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Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society

Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society

Memoirs of a

Memoirs of a Historical Miniature & Board Gamer Pt. 1Back in the early days of MiniatureWargames magazine, a gamer by thename of Mel Gosling outlined his involvementin historical miniatures fromhis youth. It was a great series of articlesand I still re-read them every so often totake a trip back to the past. I thought Iwould try the same thing and hopefullyprovide a few gamers with a chance toremember the “Good Ole Days!”I can remember back in the 70’s whenthey use to show the Victory at Sea episodeson Saturday afternoons, whichcaused me to use some of my lawn cuttingmoney I had earned to order some ofthose “war” games at the back of thecomic books. They came with a gamemat, plastic ships, tanks, and planes witha set of markers. Those games weregreat, but there was always that feeling ofwanting something more.When I turned 15 my father, whoserved in the Air Force, was stationed atEdwards AFB in southern California.Just a block from our house on the basewas a series of stores, including a secondhand thrift store. I was in there one day,looking at sci-fi magazines(my other truelove-but that’s another story!) when I sawat the back of one of the issues an ad forStrategy & Tactics magazine and a gamecalled Sixth Fleet. There was a cool pictureof a ship, modern jets, and a descriptionof the game. After seeing that all Iknew is that I wanted that game!I found a hobby store in Lancaster,California that carried SPI products andconvinced my parents to take me there. Iwas overwhelmed by the number of AvalonHill and SPI games, plus miniaturesthat were in the store, but I went withSixth Fleet anyway. I plopped down my$12(which was a lotin 1977) and wenthome to unwrap myprize.Unfortunately,little did I know thatI had chosen one ofthe most complexgames that they haddesigned! I wasimpressed by themap, counters, andhere finally wererules talking about real modern combat.Obviously, this wargaming thing was alittle more complex than I had thought. Istuck with it, though, and played a fewsolo games, which were immensely satisfying.That same week there was an ad inthe base newspaper for a wargames clubthat was looking for members. The meetingswere in the NCO Club and to comeby on a Sunday afternoon to try it. I wentthere with my Sixth Fleet game, uponwhich several of the members expressedthat I should not have chosen that as myfirst game! There were about 20 guysthere and they were going to play severalgames. I played in an invasion of Polandboard game, but I had a chance to go outand look around. Three guys were playingDungeons and Dragons, four others amicro-armor game, and still more playingother board games. I went home thinkingthat this was the coolest hobby ever.As I earned more money I continuedto buy board games, from the hobbystore, members of the group, as well asfinding a few second hand in that basethrift store. By the time school started inmy sophomore year I had about a dozengames and was lucky enough to findthree guys in my class that were interestedas well.When I look back now I think thatgetting the Sixth Fleet game was an advantage.In the future, complexity for mewas never an issue, so I had no problemswith games like Air War, rules sets likeTractics, or spending days prepping for agame. It also showed me that gamingcould produce long friendships and thatgenerally your other interests like sports,sci-fi, etc…, were shared by other gamers.It seemed then, much as itdoes today, that for a few hoursevery so often you can forgetabout the real world and notonly enjoy the hobby, but somegreat friendships.I also found an ad in one ofmy sci-fi mags about a newcompany called Metagaming.They had this new series ofmicrogames for $3 each and thefirst one was called Ogre. Ibought it and to this day it andthe several add on gamesremain some of my favorites.It also became acatalyst for my occasionalforays into fantasyand sci-fi gaming.Just before my junioryear my father got transferredto the new F-16program at Hill AFB inUtah. After much searching around I didfind a hobby store in Roy, Utah that soldwargames and a local toy store chain thathad some of the Avalon Hill games. Inthose days you didn’t have the Internet,Yahoo Groups, or email to review products,so you ended up buying some stinkers.My biggest problem is that I couldnot find anyone to game with and therewas no one in my school that seemedinterested.Fortunately, a guy who had been inthe Edwards AFB club got transferred toHill and got a house three blocks frommine. Talk about luck! The big problem?He was a miniatures guy with verylittle interest in board games. He wasalso big into ancients and I wasn’t, plushe wasn’t that really interested in WW2,so I thought that this would be a shortfriendship.I’ve been extremely lucky in findinggreat gaming buddies, however, and thiswas one of those times. We went over toa place in Salt Lake City called McEwanMiniatures, creator of the Starguard lineof figures and rules. I bought some sci-fifigures, some dwarves, and then wepicked up a couple of packs at a gamestore in the mall. I was hooked.For the next two years, we playedancients, fantasy battles, some sci-firaids, ACW(with my Airfix plastic armies),and some role-playing. A localstore, Intermountain Models, also startedcarrying figs and board games, with somegames being played at the store on Saturdays.I had a great time going there everySaturday and playing Tractics, WRGAncients, and a lot of WW2 skirmishes.We also attended a one day mini-con atMcEwan Miniatures where I had achance to watch a lot of sci-fi games andWW2 air combat.Continued next issue...Page 8WARNING ORDER

