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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 1:55 pm 
 

I added an article to Wikipedia on Guidon Games

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guidon_Games

If anyone has additional information about the company, please
let me know. Or edit the article directly.  I would particularly like to
get the name of the owner (or owners) of the company, and to
get a complete list of their products.

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 2:05 pm 
 

Hey! Congrats for taking the plunge.

I've been tempted to work on adding/updating the early RPG pages several times, but never quite got around to starting (or quite knowing where to start).

That's a neat outline, btw, Grubbiv. :)

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 2:06 pm 
 

grubbiv wrote:complete list of their products.

Still don't know if it's complete...

=> viewtopic.php?t=1788

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 2:46 pm 
 

faro wrote:Hey! Congrats for taking the plunge.

I've been tempted to work on adding/updating the early RPG pages several times, but never quite got around to starting (or quite knowing where to start).

That's a neat outline, btw, Grubbiv. :)


The article on Chainmail is worthy of some editing, I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chainmail_%28game%29

The statement about Chainmail being developed by enthusiasts
at the University of Minnesota seems wrong, but maybe there is
some truth to it if Perren was at UM.  I've gathered from interviews
with EGG that Perren did not live in Lake Geneva.

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 2:57 pm 
 

Cool, my thanks to all you knowledgeable folks who add to the wiki.


In search of the unknown...

 YIM  

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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 4:02 pm 
 

grubbiv wrote:The article on Chainmail is worthy of some editing, I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chainmail_%28game%29

Aww... you edited out the bit about Swords & Spells = "Supplement V"! :(
Always got a smile from me in passing (and rather obvious where that came from, too; http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/rulebooks.html *g*).

Yeah, so much that could be updated/added... *sighs*

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 03, 2006 11:05 pm 
 

Hi Grubbiv -

I think Guidon was run by Don Lowry (and his wife Julie). From what I can gather from old issues of Panzerfaust, Don ran a gaming shop called Lowry's Hobbies, plus a mail order business. It mostly acted as a distributor for other companies products.

As well as the mail order side of things, Don set up Guidon Games to publish games of his own. I can think of two other products in addition to the games listed in the Wiki entry - Hardtack and Dunkirque.

I believe Gary was never actually employed directly by Don, but collaborated on numerous projects. The earliest Panzerfausts I have (issue 52 onwards) have him listed as Miniatures Editor.

Panzerfaust itself was another sideline - it was originally started by Don Greenwood, and he was editor/publisher up until issue 52 or 53. He then sold the magazine to Don, who started a company called Panzerfaust Publications and became editor. Incidentally Don G sold out as he'd just accepted a job at Avalon Hill and didn't have time for it any more. Panzerfaust mag eventually become Campaign, and ran until issue 111, in 1982.

I think Don wound up Guidon sometime in 1973, after deciding that there was no money to be had in publishing games. He also closed his store and concentrated fully on mail order and the Panzerfaust mag. It's possible that Guidon passed up on D&D in 1973 or thereabouts as Don had already decided to quit that side of his businesses.

When Don and Julie moved to Maine and concentrate most of their efforts in the mail order business, they employed two people to help - one of whom was Tom Wham. he also gets credit in Panzerfaust as resident cartoonist.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any particular questions and I'll look back through my stuff (as well as the Panzerfausts, I have some old Guidon catalogues).

Regards

Mike


Demand of them whither they should comme to devide the worlde with the Emperour? And as they answered, he tooke up his shirte behinde and shewed them his buttocks, sayenge unto them, drawe your Lyne throughe the middest of *this* place.

  


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Post Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 2:05 am 
 

mdr003 wrote:Hi Grubbiv -

...

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any particular questions and I'll look back through my stuff (as well as the Panzerfausts, I have some old Guidon catalogues).

Regards

Mike


Thanks!  This is a big help.  I rolled some of the key points into the article.

  


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Post Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 2:02 pm 
 

Does anyone have information about David Wesely?  Arneson
has said Blackmoor was influenced by Wesely's Braunsteins,
so I thought Wesely might be due a Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wesely

Good facts to add would be date of birth and military service,
if any (I seem to recall seeing mention of a Capt. David Wesely).
The biggest thing would be a document that mentions the Braunsteins,
especially one that does not trace back to an interview with Arneson.

I know that 'Source of the Nile' was reviewed in The Dragon #20 and
Wesely responded in #21.

A last tidbit: IMDB gives some video game programmer credits to a David
Wesely in the early 80s.  Can anyone confirm this is our man?[/i]

  

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Post Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 2:29 pm 
 

If you want to contact Dave Wesely, find someone going to Origins. He's often there. If you can't find him, ask Lou Zocchi; they're friends, and I had lunch with both at the last Origins I attended.

