1975

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Charles S. Roberts

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The Awards Story

Like last year, the Charles S. Roberts Awards were presented at Origins II in Baltimore, Maryland on July 23-25, 1976.

A boardgame from and about England.Best Professional Game
Blue and Gray Quad (SPI)
Fall of Tobruk (Conflict Games)
Kingmaker (Philmar)
Tobruk (Avalon Hill)
Von Manstein's Battles (Rand)

 

Best Amateur Game
La Bataille de la Moskowa (Martial Enterprises; Dennis Spors)
Schutztruppe (Jim Bumpas)
Stellar Conquest (Metagaming)

Best Professional Magazine
The General (Avalon Hill)
Strategy & Tactics (SPI)

Best Amateur Magazine
Europa (Walter Luc Haas)
Jagdpanther (Jagdpanther Publications)
Pursue & Destroy (First Echelon Publications)

Hall of Fame
James F. Dunnigan, the Dean of Board Wargaming
James F. Dunnigan:
Co-founder of SPI; Editor of Strategy & Tactics magazine; "The Dean of Wargame Designers."

Jim Dunnigan's Game Bibliography

[In his own words...] "I have authored over a hundred published simulations of historical and current events. I'm constantly asked, "did you design this one, or that one," and sometimes even I'm not sure. So I put together a list. Most were published by SPI, although at least five other publishers are also represented. A dozen or so are still in print, the rest are collectibles. Consider this an example of what one person can do if they apply themselves."

Tactical Land Combat Simulations

Men-At-Arms (1990)- Covered combat from the dawn of history to the 16th century.

Tactical Combat Model (1985)- Vehicle/crew served weapon level game of anti-vehicle operations. Emphasis on future robotic munitions and other stand off weapons. Prepared for a corporate client for in-house use only.

Agincourt (1978)- A very accurate rendering of the 14th century battle. Shows how traditional histories can be upstaged by well done models. We found that the battle could not have been fought as it is usually described, although Keegan's The Face of Battle came close to our conclusions.

FireFight (1976)- Done under contract for the Infantry School. To be used for training Platoon Leaders and senior NCO's. Tactical level, units represented vehicles and fire teams. Contract allowed for commercial version, which became a best seller.

Strike Force (1976)- Simple, tactical, introductory game, designed to accompany Fire Fight to introduce wargaming to new users.

Panzer '44 (1975)- Tactical armored warfare in western Europe, 1944-45. Uses same game system as Mech War `77, demonstrating the connection between historical and contemporary modeling techniques.

Mech War '77 (1975)- An update of Red Star/White Star, using a new game system. More attention paid to command control and the nuances of the more recent weapons.

Tank (1974)- Vehicle to vehicle combat in 20th century. Wide variety of equipment, organization and doctrine covered. Leadership and command control covered.

Patrol (1974)- A rural version of Sniper, with many new wrinkles.

Scrimmage (1973)- A very tactical game of football. Was very helpful in solving some of the game design problems encountered in tactical games that dealt with firearms.

Sniper (1973)- Man to man operations in urban environment. Veterans of Tet were able to accurately replay their actions in Hue, etc. Paid attention to morale and leadership problems. Covered wide variety of 20th century historical and contemporary situations.

Desert War (1973)- Tactical armored warfare in western desert (North Africa) during 1941-43.

Kampfpanzer (1973)-Tactical armored warfare in western Europe, 1940-41.

Combat Command (1972)- Tactical armored warfare in western Europe, 1944-45.

Outdoor Survival (1972)- Simulation of an individual surviving in a wilderness. Went on to sell for many years because RPG players used it as part of their home brewed scenarios. If I'd only known...

Red Star/White Star (1972)- Designed at the request (and support) of staff of the Infantry School. A tactical (maneuver units represented platoons) level simulation of combat in the Central Front. Stressed use of ATGM, coordination of mech infantry, armor and artillery. This was the first commercial simulation on modern combat. Very successful commercially.

Grenadier (1971)- Tactical level warfare (platoon size units as playing pieces) during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.

PanzerBlitz (1970)- Tactical level combat on the Russian Front (1941-45). Over 500,000 sold.

Deployment (1969)- Tactical level warfare (platoon size units as playing pieces) during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. I began designing this one in 1964 while was in the army (in Korea of all places). Probably the first wargame ever designed in Korea. Undoubtably the first wargame of this period ever designed in Korea. A dubious record at best.

Operational Level Simulations

Light Infantry Division (1985). A game simulation of light infantry operations in the Persian Gulf area. Part of an Army War College project on light infantry. Commercial version of this simulation was published later, after the design was considerably rehandled.

Drive on Metz (1980)- The demonstration game found in my book.

Fifth Corps (1980)- The first of a series of games on a more detailed scale than The Next War. Followed the same general approach as Next War, but the rules were simpler and more refined. Each game was independent, but could be linked with adjacent games. The series would, when finished, produce a game which, in map size, would be more than three times the size of The Next War. The latest title (Donau Front) in this series was published in 1989, just before the Berlin Wall came down.

