John Hill Tribute at ConSimWorld 2015

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One of the biggest funnest gaming expos is wrapping up from a busy week in Tempe, Arizona near Phoenix. The 15th Annual ConsimWorld Expo 2015 occurred all last week representing many different types of tabletop games. Many gaming enthusiasts and industry leaders were present to facilitate and orchestrate the various game tournaments. There were exhibitor showcases, a game auction, seminars educating attendees on different gaming techniques, strategies and rules. Breakfast speakers did special presentations. Door prizes were won by many attendees. Playtest sessions and flea market tables were popular among attendees too.

On Saturday, June 20th an expanded venue featuring an early set-up was held allowing for early arrivals who could not wait to begin setting up and playing the latest games. Even though the expo did not officially begin until that following day, attendees were permitted to start gaming at 10:00am, giving them an extra day of tabletop gaming.

About half of the attendees at ConsimWorld participated in the MonsterGame.CON which features multiple-player monster games. Many gaming enthusiasts finally had the chance to play a particular monster game that they had their eye on for awhile.

For those who were not into monster gaming, Open-Gaming Nirvana was a sure-fire bet. Dedicated space was made available for those individuals who were unable to participate or attend the entire event or wished to experience multiple open-gaming endeavors. Typically, ConsimWorld Expo would host more than 30 open-gaming titles. Wargames were among the open-gaming venue to include my recently departed father, John Hill’s Squad Leader.

John Curran, moderator for the Johnny Reb Yahoo Groups, recently posted the following regarding a tribute to John Hill at ConsimWorld 2015.

I have been attending ConsimWorld this week in Tempe AZ (Tempe is directly adjacent to Phoenix, i.e. a satellite city if you like).

ConsimWorld features mainly large board wargaming. Run by John Kranz, it used to be called Monster Con or something similar. Apart from the large games however there is plenty of open gaming also. Lots of variety – saw off the Crusaders in the First Crusade at the weekend, playtested a friend’s game design last evening, etc.

As a tribute to John Hill, the Consimworld tee shirt which is given to early registrants free, or can be bought at the Con, features “Lt. John Hill” as an emblem on the front. It is of course a tribute to his work on Squad Leader, perhaps his signature board game. He designed several others including Yalu and Battle for Stalingrad.

Also the guest of honor, the game designer Mark Herman spoke fondly of meeting and working with John Hill against a 1970’s picture of John with Howie Barasch of SPI. There was a big ovation in tribute to John.

He is certainly missed across the wargaming community.

ConsimWorld was well attended with roughly 300 attendees from all over the United States and worldwide including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. Many people were in attendance for their first time as newcomers, nearly 70 newbies. It was the highest number of attendees to date. If interested in attending future ConsimWorld Expo events, the next one will be towards the end of June 2016.


  1. Christian


    thanks for posting this – I actually remember playing his games in my youth (yes, I am a bit senior ;)), and I really liked them – although, strictly speaking I technically wasn’t even allowed to have them (because of age) 😉
    Still, it’s sad that he is no longer with us..

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Hi Christian:

      I am glad you stumbled upon the tribute site to my father. Thanks for sharing that you played his games when you were younger. I am guessing your parents did not want you to play until you were older? Maybe they were trying to protect you from learning about the tragedies of war. I suppose many parents are leary of letting their children play wargames. I have an article on Parent’s Guide to Understanding Tabletop Wargames which might help some parents decide if this is alright for their child or not.

      And yes, it is sad that my father is no longer with us. I hope you come back soon and thank you again for leaving a really nice comment.


  2. HolisticJB

    What a fascinating post and site…I must admit having a dig around as it got my curiosity going.

    I’m sad to say I had not heard of John Hill, or in fact that there was such a big following for these types of games and events.

    But when you mentioned Battle for Stalingrad I am convinced I used to play this when I was younger at home in NZ. So an email will be sent to home to find out.

    If it is the same game, then thank you for giving me a bit of background and also a very nice memory…which is needed presently.

    This is a wonderful site in honour of your Father. I’m sure he is so proud and absolutely loving it. Also sending this link to a friend of mine in NZ who is totally crazy about these types of games and events…so don’t be surprised to get another Kiwi in your midst next time!

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Thank you so much for very kind words. Battle of Stalingrad was one of my father’s games he designed. You can check it out in the side widget I have on this website. I am not sure if you had ever played Squad Leader or Johnny Reb, but he also designed those as well and much more.

      I would be interested in knowing if that is indeed the game you played as a young child in New Zealand. And I am glad you found it a useful resource for which your friend back in New Zealand might enjoy.

      Have a wonderful day and please come back soon.



  3. Eric

    Thanks for the review of the ConsimWorld Expo 2015. It sounds like it was a great event! The tribute sounds like it was wonderful. Thanks for the thorough review for those of us who couldn’t be there. It must be a lot of fun to play war games in that environment. What was the coolest thing you saw at this years expo?

    1. Stephanie Hill

      Hi Eric:

      Thank you for your comment on the tribute to John Hill at ConSim World this past year. My father was adorned by many people and knowing that he was remembered and admired by so many wargaming fans is probably pretty cool in itself.

      Have a terrific day!



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