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Wargaming With Gary Gygax

I learned a lot from Gary Gygax, creator of the “Dungeon and Dragons” game.  From 1964 to 1974 I had a close association with Gary Gygax as we were two of the leading wargamers in the International Federation of Wargaming.  When I look back over six decades of life, probably my most profound mentor of all, Gary Gygax, was named the number one Geek in America in 2002 by Sync magazine.  Here are some of the articles I’ve written about wargaming, defense strategy, and Gary Gygax:

Wargames, Defense Strategy 4-5-14

Lessons learned from war games and various games were many and varied, an important asset to my early education.  Principals from that experience later show up in the peace economics path to discover a better way of understanding Keynesian theory and national defense.  Short term thinking and lack of cycle theory understanding have long hampered the effort to re-educate economists and policy makers.  Few understand the exclusive nature of the choice between military power and economic growth.

From Wargamer to Dr. Peace 5-30-14

This encompasses the long journey from war gamer and military history reader to peace economist and peace activist to eventually getting my doctorate.  I almost got my doctorate twenty years earlier but found out the economists just weren’t capable of understanding and appreciating my achievements as an electrical engineer and accountant with a political and war gaming background.  The conviction is widespread that economics will always be a social science, never a real science.

Low Level Military Defense 12-5-15

This is my key press release on the topic of the national strategies to follow to keep a nation defended best by keeping the nation economically strong and prosperous.  Military strength, if excessive, leads to long term economic national decline along with political capture and social decay.  This lead to the titled of my second book, in 1989, “Strength Through Peace.”

Meeting Geek Number One   3-18-17

This is the story of the interactions with and shared purposes of Reuschlein and Gygax as members of the International Federation of Wargaming 1966 to 1974, and as players and followers of the Avalon Hill war games line.

Emergence of the Role Playing Games Industry in the US 5-25-17

This is the abstract approved for my presentation yet to come at the Economic and Business History Society in Oklahoma City May 25, 2017.  Gary fell into some common business traps that our good lessons for all of us.  Don’t be undercapitalized, don’t give away majority control of your business, and bring in only trusted partners that share your love and devotion to the game.

Gary Con IX  3- 23-17

This section includes several magazine references that came up when I searched google for both names together, Reuschlein Gygax.  In my wargaming period, 1964 to 1974, Gygax was constantly in the magazines with new articles and eventually the Geneva Convention he started.  I followed suit in some ways, not nearly matching the prolific devotion of this young family man, twelve years my senior, as I was in high school and college at the time.  I fondly remember many visits to his house, 90 miles away, 330 Center Street, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  I shared his interests in game invention, publication, and events coordination.

Link to the full text of these articles and press releases:

https://www.academia.edu/32134382/Wargamer_File_1964-2017_9_pages.pdf

Professor Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace, Real Economy Institute, Nominated and vetted for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 and 2017, Contact  bobreuschlein@gmail.com Info www.realeconomy.com

Meeting Geek Number One

When I look back over six decades of life, probably my most profound mentor of all, Gary Gygax, became the number one Geek in America in 2002.  From 1964 to 1974 I had a close association with Gary Gygax when we both were two of the leading wargamers in America.

Beginning With Avalon Hill

In the beginning there was the Avalon Hill Company of Baltimore, who gave us games that took us to the next level up in complexity from chess.  In 1958 Gary Gygax started with their game Gettysburg, and in 1961 Bob Reuschlein started with Chancellorsville.  Both were games of the Civil War, the conflict of America’s greatest president.  When I got tired of playing just my older brother and he got tired of losing to me, along came the Avalon Hill General magazine in 1964.  Those first issues of that great Christmas present allowed me to advertise for and find opponents wanted in Madison Wisconsin.  There was one article writer that stood out from the crowd with a barrage of articles in those magazines, and that was Gary Gygax, who I soon found out was also from Wisconsin.  Reuschlein was not nearly as active as Gygax in those magazines, but he won three of their contests, wrote about three articles there and one popular one called “Simultaneous Movement” for Strategy and Tactics magazine.  Bob was constantly in the opponents wanted column and wrote several letters to the editor.  These activities became the outside activities that helped him win the Math and Science Award in his Catholic college prep high school, Edgewood of Madison.

