Officers on duty
Jason "Kaiser" Rimmer, 45 years old, UK
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!
Mike "Warlord" Wall, UK
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!
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.
Joe " Ranger " Beard
Born in the city of Delft, I lived just e few hundred meters from where German paratroopers had landed in May 1940, trying to capture Dutch airfields around the Hague and to capture the Royal family.
On and of I wargamed through my younger years, sometimes a bit more (a lot of RISK and a bit of Diplomacy while at university), sometimes a little less (family, work and children, most of us have been there). In 1990 I bought my first 386 PC (a Compaq if I remember correctly) and my first two wargames were Steel Panthers and Microprose M1 Tank Platoon. The last one bought in 2017 is Strategic Command WWII Europe.
My wargaming keeps pace with my reading up on most aspects of military history and war (gaming), although I am not so much interested in materiel like tanks, guns and airplanes per se, but more in the way they were used and the people using them. Biographies are among my favourite subjects.
Since 2015 I am involved in organising the Dutch version of Connections (with a US, UK and Australian version), a conference on the use of wargaming and conflict simulation in government and business decision making. So almost all sorts of wargaming have my attention, all except miniature wargaming.