Man at Work Saturday Evening Post,
by Norman Rockwell
This has been a long and — at least for me — eventful summer. Unlike last year, during which health issues severely curtailed my blogging and other hobby-related activities, this year has been chock-full of competitive gaming (two PBeM tournaments and counting), a batch of ongoing one-on-one tutorials on the Avalon Hill classics for interested new (and not so new) players, and, of course, my treks to two summer wargaming conventions: the Consimworld Expo/MonsterCon XII Convention in Tempe, Arizona, in June/July; and the recently concluded WBC Convention in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As might be expected, given the demands that these different activities placed on my time, something had to give; and that something, regrettably, was in my blogging. However, that was then, and this is now.

The good news, for those of my readers who regularly follow my eccentric musings on "Map and Counters", is that, for this old grognard, the 2012 convention season is finally over, and my two online tournaments are on temporary hold while the last few pairings finish their matches. What this means, in terms of my future plans, is that I will finally again have time to post new material on my blog. And, given the events of this summer, I am hopeful that visitors will find these soon-to-be published articles an interesting and informative mix of both old and new. To that end, what follows is a very brief preview of some of the essays that I hope to have in readable form within the next month or so.

Among the articles that are either planned or already in the works — given that the events are still fresh in my mind — are chronicles of my experiences at this year's Consimworld Expo and recently concluded WBC Convention. In addition, along with the usual collection of reviews on movies and books, as well as additional profiles on older games, I also plan to post more essays on the history of wargaming and on the evolution of popular game platforms (a la "Roads From Smolensk"). Moreover, for those players who, like me, still have a soft spot for the older Avalon Hill games, I intend to publish a piece on easy-to-use "player metrics" for several of the classics (e.g., how to tell whether you are winning or losing while there is still time to do something about it), as well as an analyis of the pros-and-cons of various low-odds attacks in STALINGRAD. Looking farther down the road, I hope to be able to complete the first "After Action Report" (AAR) on at least one of my finished PBeM tournament matches and, if this initial outing is well-received, to follow it up with others as my two online tournaments progress from one round to the next. In something of a break from my past practice, I have decided to make a concerted effort to add a few new voices (and, quite possibly, different viewpoints) to my blog through the publication of "guest" essays from individuals in the hobby whose opinions, although sometimes at variance from my own, I nonetheless respect.

Last but not least, I want to thank those of my readers who have stuck with me through this long "dry spell" in my blogging; your ongoing support is much appreciated. That being said, it is my sincere hope that the articles that will find their way into print in the coming weeks and months will again serve to make "Map and Counters" both an interesting and an informative destination for gamers of almost every stripe.


  • Welcome back. Though I'm happy for you that you've gotten to go to *two* conventions (I've gone to exactly zero this summer), I'm even more happy to hear you'll be writing more blog posts in the near future. I've always enjoyed your reviews and look forward to reading more. Blog on! :)

  • Greetings Hadik:

    Thank you for your kind words; your support is much appreciated.

    In all honesty, I have felt more than a little guilty this last year because of the dearth of new posts on "Map and Counters"; it probably doesn't help that -- referring to my blogging -- my wife insists on calling this period of inactivity my "Year of Living Selfishly", after the old Mel Gibson Movie.

    On the other hand, I also feel that -- self-serving as it may sound -- it is at least somewhat important for me to keep my hand in when it comes to competitive gaming, if for no other reason than my staying active on the tournament circuit helps to maintain my credibility with readers when it comes to articles on game analysis and tactics. So, it's kind of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" type of problem for me, both as a blogger and aa a tournament player.

    Nonetheless, since I won't be attending GenCon this year (actually, I haven't gone in a long, long time), I should have a lot more time for writing during the next few months. I only hope that my visitors find some of my future essays interesting.

    Thanks again for your interest and
    Best Regards, Joe

  • Joe,
    I'm looking forward to the new posts. I greatly enjoyed - and learned from - our two-man War at Sea tournament this year at ConsimWorld. Anything you have to say about the classics is worth reading, as always.

  • Greetings John:

    Thank you for continuing to visit "Map and Counters" in spite of the recent paucity of new material; I aprreciate your interest.

    Yes, I too had an enjoyable time playing 'WAR AT SEA' and, although it is not a game in which I excel, it is, nonetheless, still a lot of fun to play.

