What do you grab when the ashes are falling on your house?

I had an interesting experience yesterday. About 4:30 pm, my wife came in the house to inform me that ashes were falling on the house; there was a wildfire nearby and headed our way.  It was probably time to pack up, grab the legal docs and wedding album, the laptops and iPads and maybe pack some clothes.  (we had  not received notice to leave, but the fire was only a 1/4 mile away at that point. After a few minutes of running around and packing, she brought in a couple of file boxes; "don't forget to grab some games." 

So what do you do?  I have over 350 games. Which do I take? When it came to making a decision, I chose from three categories: (1) sentimental, (2) been meaning to play and is hard to find, (3) and "cash cows". I did manage to stuff about 40 games into the boxes and my computer bag.  Here's a sample:

(1) Sentimental: My first edition, purple box Squad Leader, SI College Football (my first "serious" game). SG's Cry Havoc series of games. 

(2) Been meaning to play: Lots of SPI quads and flat box games from the early 70s like Musket and Pike and Normandy. The Siege quad, still UP!  Discovery Games' Search for the Nile.  (I had just ordered the supplement, how could I leave it behind?)

(3) Cash Cows:  These are  games I know I could sell or trade (if needed) to start rebuilding the collection: AH Up Front, SPI War in Europe (still unpunched, but I'll get around to playing it someday..... maybe) and the entire series of Battles Magazines.  

I also grabbed about 20 S&T's front the late 40s to the early 60s.... (I probably should have left Dixie, but there wasn't time to discriminate!)  They filled in the gaps.

So there it is.....   Fortunately, Cal Fire's rapid response saved our entire village; they made multiple runs with their bombers and Hueys. No doubt it made the difference.

Of course this brings up the question: What would you grab if you had just five minutes and a couple of boxes to fill? Of course, let's all hope that never happens....


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Comment by Don Cooper on August 27, 2014 at 10:09am
The two Siamese brothers would be the first on my list. This whole episode of yours is deeply troubling though.
Comment by Bill Wood on August 5, 2014 at 5:38am

It makes you think that perhaps you need to create an "Escape Wargame Bin" - a big plastic bin full of your core games.

Caulk it up if you are escaping a flood or hurricane.

Cats are definitely high on the list - well before games.

Comment by Eric Walters on July 28, 2014 at 8:41pm

(1) Games I was a play tester for with rulebook credits.  Sentimental, absolutely.  My S&T, The General, Moves, Fire and Movement, Against the Odds, Paper Wars, Battles, and Command magazine collections.

(2) GCACW series, OCS series, GBOH series, COIN series, Bowen Simmons style games.

(3) Entire ASL  and ASLSK collection, all the monster games in the collection.

How's all this going to fit in both our vehicles as we make our escape?  Will have to make multiple trips!

Comment by Roger Morley on July 28, 2014 at 5:22pm

oh....and my document file, which contains insurance, driving licenses and passports

Comment by Roger Morley on July 28, 2014 at 5:21pm

My cats, my games, and my stamps collection. These are what I would grab, and between my wife and I, easily grab a few other bits too like my PC, laptop and better grab the wedding album

Comment by Enrico CS Viglino on July 28, 2014 at 1:33pm

Now that everything turned out okay - consider moving where there
isn't such a risk? Or at least insure everything. Then you only have to
worry about a few things that are irreplaceable. 

Comment by Wayne Rotella on July 28, 2014 at 11:11am

First, glad all is well with you Dave. I watch about the wild fires on TV all the time and it never really hits home until a story like yours. Surprised you didn't grab your Ogre Designers pack! LOL

Second, what a quandary you had. Now I am going to have to evaluate my games and think on that one. Right now my first grab would be France 40 since it is far and away one of my favorites right now. The Longest Day would be there as well. Honestly I would be grabbing my lesson materials I have been working on before games. That is a lot of uncompensated summer time effort there!

I think I will build a fire-proof safe for all the ASL stuff I have. Too much to carry at a moments notice and too much invested to leave behind.

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