A Gaming Autobiography
First of all, yeah. My middle name is Clifford and I'm the guy that wrote those books. (If this baffles you, click here
Now that that's out of the way...
I cut my eye teeth on Battleship
. Then one magical Christmas Eve when I was 12, my brother, who was 13 years older than me, said "Come here. I want to show you something." He had bought the hex version of Avalon Hill's Gettysburg
. We spent the rest of the evening playing... and I won.
After that, I was hooked. The first wargame I spent my own money on was Richthofen's War
. I spent years picking up pretty much whatever war games Avalon Hill
offered without really having a favorite until Squad Leader
came out. From then on I was a WWII gamer. Could a game get any better?
As it turns out, yes. When Up Front
appeared a couple of years later. It (and expansions Banzai
and Desert War
) spent decades as my favorite game. It's the most well-worn well-loved game in my collection. Ditto Diplomacy
, which I really should play more within the thriving online community. I used to do it old school, running a game with an overproduced newsletter made on a copy machine.
Then children appeared and friends moved away and I put aside gaming for the better part of a decade. When the Internet arrived, I checked on Usenet occasionally to see what was going on. And one day I read about an American Civil War-themed game that was simple to set up and simple to play. So I picked up Battle Cry
and got my daughter hooked.
Then I read that the designer of this game had released the same system covering WWII - and naturally, I jumped at Memoir 44
- and each expansion as it came out. Through Memoir I found my way here. I also found some gaming friends at work and we spent many lunch hours slugging it out. I still missed the tactical side of things, but didn't have time to resort my SL counters. Until I started seeing references to a game that looked like a cross between SL and my beloved Up Front
It took me about a year to make up my mind on whether or not to get Combat Commander: Europ
e. It instantly got its hooks in me. And before a year was out, I'd caught up with the all of the expansions, finally capturing Pacific
at the end of last year as a Christmas gift.
I prefer to play Eastern Front games - Stalingrad stuff especially. I feel like the West Front seems too scripted - Allies push, Germans pull back with a few notable exceptions. I do like gaming Normandy, however, and am fascinated by Market Garden. That's my favorite Memoir Overlord map, and I've set my sights on Where Eagles Dare
and (dare I say it?) trying to find a copy of The Devil's Cauldron
In addition, I do play some other games, especially since nobody in my family likes to wargame (although my daughter the Russian major is now interested in Twilight Struggle
). I'm quite fond of Cosmic Encounter
and want to get the FFG update. That and Dr. Who was a staple of late Saturday nights when I was in college. I also enjoy Dominion
and the Fluxx
I am also a game snob. I hate party games that require you to be creative on demand. It's too much like going to work for me (I work in the Advertising industry). And I despise those games that tread on social mores by trying to elicit embarrassing or loaded answers. Not my idea of fun and a blight on our gaming culture, imnsho.
In spare moments, I am also trying to design my own Zombie game. Maybe the time of the Zombie has passed, but the game is almost where I want it. Besides, it gave me one more excuse, in the name of research, to dig up a copy of Mall of Horror
(my other excuse was that I wanted a Diplomacy
-like game that didn't take hours and hours to play out).
I can be found haunting the CC and M44 area of Vassal and on the official M44 Online game. I go by the name Boddekker there, too. That name is the hero of one of my novels. I started using it as a temporary screen name about the time the book came out, and it just stuck. And that picture of the passed-out guy that's my avatar? That's me as painted into the cover of one of my Sci-Fi novels by the cover artist. No, that's not my usual state... but that's a story for another time.
Thanks for stopping by! And in the gamer's parlance: "Good luck and have fun!"A note about the Top/Hot 10:
Just for reference, the Top 10 are my 10 favorite games. It changes only occasionally, for shifting whims. Right now the first and second place games should be considered a tie. The Combat Commander series is my favorite game, but the Up Front series is my favorite game whenever I'm playing it. Think about it.
The Hot 10 are what I've been playing recently, without regard to a cumulative number of times any game has played. Whenever I play a game, it goes to the #1 slot and everything else slides down. Multiple games on the same day appear with the most recent ones closer to the top. This gives a constantly changing glimpse at what I've been playing recently.