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Saturday, June 13, 2015


I had a dream this morning I was playing Europa (the WW II mega board game), which was kind of odd, because I haven't played it since maybe 1991; but the even weirder part is that it's the second time this week I have dreamt I was playing it.

I don't even have a copy of any game in the series anymore. So I took this as a sign that I might want to play some serious large scale hex and counter wargaming, and thus, did a search on Ebay to find a copy of one of the Europa series of games. Being as how they are massive games, I was pretty happy when I found a few copies of some titles in the series really reasonably priced, and even a little surprised when I found some copies at right around their list price from back in the day.

I ran through three variations on the search to make certain I could net the greatest number of results- Europa, GRD and GDW (the latter two being the companies that produced the game). None of the searches were perfect, each came back with a variety of results for things I wasn't looking for- Fortress Europa (a fine game in it's own right), GRD apparently did get around to publishing their Pacific/East Asian version of the game, and a First World War game too.

I was surprised though by two things though when I did the GDW search. First, Frank Chadwick's name is attached to a whole lot of games I played when I was young and second, and possibly related, is that I played a lot more GDW stuff than I ever really realized. Traveller was my first non-D&D RPG, and while I didn't play it a lot (I didn't own the game), I have pretty fond memories of it. GDW's “Tet Offensive” and “Stand & Die: The Battle of Borodino 1941” taunted younger me from the shelves at Twilight book and Game because they looked awesome and I couldn't reasonably afford them with my 1991 salary. Command Decision was the first miniatures wargame I ever owned. Dragon Magazine insured that I would purchase and play “Twilight:2000”, it's numerous accessories and, eventually, it's second edition (and it's 2.5 edition); to this day it's the best game I never played enough of. “The Blue Max” was pretty much a guarantee for playing with my best friend Darryl's dad (Big Darryl) because of our “Dawn Patrol” addiction. “Space 1889” was maybe the coolest RPG I never bought or played, it's on my bucket list. They published Gary Gygax's “Dangerous Journeys”, which was kind of ballsy considering the vindictive giant that TSR was at the time. I read Challenge magazine after I stopped reading Dragon. I remember playing “Air Superiority” with Big Darryl too.

This is just a list of GDW products that I spotted reading through 3/4s of a page on an Ebay search. I am sure there would be more if I found an actual catalog and looked through it.

edit- it turns out that wikipedia has a list of their games here and it is even more of a trip down memory lane- "Harpoon", "En Garde" and more.

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