Chris Parker – a life long wargamer and rules author
Hello, my name is Chris Parker. I grew up in West Newbury Mass and have been wargaming since the late 1960′s. My life long friend Ray Estabrook, his brother Jeff Estabrook and my brothers all played soldiers with 54mm plastic figures. We had a simple set of rules set in England during the Middle Ages. Interestingly enough I have taken some rules from them and incorporated them into my skirmish set of rules. Ray and his wife Pat own a game store located in Belfast Maine called All About Games.
An Introduction to Wargames
In 1971 I discovered The New England Wargamer’s Association (NEWA) and The Courier Magazine and they had published rules and huge armies. Dick Bryant and the other members of the club took me under their wing and led me into what would become a lifelong addiction. This is where I first met Arnold Hendricks playing his games 1944 and Surface Warship.
The Toy Soldier Store
In the late 1970′s Ray and I opened a game shop in Newburyport Mass called the Toy Soldier. It was a franchise of the Toy Soldier in Bath Maine owned by Peter Rice. Peter had originally bought “Lowrys Mail Order” from Don Lowry and moved it and his family to Bath. The rest is Maine wargaming history.
During this time Peter, Ray and The Companions game company published my first rules called Knighthood and the Middle Ages. They also published Peter’s WWII man to man game called Follow Me. A few years later I republished a second edition of Knighthood. About a decade after that I moved onto a new type of game and released my first edition called Day of Battle. The name was actually from Ray’s man to man dark ages rules that he never published. To this day I feel they were a lost treasure to us all.
Over the 10 years it was open I had two additional partners. First there was Mike Cooper and then Tom Giuseppe. Both were good friends and believed in the store. Mike passed away in 2015, RIP.
Day of Battle the Middle Ages – 4th edition
Recently with all the changes in the hobby as seen with rules systems like Impetus, and other single base and card driven games I released my current (and final) edition of Day of Battle which are now published by Dennis Shorthouse of On Military Matters.
As I look back over the road it has been an interesting path and I have enjoyed every minute of it.