From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
What was it that got other posters into wargaming - whether both board and computer (or just computer) and how much is knowing the history behind a game important or not to people?
My first strategy game was RISK, probably at 11 or so. Soon enough I realized the whole thing was a joke and looked for more interesting, deep stuff and got a copy of R. T. Smith's "Desert Rats" for the IBM PC. Me and my brothers played that hot seat for years. After that it was Clash of Steel, Steel Panthers, Atomic Games' operational series, Norm Koger's TANKS!, the first version of TOAW and Schwerkpunkt's game covering the Autumn 1943 campaign for the Western Ukraine. I played those for years, well into the 2000's.
By the time I hit High School I was subscribed to a Spanish magazine specialized in wargames, boardgames and RPGs - Alea was its name - which included with each number a ziploc game. Good games, my still have very fond memories of operational-level simulations of Spanish Civil War - especially one covering the Battle of Jarama, featuring systems inspired by West End Games' St. Lo - as well as other smaller games covering obscure battles of the Peninsular War and a very nice operational simulation of the Burma 1942 and 1944 campaigns.
I didn't got into proper table top wargaming until I was 18-year-old or so, when I had enough pocket money - and the knowledge - about where to find those games and people playing them. So I sort of got 'late' to the OCS and Advanced Squad Leader worlds :-)
And yes, knowing the story behind the game is quite important for me. It's all about immersion, I think.