Gaming Pedigree or time to get my OSR blog "cred" on.
Circa 1979 Holmes basic set:
As a seven or eight year old, I got this as a present. It was fascinating! I used tracing paper to trace 90percent of the images in the books. However, as a lone 8 year old it was WAY out of my ability for comprehension. Sure, I read the intro adventure and module over and over and over again; they tended to read like a narrative. But the combat rules, magic, and general movement and time logistics were over my head. None of my friends played at that time. There were no older kids to “show me the ropes.”
Years later, 1983, I moved to a new city and a friend asked if I wanted to play. When I saw the game in action, it all clicked. The years of pouring over the basic set paid off. What wasn’t communicated in the technical writing of the manuals was instantly communicated by play. Off to the races.
We played ad&d and B/X throughout the years; we had long running campaigns in both systems mostly in published campaigns with mixed bag of homebrew and published modules. We never switched to 2e although we did play through many of the modules and deconstructed? devolved them? them to 1e.
Mostly took a gaming break in the 90’s.
I found a 3e group in 2000 and have been playing off and on since. As I mentioned in a previous post, I very much enjoy the third edition generation of the game. I enjoyed the reliance on miniatures/counters (we never used them in 1e). There was no confusion as to “where” a character was for the DM. Attacks of opportunities avoided player’s ability to “gang up” on the baddest guy or at least injected repercussions for this. If a golem is dishing out substantial damage, you are going to weigh your options before you charge around him to beat up on his master the Evil Magic User hurling spells. If there was a rule in 1e that suggested this, we missed it.