Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Beer and Pretzels Urban Combat

I received a nice Email this weekend:

A few years ago you were kind enough to send a free copy of BAPUC for my son. I don’t want another free one, but I would like to buy one from you, this time for my brother. I hadn’t realized how much he liked the game until he recently mentioned it and wished he had a copy. It’s going to be a birthday present.
Copies are going on ebay for $50, and that’s used, so I would expect a new one to be a fair amount higher. Can you let me know what you’re selling them for and how to send payment?

This weekend at the HARCON gaming day at Harford Community College, I participated in a panel discussion on game design.  During the panel, I happened to mention this game, which was my first foray into game design.  At the very bottom of this page, you can seem some images of the game:  http://www.bucksurdu.com/Buck_Surdu/Personal.html.  I was surprised that this game would fetch $50 on Ebay, but here it is:

Now, I don’t know if anyone has paid this price for the game, but the person who sent me the Email was right that someone is asking that much for a copy.

I was really proud of this game in its day.  The production values were quite good for something done by a high school student.  I had a lot of help.  A friend of my dad did the manual color separations, because this was part of what he did for a living.  Another of his friends, who was an artist, drew the cover and the images for the counters.  I did the typing myself on a Smith-Coronna electric typewriter.  The high school vo-tech course needed things to print, so I got it printed for cost.  Even with all that, the production cost me about $3.50 per game, and they retailed for $10.  For the past 15 years, I have been giving them to folks free from time to time.

This experience really hooked me on game design.  One day I was coming down the hallway of Thayer Hall at West Point to play some war-games with the gaming club.  As I was walking down the hall, I could hear a lot of whooping, hollering, and cheering.  I was wondering what game they were playing that was so much fun. When I got there, I discovered that it was BAPUC!  There were four people playing and six or seven more watching.  I thought that if I can make a game that gave people that much enjoyment, that was something I wanted to keep doing.  I didn’t design another game for five or six more years, but the hook had been set.


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