My dad fought in that scenario!
Neil Amoore
South Africa
Benoni
Gauteng
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I'm not sure if there's another geeklist covering this topic (knowing me, probably a 1000 or so!) but I couldn't find any....
I recently bought the South Africa's War module for Panzer Grenadier, hoping to simulate some of what my dad experienced during his campaigning in the Western Desert in WW2. It was with cold shock, though, that I came across Scenario 6 and 7 in the booklet. My dad rarely spoke of the bad during his time in combat or as a POW, but he mentioned these two incidents with some feeling.
In scenario 6 elements of the 3rd Transvaal Scottish battalion were pinned down during the heat of the day by scathing German fire, while scenario 7 covers the virtual destruction of my father's unit prior to the capture of Tobruk (where he was captured).
What sticks out for me with these scenarios (having been in the military myself) is just how personal my relationship with these little pieces of cardboard became. I was reluctant to expose them to fire in case my dad was amongst them!
I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience....
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101. Board Game: Operation Eisbar [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
Captain Nemo
United Kingdom
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My father's contribution to WWII included partcipating in this with the RAF. He had the joy of rowing to the Turkish mainland by night in a boat full of holes in order to escape.
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102. Board Game: Bitter End: Attack to Budapest, 1945 [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:3183]
Fortune
United Kingdom
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My grandfather took part in the defense of Budapest against the Soviets. He was 19 years old and was given a machine gun with 3 of his schoolmates. Eventually they escaped and took refuge in the countryside just before the Soviets surrounded the city and started the slaughter.
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103. Board Game: Vimy Ridge [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
Joseph Moore
Canada
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My Grandfather and Uncle served in the 4th Division of the Canadian Corps in this fight. grandfather Moore was 41 when he joined up in 1915 and my uncle Archie who was only 15 lied about his age and followed the old guy into the ranks. Miraculously both survived the carnage of the western Front
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104. Board Game: Angola [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:1329]
Jim F
United Kingdom
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Brother fought and was KIA at the Battle of Savate in 1980. He was a member of the (now deeply unfashionable) 32 Battalion, despite being a Brit. He had also served in the RLI. I'm proud of him but wish he'd died for a more worthwhile cause.
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105. Board Game: Memoir '44: Pacific Theater [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
J. Atkinson
United States
Grant
AL
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My great uncle was a marine in the Pacific Theater. He was a captain in the artillery. I don't know all the battles he fought, but he did fight at Iwo Jima. He also became an honorary chief to some of the locals on one of the islands. After the war, they wanted him and his group to go to Korea, but he decided he had enough and retired. His group went on to Korea and all died there.

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106. Board Game: Mission: Grenada [Average Rating:4.24 Unranked]
Matthew Quigley
United States
Estes Park
Colorado
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My father served in the 2nd Btn., 325th Airborne Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division from '80-'84. In late October, 1983, the 'White Falcons' were the first 82nd Airborne unit sent to the island nation of Grenada for Operation: Urgent Fury. After taking the Port Salinas airfield from Cuban defenders, his battalion liberated most of the American medical students at the True Blue Campus before securing a substantial armory and finally rendezvousing with U.S. Marines in the capital city. He was a Specialist-4 and served as an M-60 gunner.
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107. Board Game: Tunisia [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1270]
Greg S
United States
East Windsor
New Jersey
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My Dad was in the "Desert Air Force" represented in this game. Specifically 321 Bomb Group, 12th AF.

Way back, The Gamers had a program where they would design and print "vanity" counters for customers. I had a B25 unit designed with the aircraft silhouette on one side, and a picture of my Dad on the reverse.

RIP Andrew M Sapara, 1919-1971

GregS
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108. Board Game: King Philip's War [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:3095]
Skip Franklin
United States
Oklahoma City
OK
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My Great Grandfather fought in that scenario. His name was Metacom but because of the hat he wore he was known as King Philip.
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109. Board Game: Blood on the Tigris [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:8078]
Christopher Downes-Ward
United Kingdom
Congleton
Cheshire
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My paternal grandfather Pte. John W. Ward. is somewhere in one of the depot counters. He survived the war but died when I was a young child.
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110. Board Game: Middle East Battles: Suez '56 [Average Rating:5.85 Unranked]
Michael B
Canada
Ontario
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Never knew my Dad. He died of cancer in 1970, when I was 1.5.

