Episode 12 (Part 1) Games Workshop & Citadel (with Tim Olsen)

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INTRO (15 secs)

This is an unusual episode as it is about a place more than a thing. This is about the remembered place that was Games Workshop, when we were kids, and the magical lead figures we found there.

POTTED HISTORY (6.32)

The story about how school friends came together to form Games Workshop and how it grew and grew …

OPEN BOX (WITH TIM OLSEN) (10:17)

I am joined by Tim Olsen who was instrumental in the early days of GW. He was the manager of Dalling Road branch, then Manchester, before taking the first stores to America. He is a fascinating and lovely guy. You’ll enjoy his contribution.

WHITE DWARF (31:35)

The first part of @dailydwarf ‘s contribution to the episode where he talks about his experience of using figures in his games.

OPEN BOX (46:08)

Blythy joins me to talk about minis, memories and how we consume games. There’s a riot going on in the background, sorry about that, it is the sound of Bolton I’m afraid.

THERE ISN’T A LAST BIT (1:20)

A call for the submission of your memories of Games Workshop and a thank you to Patreons.

 

16 thoughts on “Episode 12 (Part 1) Games Workshop & Citadel (with Tim Olsen)

  1. Another great episode, when I listen I always find myself wanting to join in the conversations, particularly between Dirk and Blythy. They talk about so many past and present experiences that resonate with my own… Dirk’s comment on not knowing what to do in a game store describes an experience I had myself just a few days ago. Standing staring at the shelves of RPG books, not knowing where to start. Too much choice and they’re all shrink wrapped anyway. I blame the internet which has royally screwed up this particular experience (while adding loads of other cool stuff so no complaints). I suffer from a modern habit of not trusting my gut instinct – I won’t buy a game until I’ve read reviews, seen some video reviews… plus I can get the game online with the physical book and the PDF for a few quid more etc etc. Browsing through games in store used to be a pure pleasure.

    It’s great someone has such fond memories of Games Workshop, but I look at it very differently. My RPG life started at 17 in the summer of 1983, defined by weekly visits to Games of Liverpool. That was the case for many years and it seems I have similar memories to yourselves with GW. When GW opened in Bold St, Liverpool (I’m guessing 1985) it was a big thing… Ian Livingstone tweeted about it not long ago with a photo (https://twitter.com/ian_livingstone/status/754741025814577152/photo/1). I recall the store had a big opening at 11am with many top games on sale for £1. With a few quid in hand I went down there with my mate Dave about 10.30 and was hugely disappointed to see the queue seen in Ian Livingstone’s photo. No chance of a bargain game for me that day!

    Initially GW had a diverse range of RPG’s and board games, with Warhammer stuff on the increase. Even then I found GoL far more interesting. Over time it seemed that GoL struggled while GW thrived, while cutting down the range of games it supported until it was only WH and other licensed stuff a few years later. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but GoL eventually shut down – whether that has anything to do with GW I don’t know. I was in the early years of my RPG hiatus when it happened, so the event sadly passed me by.

    Keep up the reminiscing chaps, look forward to the next one!

    1. Games of Liverpool, alas, I knew it well. I moved back to Merseyside in the summer of ’86 after 4 years abroad, during which time I’d become an avid RPGer. However, where I’d been living was an island in the Caribbean with ZERO tabletop outlets. My only contact with the ‘outside’ world, were random issues of White Dwarf sent by UK friends and stuff I’d asked for on my parents’ infrequent visits back to Blighty.

      Thus when arriving back home I made a B-line for Liverpool city centre. Seeing the Bold Street Games workshop and GoL for the first time was a near paradise experience I can’t quite put into words. Sadly, for me, within a relatively short space of time I could sense a change in the weather as fewer and fewer RPGs were stocked in Games Workshop in favour of Warhammer. At least GoL continued flying the flag and as I write this I remember being enthralled by the dusty miniature dioramas and the strangely appealing smell of musty games laden shelves.

      Although by the start of the 90s my interest in games had dwindled in favour of live gigs, weekend cider drinking and ultimately going to Uni in London. Yet, it was while a student I started playing again which fanned the dull glowing coals of my gaming interest. So, it was with great sadness I marched to GoL sometime in the summer of 1992 only to find it was no more. Gutted!

      Even today, whenever I pass the building that housed it, my mind always kind of projects Games of Liverpool onto the current facade.

