The Game of the Week was Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918 (Clash of Arms Games, 1994). My intent for Game of the Week is to set up and play a solo game to rediscover or further explore a particular wargame. This week turned out a little different.
To learn the basics of the game I set up the Fast Play scenario and started stepping through it. Not long into the first turn Youngest RMN Boy can up to the loft (where my small game table is) and sat down asking, “What’s this?”
I swept the German counters over to him, pushing the French on my side. Quickly explaining the basics of the rules, I invited him to play.
The game took us two nights as we were just playing it in the short time after dinner and chores and bedtime routines. The French won the battle, barely, by Close Assaulting a lone German infantry platoon in the town and eliminating them on the last turn.
Youngest RMN Boy was slightly dejected as he thought he was going to last through the turn and win. I pointed out to him he did better than the historical situation.
“Yes, Rommel only made it to the woods,” I said as I pointed to the map.
“Rommel? I did better than Rommel!?”
I read to him the entire scenario description, including the title (“Rommel at the Argonne”) and the historical result.
“I did better than Rommel!” he exclaimed.
It was at this point I realized that he actually knows who Erwin Rommel is. I should of realized it as we had talked about him when we played Panzer and he had recently read an old copy of Ballantine Books’ Panzer Division: The Mailed Fist by John Macksey that we picked up at a used book store.
It was really awesome to see him connect to history. Making those connections is a major reason I played wargames for the past 40 years. Seeing him make those same connections assures me he will continue playing for the next 40.