Bill Owen Q&A
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:30 am 
 

I wanted to give an update on a few bits of news:


1. You may already be aware of Goodman Games giant Volume 1 of several of JG's early fantasy play aids most notably including Tegel Manor! What you may not know is that I provided some new material for that edition which is more nostalgia than helpful to a D&D campaign: namely a precise plan of our JG offices at the Franklin Mall (which has now been razed and turned to a parking lot)... showing the dreaded Rain Zone.

There's also a Exposé of Wikipedia's inaccuracies about Bob and early days of JG on his bio page. I used to dutifully correct that Wiki article on the strength that "I was there" and the people changing it "weren't". But then I realized that Wiki is based on "sourced" material so I started referring to my published, in-print JG history as source, but they still kept referring to sources that had never interviewed me and possibly not even Bob. So I got tired of it and figured that this section in Goodman's volume would have to be "it".


2. I am moving all my wargame materials to a wordpress blog: Wargame Campaign -- Game Design and there are two JG* related pages there:

Judges Guild & after by Bill Owen -- Wargame Campaign  
...this is the news page where I update what's going on with my wargame activities.

ICD, "Middle Earth": Judges Guild's precursors -- Wargame Campaign  
...this one was posted when I sold the final unique items associated with both the ICD, Middle Earth & JG in July 2013 on eBay. I updated a few things on this page.

This blog will take the place of both g-design.us and the blogger/blogsite.


3. I just passed by my 45th anniversary of becoming a travel agent and if it weren't for that job, I wouldn't have been able to attend or exhibit at as many wargame conventions or meet various gamers around the world. Time marches on and these days I have been working with a Swiss company to do online bookings for our US tours from here in Uruguay.

Back in the early 70s we had no computer and called the airlines directly, calculated fares from a giant loose-leaf 3-hole punch binder adding them up on a mechanical calculator (which went wha-chunka chunka chunk flonk) but being just 17 and lazy I would usually add two columns of figures in my head rather than get up and use the one "adding machine" in the office.

This reminds me of a letter we got from a D&D fan who imagined that our office in 1976 was staffed by perky young women operating what she called Electric Compunters. Bob and I smiled about that as we looked at the D&D Supplements, graph paper and other coffee mug stained piles. Really, with too many perky young women in the office, you would have had a lot fewer JG play aids now!

*One can just click on the JUDGES GUILD category on the lefthand column of the page. Word Press is a lot more user friendly than Google's Blogger/Blogsite so eventually that old blog and the g-design.us domain will disappear in PUFF OF SMOKE.  8O


PS Reset your browser's WINDWALKER SPELL to find yourself at the new JG pages (or prosaically Favorite Bookmark).


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:41 pm 
 

Thanks for the update! How are things progressing along the Rio De Plata?

Doing good here. Not playing wargames much at the moment. Do have an active D&D group consisting mostly of college kids going at the moment, and managed to attend U-Con in Detroit last November, GaryCon back in March, and Origins in June, so am having my best gaming convention year this year so far, since 2011.

Did score a couple of awesome older games in a used bookstore in Cincinnati recently, Metagamings The Ythri based on the Poul Anderson Sci-Fi book, as well as Strategy & Tactics #70 The Crusades, complete with the game, both together for less than $10! Finally managed to get my hands on a copy of SPI's Strategy I flatpack, for less than $50, and was lucky enough to have SPI's NATO flatpack included for that price as well, from a Texas non-gamer widows auction on E-Bay.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:21 pm 
 

Winter has been very mild here with sunny, dry (15mm) and 60-70° in June, then 50-60° and 2-3 days of rain every 10 days in July (177mm). Just 2 nights that got down to 32°. When the sun is out here, we are down to t-shirts when in the olive grove. So we have used only a ton of firewood so far, and just in the evenings.

So before we know it will be spring and likely a warm summer which compared to Belize is a piece of cake because less humid.


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Last edited by Bill Owen on Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:55 pm 
 

Good to hear from you Bill!  I hadn't heard about the 3rd edition of your book before scrolling backward a bit today.

Have you considered a 4th edition that includes some of the updated biographical material that you've published in the GG Judges Guild archive book?  

