A Special Thanks to Bill Winski

I would like to take the time to extend a special thanks to my friend of 30 years, Bill Winski. Like some of you, I started out in the board game world, way back in about 1974, with mostly Avalon Hill games. I searched them out and was able to find them in a variety of places such as Toys by Roy (a regional toy and hobby shop) and a discount department store called Saveco or something like that (back when AH games cost $7.99 and $8.99 each). When those stores closed I wondered where I would buy my board games. A friend told me about a game store in Tucson (where I lived) called Things for Thinkers. I stopped by (about 1979) and found they had an excellent collection of board games. Things for Thinkers became my store for board games and role playing games in my short rpg period.

Then one day I walked into Things for Thinkers and that began my introduction to serious miniature wargaming, meaning metal figures and complex rules. I went to Things for Thinkers one day after a college final to buy something to soothe my pain. The two women who owned the store (along with Bill) were discussing what to put on a sign that would advertise a job opening at the store. I asked about the job and I was immediately hired (god knows why). The next day I started working with Bill. One of the few products they sold that I didn’t know much about was the historical miniature wargaming figures and rules. Bill quickly educated me and set up a game for me to play. After that I was hooked, and I am still playing historical miniature wargames some 29+ years later.

Bill went out of his way to help me get into historical miniature wargaming while I worked for him (for a year in college) and well after that. He took the time to explain all the exotic and esoteric details of the hobby from painting figures to all the various rules that existed way back in the early 1980s. We played a lot of games together until I was commissioned into the Army in 1985. The most memorable was an American Civil War Campaign using GDW’s A House Divided as the campaign base and Stars n’ Bars as the battle rules. We worked all day, setting up the campaign when the store was slow, and then played a couple of nights a week after work. I don’t remember how the campaign ended, but I still remember how much fun it was to play some 29 years later.

I kept in touch with Bill while I was in the Army and he was more than willing to send me games and figures where ever I was stationed. I returned to Arizona in the early 1990s and returned to school and played more games with Bill. Sadly for Tucson, Bill decided to sell his store and move to Denver and open a new store, Attactix. I continued to buy rules, figures, paint, and other wargaming products from Bill and he was always happy to quickly ship them to me. Sadly, a large number of factors caused Bill to close the doors of Attactix today (August 3, 2011). My wargaming mentor and friend will no longer be running a game store for the first time since 1978. It is a sad day for both of us, but I will always be indebted to Bill for bringing me into this hobby and being my friend for 30 years.

 Bill back around 1979 when I first met him:

Bill in his Things for Thinkers store from 1993, right before he left Tucson for Denver (the caption is “read the rules” as we always demanded that he should explain the rules we were too lazy to read).

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12 Responses to A Special Thanks to Bill Winski

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad you wrote this article. I discovered Things for Thinkers in ’82. If you do FB, please find our wonderful group, Old School Gamers.

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  2. […] an earlier post (https://jdglasco.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/a-special-thanks-to-bill-winksi/) I noted the demise of Attactix Games in the Denver area. My friend Bill Winksi had run Attactix […]

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  3. jdglasco says:

    John,

    Message passed on to Bill.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I worked at Attactix for seven years and would not have been able to complete college if it were not for Bill, Toam and Doug! HE is truly one of the best HUMAN Beings alive and I will truly miss this store and the times that I traveled back to Denver, just to stop in and say Hi!
    Please pass along to Bill that John”OGRE” Baker is looking to get a hold of him to see how I can help out?!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Good times. Cool photos. Bill turned me on to ACW with figs instead of counters and maps. Got to play Johnny Reb and Fire and Fury a couple of times in that gaming space beyond the door where Bill stands in the photo. Sad not to have that kind of hobby store around. Best wishes for Bill and staff. Your friend always,
    Jerry Sharp

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  6. He sold me my fist D & D books and dice when I first started playing. He was in Tucson as the time.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Bill and his store will be missed by the gaming community in Denver.

    Nice tribute to him.

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  8. djoker40 says:

    What a great article about a great person. Attactix has been a bit of a refuge for me for a few years now, and Bill is a fantastic guy.I hope for the best for him and his family.

    -Scott

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  9. Bill Kehrman says:

    I’ve only known Bill since about 2005, but it seems like a lifetime of friendship. For those years, I was a regular at Attactix — just one of many who considered it a second home. Any reasonable gamer would find Bill incredibly accommodating. Sometimes we would worry that he was too accommodating, but what he did was for love of the hobby. Thank Bill for a great place to hang out.

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  10. A true gentleman and friend to gamers everywhere!

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