Fred has been fascinated by games and history all his life. He learned chess in the third grade and has played wargames, in one form or another, since coming across “The Civil War Game 1863” and “Risk” in the 1960’s. His first convention was Origins III in 1977 and he has playtested, developed and designed (but not yet published) any number of games.
Among other projects, Fred is currently developing “Stonewall’s Sword” (Cedar Mountain) for White Dog Games and “Hammerin’ Sickles” (on the second day at Gettysburg) for GMT. Both of these projects are being designed by his good friend Hermann Luttman and should be published either this year or next.
Fred retired after a career in government service, during which he taught English as a Second Language overseas, been an Analyst for the U.S. Air Force and a Benefit Authorizer, Instructor and Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration.
Mitch Freedman came late to war gaming, but was still able to enjoy the Golden Age of gaming that came with his subscription to Strategy and Tactics, even cutting off the corners of some of his units to show a gritty determination. As he got older, Command magazine – with its bigger cardboard counters – became one of his favorites, in large part because of the many games that used a battle as a launching pad to try new rules and innovative game mechanics. And colorful counters.
He’s played War in Europe – the massive melding of War in the East and War in the West – twice, and once created a metal miniatures game that put logistics – not tanks or airplanes or artillery – in its rightful place as THE critical element in any battle. After that failed effort, he was nearly voted out of his wargame group.
Paul Comben lives in the north of England, where he works primarily as a landscape artist. He started wargaming in 1972, and after decades of enjoying the hobby and studying history, he has made his first forays into game design with a series of titles due for development with Victory Point Games.
Paul will also shortly be designing a print and play game on the battle of Coronel, and other innovative but easy to learn titles will follow in due course.
In addition, Paul is also working on a study of the games covering the Schlieffen plan for The Boardgaming Way. This will give him a chance to highlight the game Grand Illusion and also cover 1914, Guns of August, the Schlieffen part of Der Weltkrieg, and Offensive a Outrance. Plus, he will soon embark on an overall look at the Moral Conflict series for The Boardgaming Life site. These are all intriguing designs which are well worth a look.
Harvey Mossman has been playing war games since the age of 13. As an avid student of military history, he has amassed a large collection of historical conflict simulations and has been involved with the design, development and play testing of games from several major game publishers. He is the editor of TheBoardgamingLife.com, an online war game magazine and, for many years, has run an annual popular war game convention on the Friday after Thanksgiving on Long Island, NY known affectionately as FaTDoG (Friday After Thanksgiving Day of Gaming). He has contributed articles to many of the well known military history journals, most recently having an article on the politics of the Peloponnesian War in Against the Odds 2013 Annual publication.
Hermann has been a wargamer for over 45 years, buying his first wargame (Avalon Hill’s Stalingrad) at age 13. He was hooked from that day on and eventually expanded his hobby interest into the realm of miniatures gaming. His particular periods of interest are Frederick the Great, Napoleonics, the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War and World War I.
Hermann first dabbled in game design by developing and playtesting in the 1990’s for 3W and Clash of Arms. But he did not begin his actual design career until 2011, thanks to the opportunity afforded him by Alan Emrich of Victory Point Games. Thus was born his first-ever design, Gettysburg: The Wheatfield. Hot on the heels of this first effort came Dawn of the Zeds and High & Tight in 2011; In Magnificent Style in 2012; Duel of Eagles: Mars-La-Tour 1870 in 2013; and A Spoiled Victory: Dunkirk 1940 (co-designed with Paul Fish) in 2014. Hermann now has about a half-dozen games in various stages of development ready to go with a number of different publishers. His basic game design philosophy is: design what you know and what you love, but focus on trying to do it differently than anybody else. Roaming “outside the box” with a design’s presentation and mechanics is a primary goal with all of Hermann’s games.
Hermann currently lives on Long Island, New York with his high school sweetheart, Nancy (who he first dated 40 years ago) and their dog, Schnitzel (who is jealous of that fact). He is a father of three and a grandfather of two and works his “real job” as an accountant for an international freight forwarding company.
In 1963 the short-stop on Rob’s baseball team introduced him to Avalon Hill’s wargame “Stalingrad.” He found it easy to like as Rob had always been fascinated by history at school. Other games then quickly followed via SPI’s flat packs and an occasional trip to New York City. Ten years later Rob even designed his own nine by eight foot World War II European Theater game. However, Rob eventually came to believe board wargaming wasn’t going to last in the computer age and so gave up the hobby for its relative, computer gaming. Though in the end that Evil company EBay reintroduced him to its continued existence and through his local hobby shop Rob went on to find local gamers. Rob now plays on a regular basis, occasionally writes reviews and play-tests new games.
Donald Allen has been wargaming since 1963 when he hung out with the nerdy kids down the corner and played games by Avalon Hill. The first game he ever played was Waterloo, and Don has been a Napoleonphile ever since. After a forty-year career, most of it in the defense industry, Don spends his days and nights writing fiction, poetry, and now, conflict simulation game reviews. Don promises that he will not eviscerate game designers and developers like the victims were in his novella, “When the Ripper Calls,” but he does promise to do deliver “poetic justice” in all game review projects he is assigned.