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Subject: The happy wargaming thread! rss

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Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
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"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
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There are a lot of sad and depressed wargamers around the traps today. I don't mean to detract attention from the serious and important discussions taking place elsewhere, but I think it's important to also take time to look at the bright side of life and of wargaming (and this is supported by scholarly research: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/026999396380222).

So, in the hope of cheering some people up, what are some of the happiest wargaming experiences/memories you have?

For me, the most fun I've ever had was playing an 8-12 player game of Close Action using model ships at a 'Paddington Bears' meeting in Sydney in about 2007-8 (there were a lot of people there, I'm not sure exactly how many).

Most of us controlled just 1 ship each (a few experienced players controlled 2 ships each which were in different parts of the line/battle). It was one of my first 'serious wargaming' experiences (I had previously only really played TS, C&C:A, and maybe Paths of Glory), and I loved it! It was great to talk to other gamers throughout the day about 'stuff', but we weren't allowed to talk about strategy/tactics due to the fog-of-war (captains of ships can't communicate with each other to reflect the situation at the time - they can only use 'signal flags' to send 3-5 word messages (depending on the importance of your ship) to others.

I'm pretty sure we lost the battle, but my ship survived, I never crashed into another ship, and I had a great time sailing around (quite literally 'circling') the focus/heat of the battle. It also kick-started my interest in wargaming.


Note: this is not a picture of that battle, but this is pretty much what it looked like:

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Jonathan Harrison
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That's a great shot. I slavered over it in particular a couple weeks ago just before I broke down and ordered Close Action myself, along with its two follow-up folios. Can't wait to play it.
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Jonathan Harrison
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My favorite wargaming experience is every time I learn a new wargame.
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Jon
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Lots of happy memories, but here is just one off the top of my head.

I actually was not playing, but I remember watching my brother and brother-in-law play a scenario from PanzerBlitz. What made it special was that we were outside on a glorious summer day under the shade of a huge tree. There may have been gin and tonics involved. Someone took our picture and there are the two of them in deep thought, one staring at the board and another looking up a rule, and me in the middle with the biggest dumb ass grin on my face.

That was well over twenty years ago, yet I remember it like it was from last month.
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Jack Bennett
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Well, I came on to post this in its own thread, but I'll add it to yours instead!

My birthday is May 13th. One month from tomorrow. My beautiful and amazing wife is always on the lookout for something special for me. She really gets into gift-giving and is very good at it. It's a skill, for sure, and I don't posses it.

She was at work today when a delivery truck came by and dropped off a box on the front door. After finally getting the dogs to chill the hell out, I went out and grabbed it and brought it in. I didn't look at. I was sure it was for her (this time of year she gets lots of packages: new gardening stuff). I set it on the couch and went about my business.

After cooking lunch I went in to go sit on the couch and read (I'm reading The Gun, a very excellent and recommended book about the history of the AK-47 [and machine guns in general]). I looked at the box and noticed what was on the side:



I called her immediately.

"You, uh, been ordering a lot of stuff from Multiman Publishing lately?"

She was ticked that the box had given it away. When she got home she went ahead a let me open it (a month early!).

Inside was the nice dark green box of Where Eagles Dare. I'd been reading the rules to The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen, so the game was out. She'd done her research and found this was the next game I'd want. Man, she's good.

Happy wargaming!
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Although Paths of Glory may seem a bit light, this is one wargame that I can always talk my neighbor in to, despite the fact that he has lost each and every single game we have played. We consistently switch sides (for the most part, but lately he has been dedicated to the Central Powers) and he still cannot seem to pull off a win. As far as "happiness in wargaming" goes, though, no matter how many times he loses he wears a grin at the end of each game. We always talk about our fears and risks taken during the game at the end of each session, and I constantly offer him alternative ideas to his strategies, but at the end of the day, win or lose, we both had a lot of fun. That is my "happiness in wargaming," it seems that regardless of which wargame I play, at the end of it, no matter what, I grin like an idiot at the simple joy we had just pushing cardboard around on paper. Really, there's just nothing else quite like it...
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Jonathan Harrison
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pusherman42 wrote:
My beautiful and amazing wife is always on the lookout for something special for me. She really gets into gift-giving and is very good at it.

Chief of all virtues for the wife of a wargamer.
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Jonathan Harrison
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@StAtiC9: That was a great story.
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Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
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"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
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The wargaming threads are not dead yet..."I feel happy!"

