Tuesday, August 02, 2005

GROG's Blog with "Take 10" guest John 'Scrib' O'Haver

Here we have from left to right:"Richard Diem"(seated), "John 'Scrib' O'Haver"(wearing the "Blue Oyster Cult" concert T-shirt that I had sent him for HIS own 'Birthday' present, as well as a 'LIVE' performances tape{not 'pictured'} from myself), then "David Morse" a.k.a. 'mrweasly' of BGG( seated), and "Luke"(seated) & "Darryl"(no 'last' names given) of the 'Fantasy Flights Games' Demo Team! Thanks for the 'group photo' guys!

Hello everybody, and for those unfamiliar with myself, then I will provide a short description on this. I am an avid "Wargamer" with slight 'Euro-Games' tendencies, since I have played and enjoyed some of those. I've enjoyed the vast historical content that the "Wargames" have provided, of which I have to admit that they've spurred my interests upon their topics, while that had also aided myself during my 'learning years' when I attended school as well. Since I first encountered my 'interest' in these, when I was just 13 years old, from then on I have always maintained a keen 'regard' on these. For over 34 years now, they have kept me 'informed' about the endeavors & encounters of our various ancestors, with their oft-times expansive coverage, while for some people that I know, even they harken back to their OWN individual 'experiences' during an actual 'Conflict' as a result. I'll often hear them regale us with some distinctive story or another, that was brought home with them and of which they can never forget, be that 'good or bad'. Now, onto the rest of 'history'...

First off, I have this 'feature' of which I'm calling the "Take 10" segement in which I ask '10' questions of a fellow gamer 'guest'. This week's happens to be: John 'Scribidinus' O'Haver. He's also provided a brief descriptive introduction on himself to start things off, and then I will present the 'queries' and provide the responses afterwards. My own 'Responses'(where I provide any) will be preceded by this notation-R] :

First of all, gaming is one of '3' hobbies that long cycle in and out of my life. Time, energy, and money contsrain doing all '3' at one time. The other '2' are photography and playing "Rock 'n Roll" on bass or guitar. Face-to-Face playing cycled back in during the Fall of 2003, after a '5' year hiatus. I get 'hooked' on '2' or '3' games and play them until I get burned out.

1) HOW did you become 'acquainted' with "boardgaming", and "Wargaming" in particular?

A] John: The first game of any type that I can remember is playing "Battleship" on 'graph paper' with my Dad. It must have been in the mid to late 1950s. My Dad had been a Navy Pilot in World War 2, and instilled in me an interest in 'Military History'. I owned many toys masquerading as games/toys like "Sonar Hunt", a "Battleship" clone. The 'American Heritage Game' series, "Broadsides" & "Dogfight" were next, followed by "Tactics II". All of which led to owning or playing most classic 'Avalon Hill' games. I can not remember ever playing "Candyland" or any traditional children's games.

R] I also was 'introduced' to Gaming by my own Dad, while we had the whole 'Range' of the 'American Heritage' games including "Hit the Beach", and "Battle-Cry"(of which it had initially been called "The Civil War" and can even be 'found' sometimes with that upon its front covers). They had to 'rename' THIS due to 'Avalon Hill's' own GAME called "The Civil War".

2) WHAT 'aspects' for a GAME do you look for when you contemplate the purchase of one?

A] John: Until recently, I've been exclusively a "Wargamer". In the 1970s, I realized that my 'favorite' games were 'W.W.2' tactical level games, starting with "Panzerblitz", "Panzer Leader", "Squad Leader", and ultimately "Advanced Squad Leader", and "Up Front". I played "Axis & Allies" in 1984 or '85 and it did nothing for me. Despite having played "A House Divided" a lot as my 'light war game' in the '80s, I didn't become really interested in the 'American Civil War' until the mid-'90s. I had just moved to Kentucky where there is more 'A.C.W.' history and read "the Killer Angesl". I stated playing 'Columbia's' "DIXIE" card game alot(see my 'comments'). I only owned one 'Ancients' game, "Alexander the Great", until recently. Now I have two. "Age of Napoleon", my first 'Card Driven' game, and EAGLES:'Waterloo' are my only '2' "Nappyionic" games I own. I used to 'own' BLOCK "Napoleon"-I 'wonder' where it went? (Ed.*note*-I've got that now!) My preferences in 'Tactical Naval' games are 'pre-aviation'. I like lots of guns or the 'big GUNS' but not 'Aircraft Carriers'.