      (p.s alot of GoL’s old stock ended up in in the back room of Quiggins)

  2. Excellent podcast again as always, chaps. I’ve been waiting for some serious discussion about lead and lead alloys since you started.

    Even though I’d read about RPGs, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. When I got the D&D Basic Set I was shocked that it was just some books and dice. Where’s my cool castle? I asked, I was sure I was supposed to get something like that, and no little metal guys? What was going on?

    Picking up issues of White Dwarf and Warlock (I was a post Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks RPG adopter), I would see ads for miniatures companies, and started out with the very sensible sounding Prince August, where you bought the moulds and cast the figures yourself. Brilliant, I thought. Endless armies of orcs and dwarves at a fraction of the cost, and only a few accidental scaldings to contend with. I even got the kit to make plaster of paris 3d dungeons, and spectacularly failed to ever actually make anything with it. The figures I cast, however, weren’t quite up to the level of detail (or coolness) of the other miniatures I’d see around, so I relented and started buying “real” ones.

    My first sets were from Reider Design (a company that eventually became Alchemy Metalwear- pendants depicting Motörhead’s Snaggletooth, that kind of thing). They were nice and cheap, packs of 5 or 6 figures depicting Adventurers, Demi Humans, Orc War Band and so on. One of the sets was called “Goblin Terrorists”, which I suspect you wouldn’t get today.

    Those were mail order. We had no Games Workshop in Gloucester, just a model shop (called – I think “The Model Shop” that sold a lot of Citadel stuff alongside Humbrol paints and a random selection of MERP supplements, so that became my haunt for the next few years.

    Collecting and painting miniatures became a sort of Parallel hobby – A way to interact with RPGs without actually playing them – it was always a bit tricky getting people together to play and I always feel like I never got to play as much as I wanted.

    I’ve never understood why Citadel Miniatures never produced any figures based on the Fighting Fantasy Books – as they were renowned for their evocative illustrations. Eventually they did make a line of plastic figures with FF branding, but they had nothing to do with any of the books, and were just a bunch of generic skeletons and goblins. Had they done a box set including Zagor, Zanbar Bone and that anguished looking manticore from the first Sorcery! Book cover, I would’ve snapped it right up.

    Citadel produced a line of official AD&D minis, but they didn’t look much like the contemporary Larry Elmore/Jeff Easley style that TSR was using. They were in the same John Blanche style that matched the rest of their lines, big heads and hands and somehow both more vicious and humorous. The adventurers were produced in blister packs of three, as low, mid and high level versions of the same character, which is a neat idea, but in practice you ended up having a lot of miniatures that looked pretty similar. On the plus side they always seemed to be carrying lots of backpacks, bags and pouches the way every RPG character invariably did. They also did AD&D specific monsters like the owlbear and rust monster, but by this point I’d left behind the worlds of Gygax.

    Citadel also had the licence to produce LOTR and Eternal Champion figures, and I bought these more because I was a fan of those books rather than with the intention to use them in my MERP and Stormbringer games. At no point did any of my players encounter Treebeard or Jerry Cornelius, but they were cool just to own. Yes, before you ask, there was a Tom Bombadil, but I never got my hands on him.

    When I los interest in RPGs I told my mum to get rid of all my old miniatures- they were after all, just cluttering the place up. But she could never bring herself to do it, after all the hours I’d spent sat at the dining table, drybrushing Ringwraiths and inhaling turpentine fumes. Good job too, as after a couple of decades of downtime I found myself playing again.

    I now had the choice to not use miniatures – to travel light, so to speak, but at the end of the day, I have all this junk, I might as well use it. I’m running a regular weekly game for work colleagues and many of them have never played RPGs before, but even the ones who have aren’t used to seeing miniatures, so I guess that makes it a sufficiently old school thing to do. They’re always impressed when I bring these things out, so I regularly change the monster in the adventure to match the mini. There is no Dracolich in “Curse of Strahd”, but I have a Dracolich mini. Why the hell would i *not* use it?

  3. There was never a Games Workshop in Cardiff in the 80s when I was growing up there, but prompted by @dimbyd on Twitter, I thought I’d share a few memories of the FLGS that was there: FC Parker.