  

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Post Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 7:02 pm 
 

There may be something here:

   Check out this link, provided on the Acaeum by Tim Kask.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i14/kaskoid/Intro.jpg

    The back cover of this publication has some information on it about Lowry and Guidon.

    Probably what you already know, but take a look.

Mark   8)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:05 pm 
 

grubbiv wrote:Does anyone have information about David Wesely?  Arneson
has said Blackmoor was influenced by Wesely's Braunsteins,
so I thought Wesely might be due a Wikipedia article:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I have some information about me.

Sorry it took so long to answer this, but I did not know about your adding me to Wikipedia until two days ago.

To answer a few of your questions:

You have the name spelled correctly.  Congratulations!

No, I am not the NBA Basketball Player, or the member of the Nebraska
Legislature, who you can also find when you search for "David Wesely" on
the internet.

DOB 15MAR45 (so I am between Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in age)
BS Physics, Hamline University 1967
MS High Energy Physics, University of Kansas, 1969
Military Service:
Enlisted USAR 1968
Commissioned 2LT USAR, Ordnance Corps 31JUL70
Active Duty 1970-1973, 1976-1977
Reserves 1968-1990
Highest Rank held: Major

Yes, I am the video game programmer listed in IMDB
Author/coauthor/developer of:
Miniatures rules:
Strategos N (self-published 1967, 1970)
Bombers and Battleships (sefl-published, 1969)
Valley Forge (TSR, 1976)
Valley Forge II (self-published, 1976)
Board games:
Source of the Nile (with Ross W Maker) (Discovery Games, 1978,  
  Avalon Hill, 1980, Discovery Games, 2003)
Computer games:
RAF:The Battle of Britain (with Ross W Maker) (Discovery Games, 1980)
Winged Samurai (with Ross W Maker) (Discovery Games, 1980)
MiGs and Messershcmitts ((with Ross W Maker) (Discovery Games, 1980)
Jagdstaffel (with Ross W Maker) (Discovery Games, 1980)
Malta Strike (with Ross W Maker and David L Arneson) (unpublished)
Computer Aquire (with Steven Goss) (Avalon Hill, 1979)
Zaxxon (COLECO, 1982),
Spy Hunter (COLECO, 1983),
Chennault's Flying Tigers (Discovery Games, 1983)
SubRoc (COLECO, 1984?)
SuperZaxxon (COLECO, unpublished)
SuperSpy Hunter (COLECO, unpublished)
Aztec, Empire of Blood (Microprose, unpublished)
King of the Neighborhood (unpublished)

Speaker at Origins and Gencon seminars for most of the last 10 years


A few other points about the Wikipedia article
The idea of having an all-powerful Referee who would invent the scenario
 for the game (battle) of the evening, provide for hidden movement and
 deal with anything the players decided thatthey wanted to do was not  
 taken from Kriegspeil but was mostly inspired by 'Strategos, The
 American Game of War', a training manual for US army wargames  
 Lt. Charles Adiel Lewis Totten, USMA 1871, publshed by Doubleday in
 1880.  We had found a copy in the U of Minn library and I haad tried to
 adapt it for Napoleonic Wargames ('Strategos-N') before Braunstein.
I created all the non-military roles for the first Braunstein game, not  
because I had too many people for the game, but because I had become  
interested in the concepts of n-player strategy games (where N is > 2)
discussed in Kenneth Swezy's book about the theory of games 'The
Compleat Stategist'  and of overlapping and conflicting, but not directly
opposite, objectives laid out in 'Conflict and Defense' (sorry, I've
forgotten the author of that one).  The latter were the only books on
"games" or "strategy" in our college library in 1963.  As the article says,
I thought of the "wacky" roles as a joke on my players, and did not
expect we would be repeating my multi-objective game any time soon.  
However, the players were of a different mind, and after two flops,
when I realised that the key was letting the players try to do whatever  
they wanted, and not worrying about how to score the game, we started
playing a lot of "Braunsteins" (no one ever called them MOGs again).
The Latin Amerca "Braunstein" (I thought of it as Piedras Morenas, and
the one set in 1919 Russia was going to be Kraschevuii Kamengorod -
both meaning "brown rocks" - but no one liked those names either)
was my first really well set-up Braunstein.  I have presented it as a
talk at GenCon 2005 (and could do it again,  it I get a lot of fan mail
urging me to do so).

