Uncle Sam Needs YOU (and your dice!!)

What started as a little idea has blossomed far more than I ever thought it could. I had the wacky idea to run a D&D Encounters-style game here at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan a couple days ago. I wrote a blog post about it, and it has gotten more hits than any other single post on my blog thus far. Thanks to the gaming community who heard my request and forwarded the information on (THANK YOU to whoever did that!) I was contacted by Wizards of the Coast directly, who agreed to send me the materials for a season of D&D Encounters.

Then the idea grew.

One of my potential players suggested I contact the Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities here at Bagram to get official permission to use their facilities for gaming. Bagram is one of the most populous bases in theatre, and getting their help in this would be invaluable. As of this writing, I am awaiting final permission to found the Bagram AFB Gaming Club. I’m anticipating a final approval within a week.

Then the idea grew some more. My wonderful significant other suggested that I contact other folks who might wish to contribute, and so I did. Here’s part of the email I sent out to several gaming accessory companies:

…I was amazed by this generosity from such a major company, and that’s why I’m coming to you. I’m in the process of getting final approval by the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (MWR) to set up a Bagram Gaming Community, which would be an enduring group here in Afghanistan that would support gaming efforts for the soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors of the US Military, as well as all of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and the civilian contractors. It would be gaming books, materials, and accessories passed on from deployment cycle to deployment cycle as soldiers begin and finish their tours of duty here in Afghanistan. I’ve already got clearance from the chaplain here at Bagram to house anything I am able to gather in a secure location, and gaming space has been made available by the MWR.

That’s where you come in, if you so choose.

I’m asking for donations to the cause. We really have very little here save my personal collection that I brought with me (a couple sets of dice and notepads) and a set of 4E D&D core books that I’m donating to the group stash personally. Thus, anything you would care to send our way would be GREATLY appreciated.

We are in need of:

  • dice, of the D&D/d20 variety
  • gaming books– preferably 4E to start, but as we grow anything would be great
  • battlemats
  • miniatures– preferably the pre-painted kind b/c time is precious and if we spend it painting we’re not spending it gaming
  • counters, tokens, cards and any other gaming accessories you might want to send our way

(to several of my favorite blogs and podcasts I sent this instead)

The only thing I’m asking for is publicity. Your site has a huge gaming readership and spreading the word of what we’re trying to do here will do nothing but help us in both the long and short term. A mention in a blog post could do wonders for what we’re trying to accomplish over here.

I promise you that any donations you make will be publicized as much and as widely as I am able, and the players I’m gathering are keen to send pictures and emails to those folks who want to help out.

I look forward to your reply and hope we can work together to help out the folks over here who deserve all the support we can give them.

Regards,

Jason Dawson
Bagram AFB, Afghanistan

Dave “The Game” Chalker from Critical Hits emailed me back almost immediately and suggested that I make a central post that a company/blog/podcast can point to focus our efforts to help our folks in uniform get their geek on. So here it is.

I’m going to link this post to a new page I’m creating: the Bagram AFB Gaming Community. There I’ll post any news about our drive to build a long-lasting, thriving gamer community among the men and women serving our country in whatever capacity they can. If you send a donation, there will be a picture and description posted there for all to see. If you publicize the donation drive on your blog, I’ll link it on that page. I’m sure if we all work together we can make this an absolutely awesome gift to our brothers and sisters in uniform who love to roll dice and roleplay– just like us.

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9 Responses to Uncle Sam Needs YOU (and your dice!!)

  1. Matt James says:

    We’ve got you covered, soldier. Keep up the good fight, we’ll take care of the rest.

    • Matt– I’m only in the Inactive Ready Reserve currently. I finished my 5 1/2 years and 2 combat tours on August 20, 2010; I’m a veteran contractor supporting the warfighter now. I’m serving alongside the boys and girls in uniform, training them on how to maintain/repair the Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, as well as training them in how to operate them safely and efficienty. By getting the BAFBGC off the ground, I’m kinda doing what I wish there had been someone to do when I was still in uniform, but never had the time or resources to do myself.

  2. Bartoneus says:

    I’m very happy that someone forwarded your post along to WotC, I read the post when it went up and had the exact same thought, thankfully someone beat me to it and seems like it’s working out quite well!

  3. brindy says:

    I’m well chuffed you got the support, that’s great news. 🙂

  4. Mike says:

    How do we go about getting books to you? I’ve got a bunch of 4e books.

    • I’m not keen on putting the actual address for shipping up– the servers that we have to access the internet through provided by Afghan and Pakistani service providers and are NOT secure to put that kind of info up live. Use theactionpoint (at) gmail and I’ll send you the shipping address. That way we don’t get any packages from the folks outside the wire. It’s happened over in Kahdahar and if I don’t have to expose us to that kind of risk I’m not going to.

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Uncle Sam Needs YOU (and your dice!!) « The Action Point -- Topsy.com

  6. Pingback: Support the Bagram Air Force Base Gaming Community : Critical Hits

  7. Keith says:

    That’s really cool. I’m doing something similar down here in Bahrain. WotC is sending me a season of Encounters and MWR is going to host and help organize. We may be forward deployed but we WILL get our game on however we can! Lol.

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