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Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Things you probably do not know about Steve Cole.

1. Steve Cole is an ordained minister. Yes, back in 1973 he sent few bucks to one of the first mail order ministries and got an ordination certificate. He has never married or buried anyone, however.

2. Steve Cole traces his family (in America) back to the Mayflower and has the records to prove he is descended from Stephen Hopkins, for whom he was named. He is descended from the British royal family (like millions of Americans and Britons), in his case from King John. Steve Cole is a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, arguably the only American title of nobility. (He ranks as a baron at European high-society parties, but he has never attended one of those.)

3. Steve's mother descends from a Dutch family that first settled in Canada but left the country when the local government burned one of their daughters as a witch.

4. Everyone knows that Steve's father was an Army colonel. Few know his mother was an Army nurse. They did not meet in the Army; the two grew up a block apart and had been together as a couple since they met at age 12.

5. Steve Cole is a crack pistol shot, scoring 243 out of 250 and being qualified to "take the shot" in a hostage situation.

6. While Steve Cole commanded a company of the Texas State Guard, he did so as a five-stripe sergeant, and was never an officer. (He graduated from ROTC during the post-Vietnam cutbacks and was released without serving, although he would have been called up as an engineer lieutenant if World War III had started by 1981.)

7. Most know that Steve Cole is a registered engineer and was in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Few know that his military specialty was repairing bomb craters in runways. Had he been called up for World War III his orders said he was to report to Stavanger, Norway.

8. Steve Cole is "not a car guy" and tends to curl up in a fetal position when his car stops working. He cannot tell one make of car from another without reading the label on the car.

9. In his family, whenever someone went to the hospital, everyone expected Steve Cole to be the one to speak with the doctors and translate what they said into English. Because Steve's mother was a nurse, any time anyone in the family goes into the hospital he takes a box of cookies to the nurses.

10. While Steve Cole is most famous for designing Star Fleet Battles and the rest of the Star Fleet Universe, he had designed over 50 published games before publishing Star Fleet Battles. Famous for "thousand-page rulebooks" most of his published games have less than a hundred pages, some as few as a single page. One of his World War II games has less than 50 words of rules! His favorite game of his own design is Prochovoka, which was later republished as Armor at Kursk.

11. Everyone knows that Steve Cole writes corny filksongs, but he has also written lots of poetry, including mushy love poems to girlfriends (and Leanna) and the epic 10-page Song of Tnnqvi (about a knight who fought his way into Hell itself to vanquish the demon Schmaltz).

12. Steve Cole cannot write in cursive script. Like all Americans, he learned how in the third grade, but in engineering school everything had to be printed (for better readability as a misread number written by an engineer can topple an entire building) and after a couple of years as an engineer he simply couldn't remember how to write in cursive script. Pity they don't teach doctors to print legibly.

13. Steve Cole knows the rules to poker and can calculate the percentage chance of a winning hand faster than anyone, but he has no clue how to bluff or how to read other players. Which means he loses every time he plays. So, he doesn't plan.

14. Most know that Steve Cole doesn't drink alcohol. More than a few think he's a recovering alcoholic, but he's not, he just doesn't like the taste and (being a control freak) doesn't want to be drunk (and has never been drunk).