The Development Team
The John Tiller Software development team is made up of a number of different talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds and locations. They range from Project Coordinators to Scenario Designers, Graphic Artists to Playtesters, Musicians to Map Makers. Here are some of the people who make "A John Tiller Game" possible.
A life long wargamer (miniatures, board games & computer based games), Rich became an avid Tiller fan with the discovery of Battleground #1, Ardennes. In short order he was doing scenario design for the Battleground series and joined the official team shortly before the transition to publishing with HPS Simulations. His first complete game was War of 1812 and from there he branched into team projects (Campaign Waterloo, French & Indian War, etc.) and a Project Coordinator role (Squad Battles and other series). Rich has been the front man for John Tiller Software Support since 2001 handling most of the customer relations, marketing and product delivery. His 25 years in the Information Technology field and former military service lend itself well to managing the development and publication of serious wargames for his fellow enthusiast. Currently living in Central Virginia in the middle of Civil War territory.
David is an Australian residing in Singapore with his family. He has worked as a senior executive in the Information Technology industry since the early 90’s and specifically in the cyber-security sector for the last 18 years. David has worked with John Tiller Software (JTS) since 2010 and founded Wargame Design Studio (WDS) in 2016. WDS’ purpose is to collaborate with JTS in developing and bringing new products to market. To that end it has published four new titles in both the Panzer Campaigns and Panzer Battles series. Additionally, it has provided expertise to modernize and upgrade existing JTS titles for their Panzer Campaigns and Civil War Battles series. WDS resources provide programming, research, graphics & artwork as well as project management capabilities and has a range of products under development for release under the John Tiller Software banner. More information here; https://www.wargamedesignstudio.com/
Robert "Berto" Osterlund
In his youth, Robert "Berto" Osterlund had three passions: baseball, Top 40 pop music, and war gaming. Beginning with Gettysburg c. 1962, he played every classic AH game through the 1960s. As an adolescent, he dabbled in war game design. In 1967, his family moved to the Chicago area, his true home ever since. In 1970, after flirting with a U.S. Navy enlistment at the height of the Vietnam War, he chickened out and went off to study economics at the University of Chicago. In college, Berto subscribed to S&T magazine, and at peak owned ~80 different SPI titles. Half way through his graduate studies (in economics, also at UC), on a whim he signed up for the U.S. Peace Corps and for three years served in the Philippines (hence "Berto") as an economic advisor and college teacher. With new Filipino wife in tow (still happily married after 39 years), Berto returned to Chicago in 1981. Then it was back to the Philippines in 1987 for three more years to teach computer science. Berto worked in the IT industry as a Unix sysadmin for 25+ years until his early retirement in 2016. He designed and coded an Open Source project of minor notoriety, PIKT (http://pikt.org). A passionate devotee of early music, in 2002 Berto launched Early MusiChicago ( http://earlymusichicago.org), which he has maintained ever since. After a break of nearly 20 years, Berto returned to war gaming in the late 1990s when he discovered Talonsoft. He joined the Campaign Series Legion to revive that old classic beginning in 2013. In 2016, Berto signed on with WDS to code JTS Panzer Battles, then in 2017 also JTS Civil War Battles. A life-long dream come true!
I started playing chess in first grade, and started playing wargames when I was in middle school, including board games from Avalon Hill and SPI, and miniatures games using 1/72 scale models. I currently work for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where I started working with John Tiller on a contract for the USAF in 2003. My first conribution to a published game was the AI development for World War II in Europe: The First Blitzkrieg. Since then, I have done AI development work for the Modern Air Power and Naval Campaigns series, and have done a few AI tweaks for Panzer Campaigns and Squad Battles. I have also co-authored several academic papers with John Tiller. I am married and have two children. When I am not working on games or playing them, I coach soccer in my copius spare time.
Hail from the eastern most province of Canada, but came west with the oil boom in the early 80's. While growing up, was always interested in "things military." Started playing board wargames at age 12, joined Army Cadets at age 13, and went on to the Reserves and became an Officer in Her Majesty's Canadian Forces. Got into computer wargames when a 486-33Mhz with 4MB of RAM was about all the PC anyone needed. Became active on the Talonsoft forum and was given an opportunity of a lifetime –to help test Battleground Bull Run. In 1999, as Talonsoft was dissolving, received an email from John Tiller in which he said "Glenn, let's keep in touch, you might have a game in you someday." Since then, have partnered with Dave Blackburn to create over 20 titles for John Tiller from WWII and the Post WWII periods.
