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Although I have a number of projects completely unrelated to wargaming on my plate right now, I thought that I would post a short note to reassure my readers that I haven’t actually died or been arrested. Regrettably, because of family commitments and other issues related to my and my wife’s former business, I just haven’t been able to spend as much time as I would like at the keyboard this month. This is not to say that I don’t try to make time to answer those visitor remarks or questions that crop up, from time to time, in the comments sections of my various posts, but only that I have not been able to actually finish any of the several essays and game profiles that are currently parked in my computer’s “Word Document” file. That being said, I hope to be pretty much back to my usual regular (if sporadic) blogging schedule once the month of March is finally behind me.
Finally, there is one intriguing topic for “Map and Counters” that has actually been on my mind for quite a long time; that is: the glacially slow pace and astonishingly convoluted path (at least to me) of board wargame development from ancient times up to the present. I have set out, more than once in the last two years, to write an article on exactly this subject but, on every one of these earlier attempts, I ended up chickening out because of the amount of time and work that such an extended essay would require. However, thanks to the encouragement of a couple of my gaming friends, I recently resumed work on a blog post on this subject using the old PBS TV series "Connections" as a model; and this time I hope to plug away until I can at last bring this project to some sort of conclusion. When that will be, I have no idea. Nonetheless, having finally made a reasonably good start, I can say that it already looks like the final version of this essay will probably turn out to be at least as long (if not longer) than my game analysis of the hex-version of SPI’s 1812 (1972), published earlier this year. I only hope that it will be as well-received by my readers as the 1812 piece.
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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.
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: expo.consimworld.com
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