FAREWELL TO ARMS: A tribute to Paul Shabatowski RIP 14 May 2019
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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While I was out of the country last month, my good friend
Paul Shabatowski
Canada
Stittsville
Ontario
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finally lost his two-year battle with stomach cancer. Yesterday would have been his 51st birthday.

To call Paul an enthusiastic gamer is an understatement. He delighted in finding and introducing new games to our group. He was diligent in rules-bashing such titles, coherent in explaining them, endlessly patient in teaching them - and almost invariably wrong about one (and just one) rule laugh

Paul especially enjoyed playing games with miniatures, and was both passionate about and very skillful in painting them. He felt it was sacrilege to play a game with minis that had not yet been painted.



Ottawa's Warwick Club salutes Paul Shabatowski a few days after he passed on May 14, 2019

Above all, Paul was a true gentleman, both quiet and kind. He genuinely enjoyed playing without regard to winning. He devoted his final two years to bringing as many new titles to the table as possible, and summed up his struggle earlier this year by saying: "At the worst time in my life, I am having the best time of my life."

What follows is a list of just some of the games through which Paul touched me in special ways. Please join me in offering tribute to a great gamer, and in offering support to his wife Lara.

If you know Paul, please feel free to add your own gaming experiences and comments.
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1. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:123] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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It seems fitting to start this memorial list with Memoir 44. This series has Paul's only game rating of 10. He owned the entire series, and painted the minis for all of them. This amazing set has been passed to a member of our group.
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2. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:124]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Paul introduced this series to me shortly after his diagnosis in 2017, and we set aside days to play this one-on-one. I have become a huge fan. I think the combination of cards and rules does a great job of combining the importance of good tactics in infantry battles with the sheer chaos of combat.

We were getting set to tackle the Stalingrad battle pack when we ran out of time.
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3. Board Game: Game of Politics, or Race For the Presidency [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This 1887 classic is the oldest game that I played with Paul, and the oldest U.S. political game I own. Paul and I played it as part of my (uncompleted) effort to mark Canada's 150th birthday by playing 150 games, one published in each year from 1867 to 2017.

The game is remarkably sophisticated for its time, and remains very playable today. Essentially, a set of money cards is dealt to each player, and they take turns playing an initial card, which the opponent must either beat, match or surrender to. Whichever player plays the highest card moves his candidate up by a number of spaces equal to the difference.

There is obviously a lot of luck in the deal, but hand management is key as candidates advance through three preliminary levels (Mayor, Governor and Congressman) before tackling the Senate and Presidential state-by-state votes.
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4. Board Game: L'Attaque [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:12744]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This is the oldest wargame I played with Paul, a 1909 first edition of L'Attaque that I brought to the table as part of my Canada 150 project.



Our game showed why this game achieved lasting appeal. We both attacked on our left flanks, with Paul sending his army commander forward with a lone escort, but stopping one space short of a hidden minefield. I burned scouts on the front line before sending a colonel and brigadier forward with a sapper and lieutenant. This force held the momentum, clearing that side of the board before the brigadiers mutually annihilated and my colonel stumbled onto a minefield.

As my lone remaining colonel followed up, the lieutenant led a charmed life clearing the back rank in one attack after another, eventually claiming the flag after a miraculous and lonely run: Chevalier du Legion d’honneur at the very least! If only Paul had realized that the lieutenant accompanying his general on his original thrust was just one move and attack away from my flag...
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5. Board Game: Pass and Score [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Paul and I also played this 50-year-old game of hockey, without which no Canadian list would be complete.

Despite its age, this remains what I consider the best and most playable simulation of Canada's favourite game. It is simple to play: each player has six pawns on a rink of circles that allow movement in 8 directions. Each turn a player makes three moves that are a combination of the following: move a pawn one space (maximum two per pawn in a turn); pass the puck to another pawn along any straight line; shoot at the goal from one of the designated circles around the net.



“Slide” lines allow bursts of speed. You get control of the puck by moving onto the same space as the carrier and checking him into an adjoining space. The result is a game where the tactics for success closely mirror those used on the ice. Add in the rule that each player has only 15 seconds to make those three moves (losing a pawn for a 2-minute penalty for a violation), and you've got a really intense game. You need to plan ahead, but you have to think on the fly.

In the game I played with Paul in July, 2017, I scored the first goal by checking Paul off the puck and sending wingers flying up both sides. As Paul scrambled back, my centre moved up, took a pass and scored at 4:41. Paul came back with a full court press, checking me in the crease and stuffing the puck home at 9:52. Then it was my turn again: I managed to set up a two-on-one, with a sharp pass from right wing to left wing, and a one-timer into the net as the first period neared its close. Once we'd got the hang of the rhythm, we both got more cautious and played a careful positional game, with no more scoring until I squeezed in a final tic-tac-whack in the dying minutes for a final score of 3-1.
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6. Board Game: 1955: The War of Espionage [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:5825]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Paul called this game "Twilight Struggle Lite", and introduced it to me during one of his first chemotherapy sessions at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital. It is a fun and quick, back and forth battle that plays with a small footprint, which was important given the limited table space available in the ward.
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7. Board Game: Battle Line [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:200]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This two-player is another small-footprint game we played multiple times during chemo sessions. I in turn taught it to my daughter Ruth, and it is one our top head-to-head games.
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8. Board Game: Crude: The Oil Game [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2048]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This is a fun game, a bit too dice-dependent to make my top tier, but Paul not only introduced it to the group - he did so after doing an amazing paint job on all the oil rigs, refineries and gas stations.
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9. Board Game: The Colonists [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:364]
David Patterson
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Ottawa
Ontario
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Paul introduced all sorts of games to our group. This is an example of one of the heavies - a superb if rather long game. It does not get played often, but is a favourite on the occasions that we have a full day for gaming.