Jon Hershberger and I sell copies of the GG and JG materials at GaryCon and the North Texas RPG Con, and would love to be able to stock Judges Guild's Bob & Bill: A Cautionary Tale too.  If you're interested, please shoot me an email at [email protected], and we can work out terms :D

Allan.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:27 pm 
 

Hi Allan,

I had not considered a 4th edition mainly because of the new material may be pretty thin to base a new edition on. OTOH I have used these new editions as a chance to learn a completely different publishing approach ...because a big part of this, for me, is the interesting challenge of a new format and concept of printing:

Edition #

1. DIY with my super duper MFP (used for travel fliers) that was so far beyond anything that we had access to in JG. JG had no copier ...or printer because we had no computer either! Our most expensive tools were IBM Selectric Typewriters which were close to $800 each. In 1976 that may have been like $3400 now if you believe US inflation statistics (I thing $7000 is more like it). So I signed a contract for about $300/month and could print full color, folded and stapled booklets for pennies of actual paper/ink cost. My first computer was in 1978: an Apple ][+.

2. POD thru Lulu, this giant 'coffee table' (big hard cover) with premium paper stock was really a white elephant with few sales but I enjoyed working on it.

3. POD thru Create Space and Amazon Kindle with the latter being an interesting challenge.

Perhaps I may come up with a new format that makes a 4th edition of special interest to me. And if I had more material from Marc, Craig, Tony and Mark that itself could spur me on. Unfortunately my limited recollections of the period are already on paper.

PS In my weather report I did not mention that the Amazon and I have two thousand more trees to prune so we have appreciated the mild winter. Another little tidbit: did you know Atlantida, a nearby resort town here in Uruguay, is Spanish for Atlantis? So having married and Amazon and living near Atlantis, my fantasy "career" follows me.

grodog wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:Good to hear from you Bill!  I hadn't heard about the 3rd edition of your book before scrolling backward a bit today.

Have you considered a 4th edition that includes some of the updated biographical material that you've published in the GG Judges Guild archive book?  

Jon Hershberger and I sell copies of the GG and JG materials at GaryCon and the North Texas RPG Con, and would love to be able to stock Judges Guild's Bob & Bill: A Cautionary Tale too.  If you're interested, please shoot me an email at [email protected], and we can work out terms :D

Allan.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:03 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:I wanted to give an update on a few bits of news:

I am moving all my wargame materials to a wordpress blog: Wargame Campaign -- Game Design and there are two JG* related pages there:

Judges Guild & after by Bill Owen -- Wargame Campaign  
...this is the news page where I update what's going on with my wargame activities.

ICD, "Middle Earth": Judges Guild's precursors -- Wargame Campaign  
...this one was posted when I sold the final unique items associated with both the ICD, Middle Earth & JG in July 2013 on eBay. I updated a few things on this page.

This blog will take the place of both g-design.us and the blogger/blogsite.


Hi Bill,

Hope everything has been going good with family, and with your Olive Tree Gardens! I've been reading the Wargame Campaign Wordpress Blog, and have been enjoying it immensely, Thank You! I'm on the RSS feed there, so whenever you post, the entire article just shows up in my email inbox, and that's pretty sweet! I really need to post more over on my gaming website this year, and will, right after I get back from GaryCon next week.

You plan on running another European Battlefields/Normandy tour this summer?

I'll be traveling down to some of your stomping grounds in Central America this year, visiting Mexico, Honduras, and Belize, taking my family, the wife & kids! Next year, ....Europe...working on visiting Germany & Austria, ...and maybe France too, for a couple of weeks, and then on to the Middle East for a visit with some close family friends in Israel for a couple more weeks, complete with a tour of the holy lands and some of those ancient battlefields.

I have a few questions for you today, not so much about the wargaming, though I would be interested in hearing an AAR on the Battle of the Beach where you were giving your new 1/76 minis a workout. These questions are about D&D, ...not Judges Guild, and the early days there, ...but about your first D&D Campaign. I just learned last week that you had run games in your own campaign setting, set in ancient Wales, and I'd be super interested in learning a bit more about that, ...so much so, in fact, that I wrote up a list of ten questions that I'm hoping you'd be willing to answer for me (and everyone else here too!);

Ten Questions for Bill Owen on his original D&D Campaign.


1. Okay, so It was mentioned that one of your very early D&D campaigns that you ran was a Welsh campaign. Was that primarily historical, or more fantasy... did you allow players to play all of the early D&D character classes including Wizards as well as D&D style Clerics?

2. Do you happen to have any of your old campaign or local game maps from the Welsh Campaign that you would care to share with us?...

3. Was that it's actual name, or did you just call your campaign world Wales?

4. Did Bob Bledsaw ever play in that campaign? If so, what kind of characters did he like playing?

5. Was there any large scale battles?... i.e. where the player characters were only in a small part of the Battle?

6. What was the most common monster found in that campaign world?

7. What was the most exotic monster in that campaign world that the players encountered?

8. Was the world in any way connected to the Judges Guild/ Wilderlands Campaign Setting? Like Portals, or gates and such?....

