Saturday, February 5, 2011

Strategy Wargaming: The Good (?) Old Days

Sometimes I miss the old days of pencil-and-paper gaming, and remember Sunday afternoons clustered around the dining room table with dice and character sheets and spinners and graph paper, when we didn't have computers to keep track of all the details. 

Then I run across something like this and remember why everything changed so quickly and definitively -- and why I played Dungeons & Dragons, but never really got into strategy wargaming before computer versions came along.  Nothing dispels that warm, nostalgic glow like this page from venerable strategy game publisher Avalon Hill's replacement parts catalog, circa 1980:

Tiny cardboard chits and markers inevitably got lost or misplaced in the process of setting up and tearing down a game session, and the additional time (and other people) required made scheduling a challenge.  It's so much easier to boot up a game, grab the mouse, and pick up where the game last left off, engaging handy CPU or online opponents. 

Like TSR, Avalon Hill was eventually acquired by Wizards of the Coast eventually... and one of their big products these days is Axis & Allies... online.

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