3) WHOSE 'designs' do you LIKE in particular, and WHY?

A] John: Currently, I LIKE games 'powered' by the 'Richard Borg' engine. It's light and adaptable. I just pre-ordered "C&C: Ancients" and the New one by 'Rene Verlage'(sp?), "The Price of Freedon". Although I've known 'Vance Von Borries" for about '10'-years, his games are out of my 'zone'.

4) Are you more 'comfortable' with certain GAMES over others?

A] John: '2'-player, tactical "WAR!"-themed games !!! I'll try any of them at least once. A 'Wargamer' friend once compared me to 'John Bell Hood'. Point 'me' at the 'enemy' and stay the HELL out of my way! My 'least' comfortable' games are multi-player games involving 'Diplomacy' and deciding what to build and where. If I had 'been' in the "Modern Army", I'd have been 'retired' as an "over-age" in 'grade' Lt.Col. No 'stars' in my 'courses'.

R] Well, that can 'be' a Good or Bad 'thing' on the "John Bell Hood" topic, as some find him to be an excellent 'subordinate', while others have their 'druthers' when he was in 'Overall Command', as what happened when HE 'releived' "J.E. Johnston" during the 'Atlanta Campaign' of 1864.

5) HAVE you had to 'adjust' your "Gaming Needs" over 'time', from when you were 'heavily' into this, and WHAT has 'resulted' from that?

A] John: Yeah, surprisingly since my 'divorce' in 1988, and since my Sons are grown, I have LESS time to game. Maybe, it's just 'less energy', I don't know. Anyway, I've 'migrated' to much lighter games than I used to play. Faster to teach, play, and induce folks into. I have been playing some heavily themed, but light, 'Euro-Games' like "Dracula" and "Pirate's Cove" and enjoying them.

6) THIS next 'one' concerns some "name dropping" upon your part: please include some 'acquaintances' that you are quite familiar with-be they FAMOUS, INfamous, or othewise.

A] John: Of course, 'Vance Von Borries'. I met 'Vance' by accident in 1994. He is a C.P.A. by day, and bought a copier from me for his Home business. Last Saturday(July 30th, 2005) he showed "Richard Diem" and me a 'sneak peek' at his next GAME, another 'one' in his "East Front" series. 'Vance' hand draws ALL the counters and maps before submitting them to 'G.M.T.'s Art department. And, my Ex-Wife's little sister used to date 'John Cougar' Mellencamp's little brother. My neighbor's 'best friend' slept with 'Pauly Shore'. Which goes to show...nevermind.

R] Okay, then maybe a bit TOO 'much' of the "name dropping" '411'.

7) WHAT do you 'think' of the "gaming qualities" for the 'products' that are being made available, presently?

A] John: If ALL "Wargames" were STILL 'hex and counter' games, I'd be a better guitar player since I wouldn't have gotten back into 'Wargaming'. In general, game art/bits are much better than the 'days' of the red and blue chits. I now prefer 'Minis' since my eyes get fatigued reading too much 'info' encoded onto 'chits'. I must have 1-inch chits or NO chits at all. Never-the-less, I have my complaints. I 'suspect' that not many "game artists" are being 'required' to PLAY the 'games' that they work on. But I have acquired some 'games' that are just a "box of cool 'bits' and a booklet" that sort of resemble 'rules', but not really. It's as though '100' game 'mechanisms' were dropped in hat and '50' were drawn at random. I wonder if anyone ever played the WHOLE 'game' through, before 'releasing' it?

8) ARE there certain 'games' of which you are 'particularly' looking forward to?

A] John: I have 'pre-ordered' "C&C: Ancients" and the "Price of Freedom". "Bonaparte at Marengo" is intriguing as well. I'll probably get the "M-44" expansions. I'm a 'sucker' for 'Expansions'! Just ask me about "Zombies!"!!!