9. What was the favorite thing that you created, and included, for this campaign world?

10. Is there anything else you would care to share about that first campaign world?

That's it.

In 1977 I made my first campaign world, it was heavily influenced by the Lord of the Rings, and the campaign was centered on a small continent only fifteen hundred miles wide and about eight hundred miles from North to South (basically six five mile scale hex maps 3 wide and 2 high) with two rather large series of mountain ranges running parallel north to south about three hundred miles apart . In the highlands in between these mountain ranges lived the humans, the elves, and the hobbits, and of course, the dwarves lived in the mountain ranges. I remember the hobbit villages all had names like Brandywine, and Brandybuck, and like Thomas's Ford, most of these human, eleven, and dwarven settlements had Old English Names, and not a few names lifted directly from LOTR, which included some Welsh variant names, and Olde German. Like that.

To the South, there were Jungles, and a Great inland Sea, which was filled with pirates, and like many ancient Egyptian settlements. To the west, over the mountains were the charred or ash plains, an evil area about the size of Nebraska, filled with forgotten ruins and plentitudes of many different variations of undead with some demons, and lots of evil warlocks, and evil high priests in citadels and dungeons, and secret lairs. Me and my gaming friends played lots of campaigns continuously from when we started in 1977 until about 1981 or so, when I made my second campaign world.

The second Campaign World called Tamerthya, also had great Jungles to the South, and a great desert in the middle of the continent. It was a huge continent made up of hex maps laid out in a 4x5 pattern, so, as large as Australia, and with about 65% of the land mass of the United States. I can't even remember all of the details about that, right now. I do remember adding in entire areas from favorite fantasy books... On the West coast, for example, was the Grey Towers and the Green Heart of Midkemia, along with Crydee, and Carse, and yes, there were stone teleportal rings that led directly to the Empires of the Petal Throne. Along the East Coast, I had placed most of the world of The Land, from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeleiver, and I also had  totally ripped off the best ideas from Earthsea (Island Kingdoms in the Southern Oceans), and along the Southern Coast, Tamertheon and Drantos from the planet Tran, from Jerry Pournelle's  Jannissaries series of books. On the North side of the great central desert, Stygia, and then many of the Kingdoms of Hyborea, ending with Cimmeria on the Northern Coastal Mountain Chain. In the middle of all that I threw in anything, and everything else that I dreamt up, and ran games in that campaign setting until 1985. Then I got a divorce, and in a fit of spite, ...my ex-wife sold off my entire gaming collection. I didn't play D&D or wargames for about three years after that, and then started very slowly again. I'd guess almost a hundred people played in those early game worlds. In 1983, I had a campaign going with fourteen regular players, and five or six temp players who liked to play one-shot characters, and there were like five to fifteen additional people that would just show up and sit in on gaming sessions. They didn't even play, they just liked to sit around and watch us all play.


...and built my third campaign setting. Which was begun in 1987, and finished in 1991, and i have that here now, right here in my office.

...anyway, was just curious about your first D&D campaign setting.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:56 pm 
 

Thanks GameDaddy!

We are indeed operating another WWII and Castles tour this May. With just 10 people (so far; we can only fit 15 in the small coach) it's like a Royal Visit. We can accommodate any combination of 3-5 people, either rooming with another gamer (to save the single room supplement; we have guy booked already needing a roommate) or 2 single roomers or 4 people in "twin" rooms (so called because there are two beds). It's at http://www.WargamerTour.com.

Image

We have pretty well stomped out Belize at this point. We went the whole month of October which is about my longest vacation since I left Judges Guild and decompressed in the Northwest (which is where I had done Talus Cave research for JG). We stayed on the island of Ambergris Caye and went snorkeling in the beautiful waters of Ho Chan on the Barrier Reef. My friend Mark came down to go scuba diving. He's the historian/tour manager of the the WargamerTour. Didn't get inland to the twin towns on the Guatemalan border this time... that's a shame because I did like it there between hot spells which was about 10 months of the year. We'd switch to jeans in December because the temps dropped to the 70s.

It's not been so hot a summer here for the last month (earlier, in January a lot of 90° days) but now that it's been in the 80s we still get chilly when it drops to 75°! The part I really like in Uruguay is that it's not humid through most of the summer. Winter's another story but when the sun's out you don't need a coat unless if the Antarctic winds are blowing. The Amazon & I like it here in Atlantis!