Interview With Sam Mustafa (cont.)I have been surprised, though,to see that computers have not had abigger influence on miniaturesgaming. I would have thought, bynow, that we’d all be playing fromBlackberries or Palm Pilots, orsome sort of hand-held device,where we kept our data and rolledour dice, and all we needed on thetable was the figures. I had highhopes last year for Bob Jones’ newBattage concept, using Apple I-Pods, but it appears to have fizzled.7) We are seeing an increasingnumber of figure scales emergingin the hobby, with 10mm, 40mm,and even 1/48th gaming enteringthe hobby. What scale do you preferand do you think that somescales are better for certain periods?This is always personal and subjective,but for me, the large-scale28mm figures are my favorites forthose horse-and-musket and earlierperiods, when men really dressed tokill. I love to paint the colorful,elaborate uniforms, and I love tosee those drummers drumming andthose big flags flying. Glorious!For the “drab” uniforms of themodern age, I happily scale down to15mm.8) Do you miss MWAN and thediscussions you had in thosepages?I miss MWAN terribly. I knowthat many, many people do. It wasmore like a club than a magazine.Alas, I think the era of theprinted hobby magazine is over,anyway. The web is the way of thefuture. In some ways Bill Armintrout’sThe Miniatures Page hastaken over as a new sort of e-MWAN: a big gaming communityfull of noise and happy chaos.9) What do you have planned inthe future for Grande Armee?10) Are you working on or interestedin doing any other rules forother periods?The answer to both of thesequestions is the same. My projectfor 2006 is a Seven Years Wargame that began its life as a G.A.spinoff, but has really taken on acharacter of its own now. I’m veryhappy with it. It’s being playtestedthis Spring and Summer, and byAutumn I’ll decide what I want todo with it, in terms of publication.If you’re interested, visit the GAwebsite from time to time for updates.Black Hat MiniaturesFigure ReviewOne of theweird thingsabout colonialwargaming in15mm is thatcurrently there are no Bashi-Bazouks! Inmy eternal search for some I recentlycame across an Ottoman army range fromBlack Hat Miniatures.I ordered severalpacks from the Napoleonin Egypt range asfrom the web site, thefigures looked like theywould stand in well asTurks, Syrians, andother Arabs that formed therank and file of the BashiBazouk units in the Sudan. Iordered the packs from ScaleCreep Miniatures in the U.S.,who has amazing service.Within a few days I had mypacks and was ready to startpainting!Although they are a littlemore expensive than OldGlory, they do serve a niche,particularly their 15mm Martainrange, so no complaintsthere. The figures are of the17-18mm variety, so they willfit in well with OldGlory or Essex, but area little large for PeterPig in the same units.The castings areclean, little to no flash,and are somewhat similarto Minifigs in thatthey have the bareminimum for equipment. There are avariety f poses in the packs and the commandpack was well done.Overall, these figures fill gaps inmany other ranges, and although not perfect,they work well.ISSUE #14Page 9

Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
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Typhoon - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Orde r - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
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Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
Warning Order - Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society
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