I was honored to be selected as the 304th Geek of the Week
. By clicking the link, you can read about my gaming background and learn a little bit about me (more than you probably ever cared to know).My Avatar:
My avatar is Kansas State University Coach Bill Snyder, the greatest coach in college football history. He took over (at that time) the only Division I football program with over 500 career losses. In the 50 years before Snyder, KSU posted 3 winning seasons versus 37 seasons with 3 or less wins. When he took over, they were 0-26-1 in their previous 27 games.
Using lowly recruited players, walkons, and junior college transfers, he turned the program around into a perennial top 20 team that went to 11 straight bowl games and posted 11+ wins in 6 out of 7 years. He's won national coach of the year 3 times and conference coach of the year 7 times. He didn't have short term success at a bad program, only to move on to a bigger and better thing to enhance his resume, as most coaches do. Nor did he come in and succeed at a traditional power, benefiting from the success of his predecessors. All of his program's success he built from the ground up and you will be hard pressed to name another coach who built up his program more than Bill Snyder.
He molds young men for success well past the grid iron. He preaches his 16 goals for success
that his players memorize. Nearly 75% of the players that came through his program graduated (far above the university average). His teams regularly finish first in the conference in academics. He's coached 46 First Team Academic All-Americans to go along with the 47 NFL Draft picks. He's also the classiest coach in America. Click this link to read why
For more on the Bill Snyder story, check out this video.
I used to use this avatar: This guy is Sho' Nuff, the antagonist in the cheesy 1980s cult classic, "The Last Dragon" (A Harlem-based Kung Fu movie involving martial arts and break dancing). Sho Nuff is on the short list with Darth Vadar and Zod for the greatest bad guys in movie history.What I'm playing:On deck:VASSAL/PBEM games (concurrent): Gaming Collection & Preferences
I make a lot of Geeklists about my specific parts of my collection, such as my Euros, my pocket games, my American Revolution War games, and such. See my section below ("Geek Lists") for links to these.What I collect and play most often:War Games
) - I am first and foremost a wargamer at heart. It makes up the vast majority of my collection and my playing time. For what it's worth, I scored a 10 on the Neo-Grog Poll
("8-10: You have a tradtionalist wargamer's heart. You often wax nostalgic of the games of yesteryear. Yet you enjoy the variety and innovation of new concepts and designs.")
The wars that I prefer to play are:
* WWII: Pacific Theater first, followed by Mediterranean campaign and
* The American Revolution
* The (American) Civil War
* The Vietnam War
* The French & Indian War
* The Punic Wars
I have other wars, though, such as Napoleonic, Alexander, War of the Roses, War of 1812, WWI, etc. and you can see them sorted chronologically by war by clicking on this link
My favorite games tend be OPS/EVENT Card Driven Games, also known as the Mark Herman
I also like fog-of-war block games:
I tend to prefer medium complexity strategic-level and operational-level games, but tactical games are also fun for a light filler. I stay away from monster wargames and the most complex ones.
) - My buddy Mistermarino is a connoisseur of Ameri-Trash. I tend to play his games: he often teaches me new ones, and we have a few favorites we keep going back to.
I'm not much into Cthulu and zombie-centric games. Sci-fi, fantasy, and post-apocalypse are my preferred topics to play in this genre, and the more "over the top", the better.
: While I can go for a game based on football, baseball, or basketball, there is only one game that I play a lot and that is Strat-o-Matic Pro Basketball
. I will play the computer or board game. I will play season-sims, all-star games, draft leagues, or tournaments. The game is just fascinating!Euros
.)- I'm not a big Eurogamer. I enjoy the puzzle/optimization aspect for a handful of plays, but the lack of real theme limits the long-term enjoyability for me. With that said, there are a few that I really like:
- I'll play them if my family is playing because I enjoy the company. Examples include Uno, Clue, and Mexican Train (Dominoes). What I don't play:Role-playing games
I have a few from the 1980s, but haven't played in over 20 years (but I really enjoyed Recon
). Nothing against them, but a) the genre kind of died out around here and b) the Ameri-Trash/Dungeon Crawls and such have done a great job of replacing them.Collectible Card Games
- Ugh! I have played a few. No thanks. The games are broken out of the box. The idea of buying more and more just to play a decent game is repulsive to me. Collectible = money pit.Table-top Miniature games
(ex: Warhammer 40K, Flames of War): While they look really great to watch others play them, this is a level of dedication far beyond my abilities. Overly complex war games / Monster games
- I teach myself these games and I know that I am not bright enough nor patient enough to take on a 100 page rule book or a "way of life" game. StarFleet Battles pretty much met my quota for that type of game for this lifetime. I also lack the time and space required to play a monster.Wargames made by companies who do not support VASSAL:
I play most of my wargaming over the internet by e-mail on VASSAL. Therefore, I no longer buy games by companies by Amarillo Design Bureau, Inc.
and Avalanche Press Ltd.