9) WHICH is your 'most favorite' "time period" for 'Historically' based GAMES?

A] John: Use to 'be' exclusively "World War 2", but now I'm been heavily drawn into the '19th Century'. The 'A.C.W.' and 'Napoleonic Era' in particular. And I have been 'experimenting' with some light 'Euros', too.

10) WHAT would you LIKE to 'see' produced for a GAME?

A] John: A challenging theme drenched 'Historical' Sci-Fi Tactical level GAME, scaleable from '2' to '8' players with 'challenging' Solitaire Rules too. Should have 'Rules' for killing things and having "consensual SEX". AND...just 'playing' it should induce Women to shed their clothing!

R] hmmm...this last 'one' doesn't conjure up too many 'Historical' themes but it sure sounds like we could utilize THAT! Since we've really only 'done' "Space Explorations" so far, then that should be 'seen' as being highly conducive for "confined SPACE explorations" of the very personal and intimate 'kinds'!

P.S.-from John:"Happy Birthday Robert!" F.Y.I.-I just 'committed' to conducting a Monthly 'Boardgame Day' at an FLGS with help from local 'game' and BGG user "mrweasly" and my friend "Richard Diem"! I'll send you a picture of "mrweasly", "Richard", me, and the 'Fantasy Flight' games Demo Team!

Thanks John, on the 'Birthday well wishes', and especially for your participation in THIS, while I look forward to the 'group photo' when it is made available for ALL to 'see'.

UPDATE: As I was writing this UP, I got another 'missive' WITH that 'photo'! So, I'm going to include that here then!

Now, I'll probably conduct this 'feature' by 'myself', with different people on a Monthly basis, to allow for some others here to do likewise in their varied interests, although I don't wish to put them on the spot in case they have other 'plans'. It will also allow for me to introduce other subjects or topics in which I'd like to cover, whether they are current-or most likely-"blasts from the pasts" for ALL to delve into. If you happen to have a particular 'topic' that you'd like for me to 'cover', then by all means send me a 'request' on that to: GROGnads.USA@Gmail.com Should you desire to 'be' a GUEST on this in a future 'episode', then also please state this intention and we'll work on something for that as well.


Chris Brooks said...

Nice content, but boy was that hard to read given the formatting and punctuation! Some tips:

* Keep the post to a single font size and use bold/italics sparingly.
* Minimize the 'use' of 'quotes' for emphasis. I think I found single quote marks around words in just about every paragraph!

I realize this might be coming across as overly critical, but I do think it is important to keep the formatting simple to make it easier on the reader. I can't wait to see tomorrow's post!

dave said...


You do realize this is GROGnads we are talking about here, right?

- d

Melissa said...

I love reading interviews :)

Good stuff.

Coldfoot said...

I kept staring at the picture waiting for his eyes to glow. I think I saw them twinkle once.

Gnomehome said...

Nice start !

Who's next ?

Peter said...

I agree - leave out the quotation marks for goodness sake!

Iain said...

I'm actually suprised at how easy that was to read...

Jeff Coon said...

The content was good, but the quotation marks and random italics were very distracting! It definitely diverted my attention away from the content. That said, it's interesting to get the perspective of a seasoned wargamer.

DWTripp said...

Well done Grogs. Good choice of interviewee. Should somebody tell Scrib that giant aviator glasses went out of style about the same time that BOC did?

Having the image is a great idea by the way, putting a face to names always makes me feel more connected to what the person is saying.

mike said...

That was surprisingly coherent, and readable from GROG. I am impressed by the restraint.

gamesgrandpa said...

I didn't know GROGnads could be so restrained! Although, I do miss the colors that I enjoy in his BGG comments.

Rick said...

Holy crap Scrib's avatar ISN'T photoshopped!

And I miss the colors. GROG, you should write Blogger and ask them to put in a colored font palette. How the heck are we supposed to understand you if you're stuck with black and white?


davidme said...

I understand that "Grog" is "Grog" and forever 'will' be, but SCRIB is SCRIB and I read the whole thing wondering if his 'responses' had been GROGified by Grog or by Scrib.... I suggest keeping the Grog-speak, but let the interviewee keep his or her own 'voice'. ; )