RIP to the great John Prados,
John Prados is an author and analyst of national security based in Washington, DC. He is the author of about thirty books and many articles on topics of current importance, presidential studies, international security; and diplomatic, intelligence, or military history.About John Prados Web Page
When it comes to books, the one title that will always stand out to me is Combined Fleet Decoded: The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II (Naval Institute Press, 1995). But as much as I like his books, it is his wargames that I really remember, especially Third Reich.
Third Reich was the first “monster” wargame that my friends and I played back in the early days of my wargaming past. I remember having a sleepover birthday party in middle school, maybe 1981 or 1982, where we played what was likely Rise and Decline of the Third Reich: 2nd Edition (1976). It was an epic game; I don’t think we played 24 hours like the game is rated for but we started Saturday after lunch and finished (gave up?) around 5am Sunday morning after something like 16 hours of playing with a break for dinner/cake/presents—none of which I remember…but I remember the game.
Given John’s affinity for intelligence studies it is no surprise that another game of his, Bodyguard Overlord (Spearhead Games, 1994) is in my collection. Click the title right there to see my thoughts. TL:DR a game that was probably ahead of its time.
Mr. Prados was an also advocate for wargames in the Naval service. In 2006, he wrote an article for Naval History Magazine titled, “Waging Wars with Cardboard Navies” that I still reference to this day. Indeed, the bibliography after the article captures for me the wargaming John Prados that I will remember most fondly:
Mr. Prados is a senior fellow with the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C. The author of numerous books and articles, he is also among the “Old Guard” of gaming, having designed numerous board games. In terms of disclosure, it should be noted that Mr. Prados has published games with Avalon Hill Game Company, Simulations Publications, Game Designers’ Workshop, TSR Hobbies, Operational Studies Group, Clash of Arms, Avalanche Press, GMT Games, Decision Games, Against the Odds, and Harper & Row, among others.John Prados Biography at The Naval History Magazine (online)