Games that old geeks played

Back in the time just before computers came home geeks were entertained by pen and paper games. I was one of those geeks and I am going to post some images of some of my favorite games from my childhood. I will skip the obvious one that everyone knows; Dungeons and Dragons. While I did start playing Dungeons and Dragons back in 1975 that is a game to well known to truly be interesting. Many will not realize it was first created in 1974. Even fewer will know that Dungeons and Dragons was an offshoot of a game called Chainmail.

Chainmail was a fantastic game that included rules for historical medieval miniature rules and rules for fantasy miniatures. My friends and I enjoyed playing the game and spent hours playing. This was my first introduction to what an ‘arms race’ was. We had one rule for fielding our ‘armies’; the miniatures had to be painted to be played. I still fondly recall a battle shortly after I had my first paper route… until that all my funds to buy the miniatures came from my parents, but with my first months pay from my paper route I bought roughly 100 miniatures including 50 cavalry men in full plate armor. My friends did not know I had them. During the setup for the game I setup my normal contingent of miniatures and then waited for the my two friends to finish setting up their armies. I reached back to my second case and started taking out my new figures just as they thought the game was ready to start. My friends looks of confidence faded to looks of sheer terror. That was the first game I ever won and we had been playing for almost two years.


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11 Responses to Games that old geeks played

  1. rikostan says:

    LOL awesome! I can totally relate. I actually had the rules for Chainmail, but I didn’t start playing D&D until the first basic set was released. I was obsessed with all things even remotely D&D related back then, so I picked up the rules for Chainmail from a place called Flying Buffalo in Tempe AZ.

  2. Daeng Bo says:

    I used to have that one, but I bought it second-hand after I had bought the old D&D blue boxed set. I think it was called “Basic Set” or something. That set referenced Chainmail several times in the forward and/or the introduction. I had a lot of fun with those early ones circa 1980.

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  4. jorgerosa says:

    Wow! Never played it, i´m curious by now… I´ll check this game.

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  6. jeff says:

    i had 5 friends that used to play this game all the time.The men had to be painted on stands and the stands were grassed.Playin on green felt about 6×6 tin size we split the board with string is about 8 equal squares then roll a 8 side to see which spot we drew.Used all tyes of fantasy pieces.Added super armored foot (spartans) and armored cav. Tryin to buy the chainmail rule book but came to find out it is about 75 bucks maybe i could borrow and copy from someone if i could find was a great game

  7. jeff says:

    yea, i thought i could maybe pick it up in some of the old hobby stores that still carry miniatures in the used books.I got a slap in the face on that one let alone not even finding one

  8. R. Nascimento says:

    i really thought you would mention Traveller SciFi RPG
    This is the Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone …
    Mayday, Mayday …
    we are under attack …
    main drive is gone …
    turret number one not responding …
    Mayday …
    losing cabin pressure fast …
    calling anyone …
    please help …
    This is Free Trader Beowulf …
    Mayday …

  9. R. Nascimento says:

    Awesome, so I hope to see some Traveller posts!

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