    FC Parker was part of the “golden triangle” of shops of my youth, along with Spillers Records (the oldest record shop in the world, fact fans – http://www.spillersrecords.co.uk/) and Lears bookshop – all within a minute’s walk of each other. Situated on the corner of Royal Arcade, I remember FC Parker as a rather narrow, cramped shop, chock full of the most wonderful games and figures. The proprietor was a friendly and knowledgable chap, who I picture in my mind with a large handlebar moustache. I bought all my White Dwarfs from FC Parker, as well as all the classic RPGs of my youth. I don’t remember whether they sold more “conventional” games or not – the only other things I do recall them stocking were the Paul Daniels magic tricks in the curved boxes. Remember them? (Not a lot.)

    In the late 80s, FC Parker moved from the Royal Arcade to High Street Arcade, and was still going strong when I moved away to go to university. In White Dwarf #100, it was announced that it was becoming Encounter Games, a “Games Workshop independent specialist stockist”. Hmm, alarm bells were starting to ring. They became blaring klaxons when an official Games Workshop store opened across the street. I don’t think Encounter Games lasted much longer after that. A real shame. But the memories live on for us South Wales grognards.

    1. One other thing I forgot to mention: games shops always seem to have a very characteristic smell (which I don’t think is wholly down to the clientele). Since the sense of smell is closely linked to memory, even now whenever I step inside a games shop, the smell triggers that association with memory, and I get a little frisson of excitement, just like I did back in the day stepping through the door of FC Parker.

  4. I was in the queue outside 1 Dalling Road on the day of opening. Of course, coming in from South Bucks I had got there far, far too late for any of the opening day special offers, specifically the one bargain copy of EMPIRE OF THE PETAL THRONE that I had set my heart on. But at least it was set in my memory and I could pop in there whenever I had an excuse to be up in London.

    I do recall the collapse of GW into the abyss of Making Much More Money and I felt betrayed and disgusterpated too. I must have been over thirty by then so I think it was a gamer thing rather than a teenager thing. Living near the metropolis I had other sources, like the RPG section in Virgin’s store under the shadow of Centre Point. (Eventually they decided that RPGs weren’t making them enough money either.)

    I gave up on miniatures I think when my 1980s series of RQ games went into abeyance and one of my regular groups had always played in the ‘lounging around the living room’ style not sitting at a table anyway. I still have my RQ box sets though I haven’t taken them out of the shelves for an age. Nowadays when I want to get back to basics I’ll use Cardboard Heroes or the like.

    I like Blythey feel that I need physical copies of the core books. I’ve been running NBA/THE DRACULA DOSSIER recently and though I’ve used the iPad to hold the scenarios I’ve preferred the physical copy to look up rules. (“I know it’s here somewhere….” and you judge by the physical location of the pages burned into your fingertips.)

  5. Thank you, you’ve solved a mystery for me, after i saw this podcast was coming up i was trying to piece together the missing parts of the original Nottingham Broadmarsh Games Workshop layout.
    I couldn’t for the life of me remember what was on the right as you went in.
    It must have been the rubiks cubes and jigsaws etc! A place never ventured into so not remembered.
    As you came in, to the left were the rpg rules, scenarios and other boxed sets on shelving, toward the middle was a central magazine and comic rack (with exotic marvel and dc comics); then, (still on the left) was the till area and the figures in the little see through drawers that they’d get out for you. Later this side would house the blister packs.
    Where the figure cabinets were is a bit hazy, at the back? On the right at the back? I’m sure there were some computers in there at one point at the back left?
    There was also a till on the forbidden right about halfway down.
    You’re right it did seem like an exclusive club when you entered, here were your people who knew what this ‘new’ underground hobby was. Hours were spent in that shop.
    I remember once being asked by the operator of the forbidden right till if i knew how the Surprise rules worked in Traveller, i didn’t have a clue and god knows how we’d got onto that subject, but being asked my opinion at 13 by an old gamer, a student no less, (whatever they were) felt amazing ‘i was in’.
    About the same time i remember our group going to the original Asgard miniatures shop up in St Marys, an old dark shop, the shelves were planks nailed to the wall, with their great figures glued to them. I can remember a back room filled with long haired people, possibly gaming, but shortly after they moved to near the train station to a big shop by the canal.

