Although the early focus of The Royal Canadian Legion’s Operation VetBuild was on hobbies such as scale model building, it recently expanded to include TableTop wargaming.
The second such session, held on August 15 at Edmonton's Kingsway Legion Branch 175, was a very large game loosely based on the Second World War Battle of Kursk between Soviet and German forces. Like other similar games, it was played with miniature models of soldiers, artillery and vehicles on a tabletop model battlefield.
This particular battle was called on time after two and a half hours, but since the “Russians” managed to destroy more “German” platoons, total points earned determined the winner.
Tactical and task-driven TableTop games provide a sense of familiarity for Veterans, especially those who find it difficult to make the transition to life as regular civilians. They not only miss the structure, routines and habits that guided them when they served but also may feel isolated – even disconnected – from society.
Since the competition involves two players per side, success is determined by teamwork and a shared purpose. The very nature of the game provides Veterans with a way to re-connect with peers and others in their communities
“This new initiative gives vets who enjoy wargaming a new venue in which to meet and interact with other vets,” says Anthony Sewards, CD Operation VetBuild’s Vice National Program Coordinator. “It’s also about having a great time at the Legion branch."
Free sessions open to all Veterans in the community
On a personal level, this Legion Operational Stress Injury Special Section (Legion OSI) program creates opportunities for Veterans to learn new skills and reduce stress in a supportive environment.
Whether this is achieved through model building or wargaming, all CAF Veterans and former RCMP members, along with immediate family, are welcome to attend the free weekly programs whether or not they are Legion members.
More information on upcoming sessions and locations is available on the Operation VetBuild Facebook page.