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Robert Madison
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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Ben Madison
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R. Ben Madison
Robert Ben Madison
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R. Ben Madison (1965-) is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, where he lives with his wife Amy and their cat, Bailey (Marshmallow, who was mentioned here before, passed away in 2018.) Ben majored in Soviet Studies, and graduated in 1989 – just in time for the Berlin Wall to come down and his degree to be useless. Since nailing down an M.A. in European History, Ben has published in the field of religious history and served as Church Historian of an obscure Mormon sect before veering into Episcopalianism. Ben’s personal interests include flags, foreign paper money, historical atlases, and exotic foreign food. His interest in wargaming dates from November 1982 when he bought SPI’s “World War II: European Theater.” That got him started on small games with a vast scope, a theme he has carried with him into the world of game design. “I don’t like games unless they have at least two national capitals on the map,” he says, noting that his game designs typically feature lots of historical chrome and random events. Ben describes himself as a historian first, and an “average gamer” more interested in research and design than in actually playing games, a combination that has successfully cried out for a competent co-designer and a ruthless developer. Ben has worked for a decade with math- and strategy-genius game design partner Wes Erni to produce a number of titles on a broad variety of topics, including the Charles S. Roberts Award-winning “Death in the Trenches,” a grand strategy game of World War I. The happy result has been such diverse games as “Byzantium Reborn,” “C.S.A.: America’s Civil War,” and the controversial “Liberia: Descent Into Hell.” Since 2011, Ben has been part of the Victory Point Games team, where ruthless developer Alan Emrich’s assistance to the Erni-Madison design team has led to “Swing States 2012” (on U.S. presidential politics), “Mound Builders” (on prehistoric North America) and “The First Jihad” (the expansion of the Umayyad Caliphate in late antiquity).

Games by R. Ben Madison:

BYZANTIUM REBORN, R. Ben Madison [and Wes Erni] (2004 First Edition, Microgame Design Group; 2007 Second Edition, Fiery Dragon) -- Greek-Turkish War following WWI
DEATH IN THE TRENCHES, R. Ben Madison [and Wes Erni] (2005 Schutze Games) -- First World War strategic game -- CHARLES S. ROBERTS Award Winner
C.S.A., R. Ben Madison & Wes Erni (2008 Fiery Dragon) -- American Civil War two-player strategic game
LIBERIA: DESCENT INTO HELL, R. Ben Madison & Wes Erni (2009 Fiery Dragon) -- Liberian Civil War of the 1990's, two-player game
SWING STATES 2012, Wes Erni & R. Ben Madison (2012 Victory Point Games) -- US Presidential Politics, solitaire game
MOUND BUILDERS, R. Ben Madison & Wes Erni (2014 Victory Point Games) -- Culture, Trade and Warfare in Prehistoric North America, solitaire game
DON'T TREAD ON ME, R. Ben Madison [and Wes Erni] (2014 White Dog Games) -- American Revolutionary War strategic solitaire game
ABSOLUTE VICTORY, R. Ben Madison and Wes Erni (2017 Compass Games) -- Global-level World War II strategic game
N: THE NAPOLEONIC WARS, R. Ben Madison (2017 White Dog Games) -- Grand Strategic game of the Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815
MRS THATCHER'S WAR: THE FALKLANDS 1982, R. Ben Madison (2017 White Dog Games) -- Falklands War of 1982 (Argentina/Britain)
GORBACHEV: THE FALL OF COMMUNISM, R. Ben Madison (2018 White Dog Games) -- Fall of the USSR, 1985-91
THE WHITE TRIBE: RHODESIA, R. Ben Madison (2018 White Dog Games) -- The Rhodesian Bush War 1965-1980 and the battle for majority rule in what is now Zimbabwe
NUBIA: EGYPT'S BLACK HEIRS, R. Ben Madison (2019 White Dog Games) -- The fall of Medieval Nubia, 1172-1504

On the production spiral (potential or certain):

THE FIRST JIHAD, R. Ben Madison and Wes Erni (2018? Victory Point Games) -- The rise of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries, an "inside out" States of Siege game
DEATH IN THE TRENCHES, SECOND EDITION (2019? Compass Games) -- Complete redesign of our 2005 grand strategic WWI game, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice
AGE OF COLUMBUS, R. Ben Madison (2018?) -- Beer and pretzels colonial-age multi-player game, conquer the world for fun and profit in the Age of Enlightenment
THE MISSION: EARLY CHRISTIANITY FROM THE CRUCIFIXION TO THE CRUSADES (2019 White Dog Games) -- Solitaire game where you play the early Christian Church evangelizing the Roman Empire and adjacent areas; a game of ideas that feels like a wargame

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