    As for figures ruining the immersion, i don’t feel it has to be an either/or, just because you put down figures doesn’t mean you become a stat computer suddenly, keep the descriptive stuff going as the figures go down and as the combat runs.
    In recent years we’ve used 10mm fantasy figures so we always had enough, a real pleasure to be able to get out 20 orcs if you need 20 orcs, and a few years ago when we played Cthulhu we used the excellent RAFM miniatures (which do now have almost everything in their range), bit of black ink wash and you’re good to go, shows the detail but avoids the painting chores.
    Another pleasure there was unlike the cash strapped kid of thirty odd years ago, nowadays figures are affordable.
    Well, having only found them the other week i’ve caught up with the podcasts now and will have to wait for new ones like everybody else.
    They really are excellent, tailor made stuff, and i’ll be getting myself off to Patreon asap.
    Keep on ramblin’.

  6. I remember finding a shop called Gamer on a school trip to Brighton. It took ages to find it (somewhere in the Lanes area, I think) so we didn’t have much left when we did get there, but I still remember the feeling of mystery and excitement when we went in. I’ve no idea what we did once we were inside, or if we got anything, but that was kind of beside the point. We had made it!
    I suppose we felt like that because RPGs only existed inside our own heads, so there was nothing physical to represent the experience of playing them. Apart from more rulebooks. And miniatures. And locations where they existed. And if you put all those together … no wonder the shops were such a big deal to all of us.
    Furley and Baker’s on Beckenham High Street … sigh …

  7. Dirk, Dirk, Dirk… what a fabulous episode for UK grognards everywhere! I was one of those teenagers in that shop as often as my pocketmoney would allow. However, it wasn’t the Dalling Road shop where I bought my first White Box D&D. My friend Cedric and I were sold our box at 97 Uxbridge Road by a very young and bearded Ian Livingstone. We walked around the back of a terraced house with a travel agent’s on the corner, along a little path into what I remember looked a bit like an outhouse or shed. I’m guessing from what Tim Olsen that this was actually where Steve Jackson and the original crew were living, selling stuff out of their flat! We bought one of the original shipment of White Box sets imported by Games Workshop. I have it still, in mint condition (I’m not selling!) together with some brilliant old publicity material featuring Games Workshop’s original logo… a mickey mouse rip-off with a thought bubble saying… “Games?”

  8. I just wanted to say (though you’ve probably already guessed from my constant blathering on Twitter), that I’m loving the podcast. I actually encountered it around the first Traveller episode and I’m sorry to say that it’s taken me this long to get into the cast and go back and catch up with all the previous episodes.
    I’m a great believer in stoically not pining for days past and yet, ironically I’m also a massive sucker for nostalgia and your podcast, particularly the conversations with Blythy and Ed are really powerful triggers that carry me back through the mists of time to the 80’s in my home town of Barry in South Wales and my own roleplaying escapades.

