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.

Mark D’Agosta is a Marine Corps veteran, life-long board wargamer, software designer and the current caretaker of the Grognard.com web site.

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.

Derek Landel plays many wargames and has seen more rules than he remembers.

Andy Loakes, like many of us, began board wargaming in the 70’s and cut his teeth on game from SPI and Avalon Hill, amongst others. Then came marriage and children and the games were relegated to the attic.

Then, in the early 2000s, he discovered Cyberboard and Consimworld and found that the games of his youth were still being played and even published. Getting back into the hobby with even more enthusiasm than the first time around, he established Limey Yank Games (www.limeyyankgames.co.uk) in 2003.

Andy owns around 1100 games. He has designed ‘Toulon, 1797’ and is working on ‘Waning Crescent, Shattered Cross – The Great Siege of Malta’ – both available from Legion Wargames (www.legionwargames.com), the latter on pre-order.

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

Wojciech Zalewski  (Taktyka Strategia owner) is a graduate of the University of Warsaw and a member of the Faculty of Geology, author of books about World War II and scientific and technical articles and a publisher and designer of more than 200 strategy games.

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