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Monday, October 21, 2013

Looking for a friend, Found my old rules

Over my morning coffee, I started a little web search to try to get back in touch with old gaming buddy Kerry Hanscom who moved away to Arizona something like 8 years ago. I'd subsequently lost his email address when changing jobs.

A search on his name turned it up in the acknowledgements in my Rencounter rules set, which I found as a PDF at I'm glad to see them still available.

Back in '95 I started Ed's Hobby Hovel, a gaming and pre-blog personal website on which I cut my teeth at HTML, CGI programming, connecting databases to the web, and such arcana. It was a passion project, getting wargaming stuff onto the web when there was pretty much none. At first it was Bill Armintrout and me and a few other pioneers, now the blogs are legion. It ran initially off of my desktop Mac while I worked at Stanford as a programmer and sysadmin, and then hummed along on the desk behind me after I upgraded to a new machine for my work. It was a pretty good deal for Stanford too, as everything I learned plowed back into helping other programmers and scientists webify their projects. The Yeast Deletion Project database inherited technologically directly from the Wargame Opponent Finder. After many long years in service, that machine Tetrad wore out and I never got around to standing the site back up on another computer.

One of the core pages of The Hobby Hovel was the Rencounter Skirmish Rules which I had evolved as a club set starting from the classic Colonial Skirmish Wargame Rules 1850-1900.  After many experiments with alternate approaches to sequencing, I eventually swapped out the combat rules for my own, so as to have something that was inspired by the Colonial set, but not infringing on it. And I've been partial to D12 based mechanics for a few decades now, since first playing Starguard.

Reposting Hobby Hovel content, and especially these rules has been one of my many backburnered projects, so its nice I can simply link to them while I procrastinate on the project of working up another version, with improved production values and the later variant of the combat system.


  1. I used to visit the Hobby Hovel all the time back in the 90s... I went to TMP for a while, but quit there because of the drama. I don't wargame anymore,and I'm not sure how Ed's Hobby Hovel came to the forefront of my mind, but it did... I did a quick search and this page popped up... Talk about a blast from the past!

    I was new to the internet and your page was the go to place for wargaming, at least for me. Too bad it didn't stick around 'til today... Thanks for putting up all that useful info way back in the prehistoric times of the internet!

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed the Hobby Hovel. I really enjoyed doing it for a few years, then after awhile burnt out and got busy with other things, so when the machine died, I didn't find the wherewithal to stand it back up on another.