    In 1984 I had already encountered interactive storytelling (as it wasn’t known back then) in the form of Fighting Fantasy book, The Forest of Doom which I purchased randomly from the school book club – largely because of Iain McCaig’s jaw-dropping cover (How did he paint those shafts of light in the trees?). However it wasn’t until, off school ill one day, my Dad bought me a copy of Imagine magazine #12 (with it’s amazing Rodney Matthews cover, The Guardian Awakes) mistakenly thinking it was a computer mag (I was a Commodore 64 kid). I pretty much fell into it. What was this Dungeons and Dragons? Here was a game like Forest of Doom but you could do anything you wanted. You weren’t just restricted to three choices. My tiny mind was blown and so it was highly fortuitous that shortly thereafter a fellow school librarian (don’t ask) said that he had a copy (The Red Box rules) and would I like to play?
    There then followed half a dozen years or more (looking back it seems like so much longer) of intense roleplaying of anything and everything at every available opportunity. I was lucky, really as I knew two or three groups of overlapping friends who were players and so it was never difficult to find three or four people to sit around a table with me. One group in particular would go on to become my closest life-long friends and it’s with them that I played the most.
    Initially we used to gather at our friend Ken’s house. Ken lived with his estranged mother in their three-story house, the top floor of which consisted of two empty rooms that ken had all to himself just for his full-sized pool table (which we used for Warhammer), his Banarama poster taken from Smash Hits and a dining table which we used to gather around to play D&D, Traveller, Star Frontiers, Star Trek and a host of others including our own home-written vanity projects.
    Later in the 80’s, after leaving school, some of the same bunch of friends pooled their meagre earnings and housing benefit together to rent a house. 23 Lombard Street – which will forever live in legend as an 80’s roleplaying mecca. The front room, when it wasn’t full of stoned hippies, bong smoke (I was always a boring goody-two-shoes and didn’t partake) and the lilting strains of Hawkwind and Floyd also served as our roleplaying room and being in our late teens, we often spent nights and whole weekends with very little breaks playing D&D, Warhammer Fantasy, Stormbringer, Runequest and again, a whole host of others.
    By the early 90’s it all seemed to crawl to a rather pitiful end. Folk had moved in with girlfriends or left for university and our group was torn asunder. Roleplaying games too seemed to be in a decline with computer games ‘killing them off’. Now I’ve always felt that I went into suspended animation at this point too but listening to your podcast and reminiscing about those days has made me realise that whilst I’ve had slow periods, I’ve never actually stopped playing.
    After returning from college in Wrexham (where I’d started a group), Lombard Street had ended (much, I imagine, to the relief of the neighbours), I took to playing in a group with my mate, Darren, one of the ex-Lombard Street residents, at his house. Sadly, he died in ‘97 and shortly after, I went off to work for Acclaim in Cheltenham where I initially joined a club in Abingdon and then later started a group after hours in the office. After that I worked at Blitz in Leamington where I also started a group (I work in the video games industry so it’s easy to find interested folk) and latterly played at a colleague’s flat with some others.
    In 2013 I returned to Cardiff and quickly found a group consisting of a nice American family. After a year and a half of playing only D&D I decided I wanted to branch out a bit and so I’ve now joined a club, The Penarth and District Wargamers Society, that have a Thursday night Taff’s Well chapter dedicated almost entirely to roleplaying.
    Of course, on top of all this, I am currently planning to run an introductory D&D game for my son and a couple of his mates. They’ve already played Heroquest (the MB D&D-lite boardgame with prototype plastic Citadel minis) and loved it. I was going to use Red Box. Partly for poetic reasons (it was my first game, after all) but largely because of its super simplicity. However, having listened to you Grogs opine the merits of the 5th edition starter set – and given that if they love it and it becomes a regular campaign I’d want to use 5th anyway – I decided to run them through Phandelver instead.

    F.C. Parker

    During the heady days of the mid to late 80’s nothing compared to a Saturday trip to Cardiff to wander what Daily Dwarf described as the ‘Golden Triangle’. My Golden Triangle, however was different. It consisted of FC Parker, Beatties the model shop and later on the Virgin Megastore which had a huge roleplaying section.
    FC Parker was my favourite though, simply because it felt like a shop run by people who actually played the game and that gave it a more homely, less corporate feel, I think. I only have a tiny handful of very vague memories of FC parker now, sadly. I vaguely remember the shop on the corner of Royal Arcade as a very small, dingy, dark brown shop like a tobacconists with it’s wooden trays of loose lead minis and racks of rpg books. I remember one day plucking up the courage to ask the young chap behind the counter if there was a setting supplement for Traveller and I remember he looked quite puzzled. I can’t remember if he mentioned the Spinward Marches or not, but that’s where the memory ends. I remember when they moved, it was an open fronted shop (actually it probably wasn’t) on the inside of one of the new, modern arcades and was brightly lit. I couldn’t actually stand anywhere now and point and tell you where it was, though, weirdly – so I’m grateful to Daily Dwarf for mentioning that it was in the High Street arcade. I’ll have to wander down that way next time I’m in town and see if it jogs any memories. I remember I used to go there on pilgrimage to drool over all the WEG Star Wars supplements I couldn’t afford. I also remember wandering in with a Virgin bag one day and being asked why I’d chosen to spend my money there instead. It was honest market research rather than indignation but I guess that was a sign of what was to come. All I could do was give a teenage shrug and say, ‘dunno’. Pretty soon they were gone. So too was Beatties and eventually so was Virgin’s RPG section, leaving just Games Workshop to rule the roost. I was dimly aware of a small shop in (I think) the Castle Arcade selling RPG supplements in the 90’s and I know I went in once but it was a small, dark, fairly foreboding place that seemed to constantly have several scary looking heavy metal types crowded around the counter and filling up half the shop making it an uncomfortable browsing experience. A friend of a friend also briefly opened a shop in Barry in the 90s’ but that quickly became a computer repair shop instead.
    I’m delighted to say that we now, once again have two independent stores in Cardiff. The rather magnificent Rules of Play in the Castle Arcade and also Firestorm Games that I’ve not visited yet as they are a bit off the beaten track. The former is dedicated to boardgames but has a small but healthy RPG section and it was lovely to see when I popped in yesterday to buy the D&D Starter set, how incredibly busy it was. And in true poetic manner, these days one of my favourite things is to pop in to Rules of Play and drool over all the Fantasy Flight Star Wars supplements I can’t afford.

