I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

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MiddleAgedKen
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I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

Postby MiddleAgedKen » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:52 am

Some or many of you in this here saloon may be aware of hex-and-counter board wargames. Seems like we've discussed them a time or two, somewhere along the line.

Today, I have got my Grail game. Let me tell you a brief story.

Back in the deeps of time, before Sauron forged the One Ring and five days before there was even dirt (in other words, 1977), a company called Gamescience published a game by messrs. Kurtick and Russo called MiG Killers.

Production values are near nil (true of most games that weren't Avalon Hill or SPI in those days), but the flight model was very innovative -- miles ahead of anything else out there. So far ahead, in fact...

... that as the story goes, one day shortly after publication, one of the co-designers (Rocky Russo, may he rest in peace) got a visit from the FBI, wanting to discuss the classified sources of aircraft performance data he obviously had to have used in the design.

Except he didn't, and he could prove it.

And he did.

Unfortunately, by the time he was able to demonstrate successfully to the feds that he had used entirely public sources for his data, most of the print run had been vacuumed up and destroyed. Extant copies are rarer than an honest and courageous politician.

Having been fortunate enough to have played a good friend's copy a couple of years ago, I set myself the task of tracking down one for myself. I searched high and low, with no luck. I climbed high mountains and crossed deep crevasses, with vicious pumas in the crevasses, snarling up at me. Alas, not even Noble Knight had a copy at their confiscatory prices, but exhausted and muddy, I trudged onward.

Two or three weeks ago, on Facebook of all places, I mentioned it in a wargames group page, and shortly thereafter got a private message from a retired history professor saying he thought he might have a copy, and would I be interested. He did and I was, and we were able to settle on a price. Fast forward, and this afternoon in my mailbox was an unpunched (as it turns out) copy of MiG Killers.

I feel like...Galahad. :geek:

I'm going to leave it unpunched, scan the rules, produce graphically updated components, and play that. :ugeek:
Watergate didn't have a body count.

Rich Jordan
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Re: I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

Postby Rich Jordan » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:25 am

Congratulations! I once went on a 7 year search for a book, finally found it at a used bookseller via Amazon. Its quite a feeling to achieve the goal of a long search

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skb12172
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Re: I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

Postby skb12172 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:43 pm

I would gladly compensate you for your time and trouble if you made two! :D
There must be an end to this intimidation by those who come to this great country, but reject its culture.

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skb12172
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Re: I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

Postby skb12172 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:45 pm

Did you know there is an expansion kit?
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/705 ... ansion-kit
There must be an end to this intimidation by those who come to this great country, but reject its culture.

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skb12172
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Re: I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

Postby skb12172 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:50 pm

A good suggestion in these comments...
IMG_3022.PNG
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There must be an end to this intimidation by those who come to this great country, but reject its culture.

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MiddleAgedKen
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Re: I seek -- I mean I have found -- the Grail!

Postby MiddleAgedKen » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:37 pm

That third (ed.) comment skb posted is by J.D. Webster, designer of the Air Power series of games: Air Superiority, Air Strike, Desert Falcons, Eagles of the Gulf, and The Speed of Heat for jets, and Buffalo Wings, Whistling Death, and maybe others for WWII (I have Air Superiority, Air Strike, and The Speed of Heat, playing the latter on VASSAL with the same friend who introduced me to MiG Killers).

Webster used to drive an A-7 for a living, and he used to draw "Finieous Fingers" for Dragon magazine.

The first comment is spot on too, and small surprise: Russo also designed Mustangs and Messerschmitts, which uses 1:72 scale models on 6' tall wheeled stands to model ACM in a good-sized empty room or parking lot. I've played a lot of that over the years.

This summer I plan to contact Michael Scott Kurtick (the surviving co-designer) and Lou Zocchi of Gamescience to see where the rights stand. The Russo estate okayed the republication of Mustangs & Messerschmitts as a PDF download via Wargame Vault, and I'd like to see MiG Killers go that route as a print-and-play boardgame. We'll see.
Watergate didn't have a body count.


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