Just a Box of Games, Box 1

I’ve got a lot of games. More specifically, I’ve got a lot of old games. Mostly not ones you’ve likely heard of, unless you were hanging around game shops that sold something a little beyond Monopoly and backgammon sets back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most of this stuff has been sitting in boxes or containers of one sort or another for nearly thirty years. I had to root around in them a little for some research on my (disastrous) Ignite presentation back in the early fall, and I realized there was some personal stuff——both game-related and not—mixed up in there that I wanted to sort through. In the process, I figured I might as well catalog some of the material. So here’s the first box.

Boots & Saddles: Air Cavalry in the 80’s
Game Designers’ Wordshop, 1984
Lots of these ‘Russian-tanks-pouring-through-the-Fulda-Gap’ scenarios made it to wargames back in the Reagan years.

Tunnels & Trolls, 5th ed.
Flying Buffalo Inc., 1979
Nearly pristine copy because my friends and I were already D&D players and the last thing we needed was another fantasy RPG. They did helpfully provide a pencil for players without one.

Twilight: 2000 and The Free City of Krakow
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1985
A world where RPG also means ordnance and “twilight” has nothing to do with vampires. More post-apocalyptic scenarios from the ’80s. Krakow is a scenario for TW:2000; the box is full of computer-generatednon-player characters and some competing Morrow Project stuff, the manuals appear to be elsewhere.

Federation Space
Task ForceGames, 1981
How down and out was the Star Trek franchise in the late 1970s? So far down that a minor company like TFG could get the rights to the license for board games, most notablyStar Fleet Battles, which has been revived under a different publisher.

Western Desert: The Campaign in Egypt and Libya, 1940-43
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1983
Number seven in GDW’s Europa series of WWII games, it featured huge foldout maps and never really got played.

Lakeside Games, 1978
More of a mass-market game than most of the others here, Duell is a sort of chess/dice hybrid.

Triplanetary (2nd ed.)
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1981
Apparently based on one of GDW’s first designs from the early ’70s, it was wildly optimistic about when we’d get done kicking Soviet patootie in Germany (Booth & Saddles) and start the space wars (see also, Twilight: 2000). You get to draw to draw on the map!

Game Designers’ Workshop, 1977
Once we’ve moved on from war in Europe and the solar system, on to the galaxy! This came out the same year as Star Wars, not sure whether the cruiser in the box art indicates before or after the movie.

Fifth Frontier War: Battles for the Spinward Marches

Game Designers’ Workshop, 1981
A tie-in with the Traveller RPG universe, I don’t remember specifics about this game, and the only thing in the box was the map.

Bloodtree Rebellion
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979
One of those games that sat on the shelves of the game shop (along with Triplanetary and Imperium) for years without anyone buying them. I’ve got copies, though.

Azhanti High Lightning
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1980
A major adventure package for Traveller, with a stack of big multi-colored maps for each level of an enormous ship (some levels were identical, natch). Dungeons in Space!

Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979
Close combat rules for Traveller that included a small spaceship map. Missing box; inside Azhanti High Lighting (which used the same basic combat system).

Double Star
Game Designers’ Workshop, 1979
Another space game from GDW that tried to capitalize on the Star Wars buzz of the late ’70s and the early success of their Traveller RPG (without actually being a part of the same universe). Also sat on the shelf.

Avalon Hill, 1977
The three hard-board foldout maps are completely featureless, it’s just ocean, ocean, ocean in a game much more complex (and slower) than Battleship.

That’s it for the first box. Believe me, I do have something other than GDW games in the others. And there are quite a few of them.