Monday, January 2, 2012

Ghosts of Christmas Games Past

The day after Christmas we traveled to visit my wife's family, which for me includes a visit with an old friend and gamer located nearby the in-laws.  As it turned out, another of the old gang happened to be in town, so we had a mini-reunion of the old game group and couldn't pass up the opportunity to push some lead and throw dice.

Long ago, when I was still in college, and had no money for figs, I was a member of a wonderful group of gamers in Canton, Ohio.  Some number of us got together almost daily, and we must have played something on the order of 250 games per year.  In time, employment would eventually take most of us to the farthest reaches of the empire, and our group was no more.

Though our daily battles and silly antics are a thing of memory, last Monday was a flashback to my golden age of gaming.  Mark, who I hadn't actually seen in seven years or more, showed up at Craig's (some of you may know him as Gaming Models Craig) and we played a pick-up WWII game.  Mark must have taken every 15mm WWII German miniature that Craig owns, and I (not paying too much attention to what Mark was doing) took a US Armored Infantry company a platoon of Shermans and small recon element.

A view of the battlefield thrown together by Craig. 
His table is something like 7'x14' and he uses modular foam terrain.

As we started setting up the game, I realized that I was outnumbered something like 30 to 1, so I added an Easy Eight company and four tank destroyers.  I also had air and artillery support available, so now I was only ridiculously out-numbered.

As we were setting up, we were swallowed by an avalanche of silly jokes and bad puns,. I t was 1983 again. 

Mark set up maybe  150 German vehicles and guns and the associated infantry. There were at least ten Tigers among his hoard.  I entered the table with a jeep and an armored car and proclaimed this land liberated. After a few turns of movement, the American and German lead elements clashed, with a handful of jeeps and light armored vehicles fighting an intense micro-battle on this huge table with many hundreds of miniatures.

My recon successfully absorbing a significant portion of the German ammo supply.

A squad of US infantry trying to move around the German right flank. 
This didn't go quite as planned.

Most of the recon elements mutually annihilated, the heavy stuff begins to advance.

The game developed, with the heavier elements moving into range,  and the E8s got an early edge, though my best tank turned out to be the P47.

The Germans advanced, while my Americans stalled , being halted by a combination of German guns and gamer humor. the early success of the easy eights gave way to the mass of Panzers, Stugs and Tigers.  The Shermans still got the occasional lucky shot, but in the end, I was saved by the bell, as time expired, and we had to end our silly holiday battle.

All in all, it was a wonderful time, gaming, laughing, good food, and most of all, great friends.