So - new on
the RussGifford.net pages - there are a LOT of new pages here!
The most important additions are linked at
I have placed online over 450 links to
articles on SPI games. These articles are in a few basic areas:
- Strategic/Tactical analysis
- Variants / Optional Rules
- New / Additional Scenarios
- Official Errata
- Advertisements (just for the fun of it!)
I completed most of that by my Christmas
deadline. Since, I have started combing the 'net for links to VIDEOS for
old SPI stuff.
All these links are active at
notable on the RussGifford.net
Classes are set for WIT this fall. The featured
subject will be Eisenhower, covering his WWII years and his Presidency
over three sessions. One will focus on 1956, a pretty significant year
in Ike's term as President, and an important year in U.S. and world
New game site to check out!
Nice guys! Check out their site! Lots of interesting items!
And don't forget my links page, too.
have added SEVEN more parts to the ASL Training sessions, including:
ASL 101: Learning ASL
- Session 6: Advancing Fire - Assault Fire - Spraying Fire -
- Session 7: Basic Fire Lanes
- Session 8: More Fire Lanes!
- Session 9: Using Mortars and Guns
- Session 10: MA using HE To Hit Infantry or Area Target Type
Plus, two others:
ASL 201: AFVs and Advanced Topics
- Session 1: To Hit/To Kill with Bazookas
- Session 2: To Hit/To Kill with AFVs
These are in 2nd Draft mode! (No audio yet)
Which reminds me - here is the link to my links page!
New classes for Spring semester in Iowa - April 11-15, 2011
- The Age of Reagan
- The Iran Hostage Crisis
New classes: Iowa During the American Civil War -
12/06/09: Beginning of data warehouse for SPI
2/1/09: A discussion of strategic
and tactical considerations for Day 1 of Terrible Swift Sword!
Humanities grant awarded for my upcoming seminar at Western Iowa Tech!
12/26/08: And, the trial version
of the Wargame Magazine Database is available for download.
This is not the standalone version. Eventually,
I'll have it available as an online data source. But right now, if you
have Microsoft Access, you can download and run this.
12/25/08: I've added a feedback
form for the ASL sessions.
Only feedback will determine if I invest the 100
hours required to finish the next set of audio-video ASL Training
Sessions. Vote now. (Link)
12/22/08: Audio versions of the
Learning ASL sessions are now online!
The presentations for Learning ASL 101 are now
online! Flash is required! (Link)
12/16/08: This just in...
KWIT in Sioux City just posted this from the
interview before the classes. Hear my audio interview with KWIT's Eddie
12/15/08: Back on the road...
Last week it was Rochester, NY, and this week,
Erie, PA. I think I keep hearing a Crosby song in my head. "We have all
been here before, we have all been here before...."
12/01/08: New classes next semester at KWIT
With this semester's classes a big success, WIT
has asked for two new seminars next semester: the first will mark the 50th
anniversary of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's 1959 visit to an Iowa
farm, as the Cold War and the US State Department took a back seat to an
Iowan 'citizen diplomat.' The next day, we'll see the Cold War become very
warm, as we look at Signs and Portends: From the 1960 U2 Incident to the
Cuban Missile Crisis. As always, expect lots of discussion, and vintage
(Right now, the tentative date is April 23 and 24th, 2009.)
11/4/08: Tomorrow's classes
Sioux City History Day was a great success, so I
am glad that worked so well. Now, a month later, I'm back in Siouxland to
do the next three classes this week. I suspect we may get more people than
I expected. I've heard from a number of people that they are coming to at
least one of these.
9/29/08: New seminars coming soon!
All these classes take place at WIT Community
College in Sioux City, Iowa. I'll add the links soon.
October 11, 9 AM: I'll be on hand as
moderator / emcee for the 5th annual Sioux City History Day!
November 5, Noon: What Comes Next:
Looking Ahead following the Election I'll
moderate a group discussion of what the results of the US Presidential
election will likely mean to you!
November 5, 7PM: Picturing America. I will
lead the trip through America's past with a look at the enduring shared
memories of America. This program is funded by a grant from the Iowa
Humanities Commission. Link
November 6, 6:30 PM: My Generation: A
special 'reunion' of last year's series of Rock Legends classes. This
time: We focus on 1970 with Crosby Stills Nash and Young!
9/28/08: MOVES magazine database about ready to go online!
As I originally projected, the MOVES magazine
database is about ready to go - almost on schedule! I have all the
listings for articles, ads and info into the system for MOVES issues 1
-60, except for a few of the early issues that I don't own.
- The listings include the main articles, tagged
as article type.
This means you can find all the listings
for SPI game errata, either by specific game, or all errata listings
in the database.
