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Volume 1


July 1996

Volume 1 - July 1996   Volume 2 - June 1998   Volume 3 - March 2002
Charter and Bylaws Page

  • To provide a board gaming environment for gaming enthusiasts.
  • To promote playing games of all kinds.
  • To have fun.
  • To learn, share, grow, compete, and bond with others.
  • Open gaming space.
  • Use of games and gaming equipment.
  • Discounts on gaming purchases through local distributor.
  • Bi-monthly newsletter featuring club happenings, special events, local convention information, announcements, new games, variants, club member information, replays and philosophies.
  • Personalized membership card.
  • Club bulletin board.
  • Club T-shirts.
  • Club flyer.
  • Discounts on future conventions sponsored by GCOM.
  • Membership is free.
  • Bring your own games.
  • Positive Mental Attitude - P. M. A.
  • Sportsmanship, fair play, flexibility, open mindedness, patience and communication.
  • Snacks and beverages.
MEMBERS (Past and Present):
Mark Bassett
Travis Burns
Keith Feldman
Brian Fender
Bill Few
Jeff Flancer
David Hammann
David Hiller
Joe Jaskiewicz
Ed Karpiwith
John Kinnear
Ben Knight
Kevin Ladana
Joey Leanu
Keith Levy
Robert Martinez
Michael Pustilnik
Michael Reiner
Jason Roach
Ed Rothenheber
Tim Rothenhoefer
Jeff Sagel
Rich Shipley
Mark Simonitch
Jim Sparks
Chris Stockwell
Brian Sutton
Mac Walter
Robert Waters

Jay Land
John Renard
Wayne Smith
Bob Rascovar
Bill Scott
John Wasserman

  • Games Club Of Maryland (GCOM) was officially founded in May of 1996.  GCOM foundations started with a small group of friends getting together every now and then to play games back in the mid 1980's.  The group consisted of Michael Reiner, Keith Feldman, Bill Few, Jeff Flancer, Keith Levy and others.  In 1987 the group began to get together on a more regular basis, playing every few weeks.  In 1989, the group started to play on a weekly basis on Tuesday evenings.  Other regular players at that time were Brian Fender and John Kinnear. Games regularly played at that time were Risk and Axis and Allies.  In 1991, the gaming group began to play on a bi-weekly basis and started playing every other Wednesday evening.  In 1992, Keith Levy, being challenged by the lack of enough players showing up on a regular basis, went to his first outside source to recruit gamers.  Keith filled out an opponents wanted card  at the local Game Keeper store.  About a month later, Travis Burns and Chris Stockwell answered the ad.  They were the first gamers from an outside source to join the group on a regular basis. At about the same time the group discovered the game Titan, which quickly became the popular favorite.

  • It was through an inquiry to Avalon Hill, on further explanation of the rules for Titan, that became the turning point for Keith Levy and for the club.   The inquiry was forwarded by Don Greenwood to Bill Scott.  Bill, being one of the founders of the Titan National Tournament, introduced Keith to the convention circuit.  Keith went to his first gaming convention, AVALONCON 1993, through Bill's recommendation.  Bill also recommended a subscription to the General magazine.  Keith subscribed shortly thereafter and took out his first opponents wanted ad in Volume 28, No. 4 in early 1993.    Even thought the phone number was printed incorrectly  and the ad ran in two issues, Keith still received some response.  Jim Sparks and Tim Rothenhoefer were among the first players responding to the ad to join the club on a regular basis.  From this point forward Keith continued to run ads in the General on a regular basis to increase the size of the club.

  • The gaming club slowly continued to grow.  In 1994, Keith answered an ad in the General from Robert Waters, the new editor of the magazine. Robert (Bob) along with his coworkers, Ben Knight, Mark Simonitch, and David Hiller joined the club on a regular basis.  having insiders from Avalon Hill greatly expanded the exposure of the club to new games.  The club was now playing new and different games on a regular basis.  This feature became another turning point for the club.  A diverse field of games led to steady and consistent growth of new members and kept the interest of older members intact.  The club had now become large enough where there was a consistent  base of regular gamers that played in each bi-weekly club session.

  • In 1995, Keith game mastered his first gaming event.  At Prezcon '95,  Keith was GM for the Risk tournament. Later that year, in November 1995, with an invitation from Brian Sutton, Keith helped co-sponsor T N T '95, the Titan National Tournament.  At around the same time Keith decided that the gaming club should have an official name of some kind.  Keith wanted to give the club a name that best represented what it was all about.  Keith decided he wanted to use the word GAMES  as an acronym for the club name.  Undecided as to what the acronym should stand for, Keith decided to be geographically specific and call the group GAMES of Maryland.

  • Keith sent out his first ad advertising the gaming group as a club to the General magazine in October of 1995.  As it turned out,  the General issue containing the ad didn't hit the newsstands until March of 1996.

  • In February of 1996, Keith Game masters two events at Prezcon '96. Keith was awarded BEST GM for running Risk and History of the World.  Keith also made up a score sheet for tournament play of History of the World.   Keith submitted the score sheet with an accompanied article to the General magazine, which was published in Volume30, No. 3.  In March of 1996, just prior to the first club ad hitting the new stands, Keith decided on a new name for the gaming group.  GAMES CLUB OF MARYLAND was born.  Being serious about the name of the group and keeping future interests in mind, Keith decided to officially register the club name.  In May of 1996 GAMES CLUB OF MARYLAND  became an official trade name.

  • ADDENDUM, 9/30/2003:

    GCOM History 101
    The First GCOM location was at:
    7310 Kathydale Road. Baltimore, MD. 21207 - The home of GCOM Founder, Keith Levy at that time. Not actually being in Baltimore City, Pikesville was the closest town.

    -And here is a bit of history that probably no one remembers. The name Games Of Maryland in the link you found below is NOT a mistake. This is the name I gave the club in March of 1996. I changed it to Games Club of Maryland one month later in April. I registered the name "Games Club of Maryland" with the State of Maryland as a trade name in May of 1996; hence our offical Founding Date of May 1996.

    The E-mail adress that you found, rshipley@access.digex.net belonged to none other than Rich Shipley. I did not have a computer or e-mail access at that time and I do not even recall the fact that we/Rich had e-mail acess that early in our existance. Maybe Rich can fill us with some more information if he remembers it. I was making phone calls (yes the telephone) to tell members of upcoming meeting dates.

    I find it amazing that the notes show some our are base foundations have not changed to this day.

    "Notes: We meet every other Wednesday evening. Focusing on multi-player games such as Titan, History of the World, Die Siedler Von Caton, and others. Players of all levels welcome. Willing to teach and learn new games."

    ...and Seven years later:

    - We meet every other Wednesday evening at GCOM-Reisterstown
    - Focus on multi-player games.
    - Die Siedler Von Caton. This title looks like one that most of our current locations still play.
    - Players of all levels welcome.
    - Willing to teach and learn new games.