Before We had Fanfic!

by Liaus Horatius

Long ago and far away, literally decades before the LOTR trilogy movies, back when Ralph Baksi’s animated adaptation was like…blow-you-away WOW!

There was a War of the Ring War /Character Game put out by a company called SPI. It had a 3 foot map of Tolkien’s drawing, colorized and divided by a hexagonal pattern for movement of the pieces. Remember this is back before the LOTR mov ies and even before modern computer graphics. I thought it Beautiful!. So I had the map mounted and framed and I kept it on the wall in my 1st apartment and for years after would take it down for weekend long war gaming bouts. I can’t tell you how much fun I had staying up for 2 and sometimes 3 days straight, battling away with one or two esoterically inclined friends partying like…like…well, like 20 year olds.

We did some intense wargaming and back then they didn’t have those plastic die cast miniature pieces. No…the pieces where ˝ inch cardboard squares with a symbol and a code denoting strength and type and movement. As the game developes you would end up with armies comprised of these cardboard chits precariously stacked up 2 to 3 inches high.

And wouldn’t ya know I had this one cat Hercules, who would love to creep under the table, stealthily curl up in an unused chair and…just at some high point in the war strategems….hours and hours , maybe DAYS into an exciting game marathon….a paw would appear from under the table and SWIPE!Mass confusion as we scrambled to reassemble the tournament.

And you just knew he had withdrawn to a secluded corner to laugh at the foibles of his pathetic but hilarious human hearth mates.

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