I was born in Berryville VA. I have worked for different game companies. Talonsoft, Avalon Hill, IsI games, HPS, and John Tiller Software. I live in Yuma, AZ.
I have been interested in 'things military' since I bought my first Sgt Rock comic book at the price of 12¢. I played my first wargame when I was a sophomore in High School (Avalon Hill's Gettysburg with squares). I played my first computer wargame, Red Lightning, on a Commodore Amiga, while I was in the US Army from '77 to '90. Finally John Tiller came out with Battleground Gettysburg and I became an addict. Every Friday on my way home from work, I was looking for the next John Tiller game. When John was leaving Talonsoft, Bill Peters mentioned me to him while working on Eckmuhl using the old Battleground engine and John asked me to come on board to do graphics research and graphics for his next game that would come out with HPS Simulations. I have since worked on almost every game in every series that John Tiller has produced.
I have been playing war games since 1962 starting with AH "Gettysburg" and "Tactics II". I grew up through the great SPI era but drop out of playing in the 80s to mid 90s, with raising a family and all. During all this time I loved reading military history of all eras. In the late 90s I discovered John Tillers Battleground series and got involved with play testing the Campaign series games. It was at this point I met Glenn Saunders and became friends. When John moved from Talonsoft to HPS Glenn got me involved first with creating campaign maps and then into my main focus of OOB and scenario research. Since then I have helped Glenn and Blackie with three East Front titles and helped in the OOB creation of a number of other titles. I also help John by creating battle and scenario location maps for all of his various game systems.
Born in 1957 London, England. Spent the next nine years going back and forward from London to Sligo on the west coast of Ireland where I had some great times. I now live in Harefield, Uxbridge with my wife Bernie who has kept me out of trouble since I met her forty two Years ago. We have 4 grown up boys and two grand children and another one on the way. I trained as a Cabinet Maker and did that for twenty five years, then worked for Royal Mail for eighteen years until September this year when I retired. I got into wargames with the Airfix ACW figures as a child, then came the 28mm lead and board games. Tried every period but always went back to the ACW. Got a C64 when they came out and played SSI's Gettysburg:The Turning point, this was my first experience with fog of war and the other ACW titles in the series. When the ACW battleground games came out I thought things could not get any better but then came the HPS Civil War games. I started to mod the graphics and that took over from actually playing the games. I did the 3D maps for JTS: Antietam as an add on and I have just finished the 3D maps and unit images for Petersburg. I am really looking forward to updating the rest of the ACW games to the Petersburg format.
My interest in wargaming started when I was a teenager in 1972 with AH and SPI boardgames, and was an outgrowth of my interest in military history and model building. My passion for maps followed my introduction to topographic maps in high school JROTC. After graduating with a degree in Modern European History, I received a Regular Army commission and served stateside and in Germany in Air Defense Artillery as a platoon leader, executive office and S-4 Battalion Logistics Office from 1981-1988. Since 1990 I have worked as a construction project manager in both the private and public sector. In 1984 I branched out into computer wargaming and flight simulation with the purchase of the first of many computers - an Atari 800XL. I worked with HPS Simulations 1993-2008 doing beta-testing and developing maps and scenarios for the Tigers on the Prowl series, Aide de Camp 2, and Point of Attack 2. During the 1990s I was also heavily engaged in hex editing and coding editors for many flight simulator and wargame programs. Apart from playing his games, my first effort in supporting John Tiller was playtesting Panzer Campaign Smolensk ’41. Since 2010 I have been creating maps for various JTS commercial and military contract programs. In addition to my interest in military history of all periods, I also have a passion for hiking, photography and cross-country skiing. Currently living in Alaska with my wife Barbara and two cats.