He was with the Royal Canadian Navy during the U.N. intervention during the Suez Crisis in 1956. He was in signals and communications.
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111. Board Game: Bitter Victory: The Invasion of Sicily, 1943 [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:6631]
David Bronson

Kalamazoo
Michigan
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My dad was a "Motor Mac" in the main engine room aboard an LST. They carried a part of Patton's HQ unit during Operation Husky, the Sicilian invasion. His ship was also at Salerno and Normandy, so I could have added a mention in some of the other games listed here for both of those invasions, but this game is one of the few that actually has LST counters, and counters that actually have a purpose.

The ship he was on (USS LST-325) is now a museum ship, is still operational, and makes annual river trips to different port cities along the Ohio and Mississippi. Website is www.lstmemorial.org

My dad (far right):


His ship:
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112. Board Game: Inchon: MacArthur's Gambit [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:4595]
Patrick OBrien
United States
Portland
Oregon
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My dad was career U.S. Navy, and fought in WW2 and Korea. He was at the Battle of Inchon, drove one of the landing boats in the first and third wave. He died when i was 10, so i didn't learn about his experiences from him directly, but only through talking with my older brother many years later.
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113. Board Game: Luftwaffe [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:9883]
Geoff Conn
Canada
Victoria
BC
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I have this game, passed down to me from my father. My grandfather was a navigator on a Halifax bomber. Never talked about it, but apparently my mom knows of one story where the crew felt they owed him their lives after getting them home, perhaps seperated from their squadron or something.
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114. Board Game: Zero! [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1462]
Geoff Conn
Canada
Victoria
BC
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My wifes grandfather was one of those guys that built their own plane, flew in those old transcontinental air races, etc. He became an instructor for the japanese air force and was not allowed to see combat, presumably because of his experience.

My wife related a story of when she was a little girl and several old men came to their home to pay their respects, thanking him for what he taught them, how that saved their lives, tears in their eyes kind of thing.

Regardless of side and nationality, war takes its toll.
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115. Board Game: Tonkin: The Indochina war 1950-54 (second edition) [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:4100]
Olivier Clementin
France
Paris
Paris
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My dad's second tour of duty in Indochina was from October 1950 to the Summer of 1952 (first one was 1946-1948 in South Vietnam with 13 DBLE).

He was initially affected as Lieutenant to 1 BEP (Foreign legion parachute battalion) but his unit desintegrated on RC4 (scenario 1) before he had a chance to join. He was then affected to 2 BEP after a short spell in a Moroccan Tabor during the Vinh Yen battle (scenario 2).

He fought at Vinh Yen (Jan 1951), Nghia Lo (Oct 1951), and in the battles of the Black River and RC6 during the Hoah Binh campaign.

Set up as follows:

Scenario 1: place in Haiphong
Scenario 2: place in Sept Pagodes (attached to Tabor)
Scenario 3: place in Hanoi (attached to 2 BEP)
Withdraw in Aug/Sep 1952
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116. Board Game: Into the Bastards!: First tank battle [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:4309]
Baz McG
Australia
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My great uncle on my Mum's side served in the 49th Battalion, 13th Brigade, 4th Division of the AIF which fought on the Western front from June 1916 to the end of the First World War. The unit's Battle honours include the now legendary attack in the early hours of 25 April 1918 to dislodge the enemy during the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux covered in this game.
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117. Board Game: Bulge 20 [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:4145]
Ron A
United States
Coronado
California
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Semi long-winded story, but hey,you can always skip it.

Right after Pearl Harbor, my dad enlisted because he figured he'd rather have some control over what happened to him-- if he waited until he got drafted, who knew where he'd end up.

Took Army aptitude test-- came out high enough to qualify for pilot. Then the Army matched the high test score with my dad who wore glasses, and they said, "no glasses when you have to wear oxygen masks and look out for German fighters." Given the 8th AF loss rate that was probably a blessing in disguise.

Army STILL liked my dad's test scores, so they said, 'we're going to send you to ROTC.'

At Purdue. Full ride. Co-eds, everything. In the middle of the war. Did it get better than that?

Then Rommel started running amok in North Africa and the big brass decided they needed riflemen more than college boys. Out of college, into the army (as an instant sergeant).

My dad had a HAM radio license in high school, and had built his own radio, so he was made a radioman in the HHQ company of the 327th Combat Engineers, 102d 'Ozark' infantry division.

Went from New Jersey straight to Cherbourg France, in Sept 1944. Patton ran out of gas, and my dad knew how to drive a truck so he was a Red Ball driver for a few weeks.

When that was over the division went to Holland and then Germany as part of 9th US Army. Part of XIII Corps from November 1944 on.

Which brings us to Bulge 20. That's the only Bulge game that includes 102d Infantry (as part of a XIII Corps unit). The 102d didn't actually fight in the Bulge, they were about 20 miles to the north of Elsenborn. If the Germans had won, his unit would've been cut off and pocketed.

