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Showing posts from 2020

Chainmail: Battle for the Borderlands

It's always a pleasure to find new wargaming friends, especially when they fall in line with your own gaming ethos and level of dedication to crafting fun games. Eric Hoffman had been scheduled to be a game master at Scrum Con in both 2019 and 2020, but family illnesses torpedoed his intentions both times. It's no fun as a convention organizer to have to scramble to find a replacement GM at the last minute, but life often gets in the way regardless of best intentions, and I completely understood his situation.   But having never met Eric, it was hard to know if it was a big loss to our con and its players who had signed up for his games. Now that I've had the chance to play with Eric a couple of times, I can definitively confirm that it was indeed a big loss, and now I'm really looking forward to him being able to run a game for folks at a future Scrum Con. Eric finally did get to attend a Scrum Con event of a sort when we hosted our virtual Summer Invitational back i

An Arneson Clapback, or The Distortions of Axe-Grinding Revisionism

David Wesely, Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson (l-r) I posted the below on Facebook recently, and it is a sentiment I'm compelled to express all too frequently in discussions about the creators of Dungeons & Dragons on Facebook's gaming discussion groups in response to the gratuitous Gary Gygax bashing I see these days. "Dave Arneson gets way too much credit these days. David Wesely latched onto the role playing idea from germinal variations found in early kriegspiels, and Arneson repurposed Gary Gygax’s Chainmail rules to emulate Wesely’s idea in a different setting. Arneson was no game designer and could never hope to organize and codify a rule set for publication. You just have to look at what he produced in the field to see that (try reading and using that mess called First Fantasy Campaign ). While Gygax was churning out huge hardcover tomes that became the foundational bedrock for the game, Arneson was so useless at producing anything around the TSR offices that he eve

Bridging the Gap: Scrum Con 2020 Summer Invitational

Pandemics. They're hell on one's social life and wargaming. Like so many folks, it has been months since I've seen friends in person. For the Second Saturday Scrum Club's members , we last met face to face on March 14 at Scrum Hall (a.k.a. my dining room). Since then, we've all gathered a couple of times now for virtual happy hours just to get some face time with each other and shoot the shit about gaming and life in general. We've also managed to get together in different configurations to try our hands at gaming online, including Roll20 role-playing sessions (D&D, Middle Earth Role Playing , Tekumel), webcam streamed board games (my pimped out copy of the SPI classic Citadel of Blood and Monolith's Conan ), Tabletop Simulator ( Battletech ), and most ambitiously some full-fledged tabletop miniature wargames set up in somebody's home and streamed to all of the players using webcams via Zoom (TSR's Battlesystem 2nd ed.).  One of the things I thin