Or you could see every listing for your
favorite game. (See Example)
- It also includes tags for scenarios and
So you can find any additional rules or
additional scenarios for your favorite old SPI game! (See
One beautiful thing about this database is that
many of the interesting articles are the short snippets inside the
Designer's Notes column. Plus, many of the scenarios and important rules
variants were inside the Footnotes column. As you saw in the above
examples, this database will capture that.
Now again, I am stressing this is a LISTING of the
articles so you can find the article in your collection - but I am in the
process of linking a few of the articles. Some are already set up that way
- but doing that on a large scale will take some time.
My first efforts to add links to PDFs will likely
be for advertisements - most of the SPI ads were very informative, so I
want to get those online. Plus they are fun to read - they are written as
though you were opening the box, since they look at everything inside!
And the next step will be the Errata sheets for
the games. Those are easier than it sounds, which is good news.
The question is, how big will this be when I get
Look for more on this project next month!
9/17/08: BonCon cancelled.
Well, I will not be heading to Missouri in
October. Unfortunately, BonCon has cancelled. Watch out, though - I am
confident that some sort of GBACW get-together will rise up in Missouri
next year! More details as I get them!
In Progress: A database of MOVES magazine articles - with expansion
I know I've been quiet lately - I've been working
HEAVILY on two projects. One is done, but needs translated to the web now.
It is a complete database of Moves magazine articles during the SPI years.
It is cross referenced by game, by type of article, and by author.
In other words, you can find all articles
published about your favorite SPI game. And all advertisements, and all
mentions in the review columns and the advertisements. (Since early SPI
ads were really a capsule profile. Better yet you can find out if errata
for your favorite old SPI game exists.
Even better - when I put it online, I will link
some of these items so you can pull up a pdf of the ad or the errata. And
maybe the Moves "Works in Progress" articles.
It really is pretty cool. I have all the issues
from 29 to 60 in there now, and some of the issues before that. Plus a few
S&T's a few Boardgamer issues. Hope to have it online by September!
Made connection with the Long Island Simulation Gamers
Found a new (to me) group of wargamers based on
Long Island, and they have now created a Yahoo group. It appears they meet
on Friday nights in ... wish I knew the names of the towns around here.
(Of course, I am usually somewhere else, so go figure!)
In Progress: GBACW Rules FAQ
Been fielding a lot of GBACW questions of late
from all over the world. (Which is GREAT! Keep them coming!) I am
collecting these so I can post them on the board as a "best practices"
concept, to establish conventions on some of the rules that have potential
loopholes. (You know, things that seem fine when you read it, but then
during play you realize, "Hmmm. Does that mean this ... or this?"
Expect to see this file in early August.
5/28/08: Added: Opponent's Wanted
listings for GBACW.
OK, I have finally succumbed to the pressure. I
have added a page of "Opponent's Wanted" listings to the website.
Currently, the one of the two listings are looking for a PBEM using Greg
Laubach's cyberboard. The other is looking for a traditional face to face
game of Cedar Mountain. (click here)
Great Tactical discussions for Corinth and Pea Ridge!!
Well, the discussions have certainly been
interesting! Check the link here to the tactical
discussion board. Or page two of the tactical discussion of Pea
Ridge, located here. Or jump to a set of GREAT pictures showing a
discussion of what to do with Bussey's opening moves in Pea Ridge,
3/9/08: Whew! Beaker Street
OK, it has nothing to do with wargaming. But I am
happy to report that Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford is
back after a two week hiatus. After 13 years with KMPX in Little Rock, the
station changed format and called him on Friday Feb. 22 to say,
"Station's gone - and so's your show!" But KKPT 94 in Little Rock have
picked him up, and he returned last night!
Same time slot - 7 pm to midnight, Sunday nights! Welcome back, Clyde!
(Don't know who I've talking about? Here's an old
article I wrote about Clyde. Click here)
3/4/08: Lots of discussion plus
another look back!
Well, the rule discussion is certainly generating
some excitement! The Exclusive rules discussion is getting activity,
(here) and Neil Wakefield from the
UK is soliciting thoughts on the system in the general rules discussion
All this, and we added another blast from the past
with the original SPI 'Works in Progress' announcement 28 years ago of the
pending development of the first GBACW games!
3/3/08: Optional Rules from GBACW
In Moves magazine, Eric Lee Smith
suggested that the Exclusive Rules from the various games in the
GBACW 1.0 system could also be used as optional rules in the other games in
the system. Which ones would you include? Why?
Also - let's cast the net a little wider - what
rules from the other games in the system 1.0 do you think should be
part of the "basic" rules?
Join the discussion now! (Click
3/1/08: Pea Ridge Review, After Action Report!