NATO Division Commander (1980)- Concentrates on problems a division commander would have in contemporary combat in Europe. Intelligence, fatigue, command control, logistics, leadership (immediate subordinates personalities and capabilities) and a host of other factors covered. Has version where player faces a controller who plays opposing forces and manages intelligence operations.

Berlin '85 (1980)- A battalion level (most units represents a battalion or regiment) game of Warsaw Pact attack on NATO Berlin garrison. Highly detailed display of militarily significant aspects of West Berlin on map. Combat mechanics relatively simple. A very active tactical game. Was denounced in Kraznaya Zvesda in 1986 for implying that Russian Army would ever attack NATO garrisons in West Berlin.

Bulge (1979)- A fast playing game of the Battle of the Bulge (1944).

Brusilov (1978)- The last major Russian offensive in 1916.

The Next War (1978)- A large scale operational level game covering the Baltic to North Italy area. Included naval and air operations. A wide variety of doctrinal, operational, political and technical factors were modeled in the game. Fatigue, command control, supply, tempo of operations and many others.

Fulda Gap (1977)- Operational level game of potential contemporary operations in the Fulda Gap area. Covered a wide range of factors a commander would have to deal with.

Panzergroup Guderian (1976)- The German drive on Smolensk in 1941. Emphasis on leadership, unknown troop quality and blitzkrieg tactics.

Wurzburg (1975)- An operational level game (scale 1:100,000) of contemporary operations around the German city of the same name. Denounced by Burgomeister of Wurzburg for implying that his fair city could be fought over and possibly nuked. Game uses battalion sized playing pieces. Was used by at least one 7th Army brigade commander for planning operations. Game was originally designed over a weekend to generate scenarios for FireFight.

Oil War (1975)- Covered hypothetical invasion of Persian Gulf area in response to a number of different threats. Showed difficulty of such operations.

The East is Red (1974)- Divisional level rendering of possible Sino-Soviet operations in Manchuria. Demonstrated both sides unique advantages and disadvantages.

Combined Arms (1974)- Battalion level combat in the 20th century with emphasis on interaction between the principal combat arms.

Operation Olympic (1974)- Proposed Allied invasion of Japan in late 1945. Solitaire (only Allied player active).

Napoleon at Waterloo (1973)- Fast playing game of 1815 battle.

Destruction of Army Group Center (1973)- Russian offensive during Summer of 1944.

Panzer Armee Afrika (1973)- The war in North Africa (1941- 43) with emphasis on movement and logistics.

El Alamein (1973)- Set piece North African battle in 1942.

Ardennes Offensive (1973)- Battle of the Bulge (1944), with emphasis on operational maneuver.

Battles of Bull Run (1973)- 1861 battle in American Civil War with emphasis on command control and communications.

Sinai (1973)- Series of scenarios (operational level) on Arab-Israeli wars. Design finished when October War broke out. Accurately predicted course of war in "hypothetical '70s War". Showed value of predictive games based on historical trends. In published version included '56, '67, '73 and "future" war. Received research assistance from members of Israeli UN delegation who were anxious to find out what was going on and how the war would develop.

Year of the Rat (1972)- NVA 1972 offensive. Original design by John Prados, I had to completely re-design it to get it to work. Game featured a set of G2 rules which realistically re- created uncertainty of NVA strategy. Game demonstrated value of US firepower (B-52's, etc) and mobility. Got high praise from players with access to classified details of actual operations.

France '40 (1972)- Operational level simulation of German operations in France during the Spring of 1940.

Wilderness Campaign (1972)- Civil War battle, 1864. Emphasized difficult terrain and command control problems.

Moscow Campaign (1972)- German drive from border to Moscow, 1941.

Breakout and Pursuit (1972)- Breakout from the Normandy beach head and drive towards Paris, 1944.

Turning Point (1972)- Stalingrad campaign, 1942-3.

Kursk (1971)- Battle on Russian front in 1943. Extensive treatment of "what if's" in timing of German attack and state of Russian preparations.

Lost Battles (1971)- Regimental level operations in Russia, 1943-44 with emphasis on differences between German and Russian methods of fighting.

Bastogne (1970)- Battle of the Bulge (1944), with emphasis on road net problems.

Anzio Beachhead (1969)- Multi-level game of the Italian Campaign in 1944.

Crete (1969)- German airborne operations in Crete, 1941.

Italy (1969)- Multi-level (operational/tactical) game of fighting in Italy (1943-45).

Korea (1969)- Operational level, 1950-51.

1918 (1969)- Final German offensive in the west.

Tannenberg (1969)- Opening battles in the east, 1914.

Normandy (1969)- Regimental level treatment of Allied 1944 invasion of Europe.

Leipzig (1969)- Operations in central Europe during Napoleonic Wars (1814).

1914 (1968)- Opening operations on the Western Front in 1914.

Strategic Level Combat Simulations

Hundred Years War (1992) A multi-player computer run game of the titanic struggle between England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries. Run on the World Wide Web at www.hyw.com and capable of supporting over 200 players per game.

Empires of the Middle Ages (1980)- Operations in Europe from 790 to 1452 AD. Won awards for its elegant treatment of political, economic and military issues on a strategic scale.