Musician, songwriter, historian, Tom Hook hails from the Midwest. Growing up in the hills of Clay County, Missouri, he spent much of his childhood watching the Missouri River make its sweeping turn past Kansas City heading northwest across the Great Plains towards the Rockies. Everyday journeys took him across the Lewis and Clark trail and through the boyhood haunts of Frank and Jesse James. Consequently, at an early age he developed a deep passion for American history. Coupled with that was a consuming love for music. Beginning the piano at age three, he studied classically throughout his boyhood, eventually attending the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. However, his true passion has always been for American folk music. As a child, his mother's family would gather into the "old home place" every Sunday for dinner and an afternoon session of old-time picking. It was then, learning songs from generations past, that Tom discovered the link that music offers to times long forgotten. He is an ardent student of American popular and folk music in its many forms: the "war" music of the American Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. The "country" music of Appalachia, the Ozarks, the Far West, and the Delta South. The "urban" music of Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Swing, Broadway, Rock and Roll. Railroad songs, Cowboy songs, Steamboat songs, Sharecroppers songs, Pop hits... the list is as endless and varied as America herself. Simply put, Tom Hook is a student of American music.
I have been working in the games industry since 2001, and the music industry since 1998. I've also been an active composer in the film and television industry, with music appearing regularly on the Cartoon Network, ABC, NBC and CBS promos and various A&E and PBS productions.
As a kid I loved "Army Stuff"; from games to BB Gun wars (which landed me in hot water with the parents a few times). Started with 'Squad Leader' & 'Assault' and got hooked on infantry simulations. By 16 I was designing my own scenarios & writing military style Operations Orders covering a WARPAC thrust through the Fulda Gap. Fought in Gulf War 1 as a mech infantry platoon leader and then on to Germany with 3rd Armored Division - platoon GDP position was above Bad Hersfeld right in the middle of the Fulda Gap. I now run a company exporting stuff to Russia, where I've since learned Ivan is not 10 feet tall. Through internet wargaming circles I discovered John Tiller's Modern Campaigns. A good friend, Mark Breed, introduced me to Glenn Saunders. Mark & I produced the "AFNORTH/Berlin" unofficial module for NGP '85. This lead me to a playing a strong role on the final Germany '85 release, which felt like the culmination of a life's worth of work (I mean play!).
Özgür "Oz" Budak
Born in 1972 in Izmir , Turkey. I am a social science scholar and lecturer in the Ege University. I teach/study sociology and political theory. Izmir is also my hometown I had left only for study. It is a coastal Aegean city of tourism and commerce. I am married with two small boys and a cat. My real name is Özgür but wargamer fellas call me Oz. I have been playing computer games since the 80's with my first computer, a Commodore64. Playing Tiller games since 1997. My first pbems were "campaign series" which I played quite much those days. I also played battleground series those years. Got into the HPS realm with the release of Smolensk41 in the "Panzer Campaigns Club" that I joined in 2000. I was predominantly a Panzer Campaigns player (which I am still playing); however 6-7 years ago I met Frank Harmon whose dedication to the series vitalized my interest in SB. I started designing scenarios and mods for various titles and produced more than 150 custom SB scenarios. I also worked in the development of the "Africa at War" Mod. In 2005 Rich offered me a place among the team for a new title they were planning. The Soviet - Afghan War (SAW) represents the revival of the SB series after a long period. Working with Rich and Mike Cox for a new SB title was a great pleasure for me. It was also a duty to serve/improve the game I enjoyed so much. After SAW's release HPS gave me another project; completing the game Frank started, the Winter War which was released a year after. Finally, this year I finished the biggest project I shouldered, the Red Victory which was truely a delightlful experience.
Mike Cox is a native of Sonoma, California who has always had a deep interest in history and wargaming specifically. Raised on conflict simulation classics, from Avalon Hill, SPI and others (usually tactical), computer wargaming was an easy transition. Always tinkering with scenario editors and in love with the 'sandbox' that they provide, he was quite enthusiastic with John Tiller's first title for HPS: Campaign 1776. He became very active in playing John Tiller games by email and producing amateur scenarios for various titles. His youthful interest in tactical wargaming came full circle when he was presented the opportunity to partner with Özgür Budak to design scenarios for the Squad Battles: Soviet Afghan War title. He continues to design for Squad Battles and is involved with testing and design work in other series as well. Mike currently resides in Sonoma with wife and two children. He has been involved in the wine business for close to 25 years. Mike makes wine for a well known pinot noir and chardonnay specialist in Carneros as well as has his own pinot noir brand. Of course, he still plays and enjoys boardgames and is working on raising the next generation of wargamer as well.
