Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wargaming in the Phillipines

Wargaming in the Phillipines has always been done by a small group hobbyists though all of us know each other well and play together.
Wargaming has never been big in the Phillipines being eclipsed first by RPGs then CCGs.
The wargames were procured exclusively abroad with the wargamers going abroad on holiday and buying them from hobby shops in the USA, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong(Avalon Hill wargames were sold in the Japanese Sogo department store in Hong Kong in the mid 80s).
Very few wargames were actually designed in the late 70s but early 80s starting with:
 Threat in the late 70s which was actually two games where in the game, players played Power Blocs such as NATO, Warsaw Pact, China, India etc. And the start of the game was a build up to the war with the players gaining alliances, weapons, money and if war happens in the first game, the second game shifts to a strategic map board of the world and a strategic wargame similiar to risk/Superiority occurs and the last one standing wins. I remember having fun playing this game many a time but now it is quite rare...This game was actually designed by a regular board game company and was marketed to be a regular family boardgame and anti communist propoganda.
There was also a game called Military Strategy which was quite simliar to Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg. Cheap production values but again designed as a family game.
I also did see a game on Macarthur's invasion of the Phillipines 1944 but again I think that this is a very simple wargame/family game.
The designers of these games were unknown and the companies who published them quickly folded afterwards.
Interestingly, a slight wargaming renaissance occured in the mid 80s spurred by a hobby shop chain aquiring huge numbers of Dungeons and Dragons books also acquired large numbers of Strategy and Tactics magazines and wargames as well as the line of TSR/SPI wargames.
This is where my interest comes in. I have already been introduced to wargames in the early 80s playing Titan Strike(SPI) and Red Star White Star(SPI) actually been started with Strategy and Tactics games. My first wargames were S&T games such as Manchu, Kanev, Nicaragua, Tigers Are Burning really introduced me to the hobby.
This is true among many of the current wargamers in the Phillipines.
Wargaming in Phillipnes is currently undergoing a period of growth similiar to the mid 80s with it being spurred on by GMT games as well as Fantasy Flight games and German games.
Hope it gets better and inspires more gamers from the Phillipines in designing their own games.
Terence Co(aka. Joserizal).

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