Sunday, January 25, 2015

Joseph Lappin: The end of an era.

This post was a long time coming and was a hard one to write. Joseph Lappin was a true friend, and a long time gaming buddy. I met Joseph sometime in the fall or winter of 1972 and have been gaming with him ever since. I was blessed to include him in my circle of friends. 

Halifax gamers cira 1984. Joseph wearing the hat
Joseph passed away after a brief illness on November 18. It is difficult to sum up the life of a man, especially in a blog devoted to war gaming.  Joseph is missed by Susan, his wife of almost 30 years and their 3 children as well as by his friends and colleagues. His death was a shock to us all.

Family and life take priority over our little hobby. One of the ways Joesph tried to cope was to have an annual game at some point over the Christmas holidays.  This tradition has been an on-going event for over 20 years. 

WRG 7th Ed Game 1990, Persians vs Vikings (Joseph and I)

The event varied over the years. At times we have played miniatures, and at other times a board game such as Britannia, Merchant of Venus, or Kingmaker was featured. The event included high school buddies, long time wargamers, or family members. It became something that I looked forward to, on my trips home to Halifax. 

Multi-player HOTT Game Christmas 2003

Joseph and Susan, always made me welcome and often I hung up my hat and make use of their guest room. When I stayed with the family, Joseph and I always ended up having an evening of miniature games between the two of us. Favorites included quick games of DBA, HOTT, Blitzkrieg or Cold War Commander.  

Cold War Commander Christmas 2008

DBM Game Christmas 2000; Roman Civil War (Joseph and I)
HOTT Amy Choices Christmas 2007
Joseph: Christmas 2007 HOTT Games

In recent years, the event settled into a routine of some favour of multi-player boardgame. For a number of years, we played Twilight Imperium. In 2011, the game was played by Joseph and his son Andrew, Paul Smith and his son Stuart, Mike Haynes and myself. I didn't get to Halifax in either 2012 or 2013. In 2013, Twilight Imperium was replaced by War of the Ring, which was the game on tap for Christmas 2014. 

Twilight Imperium Game 2011 Robert, Stuart (background), Paul, Andrew and Joseph

Unfortunately, Joseph would not be a participant. Susan, informed Mike, Paul and I that Andrew wanted to host the game in place of his father. I knew that it would be a difficult session, and Mike, Paul and I had more that a few Skype conversations over our feelings about the planned game. 

Andrew and Mike ponder their move: Lord of the Rings

None the less, we decided to move forward, and I for one, am glad that we did. I do not know if next year, there will be a game involving us, at the Lappin residence, but this year there was one last event, played to honour the memory of a good friend. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Charge!-ing into the New Year

The title of this post is not mine. I stole it directly from Ross Mac and his post on a game, in which both he and I were participants. I was home, in Halifax over the Christmas holidays and met up with Lentulus  and Ross Mac on the 2nd day of the new year. 


Tea was enjoyed in the company of the fair sex but as these things then to do do, the ladies retired to binge watch Castle and we tabletop warriors headed upstairs to the sanctum sanctorum. In addition to good company and conversation, the urge to throw some dice on the table soon overtook us.

Ross Mac

Lentulus suggested that we use his 10mm Pendraken 7YW miniatures for a quick game of Ross' Heart of Tin rules. Ross countered with a suggestion that we play a game of Charge!.Not having a copy of the rules available, we relied on Ross for the basics and soon were engaged in a fast and furious encounter on the the Hoft Bridge. 

We diced for sides. I was in command of the Bravants. The units of this force are christened with Quebec place names, and since I was visiting from Montreal, it was à propos that they fell under my command.  

Bravant Field Force Photo 1

Bravant Field Force Photo 2

Ross Mac and Lentulus shared joint command of the Stutz Baerkatz. Both sides had 2 guns under their command alone with a choice of  a mix of six units. These consisted of 24-figure infantry or 9-figure cavalry units. As fools seldom differ, both generals took four foot and two horse units to lead into battle.

The scenario was simple enough. I was to take the bridge and hold it long enough for the engineers to blow it.

Mid-way through the game. My forces are mainly on the left side of the river.
As can be seen from the above photo, I already loss one of my guns. It was destroyed in the first exchange of shot. It was a to prove to be a hard handicap to overcome. To quote Ross Mac directly, 

" An hour or so later as the firing died down and the smoke cleared, it appeared that the turning point had come early when I had chosen to unlimber sooner, moved my gun 6cm with a 50% chance to fire and succeeded, rolled a 4 to hit his artillery at 40cm range (4 ft range band) and then rolled a 6 to destroy Rob's gun before it even had a chance to unlimber. With such small forces and with our side only needing to hold the bridge, that 1 gun superiority tipped the balance with round after round of cannister. Well, after all, what did Napoleon ask?"

A fun time was had by all. 

I have a cousin who lives in Lachine and while under my command I took the opportunity to rename the Lachine Regiment of Foot, Queen Mary's Own in her honour.