Initially, I was going to return for my second Gencon this year. But as the registration time approached, for a few reasons, I wasn't feeling it. And coincidentally enough, Historicon was downright convenient, at their new site in VA. Our brief trip to Cold Wars earlier in the year was a rousing success, so plans were re-routed, games were pre-registered, and Historicon was on.
Left at early a.m. on Thursday morning from my Maurice's place in VA; he had an early appointment with a Flames of War tourney, and we knew DC area traffic was something not to be ignored. After a brief detour to a McDonald's with no drive-in (seriously, it's the 21st century, people) we made it to the convention site in Fredricksburg.
With some time to kill, Aaron and I snuck in a game of Super Dungeon Explore at an empty table near the food area, attracting a couple passers-by while we did. I ran the heroes, and it was a brief tale of woe. Never made it off the first tile, and when the Dragon popped up and I'd already lost two of my four heroes, I raised the white flag.
Next up was the first tour of the vendors hall. I had a couple orders waiting for me to pick up at various booths. Basically I'd put off buying any gaming things for the past couple months, and now I will be stocked for the next couple months, easily. I will pretend this is like saving money. Snagged a couple bits from Eureka (their 15mm samurai are very nice.) Finally grabbed the Pulp Figures She-Wolves pack I'd bee wanting for a while also. And, as predicted, found myself buying the Flames of War templates and a few boxes of Germans from the Plastic Soldier Company. The big pickups from Rebel and Old Glory would be later.
Among the other eye-catching booths was a demo of an upcoming game called Fanticide. The models are lovely (depending on your definition) and the mechanics certainly looked interesting. But I freely confess, I am a fan of gorillas with wings. Call me crazy. (I also found out that Otherworld has a lovely fig for the hook horror, and I am a goofy fan of that monster too.)
After the vendors hall tour, we check up on Maurice and checked out the lovely Flames of War boards. I never spend enough time on terrain, and wow, some people poured a lot of effort into doing these up right. A whole section of winter boards, and whole section of desert boards. Some other fun scenes, like the ruined airfield above.
Nothing complex about it, but just clean and coherent.
So yeah. Did I mention I bought a Flames of War army this trip? More on that in future posts.
OK. Apropos of nothing, this van was parked in the lot all weekend. Heard more than a couple people discussing it.
Not pictured: the mech 'sneaking' up on my right, about to jack me up.
With yet more time to kill before my evening game, I learned to play this hot new game called BattleTech. Well, actually, I distinctly recall when I bought my first boxed RPG back in the 80's (Paranoia!) they also had this Battletech game for sale, but it's one of those classics of the industry that I never got into. It was a free-for-all scrum with everyone getting a mech, very little terrain, and lots and lots of shooting and getting shot. I started with a Commando, which didn't last long due to some poor planning on my part. Thereafter I picked up a Trebuchet, and made some better tactical decisions. By which I mean I snuck up on two mechs already in a knock-down drag-out fight to the death, and just fired into their mess. The game is fun, if a little too much book-keeping for my tastes, but I can certainly see why it's been so popular over the years. I might pick up a couple pretty ones to paint in the near future.
After a quick dinner, I headed over to my first game. Del Stover and the WNGA.org was running a skirmish game of Sherlock Holves vs. Jack the Ripper, using the Doctor Who Miniatures Games rules, i.e. the predecessor to the 7tv rules. I played the mysterious 'Professor' who, along with 'Lady Arsenic' and some incompetent thugs, were trying to help the Ripper reach the church and hold off both Lestrade and Holmes.
A better view of the layout.
Mr. Stover ran a great game, and everyone had fun. Action cards flew fast and furiously. The Ripper ran at top speed, and faced little resistance getting to his destination. Lestrade and his men, originally frustrated about getting in position in time, broke down the back door of the church, and ended up saving the day. One of my thugs spend the majority of the game facing off against a single bobby, never landing a single shot (thanks to some amusignly poor dice rolls on my part.) The Ripper was stopped at the last moment, as is appropriate for games like this.
It's these big scenarios like this that really made me want to attend the con, I confess. I'd wandered by them before, with lots of players, many figs on the board, an attentive and creative GM, and lovely terrain. So when the time came to sign up for this event, I signed on without hesitation, and so glad I did.
If you can listen closely, you can hear the theme music playing.
And did I mention lovely boards with carefully thought-out terrain? Next to our board was the Indiana Jones-themed board, for the other DWMG scenario. Just, wow.
Bottom-left corner: one jerk of a turret.
After the Holmes game, caught up with the guys who were finishing up their BattleTech 'King of the Hill' event. Amusing! Turrets were the bane of everyone. I learned a whole bunch about the BattleTech background (it's always the story that sells me on games, and I walked into the room knowing very little) and at some point I am sure I will pick up a handful of mechs to paint up and throw down in friendly games. I'll just find attractive ones, since that's really what it's about.