Jim Dunnam is a native of Waco, Texas. Jim and his wife, Michelle, met at Baylor University and have three children, Lauren, Mason and Rachel. Jim holds B.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Baylor, and he is a partner at Dunnam & Dunnam, L.L.P., in Waco. The firm was founded by Jim's grandfather in 1925, and Jim joined the firm in 1988. Jim was named the 2001 Baylor Young Lawyer of the Year. Jim served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives representing Waco and surrounding areas for 15 years beginning in 1997. Jim was also the House Democratic Leader from 2003 until 2011. Jim's involvement in history related gaming spans several decades. His playtesting credits run from Richard Berg's Blackbeard to Johnny Reb III Miniatures rules. Jim first began working with John Tiller on Talonsoft's Battleground Chickamauga. Jim went on to assist in several HPS Panzer Campaigns titles including Smolensk, Normandy, Salerno, Kursk and Korsun, Total War in Europe – First Blitzkrieg and Campaign Atlanta. Jim is also very active with Lone Star Historical Miniatures – www.lshmwaco.org.
I'm 73 years old, been retired from the U.S. Army since 1998. Before that I was in the Marine Corps, 1965-68. Most of 1966 spent as a rifleman in Vietnam. Married 48 years, three kids, five grandchildren and one great grandson. One published book, Servants of the Wind, 2007. Bought my first wargame (Avalon Hill's Bulge) in 1967, but as a kid I made my own maps and used pennies for unit counters. Eventually made a map of the Ardennnes four times the size of the game board, and bought three more sets of the regimental counters and they became battalions. Did the same for D-Day and Gettysburg. First computer wargame? Carriers at War in 1986, for a Commodore '64! Loved making my own scenarios and maps, such as the entire North Atlantic, for chasing the Bismark or conducting convoys to Murmansk. Played SSG's Decisive Battles and made my own maps and armies for most all ACW battles. Graduated to Norm Koger's Age of Rifles and redesigned all those battles, from Bull Run to Fort Fisher, plus Little Big Horn and Waterloo. Loved designing as much if not more than playing, but all for my personal use until about 2006. That was when Brett Schulte invited me to contact Rich Hamilton about playtesting Chickamauga. Rich Walker took me on, and then Rich Hamilton invited me to help him with The Mexican War, and I ended up designing all of Zach Taylor's battles, from Palo Alto to Buena Vista. After completing that, and playtesting anything Rich Walker would send me, I took on the co-design (with Ken Jones) of the Overland Campaign, which was published in 2012. After that, I helped Rich Walker with Petersburg, and recently joined the Wargame Design Center, concentrating on OOBs.
I served for 25 years as a US Army Field Artillery Officer, with assignments from Platoon Leader all the way up through Department of the Army. After I retired from the Army, I spent a second career working in the Defense Industry before finally retiring a third time in 2016. Now days I get to spend more time on my other interests, flying and working on the games! I think I became interested in Wargames way back there in the 70s when I was a Second Lieutenant at the Field Artillery Officer’s Basic Course. It was there that I had my first introduction to wargaming. My first introduction was with a game called Dunn-Kemph. Back then, the US Army used the game to help teach Battalion level tactics and fire support to Lieutenants in classroom. Compared to modern day computer simulations, Dunn Kemph may seem a little bit crude with die rolls and cotton balls, but it was what we had back then. I recall that no matter how many times the class played the game, we were obliterated by the Warsaw Pact! But the game sparked my personal and professional interest in wargaming. Although I never found the time to do the tabletop Wargaming, the computer Wargames were perfect in that you did not have to spend hours doing the set up, and the computer became your opponent. Since the 80s, I think I bought them all and played them all, Avalon, Atomic, HPS etc. I would scout the Post Exchange and the computer game stores anticipating the next release of any new game. About the same time frame the US Army became involved with using computer games for training (the Army calls them “constructive simulations”), so my personal interest turned into a professional interest. After an assignment as a Combat Trainer (OC) at the US Army’s National Training Center, my interest in computer wargaming turned to making sure that things were accurately replicated for the training benefit. As they say at the US Army’s center for simulations, PEOSTRI, “Everything but War is a simulation”. I had seen the name John Tiller so many times over the years with the games I purchased, and we connected several years ago and hit it off. Our common interest was with the use of Wargames for training in the US Military, particularly in the classroom setting. But all that said about designing and playing futures based wargames, being a Military History buff, I still enjoy staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing a Civil War game and exploring “what if Lee had gone to the right at Gettysburg?” Or “if Custer could have won if he had not split the Regiment”. TRAIN THE FORCE!