Finding Community

Wargaming helped him break out of his shell as a quiet shy young man.  He learned to play games like Diplomacy with others from the Madison area that responded to his opponents wanted ads.  A gamers group in Madison developed not unlike Gary’s Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Group.  When Gary Gygax founded the International Federation of Wargaming in 1966, many of those in Madison were ready to join when asked.  That club became the largest one in America during the Vietnam War years.  With two self starters like Gary and Bob in the same state, Wisconsin became one of eight Senate districts and Bob was elected unanimously in that district.  Furthermore, Reuschlein was asked to fill the special office of Coordinator of Wargaming, becoming the Ratings chair.  Gary challenged Bob to a play by mail game of Battle of the Bulge, Walter Cronkite’s favorite game.  Gary loved offense and took the Germans, Bob loved defense and took the Americans.  After a long hard fought game, a massive Reuschlein counterattack got lucky and ended the game as Gary resigned.  Impressed by this game between Gary age 28 and Reuschlein age16, next year Gary invited Reuschlein over one Saturday to play Waterloo with a friend from Chicago.  Gary thoughtfully watched and circled the table in his living room as this time the patented Reuschlein counterattack ran into consistent worst possible luck, became depleted, and ended in a loss.  This would be Reuschlein’s only loss in 20 official games played in the International Federation of Wargaming from 1966 to 1974.  Using a chess like scoring system, starting at 1500 points, Reuschlein became the highest rated player in the IFW with about 1905 points to the second highest score of 1720.

Wargaming Conventions

After a convention in Pennsylvania went bankrupt in 1967, the first successful wargaming convention was launched by Gary Gygax in Lake Geneva in August 1968 with one hundred people in attendance, including, of course, both Gary Gygax and Robert Reuschlein.  With Avalon Hill Boardgames, tabletop miniatures, and Diplomacy being played all over the Horticultural Center, all had a good time in the one day long Saturday meeting ending at dinner time.  The next year Reuschlein tried to emulate this success with his own Madison wargaming convention in June 1969.  Attendance that first year in the Madison Community Center on Doty Street, one block over from the downtown state capital building, was Gary Gygax among the 24 that gathered that day.  Three years later attendance at the Madison Wargaming Convention peaked at 98.  Reuschlein graduated from college that June in 1972, and the convention collapsed to 23 again under new leadership in 1973, never to be heard from again.  That first convention was covered by Gary Bender of the local ABC affiliate, who later became a fixture on ABC Sports for the national broadcasters.

Moving On

When Robert Reuschlein left Wisconsin for nineteen years in the State of Oregon from June 1974 to May 1993, he also left wargaming behind.  Gary Gygax agreed to sell Reuschlein’s remaining games at Gen Con in 1974.  After spending about 15 hours a week playing wargames from 1964 to 1974, Reuschlein worked about three years full time equivalent at wargaming those ten years.  Gary probably doubled that workload.  Gen Con with now about 300 in attendance finally offered a tournament in Avalon Hill Wargames in 1973, where Reuschlein defeated the editor of the Avalon Hill General, based in Baltimore, to win that first three game single elimination tournament.  That was using the game Waterloo and the next year, 1974, Reuschlein came back to Wisconsin to play in his final wargaming tournament at Gen Con, winning the first two games of Afrika Korps, settling for co-champion when time did not allow the championship game to be played.  Gary was moving on as well, as Bob played a prototype game of Dungeons and Dragons on Gary’s porch.  That last convention featured Gary Gygax in a sand box with wizards and the like playing something the rest of the wargamers thought was a little bit crazy.  Crazy like a fox, that was the first year of Dungeons and Dragons game sales.  Just a thousand games that first year, 1974, soon to be millions of games by 1978 sold each year.  1974 was the last year Bob Reuschlein saw his friend Gary Gygax.

