D&D General The first players—looking for experiences of those playing before 1976

Not completely, but I suspect over time computer wargames, especially multiplayer ones have eaten their lunch. They only really had a brief strong period anyway; the fall of SPI was kind of the beginning of the end for them.
Hex-and-counter wargames are far from dead, although their audience has shrunken from the 70s and 80s and modern designs are quite a bit more innovative and offer more replay value - as well as being far more expensive and having much better component quality. Many of them even commit the heresy of using area movement instead of hexes. :)

That said, unless you're already a historical gamer it's entirely possible to spend decades without being aware of that whole corner of the hobby, as they're not generally interested in proselytizing outside of their sub-community and most stores carry few if any of the games, even the newest releases. That's a general issue with historical gamers in general, at least in the US - the minis guys are no better than the board gamers about it - but a trip to Historicon, Fall In or Cold Wars will show that there's a pretty active community out there to this day. They seem to sustain their numbers okay through recruiting their own kids and from general history buffs, with college/grad school kids making up a fair percentage of their numbers. They've always skewed older than roleplayers and card gamers IME, but the current crop isn't any older on average than they've always been.

I'm told Europe and particularly the UK are a lot better about integrating their historical and non-historical gamers, but that's just anecdotal.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
Hex-and-counter wargames are far from dead, although their audience has shrunken from the 70s and 80s and modern designs are quite a bit more innovative and offer more replay value - as well as being far more expensive and having much better component quality. Many of them even commit the heresy of using area movement instead of hexes. :)

That said, unless you're already a historical gamer it's entirely possible to spend decades without being aware of that whole corner of the hobby, as they're not generally interested in proselytizing outside of their sub-community and most stores carry few if any of the games, even the newest releases. That's a general issue with historical gamers in general, at least in the US - the minis guys are no better than the board gamers about it - but a trip to Historicon, Fall In or Cold Wars will show that there's a pretty active community out there to this day. They seem to sustain their numbers okay through recruiting their own kids and from general history buffs, with college/grad school kids making up a fair percentage of their numbers. They've always skewed older than roleplayers and card gamers IME, but the current crop isn't any older on average than they've always been.

I'm told Europe and particularly the UK are a lot better about integrating their historical and non-historical gamers, but that's just anecdotal.

Well, that's the thing; those didn't use to be all just historicals. There were SF and fantasy games, too, and a lot of them. And some of them were pretty accessible (not everything was War in Europe).
 

GreyLord

Legend
Chit games. I still call them that. It’s funny they have disappeared. Stacks of chits
Not completely, but I suspect over time computer wargames, especially multiplayer ones have eaten their lunch. They only really had a brief strong period anyway; the fall of SPI was kind of the beginning of the end for them.
They still exist and there are still wargamers who play them (I'm one of them).

They don't seem to be as easily found in the hobby gamestores which carry D&D and those types of games along with the popular boardgames as much (you'll be lucky to find twilight struggle which is by a company which also makes wargames...twilight struggle is sort of one depending on how you define it, not a hex game, but a grand strategy game with chits though). You sometimes need to order them from more specialized boardgame vendors or directly from the company.
 

Well, that's the thing; those didn't use to be all just historicals. There were SF and fantasy games, too, and a lot of them. And some of them were pretty accessible (not everything was War in Europe).
Those haven't gone away as a sub-genre at all, and can be found in any FLGS that stocks board games well - not to mention places like Barnes & Noble. There's fewer two-player games now and more emphasis on comeback mechanics to keep players engaged in multi-player than most of the old stuff every thought of doing. There's less "microgame" format stuff now, which is sad for fans of Metagaming, Task Force, DwarfStar, etc. but to some degree that niche has been taken over by card games, and there's still a fair number amount of under-$20 small-box stuff. I keep hoping for a Cheapass Games-style revival of truly inexpensive games but it's not likely to happen in 2024. Scifi/fantasy wargaming's still well-represented, especially if you include stuff like dungeoncrawl board games in that category - which I would, having played loads of Valkenburg Castle, Wreck of the BSM Pandora, Intruder, Dungeon, etc. back in the day. It's just different, and caters less to one on one play, which can be an issue for some folks.
 

Those haven't gone away as a sub-genre at all, and can be found in any FLGS that stocks board games well - not to mention places like Barnes & Noble. There's fewer two-player games now and more emphasis on comeback mechanics to keep players engaged in multi-player than most of the old stuff every thought of doing. There's less "microgame" format stuff now, which is sad for fans of Metagaming, Task Force, DwarfStar, etc. but to some degree that niche has been taken over by card games, and there's still a fair number amount of under-$20 small-box stuff. I keep hoping for a Cheapass Games-style revival of truly inexpensive games but it's not likely to happen in 2024. Scifi/fantasy wargaming's still well-represented, especially if you include stuff like dungeoncrawl board games in that category - which I would, having played loads of Valkenburg Castle, Wreck of the BSM Pandora, Intruder, Dungeon, etc. back in the day. It's just different, and caters less to one on one play, which can be an issue for some folks.

Not only that, but all the old games still exist and are fun. I've gotten a lot of Zoomers into them recently. :)

But we digress...
 

Not only that, but all the old games still exist and are fun.
There have even been a fair few modernized re-releases of older games. Ogre/GEV, Triplanetary, Titan, and Dragon Rage all spring to mind, even some of those are already OOP again. Others are legally available in printable format - all the other DwarfStar games, for ex - and on the roleplaying side of things SJG brought back The Fantasy Trip and all its related games as well.

But as you said, we digress.
 

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