We built a galpon (barn) here and a South African guy built an incredible Dutch style water system to drain the water when we realize that we'd found a spring in that spot. Now the tractor, mower and sprayer plus car are out of the sun and the rains. The trees are taking their time as far as I'm concerned. While they haven't bushed out like hoped for this the 3rd year of Sleep, Creep and Leap, I realized yesterday that some of their trunks have indeed grown from the 1/4" twigs to a beefy 3" diameter. We knew it would take 10 years to mature. We might have a crop of olives next year.

What will be remarkable about our Extra Virgin Oil (aside from not being cut with nasty bad-for-you oils by the mafia; so our secret ingredient is 100% olive oil!) is that we know that it has been years since the property was exposed to Glyphosate. Obviously the rest of the olive groves don't use Glyphosate ON the trees (because it would kill them!) but it is common around the world for weed control AROUND the trees. And who knows for sure if there are or aren't negative trade-offs with that? I know there are a lot of people who think Glyphosate is harmless and having lived 57 years in Central Illinois I tended to go along with that because that's how my bread was indirectly buttered. But I know of all sorts of people who have tried to grow things in soil that was exposed to Glyphosate years before and nothing will grow still. Now making ones soil infertile is bad enough but each of our bodies are full of, well, a witches brew of bacteria and stuff that it would be better if you did monkey with the millennia of what worked for us as humans. So Gaudium hill has taken a different approach and its been a lot of work pulling weeds by hand, mowing, weed whacking and we are even looking into a steam weeder! Hot water is only momentarily dangerous and then pretty benign.A number of the semi-crazy expats here are interested in the project. One said "you mean we can build something that might blow up? I'm in!"

Sounds like you have a lot of great travel planned! I am so glad that I have gotten to take the tours that I have through the years. An extra benefit is that I have I gotten to meet some great gamers around the world who I have kept up with. As time goes on these experiences are more valuable than things.

I had to think about what you meant w/r/t the Battle of the Beach! We were staying in a beach house at Aguas Dulces (Sweet Waters) on the Atlantic Ocean coast in the middle of eastern Uruguay. The game used the ruleset Nuts! and it was new to both Mark and I. So we struggled a bit with the "how to". It was intriguing because we felt like raw recruits in training... and the situation developed to be very challenging. I spent some time figuring out on the Nuts! forum what was the Best Practices approach to assaulting these house where the Germans were holed up. Back in the days of Tractics, we just sort of flung the toy solders in an didn't worry about losing them. Funny how as an old guy, we do "role play" in the sense that we really don't want to lose troops now.

I got kind of a reputation in several Command Decision for a careful player rarely losing any troops but then in one game a fluke happened where I managed to have half my force flee off the board! At the time I felt that they had done the right thing! I'd rather that then have them massacred.

Here are answers to your probing questions. Unfortunately there may not be much real campaign intel here. That was 40 years ago and a lot of it went

1. It was a fantasy game in the usual D&D style but using some Welsh overtones and a map that I had drawn of Wales for the campaign area. My interest in Wales comes from my Welsh surname and family oral tradition of our ancestor having come out of Wales with Henry the VII as "Blacksmith to the King" (indeed of all my tools I miss my dad's big anvil the most and pounding on and shaping metal for some particular purpose).

It turns out that we got some possible support for this story when National Geographic ran a story about the restoration of the Mary Rose, a ship that flipped to the annoyance of Henry VIII, who probably blamed his Armorers "brothers Owen who built this bastard" (the word for cannon) for making the cannons "too heavy" rather than his choice of "too many". Anyway they found those words cast on a cannon retrieved from the mud.

2. I sold the maps and materials while I was in Belize in 2013 and I think that there are a few photos either in the JG books or on line. I had drawn the map with those wonderful artistic markers that were so easy to find back then. Now that the average kid has a computer and color printer, those supplies have become hard to find—at least in Uruguay. I had to go into 10 stores including in the capital city before I found just the right color maker the other day to re-color some ID chits on my Mini Markers post on the blog... wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/2018/02/1 ... i-markers/.

3. We either called it Welsh campaign or, It was either phonetically Cumree, actually Cymru (which is Welsh for  for Wales). In just checking myself I heard a trilled R sound that I don't remember knowing about—so more like Cumr-r-r-ee.

I learned how to say Merry Christmas in Welsh this year! "Nadolig Llawen" pronounced Nadoughleeg Clowhen) (learning Welsh) How to say Merry Christmas in Welsh - YouTube  

My wizard's name in Bob's campaign was Llangewellen which I probably warped from the town of Llangollen and seen in the travel agency when looking at a Welsh map. I just looked in Google and instead of finding millions of results, Google has exactly one web find for Llangewellen, on Tapatalk.com, so the name does not exist elsewhere in nature and hasn't caught on! We never pronounced the L's properly but it would have been fun teaching the rest of the guys how, if only I had known myself!

