My younger brother Jon called me today. He said that he read my blog, my wife had posted a link on Facebook after I won the coveted Newbie Blogger Award; and that he was inspired by what he had read and wants to set aside a weekend sometime to just game. I consider this a win because Jon has not gamed in a really long time, like since he was a teenager. He is in his 30's now.
D&D was never really his game, although he did play it from time to time. He was more into miniature skirmishes really. We talked about Midway hobbies, he thought they were still open and had just moved and he remembered buying his entire collection of 1/72 scale soldiers there. Everything from WW2 to Vietnam to modern era (at the time, one of his modern era sets was Warsaw Pact troops). He started getting them just to use as army men when he was still really too young to understand wargaming. As he got older I designed rules sets that were age appropriate for him, increasing in complexity and realism as he mastered them. I remember days of playing toy soldiers with him in my parent's basement on the 4'x8' HO scale train layout that had passed in turn from my dad, to me, to him.
My dad is a big model railroad guy. Roughly 2/3 of my parent's basement is now assimilated into his HO scale layout, when I was still living at home it was between 1/3 and 1/2 of the basement. My dad tried so hard to get us boys interested in his hobby and we tried to enjoy it, but to no avail. For my part, I was too much into gaming and not enough into the rail transport industry. On the plus side, it always meant that there were plenty of hobby materials that could cross over. For a while I was into HO scale WW2 minis for instance and, while I wasn't foolish enough to try to take over his layout for a game, there were always plenty of props and scenery; and his collection of paints and modeling tools was pretty nice to have around too.
John also specifically mentioned Talisman, which was nice. I recently found Talisman in a tote with a bunch of other games (including Dawn Patrol, which was keeping as a surprise because I wanted to write a longer post about but haven't gotten around to yet) and I was going to teach my kids how to play. I inventoried the parts and a few things are missing, but nothing important and I found a pdf file online so I can print out the missing components if need be.
I would have expected Twilight 2000 to get mentioned, since that was the RPG he played the most with us. I remember one time being in hand-to-hand combat with like 4 or 5 Spetsnaz guys and he threw a grenade into the middle of us. Miraculously I survived and all of the Spetsnaz guys were killed (or incapacitated, which amounts to the same thing); that's one of my favorite RPG moments, not just one of my favorite Twilight 2000 moments.
He was kind of nostalgic about seeing pictures of all the games because he hasn't seen most of that stuff since he was a kid, but it was omnipresent when he was younger. Eventually, we did as all us country boys do when we have been talking and reminiscing, we started telling fight stories. Now just for him, I will add some more images of stuff we used to play.