    Anyway, that’s me. I don’t expect you to read all this out on the cast, Dirk. It goes on a bit and is of no interest to anyone (and is probably too late for the episode now anyway), but it was really cathartic for me to write it down. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to go off and read the D&D 5th Starter rules. Well, I need to clean the kitchen first, really, but after that, definitely after that, the rules. Well…

    All the best,

    Wayne

  9. Hey Dirk

    Just a message to say how much I enjoyed Episode 12 of The Grognard Files. I’m a new listener to the show, and this episode was very evocative of my experiences gaming in the early 80s. I was 10 years old in 1982, and ready to graduate from the Starwars figures and Airfix 1/72 infantry that I used to play with. No rules – just free play. Looking back – it’s amazing to think how many new toys/hobbies landed during this time. Within the space of a few years, we had affordable (just) home computing, citadel miniatures, D&D, handheld electronic games (LED and LCD) etc etc.

    Listening to your account, what struck a chord was how atomised the various fantasy and RPG elements were. Early doors, I had the Moldvay Basic set, a handful of Citadel Skeletons and some fighting fantasy books. Northampton (where I lived at the time) didn’t have a dedicated games shop, so these were pieced together from various local book shops, model shops and toy shops. I think the miniatures came first – and seemed like an instant upgrade from the packets of Airfix soldiers I had been used to. Barely within pocket money boundaries… but just about affordable. Half a dozen school friends each decided to choose a tribe. I picked undead. Others chose Orcs, Half Orcs, samurai, and Minotaurs (though the latter were an expensive lot, being generally larger models). I think I chose well – although skeletons have a natural disadvantage of ‘weak ankles’ and a few favourite models became ‘battlefield corpse’ variants through loving overuse (especially on hot summer afternoons).

    The ratio of reading/prep/creating dungeons to actual D&D play seemed about 30/1. Largely because we didn’t quite understand how to progress through ambiguous areas of play, and got perennially bogged down in rule dispute. That, and the fact that 6 unruly boys were squabbling over 1 set of polyhedral dice between them. But… those early forays into the Keep on the Borderland and The Barrier Peaks were tantalising experiences that teetered on something close to brilliant.

    There was a sense that all these elements (models, minis, books) belonged together, but it felt like there was some kind of blueprint we didn’t have access too. I remember looking at a photo-book of the film ET, where the kids are playing D&D on a tabletop, trying to decipher what the set up was and how the children were using the props and models. I felt more confused than ever.

    Eventually – RPG’s (for us at least) became eclipsed by computer games and, later, the usual distractions of late adolecence (girls and beer being formost). As time went on, I continued as a video gamer – drawn to titles like Dragon Age and the various Elder Scrolls incarnations – but however satisfying these experience were, I felt like there might be something missing.

    Only in the last few years have I returned to RPGs and found the industry transformed! LFGs and forums show a vibrant and exciting community playing a huge variety of RPGs, and I have fallen in with a brilliant crew of Grogs playing DCC (which feels like the D&D game I always wanted to play). I’m even producing art and writing for kickstarters and other gaming opportunities. It’s transforming my middle age socially and professionally in ways I hadn’t anticipated. And I put it all down to those early, formative experiences with gaming in the early 80s. That weird melting pot of half baked rules, hybrid games, imported enigmas and lead poisoning.

    Keep up the great work. I’ll be slowly working my way through the previous Grogcasts 🙂

    Cheers! And thanks again for a great listen.

  10. Another great episode. My childhood memories of game shops are slightly different from yours as I was living in Paris in the mid-80’s and my game shops were Jeux Descartes on the rue des Ecoles and l’Oeuf Cube at the Jussieu metro stop. I had the same quasi-religious experience though, of entering another realm and standing, awestruck, in front of shelf after shelf of games.

    Your interview with Tim Olsen was fascinating and I’m looking forward to listening to part 2. The pub noise in the background was fun too; when I realised the Sundays were playing I broke into a grin.

    Thanks for sharing the joy and confusion of our common experience in the hobby’s childhood, and the love of gaming that has stuck with you all these years.

    1. Yes, The Sundays, I mistakenly referred to them as The Cranberries in Part 2, I hope I can be forgiven for my fey, indy faux pas.

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