John Hill visits Pacificon / Conquest


Johnny Reb author John Hill of New Mexico is second from the right in the front row.

California gamemaster and JR3 player Roger Mark sent in this photograph of John Hill and a large group of wargamers who played in a 15mm JR3game of the Battle of Walthall Junction. The game was at the recent Pacificon Game Expo / Conquest SF gaming convention held in late August at the Marriott in Santa Clara, California. John was this year’s guest of honor at the annual convention.

John Hill (seated on the left) served as the assistant game master with Roger Mark, helping gamers play this scenario, which John originally wrote in the 1990s for Johnny Reb 2.

Here is the biography of John that I originally wrote for an entry in the Wikipedia on-line encyclopedia:

John Hill is a prolific American designer of military wargames, as well as rules for miniature wargaming such as Johnny Reb 3. He is a member of the Wargaming Hall of Fame. Hill, a native of Indiana, is most known as the designer of the popular Avalon Hill board game Squad Leader in 1977. Hill founded Conflict Games Company in the late 1960s and owned a hobby shop, The Scale, in Lafayette, Indiana, for several years. Among his many titles were Verdun, Kasserine Pass, Overlord, Battle For Stalingrad, Tank Leader, Eastern Front Tank Leader and many others. He also designed Hue, based upon the fighting near the City of Hue in the Vietnam War.

In 1978, Hill was named to the Wargaming Hall of Fame,  receiving the Charles S. Roberts Award at the Origins gaming  convention in Chester, Pennsylvania, on June 23, 1979. Hill developed what arguably is the most popular rules set ever developed for regimental level American Civil War miniature  gaming, the Johnny Reb series (volume 2 published by Game Designers’ Workshop; volume 3 by the Johnny Reb Gaming Company).

Categories: Civil War wargaming, Johnny Reb 3, Wargaming in general | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “John Hill visits Pacificon / Conquest

  1. So that’s what the genius looks like!

  2. Roger Mark

    Speaking of genius, the gentlemen to my left is non other than Dana Lombardy, (see credits in any JR rule set.) BTW, I’m the big lunk in the black shirt.
    It is hard for me to describe how awesome this was. I can say that the players did not want to stop even though the victory conditions had been met, (Rebs won).

  3. I thought that might be Dana. He’s been on the History Chaneel a few times as a commentator on various Civil War (and other) programs.

  4. Frank Shirer


    You look vaguely familar. Were you in LaFayette, IN in the early 70s when John had “the Scale” and was designing and publishing his first wargames? I use to go there and play them, in proto-type form. and buy and build the models he sold.

  5. Frank Shirer


    I just realized I am talking about the person in black shirt to the left of John in the top photo.

  6. Frank,
    I don’t remember your name, but I was a regular at The Scale in Lafayette, about 1973-76. I helped playtest John’s rules that later became SQUAD LEADER and JOHNNY REB.
    I haven’t seen John since ’76 until this sighting. He really hasn’t changed much!

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