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J.L. Robert
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Most vivid wargaming memory I have was a double-blind game of Sniper! (first edition) that I played at Cornell University's Pentecon I.

I had spread out my US squad in the town when gunfire erupted. One of my GI's dived into a building, only to find 2 Germans turning to face him. He proceeded to run around the corner and down the hall...with more Germans in just about every room. I had found their main firebase! Somehow, my trooper was able to successfully race down the hallway and out the building without getting hit!

Meanwhile, those first 2 Germans had slipped around my flank, and had burst into a room with a pair of my soldiers in front of them. Unfortunately for the Germans, one of them had a loaded bazooka and was in the process of firing it at the building my other GI had raced through. The backblast disoriented them long enough for my loader to get his Tommy Gun and finish them off!
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Jeff Perrella
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Reminds me of my awesome b-day this year. My wife is tolerant and even mildly supportive of my gaming habit (read: obsession) but is utterly uninterested. She actually went to my FLGS and asked everyone there which game I've been drooling over the most and surprised me with a copy of Combat Commander: Pacific. TOTAL surprise, it was a great gift. (and they were right, it was the game I had drooling over the most)

The OP reminded me of a more recent memory. From tonight, in fact. I went to the game store planning on getting some hobby work done (the store has a great workspace and I usually get a lot done there). One of the guys had Flying Colors set up and his scheduled opponent didn't show, so he offered to teach it to me instead. WHAT A GREAT GAME!!!! I've been interested in it for a while, glad I got to play. Close game, but I lost. Didn't even mind losing, it was a well fought battle and we had a blast. Can't wait to play again.

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Best gaming memory... the one that stands out was a six player team game of Napoleon's Triumph last year. As the French supreme commander I had put us in a tight spot and was literally two morale from losing and something like eight morale down compared to the Allies. Two turns later however my sub commander on the right flank had shattered two corps facing him. Combining with some clever maneuvering of my troops which sucked an Allied corps into an over-extended position and a timely guard infantry attack, that won the game for us!
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Robert Wesley
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yeah! Since I just finished a PC "Axis & Allies" where USA invaded Japan on Round 13 and WON, while then with Russia took "on & out" upon Germany in Round 14!. cool
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Benny
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That's wonderful. Good for you! I've always wanted to have a haunted house. It's been my lifelong dream!
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I think my happiest memory was when I was final able to string together an attack followed by an exploit overrun and bring reserves in to mop up in Sicily. Having all the pieces come together to get the job done was pretty magical. This is why OCS is awesome even if I still stink at it in general.
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mochara c
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Boxing Day 1978, figuring out the rules & playing the first couple scenarios of Tobruk with my uncle, who had given me the game for Christmas the day before. I had never seen nor heard of a wargame until then.

Got a similar warm & fuzzy feeling whilst playing a cobbled-together campaign game of Dzerhezinsky Tractor Works for ASL quite a few years ago. We had just hit this perfect combination of a tense, engaging battle and two opponents who were enjoying not only the game, but each other's company. The intensity, the parity and the even just the ebb & flow of that multi-day campaign is something I've not been able to capture since.
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Paul Franklin
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I think mine was probably when
Colin Hunter
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and I finished our first game of Three Battles of Manassas. I sat back and marveled at the awesomeness that was CWB and the fact I got to play with such an excellent opponent.
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Jim Ransom
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I got into wargaming in the late 60s/early 70s with several AH classics. My younger brother watched me playing solo on the floor of my room, or with friends. Eventually he got interested enough to get a few games himself -- games that I didn't have, of course!

One of my happiest, most vivid memories was being invited to HIS room to play HIS game Richthofen's War, which was so totally different from my Afrika Korps, Gettysburg, Blitzkrieg, and The Battle of the Bulge land warfare games. Although I was 2 years older, he cleaned my clock over and over again, and we had so much fun with each other over a few weeks. Looking back, we both agree that Richthofen's War wasn't the greatest wargame ever made, but we sure did have a great time together.

Today, I have introduced him to BGG, and like me, my brother is slowly rediscovering the pure joys of hex and cardboard wargames.
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A DYO, massive Squad - COD scenario that took up over 125 square feet and 80+ mapboards. Twenty-two adolescent, high-school knuckleheads running around for three days in a borrowed Knights of Columbus gymnasium, which was conveniently situated above our town's public library, which was our normal Saturday wargaming location.