Epilogue

Had Bob known Gary Gygax needed one thousand dollars to launch his new project, Bob had the money then, and life could have been so different for both of them.  Gary needed a friend and gamer to invest with him, not a stranger.  But then Bob would not have invented Peace Economics in 1986 and the Global Warming theory in 1991, both born out of his political career in Oregon.  Interestingly enough, both Gary and Bob started their great inventions at age 35, twelve years apart just as the age difference in that first play by mail game.  Gary Gygax’s idea for a role playing game with levels has sparked a new industry and made him millions of dollars with millions of fans.  Bob Reuschlein’s ideas have yet to be monetized and mass produced:  many a spark has been lit, yet many do not appreciate the very real importance of his inventions.  Reuschlein has finally turned to credentialism, earning a doctorate late in life in 2009 and starting a blogging campaign in 2013 reminiscent of the many articles Gary Gygax wrote for magazines for many years before the money started rolling in.  Just as Gary Gygax’s ideas seemed a little goofy to the traditional wargamer, Reuschlein’s ideas seem goofy to the Peace and Justice academic crowd.  Gary Gygax turned the corner by moving into fantasy, perhaps Reuschlein will turn the corner by moving into the fast paced financial investment arena, rather than the slow paced academic arena.  Peace academics are into social movements, not business opportunities.  Politics is a black hole that swallows all but a few.  Honesty is dangerous in both politics and academics, yet essential in good science.  But to “one’s own self be true and to no one else canst thou be false.”  Ageism also confronts Bob, as does the idea that economics can never be a science.  Global warming scientists are similarly slow to comprehend the meaning of real accuracy.

Principal link showing qualification for Nobel Peace Prize:

https://www.academia.edu/7632773/PROOF_of_Peace_Economics_11_pages_1986

Professor Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace, Real Economy Institute,

Nominated and vetted for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 and 2017,

Contact  bobreuschlein@gmail.com Info www.realeconomy.com

Military Economy-Corollary 8

Military spending not only hurts economic growth as the last press release found, but many interesting corollaries spring from that central finding.

The 8 Indirect Military Economics Corollaries and dates:

Nobel Economics Prize Perversion 12-29-16

Low Level Military Defense 12-5-15

Creating Economic Model, 28 Steps 2-14-15

Military Money and Power 8-10-14

Military States Political Dominance 4-26-14

Banking and the Military 1-2-14

What Does Healthcare Have to Do with Empire? 12-13-13

Why Were Murder and Crime Cut in Half in the Nineties? 12-5-13

 

Nobel Economics Prize Perversion 12-29-16

This shows how economists do not even believe it’s possible to develop a science of economics.  I believe that’s because they are not engineers, hence ill equipped to handle the math and modeling needed to discover the physics like nature of the deadweight military spending role in the economy.

Low Level Military Defense 12-5-15

This concept shows that all is not lost recognizing that military spending slows down the economic growth rate so much that other nations will catch up and ultimately pass the hegemonic power.  A low level of military defense will ensure a competitive nation for decades to come.  The added benefit of letting the civilian economy lead the way is that the smaller fixed percentage of military economy forces will grow much faster in the low military economy, keeping forces modern and well paid.

Creating Economic Model, 28 Steps 2-14-15

The twenty-eight steps used to develop the economic model over a sixty year period of the American economy show the tools of an engineer and the agility of a model builder, war-game designer, and accountant.  The scope of a politician, scientist, and historian also draws in many useful ways of looking at the world.  Many interdisciplinary worlds were necessary to solve this puzzle.

Military Money and Power 8-10-14

Like the equal and opposite reaction of the physical world, military spending both confers power and draws power to it as an easily allocable part of the national budget.  It is the main glue of national politics in a hegemonic power.