My dad will talk about the war, but his memory is starting to go a bit. He has said in the past, that as far as he knew, no German ever shot directly at him, but he was under a few artillery barrages. The last time we talked about WWII, he said he spent most of the time operating the division telephone switchboard. I guess his radio knowledge helped him out here, he knew how to keep the thing working. No foxholes or sleeping outside either, the equipment was sensitive, so he told me they'd always requisition a suitable house wherever they were.


327th Cbt Engineers in TX, shortly before heading to France. Dad is 2nd row from bottom, 2nd from left.
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118. Board Game: Island of Death: Invasion of Malta, 1942 [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:7159]
Odious Maximus
Australia
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The invasion of course never happened, but many members of my family lived through the seige and aerial bombardment of Malta.

In one incident my mother, aunty and two uncles were lucky to survive the ground strafing of their farmhouse. Aged between 3 and 6 at the time, they were playing in the street when they became excited at the appearance of a low-flying aircraft and began waving at it and dancing about. Possibly because their father often billetted drunk and grateful British soldiers who had gotten drunk and lost at night, the kids obviously thought the plane was friendly. Maybe they thought anything as exciting as a plane was friendly. Apparently, at just that time an elderly farmer was walking along the road towards them with his trusty donkey and saw what was about to happen. He abandoned the mule and herded the kids into a gate within the stone wall across the street just before the plane opened fire. My mum's little farmhouse was shot up quite badly, along with most of their goats and chickens. So to the mule.

A similar thing happened to my godmother whilst walking alone on the bare west coast of the island, carrying a sack of supplies home. A lone plane, probably on its way back from a mission, rounded the headland to her rear and, spotting a target of opportunity, opened fire on her. She told me that the sound of the bullets hitting the stones around her was louder than both the plane's engines and its chattering guns. My godfather, slightly older, drove a truck during the campaign, helping to clear debris and transport the injured to hospital. And my dear old grandmother never tired of telling me about how awful the Germans were compared to the Italians (who had no resolve for the campaign), and about how the locals would lynch with pitchforks any airman of their number who bailed out and was unlucky enough not be gotten hold of by a Briton first.

Sadly most of these people have now passed away, but their stories meant much to me as a child.
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119. Board Game: Thud Ridge: A Solitaire Game of the Air War over North Vietnam [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Swamp Hamster
United States
South Carolina
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My dad was the crew chief for the the squadron commander of the 16th TRS in Vietnam 1965-1966. They flew RF-4s on recon missions over North Vietnam. In this game, the designer graciously named one of the F-4 pilots after him -- "Maynard".

My RF-101 icon honors my dad who was also an RF-101 crew chief during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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120. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:298]
Swamp Hamster
United States
South Carolina
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One of my great uncles went ashore at Omaha as a medic. Another great uncle dropped into Normandy as a paratrooper.
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121. Board Game: A Bridge Too Far: Operation Market Garden [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:4994]
Swamp Hamster
United States
South Carolina
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My great uncle who parachuted into Normandy on D-Day was killed in action parachuting in support of Operation Market Garden.
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122. Board Game: Charge to Glory: The Battle of New Market [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Swamp Hamster
United States
South Carolina
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Two of my ancestors fought in the Battle of New Market with the 51st Virginia. One of my greatest pleasures was to walk the battlefield in 2007 and follow the specific path of the 51st Virginia during the attack 140+ years earlier.
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123. Board Game: Meuse Argonne: The Final Offensive [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
Swamp Hamster
United States
South Carolina
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My great-great uncle fought in this battle with the 81st Division artillery.
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124. Board Game: Border War: Angola Raiders [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:7450]
Neil Amoore
South Africa
Benoni
Gauteng
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My brother, the military achiever in the family, commanded armoured units that spent a fair amount of time in Angola. He is a remarkably honourable man and, like my late father and myself, has tried to repair the damage this war caused by healing those it hurt and repressed.
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125. Board Game: Antietam: Burnished Rows of Steel [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:5072]
Fred Thomas
United States
Santa Rosa
California
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Space Battleship Yamato, Battlestar Galactica, Dilbert, Douglas Adams, The Tick
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My great-grandfather Alvah Sprague served in the 7th Maine and was taken prisoner at Antietam. The regiment took 50% casualties in a stupid charge towards the end of the battle. He did time at Libby Prison, got out in an exchange, and then sailed to California where he joined up again in 1864 with the California Cavalry. He later worked for the Southern Pacific Railway and bought a ranch.
 
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