So what's my gaming background?
I got into gaming way back in the late 1970s. My first real move beyond normal games like Risk was the Dungeons & Dragons basic set (now referred to as the Holmes edition), sometime in either '78 or '79. I quickly moved on to AD&D 1st edition, and played the hell out of that for years. My gaming tapered off a number of times, but I was always able to get back into the hobby.
My first real move away from D&D-style games was in grad school. Through some great friends in Chicago, I got into games like the original World of Darkness games, Over the Edge, Amber Diceless, and a number of others. We continued to play D&D, but I moved away from Chicago shortly before D&D 3.X came out. In fact, I have little experience with D&D 3.X or 4.0; I've played *much* more 1st and 2nd edition AD&D.
In the last few years, I've gotten into Savage Worlds (which I am very sick of) and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, as well as some Call of Cthulhu and Traveller.
As to wargaming, I got started a bit later. Sometime in the early '80s, a friend and I became all but addicted to a computer wargame called "Eastern Front." We played that thing for hours. My friend's dad had played some of the classic Avalon Hill games, so we went out and found Afrika Korps. That was my first board wargame, and I've continued to play such games since then.
My favorite wargame is probably The Russian Campaign. I also quite like some of the card driven games, especially Hannibal and Paths of Glory. And I love Up Front. I've actually written a few reviews for Paper Wars, although that publication's erratic schedule means that several I've written have yet to see the light of day.
While playing wargames, I also got into a variety of non-war non-family type boardgames. I'm not sure which was the first; I remember playing several games like Kremlin and Junta in college, but I may have played some others before that. Of the Eurogame type, I got a bit of a late start--I played Settlers of Catan for the first time several years after it came out. I'm by no means a hardcore Eurogamer, but I quite like some of them, especially Settlers and Age of Steam. I also quite like the 18XX games (although I've only played a few of them) and some of the crayon rail games.