John Leggat, editor of the long-running Lines of Communication
newsletter, has shared his Pea Ridge survey / review,
which includes his thoughts on the SPI game, as well as Eric Lee Smith's
Across Five Aprils and FGA's version of the battle. (Many
thanks, John!) (click here)
He also sent a blow by blow description of the
opening turns of a Pea
Ridge battle! (click here)
2/25/08: Melee under
Greg Laubach and I dissect the Retreat Before Melee / Melee sequence of
events, looking for clarity. (click here)
on leadership tactics in TSS/GBACW started....
Started a new discussion thread this week. Weigh in on leadership
lessons in TSS/GBACW.
(click here) And see all the discussion threads here!
2/12/08: Snow, snow,
and more snow....
Starting my fifth week in the Rochester, NY region. I'm in my hotel
room, and it is snowing like crazy.
In other words, nothing new here. How are things with you?
Actually, I added a snippet on early development of Bloody April from
issue 40 of MOVES magazine. (click here)
2/6/08: Just found
Crazy Igor's store in little Hilton, NY.
Obviously, I actually died last night and didn't know it, because I
just stumbled into heaven.
Seriously, this place has every kind of game, from AH to Yaquinto, and
everything in between.
SPI games looking like they came out of the SPI warehouse last week,
not 25 or 30 years ago. All sorts of wargames, magazines, role playing and
all the rest. Stacks of the stuff. Every wall and all the free space is
taken up with shelves and racks.
Big games. Little games. Campaign for North Africa. War in the
Pacific (the original, of course.) Two copies of Bloody
April. Two copies of Corinth/Jackson at the Crossroads.
I'll add his address and phone to the Gaming
I'm still in shock. I have to lay down for a while....
2/1/08: Added a discussion
page for GBACW gaming tactics.
The idea of the RussGifford.net
site was to support wargaming in general, and GBACW games
specifically. The CD-Rom training disc has been very popular, and it helps
people learn how to play the game. But the constant follow-up
question is "what about playing the game well?"
So - trying this concept out: the new discussion board is a place
to share your experiences or learn about tactics in GBACW/TSS2! Click
here to read GBACW Tactics!
I currently have three subjects listed, (Maneuver,
Cavalry) but feel free to go beyond
that. You pick the subject, and I'll do the posts.
Post your ideas to me, (here)
and I'll put them in a page at the GBACW
(And feel free to post me YOUR ideas. I don't have to agree with it - just
realize, they are coming to me in a letter first, to prevent spam and
cross talk. This is to be a spot for and exchange of ideas on play of the
here and send me ideas to share with the rest of the gaming public!
2/1/08: Corrected counter scans added!
Greg Laubach, GBACW gamer extraordinaire, has been very
busy of late. He has done a GREAT job on correcting the errors on that
cropped up on a few of the GBACW series. This means thanks
to Greg, the leader counters in Wilson's Creek are correct.
He also made the suggested optional counters for the Drive on
Washington scenario in Moves.
And just this week, Greg made the counter errata changes for
Battle of Corinth as well. I've posted them in the free download
page, here. Thanks, Greg!
(Greg also has posted some of his gaming thoughts on the Tactics
discussion board, as well!)
1/1/08: Bon Con Announced! TSS2 and
Lewis Goldberg, a GBACW gamer Missouri, has finalized the date
for Bon-Con, a small wargaming gathering in Bonnots Mill, MO. The
centerpiece of the convention is to be TSS 2nd edition! He has a
discussion board at ComsimWorld Forums - click
here. (If you are not registered with CSW, use the register here link
so you can get reading privileges.)
This should be a fun time. I've already sent my registration money, so
I'm looking forward to meeting all of you in Missouri!
BonCon 2008 will take place – Lord
willing – on October 9 – 11, 2008. That’s a
The registration fee will be $30, which will cover you for the
whole three days, or however long you can stay.
Features of BonCon
- Large Air conditioned hall
with ample table space and lots of chairs
- Complementary refreshments on
site, to minimize runs to the store: bottled water, chips, and
- Terrible Swift Sword (TSR 2nd
Ed.): the centerpiece game of the weekend. Please let us know in
advance if you’d like to participate
- Lots of open gaming
- Flea market table
- More important announcements
- Quaint, historical
bed-n-breakfast inn only 500 feet from the hall (Dauphine Hotel
- Lodgings in Linn (15 miles) at
around $60/night (Linn Motel, 1221 E Main St, Linn, MO 65051,
- Competitive choice of lodgings
in Jefferson City (25 miles), from Motel 6, to Hampton, to
Holiday Inn, and everything in between
- For the fishermen, there’s a
boat ramp ¼ mile away, on the beautiful Osage River
For planning purposes,
registration is appreciated by September 15, but walk-ins will be
welcome as well. Mail check or MO to the below:
PO Box 128
Bonnots Mill, MO 65016