We had our last play just after Christmas of 2018.
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10. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:287]
David Patterson
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Ottawa
Ontario
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I am not generally a fan of co-op games, but this series is an exception. After introducing the base game, Paul challenged us with the expansions. I remember a particularly brutal and ultimately fatal battle in a submarine...
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11. Board Game: Alhambra: Big Box [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This was one of Paul's favourites at any time. He loved the flexibility offered by the multiple and interchangeable expansions in the Big Box, which he had rated at 9.5.
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12. Board Game: Canterbury [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2385]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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As Paul put it, this game has nothing actually to do with Canterbury, but the name is pasted onto a really good game. Several of our group now have copies.
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13. Board Game: Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:690]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This was one of his later introductions to our group, and is a superb game to bring to the table when we need to accommodate large numbers. Its beauty lies in the fact that each player is only negotiating with two neighbours, which means that a 7-player session can play as quickly as a 4-player game.
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14. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:368]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This is another game that Paul introduced that has become a regular. The base game itself is really good, and the expansions keep it fresh through many replays.
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15. Board Game: Viceroy [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:841]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This is another great game that Paul introduced in recent months: lots of planning, calculation and frustration as well as colourful graphics.
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16. Board Game: Mü & More [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:986]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Paul was constantly introducing new games to our club, and set a goal of hitting our 900th new game before the end of 2018.

We played five new games on Dec. 29th, and this complex trick-taking game turned out to be #900. The fifth of the day, Azul, was #902, which also marked the 100th new game of 2018.

(As of mid-May, we have records of 943 different games played since the club was founded in 1975. For details of all those games, see the Warwick Club website at www.warwickclub.ca.)
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17. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:4272]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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While mostly a boardgamer, Paul had a history as an old-school dungeonmaster, and in his final year roped a bunch of us into a D&D 3.5 campaign, starting with the Deathtrap Dungeon and then moving into the Underdark.

The best part of any RPG is the stories that evolve and the episodes of great and terrible luck involved. My elven monk Angbor Nailo barely survived being twisted into a pretzel by a funhouse mirror, but went on to roll a critical hit and a "00" while somersaulting over a minotaur, ripping out its carotid artery with a bare hand and killing it instantly.
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18. Board Game: Take Me Home O.K.O [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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As a Canadian collector of vintage and antique games, I picked up a copy of this Quebec classic from the 1950s a few years ago. It's like bingo with playing cards - each player has a 5x5 board with a mix of cards, and marks off spaces as a regular deck is turned over one card at a time.



I discovered that Paul had many fond memories of playing it when he was a kid, so I made a point of bringing it to the table in one of our last gaming sessions.
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19. Board Game: Careers [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:5215]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This game is older than both of us, but it was another of Paul's childhood favourites, and so it came to the Warwick Club's table for the first time in April 2019.
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20. Board Game: Skull King [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:776]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This was the second-last game I played with Paul, toward the end of the evening on April 19. It was most memorable for Paul's surprise when he led a non-trump 1 card - and still took the trick because every other player dumped a white flag "run away" card!
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21. Board Game: Quiddler [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:3094]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This classic word-forming card game turned out to be the last game that I played with Paul on April 19. His body was clearly fading fast, but as he left my home, I said that I looked forward to seeing him again after I returned from a 5-week trip. Sadly, it was not to be.
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22. Board Game: Wizard [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:718]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Warwick Club records show that this was the last game played with Paul, on April 27, 2019.

Fittingly, Paul won that battle with a score of 520, but sadly lost his war with cancer a couple of weeks later.

RIP my friend.
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23. Board Game: Völuspá [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1823]
S Larkin
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David, Thanks for creating this list!

Paul introduced new games to the Kanata Board Gamers too. He began is instructions when teaching us with a raised eybrow and the line "The object of the game ... is to win". Classic Paul!
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24. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:605]
S Larkin
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This was another one I believe Paul thought highly of.

During play, upon discovering some innocent (or other) mistake in your favour, Paul would often sardonically quip: "They'd shoot you in Vegas for that".

Farewell to a great sport!
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25. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:164]
S Larkin
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I think this was one of the first games I played with Paul. It was at Can Games in 2011 and probably shortly after I met Paul.

I still remember when I tried to collect resources from him he didn't have. He would just grin, raise his arm in a salute to Caesar and almost gleefully shout "GLORY TO ROME"!`
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