The Cardboard Wars in Tempe, Arizona are fast approaching: June 6th – June 12th, 2011

John Kranz of Consimworld recently announced that, along with everything else that he already has scheduled, one of the few genuine icons of wargaming, Frank Chadwick (who designed or co-designed DNO/UNT, A HOUSE DIVIDED, AVALANCHE, OPERATION CRUSADER, IMPERIUM, 1815, WHITE DEATH, ROAD TO THE RHINE, as well as many other games), will be speaking at this year’s Consimworld Expo 2011. For those of us who have been in the hobby since the early 1970s, Frank needs no introduction; however, for those enthusiasts who have become involved in wargaming in more recent years, Frank Chadwick — along with Paul (Rich) Banner, Marc W. Miller, and John Astell — was a driving force behind Game Designers’ Workshop (GDW) during its more than two decades of operation. Known for its sometimes quirky topics, its minimalist (often obtuse) style of rules writing, its innovative and award-winning game systems, and the gorgeous and elaborately differentiated unit counters that brightened many of its most popular titles, the company he helped found was — along with SPI, TSR, and Avalon Hill — one of the major players in game publishing during the so-called “golden age” of conflict simulations: the period from the early 1970s to the end of the 1980s. The measure of Chadwick’s and his coworkers’ impact on the hobby is that, although GDW closed its doors in 1996, many of its now out-of-print titles still remain extremely popular and highly sought-after, both by collectors and by players, even now.

Frank Chadwick playtests a game prototype.
The “game clock” is rapidly ticking down, and before we know it, one of the most enjoyable and unique wargaming events in the US will be getting under way in sunny Arizona. On June 6th, the first convention arrivals will kick-off the early festivities at what will be — in my view, at least — one of the very few must-attend adventure gaming conventions of the year: Consimworld Expo 2011. For those who are unfamiliar with the Expo’s back story, this year’s convention is the direct descendant of MonsterGame.Con which, thanks largely both to the vision and the hard work of John Kranz, first opened its doors in 2001. Eleven years later, CSW Expo is still going strong and is still being hosted by John Kranz and company; and, just as they have in years past, convention attendees will be meeting in the heart of the Old West at the luxurious Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, in Tempe, Arizona.

For those prospective attendees who are uncertain whether this year’s Consimworld Expo will provide them with a chance to actually sit down and play their favorite titles with other like-minded opponents, it is probably worth noting that this June’s gaming at the Tempe Mission Palms will not be restricted only to traditional “map and counter” conflict simulations. Quite the contrary, dozens and dozens of old and new titles (from CDG, to “block”, to Euro-style) will all be a part of the CSW Expo experience. This means that the convention is both large enough and varied enough to offer players a broad menu of both conflict simulations and multi-player social gaming that — new attendees will quickly discover — should suit virtually any visitor’s taste in games. Nor, I should add, is the convention aimed strictly at long-time (hard-core) participants in the hobby. Instead, players who make the trek to Arizona this coming spring will find that there are abundant opportunities for the young and not-so-young, and for both inexperienced and seasoned players to enjoy their favorite titles in a matchless gaming environment.

The CSW Expo only comes around once a year; so, if you can possibly find a way to get to Tempe during the second week of June, I strongly recommend that you do so. If you enjoy both congenial company and lots of gaming, I don’t think that you will be able to avoid having a great time.

To find out more about CSW Expo 2011/MonsterGame.Con XI, or to register online for this year’s convention, visit the website:


  • I'll be there!

  • Greetings Itmurnau:

    I am really looking forward to hearing Frank's current take on present and future trends in the hobby. I won't pretend that I loved everything that he had a hand in during his days at GDW, but, in retrospect, I can say that (for me, at least) the "gems" far outnumbered the "dross" when it came to his many, many game designs!

    Best Regards, Joe

Post a Comment