4. No, Bob never played. He was busy with the Guild and really leaving JG was difficult for me—not his fault. But it took time for that loss to heal and it was a major life delight that we got back together again and spend time together. I did use some materials that we both had made but never got published (so far as I know) since some were originals and not copies. He would doodle lovely drawings of knights etc. There was a Tarquin Manor which was a knock-off I made of Tegel Manor.

5. No battles. It really started small and stayed very small.

6. Hmm. I can't remember if there was any Average Joe Monsters coming from central casting.

7. No recollection. Although there was a squonk magic item, Girdle of Giant Strength, that turned out to be a Girdle of Femininity that blew one player out of the tub. He said he didn't quit because of it. Maybe it was just a good time to waft away.

If I could just get him to write up some stuff here! His creative writing skills are off beyond Jupiter.

8. No connection. It mostly took place in southwest Wales near the town of Carmarthen (which is a real place) and Havorford West. [map at bottom] Oddly enough I am thinking of including a place around their in next year's WargamerTour. This year we have a tour staying in Wexford across the Irish Sea.

9. The two guys and one girl had a lot of fun "there". But then, I don't take credit for that creation. I just sort started the boulder rolling down the hill. True, I had all sorts of wonderful Judges Guild materials to use! Made more special by being the first off the press with the printers' thumbprints on them.

10. You know, I doubt that it was my campaign prep nor the D&D rules nor JG materials, but rather the magical interaction of the people involved. And finding that is rare and to be treasured.

Sorry there's really little here but my bombast.

I will see if I can dredge up some of this from one of the players and flesh this out on a page in my https://www.wargamecampaign.wordpress.com blog.

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Last edited by Bill Owen on Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:06 pm 
 

Hi again GameDaddy,

As an update to my blog, I added more words (than what I wrote above) including photos from my histories that might be "bigger" than in the booklets. You can find it here: wargamecampaign.wordpress.com/2018/03/0 ... -after-jg/

I am still in touch with one of the players in that campaign and he wrote a response to say what he could remember. That sparked a few additional recollections. And seeing the maps and miscellaneous material (that was in sheet protectors and held together with a single circular loop) also gave me a few more bits.

I'm sorry I did not acknowledge your campaign rationales and settings before. I got to writing answers to the questions you asked and since I really should have been working on real tours, I stopped at question #10 and then got back to working on travel.

It's a testimony that your campaigns "worked" to the degree you had such a remarkable following for so many years. I can see how it would have been fun to play in your worlds. Your wide reading in fantasy, swords and sorcery is much more like Bob's than mine. I did not have that background. I was an omnivorous wargamer and acted, at best, as a support to Bob.

You can see how tiny the game setting was that we adventured in! Especially by comparison to your continental scope. I think that the role-playing concept can handle small or grand quite well, if the Judge can keep up with it!

Moving to historical miniature games for a moment, I think I wasted a lot of time and effort looking for better rulesets (often defined as complexity making it more "realistic"), producing variants or even my ruleset or two. Yet if one draws back it might be better to keep the rules simple to keep up the game's pace without boring pauses. And assure that certain features are present like hidden movement which made the game exciting. And there's a connection with role-playing insofar that when the attackers are banished from the game table, the game is continuing, in their minds! Relying on their memories for what they glimpsed earlier as they set up and made their first move.

Now back to roleplaying's "realism" or complexity...

Besides Judges Guild's uneven quality, I have wondered at times whether we did a disservice by giving the impression that one needed such a big or highly developed "world". On balance we probably added more fuel to more Judges' "rockets" to fancy than how we tied others' shoelaces together. But when it came to Bob, I am convinced now (and only suspected back in the late '70s) that Bob had overdone it and burned out prematurely. Since I was more a gamer and fascinated by the graphics and business, I really couldn't burn out when it came to fantasy writing—I had never been lit! But even acting as "glue" for the business, I burned out and had to move on. When I say "overdone" what I mean is: that CSIO did not need to be so big to be a "wow" back then. Certainly the big shots at TSR did not recognize until much later the merit of extensive play aids (really Judge boosters) like this. In hindsight we could have started with a smaller city and a smaller campaign world.

