Monday, 18 August 2008

Of Grognards and Heritage

James Maliszewski's Grognardia is a fantastic blog to read about role playing games, the history of the hobby, and the old school revolution. But what's great about his recent post, The Shoulders of Giants is how it reflects on Avalon Hill and AH's indirect influence on the RPG hobby, as well as how it influenced him.

I know I was greatly influenced by AH and I miss the games of AH terribly (you'll understand in a moment just how much). My father introduced me to board wargaming with Tactics and Panzer Leader. And as senior, VietNam and Gulf war seasoned DOD logistician, handed me my ass more times I wish to admit too. I played both those titles for more than a decade, through college (a military one!) and have owned at least two copies of Squad Leader.

Today, I'm an "game master" and enjoy the role-in-role-playing games more than the game part, but have a well grounded grognard's respect for game mechanics because of Avalon Hill.

James traces the history of Avalon Hill well. James mentions AH licensees, and rightfully cites that "most [of Avalon Hill's titles] are in the vault somewhere, unlikely ever to see the light of day again," he does not mention by name Multi Man Publishing. MMP licenses the rights to Advanced Squad Leader and publishes new rules and scenarios, as well as, promoting the game and the hobby of wargaming around the world. MMP is also releasing an updated version Panzerblitz (which I wrote about here)! I'm such a fan of Panzer Leader I built my own copy!

And for those that want to get more grognard geek on than they can handle, visit The Hundred Years War and read the definitive book on wargaming, The Complete Wargames Handbook, by James F. Dunnigan, designer for Avalon Hill and SPI.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:46 PM in d10


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