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Building a Wargaming Valhalla @ Wargamememories.com

posted Oct 7, 2012, 1:55 AM by Douglas Sun

Just wanted to offer a quick plug for wargamememories.com, since I had promised to do so once I started blogging again. It's a fascinating site started with the stunningly ambitious goal of preserving as much of the history of the wargaming hobby as they can find and scan. It's well worth a long browse if you have any interest in what the hobby was like in its earlier days.

And you can support their work, as well. They also sell (under license, of course) coffee mugs and mouse pads decorated with Rodger McGowan cover art  — not just his GMT Games work, but some of his Avalon Hill classics as well. I can personally recommend them; they had some sample mugs at GMT Weekend West in April, but all of them were spoken for by the time I figured out which one I wanted to buy. So after I go home I ordered 15 oz. cafe-style mugs (because having more room for coffee is always better), one with Rise of the Luftwaffe art and another with The Great Battles of History art. Both turned out gorgeous, and they figure to add a dimension of aesthetic pleasure to my morning coffee for a long time to come.

I have been wargaming since the late '70s — almost as long as the hobby has been existence. The crown jewels of my collection are SPI classics, like Empires of the Middle Ages and Blue and Gray Quad. But at the same time, it's strange for me to think of historical wargaming as being old enough to have a history. The time has gone by just that quickly.

But the time has indeed flown, and I understand and support the desire to preserve it before every last magazine copy turns to dust an every last board game copy gives in to mildew and sloppy storage. One of Wargame Memories' most interesting features is a gallery of scanned photos of hobby bigwigs from the mid-1970s; there's Jim Dunnigan smoking a cigar at his desk at SPI; there's Frank Chadwick and John Prados at Origins III. Though most everyone pictured is still with us, and in many cases, still active in the game industry, they were so much younger back then. And I was so much younger back then. Where has the time gone?