By the way, I did not like the term "role-playing game" when it appeared,
as "role playing games" that had nothing to do with what we were doing,
already existed: The term was already being used for (1) a tool used to
train actors for improvisation (an example being the Cheese Shop Game
since imortalized by Monty Python) and (2) a tool used for group therapy
and psychiatric analysis ("Pretend you are an animal.  What kind of an
animal do you want to be? How does your aniimal feel about Janet?")
And using this already overloaded name did not help us look less nutty.
I favored "Adventure Game" but that was siezed-upon at the time as a
replacement for "Hobby Game" or "Adult Game", and now we are stuck
with "RPG".  

Even before I went off to the Army in 1970, Dave Arneson was re-running
the Latin Amerca "Braunstein", which we had set up at his house, and he
soon started inventing new scenarios.  Eventually, he expanded them to
include ides from "the Lord of the Rings" and "Dark Shadows" which were
the "in" book and TV show for us college students in 1968-1970.  This led
to Blackmoor and then D&D.

While I am beating my own drum, I would like to lay claim to having
"invented" polyhedral dice.  I was the first person to USE what were then
being sold as "Models of the five regular polyhedra" (for mathematics
teachers to show to their students), AS DICE.  I have since seen a book
that claims that the Japanese were already using three D-20s, numbered
0-9 twice, to generate 3-digit decimal random numbers at some time
before 1976.  So it may be that they also invented this use for polyhedra,
but I was unaware of them so I am at least an independant re-inventor.
And it was my introducing the D4, D8, D12 and D20 to our gaming group
in 1965 that led to them being used in RPGs and D&D.

Now, having told you how I invented RPGs in the mid 1960's, I will point
out that in 1968, Micheal J. Korns published "Modern War in Mimiature",
a set of miniature rules with all of the features of an RPG, and he and I
had never met.  While Braunstein pre-dates Korns' rules, it is only fair to
say that he also invented the RPG.

Hope all of this is of some use to you.
==============================================

  


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:45 pm 
 

You gave the world polyhedral dice and Zaxxon?   8O  

Thanks!!!

 YIM  

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:17 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:You gave the world polyhedral dice and Zaxxon?   8O  

Thanks!!!


NEVER MIND THAT!!! SPY HUNTER!!!! OH WOWZA!

one of my all-time fave arcade games. that game was so amazingly cool.

Al



  

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:31 am 
 

Very interesting stuff.

So, at what point did you first get into Satanism?   :lol:

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:58 pm 
 

I want to be real honest on this one: I did not work on the original Zaxxon and Spy Hunter Arcade games.  I worked on the versions for the COLECOVISION and the ADAM PC.  

COLECO had purchased the rights to make versions of these games that would run on their devices.  They had not been given the souce code, just a license to use the names.  We had to find a way to make these games taht were running on a $10,000 arcade machine with two 10MHz 68000's run on a $150 home videogame with one 1 Mhz Z80 (and some graphics chips).   We (4-D Interactive Systems) got the contract after the FW engineers at  COLECO said that the diagonal scrolling "3-D" (actually isometric) view of the ZAXXON game would be impossible to reproduce.
They proposed a flat side-view, or a top-down scroll, both of which were enormously easier - which is why there were dozens of games that already worked that way.  The VP at COLECO said there was no point in doing ZAXXON without the diagonal scroll, it was what made the game.  
Fortunately, they had just hired Dave Arneson as a game designer.  and he suggested that he knew these guys in Minnesota (us) who could solve a huge problem they were having with the COLECOVISION OS.  We sent out DAN NICHOLSON, who had been the principal archetect 0on the IBM System 3 before he left to start 4-D.  DAN solved the COLECOVISION OS problem in about three days (they had been stuck foir a month) and the COLECO VP asked if 4-D could solve the ZAXXON problem.  We did.

COLECO ZAXXON has rather poorer graphics than the Arcade version, but
managed to preserve the essential elements of play.  We also got to add some items not in the original.  The "MOBOTS" (look like little flying saucers) in the second asteroid are mine.

SPY HUNTER was a similar challenge, putting the game from the expensive, high-powered arcade unit onto a cheap home system.

We did a number of other games for the COLECOVISION (PEPPER II, TARZAN, SUBROC,etc. some of which I worked on).   I proposed a practical way to keep the true 3-D view of the SUBROC arcade game, but
COLECO decided that the special "periscope" sight that would attach to the hand-controller would make the game too expennsive, so it came out without the 3-D feature that made it special.  Actually, all the 3-D feature on the arcade game did was make it visually obvious that you were looking at a little ship picture about 2" wide and a foot in front of your face, instad of a gigantic space battleship a mile wide.   The arcade game had good hardware for doing 3-D images, but did not use it correctly.
We could have fixed that for COLECO.

oggles  and  for the ADAM COMPUTER that COLECO released the next year.

