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"Father's Day Musings" Topic

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Dining Room Battles20 Jun 2021 2:24 p.m. PST


Once upon a time, there was a boy whose father gave him a copy of A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and I was forever hooked. I traveled to Barsoom, and then Pellucidar and then the Hyberion Age with a certain famous barbarian who would be king. t wasn't long after that I was in Lost Worlds, traveling with Lord Greystoke and fighting evil with The Shadow. About the same time I discovered 1/72 scale Airfix plastic figures and a company called Avalon Hill. My father bought me my first board game, Stellar Conquest and I bought my second – Panzer Blitz. Not bad for someone who was 11 . . . and the rest they say is history.


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Jun 2021 3:49 p.m. PST

As far as I can recall, I got into sci-fi and fantasy and military boardgames completely independently from any parental influence. I think it was rare in those days for 'adults' to be interested in sci-fi or fantasy. My father was a WWII veteran, but neither of my parents showed any interest in military subjects.

I was a precocious and voracious reader, and graduated at an early age from the 'junior' section of the library to the adult library.

My father read the occasional history book, and I read every book we had in the house, so that must have contributed to my thirst for history. Similarly, my mother had some interest in mysteries, and I read every Agatha Christie the library had (it was a big library, as I recall). But my volume of reading was much greater than either of my parents, which I can't explain. grin

My parents were proud that I was reading a lot, but I don't remember any supervision they let me read whatever I wanted. I started in sci-fi and fantasy on my own, as well as a lot of books about science and ghost stories and psychic phenomena.

My father played checkers with me until he could no longer win, and stopped. My sister and I played a lot of boardgames with our friends who came over: Monopoly, Sorry! and Life. My parents must have had something against 'military' themed games, as I didn't encounter Risk! or Stratego until I was older.

When I first saw an Avalon Hill game in the store, I was hooked and wanted it, but my father said I was too young. It was not until my college years that I bought my first board wargame (Luftwaffe) and then the first RPGs. Soon I was designing my own games and writing for the wargaming magazines.

My mother was quite surprised that I had such an interest in wargaming, as she said that I was such a peaceful person. grin She wasn't opposed to it, just surprised.

rustymusket20 Jun 2021 4:49 p.m. PST

I discovered military history in the 5th grade with the American Revolution and then the Civil War. I saw The Longest Day as a family movie night.
When I was a young adult my father seemed pleased that I had a hobby. He only had work and Cardinals baseball on a weekend afternoon on TV.
I once heard a man describe his father as having lived his life and allowed his sons to watch. That pretty much describes my relationship with my Dad. He was pleased that I was interested in his work. He first played catch with me when I was 16.
My Dad worked 6 to the occasional 7 days per week as long as I remember. There was much more to our relationship than I have mentioned here, and I think I had a great Dad. He had nothing to do with my hobby only because he didn't. I don't think he understood the idea of hobbies.

Borderguy19020 Jun 2021 5:15 p.m. PST

Started playing Risk, then discovered a copy of Victory in the Pacific at my cousin's house. His dad had bought it, but wasn't really into gaming. We played many a game with rules we made up. This was all sub-10yo. Played my first game of Axis & Allies the year it came out (1984?) and I have been wargaming ever since. Added RPGs in high school. Found GW in college. Historicals about the same time. I had always read military history. Our house was full of military history, science fiction, and some fantasy. My kids are big into sci-fi, and are both huge readers. I have taken them to conventions large and small and the game table is still set up from the last Bolt Action game my son played before he left for a 2 year mission for our church.

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2021 8:01 p.m. PST

I think many of our dads were so busy working six and seven days a week to feed their families, they didn't have time or energy for hobbies. Times were different.

Dukewilliam21 Jun 2021 10:55 a.m. PST

My father made all history come alive for us. (He had 5 sons.) He was constantly telling us stories of famous battles and generals. He introduced us to AH games in the mid 60's, which we still play well into our dotage. At my height, I owned more than 800 games.
Not long before he passed he was right there with us rolling dice at aged 80. He understood the importance of play time and was lucky enough to have a wife that understood as well. I still own the 1976 Ral Partha balrog I asked him to paint for me.

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