A group of gamers that gather around Stanley Street, Longwood, FL.

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(via Why political board games have the power to change our view of the world | Technology | The Guardian)

A great write-up on how significant gaming can be. Another game to look at is Freedom: The Underground Railroad.

Starting with the Best.

I am not into comic books.

I feel as though I have missed the boat. There is a rich history and canon; interlacing of timelines and alternate histories, it seems impossible to “get it.” I think I would have loved to been immersed into the culture and mythos, and to have grown up with it.

Recently, I asked a few friends, all of them comic book lovers, what would be the “best” book to read. All of them told me to get Watchmen. I read it. And it was great. I burned through it. The style was old, yet, relevant. The story was gripping, poignant and tender. So great was that experience, I tried reading a few other trades. None of them I devoured, or even remotely enjoyed like Watchmen. If this was the magnum opus of the form, why would I read anything else that was less?

I fear that I will experience something like this with war games.

I have started getting into the hobby, by doing research. (ed: watching YT reviewers: Calandale and Marco mostly) I have been procuring games that I think would be the best of the type of components, eras/history, mechanisms or any combination of those. I wonder if I am setting myself up for some kind of disappointment after I play through the games I have. I see some of the other war gamers that have been playing 30 years, with hundreds of games in their collections and I wonder:

Will I be let down with other games of the same ilk, that are just not as good?

I am n00b to war games

I am not sure how I got here.

I grew up playing RPGs starting with D&D. My brother (5 years my senior) and I would play with flash lights under the bed spread. Great memories there. I then grew into collecting and trying all kinds of RPGs. During that time, I am pretty sure I picked up a second edition version of Talisman. Which was like a RPG in a box.

That was the first experience of a board game not by Hasbro or by Mattel. It took a while to see that there were more types of board games, including all these “boring” games I saw at my FLGS. They had boxes and boxes of games with drab covers. I would pass them time and time again, year after year, without giving them second gaze. They existed in my periphery.


Not sure what made me pick up a copy of Sword of Rome. It surely wasn’t the cover on the box. (Which has won me over now, along with most GMT / Rodger McGowan covers.) Perhaps it was my growing interest in general world history. I have always liked history, but haven’t really pursued it; being in the back seat, while places like Middle-Earth and Krynn were in the front.

As I got married and added 6 kids to the family, my RPG hobby suffered. No regrets, as I still consider myself a family man first. However, time has permitted the luxury of picking up gaming again. I found many euros and AT style games that I enjoy and ones that my friends and family enjoy too.

I can’t say that I lost interest in them; my gaming group is more about the social aspect than the game on the table, and that will continue to be the case for a long time and I am okay with that.

However, when I look at the game on the table, I have found that it hasn’t grabbed my attention as much as they used to.

There is something new and fresh about learning history through board games. I feel like when I have Sword of Rome on the table, I learn something. In fact, it has inspired me to read about that area of history. I am finding that my desire to learn about actual history is far surpassing that of spending time in the fictional.

I have purchased four “war games”1 since I have been back in the gaming hobby (along with lots of other games.) They are as follows: – Sword of Rome – Commands and Colors: Napoleonics – Here I Stand – Unconditional Surrender!

My hope is to share some thoughts on these games, from the perspective of the n00b, with a series of posts, pictures and the occasional video.

  1. To me a war game is (as of right now) a game that covers historical conflicts. 


Seriously!?! One of the coolest gaming rooms I’ve ever seen on display, and befitting of one who is Assistant Professor at U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Eric Monroe Walters — we salute you!

Uh, yes. 

Last night we played Ricochet Robots and Shadows over Camelot.

Setting up for my first game of Commands and Colors: Napoleonics.

Played a game of Battle Cry with my daughter. I won 6-2.

Trying to learn Winter Tales for this week’s game night.

There is nothing I love more than popping out new game components and taking a big whiff of how the game smells.


Classic Videogame Systems by Jim Golden

I miss playing our old IntelliVision. 

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