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Meanwhile, in other news...

Charles S. Roberts, one of my enduring heroes, has passed.  The company he founded, Avalon Hill, and the products it produced, awoke a part of me that still earns me gainful employment to this day.  I may have to go downstairs and break out Afrika Korps, or Gettysburg, and play a game in his honor.  All you role players out there, heirs to Dungeons and Dragons?  You owe Mr. Roberts thanks, too - like me, Gary Gygax got his start with Avalon Hill wargames.

They'll have to open some gaming tables down at Fiddler's Green.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of Charles S. Roberts, who served as a soldier in the Regular Army and Maryland National Guard.

17 Comments

This is both shocking and distressing news.  I have many a fond memory of playing AH games.  From simple ones such as B-17 Queen of the Skies to the incredibly over-complex Advanced Squad Leader.  I too shall mourn.
 
May he rest in peace.  I wish I still had my copy of Tactics II, which my ex-brother stole from me.  I mostly had to play it against myself, not knowing anyone else who wanted to play. Made it hard for one side to keep secrets from the other.
 
I think I have a copy of Tactics II in a box somewhere.  I'll have to rummage a bit and see.
 
This geeky 'Rican, grew-up in a steady diet of Avalon Hill boardgames.  We used to spread our battleships all over my friend's carport/terrace while re-enacting The Battle of Jutland.  We played every single scenario of Panzer Leader and Squad LeaderInvasion of Crete was OK.  And of course I loved Diplomacy.

The most complex of them all was 1942 - a recreation of the US / Japanese Gilberts and Coral Sea Campaign.  You almost needed five people to make it work smoothly.  One Referee/Judge to keep all unit movements secret from each side, and then one to work the Surface Units and another to work the Aerial Units from each side respectively.
I do miss those long weekend days commanding armies under our fingertips.
 
Many of my friends got deep into the Avalon Hill games at my college age game store hangout. I never got into the map games, but I loved throwing down in Up Front, the card based version of Squad Leader. According to the more knowledgable players, not having the right cards on hand made an excellent approximation of fog of war difficulties of communication.
 
Damn!  I, too, cut my teeth on Panzer Blitz, and many another AH wargame. 

Following in AH's footsteps was Yaquinto Games, and then Victory Games (and the ever-present SSI),  but I digress.
 
 A lot of those later D&D types forget that when the Great God Gax started TSR, it was "Tactical Studies & Research" and one of the first (and, IMHO, best) rules sets THEY produced was Tractics. Tractics was the first, IIRC to introduce penetration tables based upon not only the type of gun fired, and range, but also type of projectile, target aspect, farmor thickness AND slope.  Rather complex, but once you got passed the learning curve, it flowed very well.

  Sad to see this milestone arrive. I still have many of those games, though most of my gaming the past 30 years has been more with miniatures with the local club.

  RIP Mr. Roberts
 
Just dammit.
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Too many of the most creative minds are going away and not being filled. What passes for creative thought today leaves me shaking my head. Where are the people who can create entire worlds, races, histories and cultures with their ideas?
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Sure it sounds like over kill, and I realise most folks plug their creativity in these days, but to me its a loss just the same.  A video game that might take a few days, versus a book game system that can be built off of and used for years  using nothing but pencils, paper  maybe a calculator and the players creativity
 
Sad day for two generations of gamers.  I believe Jim Dunnigan designed games for AH too.  He had his own company and was somehow subsumed into AH.  I still have some of Dunnigan's games somewhere in the basement.  He led me to miniatures.
 
Spent many a night after work playing D&D with my fellow co-workers.  To Charles S. Roberts, and somewhat belatedly to  Gary Gygax, thank you gents for providing what was the forerunner to "social networking" sites we have today, and in allowing all of us to invest our time, energy, and imaginations, in the treasures you produced for us.    They both left the world a bet better off, for two generations now, then it was before their dreams became reality.   Rest easy gentlemen, ya done good!!
 
may his path to Fiddler's Green be straight and level, and not some cockeyed hexagonal swervy jinking path that only goes straight on the North/South Axis...
 
I played Stalingrad, Battle of the Bulge, D-Day, Waterloo, and Afrika Korps.

Wish I still had them.  We owe a debt to Mr. Roberts.
 
I spent some great times playing Panzergruppe Guderian with friends in my youth. A Dunnigan design that was re-released by Avalon Hill in the 80s.
 
Yup...after reading the post I went down to the garage and looked. They're still there: Panzer Leader, Panzer Blitz, Squad Leader...I couldn't find Tactics II or Midway. Now I just play Civ II on the computer, that way I don't have to find a friend that will take anything else but the Americans.

Lot of hours beating the bad guys.
 
John, thank you for the news, no matter how sad.  I am part of a group, Schwerpunkt, that still designs  for and plays ASL.  Oh, and I still have nearly every battle game from Tactics II to the Panzer series.  I gave away Squad Leader when I moved to ASL.  Thats over 50 years of happy memories.   Mr. Roberts, I salute you. 
 
RIP.  I played a lot of AH games when I was a kid (Finished only a few of them, but played a lot.)

Didn't Curt Schilling purchase a bunch of rights to lesser known AH games from Hasbro?  I know he did ASL, but not sure about the others.
 
I spent many a night playing Blitzkrieg, Midway, and Panzer Blitz. Later Bought several of SPI's products. Alas, life got in the way and I had to start making a living. RIP Mr. Roberts. And, thanks much!
 
I played a chunk of AH games, inlcuidng Diplomacy, Tactics 2, and Tactics (my father has both, Tacticsw having been released after it's somewhat more famous brother). Played 2 games of ASL. I can still be heard to mutter "sniper check!" when rolling dice...