It wasn't long after that I was in Lost Worlds, traveling with Lord Greystoke and fighting evil with The Shadow. About the same time I discovered 1/72 scale Airfix plastic figures and a company called Avalon Hill. My father bought me my first board game, Stellar Conquest and I bought my second - Panzer Blitz. Not bad for someone who was 11 . . . and the rest they say is history.
Fast forward to the age of 25 and I was an Infantry Captain in the US Army when I met my Beautiful Bride (The Chief of Staff and Minister of Finance). She thought my 15 mm Minifig 42nd Napoleonic Highlanders were "cute". I explained that they were accurate miniature representations of military soldiers from history . . . yeah, she bought that one. Okay, they are toy soldiers.
Somewhere along the way my Beautiful Bride and I picked up 5 Honorable Sons: Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian), Honorable Son #2 (The Captain), Honorable Son #3 (The Engineer), Honorable Son #4 (The best 18th Century General that ever lived) and Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher). These were my geeks in training and over the years we fought many a battle through time and space.
Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian) got married to Daughter-in-Law #1 (The Doctor).
With Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian) I remember getting "for us" Games Workshop's earlier version of Space Marines (now called Epic 40K) for Christmas in 1994; he was 5 years old. He loved the plastic Titan that came with the kit and we spent many a night battling with Space Marines, Space Orks, Eldar tanks and giant robots with our own modified rules. I also remember about a year later when he accidentally knocked some Eldar scout stands on the floor and he stepped on two when he went to pick them up. He was upset that he had broken several of my figures. Not a problem I told him - with the broken figures removed, now the scouts look like they are spread out.
I remember a game with him when he was 8 or 9 when we were stationed in Germany. We were playing Fire and Fury (which I still think is the best war game rules for the American Civil War) and he was the Union and I was the Confederates. I had given him some basic lessons on linear warfare and the formations used for the game. To my surprise, he led with his artillery right out in front with his infantry trailing behind. I tried to unsuccessfully hint to him, that he might want to hold up and wait for his infantry to support his guns. I was unsuccessful in my suggestions on how his army should advance on the tabletop field of battle. I was determined to teach him a gentle lesson and seize his guns. As the soldiers of the South started to move into assault position and take the guns, I was dumb-founded as he calmly unlimbered his artillery batteries and decimated the gray and butternut hordes (Malvern Hill anyone?) that came within his range. My forces broken and his infantry advancing he remarked to me, "This is a fun game and I liked the way you painted the guys in the red hats (the 14th NY).
He always liked robots, Gundam, and Japanese anime. It was no surprise that during High School he decided to build Tau forces for GW's Warhammer 40K. GW pioneered the hobby with multi-part hard plastic figures which allow more figure variety and easier figure conversions. He wanted a unique figure for one of his squad leaders and I'll never forget how proud he was when he converted his first figure by cutting and repositioning an arm to hold a helmet - instant unique figure for his leader. But I won't mention how many times his Tau decimated my proud Imperial Guard (The Guard's motto: "If we don't take at least 85% casualties, we aren't trying hard enough!).
Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) got married to Daughter-in-Law #2 (The Lawyer). For him, the more figures on the dining room table, the better. Whether it was the sands of North Africa (where in one game my Afrika Korps pulled defeat out of the jaws of victory against his Australians) to 5th Century Europe and into the ECW - this guy likes figures on the table.
Nothing fancy for us at all. Just line 'em up and point them in the right direction - we are professional warriors after all!
Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) drinking his secret weapon - hot coffee.
During a Late Roman Civil War Honorable Son #2 (The Captain) crushed me.
Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher) is still in college, is now the closes of the 5, and is forced, umm, I mean asked to play the most games now. He is also the famous Witch Kind of Sokar and we are rapidly working on updating our characters for IHMN2.
He's my Lord of the Rings player and GW's Lord of the Rings game plus Warmaster got him going with gaming. Of all the boys, he really likes games where figures represent one figure but does enjoy the occasional massed battle - especially if there are elves, orcs and dwarves. Also you have to deal with his devastating wit during a game. I still convinced it was his wit that destroyed the Russian Forces at the recent Battle of Malana during the Anglo-Russian War.
These are my boys and now I have daughters. God has truly blessed me. Happy Father's Day.