When I was young I was fascinated by stories of war and adventure. I used to read about Robin Hood, King Arthur, Roland, Hector and Achilles, Horatio on the bridge. Later I became interested in historical figures and read about Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, Julius Caesar, Wellington, Napoleon, Churchill, Blackbeard, the Red Baron, and so on. At the age of ten I found a copy of The Lord of the Rings around the house, and for many years this was my favourite book with Tolkien my favourite author. I suppose those early readings have in many ways defined my later interests.
Sometime at Intermediate School I found a book in the library called The Wargame. Inspired by this I enacted a series of military manoeuvres on the wall, using a cork bulletin board for the battlefield and coloured pins for the soldiers. This was, I suppose, when I first discovered wargaming. Of course, I had been playing with model soldiers for many years, but with no formal rules or dice it was not quite the same thing.
One of my school friends and a fellow member of the rugby team introduced me to Warhammer Fantasy Battles when I was about seventeen. This was my first exposure to organised wargames with painted figures and terrain. I loved it. I enjoyed choosing my army, deciding on a battle plan, and then watching it unfold on the table. I was also quite successful, which had its own appeal.
University, music, beer and the fairer sex were more the focus of the next decade, but some fifteen years later, while living in Japan, I decided I needed to get a hobby. Remembering fondly the fun we used to have, I placed an order for my first set of wargame figures. A short few weeks later, two armies of Chariot 15mm figures arrived from Magister Militum: Polybian Roman and Later Carthaginian.
Since then I've picked up Antigonid Macedonians, Ancient Spanish, Classical Greeks and Late Achaemenid Persians in 15mm. In 1/72 plastic I have Samurai, Vikings and figures for both sides of the American Civil War. Not all of these are painted, and I'm afraid to say that already I know that some never will be. There are also many other projects that interest me, but I'd need a good deal more time than three score years and ten to complete them.
So, there you have it - my potted wargaming biography!