    Also, regarding this year;s Consimworld Expo: I should note that my only regret is that I didn't get the opportunity to do the 'WATERLOO' tutorial with you that I promised -- maybe next year.

    And speaking of 'WATERLOO', it appears that I haven't completely lost my feel for this venerable old "classic" as I won the tournament at this year's WBC Convention. Now I have yet another plaque to add to my stack and gather dust.

    My only regret about this year's WBC Convention is that, because of scheduling problems, I was unable to play enough games (usually I need to play three or four matches) of 'AFRIKA KORPS' to qualify for the tournament semi-finals. Sadly, this is the first time that I have not qualified for the semi-final "shoot-out" since I started attending the annual "DonCon" many years ago. Maybe next year.

    In any case, I hope to see you at next year's Consimworld Expo and, who knows, we both might even make back to Lancaster for next year's WBC confab.

    Best Regards, Joe

  • Welcome back. I always enjoy your posts, especially the game replays.

  • Greetings Tjmorrill:

    Thank you for your thoughtful words.

    First up, I think will be a pair of articles dealing with this year's Consimworld Expo and the WBC Convention that I already have in the works, then I can move on to other topics.

    Best Regards, Joe

  • Very happy to see you're back !

  • Greetings Bir-Hacheim:

    Yes, it's good to be back.

    Now, if I can just finish my posts on this year's ConsimWorld Expo and the WBC Convention, I will finally be able to get on with a few other topics that interest me. Unfortunately, both convention essays seem to be growing like "Toppsie" as I continuously go back to add additional points to essays that are probably already too long. Oh well ...

    Hopefully, at some point you will find the time to "cross the pond" and attend one of the major US wargaming conventions. It would be nice to meet you in person.

    Best Regards, Joe

  • Joe,

    I'm hoping you can resume some posting at all. I've read through many of your previous posts and am afraid of getting to the end of them, because at that point I won't have any more and then what will I do? I'd like to offer you a post of my own in return, part of a series but one which is probably more interesting to you than the others:




  • Greetings Bruce:

    I apologize for my inexcuseable tardiness in responding to both your kind words and your generous offer. I had initially made a note to myself to compose a fairly long response and then a combination of PBeM games and online tutorials (as well as proof reading George Phillies' latest e-book "Stalingrad Replayed") all conspired to divert me from a timely answer.

    In any case, I am going to try to get myself in gear before I head off to Lancaster (and this year's WBC Convention), so hopefully I will finally get back to posting and can even take advantage of your very kind offer.

    Best Regards, Joe

  • cj mollystroll@hotmail.com said...

    To JCB. This is a magnificent and stunning blog you have going here. Thank you so very very much for all of the amazing articles on these wonderful wargames from our youths. Reading the articles on Anzio, and Destruction of Army Group Center, and Solomons Campaign, Borodino, etc. makes me miss those great old days. I still have my collection of over 150 Avalon Hill, SPI, etc games in storage, but never have time to play them -- your blog brings back many fond memories. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  • Greetings cj:

    Thank you for your kind words; I sincerely appreciate your interest in my blog.

    Unfortunately, in spite of my good intentions when it comes to resuming posting on "Map and Counters", a combination of PBeM tournament matches, online tutorials, and gaming conventions have served to prevent my resumption of regular postings pretty much for the whole year.

    Thatt's the bad news; the good is that, assuming other "impedimentia" do not cropt up to delay my return to the "blogosphere", I expect to resume posting on "Map and Counters" once I get back from my sojorn to this year;s WBC Convention in Lancaster.

    Thanks again for visiting and

    Best Regards, Joe

  • We still miss you...

  • Greetings Gideon:

    Thank you for thinking of me.

    So far as my resuming blogging: everything on that front pretty much stalled out when my wife and I decided to extensively renovate our house (both inside and out). As things currently stand, most of my gaming paraphernalia is still boxed up and stored in our garage; to make matters worse, along with most of my games, I also do not have access to the hobby magazines and reference materials that I usually draw upon when I am writing one of my more detailed posts.

    All that said, we are making progress with a variety of our various projects so it is possible that I might be able to resume blogging at some point in the fall.

    Thanks again for visiting and

    Best Regards, Joe

  • Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

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