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
- 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.
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.