Content Creator Interview: James “Oriskany” Johnson

September 6, 2022 by brennon

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You join us for another Content Creator Interview where this week we're talking to the man behind the Sitrep Podcast and a whole host of projects, videos and articles that can be found here OnTableTop and beyond. Join us for a quick chat with James "Oriskany" Johnson.

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Check Out Oriskany's Projects On OTT

Make sure to check out the past Q&A sessions with Content Creators including Irregular Magazine's Jason Hubbard, SunDancer and PanzerKaput. Each of them are great and will give you a neat insight into their past and present with the tabletop gaming hobby.

OnTableTop: How did you get into tabletop gaming?

Oriskany: I started out with Avalon Hill's grand strategy level games in 1984 with the likes of Rise And Decline Of The Third Reich.

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Beyond that, I also delved into playing tactical wargames like PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader in 1985. Miniature wargaming began with BattleTech in 1991!

OTT: What kind of tabletop games do you like the most?

O: When it comes to genre, I go with Historical and it covers time periods from the age of black powder through to modern times. The flavour of game I often play focuses on something that is tactically realistic and also historically accurate.

When it comes to the medium in which I play, it is often around the small-scale miniatures level. This can go from 6mm through to 10mm, 15mm and 20mm at most. I also like playing a lot of games that use hex & counter as their medium of play.

With all of this said, I also occasionally dive into Sci-Fi if there is at least a measure of "science" and plausibility to the material.

OTT: What kinds of content do you create and how long have you been doing it for?

O: I have been designing and publishing games and scenario packs since 2011 and also wrote articles for Beasts Of War (now OTT) from 2014 through to early 2019 (130 articles!). I have also published Darkstar, a tactical starship combat game in 2018.

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Beyond that, I have also published a Modern Warfare expansion for Barry W. Doyle's Valor & Victory in 2021 and designed a Stalingrad Scenario Pack for the Valor & Victory computer game that was published by Slitherine, Matrix Games and Yobowargames. That's actually available on Steam!

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I have also been a member of the Sitrep Podcast wargaming channel since mid-2019 which is featured on YouTube, Facebook, Podbean, Twitch and Discord and have been leading the Sitrep Podcast wargaming channel since early 2022.

OTT: What’s one of your biggest bugbears about the industry that you’d like to see solved?

O: I don't like the way that miniature wargamers and hex & counter wargamers often seem to look down on each other. This seems to come from a prejudice that hex & counter wargamers are stuffy, boring and pretentious and that miniature wargames are "childish". I'm also not fond of the overall trend towards emphasising three-page rules sets and playtime of ninety minutes or less.

OTT: Where do you see the tabletop game industry going in the next few years?

O: Hopefully, we will see an increased "democratisation" of wargaming with more desktop publishing, 3D Printing and options for virtualised and long-distance wargame play. This might lead to more project collaboration which is always nice to see!

OTT: What are you currently working on at the moment?

O: I have been expanding the Sitrep Podcast team with potentially two new members and I'm developing/adopting a virtual way to play Team Yankee in a virtual environment. I am also developing Valor & Victory into a near-future "Science Fact" setting.

OTT: If people want to find out more about you, where should they go?

O: The Sitrep Podcast is a veteran-operation multi-platform media channel focused on military historical wargaming. Although we focus primarily on modern conflicts (Post-1945), we do cover periods extending further back through the ages. All aspects and periods of Historical and theoretically "real world" wargaming are welcome in our discussions and forums.

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Our combined veterans' experience in real-world "1-1 scale" military operations gives us an enhanced viewpoint that I don't think is found on many other channels. To that end, people can find us at these links...

We hope you've enjoyed this look at one of the many content creators we have here OnTableTop. Watch out for future articles talking with even more people that you need to check out.

If you're a content creator who would like to be featured, please email OTT Ben - [email protected]

"I don't like the way that miniature wargamers and hex & counter wargamers often seem to look down on each other..."

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"Our combined veterans' experience in real-world "1-1 scale" military operations gives us an enhanced viewpoint that I don't think is found on many other channels..."

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