The Frontline Gamer kicked off an interesting Meme that has started building momentum on various wargaming blogs (check the posts on Ferbs Fighting Forces and The Wargaming Site). Games that Define Us was his Sunday Sermon a week ago and I responded with my own list of 10 games that have defined my gaming heritage. Far be it for me to ignore a good meme so here's an expanded version of my reply to his post.
Frontline Gamers Blog I didn't list the Fighting Fantasy books partly because I discovered them just prior to and simultaneously with D&D. But over the weekend I was thinking about my list and realised that I shouldn't have left these off because without the Fighting Fantasy series I might never have got into D&D and from there into a lifetime of other great games. One the first (if not the first) I read was the classic Warlock of Firetop Mountain. It opened my eyes to a whole new way to play games and I remember sharing books excitedly between my group of friends. I have long since lost that original copy but a few years ago I bought a new edition of the book in a revamped boxed set and started playing these with my youngest daughter instead of a regular 'boring' bedtime story!
Dungeons and Dragons (Red Box) - Discovering Dungeons and Dragons was life changing, without a doubt. My group of friends at school had just discovered the Fighting Fantasy books and then someone suggested this game called Dungeons and Dragons. I had a vague understanding of what it was - based mostly on negative press about this supposedly dangerous game - and jumped at the chance to give it a go. We bought a copy of the Red Box version of the game and played the scenario that was presented in the DM's book. I’ll remember my first ‘kill’- a Carrion Crawler - for the rest of my life. That first character wasn't particularly well rounded or even original (a hulking barbarian with a passing resemblance to a certain Cimmerian) but he sparked a love of the game that still burns strong thirty years later!
I still have the Rogue Trader rulebook amongst my treasured collection of old games and now and again I get it down just to admire the artwork in its pages. We didn't play this game for very long but it was important as it got our group into Epic which we stayed with for many years.
Blood Bowl - Space and money were limited and Blood Bowl filled the gap. I wish I had kept my original box because this is a great game to play over an evening. It would serve our group well now when we can't play our regular campaign and need something quick and easy to fill the evening rather than cancel. I'm tempted to buy one of the newer versions but I may hold out for one of the original boxes if I can find one at a reasonable price.
Flames of War - My first venture into WWII Wargaming and 15mm. Regular readers will know that this game has ignited a long dormant passion for 2nd World War history in me. Personally the game system is secondary to the history, I just happened to stumble upon Flames of War first. The key thing about this game is that it gave me the impetus to get back into wargaming again after many years away from it. It has also helped forge a lasting friendship with my Brother-in-law who like me shares a passion for Second World War history.
Fire and Fury - Another set of rules I really enjoy playing are the Fire and Fury rule for the American Civil War. After WWII this is my favourite period and one I love to play. The first game I played with my current wargaming group – Posties Rejects - used these rules and I have enjoyed them ever since.
As I said in my original comment of the Frontline Gamers post this list may not be to everyone's taste but these are the games that have defined my gaming career and hold a special place for me. Of course I could add lots more to this list - such as Dungeon Quest, Talisman and Call of Cthulhu RPG - but I'm limited to just 10 choices!