Gaming Autobiography of David Richtmyer
Well, let's see ...
When I was born Truman was president. My dad had served with B-29 crews based on Saipan, and I regularly looked at his spotter's magazines that he had saved from the war. (These were magazines that looked just like a Life magazine of the era, but had pages of silhouettes of Japanese & German fighter and bomber aircraft.) No Oscar or Emil was going to buzz my house unspotted, by god! Guess this makes me an 'historian' first.
Many happy hours of making balsa and plastic WWII aircraft followed in those golden '50s years.
In the early '60s I was given copies of a few AH titles, Dispatcher, U-Boat, a title on business, and a legal game (sorry, the titles of the last 2 have disappeared into the mists of time). A friend had Tactics II, but it didn't particularly interest me; I like Dispatcher the best. Sadly, none of my original games survive. :(
During the early '70s I worked in a local hobby shop; I even got a wargaming friend a job their where he promptly set up the wargaming section (which was highly slanted towards Napoleonic minis and the early SPI flat tray games). I could have purchased games like Spitfire and Canadian Civil War for a song, but back then I thought sideburns and bellbottoms were cool and war was *distinctly* out, so what did I know. :)
Fast forward to the early '80s. By now I had married, started my career and had a growing family. One day, looking for a present for my son, I ran across B-17, Queen of the Skies in that very same hobby shop. I purchased it and played it with Eric, who had a blast. I was amazed, it was so realistic, as I knew about all those parts of the '17 quite well. Next purchase was Ambush, which Eric and I played each taking half of the squad. We eventually got all the modules and did a grand campaign; this ranks as one of my best wargaming experiences of all time. Eric had the most amazing ability to roll, on 2 d10s, the "Dud" result when a Mk. IV was about to obliterate our little squad!
By the time Eric was ready for real head-to-head competition, we had purchased Ace of Aces and Platoon. We literally played the pages and counters off of those games. Eric grew up and went on to other interests (X-country and track and you-know-what), but I was hooked.
I am now part of the GLG group here in the Library, you can see our page at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gnichols/glg/index.html
Favorite topics are ACW and WWII air gaming. Oh, and Randy Moorehead's Ironman Football ... a *great* game.David
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