My dad passed away in his sleep Friday morning. We're still kind of in shock, particularly my mom, but are doing well. He had not been sick and suspect that he'd over-exerted himself earlier in the day doing yardwork.
My dad and I were very different people but I've always striven to match his core values of honor and truthfulness. You always knew where he stood and where you stood with him - there was very little gray area. I'm really going to miss his stories and making him laugh. There were so many little things that happened yesterday between the police, funeral home, bank, etc that he'd have gotten such a kick out of. I can see that whole 18-hour whirlwind very clearly as one of his after-dinner stories. I suppose in a few years it'll be one of mine.
With the approval of my sisters, I wrote his obituary which I share here:
LTC (Ret) James Anthony “Rik” Rekowski – Savannah – Rik Rekowski of Savannah, Georgia passed away suddenly in the early morning hours of November 18, 2016 at the age of 79. Rik was a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rik was the son of Josephine and Anthony Rekowski, who preceded him in death. He is survived his wife Catherine, his brother, Norman “Rik” Rekowski of Mesa, Arizona, his daughters Angela and Diana and son Christian, as well as many grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Rik was a Vietnam veteran of the US Army and after 23 years of military service became an accountant and small business consultant. He was an active member of St. James Catholic Church and always enjoyed learning new things, sharing his experiences and stories and spending time with family and friends. He has also left his entry to the annual Christmas art contest well-hidden and risks disqualification if we can’t find it.
Ziggy and I broke out the "Age of Reason" minis Saturday for our first game of Rank and File. I had picked up the rules a week prior on WargameVault on Steven's recommendation. Being a relatively uncomplicated set of rules, I quickly whipped up two lists and we wrapped our heads around them without a whole lot of trouble.
I herded the Turks while Zig commanded the Generic European Power. We randomly determined our commanders' talent levels and mine was disappointing - no bonus, no re-rolls. Count de Monet on the other hand was a +1 with one re-roll. There were two objectives on the table marked by the green and red spots at the bridge and farm.
We lined up in columns to quickly take up positions...
The Turks prepare to move out.
The hand of fate positions a unit of Guards infantry at the farm. I've got two infantry battalions and a cavalry unit in the area.
My central cavalry unit charges the Guards while the hand of fate moves a second unit of veteran infantry off to my right. The Empress' cavalry charges my horsemen. It's bad news for me!
I turn the tables and send the other infantry battalion in the middle off to the right and the bridge. I figure I should be able to outnumber them somewhere.
Perhaps foolhardily, I sent cavalry across the bridge in an attempt to rattle the musketeers on the far side.
And the cavalry? Tsk tsk tsk... to shreds you say?
The left side of the battlefield. We've got a cavalry duel on the far left. My cavalry in the middle was run off while the ground-pounders set up shop around the farm.
The Hapsburg (?) cavalry on the left are seen off by their Turkish counterparts while the squadron in the center smash into a battalion of my musketeers causing them to fall back. A strong volley on my right causes the Imperial infantry to fall back. The bridge is within my grasp!
A turn later and the situation changes again. Ziggy's veterans in the middle charge my infantry. I return the favor with my cavalry. His artillery does enough damage to my horsemen to cause them to fail their charge!
The veteran infantry utterly fails its melee rolls, while I managed a single hit. I had won the combat! In the interest of honor, I reminded Z of his commander re-roll, he re-rolled and got a 6. We'd drawn the combat and fought another round. During the second round, the Guards handily beat my line infantry and my troops fled. What a tragic reversal of fortune!
And there they go! Boooooo.....
But in the center, the cavalry I'd sent around the left flank had finally gotten to take a run at the enemy infantry and sent them packing!
A turn or two later, I'd gotten my infantry in the middle ready to rock and they charged the reduced-strength veteran infantry defending the farm. The cavalry couldn't join in since they were still suffering from morale issues. Of course the defending infantry caused a casualty with defensive fire forcing one unit to fail its charge and a cannon shot (out of frame) caused the other unit to waver. Blast!
After that failure, my army really just crumbled. Every unit panicked for one reason or another and I couldn't get them together. All of Z's units rallied, reloaded and reorganized. It was over for the Turks that day.
Now that was a darn entertaining game! One of the more amusing aspects of this game was the truly terrible dice rolls we both had. I'll be the first to admit - my dice rolls tend to be somewhere between "above average" and "holy shit." Zig's tend to skew towards "crap." Saturday night it was bad all around. One of the most memorable moments was when his Guards charged my shlub infantry and screwed it all up. Having his commander handy for that one, single, solitaire re-roll was so influential to the outcome of the game. I'll never forgive myself for reminding him to use it. Ah well, it was the honorable thing to do.
