Wargame Thoughts and Commentary

Thanksgiving Needs a Saving Roll!


Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S.- a rather strange holiday where no gifts are given, religious aspects are peripheral, people routinely overeat, and political arguments are many as diverse family members assemble. There is the consumption of a turkey, a lot of alcohol, and a fascination with violent sport. I think it can be said that the bulk of the thanksgiving offered on that day is directed at being thankful it will soon be over!

That being said, I find myself very thankful for a number of good friends and fellow wargamers.

First of all, the core crew of gamers and playtesters. Terry Shockey, Chris Caudill, John Mumby, Ed Meyers and Greg Rold have been there for almost all games, and experiments with Zouave II and DFII. Absolutely essential to the development of these games. Great company to boot! Thank You, guys, you’re the best!

Chris Caudill, John Mumby, Fred Avner, Adolfo Laurenti, Iain Black,
Terry Shockey, Ed Meyers, Greg Rold, Bob Jones

There are good guys that have traveled from afar to attend games, Getzcon, and this year’s video production of DFII. Fred Avner, Iain Black, Ray Levesque, Pat McGuire and Adolfo Laurenti have spent time and treasure to attend games and the August “Special” events. They have added a great deal of fun and insights to our games and the development of DFII. Thank You.

There are those that have yet to visit Chez Jones but have been long time supporters of my designs such as Peter Anderson, Tony Hawkins, Ian Johnston Gow, and Darren Webber. Many a suggestion came from this group, particularly from Tony Hawkins and the group in Norfolk. Thanks to you as well.

But I would also like to thank three friends that have each shared the trials and the tribulations of designing war-games, shared their creativity and insights freely, and provided good friendship and irreplaceable support over the years. Their intelligence and shared conversations has been, and is, the greatest enjoyment I receive in wargaming. They are:

Jim Getz (L.) and Brent Oman (R.) at Getzcon

Jim Getz, I have known jim for over 40 years, and in that time he has been a sounding board for my many “strange” ideas, a voice of reason when wargaming’s penchant for silly pettiness would rear its ugly head, and wise counsel on many a rule set development. He’s the best measure of a good friend, and he’s even forgiven me for naming a convention after him! Thanks, Jim, for many decades of shared friendship and great memories.

Brent Oman, who I have known for 20 years, and was just a kid when we started to develop Piquet. His sharp mind and keen sense of simplicity and directness served Piquet well, and has led to his excellent Field of Battle designs. We were a productive pair “Back in the Day”, and he continues to be a source of many ideas and insights as we play reciprocal “Home and Away” games of FOB and DF at our respective houses. I look forward to our continuing friendship. Thank You, Brent.

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Sam Mustafa astounded at the size of a 28mm figure!

Finally, a much more recent friend, Sam Mustafa, has provided a constant example of productivity, great design, and a penchant for always trying something new, which I like to think is a shared trait between us. In a hobby that sometimes puts too much emphasis on the same old-same old, and the “Tried and True” I have always admired his willingness to strike out in new directions, and put his ideas into tangible, published, rules. (For a current look at his efforts, see: http://www.sammustafa.com/honour/2014/11/blucher-podcast-number-1/ )

Add these traits to the fact he is an actual practicing ( and employed) historian, and you can readily see why I always look forward to discussing design with him, and comparing notes on the pragmatic issues of publication. Thank You, Sam.

All of this is a testament to the fact that it is the human interaction and relationships that make this hobby so much fun, not solely the games and the soon forgotten losses and victories.