Awards Director

Tim Tow has played wargames since the last century and runs organized play events online and in-person. He has forgotten more game rules than he remembers but remembers more about the industry than not.

Board of Governors

Non-Voting Chairman and Advisor

Rodger B. MacGowan has worked on over 500 wargames & magazines and designed/founded various game magazines in his career and has won numerous game industry and hobby awards.

Assistant Director

Riccardo Rigillo hails from Italy and has been gaming since he was 10, starting with the Andrew McNeill Battlegame books, then progressing to Panzer Leader at 13. A brief hiatus came in the early 90s and after his own Odyssey of about 10 years came back and is active in the Italian wargaming scene.

John Burtt has been writing historical  studies and wargame reviews for over 40 years.  His articles have appeared in GrenadierThe GeneralAgainst the OddsWar DiaryYaah! and all three Decision Games publications, including their first Quarterly study on Operation Barbarossa. 

He was the founding editor of CounterAttack magazine before becoming the editor of Paper Wars, a post he held for 18 years.  He holds a BA and ME in Nuclear Engineering, which he used in his day job as a propulsion plant modeler for the U.S. Navy until his retirement in 2016.  He also holds a masters in Military History.  He served with the III Marine Amphibious Force in Vietnam from 1969 – 1971, where his interest in military history was sparked.

Robert Carroll’s life-long journey into wargaming began with Avalon Hill’s PanzerBiltz and moved rapidly to Third Reich, Squad Leader, Panzer Leader and The Longest Day. His “longest” journey continues to this day with avid collecting; reading rules; setting-up briefly looking at and then putting away; talking about; thinking about and even playing a wargame or two, or three, or four . . . .  Although there have been periods of inactivity (education, work and family competing for quality time), including a brief stint in government intelligence, he has always kept gaming and more specifically, wargaming near and dear to his heart.  Advancing into his 4th full decade of wargaming, Robert a/k/a KilroyWasHere has found new outlets to enjoy and explore, with playtesting several games/systems, starting a YouTube channel dedicated to wargaming and winning a Charlie (or two) along the way.  To paraphrase Chico Escuela: “[Wargaming] has been berry, berry good to me!”

Jean-Louis Dirion‘s first games were the International Team’s puzzle board wargames. Not surrounded by many local wargamers, Jean-Louis is an active vassal player and attends 1-2 French wargame conventions annually.

Lawrence Hung was born in Hong Kong under the British colonial rule and in this special historical context, he was hooked and fascinated by simulation value and capability of wargames since he was 12, when he played the first locally produced wargame, “The Greatest Conflict of Tanks”, in which tactics cards were used to resolve combat on an odd-based Combat Results Table, followed by “The Russian Campaign”, “Midway”, “Star Fleet Battles”, etc. with Chinese translation rules.  Although not a typical completist, Lawrence amassed a collection of almost 1,500 wargames over 38 years by now, constantly looking for the next “Holy Grail”.  It’s not so much the wandering around and collecting about, but that euphoric eureka moment Lawrence always strives for. The joys of discovery to Lawrence do not necessarily involve geography or history, real or virtual. They may derive from the mental road less traveled, the uncovering of esoteric or hidden knowledge and its creative application to system or theory. He enjoys sharing that zen moment and knowledge with others, contributing and socializing online discussion in Consimworld and Boardgame Geek.  Lawrence is a Certified Public Accountant in both Washington State, U.S. and Hong Kong.

Trevor Just

Riccardo Masini is a wargamer since he was 8, thanks to his father Sergio, one of the pioneers of historical simulation games in Italy. He has so far published many books and articles about wargaming in his country, is a regular contributor to the ioGioco gaming magazine and to other Italian and international specialized websites. He also runs the WLOG YouTube channel and the Checkpoint Charlie podcast. Member of the Italian Military History Society, he has published several books and articles about counterfactual history and the use of wargaming as a form of historical research.

Joanne M. Roberts  is the daughter of Charles S. Roberts, founder of Avalon Hill Game Company. She was raised on Gun Road, in Catonsville MD., along with her 9 brothers and sisters. She  recalls her father and oldest brother, playing the original Avalon Hill games, for several days at a time. Joanne has an avid interest in pursuing more knowledge of the hobby her dad started, over 70 years ago. The collection of her fathers games are a big source of pride and inspiration for her, and  is looking forward to keeping the legacy of her father alive and well. She currently is working as an RN, with high risk mothers and their families.

Allan Rothberg is a member of the Long Island Wargamers and was a previous Executive Director for the Charles S. Roberts Awards. 

Charles S. Roberts

The Charles S. Roberts Awards are presented annually for excellence in the historical wargaming hobby. Charles S. Roberts, in whose name this award is given, invented the modern wargame industry almost single-handedly. As a designer and the original owner-operator of The Avalon Hill Game Company. He founded Avalon Hill in 1958 and published Tactics IIGettysburg, and Dispatcher. They were the first commercial board wargames and Charles Roberts was responsible for their creation, including many of the developments, such as the Combat Results Table (CRT), that were later to become commonplace. Avalon Hill became a pioneer in a new type of gaming: strategy games based on historical events and so Charles Roberts spawned the whole commercial wargaming hobby/industry we know today.

Prior to Roberts’ founding of Avalon Hill, strategy games had been more abstract in nature and popular games, although themed, relied more on luck and less on strategy. By deviating from these traditions, Roberts created a new genre of games that appealed to a new type of gamer.

In 1962, when the debts of Roberts’ fledgling company mounted, he sold it to his major creditor, Monarch Services, a printing company. Monarch later went public (as Monarch-Avalon), but throughout its history, controlling ownership was held by the Dott family — Eric and, later, his son Jackson. Credit is also due to the two men who did the most to ensure that Avalon Hill published such fine games for so many years: Tom Shaw and, later, Don Greenwood.

Avalon Hill was happy if a game sold 10,000 copies in its life. Well, in the summer of 1998, Avalon Hill was disbanded when Monarch Avalon decided to get out of the game business. Hasbro Games and Hasbro Interactive purchased the rights to the AH game titles, back inventory, and name. Hasbro, by the way, typically sells 200,000 plus copies annually of each and every boardgame it publishes.

After a year and a half of research and design, Hasbro Games has started to bring back the Avalon Hill games line. Some games are reissues of classic AH games, but many are new games to satisfy “the Avalon Hill gamer.” Titles are being re-released and perhaps we’ll find new blood entering our old hobby — the hobby that Charles S. Roberts founded back in the late 1950s.

For the record, Roberts himself designed the following groundbreaking games (given in order of publication):

bulletTactics, 1952 (republished 1983)
bulletTactics II, 1958 (republished 1961, 1972)
bulletGettysburg, 1958 (republished 1961, 1964)
bulletU-Boat, 1959 (republished 1961)
bulletVerdict, 1959 (republished 1960)
bulletChancellorsville, 1961
bulletCivil War, 1961
bulletD-Day, 1961
bulletDispatcher, 1961
bulletNieuchess, 1961
bulletBismarck, 1962
bulletAfrika Korps, 1964 (republished 1965, 1977)

31 May 1988


Dear Mr. Rodger B. MacGowan,

In regard to your letter and offer of May 26th just received, please be advised that it is my desire to have the use of my name on the various “Awards” be accomplished in a manner and in a context that is “independent” of any commercial connection and “free” from any conflict of interest.

Toward that end, you and your “Charles S. Roberts Awards” Council  have my authority to take all appropriate steps.  If any major issue cannot be resolved in good faith by you and this group, the matter should be referred to me for decision.

Very Truly Yours,

Charles S. Roberts