RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (Full Version)

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Adam Parker -> RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 1:36:36 AM)

With gratitude to fellow hobbyists who brought this to my attention, there is some sad news for the hobby this weekend:

Passing of Charles S Roberts - Founder of the Avalon Hill Game Company

An innacuracy with regard to the mention of Parker Brothers (the company was sold to Monarch) the article omits to mention Mr Robert's legacy by way of the annual Charles S Roberts Awards, well known by grognards around.

Were it not for this man's pioneering efforts in gaming, I dare say I may have never come across the hobby.

Thank you Mr. Roberts.

ilovestrategy -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 2:19:36 AM)

He was the founder of Avalon?   If it wasn't for him I would not have spent countless hours in pure enjoyment over hexagon boards with tiny pieces.

*gives the deepest of bows*

Adam Parker -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 2:27:18 AM)

It looks like the news only broke today with the release of the expanded obituary in the Baltimore media. I was checking Wiki just now and his passing was in fact August 20 with the service just a couple of days ago.

Here's the original obituary:

Announcement - Baltimore Sun

Erik Rutins -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 2:30:17 AM)

He has my admiration and respect, rest in peace.

Fred98 -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 4:26:01 AM)

I suppose many of us discovered wargaming through Avalon Hill.


KG Erwin -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 4:52:27 AM)

I am deeply saddened to hear this news. The first wargame I ever owned was Avalon Hill's "Stalingrad", which I got back in 1968, when I was 11. I still have it, and remember those two dreaded Russian 7-10-4 counters. I "soaked off" a lot of German units trying to make those b*st*rds retreat. Playing as the Germans way back when inspired my forum name.

What was Charles Roberts' first board wargame? Answer: "Tactics II".

rhondabrwn -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 5:39:37 AM)

The passing of one who was, indeed, instrumental in the very creation of our hobby. One of my first wargames was "Tactics II" along with the "First Five" of Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, D-Day,and Dispatcher (the original railroad game). Bought them all at Haag's Drugstore in Kokomo, Indiana for $2.95 each (market down). I've never understood what wargames were going in the toy section of a local drug store chain! I bought them out with my 50 cent a week allowance... U-Boat, Air Empire, Le Mans, Civil War (with pawns). I passed on "Verdict II" and "Management" but otherwise cleared the shelves.

I think my first full price purchase was "Afrika Korps" for $4.95. I was buying at a local bookstore by then. Seems like Waterloo and Bismarck came out soon after (in these giant double-size boxes that were an abomination to store)and tended to break in half.

Thank God for Charlie Roberts and Avalon Hill! He made a very lonely childhood bearable.


sterckxe -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 8:06:40 AM)


What was Charles Roberts' first board wargame? Answer: "Tactics II".

Actually it was Tactics, not Tactics II


Eddy Sterckx

comte -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 10:12:37 AM)


Q.M -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 12:17:17 PM)


Greybriar -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/30/2010 11:12:54 PM)

Rest in peace, Mr. Roberts.

Doc o War -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/31/2010 5:30:23 AM)

I was another of those early grogs who bought the entire line of Mr. Robert's military game products. I will never forget the suprise as a young lad of finding out it was at least possible to win as one of histories failed Generals. My father- who was in Normandy as an Armored cavalryman in ww2 - Loved to see the DDAy game laid out- he even explained Patton's fighting around Metz and into the Fall in the Palatinate to me one fall day in the 60's using the pieces laid out from that game- I remember how he liked to handle the pieces- especially his own old unit's counter.
   I would get my games at a local high end Book Shop. I even had LeMans( all those car stats). Uboat. Bismark, Afrika Korps-  all the fun ones- plus such titles as Guadalcanal- which introduced the concept of hidden units and hidden movement. (and Those lovely ambushes..banzi) - which I think may well have lead people to see the computer possabilities of board gaming.   Pretty much most every concept of movement and fire was worked out in those simple days- and then just took off and really have never stopped.
    Even the wonderous failures like 1914( where you could chose to do the Optional German attack on the East instead of the West and always win as the CP because of bad tables) and Luftwaffe ( where the Germans could just stack every plane counter into one massive force and no allied force could defeat it) even those games lead to better tries, and the market grew outward. We all benefited from this original vision to sell some games, and maybe do a few about history.   
    I wonder if people years for now will even realize where their entertainment mods even came from. This Roberts Award will be around way beyond out time perhaps to spark a bit of the memory of some guy in Baltimore who had a fun idea back in the mid 20th century. 
    I do thank him. And am sorry to hear he has passed on.

Capt Cliff -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/31/2010 6:55:32 PM)


Without him I would still be wandering the wasteland playing "games" on a checkerboard. [&o]

Yogi the Great -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (8/31/2010 11:50:40 PM)

Afrika Korp
Battle of the Bulge
The Russian Campaign
Third Reich
Panzer Blitz
Panzer Leader
Bull Run
Squad Leader
Little Round Top
The above is an incomplete list of AH Games I had
Like others, it is how I got started. Now still playing games after all these years,
but still haven't found improvement over several of the above.

Feltan -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (9/2/2010 10:29:57 PM)

If I read the obit correctly, he had nine kids.

Apparently, he liked wargamers' second favorite activity too!

Cheers to him -- he improved my life way more than far more famous politicians, sports players and actors/actresses.


Titanwarrior89 -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (9/2/2010 11:48:12 PM)

Sad. He will be missed.[:(]

Def Zep -> RE: RIP Charles S Roberts - War Game Pioneer (9/3/2010 1:57:20 AM)

When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, one of my neighbors was moving. He had some old games he didn't want anymore, and asked me and my friends if we'd like to have any of them before he threw them away. My best friend got the cool game with all the neat plastic colored pieces. The other one he had in his hand was old, dusty, broken, and obviously well-used. It was a copy of AH's 1958 Gettysburg. It was missing counters and had stains and a tear in the mapboard. It still grabbed me like nothing else before.

I thought it was sheer genius someone had mapped out a battle and made counters to re-fight it. My Mother read the rules and taught me how to play. For the first time, history came alive for me. It was the first wargame I ever owned, and I still have it to this day.

To Charles Swann Roberts, who created not only an entire hobby, but sparked the imagination of a little kid who could barely read.

It is rare to find heroes in this world. He is one of mine.

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