But hindsight is 20/20. We were making it up as we went along. Therefore those that came later could take a better approach having seen our errors, omissions and over-reach. Being the pioneer gives you the chance the blaze a trail in virgin territory. Then the specialists come in and improve.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:22 am 
 

Wow! Thanks for following up on this! I was going to reply earlier, however was preoccupied this weekend with CincyCon, Cincinnati's gaming convention. I'll post links at the end of my post here to the AAR's for that show.

Yes, just as I thought, ...those original D&D gaming maps of Wales are awesome! Thank you for sharing! I just wish I hadn't put my original game stuff into storage when I was to be stationed in New Mexico by the Army, in 1983. I would have still had my original gaming maps if I had kept them close to me. I didn't think much of them at the time, but now, ...I realize they were quite literally the foundation for everything that has followed over the years.

It was because of Tolkien, that my fantasy world design philosophy is what it is. In that first part of Lord of the Rings, the part "Where Frodo began to fell restless, and the old paths seemed to well trodden. He looked at the maps, and wondered what lay beyond their edges: Maps made in the Shire mostly showed white spaces beyond the borders. He took to wandering further afield, and more often by himself; and Merry and his other friends watched him anxiously."

When they finally departed Frodo wondered if he would ever be back. One thing for sure, he was going on an adventure, just like his uncle, Bilbo. It was to be an epic adventure. Set in an enormous unbounded land shadowed by evil the entire way. It was easily six months from the time he departed the Shire until the Fellowship entered the door at Moria. It took two weeks to reach Rivendell, so at least two hundred miles. Middle Earth was large, so I always wanted to make my campaign worlds large as well, and then there was the Wilderlands, the first published campaign setting for D&D. Also very large.

I never thought I "needed" a big "world", however I always really enjoyed having a framework, and at least some idea of what the players would encounter, if they chose to travel or explore. Further, I always wanted to keep that option open for them. Plus, when I wasn't actively gaming, it was something I enjoyed working on very much. Having a new dungeon ready, a new adventure, or a castle with a wizard, a Dragons lair, or even an Inn.

...and of course, back then, I just couldn't afford the entire Wilderlands campaign setting. Until 1982, I never had enough spare money to even afford a subscription to the JG Journal. The singular unit price of adventures, dungeons, and campaign setting was, however, affordable, and thus in 1978 I came into the possession of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. By 1982 I did have the CSIO as well, and a couple of the other Wilderlands campaign settings as well. It wasn't until 2011 however until I picked up a full copy of The City State of the World Emperor, that I finally had the full JG Wilderlands Campaign setting, and it took me until last year, to track down and obtain all of the adventures that are set in the Wilderlands.

I would have liked to adventure in Wales. My first DM, had made a complete and accurate map of Spain, scaled to 5 miles to the hex, and that was where we adventured when I played instead of GMed, from 1977-1979, and that was a hybrid D&D/Gamma World campaign setting.

The European tour this year looks awesome! Of course, I would very much enjoy going on that as well, however the rest of my family would not share my enthusiasm for spending a couple of weeks just touring battlefields. Next year though, we'll be traveling to Europe and the Middle East, most likely in June. If you happened to have a tour going then, I would be very interested in perhaps joining that for a day or two, maybe to see Alesia, or the Ardennes. As it stands, We'll likely be in the Frankfurt area for a few days, and of course visit Berlin, and I have friends in Bavaria to visit, as well as in Austria. We would reside in a Castle overlooking the Danube for some of our vacation there, as well as a private guesthouse in the hills of Northern Austria up near the Czech border. I would be willing to flex my visitation schedule for an interesting historical tour. In Israel, well, the wife wants to see all the holy sites, especially Jerusalem, which is Ok in my book.  I do want to really see some of the Crusader Castles, as well as older Israeli settlements and fortifications including Megiddo, Tel Dan, Masada, and of course Gomorrah, which is visible from the Battlements of Masada down in the Dead Sea valley below. I'd also very much like to see the Roman settlement of Caesaria on the coast, and perhaps find the beach where Richard the Lionhearted landed with his army, and drove Saladin back to Damascus, ...at least for a time.

I just might be able to fit all of that into a month... ...maybe.

There's a guy with a shop pretty close to me, you might know him, ...Dale Kemper. He has absolutely the best collection of 1/2400 naval miniatures that I have ever seen, from pretty much ever era, right up to ultramodern, so if you need to add to your fleets just let me know, and I'll be happy to pickup some extra minis from him, and then ship them down to you. I'd totally trade for some Olive Oil from your Olive Gardens as well!

If we ever manage to meet up again, I would really enjoy playing D&D in a campaign set in Wales, or would also play some war games, especially if there is something you like playing. I'm still really partial to Squad Leader, Panzer Leader, and Wooden Ships & Iron Men, and would do 1/2400 naval battles too. Been wanting to setup and play SPI's Strategy I as well. So if we meet up again, ...some gaming, yes?