Whe COLECO released the ADAM home computer we were tasked to make greatly expanded ("SUPER") versions of ZAXXON and SPYHUNTER and also the "TUNNELS and TROLLS" game that they had paid a small fortune to license.
However, when COLECO rushed the ADAM to market, very late for the Christmas season, they cut too many corners on building the computers, and about half of them would not work when they came out of the box!
This fiasco pretty-well destroyed them.  The ADAM never recoverd from its reputation as a piece of junk, and while sales of Cabbage-Patch KIds dolls kept them alive for another two years, COLECO suddenly stopped paying its bills (i.e., our royalties) one day, and we were left holding the bag for our wages.   The unpublished SUPER games and the unfinished
TUNNELS and TROLLS (about 2 minutes of opening credits) vanished, sucked down into the depths by the sinking company, only to reappear as bootleg copies on the internet.

AS for SATANISM... look up Charles Adiel Lewis Totten on the internet.
After he wrote 'Strategos, The American Game of War' he wrote a bunch of other stuff, sometimes under the pen name, "Ten Alcott".  As his great-grandson said to me once, "Well when he got older, he got a little strange"
Now there is nothing satanic about Strategos, but some of the later stuff...
is not really satanic, but do the words "British Israelite" mean anything to you?   Anyhow this works out like something from H.P.Lovecraft:
"Our search through the depths of the stacks in the old library at the University has produced a crumbling volume of forgotten lore: Stategos!
We study the tome, and attempt to follow its strange rituals, making arcane calculations  [3" shaprnel at 900 yards-> 48, times 8/5 for mounted cavalry, times 3/2 for unanswered...] rolling curiously mishapen dice [and remember that those polyhedra were invented by the Pythagorian school of Athens, and we all know hat they were into!]  
Soon we find ourselves role playing and then we start to include Balrogs, Orcs and Wizards... look, somewthing rises from the basement"
BWAHAHAHAHA!

  

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:43 pm 
 

weseld1 wrote:While I am beating my own drum, I would like to lay claim to having
"invented" polyhedral dice.  I was the first person to USE what were then
being sold as "Models of the five regular polyhedra" (for mathematics
teachers to show to their students), AS DICE.


OK, I just want to make sure I'm clear on this: Are you saying you had to actually put numbers on unnumbered polyhedronl models?

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Post Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:47 am 
 

Hope all of this is of some use to you.


This is even better than when Gygax responded to my question on Dragonsfoot.

I have some follow-up questions.

According The Secret History of of Dungeons & Dragons, you conducted the first Braunstein on Christmas of 1967.  Does that date sound right?  The Courier's Timeline of Wargaming says you ran the "first fantasy role-playing game" in 1969.  Is that referring to a game you refereed that I don't know about, or is it an error?

The SHofD&D article also mentions a South American Braunstein called Anaban.  I'm wondering whether that was a game of your design or someone else's.  Moreover the article mentions a Wild West Braunstein by Duane Jenkins, and I was wondering whether you played in that or knew anything about it.

Do you remember when you first ran the Latin American and the 1919 Russia Braunsteins?

The wikipedia article says that you "drew inspiration from Diplomacy".  Did you guys in fact play Diplomacy?  I think that statement comes from the M.A.G.E. article, but it involves some reading between the lines.

There is an anemic article on the MMSA.  Any information you could provide about that organization would be interesting.  When was the club active?  Where and how often did you meet?  How did you recruit members, and how many members did you have?  Did you produce any newsletters?  Did the group have a founder?

Did the Braunsteins make use of any published wargaming rules?  Some of us who live a long way away might never make it out to GenCon to see you give a presentation about the Braunsteins, but we would still like to know how the games were played.  If you ever found the time to write up even a few pages of instruction on how to play a Braunstein and post them on the internet, I think it would be service to we RPG orcs.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:37 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Very interesting stuff.

So, at what point did you first get into Satanism?   :lol:

Mark   8)


Thats it ! Cut to the chase :) !

LOL Mothers Against Dungeons & Dragons would love you !!! All the proof they ever needed........


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:29 am 
 

I find these discussions about the roots of role-playing games to be very interesting.  

Following the links above, I hit upon one guy at The Forge who apparently never met a group of gamers who never actually owned all of the AD&D books at one time.  He's convinced that you cannot even define what D&D is except as an amorphous blob of mixed rule sets.

That may have been more true of the midwest, where all of those publications were available.  Out west, we first saw D&D as the Holmes basic set.  We found the "supplements" in game stores and wondered over what they might be.  (It would not be until 1984, when I found a white box set in a used bookstore, that I realized what Greyhawk, Blackmoor etc were "supplementing.")  Then, within months, the Players Handbook appeared and AD&D was born.  

I never ever saw a D&D group that did not have access to all published, hardback AD&D books.  

Mark   8)


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