RIP John Hill

I never met the man nor knew anything about him, but as a wargamer in general and an ASLer in particular, one can’t help feel a genuine sense of loss upon hearing the news of his death.

John Hill is most known as the designer of the extremely 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.

As the developer of the morale model and the champion of the design-for-effect philosophy, he influenced a wide variety of games, both tabletop and electronic.