Contributor: Mark Zielinski

Segment Contributor

Of course I started my gaming career playing lots of family style board games with my family. I was first introduced to wargames by my cousin Michael while I was visiting him when I was 11 or 12 years old. My first game was Avalon Hill’s Richtofen’s War followed closely by Avalon Hill’s Luftwaffe that fateful day. I played mostly Avalon Hill wargames all through high school.

Right after high school my gaming group and I discovered Dungeons and Dragons (the old blue book). I remember fondly pulling the numbered chits that came inside the book from Dixie cups, since we did not have any access to anything besides a six-sided die at the time.

While I was in college I discovered Avalon Hill’s Squad Leader. I was involved with a lot of playtesting and scenario design work with the old Squad Leader/Advanced Squad Leader fanzine “On All Fronts”. During this time I also continued to play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, as well as other RPGs of the day, other wargames by various companies, as well as playing historical miniature games.

My wife Debbie and I then discovered the CCG Spellfire by TSR. We never got into Magic, but we were very involved with the Spellfire community and demoed Spellfire for TSR at GenCon.

When my wife decided to attend law school I opened a mail order hobby shop, in the days before the internet was in full swing, in order to keep my self busy while she studied. I then took the mail order business and converted it into a brick and mortar FLGS which sold a lot of Games Workshop products as well as CCG’s, wargames, board games, model kits, etc. Shortly after selling my interest in the store I became an Outrider for Games Workshop for a number of years.

Once I retired from the Outriders I began to focus back onto ASL and joined our local ASL group. I regularly attend ASLOK (Advanced Squad Leader Oktoberfest) which is held each year in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

I have been a Dice Tower listener since episode #26 and I now play a variety of games including (but not limited to) wargames, board games, card games, miniature games, and euro-games. The euro-games I enjoy playing today are thanks to the effort put forth by Tom, Joe, and Sam. Thanks guys!

My wife and I are the proud parents of the founding members of the Sam Healey fan club, and I work as the Vice President of a real estate management company.

Mark provides wargame and family commentary to the Dice Tower.

All Content With Mark Zielinski

May 4, 2010
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In this episode, Tom and Eric talk about Vasco da Gama and the "Cult of the New". Tom reveals where he is relocating, we start a new contest for an interesting new game, and we talk about some of the latest gaming news. Brad talks about Winsome reprints, Mortiz talks about 3M, and Mark talks about gaming magazines.

January 2, 2010
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In this show, the gang talks about the strangest games they ever played, Geoff talks about giving, and Mark talks about Christmas. We discuss recently played games - Thunderstone, the Adventurers, Castle Panic, the Ares Project, Summoner Wars, and World without End. Giles talks about a game convention, we take a look back at Lord of the Rings, and we give our top ten most unique games.

November 24, 2009
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In this show, we talk about what games are good to bring a young gamer into heavier strategy games, and discuss recently played games. We start a new contest, discuss Metro, and discuss our top ten Wolfgang Kramer games.

November 9, 2009
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In this show, Tom answers some questions about the game fair in Essen, and talks about some of the new games he picked up there. Sturm and Geoff talk about game rules, and Moritz ambushes the listeners. Joe and Mark talk about their ASL conference, Sam reviews some new games, and we end the show talking about our top ten gimmicks in board games.

September 18, 2009
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In this show, the Englesteins talk some more about their game design process, Moritz discusses solitaire gaming, and Giles and Mark show up with gaming goodness. We start a new question segment, talk about Arimaa, both the game and book, and discuss Attika. Brad concludes his interview, and we announce the top ten enemies of gaming!

August 27, 2009
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Mark Zielinski reviews World War IV

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January 26, 2008
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In this episode, Paul talks about politics in war games, and Geoff talks about the Past, Present, and Future of luck. Tom reviews the kid's game Baren Stark, while Sam discusses Soccer Tactics World. We debate the merits of Quick Count Football, and talk about recent games played - Ra, Commands and Colors, Hyper Slide, and Power Grid.

January 11, 2008
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In this episode, the Dice Tower crew review the year 2007, talking about the biggest surprises, worst games, strangest games, biggest disappointments, most innovative games, best expansions, best party game, best gateway games, best kids games, and games with the best components. We discuss some of the biggest board game stories of the year - and end the show with our top ten games of 2007!

December 30, 2007
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In this episode, Geoff talks about the process to bring Agricola to English-speaking folk, while Mark talks about games he's looking forward to playing in 2008. We review Jamaica, Super Hero, and The Amazing Space Venture - and do a comparison of 1960 to Twilight Struggle. We mention a sad story about Shadows over Camelot, and discuss a few questions about gaming.

December 14, 2007
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In this episode, Tom previews a few new games, and reviews Antler Island and Plataeu. Sam and Tom discuss recent games, including Monopoly: Tropical Tycoon, while Mortiz discusses suspense in games. Paul and Mark talk about war games, Geoff asks an intriguing question, and Giles and others give us some more strategy.