Here are the links for the CincyCon AAR from this last weekend, Take care & be well!

CincyCon - First Impressions
CincyCon 2018 -- Part One -- First Impressions -- Tamerthya

CincyCon - Games Being Played
CincyCon 2018 -- Part Two -- Games Being Played -- Tamerthya

CincyCon - Warhammer40k & Flames of War Tournaments
CincyCon 2018 -- Part Three -- Warhammer 40k & the Flames of War Tournament -- Tamerthya

CincyCon - Random Games at the Tables
CincyCon 2018 -- Part Four -- Random Games at the Tables -- Tamerthya

CincyCon - Saving the best For last
CincyCon 2018 -- Part Five -- Saving the Best for Last! -- Tamerthya


Wargamer since 1972. RPG Gamer since 1977.

Tamerthya
An old-school RPG site with articles, resources, and after-action reports
https://tamerthya.blog/

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:48 am 
 

You're welcome. The next wargamerstour will be a different set of destinations... send me a private message if you want to hear more.

Israel's a great place. The last time I got to go was February 29, 1992 and I've heard they have dug up more archaeological sites since then.

I don't remember Dale. The King of Naval Games to me was Dave Sering who had what seemed like hundreds of 1:2400 ships. I probably should have gotten Panzerschiffe but was concerned that the range of ship classes available were not as complete as 1:3000 Navwar. I wouldn't buy GHQ because they're too nice and with my poor modeling skills it would be like painting a Greek statue with a broom.

Incidentally, I rewrote the part in my blog about reviewers' criticisms about the JG history. I got frustrated with their complaints but now think it's fine because I'd rather not sell something that people are disappointed with. In retrospect the earlier reviews were mostly from JG dyed-in-the-wool JG fans who overlooked the flaws and accepted that my lack of details was just from limited memories. I just realized that it's been 10 years since Bob died and 40 years since I left JG and 50 years since we started the ICD wargame club as teenagers.

My game interests these days are Hitler's War, Britannia, Kingmaker, plus for "campaign" purposes A House Divided (or possibly For The People) to refight some of the boardgame battles with Volley & Bayonet on a miniatures table. Otherwise, Great Battles of WWII and General Quarters 3. I have thought of making another sand table but that's probably a pipe dream.

But if you come down to play games, I might punctuate the game play with pruning olive trees! Her are some photos. At left is an olive tree with its first year of blooms. Because the trees needed to put more energy into growth, we pulled off about 10 million blooms that year. In the middle is an overview of the grove shaped like a "7" with 3400 trees on 28 acres (11.62 hectares). At right are olive trees in the background and in the foreground, weeds I call Networking Plants because they seem to send out roots to grow more… before most were mowed down (except for on the rows between trees).

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:47 am 
 

Some quick updates:

1. I have been busy as a beaver with a second travel company to work with on tour group design. Among them I have two wargamer tours in 2019: Weapons of World War II with D-Day optional add-on (75th anniversary year) with our very popular, feisty Irish guide, Ed Robinson & suave 007-style wargamer Mark Williams... in May. Then a Civil War in Kentucky coach tour with wargamer/professor Fred Christensen in September (just finalizing that next week)... Stevie Jay Travel | MILITARY HISTORY will have both tours listed soon.

2. I let my g-design.us domain expire and my 5 Judges Guild pages are not at Judges Guild -- Wargame Campaign

3. BY POPULAR DEMAND ...well, one guy asked*, I put up some JG swag (3) t-shirt styles at https://www.zazzle.com/judgesguild and they have a 20% off sale using the following coupon through Christmas day: DECEMBERZAZZ ...one can choose from many dark colors and now 3 logo colors too.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

*I could not figure out how to make the Cafe Press logos on dark fabric work so I gave up on that and made a site through Zazzle. The logo on cafepress had a big white block where the background should have been transparent. With Zazzle there are 3 styles: traditional brown typeface, golden tan that might work with some darker fabrics and a Gold "Embossed" look that unfortunately is not made up actual Gold. The https://www.cafepress.com/judgesguild is still active with lots of stuff still.

PS I hope to add more styles but been too busy in my spare time in the Olive Grove for that.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:22 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:had a big white block where the background should have been transparent.


I seem to recall a few instances of that phenomenon in early JG publications!

  

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:30 pm 
 

Perhaps so, but since it was mechanical reproduction it may have just been due a lack of good taste or a warped idea of what would look right to me!

