I’ve been pondering this Jon, but I am having trouble making sense of this in the context of what you wrote in Playing at the World. On page 65 you wrote:My date was, following Zenopus's lead above, based in no small part on the earliest advertisements for Guidon Games, which appeared in the April International Wargamer and a few other contemporary places. […] There are good data points to suggest that the March and April IWs were jointly in subscribers' hand by the third or so week of April. Note that the April IW ad lists Chainmail as available, but suggests that Alex and Dunkirk were scheduled for an April 30 release - something you would not bother to mention if you expected your mail-order ad to be seen like April 18th. But these are ultimately indirect data points, and to be absolutely clear, they don't rule out an April "release" date for Chainmail - if you're counting from when just anyone could have ordered it, it wouldn't be until after they saw an ad.
That was my reasoning ten years ago when I was writing that part of PatW, anyway.
But, Arneson typed up the volume 3, number 4 issue of Corner of the Table that contained the first published announcement of the April 17th Blackmoor game in March of 1971:Arneson chose to design his new game around the fantasy elements of the just-released Chainmail […] By blending this fantasy setting with the "Braunstein" stylings pioneered by Dave Wesely, Arneson conjured up the following:
There will be a medieval "Braunstein" April 17, 1971 at the home of David Arneson from 1300 hrs to 2400 hrs with refreshments being available on the usual basis .... It will feature mythical creatures and a Poker game under the Troll's bridge between sunup and sundown. [COTT:71:v3n4]
The ad in the April issue of International Wargamer that @zenopus found indicates that Chainmail first went on sale in April of 1971, so how could Arneson have “design[ed] his new game around the fantasy elements of the just-released Chainmail” in March?
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