Tuesday, June 22, 2021

WEG Memoirs: D6 Indiana Jones RPG

All your life has been spent in pursuit of archaeological relics. Inside the Ark are treasures beyond your wildest aspirations. You want to see it opened as well as I.”


Following clues to the lost files....
Someone on Twitter last week posted a photo of their used bookstore haul of West End Games’ World of Indiana Jones roleplaying game books...and I immediately had a flashback to those final months of the company’s existence before bankruptcy in 1998 when we proposed a complete reboot of the game line in a premium, full-color hardcover core rulebook. I not only managed to find the proposal still lurking on my hard drive but also – far in the depths of my bottom-most file drawer – the three-page print out in a folder labeled “Indiana Jones D6.” Given its history I’m glad no angry, cursed ghosts few out of the dusty pages to melt my face.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Armies in Plastic

 The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

Carl Jung

I’ve extolled the virtues of Armies in Plastic figures before but never featured the company in a post all its own. Goodness knows I’ve mentioned these 54mm (1:32 scale) plastic soldiers enough during the past 10 years when I used them in various projects. Now that the company’s having a summer sale (ends June 30) it seems as good a time as any to talk about the large-scale historical miniatures it offers, good for young wargamers and seasoned grognards.

Armies in Plastic Native Americans
ambush a party of rangers.
These 54mm soldiers come in solid-colored plastic sculpted with enough detail one can identify them with a particular historical period. They range from 18th century conflicts (Seven Years War, French & Indian War, American War of Independence) throughout the 19th century (War of 1812, Franco Prussian War, various British colonial wars), and even into the 20th century (World War I, Rusian Civil War, and, a large jump over WWII, modern forces for the War on Terror). For some periods different forces are the same figures cast in different colors; for instance, AWI redcoats are red, patriots are blue, even though both have the same mix of poses. But most series include entirely original figures: rangers and Native Americans for the French & Indian War; numerous British colonial adversaries (Zulus, Afghan tribesmen, dervishes), several kinds of British colonial troops (including kilted Highlanders), even Germans in pickelhauben and later-war stahlhelme for WWI (to name a few with which I’m familiar).

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

History Lost/Gained in the Pandemic

 That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

Aldous Huxley

The covid-19 pandemic forced many to alter our lives for the sake of the common good in overcoming a novel virus. Everyone’s lost something. If we’re lucky we only lost more than a year of life’s normal activities, routines, and special events. The less fortunate lost jobs, homes, and, worst of all, loved ones. (I discussed some of my own disappointments before in “The 2020 that Might Have Been.”) Hopefully we’ve gained a little something from these experiences...a perspective on what we lost, how much it meant, and how we might appreciate it all the more in the future. We’re still dealing with covid-19, managing our comfort levels, health, and vaccination status against the risks of returning to the way we did things in the “Before Times” as I sarcastically call them. A “normal” school year for students ranks among the losses young people sustained. Partial in-person learning and part- or full-time distance learning online focused on the most central of the core subjects – math, reading, science – and what little history they had studied earlier simply dropped off the academic map. Luckily for our household we try fostering and engaging an interest in history through films and games.