How BGG helped bond me and my brother
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
Cheshire
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I wasnt't too sure what to call the title of this geeklist but I think this is the most apt.

My brother is 13 years older than me and he has always lived at home until a few years ago. When I was born my father was 51 years old and had his own business to run so my brother often took me to places on Sunday afternoons, bought me things and generaly treated me like a dad.

When I left home at the age of 19 to live with my girlfriend, soon to be wife, I like a lot of other sons never really visited my parents as often as I should and never really saw my brother except for the odd hour or two each week, which soon stretched to every month. Trying not to be too unkind to my brother hes socially inept, he laughs loudly at things which are not funny, often mispronounces words and would stare at women without realising it. I could go on but I wont.

Then in March 2006 something happend that made me think differently. 2 family friends died followed a few weeks later by my mum, the same week my mum died my brother had found out he had cancerous cells on his muscle tissue in one arm and in July of that year he had to have his arm amputated, shoulder blade included. He took all of this in his stride and never once seemed down about it. I admired him for this and I sort of realised then that, borrowing a Hollies song, "He aint heavy, he's my brother".

This Geeklist is a list of games that me and my brother have played with the exception of one of them which actually got me into board wargaming.


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1. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14501]
Confusion Under Fire
United Kingdom
Warrington
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Because of the age gap between me and Pete and as he lived at home he had lots of spare cash and we had lots of plastic soldiers which we would fondly throw pieces of lego at. This I am sure moulded my future love of wargaming.

The first boardgame I remember playing was Risk, I dont remember too much about what happened during play but I remember the board being larger than your average boardgame.
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2. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15319]
Confusion Under Fire
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Warrington
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We played Monopoly but again dont remember too many details.
 
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3. Board Game: Monaco Grand Prix [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Confusion Under Fire
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My brother used to take me to various race circuits around England to watch motor racing, for the first few times i just messed about but after the British Grand Prix (1977 i think) i got hooked.

The game seemed different to anything else we had played before it.
 
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4. Board Game: Escape from Colditz [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1435]
Confusion Under Fire
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In this game one player plays the German security guards and the other players elect a country's POWs. No one ever wanted to play the Germans but my brother always offered to play them and me and my school mates would take on the role of the allies.
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5. Board Game: Panzer Leader [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1917]
Confusion Under Fire
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In 1978 my brother bought Panzer Leader. neither of us had seen anything more difficult than Risk. He looked at the rules and then put it all away again unplayed.

I then got into figure (minis) gaming in a big way and this lasted some 20 years. I used my own rules as most of the rulesets were ugly, while I was figure gaming my brother chose the easier option of computer gaming. I remember my brother giving me a PC for xmas one year (about 1994).

I became disillusioned with figure gaming and I decided to have a look at Panzer Leader again, it took me several efforts and quite a few months to understand the basics, but I was getting there. When I did eventualy get to grips with the game I played it non stop on my own. I did try once to teach my brother but it was no good. You dont realise how much you have learnt about a game until you come to teach someone else the rules. I then went on to purchase more board wargames of the solitaire variety. It was strange that my non board wargaming brother actually got me into board wargaming
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6. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Confusion Under Fire
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When my mum died and my brother was diagnosed with cancer my sister my brother and myself became a lot closer as a family, I would invite my brother over to watch the football on the tv and make a day of it, we would go out places for the day computer shows etc. One day while reminiscing about Panzer Leader i came across BGG and discovered Memoir '44, this was a wargame, yet with easy rules. This would be fantastic to play with my brother and I thought the first rung of a difficulty ladder. Tide of Iron and Commander: Europe to follow with maybe the odd easy scenario from Panzer Leader thrown in on a home made enlarged map.

I bought Memoir '44 from the marketplace and a few hours after i paid I had a phone call from my sister saying that the doctor in one my brothers routine check ups had found a shadow on his knee and in both lungs. Earlier this week we went to the hospital to find out what could be done and they said that chemotherapy in his rare form of cancer had never been successful, I asked the question how long before he feels uncomfortable, I was expecting the answer in years the doctor said 6 months then another 6 months after that...we just stood in silence, my brother was his usual self. For 20 seconds it sunk in for him but after that he just accepted the decision. He took it on the chin.

After all the wargames that me and my brother have played separately both board and comnputer games it will be Memoir the one game we played together that I will never sell. Memoir seems an apt title.



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7. Board Game: Sum-Up [Average Rating:4.81 Unranked]
Confusion Under Fire
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Warrington
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In summary I owe a lot to my brother, he got me into board gaming, wargaming and computers, but most of all I have learnt that my brother is amazing, his generosity, his fight against the inevitable and his knowledge of war is abounding, he has beat me every time we have played Memoir. I am glad I have realised before it really is too late how good he has been to me and hopefully in the last months of his life I can try to repay him back for all the goodness he has given me over the last 45 years.

I will miss you Pete
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