sort of communities that can sustain them.

If you're an old Avalon Hill/SPI wargamer and this sounds of interest to you, email me with WARGAME in the subject. I'll be hosting a Brainstorm concerning this soon; after I email you back, I'll want you to think about what you might be able to bring to the table. And if we really want to get crazy, if we have the right combination of talents, we could even think about taking some of these games digital.

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21 Comments:

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey October 25, 2015 1:05 PM  

Anyone here remember 'Melee' from 1980 or so?

That said, I was really ever into historical wargaming and collecting toy soldiers.

OpenID jeffro October 25, 2015 1:37 PM  

Melee and Wizard were awesome and have a relatively strong following even to this day. Dark City Games still publishes adventures for the system. And Heroes & Other Worlds is a retroclone for people that still want to play that sort of rpg.

Blogger Mike Pennell October 25, 2015 2:49 PM  

Used to play Axis and Allies, and Squad Leader all the time in my early teens. That is, until, we discovered Dungeons and Dragons. TSR took all my gaming money after that.

Blogger MidKnight (#138) October 25, 2015 2:56 PM  

D&D - and moreso Traveller - sucked up a lot of time. So did Car Wars and Starfleet battles. And the AH editions of Starship Troopers, Africa Korps, and Panzerblitz. Oh, and Ogre.

Oh, and Harpoon.

These days I set up Commands & Colors on a spare table to run through scenarios, and am relearning SFB. Also digging into Fifth Frontier War and the Traveller "Striker" Rules, but those are back burnered for now.

Blogger Brad Andrews October 25, 2015 3:12 PM  

The remake of SFB or the older version? (The really old one is the first folio printing.)

I bought the Ogre KS based on nostalgia, along with the KS redo of Nuclear War for the same reason. I would likely do the same for wargame reprints even if they were not as likely to get played. I likely own many of the originals.

Anyone remember when you had to use "The Avalon Hill Game Company" instead of just "Avalon Hill"?

Blogger Salt October 25, 2015 3:22 PM  

Oh, and Harpoon.

I played that at work, way back when.

Blogger Danby October 25, 2015 4:17 PM  

Harpoon,
My son still brags about the game of Harpoon which pitted his E6 self and a 2nd Lt against a USN Captain and Marine Capt aboard thea USN aircraft carrier. He and the Lt, playing Iran and Italy, respectively, beat the 2 Captains playing US and France. They sunk 2 carriers in the Med, and an entire carrier group in the Gulf, and closed both Hormuz and Gibraltar

Blogger MidKnight (#138) October 25, 2015 6:58 PM  

@Danby - heh.

@Brad Andrew - I believe way back when it was the second ed. (Captains?) Books were 8.5x11 with three-hole punches, designed to insert the second volume of the rules.

The copy I have now is similar - it's the current version

Blogger J Van Stry October 25, 2015 9:11 PM  

Are any of you familiar with FatDOG (Friday after Thanksgiving Day of Gaming). It's a gaming convention in NY, with a pretty large turn out. There are a lot of wargamers who go there, and they might be interested.

https://www.facebook.com/FatDoG-480742305293608/

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau October 26, 2015 12:10 AM  

I have the Original SFB that came in a bag from 1979 or so. Also have the rules that came with the original SFC video game. Somewhere I have a few of the GDW folio games.

I remember playing the Traveler Ashanti High Lighting draft for a professor who playtested games for them.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau October 26, 2015 12:11 AM  

I have the Original SFB that came in a bag from 1979 or so. Also have the rules that came with the original SFC video game. Somewhere I have a few of the GDW folio games.

I remember playing the Traveler Ashanti High Lighting draft for a professor who playtested games for them.

OpenID Jack Amok October 26, 2015 1:23 AM  

Car Wars

Car Wars came out just as I was hitting teenagerhood and getting interested in cars. Also when I had a friend who's dad raced at the local stock car and open wheel races. Perfect match.

Many a great night at the Redwood Acre Duelgrounds...

Blogger Just Mark October 26, 2015 3:46 AM  

If you're working on ASL deal me in. FWIW, I like the work lone canuck publishing is doing with historical maps and the idea of purloining and conflating the work of talonsofts East Front II, West Front, and Rising Sun series into ASL at the Battalion level. I'm even considering picking up hex draw and purloining the terrain libraries to make the maps.

Blogger Zachary Wood October 26, 2015 8:46 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Danby October 26, 2015 12:26 PM  

Harpoon,
My son still brags about the game of Harpoon which pitted his E6 self and a 2nd Lt against a USN Captain and Marine Capt aboard thea USN aircraft carrier. He and the Lt, playing Iran and Italy, respectively, beat the 2 Captains playing US and France. They sunk 2 carriers in the Med, and an entire carrier group in the Gulf, and closed both Hormuz and Gibraltar

Blogger By The Sword October 26, 2015 2:52 PM  

I used to play Melée with a friend of mine in 7th grade at lunch break. I would choose the crossbow and either kill my opponent in the first round or I would die.

Great game.

Blogger By The Sword October 26, 2015 2:56 PM  

The best strategy wargame that I have ever played (in my opinion) is BattleTech. The premise is ridiculous but it is the most fun I have ever had on a game board. If you haven't tried it, I highly reccommend that you do.

If you have played it, then attest or denounce my claim as you will.

Blogger Aaron Kulkis October 26, 2015 11:26 PM  

@13
"If you're working on ASL deal me in. FWIW, I like the work lone canuck publishing is doing with historical maps and the idea of purloining and conflating the work of talonsofts East Front II, West Front, and Rising Sun series into ASL at the Battalion level. I'm even considering picking up hex draw and purloining the terrain libraries to make the maps"

I hate to break it to you, but that doesn't even make sense. WW2 Battalion sized units would make an operational game, not a tactical game.

Or do you mean HUGE maps so that each side is playing with 3~6 companies worth of squads?

Blogger Aaron Kulkis October 26, 2015 11:30 PM  

By the way, is the company described Decision Games? I get the impression that operation is a one-man deal (mostly reprinting SPI games).

Blogger Dorsal Spine October 27, 2015 2:21 PM  

@17
Starfleet Battles and Battletech burned a lot of time until D&D came around.

Anonymous Barg Uist October 28, 2015 11:14 AM  

I'm decidedly sad that I didn't get in on this. I founded my own company making games and have played a ton of wargaming in my day. Rats.

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