In 1980 Avalon Hill sold an Index and Company History covering 1952-1980. This publication contained information on every game they produced during that period along with some interesting tidbits about the history of the company. This article is a collection of 10 historical facts about Avalon Hill taken from the Index and Company History publication along with some information from the public domain.
1) In 1952 Charles S. Roberts sold Tactics, the first board wargame sold commercially. It ended up selling 2000 copies through mail order the next 6 years and was able to break even.
2) Avalon Hill was originally named Avalon Game Company. It was named after a neighborhood in Baltimore Charles Roberts lived in called Avalon.
3) Charles Robert’s company was incorporated in 1958 and the name was changed to Avalon Hill, because 305 Gun Road was atop a hill.
4) The 1973 version of Tactics II was intentionally sold at a loss to get new people into wargaming.
5) Avalon Hill was run out of Charles Roberts’ house from 1952-1959
6) The business was supposed to declare bankruptcy on Friday, Dec. 13th 1963, but was saved by its creditors. It reorganized and cut expenses.
7) Panzerblitz is the only wargame to sell more than 200,000 copies. It was licensed to Avalon Hill by SPI.
8) In 1971, Monarch services got complete ownership of Avalon Hill and took a much more aggressive approach to selling wargames.
9) Avalon Hill sold a Black Magic Ritual Kit in 1974. It was a complete failure. However, the kits command a high price on the used market from collectors.
10) Avalon Hill initiated the 1st Origins convention in 1975.
– David Lent (Captain Dave)
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