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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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1. Board Game: Hurtgen Forest: Approach to the Roer, November 1944 [Average Rating:5.71 Unranked]
Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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My father fought with the 28th ID, 110th Rgt, 2nd BN, "E" Co. as a BAR gunner in the Hurtgen Forest, where he was one of the minority that survived that disastrous meat-grinder unwounded. He and the "Bloody Bucket" division then went to a quiet sector for rest....

(I've always wanted this game, but never found it)
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2. Board Game: USN [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:6548]
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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My Dad was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. Luckily he was at sea so didn't see it happen. He was in the task force that launched the Doolittle raid. He then was transferred to the Atlantic theater, where he participated in 6 invasions.

So even without getting into his pre-war experience in the Asiatic Fleet, there are a ton of games that make me think about his experiences.
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3. Board Game: Bitter Woods (fourth edition) [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:1584]
Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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In this quiet area of the Ardennes my father's division got smashed by three armored and three infantry division in the Battle of the Bulge.

The Airborne guys at Bastogne got all the press and the HBO treatment, but the 28th ID and others pulled off a desperate defense against horrific odds and bought the time for the Paratroopers to get to Bastogne. Read "Alamo in the Ardennes" for a modern assesment of what the line infantry did...the US Army was in no hurry to emphasize the fact that they got caught flat footed with GI's paying for bad intel with blood, and prefered to trumpet the heroes at Bastogne....

Every time it snowed in December my dad would get a little withdrawn, and when his time got short he told me he worried if he would pay for the Germans he killed back then. I hope he has found peace now.
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4. Board Game: Operation Iraqi Freedom [Average Rating:6.03 Unranked]
Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
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Hey, My unit is in that game! (IMEF) but alas, there is no counter for the fine REMFs at IMEF HQ.

So, my son's dad was in that scenario. I'm hoping that he will be a simple spice trader in some Eurogame, no wargame scenarios for him.
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5. Board Game: Charge to Glory: The Battle of New Market [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Paul Boos
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
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OK, it's not me or my dad, but my college... I was in an EW aggressor squadron, so I don't know of any games that siulate EW tactics and specically blue on orange forces.

I probably need to find this game. I like playing the Battle Cry scenario that is the Battle of New Market.
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6. Board Game: Guadalcanal [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:6859]
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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My dad served in the 27th regiment (Wolfhounds) of the 25th ID in World War II. He was at Schofield Barracks on Oahu during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After guarding Hawaii for several months, his outfit shipped out to New Zealand for awhile (I still have a number of NZ coins he brought back!). From there, they then followed up the Marines in clearing Guadalcanal, hence this entry. After that campaign, his unit then was involved in MacArthur's South Pacific campaign in New Guinea. My Dad contracted malaria and was shipped home in late 1944, missing the 25th's role in the liberation of the Philippines.

My dad religiously attended a local Pearl Harbor survivor's reunion in his hometown of Farrell, PA for years. Amazingly, 11 guys from this small town in Western PA were present and serving on Oahu on December 7th, 1941! While my dad freely talked about that day and his later service on New Guinea (especially stories about eating SOS off a poi leaf, or having to put up with nightly visits from "washing machine Charlie"), he never spoke of his time on Guadalcanal. One of my uncles later confided to me the horrific tales from that battle and it's not hard to understand why my dad was unwilling to dredge up those memories. However, in reference to how the Marines tended to get all the credit in the Pacific while the Army slogged in behind and did much of the dirty work, the one thing I remember my dad saying was that the most dangerous place to be in the Pacific in WW2 was if you got between a Marine and a camera!
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7. Board Game: Bitter Woods (fourth edition) [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:1584]
James Ridgway
United States
Fairfax Station
Virginia
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Actually, my dad flew F4s for three tours in Vietnam, but I chose this one because I've really been wanting it as I do have a personal relationship with the chit in the picture. He was my great uncle.
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8. Board Game: Honour Alone: Hong Kong 1941 [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Edmund Hon
Canada
Maple
Ontario
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My dad didn't fought (he was only 4) but he was there when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong. He remember that morning he was brushing his teeth when he looked up and saw a fireball rising from the airport.
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9. Board Game: ASL Action Pack #3: Few Returned [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
Alberto M.
Italy
Unspecified
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Neither may father nor my grandfather, but my neighbour was from the Julia Alpini Division and I remember his story about the reteat when I was a young kid.
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10. Board Game: Combat! Kursk [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Richard Campbell
United States
Augusta
Georgia
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My Opa fought on the Eastern Front in many engagements, among them where battles at Kursk and Voronezh. He was assigned to the 13th Companie(Infantry Support Gun Unit) of Inf Regt 768, of the 377th Inf Division. I have a few photos and documents of him and also the Binoculars that he used while he was in. I have a photo of him in my BGG Gallery


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11. Board Game: Zero! [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1458]
Thee Insidius Doktor Glaze & His Sidekick Donut Boy with the Amazing Monkeytime Dancers Ooh!
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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A few years ago was trying to learn to play the Down in Flames games of WW2 fighter combat. So I tried the solo scenario for Pearl Harbor, and soon discovered that one of the targets I was bombing was the Helm.

