As some of you know, I got my start in writing by designing games. I must have played hundreds of role playing and miniatures games in my youth. As a high school student you’d find me doing my homework at a gaming table in the Black Forest Hobby Shop in Kettering, Ohio, just about any weeknight.
I especially loved historical war-games. Honestly, I think I learned more history in the hobby shop than in the classroom back then. My only barriers to enjoyment of this pastime were my poverty (washing cars only pays so much) and the overly complex rules systems available at the time.
To solve the poverty problem, I cut corners whenever I could. I found the cheapest miniature soldiers I could find, and then sped hours painting them to look awesome anyway. As to the over complex rules…well, I usually just ignored them. My friends and I soon found that in any one-hundred page rulebook there were only ten to twenty that were really necessary anyway.
And, damn, did we have fun!
Settling around a table of exquisitely modeled terrain, with a group of good friends while enjoying a fast paced game of conquest and heroes…what great afternoons that made.
So, one of the first games I wrote was Battlefields: From Broadswords to Bullets. It uses inexpensive and commonly available HO scale figures and consists of simple, fast-paced rules. Any historical era can be played with these rules and if you want to get really crazy you can send Roman legionnaires against American Civil War soldiers and see what would happen.
Right now I’m offering it as a free promotion on Amazon. But even after the promotion expires, I’ll still keep the price as low as possible. After all, this game is for the teenager who’s earning what he can by washing cars.
When I grew up in the 70s and 80s, race slurs were no longer said in polite company. Although not particularly diverse, my home town of Kettering, Ohio had a mix of folks from a wide variety of backgrounds. I found out early on that I was as likely to get along with a kid of a different race as I was to be bullied by another kid of that same race; thus bigotry proved itself a total failure in predicting human behavior.
I then went on to serve in the military with folks of an even wider variety of backgrounds. Once again, I discovered that a man’s religion, or cultural heritage had absolutely no bearing on whether I could get along with him or not. To put it bluntly, there are good people everywhere and jerks come in all colors and faiths.
I don’t consider myself a genius so I just took it for granted that most other folks could figure this out as well. After all, tolerance is not that complicated, right? Turns out that assumption was wrong, and ether I’m a genius or there are just a lot of dumb people in the world. I’m now I’m hearing slurs all over the place.
Since the Paris attack last week, it’s been mostly anti-Muslim slurs. However, anti-transgender slurs are coming in a close second and I’m sick of it all. People are people, regardless of background, faith, sexual orientation, race, or taste in music. Some people’s behavior makes them a disgrace to the entire human race. But most people are decent folks that I find easy to get along with, and some behave in a way that is a credit to us all.
In regard to Muslims, I’ll put it this way. I served in Iraq and while I was there some Muslims tried to kill me. Should I now hate all Muslims? NO! Because if all Muslims had tried to kill me I’d be dead.
Right now, I’m trying very hard to promote my books and entice readers to my work. However, if you are an un-repentant bigot…I’m not interested in your business. Sorry, but the truth is I’ve had all I can take.