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Subject: I got a baby's brain and rss

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John O'Haver
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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an old man's heart. Or was it the other way around for me? Anyway it took 21 years to get this far.

The two previous years of unplanned and excess responsibility and frequent excessive irresponsibility had had some impact on my life view. But things were looking up. My mother found an employer who appreciated her strengths and she got a full time time job that paid decently if not well and with benefits.

I got a job I could tolerate...don't laugh...working at a Pizza Hut. In those days in Indiana, if you were under 21 you could watch your folks drink beer after beer after beer until they got sh*t faced at the table in your presence but it was illegal for a minor to see ME fill the pitcher from the tap before I delivered it to your folks. Yeah, I saw it happen, too.


Hell, in 6 weeks I was Assistant Manager and in six months I was the Area Trouble Shooter for the region, traveling around in my '67 Beetle from little town to little town, checking IDs and staying in motels like a real executive. Ok they were cheap motels but I had a salary...not a job but a budding career.

It should be noted that about this time I made one decision that I've stuck with. I decided that I would confine my episodes of self-induced impairment to alcohol only. I was 21 and could legally become impaired if I so chose. Back then, unless you killed somebody the legal attitude toward over imbibing was often, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." But get caught with one funny smelling cigarette and your ass was in deep... I came to this decision after two scary near misses with the law. (There really is a retroactively funny story associated with my decision but I'm on the fence about it).

My sister and I became self-supporting with some money to spare for luxuries. First, I ditched the VW and got myself a 1970 Chevy II Nova. The payment was $49 a month to the bank. It was Metallic Smoke Gray with chrome reverse wheels, black vinyl top and interior, AM AND FM, and it had factory air AND a heater that actually worked in the winter. Ok, the small V8 (305 or 307?) wouldn't exactly light'em up at a stoplight but it looked really really good even though it was still a wuss next to some of my friend's cars.

And I started buying some games. See I told you I'd get back to games.

There was a generation of Avalon Hill games I wanted to try and I had two willing gamers in Terry and Danny. Some of the radical games were designed by James Dunnigan. {Jutland (1967)and Panzerblitz (1970). Others I bought were Origins of WW II (1971), Luftwaffe (1971), Richtofen's War (1972). }bThese were not move adjacent into the ZONE OF CONTROL and calculate the odds games like my beloved Afrika Korps. The art work on the counters looked like what the unit was supposed to be and not a NATO symbol.

Hey, all you 50+ year old war gamers out there! How many games did you play in your life where no matter what era being was simulated, an infantry unit was a cardboard counter with 2 or 3 numbers on it and a box with an X in it. It didn't matter whether it was ancient, 30 Years War, Nappyonic, Civil War, WW II, WW III, totally ficitious or what...ALL INFANTRY WAS A FREAKIN' BOX WITH AN X IN IT! We must have had great imaginations. I'd look at a box with an x in it and think..."Look at this infantry unit. It's the Imperial Guard. It's a 7-4, oooohhh. Bad ass."

Ok, in P-Blitz the infantry was still a box with an x in it but it wasn't called Infantry Blitz either. Tank Platoons had actual silhouettes! In Luftwaffe and R-War there were line drawings of the real airplanes and in Jutland the battleships were top views of the actual ships!

Battleships. Don't ya love things with really big dumb weapons?

Next up: The Best Game of Jutland I Ever Played.




 
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Bill Allen
Australia
Ngunnawal, Canberra
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Hey! I'm 35 and all my wargames when I was younger had 2-3 numbers and the little box with the x or oval in them ... (Field Marshall, Russian Campaign, Fotress Eurpoa [all Jedko], Panzer Armee Afrika and Battle for the Ardenne (?)) ...

However, apparently they work better when you've got the time and people to play with them ... (and that was where Settlers of Catan and History of the World come in ... as I begin to corrupt all those non-gamers out there ...)
 
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