Officers on duty Jason "Kaiser" Rimmer, 45 years old, UK Hello to you all. I've been thinking about what to write h...

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Officers on duty


Jason "Kaiser" Rimmer, 45 years old, UK



Hello to you all. I've been thinking about what to write here that would be full of witty remarks, a bio chock full of engaging and at time jaw-dropping stories about myself that not only entertain you but are also life affirming and once read you'd be so inspired by my story you'd dedicate a good part of your life trying to live up to the standard I'd set before you. However, no words have yet been invented to describe to you all how bloody amazing my story is so I'll just have to use the words on hand to best describe myself.....Actually, that's a load of bullsh1t.

I'm a single Dad of a fifteen-year-old girl called Freja whom I live for. I'm also disabled which will explain why at times I'm not around on the net, it means I'm having a bad day or two.

I've been wargaming since I set up my plastic soldiers and a marble and then went to war in my bedroom or living room or where ever I could to be honest and not get in anyone's way. I suppose the first wargames I owned were Colditz and Kingmaker. I also got hooked at the age of twelve onto Car Wars and assorted RPG's. I used to buy White Dwarf before it became a GW sales mag along with 2000AD. The sad thing was I never actually had anyone to play board games against, though I did on a few occasions get to play Car Wars and Kingmaker. So when my Dad bought a BBC B micro 32K in around '83 my computer gaming life started and has never stopped. Finally, I could play the types of games I loved without having to find someone else who wanted to play as well. I saved my paper round money and bought myself an AmstradCPC464 with green screen monitor. Then when I got my first real job, with the first pay packet I bought an Atari ST 512. I also had an Amiga 512 and later an Amiga 1200 with the odd console along the way. In around '96 I bought my first proper PC.

Wargames have always been my first love. I find historical accuracy, realism, depth and just as important immersion vital in a game if it's going to stay the course with me.  Visuals are secondary though I suppose always welcome but not as vital as the other aspects mentioned. Recently though I've been wishing developers would start thinking outside the box and trying out fresh new ways to portray the game. Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa is a recent release that I fully applaud in this respect and is easy the best operational wargame for immersion ever released. All because they took a risk and tried something new, and it worked.

So I hope this blog will be a place you can drop into and find something of interest to read when you have a few minutes to kill. I do have an ambitious dream for AWNT which I hope will come true sometime in the future, but for now, happy hunting!

Email j__rimmer@hotmail.com

Mike "Warlord" Wall, UK

As Jason obviously stole my photo to use with his bio, I’ll have to confess that I’m senior in age, if not in rank, to him.  A son and daughter, both married, and granddaughter add to the picture, as does my imminent and second retirement.  But, that’s MORE time for playing games and writing about them!

 Gaming of one sort or another has been in my blood since as long as I can remember – though with the age theme that might be getting shorter!  Plastic and even metal soldiers featured, along with match-sticks with a dollop of plasticine on the end and a toy cannon, as an intro to wargames.  I googled plasticine to make sure it didn’t need an historical foot-note: check, I’m ok they still sell it on Amazon!

The classic Waddington games soon followed suit and so my early teen years went by, along with watching Preston North End [we all have to have some sadness in our lives].  Cut to marriage and a year later, in ’76, I discovered SPI [UK] out of Hale, Cheshire which led me to their US origin and their main rival , Avalon Hill, and so began what I think of as my baptism into the real wargame world.  A subscription for many years to Strategy & Tactics magazine saw issue after issue  drop through the letter box, with a real mix of brilliant games; Panzergroup Guderian and Cobra being among some of the early classics and plenty of turkeys too, South Africa and Armada stand out in my mind!  Later came World Wide Wargames [soon abbreviated to 3WWs], the first British wargames magazine with a game in, though ultimately that too went Stateside with its creator.

Over the years, I have run through most companies and their initials and seen the demise of boardwargaming repeatedly foretold, especially when Jason’s field of computer gaming got a grip.  Thankfully the latter has not come to pass and I think it’s fair to say that the range of games and the ages that play them couldn’t be healthier.  In the early days, my focus tended to be at the operational level, with 80+ page rule-books not phasing me and almost exclusively 2 player games, being chosen.  Nowadays, my preference is for more tactical games such as the LnL [Lock & Load] system that has just been updated, reissued and expanded or Combat Commander or block games, such as the extensive range published by Columbia Games. 

