Monday, April 27, 2015


I don't mind at all but as I read Larry Correia's blog it becomes clear that I missed the third wave of gaming just as I missed the first one and the second one. I missed them all by just a tiny bit. When I was young I would marshall some of my father's little soldiers but didn't have any real enjoyment in it. I do regret that one of his little cannon went west with the rest of my stuff and will never return but he never missed it. He had a lot of them and hadn't seen any of them at that point in over 30 years. Painted soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars up to WWII with horses and trains and everything you can imagine. It was his hobby before he had us and took up sailing with us.

So, up to a point, I had the opportunity and the materials to wargame and let it slide because I preferred girls and sailing. It turns out one can combine the two very easily. I kind of made it a habit from Newport to Huntsville to State College and then San Diego... and some other places.

I played 2 or 3 box games from Avalon Hill or others and they lacked an essential element over time: an opponent. I preferred the straight up strategy games to Kingmaker which, sucked. If there is too much of the random through simple card play, the hell with it.

My room mate in college had one of the first computers. He and friends would play Star Trek. To give you an idea what I'm talking about, his computer had a tape drive. Yes, a cassette tape drive. I didn't see the point in it.

On the other side of the tenement there was a two story Rec room where I would drop in on 5 or 6 guys playing Dungeons and Dragons. They would play marathon sessions all weekend without rest. We were all college freshman and screw the grades/classes/learning etc. I never played. I could perceive that they enjoyed it but to me it was kind of pointless.

My next college room mate used to return from the architecture lab really early in the morning after spending the night playing one of those really early computer games which involves nothing but typing and reading script. No animated warriors in scanty clothes. No berserkers just question? What do I see in the room? Pick up? Drop?

Then there was an explosion as the 1.5 ton computers became available to us all. There were computer games. I am going to list all of the computer games I played. It might take some time.

Duke Nukem

OK, so that didn't take as long as I thought it would. I'll type slower next time.

I enjoyed the model soldiers and the wonderful magazines the gamers of that era wrote but never did model soldiers. I used to visit family friends with whole armies. (thousands). I missed the board game phenomena because scaring up players is harder to do than one thinks. I missed out on the computer games because of life and family. My nephews play games online with red hot computers that don't work in the absence of serious air conditioning and drew up with PS/2 grafted to their hands.

I spent some of my off hours at home with USNET@SCI.MIL.NAVY and reading. I enjoyed life and walking on the beach and going out to dinner with friends. It was all good. Didn't really have any need for alt.reality.


OldAFSarge said...

I did most of what you "missed out" on. I would venture that you're actually in the majority. Most of which you speak of is something a few of us junior airmen used to partake of. Most of our colleagues played pinochle, drank and/or chased the girls downtown. Some did all three.

I get most of my alternate reality through books. Cheaper and gives the brain a better workout. Though, as always, YMMV.

Doom and Duke Nukem were two of my vices as well.

HMS Defiant said...

I used to leave up to a thousand books behind whenever the navy moved me. When I left San Diego I left about 3000 books to Chaplain Harvey to do away with along with all the other things I used to own. I was a serial book reader. I'm rather enjoying the contretemps going on in the Hugo and WSFS world. I've read most of them. :)

There were no computer games and by that point I'd gotten rid of the 3 board games I used to own. Girls and sailing and the beach was so much more preferable...

virgil xenophon said...

I see you are almost (if not more) as big a serial bookworm as am I. I guess it all started out w. the childhood World Book Encyclopedias. I'd take a random volume, start at the front and work my way thru the subj matter. And yes, I managed to miss most of the board games too (except for chess, lol)

virgil xenophon said...

PS: Delmar Beach cam is operational again!

HMS Defiant said...

When I was very young my father's parents gave us the complete Encyclopedia Britannica. My parents always put it, wherever we moved, next to the bathroom. I have read the complete Encyclopedia. All of it. I would just tell my sisters that I was "busy" and read on Kufra!

I read the blue world book Encyclopedia that my parents gave me on my 8th birthday before I reached my 9th.

You are corresponding with somebody who read for pleasure, the complete Political History of England (12 volumes) in college because he didn't have to. I must admit at that point I was a fan of Charles Oman.

It's not that the girls had to drag me off to sail but I did tell them they had to be good. I wasn't sailing anything but lasers unless we could beat the hell out of USNA and the Terps, and Princeton and those other losers. Having a lass trim your jib or set your spinnaker may be just an expression but back in those days....

I was the most obtusmal guy you'll ever meet.

virgil xenophon said...

Speaking of volume sets, one of my greatest regrets is passing on a 100 volume set of the History of India (completed during the last days of the Raj.) I came across in an antique store in Louisville. Talk about fascinating minute details lost almost forever as historical detail becomes winnowed over time..

HMS Defiant said...

Now that would be cool. From the Moghul to the end of the Raj.

Louisville? Are you serious?

virgil xenophon said...

Yes, Louisville. David R Friedlander Antiques. He used to be on Bardstown Rd in the Highlands 20 yrs ago but appears to have moved further out to the suburbs and his address is now 129 St Mathews Ave, Ste D, Louisville, ky 40207 Online@ A very quirky guy with very quirky, interesting tastes.. Didn't have a large selection then, but was quality and interesting stuff.

virgil xenophon said...

**35 yrs ago

HMS Defiant said...

I remember the used book stores in Newport. They had the most amazing books from a hundred and more years ago. That's where I bought 'Memories' by Jackie Fisher and the memoirs of an Admiral who sailed the North Pacific shortly after our last dust up with the British over those islands. I wish I still had them but I gave them all away years ago.