I don't remember that (and I DO remember various glitches to this day) so could be either of the explanations. :)


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:54 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:I don't remember that (and I DO remember various glitches to this day) so could be either of the explanations. :)



I was thinking mainly of this cover:
https://www.acaeum.com/jg/ModPhotos/Wil ... II1st.html

The unicorn seems like it was meant to fit into the background landscape art, similar to the warrior on this cover:
https://www.acaeum.com/jg/ModPhotos/GuideCityState.html

Or maybe I've been reading too much into it?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:49 am 
 

sauromatian wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:

I was thinking mainly of this cover:
https://www.acaeum.com/jg/ModPhotos/Wil ... II1st.html

The unicorn seems like it was meant to fit into the background landscape art, similar to the warrior on this cover:
https://www.acaeum.com/jg/ModPhotos/GuideCityState.html

Or maybe I've been reading too much into it?


RE WOHF: I don't really remember this 2nd booklet's cover but from what I can see the stairstep white space was probably where text was on this olden drawing. And I cut the text out and added the unicorn from other old art into that white space to give it more of a fantasy feel. I really liked this style of old art which one could buy giant clip books of back then (like $5 for 12x18" hundreds of pages) on the bargain table and thru a company called Dover I think.

RE CSIO: Indeed I remember the charging warrior that Bob drew and I added a zipatone for a shadow (plus the tone to replace the clock on the tower which seemed too 'modern'). I loved Rothenburg ab Tauber from a 1970 visit and got that from a travel brochure in the office. To me, at least, that street scene represented the City State. Now with charging tourists instead, it can still be seen as my wife and daughter did in 2000. What cemented it was the addition of the Hero On Pegasus though and by itself carried the JG look to this day.

The added warrior charging art didn't have quite the right tone but "good enough" back then since we launched into this venture with just the $200 I invested and no certainty that any of this business really made any sense. I have always had strong, mixed emotions about "too much" artwork and I won't plow that ground again here. Bob and I didn't agree on the 'art' aspect.


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:28 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:where text was


Now I want to know what the text said - the history of RPGs demands it! (Actually, the demand comes our compulsive need to conduct eternal quests for arcane & pointless knowledge.)

  

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:42 pm 
 

sauromatian wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:
Now I want to know what the text said - the history of RPGs demands it! (Actually, the demand comes our compulsive need to conduct eternal quests for arcane & pointless knowledge.)


It was probably blank already or some obscure poem by Farqhuar P Whistletop. Or an example story by Ambrose Bierce:

General H.H. Wotherspoon, president of the Army War College, has a pet rib-nosed baboon, an animal of uncommon intelligence but imperfectly beautiful. Returning to his apartment one evening, the General was surprised and pained to find Adam (for so the creature is named, the general being a Darwinian) sitting up for him and wearing his master's best uniform coat, epaulettes and all. "You confounded remote ancestor!" thundered the great strategist, "what do you mean by being out of bed after naps? -- and with my coat on!" Adam rose and with a reproachful look got down on all fours in the manner of his kind and, scuffling across the room to a table, returned with a visiting-card: General Barry had called and, judging by an empty champagne bottle and several cigar-stumps, had been hospitably entertained while waiting. The general apologized to his faithful progenitor and retired. The next day he met General Barry, who said: "Spoon, old man, when leaving you last evening I forgot to ask you about those excellent cigars. Where did you get them?" General Wotherspoon did not deign to reply, but walked away. "Pardon me, please," said Barry, moving after him; "I was joking of course. Why, I knew it was not you before I had been in the room fifteen minutes."
- The Devil's Dictionary


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:59 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote in Bill Owen Q&A:"...I knew it was not you..."


Even back then, they had to worry about identity theft. Very well, I'll add this to the knowledge of the world I've gained from a similar work of that era:
Dictionary of Received Ideas - Wikipedia
Some excepts:
"ABSINTHE. Extra-violent poison: one glass and you're dead. Newspapermen drink it as they write their copy. Has killed more soldiers than the Bedouin.
ARCHIMEDES. On hearing his name, shout "Eureka!" Or else: "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world." There is also Archimedes' screw, but you are not expected to know what it is.
FEUDALISM. No need to have one single precise notion about it: thunder against.
OMEGA. Second letter of the Greek alphabet.
THIRTEEN. Avoid being thirteen at table; it brings bad luck. The sceptics should not fail to crack jokes: "What is the difference? I'll eat enough for two!" Or again, if there are ladies, ask if any is pregnant.
WALTZ. Wax indignant about. A lascivious, impure dance that should only be danced by old ladies."

  
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