To round off my picture, the last ten years have seen me diversifying into the huge range of quality Euro games and consequently both on the table multi-player play and online boardgaming.  Soon, I hope to share my thoughts with you on some of the vast range of games out there.


 Robert "Doughboy" Peterson, USA

 I am up in age also with three sons, one daughter and three not so little anymore grandchildren.


 I started my wargaming with of all things light pull chains ( I am talking about the small balls hooked together to make a chain to use on a light switch). They were excellent to show neat lines of battle, and a fluffed up bed cover made all sorts of terrain possible. The first real wargame I played was " The Blue and the Gray", and then shortly after it was Tactics II. I then passed my early to mid teenage years in other pursuits, trying to emulate Dr. Hunter Thompson, and most of the time succeeding. Ah, the seventies, what a time. Then in 1977, I saw my first real hobby store with rows of SPI and other publishers' games. I had been transported to a strip mall Nirvana. I would like to say that I still have all the wargames and magazines from then. In 1983 I found computers and was intrigued. It seems like only yesterday I saw the first flickering screen and heard the wail of a 300 baud modem. In 1985 I turned in all of my wargames and magazines for $ 700 of store credit at one of the only two game sellers in my state. I should have noticed the demise of the other stores, but with children and other real life adventures I didn't notice. I proceeded to blow the whole amount on computer wargames and simulations. I had bought a Commodore earlier, by telling my imperial Pooh Bah that all I would need was one or two games and I would be fine. Somehow after thirty plus years that statement still gets tossed about. I believe it is etched in stone somewhere around the house, wrapped in fine linen and brought out only on special feast days.  Had I known that something I said would have been so carefully preserved, I would have thought of something more erudite.
 
 So that is pretty much it, except for the few sellers on EBay that made a fortune on me buying back all of the magazine and board wargames I once owned. I graduated Summa Cum Laudanum with a MBS from Miskatonic university.


Joe " Ranger " Beard

 
 
I always see posts in wargaming forums about the decline of wargaming because of how "the kids these days" aren't interested in any of these games and the history surrounding them. Although I cannot really know how many younger wargamers are out there, you can rest assured that at least one is enthusiastic enough to post on this blog! I turned 29 this year, putting me a decade or more behind most (all?) of my compatriots here. I do have one child, a beautiful little girl who is almost ten months old and is entering that lovely age where she will do her best to injure herself if you turn your back for but a moment.

I missed the golden age of physical wargames completely, but I was here for the journey into the virtual realm. The first wargame that really grabbed a hold of me was the classic Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin, the special edition of which I stumbled across in a video game store during my early teens. That disc was either in my PC or sitting on top of it (displaced by another game only temporarily, you see) for many years. At the time I didn't even have a clue what the Eastern Front was all about, I just knew that I could direct dozens of different tanks and troops and other toys into giant battles that felt far more realistic than anything Command and Conquer or Age of Empires could offer. Since then I've picked up dozens more wargames on the PC, and now even a few physical wargames thanks to the new golden era of board gaming bringing my attention to the likes of GMT Games and others. I don't really have anyone to play physical wargames against (my little one will receive basic tactical training eventually, I'm sure) so my options there are limited, but I jump on just about every solo option I can find. I do also play many games across other genres, especially RPG's, shooters, and strategy titles of all flavors.

I have a fascination with history and the wars fought throughout it. I find the discussion of tactics, equipment, strategy, and so on to be endlessly interesting. I suppose it is because these conflicts, and the events leading up to them, shaped the world we live in today more than anything else. I greatly enjoy getting the chance to try my own hand at directing these battles and attempting to succeed where others may have failed. Where a game like Starcraft requires a skill based more on muscle memory and memorized build orders to do well, a game like Combat Mission asks you to take a semi-realistic situation and make the best of it. The variety of tactical and strategic options available is limited only by your own imagination. Never mind that your opponent is doing the same thing, and neither one of you knows for sure how that first tank on tank shootout will go. 

So that is what ultimately draws me to wargames and holds my interest: The high level of thinking and problem solving not seen in many other genres, and the fact that you must be ready to rethink your plans entirely the moment you make contact with the enemy. All wrapped up in the endlessly fascinating realm of human history.

 
Gone but not forgotten
 
Parusski AKA David.
Miss you. RIP

Thanks to all the others who have contributed to make AWNT into the website it is today.

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