Hi, my name is Adrian and I’m a historical gamer. If that sounds like the beginning of an introduction at an AA meeting nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have a problem and even if I do, I don’t want to quit.
My good friend Jon Reinhart of Wargaming Recon and Geeks Explicitly fame asked me the other day if I would be interested in writing an occasional piece for Troll in the Corner about the various aspects of historic wargaming. Up to this point, Jon has been the only contributor to TitC who covers historic gaming and he asked my friend Adam and I if we would be willing to help out. I jumped at the chance. I’ve been reading Troll in the Corner since its inception and was thrilled to be asked to contribute.
I’ve been around the hobby for a long time. I started wargaming in 1978, back in the glory days when Avalon Hill wasn’t just another division of Hasbro and when if you were a miniatures gamer, Minifigs and Airfix were about the only games in town in terms of figures. I wasn’t too into miniatures back then and my introduction to the hobby was an Avalon Hill board game called Third Reich. It is a grand strategic level treatment of the European theater in World War II. It remains one of the most abstract and complex games I’ve ever played. A very poor first choice.
Not to be discouraged, I returned to the store where I bought Third Reich and grabbed another Avalon Hill title, Submarine. This game was much more playable for a newbie as it offered selectable levels of difficulty by way of optional rules. You could make the game as abstract or realistic as you wanted. I was hooked forever after playing it once. Having played Submarine many times, I then ended up in the U.S. Navy for 22 years, a large portion of that time being spent on submarines. I can’t say for certain if the two things are related.
These days I spend most of my time gaming with miniatures. If I had to choose, I would say I actually prefer board gaming to miniatures, but the types of games I tend to prefer are somewhat frightening to many of my friends. Jon in particular has a strong aversion to any game or rule set with a chart in it. I get by because many of the old board games are suitable for solitaire play. In the coming weeks, I hope to be able to introduce you all to and hopefully encourage you to try a different area of our hobby. Historic gaming has a lot to offer and isn’t so radically different from the miniatures games that many of you probably already play.
In an effort to help you all understand me better, I arranged to have myself interviewed, the transcript is below.
Interviewer: Do you have your own website?
Me: Yes. you can find me at New England Grognard. It is a poorly maintained, infrequently updated wargaming blog. I am extremely lazy, and doing those things takes time.
Interviewer: If you were a game, which game would you be?
Me: Advanced Squad Leader. It is rich and deep and offers a rewarding complexity that no other tactical level game can match.
Interviewer: Do you like it because you are a rich, deep, complex person?
Me: I’m none of those things. But I pretend to be all of them when I’m talking to women. Especially younger women.
Interviewer: I saw you ride up on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Do you know that Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha all offer exceptional cruiser-style bikes?
Me: Go die in a fire.
Interviewer: If you were a drink, what would you be?
Me: Well, if I were scotch I’d be Laphroig 10 year old, bourbon I’d be Buffalo Trace, vodka I’d be Mozart, beer…jeez Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal stout I guess. If I were gin I’d be…
Interviewer: Do you think you have a problem with alcohol?
Me: Let’s just move on, okay?
Interviewer: Sorry, that’s all we have time for today.