. They make great games, but solitaire is not for me. I'm not paying ADB a yearly subscription in order to play their game (I traded off my entire Federation Commander collection as a result), and even though it is a fine series, I am not buying any more Panzer Grenadier games until AVP stops treating the game like Soviet-era state secrets. If they ever get with the program, I would like to get their Pacific/WWII series.My 10 newest acquisitions:
(Newest listed first)My top Wishlist items (not including unreleased games)Game Rankings:
I don't like the BGG definitions of the rankings. I will not always recommend Washington's War
every chance I get (playing with my young children?), but it's still a "10" in my book. I don't do fractional ratings. Here is my definition:
10 = A+
9 = A
8 = A-
7 = B
6 = B-
5 = C
4 = C-
3 = D
2 = D-
1 = FMY TOP 10
(bottom right-hand corner): These are my 10 all-time favorite games. If you want to see why each one is there (along with my next 90 favorite games, click this Geeklist
.MY HOT 10
(bottom right-hand corner): These are 10 that I'd really like to play.TRADES:
I respond to all trade offers, even if I have no interest. I am not one of those jerks who ignore the e-mail. So if you are interested in bargaining, let me know.VASSAL MODULES:
I create ones for games that I enjoy and need them.
What I'm working on now:Waiting their turn:Guns of GaliciaGettysburgWaterloo1777: The Year of the HangmanRobots!City States of ArklyrellModules that I have created:
(click link to learn more).Modules that I have improved:
* Proud Monster Deluxe
: Fixed the broken published module that would not allow the Soviet player to hide certain units.
* Julius Caesar
: Changed the cards to the alternate cards.
* Caesar XL
: Many changes including a counter-mix and superior money system as well as fixing errors.
* Blue vs. Gray
: Fixed the error that would not let the CSA player have his late war cards. Also, both players both know when the 1864 Election and Union Late War will begin. Fixed the red/white die order, and the messed-up map cards.
* Empire of the Sun
: Summary of changes are listed here
* Gettysburg: Badges of Courage
: When units are hidden, it says "HIDDEN" on them.
* For the People
: Numerous changes. Click here
to read them.
* Washington's War
: Numerous changes. Click here
to read them.
* Lincoln's War
: Numerous changes. Click here
to read them.BLOG:
Need some bathroom reading? Check out my game blog
I like to make GeekLists, but they are usually specific stuff in my collection. No one will ever accuse me of being a thumb farmer. Because I like the "Wargames on your table" monthly list, I will sometimes put it up, but only because I am too impatient to wait on others. (I want it up at midnight on the 1st of each month!)
A few of my favorites:My Collection:
* My wargames, sorted by complexity
* My wargames: listed chronologically by war
* My American Revolution games
* My WWI games
* My WWII games
* My Civil War games
* My block games
* My card driven games
* My pocket games
* My Ameri-Trash games
* My Euro games
* My unplayed gamesStuff from this year:
* New (to me) this year
* Games I got this yearBest of the rest:
* The FLGS wargame directory.
* Kirk vs. Picard: the final word.
* Playing matchmaker: bringing together wargamers and wargames
* Wargames on Kickstarter
* All my other GeeklistsColor preferences:
Being a Kansas State University alum (see microbadges), my obvious choice is purple. If purple is taken, then I operate on this rule: I don't want red and blue (the colors of Kansas University) on the board at the same time, so if I am in a 3 player game and purple and red have been taken, I will choose any color (including pink) before I choose blue.Note: Click the picture to learn the back story.Pictures:Personal interests
Traveling to national parks
Following Kansas State University Football.Music
Jazz (Swing, Bop, Cool, Modal)
Progressive Rock (Dream Theater, Neal Morse, Spock's Beard, Rush)
Classic Rock (Foreigner, Journey)
Old Heavy Metal (Iron Maiden, Motorhead)
Some 80s-90s gospel (Stryper, Rich Mullins, Altar Boys)
Some 90s country (Sara Evans, Garth Brooks)
I am a NBA Historian, which means I love to read about anything from 1950-1996. After that, I'm not interested.
I also love to read American History: 18th century is a favorite, but I'll read about anything else.TV
I don't really watch anything outside of K-State football games, but these are some of my all-time favorites:
Battlestar Galactica (2003 version)
Star Trek (original and next generation only)
Curb Your EnthusiasmMisc
I wrote a computer program that lets me pick out my menu for the week, displays my nutritional breakdown, and creates the grocery list from these selections. It was a fun challenge to create, and I use it every week.SELF PORTRAIT: