Remembrance Day - Poppy Appeal
Jenks
Germany
Eckernfoerde
Schleswig-Holstein
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It is too easy sometimes to forget the sacrifices that people we have never met have made and continue to make on our behalf. I wear my poppy with pride in the real world, and also here on BGG. I would love to see more people doing the same; if you can't afford the Remembrance Day microbadge, add an item below and I will shout you the 8GG to get the badge if you will wear it.

I would love to craft some beautiful words here now, expressing gratitude and admiration, describing bravery and selflessness, but I have nothing that could possibly do it justice.

All I can do is try and make sure they are never forgotten.

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1. Board Game: Juden Raus [Average Rating:2.11 Unranked]
quelf elf
Spain
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I wear mine in the real world to remember my ancestors and others who were executed in the Shoah. Far too often these days I am dismayed to see people who, in just a few generations, have forgotten the horrors.

I wear my poppy in the hope that never again the world will experience such things.
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2. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:493]
Lang Bedang
Canada
Kanata
Ontario
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I wear mine to honor the noble ones who have served, suffered or perished. Don Cherry said it well: "They gave their lives for us. The least you can do is buy a poppy."

I also wear mine with pride, along with a 'stache for Movember. I hope it serves as a trigger for others to realize there is a world outside our own individual existence. A world where others make personal sacrifices for us all daily out of kindness, responsibility or love.

We each have to do our part - just hope it touches someone new each year (7 billion people on the planet is a wide target to reach so we need to work together).

EDIT: Just corrected an awful typo that was made.
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3. Board Game: Great War at Sea: U.S. Navy Plan Orange [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:4635]
Jim Wilde
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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My grandfather was in the U.S. Navy... gotta be 80 or 90 years ago now. He never saw any action, but we have his old picture in uniform at my folk's place.

Part of my Remembrance Day tradition is to pay for a new poppy, but don't take one. Instead, I then go home and dig out my old red poppy that has a GREEN center in it. I've had this poppy for years and years. It looks a bit beat up now, but it helps me remember my grandfather, and those who have given so much for the freedoms I now enjoy.
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4. Board Game: Invasion Sicily [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:4483]
Kevin Bakker
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan
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I wear my poppy to honor both of my grandfathers who were WW2 Vets (We have Veterans Day here in the US - which honors all those who served, not just those who died)

One got shipped off to the Pacific and was on a transport in the middle of the ocean when the US dropped 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima. He didn't see combat, and was shipped home a few months later. He passed away in 2008.

My other grandfather shipped out much earlier and fought in North Africa before being part of the invasion of Sicily, also fighting in mainland Italy, Corsica, France, and Germany. He was stationed in Italy after the war and was at the airfield when the transport plane in front of his blew up on take off. After getting home in 1946 he never flew again. He had hundreds of guns and war trinkets he picked off enemy soldiers in his basement, but wouldn't ever talk about how he got them, or any part of the war despite me trying to get him to tell his story. He passed away in 1996, and unfortunately his army records were destroyed in a fire so I don't even know what units he was in other than a 1942 silver dollar he gave me which had the names of the countries he fought in carved in the back.
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5. RPG Item: Not So Quiet [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:2839]
Korvettenkapitän Jasper Aurelius van der Meer
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I've a few relatives who had served in foreign wars. Veterans of The Great War in my family were gone before I was born, but my paternal grandfather served in the war after the war to end all wars. He earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but never talked about how he'd earned them to anyone. All we knew was that he was caught out behind enemy lines alone in Germany for a few weeks.

Before the war, by all his siblings' accounts, the man was a gentle soul who was exceptionally kind to animals. They'd nicknamed him "Doc" because he was an amateur veterinarian of sorts (with his agricultural extension coursework and practical experience on a farm, he probably had the animal care skills of someone with an animal husbandry degree today.) My dad even called him Doc. After the war, family members noted he was withdrawn and had a bit of a temper.

When my dad reached his majority and had to enter the draft for Vietnam, my grandfather told him if his numbers came up, then the old man was going to drive him to Canada himself. I wouldn't call my grandfather a peaceful hippie type by any stretch, but he did believe in peace and did strongly distrust any politician who'd spout dulce et decorum est pro patria mori B.S.. Like any good cracker, he just wanted to be left alone and ride a long, bright arc of live-and-let-live.
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6. Board Game: Singapore [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:3196]
Kangyu Chia
Singapore
Varsity Park Condominium
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I am a Singaporean currently residing in the UK. In my first year in the UK, I remember wondering why people were selling poppies in October/November,before realising they were commemorating Remembrance day.

And while none of my relatives have ever served in any of the wars, I think it is always important to remember those who have served to protect us, even on a foreign shore. Singapore was attacked and occupied in World War 2 by the Japanese forces, and many brave British, Australian, Indian, Malayan and Singaporean soldiers gave their lives to defend this tiny island.

To all the veterans who risked/gave their lives to protect the lives of others, I salute you.
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7. Board Game: Gutshot Extra Ammo [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Me, sin? Pf! Nah! Chill
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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My father served in Viet Nam, doing radar surveillance in the Air Force. I have a cousin currently serving in Afghanistan in the Marines. And another cousin who was in Iraq. Plus many uncles and cousins who've served.

My grandfather was never in the military. I don't know the whole story of why he wasn't in WW2, but I assume he was already too old to be drafted (but he wasn't really *that* old). In any event, he served in a different capacity - he worked in an ammunition factory. He had some machine experience so he became a foreman and eventually was in charge of the entire factory.

He received frequent instructions and rules and regulations from various military guys. One such instruction had to do with testing and quality assurance: out of each batch produced, they would have to take three bullets and fire them. If any one of the three tests misfired, the whole batch was rejected. Then they had to store the bad batch somewhere in one of the storage areas. Obviously, the machines required a lot of maintenance and fine adjustments to minimize the number of bad batches.

As the war went on, demand for ammo increased. There were large amounts of rejected ammo that couldn't be used because of military regs. They were not allowed to re-test the bad batches. But the troops in the field were getting more and more desperate for ammunition, so one day, a high-ranking military guy (I don't know what his rank was, so I'll just call him "Colonel") showed up and told my grandfather to go ahead and retest the bad batches, and if they passed this second test, to go ahead and ship them. So he did. What else could they do? Sub-standard ammo is better than no ammo at all.

Eventually we won the war (you probably heard about that part). Afterwards, someone came and arrested my grandfather for treason - or something like that for violating the military regulation against retesting the rejected ammunition. He had to go to trial and everything. He told them that he was following the orders of the Colonel. And that the troops needed the ammo, even if it wasn't of perfect quality. But they couldn't find the Colonel to verify his story. At just about the last possible minute, the Colonel showed up and explained what was going on, and my grandfather was exonerated.

War is messy and complicated. There is a shortage of everything except the enemy. Murphy's Law is in full force. Never confuse real war with a game.

(BTW, in the US, we call it "Veteran's Day". And we also have Memorial Day in May, which is more analogous in terms of its observance.)
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8. Board Game: Bomber Command [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:2771]
Chris B
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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I wear mine to remember and honour all the veterans. Closer to home I wear it to honour my Dad & Uncle, both of whom were in the RCAF. My Dad was posted to RAF Coastal Command and survived the war, his brother was posted to Bomber Command and was shot down and killed returning from a mission over the Ruhr. He's buried in a Canadian Cemetery in Belgium.
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9. Board Game: Red Poppies: WWI Tactics [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:3973]
Matt Green
England
Horsham
West Sussex
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Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
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10. Board Game: All Quiet on the Western Front [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:4687]
Matt Green
England
Horsham
West Sussex
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Whichever it may be.
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11. Board Game: The War to End All Wars: Box Set Edition [Average Rating:4.17 Unranked]
Jack Hernandez
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Not to be Forgotten, they will always be remembered
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12. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:1]
Scott Mellon
United States
Erie
PA
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This year I started work at a nursing home for Veterans. I recently found out that the Veterans actually make the poppies.

They get paid for making them to give them some extra spending money, which makes a big difference to them, since so much of their pensions and veterans benefits goes to pay the cost of the nursing home.

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13. Board Game: Red Poppies: WWI Tactics [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:3973]
Roger Taylor
United States
Unspecified
Virginia
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I took a business trip to Ottawa in early November 2001. I was struck, and touched, by the sight of all the people there wearing poppies. In the US, Veterans Day is mostly considered just a day off.

My own family has been lucky in war. My grandfather served in World War II and my father served in Vietnam; they both came back safe. I'll wear this BGG poppy to remember those who weren't lucky.
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14. Board Game: Victory & Honor [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2949]
Andy Gordon
United Kingdom
Carterton
Oxfordshire
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My grandfather never fought in the war, he was a fireman during the biltz he always told me to remember what the fallen did for us.

Now I live in Carterton, which is next to Brize Norton air base in the UK, now it is a little bit closer to home.
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15. Board Game: Battleships [Average Rating:4.83 Overall Rank:10455]
Liam Liam
Scotland
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Here in the UK we are coming up to our two-minute silence.

Poppies are not just about remembering the past but also rebuilding the future.

My Granddad signed up as a sailer in WW2 his reason being they had a smaller queue on the day. He suffered from terrible sea sickness.

Twice he was torpedoed with both ships sinking. The second time he was at the bottom of a ship with a fellow sailer and friend. There was some sort of one man escape system, so they flipped a coin to see who would live. My Grandfather lived but continued to remember with great sadness every year on the 11th and the following Sunday.

He rarely talked about the war. While Remembering was painful, he felt it was his duty to do so. There was no waving of flags, no talking or pride or heroism, just quiet dignity. He wouldn't be round for his tea that Sunday. Despite the death of five of his brothers,to my surprise, he had no hated towards those whom he fought, just hope for enduring peace for all parties. His death followed September the 11th 2001 and sadly he was very much aware of it.