Military matters always fascinated me, hence I started to play wargames when I was around 10. I started with boardgames but quickly, by a mixture of lack of opponents and lack of availability of boardgames in my home country, I moved onto computer wargames. I still remember the first, it was Operation Vulcan for the memorable ZX Spectrum 48k. From that point onwards I never stopped playing them, and they become an inherent part of my life, their only serious competition for a hobby being horse riding, and horses in general. I started to collaborate with HPS as a playtester in the Squad Battles series, and ended up being invited to design Spanish Civil War for the said series. At present I'm still working in Squad Battles, having just finished a new title, and also assisting another fellow designer in yet another SB game.
My first exposure to wargaming came when my brother came home on leave in 1979 and brought several Avalon Hill games with him. Soon enough, I scrounged together enough money to buy a copy of Panzer Leader and my interest in wargaming was off and running. I've been interested in computer wargames from the beginning, starting with SSI's Tigers in the Snow. I took a bit of a break from wargaming while in school, but was drawn back in by the Battleground series. I've been actively playing a variety of games ever since. My first efforts in scenario design were in making a variety of hypothetical scenarios for Jutland. I've also participated in playtests for several Napoleonic games, as well as HPS Renaissance. I have a BA in History and a Masters of Divinity.
Bill is a native of the Los Angeles area and began playing boardgames and miniatures as a teenager. He joined a local club at Cal State Northridge and also played at the homes of his wargaming friends and also at several local game stores. He joined the US Air Force in 1979 and served for four years as an analyst at NSA. During this time he joined a wargame club and served as its President. Once out of the military his work and school and church work took him away from active gaming for almost thirteen years with some time in between where he resumed his miniature gaming for a short time. During the period 1983 to 2004 he served in the fields of Industrial Security and Information Technology for three defense contractors. In the 1990s he got interested in computer gaming and by 1995 had bought his first Talonsoft Battleground game. By 1998 he had cracked the game text file codes for the Napoleonic games and was creating a module for Wagram when a friend recommended that he contact John Tiller about working with him on game projects. By 2009 he has produced four titles for the Napoleonic series and is currently working on many other projects slated for future release.
While having no armed forces experience or academic training in history, I've always been interested in a wide range of military subjects. During my teen years, I became an avid board wargamer, but quickly gravitated toward the fledgling computer wargames market, fueling an interest in game design and modding. During the 1990s, my study and gaming interests shifted from the Napoleonic Wars and World War II toward the American Civil War, where they have largely remained. Involvement with John Tiller's developing efforts and HPS Simulations began in 1998. In addition to playtesting various HPS titles, creating a scenario pack for Campaign 1776, and designing the four Civil War Battles series titles Campaigns Corinth, Ozark, Peninsula, and Vicksburg (the last with Lee Hook), I review books for several print magazines and run the website Civil War Books and Authors.
I was born in 1963, in Santa Monica California. I have a BA in History and a MA in Education. I currently reside in Cookeville, Tennessee. My two children are Lindsey and Lane. Among other things I enjoy Scuda diving and flying, and yes, wargaming! Since 1998, I've worked on many John Tiller games, of which most are from the American Civil War. Look for me under the water, in the air, or tramping through some battlefield.
Born in Gloucestershire, England, I studied history at London University, specializing in later mediaeval history and the Arthurian legends for my postgraduate studies, subsequently publishing a book on King Arthur in Legend and History. After finishing my studies, I taught English and British history at a Japanese university in Tokyo, but am now back in the UK and living in High Wycombe with my wife and young son. I've been a wargamer since my school days, originally playing tabletop and board games, but moving over to computer games in the mid 90s when the Battleground games first appeared. I've been a playtester for a number of HPS projects and was the scenario designer for Renaissance and Greek Wars and am involved in several new projects currently in development.