We certainly messed up a few things, but they were "even" mistakes that affected us both equally. I've gone back to the RAW and found clarifications for our in game questions. R&F may be the best $10 I've spent on gaming stuff this year. I'm really looking forward to some scenario play. Ziggy rather enjoyed it and Mike seemed very interested as I was sending out in-game pics.
On our bi-weekly visit to Wal Mart this morning, I hit up the Christmas section. Seems like Halloween was just a couple of weeks ago... That's beside the point though. I did come across these lovelies for a mere $1.82 each!
That's a 15mm and 1/72 figure in front. The buildings will work acceptably for either scale I think. For buildings, footprint is a major consideration and these will do nicely for blocking LOS. I plan to re-paint them, they are a bit gaudy, but for that price I couldn't pass on them.
Afterwards, my wife and I hit up a thrift store and this Christmas ornament caught my eye, since it's essentially 6mm scale (with some nasty Turks for comparison).
I'm not sure if I'll leave it as a gingerbread house or repaint it as more of an eastern European farm house. A fun little pickup for less than a buck!
Zig brought out his Polish-Lithuanian force for DW for the first time last Saturday. He's done a great job painting them and I was thrilled to finally have a go at them. We put together 1200-point forces and I used Prussians which hadn't made it onto the table in quite a while.
The Prussian force deployed. For my mission, I drew "destroy 50% including all mediums." At long last a mission card I approved of.
And the PLC. Poor Z was tasked with destroying all three of my Large and Massive units.
He's done a very nice job with the paintbrush! Too bad they'd all have to deal with the "just painted" curse.
Early into the proceedings my Imperium Sky Fort double-crits a bombard from range 4. This was promising!
The forces move together.
Easily my favorite DW model - the Seydlitz mobile airfield. The Polish recon plane had marked it as an artillery target.
My single greatest shot ever in DW. The Sturmpanzer targeted a distant flame tank, causing a magazine explosion! The ensuing explosion critted two of the flame tank's squadron-mates and completely wiped out a squadron of small tanks just in front. Six kills in one shot. That's efficiency!
It wasn't all fun and games though as the Imperium began taking hits. Oh the humanity!
A turn later and the mighty sky fortress was brought down. This was the first time I'd ever had it destroyed in a game.
Z's joy was fleeting though as my bombards (lower left) rained fiery doom on the Polish Rarog mega-tank. You can't see it here, but I also managed a magazine explosion crit on it to the tune of 5 damage. Zig was incredulous. The Sturmpazer finished it off a few activations later.
Speaking of Sturmpanzers...
Turn three got off to a brutal start with the Polish sky fortress and Grom sliding forward and hitting my A9-V with a mighty triple-crit! No magazine explosions or other wackiness, just a big smoking wreck.
But the crazy crits weren't yet exhausted. Some Polish mediums rolled up to a squadron of A6-Vs, magazine explosioning one. The explosion killed off two nearby infantry stands, triggered a Sturginium Flare in a squadmate and wrecked the engine of a third tank. Awesome.
I put a lot of effort into killing the Grom and then the Zamiec, but I just couldn't bring down the big carrier.
After three turns, the score was Prussians - 735, Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth - 505. Ziggy still had to bring down my undamaged Seydlitz while I only had one more medium to finish off. We decided to call the game there with the Prussians firmly in the driver's seat.
The PLC are scary. They're a close-range faction with enough tools to get up close and personal without much trouble. I had a few very exceptional attacks that took the wind out of Zig's sails throughout the game - the morale hit was noticeable. Now that the "new army" curse has been burned off, I am very worried about my next game against them. Honestly, I was trying my damnedest to keep them at bay as long as possible. The Prussian land forces did not disappoint and although my force is very 1.0, they're strong contenders - I do enjoy playing with them.
I've had some 1/600 bombers in the queue for many months which finally made it through last evening. They are Il-28 Beagles and Canberras, bought specifically for a couple of CY6:JA scenarios.
Part of the delay was that the first time I sprayed their base coat, it went on very coarse, like sand paper, requiring a strip and re-do. I guess if that's going to happen, small metal models that are easy to strip are the ideal victims.
Beagles in North Vietnamese and Syrian / Egyptian colors. Canberras with RAF markings.
One of these days they may make it onto the gaming table.