I commanded a German armor group, something like 30 Mark IVs and a few Panthers. The funniest moment was when the column had to cross a bridge and my other friend was playing the Partisans.... he positioned his squads on top of the bridge (we let him crawl up) and he kept lobbing Molotov's down on top of my armor, so I went CE just to stick it to him.

Needless to say, the Molotovs didn't hit, the armor column snuck over the bridge and helped encircle some American paratroopers landing six boards away.

Thinking back... if my friend would have had a lucky hit on my command tank, that would have been really, really ugly for me.
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John Bobek
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My personal favorite of all time games was a mini campaign run and judged by my friend and game designer, Kevin Cabai. It was a Cold War Russian attack in the Fulda Gap in West Germany. I had a dozen cobras and two scout helos while my buddy Bob Mijonovich had an armored cav company to hold the river against an attack by a reenforced Soviet armored regiment. To make matters more iffy, Kevin's rules didn't have any unit morale so there was no way to generate a rout to stem the flow of over a hundred afv's.

Kevin gave us a topographic map for us to plan our defense. I saw that there was only one good way to cross the river where the slopes weren't so steep the armor would pile up. I deployed the infantry and scouted with my helos till the Soviets approached. They shot down one of the scouts. I then mobilized my cobras.

There was a tall hill (baby mountain in some places) and I used it to fly my cobras hiding behind it, swinging round, firing TOW, then flying behind it to let the next cobra to repeat the step. All in all, we wreaked such havoc on the Soviets (I took out their ZSU's first), that at the loss of one cobra and one squad of infantry, we stopped the Soviet armored juggernaut in its tracks. The Soviet players quit after about 60 of their AFV's were toasted. A very lop sided victory, all because I was good at reading a topo map!!!
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Ben Delp
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Benjro wrote:
I think my happiest memory was when I was final able to string together an attack followed by an exploit overrun and bring reserves in to mop up in Sicily. Having all the pieces come together to get the job done was pretty magical. This is why OCS is awesome even if I still stink at it in general.


The feeling one gets when a plan comes off exactly the way it's supposed to is pretty special. I still get that feeling. Probably because for me, it's pretty rare...

*************

P.S. I'm thumbing liberally today. I don't know if that will make me or anyone else feel any better, but I'm gonna give it a shot.
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Andy Beaton
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I'd go with an ASL game of The Commissar's House I played a few years ago. I had only recently returned to the game, and I was playing a local player who had pwned me something fierce in recent games; he was a much better player than I was. By the fourth die roll of the game, I was down my two best leaders to snipers, but I fought it out to the bitter end and on the last turn, fired at an empty, inaccessible upper story building location. I rolled well and revealed the last hidden Russian unit, which then got hammered to pieces by all the other fire I could muster, giving me the win.
I was proud of that win; I started out in the hole, and clawed back a win against a better player in a real knock-down brawl.
And was it ever as fun as hell!
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Mike Hall
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Catching up with old friends in the hobby, and playing FTF
with one of them, after a 25-30 year hiatus. Also meeting new friends here on the Geek, for me it's more about the interaction with an opponent than the actual game itself. FTF or online I'm having fun, a great diversion from real life.

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Jim F
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Taking part in a Combat Commander competition at the UK Games Expo a couple of years ago rates very highly. A weekend of my favourite games with some very friendly opponents, a number of whom are regulars on here.

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David Janik-Jones
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Great War Commander, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander Europe, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Combat Commander Pacific
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Pretty much any time I crack open Up Front and play face-to-face.

I know there will always be moments of laughter, groans, absolute "pulled-out-of-your-a$$" victories, crushing defeats, good-humoured taunting, and I'll be left with a satisfying story of the battle for every single time I play.

Last game involved a US MG that just wouldn't die on that bloody hill who kept blithely scything down two sections of my crack German troopers, both hung up during their movements. Immensely satisfying none-the-less.
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Carl Paradis
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My best wargaming experience ever?

Well, there are two.

- In the early 1980's, the "Tobruk", "Wooded Ships & Iron Men" and "Kingmaker" games I played with my teenage friends.

- In 2008, when I started designing wargames and testing what I had created.

Ahhh... Almost forgot: In 2007 too, when my Girlfriend kicked my butt at "Combat Commander", but made it all better for me later that night.

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