Last weekend was HMGS East’s flagship convention, HISTORICON. For the third year in a row it was held at the Expo Center in Fredericksburg, VA. I had planned to take both Thursday and Friday off work to attend. Since I hand’t committed to running any Thursday games, at the last minute I determined to go to work on Thursday and drive down later. I was supposed to leave work at 1700, but didn’t get out until 1830. I met my wife at Ikia just north of DC to pick up my son. He and I made excellent time, finding a rare gap in the normally heinous traffic on I-95 south out of DC. When we arrived and began unloading all my stuff into the HAWKs room, gaming had been underway for hours.
My first game was a GASLIGHT game in which teams of soldiers venture into a colony of giant ants to rescue some lost kids. Despite a valiant effort the ants ate all the soldiers, and only one of three lost kids survived to tell the tale — and spend lots of money on therapy.
Bill ran this 54mm WWII game using my under-development G.A.M.E.R. rules. (The acronym stands for the attributes of each figure: guts, accuracy, melee, endurance, and reaction). While one of the players thought that hand-to-hand shouldn’t carry over for multiple turns, in general the rules were well received.
See details of Chris’ Battle of Barnett here: http://ift.tt/1o1ENT7
I ran two 10mm Napoleonic Wars games with Fate of Battle: Mincio River and Hanau. Dave Wood ran another Napoleonic scenario, and he and Duncan ran the Battle of Vittoria on Saturday evening. All seemed to go well, with the occasional rules lawyer or bad sport to dampen the event a little. The rules seem to be slowly gaining some momentum; although, I did have one person sit through the rules briefing and then say he wasn’t interested and leave.
Sam ran her first convention game. It was a battle between the Eureka teddy bear figures and the Eureka toy soldier figures. It was set up as a kids game. She built all the terrain herself. She went with a candy land theme. She was quite nervous at the start, but once the game got going, she did a good job.
Like many of our kids table games, she used Milk and Cookies Rules from Big Battles for Little Hands for this game.
The objective of the toy soldiers, who outnumbered the bears, was to capture the fort made of toy blocks. While the toy soldiers killed most of the bears, they didn’t get to the fort, so it was a teddy bear victory.
Ed, who came down with Sam Fuson, ran his modern skirmish game set in Afghanistan.
It was quite successful. The folks had a good time. Sam ran a Sherlock Holmes inspired GASLIGHT game.
As usual, the HAWKs set aside a table for kids games. Geoff ran his plastic pirate barroom brawl game twice.
I’m not sure what point Geoff was making, but it was hard to miss. Geoff is really good as a GM for these kids games.
Eric ran the Armies for Kids giveaway game this year. See Chris’ blog post for more details: http://ift.tt/1o0o82k
This is our fourth year of hosting a game for kids under 10, after which we pass out free, painted armies to the participants. This is an outreach effort to try to grow the hobby. There were two very nice threads about this on TMP. The latter is from a dad. His comments capture exactly why we do this every year.
It was really fun watching the kids’ faces as we passed out armies, terrain, dice, and rules at the end of the game.
This convention also marked the 20th anniversary of the HAWKs as a club. To commemorate this, we cut a celebratory cake Saturday evening, which was shared with folks playing games in our room. See Chris’ blog post for details: http://ift.tt/1yXHmcB
Bill and his son William ran this Helm’s Deep game with very large figures on Saturday night.
Friday night Don, Chris, and I ran a reprise of our HAWKs 1000 race game. The original HAWKs 1000 game was organized by Todd Harland-White and had four races: dog sleds, a desert car race, a zeppelin race, and an airboat race through the jungle. Since Todd was unable to attend, we restructured the race with just three legs: the dog sled and car races as well as a new hover skiffs on Mars game. Each leg was an hour, after which the players rotated to the next table. Each player raced in all three legs of the race, collecting points along the way to determine the overall winner. See Chris’ post here: http://ift.tt/1o4LF25
My dog sled race was wild and woolly, as usual. There were lots of flipped sleds and wounded dogs along the course.
The hover skiff race, a new addition, seemed to go very well. The hover skiffs (shown above) were made from dispensers for rolls of chewing gum with some bits added. The figures were a combination of manufacturers, from Blue Moon, scratch-built robots, Pulp Figures, Recreation Conflict, and others.
I ran a final event Sunday morning, my fifth of the convention. It was a G.A.M.E.R. event. It was mainly about getting feedback on the rules with a simple scenario in which commandos and partisans are trying to steal an enigma machine from the Germans. I don’t know if I was just tired by the end of the weekend, but the game wasn’t nearly as enjoyable to me as the other times I’ve run the game. There were also one or two people in the game who kept fighting the unique mechanics, kept waiting for me to resolve things for them, or wanted to argue about things. They can’t all be great, I guess.
So, I ran five games, all of which filled, and most of which went well:
- Friday morning: Them! (giant ants) (GASLIGHT)
- Friday afternoon: played Stan Sunderworth’s WWI airplane game with my son
- Friday evening: Battle of Mincio (Fate of Battle)
- Saturday morning: Battle of Hanau (Fate of Battle)
- Saturday afternoon: did a little shopping and watched my kids play All Quiet on the Martian Front, which they enjoyed quite a bit.
- Saturday evening: HAWKs 1000 race (GASLIGHT)
- Sunday morning: Commandos Strike at Dawn (GAMER)