Steve Fratt Ph.D. – President
I grew up surrounded by toy soldiers, books, movies, and games. The American Heritage Book of the Civil War caught my attention in grade school. I was impressed by David Greenspan’s paintings and set about making elaborate battles with Lewis Marx figures. Of course any war movie had to be played as well. Sometime in junior high, my dad brought home Joseph Morschauser’s How to Play War Games and that began my maturing as a wargamer. Inspired by The 300 Spartans and Alexander the Great, I began purchasing Jack Scruby 20mm Greeks and Persians and using the Morchauser rules. In 1970, Waterloo happened! That started a 45 year journey in Napoleonics. At Westmont, I went to Europe and missed a chance to see the Waterloo battlefield. It was snowing in Belgium so I spent the money for that side trip on Heroics and Ros Napoleonics in 1973 and brought them back to the states.
I am currently the History Department Chair at Trinity College in Bannockburn, IL. and have been teaching at Trinity for the last 25 years. I belong to the Society for Creative Anachronism 1980 – present. I have also been involved in American Civil War Reenacting from 1993 to the present where I have attained the title of Colonel – commanding 1st Brigade, IL Vols. I have written and collaborated on books and articles.
For the last forty years, I have collected hundreds of boardgames and thousands of figures. Most of the effort has supported my teaching of history. I am honored to serve as the president of the HMGS-Midwest. I will attempt to use the office to model the integration of military history, reenacting, and gaming into a meaningful lifestyle for the next generation of gamers.
Jim Roots – Director
I’ve been playing wargames for more than 40 years, starting with Avalon Hill’s Guadalcanal. My real life job is in advertising, while my ‘pretend’ job the past few years was as a partner at Ambush Alley Games where I worked on Force on Force, and Tomorrow’s War with Shawn Carpenter. I was lead author on the FoF supplements Cold War Gone Hot (nominated for an Origins Award in 2011) and Classified: Special Operations Since 1940. My current miniatures interest are scattered throughout the space-time continuum, but my recent activities include Starship Troopers, Congo, SAGA and Frostgrave. I enjoy painting and modeling nearly as much as running and playing games. I own miniatures in just about every scale/period and have yet to cure myself of my chronic ‘unpainted lead’ disease.
Paul Dayton – Treasurer
I’ve been interested in gaming most of my life, but didn’t discover miniatures until about 20 years ago. While in England for 6 months a main activity to keep myself sane was collecting and painting miniatures. I enjoy Ancient as a favorite with ACW and Napoleonic Navel a close second. However, I’ve yet to find a period I didn’t enjoy playing. The rules for ancients I enjoy the most are “FistFull of Miniatures” – bloody and easy to learn, but with lot’s of tactics and strategy needed to play it well.
Keeping accounts up-to-date, bills paid, HMGS solvent, and easier ways for members to be involved are clear goals. I can be reached at:email@example.com
Kevin Cabai – Membership Vice President
I was 11 back in 1969, when a classmate asked me to play a game called “Blitzkrieg”, and soon thereafter all the Avalon Hill games we could afford. This dovetailed nicely with an early love of history. By 1973, I was going to cons such as Gencon, and discovered miniatures. Thereafter spending my hard earned money at the GHQ and CinC booths. We formed a group and gamed everything we could until we split up for college. I then spent 14 years as an Armor Officer, serving in line units equipped with every type of tank in the inventory (M48 to M1). During active duty I developed and published several sets of micro-armor rules, which are still played today.
Along with my wife, who after 30 years has evolved into a quite gamer herself, we love running games at cons and local clubs. It has been a tradition since Gencon XIII. My interests are open to all, but my collections are based on WWII/Modern (15mm and micro), and LOTR/Medieval (28mm).
My philosophy is based on personal experiences on what not to do. As an eager teen trying to wargame mini’s in the late 60’s and early 70’s we were not well received by the older veterans. It was a very closed circle, which ultimately proved its demise. Now a Grognard, of the newer generation my mission is clear. We as an organization need to continue to reach out to all. We have had a good start but we need to push harder to identify and satisfy the needs of the younger gamers, woman gamers and spouses.
This is only part of my mission. We are more than just a convention, we are a society. I would like to expand the benefits of belonging to HMGS. Develop a “Membership has its rewards” program. Give our members added value for their dues, looking into relationships with museums, reenactment groups and retail/online stores.
This is our group, but I cannot do nor brainstorm everything. I welcome and encourage your help and ideas. Please feel free to reach out to me.
The job of the Membership Vice President is to make sure that the membership receives their membership cards at or before the convention. The position also keeps the master database, so if you have any changes in your address, or need a membership card, contact the following:firstname.lastname@example.org