Ed "Volcano Man" Williams
Armor non-commissioned officer in the US Army from 1996-2006. Obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Military History from Sam Houston State University, Texas. Began working on John Tiller games in 2001 as a tester for Tobruk '41. Started designing scenarios with Modern Campaigns: Korea '85 and, later, the First World War Campaigns series. Historical interests are primarily with the more obscure and lesser well known periods of military history.
We give special rememberance to team members who are no longer with us.
"Wild Bill" Wilder
"Wild Bill" Wilder, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, has been active in board and computer wargaming for over 45 years. Like so many others, he cut his "gaming teeth" on board games from Avalon Hill. He has led scenario design teams and done scenarios For Novastar, SSI, Talonsoft, Battlefront, Matrix Games, and, of course, HPS, among others. His major contribution to the Tiller games has been as coordinator and lead scenario designer for "The Proud and the Few," "Korea," "War in the Pacific," and "Eagles Strike." To date he has designed over 1,500 scenarios and campaigns, covering primarily World War II, the last half of the 20th Century, and even battles for today. He has also been a prolific author with publications on the Wargamer, The Armchair General, and others.
Bill passed in 2020.
Doug was the chief public defender for South Carolina's 5th Judicial Circuit, which is made up of Richland and Kershaw counties. In that post, he supervised more than 50 lawyers and other staff. Known for his 12-hour work days, wrote a widely used manual on S.C. criminal laws, S.C. Criminal Offenses and Penalties, and was regarded as an authority on numerous areas of crime and punishment. He served on the board of the S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense, the agency that oversees public defenders around the state. Doug was a tremendous contributor to the Civil War Battles team over the years not only publishing the Campaign Gettysburg title, but also doing all the mapping work for Antietam, Overland and the yet to be published Valley Campaigns. His efforts yielded mappings of most all the East Coast Civil War battlefields and surrounding territory.
Doug passed in 2017.
Dave "Blackie" Blackburn
Born in the UK, moved to Canada in 1976. Served 15 years in the British Army, 4 years with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in all armored trades, wireless operator, gunner, driver and commander, plus time in armored cars, 12 years in the Army Air Corps as a helicopter pilot. Flew in Canada as a helicopter pilot doing all type of bush and then government work from coast to coast to coast, with time in every province. Glenn Saunders proposed we partner up for working on wargames, which we did, initially for Talonsoft's Campaign Series. Then we stayed with John Tiller and work primarily on Panzer and Modern Campaigns also Total War in Europe. I am the map maker for these series and have also done maps for a lot of other John Tiller Games' series.
Dave passed in 2016.
Gary "Mo" Morgan
Gary Morgan is the son of an Army mathematician who inherited his mom's creative art and music talent. While attending college to study commercial art and graphic design, Gary's Vietnam vet tank commander friend challenged him to a game of Panzerblitz and he was hooked on wargaming. Gary dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot after seeing The Blue Max and played fighter combat manual simulations from SPI to learn more. He joined the Air Force and was blessed with an assignment in fighters; during his flight training Gary discovered game system inaccuracies so he decided to redesign his favorite game, Foxbat and Phantom. Originally published by the USAF as Check Six!, Flight Leader was later released by The Avalon Hill Game Company and Gary's commercial wargame design career was launched. While Flight Leader worked well at the individual aircraft level for air combat engagements, Gary realized that a theater-level scale was needed to portray the environment of the fighter-bomber in the ground attack role. TAC AIR (first released by the USAF as FEBA) was Gary's first scratch-built game design and followed the meteoric rise of Flight Leader for manual jet fighter simulations to win a Charles S. Roberts award. Gary's teaching assignment to Maxwell as director of wargaming for Air Command and Staff College, and a new job at Air and Space Basic Course eventually put Gary in touch with John Tiller during the Connections wargaming conferences. ASBC's use of Starcraft inspired John to design the Modern Air Power series and Gary became the series designer, with commercial releases War Over Vietnam and War Over the Mideast.
Gary passed in 2014.