He's gone now so I'll remember for him.

(I reflect in more detail on tensions between games and doing justice to my Granddad and his brothers memory in this review: Memoir 44: Unlearning lessons)
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16. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:45]
Edwin Nealley
United States
Ardmore
Pennsylvania
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For many years a friend of mine commemorated Armistice Day by sending a poem to remind us of the lives and the horrors faced by the men who served in WWI.

I haven't heard from him in the past year, so I sent him a note, and remember today.

(AFAIK, my parents and parents' parents were not not involved in fighting WWI or even WWII- though my father-in-law was a Merchant Marine in Japan, andf will not speak of what he saw there.
My great-grandfather was a shipbuilder, and my Dad still has a couple of pieces made of teak from a refit of HMS Rodney in Boston. These conflicts touch us all in many ways.)

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17. Board Game: Barbarossa: Army Group North, 1941 [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:2324]
Fredericus Rex
Germany
Rheinlandpfalz
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In Germany on the 11.11. the karneval session starts each year that's why we don't have some thing like Rememberence Day.

But the sunday before All Saints' Day is called Totensonntag, and at last my family goes each year to the sementary to remember all Dead.

My Grandfather (who is still alive) served in Normandy (before D-Day) and was sent then to the Army Group North. He was wounded twice and spent the rest of the war on garnisonduty in Denmark.

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18. Board Game: Return of the Heroes [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1213] [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Tristan Brightman
United Kingdom
Bristol
Unspecified
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I wrote this today, thinking about what it must take to give up the plans we take for granted, and march off to a long war in a foreign place, knowing that you might never return.


Young men packed up hope
Folded down dreams that would not fit
in khaki kit bags and
(with steady or trembling hand)
took up the gun.

Packed up rightful years
How much - a life - to put aside
Carefully hide in case
(with drawn and fear-scarred face)
of possible return.


Smiles in cold storage
Laid down in colder foreign soil
War-spoilt, for freedom's cost
(and knowing what they lost)
Remember them.
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19. Board Game: Dire Heroes: Gas Attack at Ypres [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Malcolm Green
Canada
Victoria
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My great-grandfather, Fred Cole, was wounded at the Second Battle of Ypres (shrapnel wound to the left thigh) while trying to hold the line after the hole created by the gas attack.

After recovery, he went back into the line and was in the leading wave that took Vimy Ridge where he again was wounded (shot through the arm).

He returned yet again to take his place in the line. Participating in the Last 100 Days as the Canadians, Australians and British put on the big push that finally saw the end to the Great War. Again, he was shot...again, he recovered.

He went on to survive the war. A rarity for a frontline infantryman who joined at the declaration and survived all the way through to the end.

Many thousands did not.

Looking back now through time and history, I can only imagine and not get the slightest experience of what they went through.
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20. RPG Item: No Man's Land [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:2259]
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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Almost forgot but just remembered on time. We must never forget this.
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21. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Switzerland [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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My grandfather, Joseph Goldbarth, was born in Warsaw. He was a traveling salesman, and was in Switzerland when the war started. Making his way back to Poland was not attractive, so he went to Amsterdam and caught a ship for New York. When the US joined the war he was unemployed and subject to the draft. He joined the army with the promise of US citizenship at the end. His unit spent the war in France, but I have no idea about what he did. The only story he ever told about being in the army was the day he was in a big room full of soldiers who were sworn in as US citizens and discharged from the US Army.

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22. Board Game: Opportunity [Average Rating:1.50 Unranked]
Josiah Fiscus
United States
Pittsburgh (Monroeville)
Pennsylvania
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Opportunity

By Edward Rowland Sill

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:--
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel--
That blue blade that the king's son bears, -- but this
Blunt thing--!" he snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.
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23. Board Game: In Flanders Fields [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:6438]
Koen Hendrickx
Belgium
Reet
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I'll wear the poppy, for all those foreigners who came to our flanders fields and payed the highest price, but gained freedom for others.
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24. Board Game: Duel in the Dark [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1155]
Tim Goose
United Kingdom
Hitchin
Hertfordshire
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I wear my Red poppy to remember all those who have served in conflict, not just the armed forces, but the civil services as well, such as the fire brigades who fought the fires during the blitz, and the merchant seaman who braved the horrors of the convoys across the Atlantic.

During the 2 minute silence that occurs throughout the UK on this day I especially remember my father and my uncle, who I never knew. My father served as a signaller in the RAF, mostly in the Western Desert. My uncle was also in the RAF, a gunner in (eventually) 582 squadron flying Lancasters from Little Staughton in Bedfordshire. He was shot down and killed in July '44, I believe on a raid to Salzburg. He is buried in the Military Cemetary at Durnbach.
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25. RPG Item: The Revised Recon [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:4561]
Jeff G
United States
Santa Rosa
California
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For my grandfather who served in WWII, my father and uncle who served in Vietnam. And various relatives and friends who have served in various branches of the military.

Thanks!
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