Military States Political Dominance 4-26-14

The reason all US presidents elected during the Cold War came from high military spending states reflects the unique role of military spending in making those who rule over it “more presidential”. The one third higher white collar, blue collar, and engineering salaries in military industries and the communities they inhabit offer unique talent and money pools to maintain those communities hold on the federal wealth.

Banking and the Military 1-2-14

We’ve come a long way from the “Iron Triangle” days of Gordon Adams in 1981.  Even then the banks and military industries had 15% overlapping directorates.  But with financial sector profits ballooning from 0.4% of the economy to 3.5% of the economy in forty years, the marriage of the non productive military and financial industries have lead to unprecedented exploitation of the rest of us.

What Does Healthcare Have to Do with Empire? 12-13-13

Thanks to the “Spirit Level” book of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Puckett in 2010, I can now show that empire (military spending) is more important that even income inequality in leading to the social demise of a nation.  From social mobility to crime to many health care statistics, the empire society develops rampant social decay.

Why Were Murder and Crime Cut in Half in the Nineties? 12-5-13

The sharp drop in crime rates in America after the Cold War ended are a direct result of lowered military spending.  This finding of my seventies, eighties, and nineties research findings explains a phenomena that otherwise cannot be explained by the criminologists.

Link for full text of these 8 releases:

https://www.academia.edu/s/3720b53d0d/military-economy-corollaries-8-2013-2017-9-pages

Dr. Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace, Real Economy Institute, Nominated and vetted for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 and 2017, Contact  bobreuschlein@gmail.com Info www.realeconomy.com

Military Economy-Direct 11

Preparing for another book chapter, I combine these 11 Direct Military Economics press releases:

Nature of Military Spending 7-2-16

This is a well laid out evaluation of how military spending really functions in our economy, together with rebuttals of the pro-military interpretations.  This is the most thoughtful and clearly spelled out piece.

History Military Economy 4-9-16

This covers one hundred years of the US military economy, beginning with WILSON and World War I, ending with Obama, 1910-2009. This consistently shows how the military drags down the economy, not adds to the economy.

Not Economic Conversion 7-3-15

The path out of military spending is not conversion but replacement by letting the military factories slow down and disappear while the resources build up manufacturing elsewhere in the same state or country.  You don’t have to beat a dead horse, just let the economy adjust naturally.

War and Occupy Economics 5-8-15

Occupied countries operate at 40% lower than potential, and busts come after every war.

Regional Military Economy 2-1-15

The false positive of military spending propping up communities ignores the boomerang of lost manufacturing that goes with the military buildups.  Overall economics is never better with the military unless there are massive deficits involved.  Deficit economic booms are falsely claimed by military as evidence of economic growth coming from military spending.

The Worthlessness of War 1-23-15

Takes a hard look at the rosy colored glasses of the militarists theories.  Great civilian achievements often come first, then the military takes credit from those inventions.

Next Generation Economics 12-30-13

The new world of economics begins with Peace Economics with tons of common sense spin-offs from the basic finding of lost capital investment wasted on the military.

Military Dis-Economics 11-3-14

Here are the thirteen defining correlations, eight of them .99 or better.  Then you can understand how military spending brings down empires from within.

Proof of Peace Economics 7-12-14

The ultimate proof is the sixty year model of the US economy with a correlation of .999.  Accuracy makes physics-like hard science out of the spineless jellyfish of the social sciences.

Real Peace Economics or Not 6-7-14

Imitators using the term Peace Economics are opportunists stealing the title of my 1986 book and using it as just another large economic number, not the lost opportunity cost that really makes the military spending significant.

Roosevelt, Depression and War 5-16-14

This destroys the myth of the World War pulling US out of the Great Depression.  When you see the real numbers, it takes a while, but nothing else makes as much sense as the new understanding.

Link for full text of these 11 releases:

https://www.academia.edu/31717739/Military_Economy_Direct_11_2013-2016_15_pages

Dr. Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace, Real Economy Institute, Nominated and vetted for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 and 2017, Contact  bobreuschlein@gmail.com Info www.realeconomy.com

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