It turns out that the destroyer the USS Helm (DD-338) was damaged on December 7, repaired, and went on patrol soon after. My grandfather served on the Helm, and later transferred to the USS Acree (DE-167).
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12. Board Game: Patton's Best [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2187]
Michael Ripley
United States
Biddeford
Maine
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My father-in-law drove a Sherman from Normandy to Germany. He doesn't talk about it much, but I understand he was certainly one of Patton's luckiest, surviving the destruction of 3 tanks.
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13. Board Game: Battle of Leyte Gulf [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Carl Parsons
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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My dad was stationed on the USS Intrepid (CVS-11) during WWII. Outside of the ships that were sunk it was probably the most damaged ship in the war. I remember my dad telling me stories of kamikaze and torpedo attacks including one near miss in which he could see a kamikaze heading right at him but the wing dipped at the last second and splashed into the sea instead of hitting the ship. It might have even been during the battle of Leyte Gulf.
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14. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:44]
Donal Hegarty
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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My Great grandfather was killed in France on his 21st birthday and his brother was killed there 6 months later. Both are buried in the Pas De calais area. My great grandfather served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

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15. Thing: N/A
Huckleberry Finn
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge

Neither my father nor my grandfather fought in this battle, but my great uncle Paul did (my grand-father’s brother). He doesn’t like to talk much about it. He lost many of his friends due to tree shrapnel (from German artillery hitting the dense woods). He got foot issues for sitting in a fox hole bottomed with freezing water.Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge
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16. Board Game: Avalanche: The Invasion of Italy [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:5928]
Deacon
Canada
Ontario
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Great list! My Grandfather took part in the allied invasion of Italy with the 1st Canadian Division, 3rd Brigade. He was wounded in heavy fighting on October 9, 1943 just outside Campobasso.
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17. Board Game: Red Barricades: ASL Historical Module 1 [Average Rating:8.67 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.67 Unranked]
Vincent Waciuk
Canada
Ottawa
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My grandfather fought at Stalingrad. I don't know much about it since he died before I really got to know him.
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18. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Tim P.
United States
Thousand Oaks
CA
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My dad did his National Service in West Germany with the Royal Signals, circa 1955

(National Service was the British compulsory military service that ended in the early 60's)



Here is my dad with some signals gear

I could not find a game with the NATO BAOR v Warsaw Pact standoff set in the mid 50's so heres a Cold War game instead. He alone is worth +1 US influence on West Germany

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19. Board Game: Tavern Battle [Average Rating:5.22 Unranked]
Marty M
Ireland
Fermoy
Co Cork
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More than once, if you must know........
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20. Board Game: Panzer Leader [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1494]
Mark Edwards
United States
South Attleboro
Massachusetts
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My dad served in Korea and my uncles served in WWII. My favorite story though is from a close family friend who served in WW II.

I was setting up a scenario for Panzer Leader while he was visiting and he happened to glance at it. "Hey I was there!" he told me. It was Scenario 13, the Fortified Goose Egg.

He related how he and a buddy got lost, apparently behind enemy lines, and were captured by a German soldier. At some point the German soldier became distracted and left the two GIs alone for a moment. They used that opportunity to make a run for it, hid and eventually rejoined their units.

The story brought to home just how chaotic war can be and how the little stacks of cardboard chits have thousands of stories to tell.
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21. Board Game: Solomons Campaign (first edition) [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:5570]
Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Erin go Bragh! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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My grandfather was mortally wounded in 1944 on Bougainville. I've never played this game, but I think my attraction to the Pacific War, and the strange sadness I feel about it, partially stems from this little tragedy.
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22. Board Game: The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:1019]
stuart glanvville
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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not my dad but one of my grans brothers was in 1 para - though he never got to fight in arnhem - as he went to jump a flak shell went off by the door and blew him back into the plane, he was blinded in one eye and had shrapnel wounds to his upper body...
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23. Board Game: They Shall Not Pass: The Battle of Verdun 1916 [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:4714]
Pierre Pinguet
France
Paris
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My great grandfather fought in Verdun (like about 70% of the French soldiers in WW I) .

At one point, he was badly wounded while getting out of the trenches to rescue another soldier.

He was then evacuated to the rear, and it's probably why he survived the whole bloody mess.

He died when I was 3 so I hardly knew him, but as a kid I was always fascinated by the dusty, yellowed military certificate that hang in his room.

My grandfather (his son), spent most of WWII in a POW camp near Köln, escaped twice and was caught twice (I always wondered how he thought he would go unnoticed, not speaking a word of german).
He still refers to it as "my only trip outside of France". For that matter, that still is his only trip outside of his village.
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24. Board Game: Iwo Jima: Valor of Arms, 19 Feb. – 25 March 1945 [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:5315]
Rick Vogel
United States
Palos Verdes Estates
California
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My dad put up a LORAN antenna near the famous flag raised on Mount Suribachi a couple of days after the event. They were still fighting on the other end of the island and the airfield where he worked as a marine tech was getting night infiltration attacks. He told me the reason the flag took so many guys to raise, was that the only pole they could find was an old steel pipe.

He was also on Peleliu. Again his unit was brought ashore as soon as the airfield was secured, but while fighting was still going on the other end.

I'm glad to say he avoided Tawara. He was pulled from a Marine Infantry Unit before it sailed for the island, because he had shown aptitude for electronics. The Marines needed techs badly and he was transfered to a MAW to help maintain the LORAN equipment. He always said this is what saved him.

Ironically, I've played S&T games on Iwo Jima and other Marine battles in the Pacific but after I read the article in the magazine, Tarawa was one of the S&T games I didn't want to play.
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25. Board Game: Fulda Gap [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:4904]
Mike Haverty
United States
Owasso
Oklahoma
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Well, this war/battle didn't actually occur, but I thought I'd throw it out there. My Dad was in 1/68 Armor when we were stationed in Wildflecken, West Germany, in the late 70s. "Fulda Gap" uses brigade-level units, so he identified which piece included his battalion when we first got the game. I always played NATO to his Warsaw Pact, and it felt weird any time I had to move that unit... at the back of my mind was the idea that this could actually happen, that I could actually see Soviet armor moving through the valley below our balcony window if they invaded. Should I try to play conservatively with that piece? Or use it normally and risk it being overrun early on in the war? Kinda surreal for a sixth grader, haha.
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