Revolt in the East (1976)- Theater level game demonstrating problems Russians would have dealing with multiple uprisings in east Europe.

War in Europe (1976)- Combination of War in the East and War in the West with additional rules and mechanics to link the two theaters.

Russian Civil War (1976)- Military/political operations in Russia, 1917- 1921. One of the few games where assassination played a significant role.

World War I (1975)- A small, compact treatment of the 1914- 18 war.

Battle for Germany (1975)- Final battles in Europe. Three sides, Western Allies, Germans and Russians.

Global War (1975)- All of World War II, world wide.

World War 3 (1975)- A global game demonstrating the importance of seapower and strategic position. Covered amphibious and economic warfare.

Invasion America (1975)- An exercise in continental defense. A bit on the science fiction side, but using contemporary weapons and force models. Postulates the US defending North America against a variety of invaders.

NATO (1973)- Division level simulation of Europe from Baltic to Alps. Used as manual base game for MTM at USAWC.

War in the West (1976)- Western Allies-German war (1939-45) in great detail on huge maps.

War in the East (1974)- Russian-German war (1941-45) in great detail on huge maps. Head of Russian UN delegation came by to personally pick up a copy of this one. He said they had copies of all our other games, but were particularly interested in this one.

American Civil War (1974)- Emphasis on leadership, movement and logistics.

Solomons Campaign (1973)- Air, land and naval operations in the south Pacific in 1942-3.

World War Two (1973)- Russia and western Europe and north Africa, 1939-45.

Franco-Prussian War (1972)- Operations between France and Germany in 1870 with emphasis on limited intelligence.

American Revolution (1972)- Entire war (1776-81) with emphasis on leadership.

USN (1971)- Relatively simple game of theater level operations in the Pacific, 1941-43.

Strategy I (1971)- Using hypothetical map, contains variety of rules and scenarios allowing creation of many typical strategic situations.

Barbarossa (1969)- Russian-German war (1941-45) with emphasis on movement and maneuver.

Naval Combat Simulations

Victory at Sea (1992)- The naval war in the Pacific during World War II. A computer game for PCs.

The Fast Carriers (1975)- Carrier operations from World War II to the present. Showed the development of doctrine in response to changes in weapons and equipment.

Sixth Fleet (1975)- Naval game showing ship and aircraft operations in the Med during the '70s. Demonstrated importance of "combined arms" (surface and submarine ships, land and carrier based air).

War in the Pacific (1975)- Huge game of World War II in the Pacific. I did the production system, which was a game in itself.

Wolfpack (1974)- Submarine operations in the Atlantic, 1942-45. A solitaire game, with the Allies as the only active player.

Frigate (1974)- Tactical, ship to ship combat during the age of sail and cannon.

CA (1973)- Surface warship combat in the Pacific, 1942-45.

Jutland (1967)- Naval battle in North Sea, 1916.

Air Combat Simulations

Foxbat & Phantom (1973)- Modern air combat, plane to plane. Demonstrated inadequacies of MiG-25 as an air combat aircraft before this fact became known, or fashionable to admit. Demonstrated the basic rules of air combat, most notably the importance of surprise, superior position and the vastly differing capabilities of aircraft sensor and weapons systems.

Spitfire (1973)- Fighter combat in Europe, 1939-1945.

Flying Circus (1972)- Air warfare, tactical, 1914-1919

Flying Fortress (1969)- Strategic bombing campaign over Europe, 1043-45.

Political Conflict

Canadian Civil War (1978)- Political infighting among Canadian provinces and federal government. Sold over 10,000 in Canada alone.

Plot to Assassinate Hitler (1976)- Maneuvering of the anti-Hitler conspirators and the Gestapo during World War II.

Origins of World War I (1972)- Similar to Origins of World War II, but for World War I.

Origins of World War II (1971)- Political simulation of the pre-World War II maneuvering in Europe.

Chicago-Chicago (1970)- Political action, media manipulation game based on the 1968 riots at the Democratic convention.

Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker (1969)- The game of the student takeover of the Columbia University campus in the Spring of 1968. I was a student there at the time and, although I didn't participate in the action, several friends did. Some of these lads worked on the school newspaper (The Columbia Spectator) and they asked me to do a game on the event for the first anniversary special issue of The Spectator. I agreed to do the game as long as they published it under the name of my choosing. Although I was an elderly 25 years old at the time (attending Columbia under the GI Bill), I still had the spirit of the 60s. The game title caused a bit of a stir, but the game was a simple and accurate representation of the power struggle that went on in the Spring of '68.

Fantasy and Other Fiction

Demons (1980)- A game involving magic, set in ancient Armenia. Did this one on a dare.

Wreck of the Pandora (1980)- Science fiction game about surviving a wrecked spaceship full of nasty biological specimens.

Dallas (1980)- Role playing game based on TV show of the same name.

TimeTripper (1980)- Science fiction game of Vietnam era soldiers wandering through combat in past (and future) battles.

= Awarded Best in that Category

1975: That Was the Wargaming Year That Was!

The first Origin convention was held in Baltimore, Maryland in 1975. Also, the first Charles Roberts Awards, founded by John Mansfield and voted upon by attendees at that convention, were presented at Origins.