Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Historicon 2013, day two (many pics)

Saturday morning, I slept as late as possible, knowing it'd be a long day ahead. The rental car I got for the weekend had XM satellite radio, and I confess I am a bit spoiled by it. The BPM channel served as my commuting soundtrack for the convention (and this song in particular was a choice find; I heard it maybe a handful of times, and I still want to listen to it again and again.) I managed to get out the door about a half-hour early, and saw maybe a half-hour of traffic, so got there right about on time? Heard rumors later drivers ran into worse backups, so hooray for planning beforehand.

Soon as I got there, I made a quick hit on the dealers room. I knew my schedule would be tight for the day, and wanted to pick up some presents for the guys back at the ranch, and figured this might be my last opportunity for the day. (This is, again, foreshadowing.) Toys in hand, I darted over to Wally's.

Sample my wares!

For those not familiar with the Historicon circuit, Wally's Basement is essentially a flea market where games rent a table for a few hours and sell stuff they don't want anymore. I'm a fan of the early Saturday slot, and have in the past few events managed to unload enough old product I no longer feel the need to keep, and made enough money off it... to buy more toy soldiers at the con. There's a disconnect here, but just run with it, heh. Anyways, things got off to a slow start, which I was worried was because I got a slot all the way in the back row. Luckily, things picked up before too long. I was able to find a good home for both some Warhammer Dogs of War figs I never got around to using, as well as a bunch of 25mm Foundry cowboys I picked up many years back. I was worried with the Reaper Bones kickstarter figs hitting the market, there wouldn't be many buyers for the older metal figs, but I was able to sell more than a few there as well. And maybe it was because this was the first time running the table by myself, but people certainly seemed chattier this year. In the end, made a tidy profit, and made some spare room for more minis.

Even with eating a speedy lunch, I had a couple minutes to myself, so I headed back to the dealers hall for the second time of the day, to spend a bit of that hard-earned cash. Gotta support the industry and all that!

The Count emerges from his shadowly lair!

When I signed up for the convention originally, the first thing I looked for in the events list was anyone running In Her Majesty's Name. As noted previously, I picked up the game a bit back, and have been looking forward to trying it out. The rules really seemed to be what I was looking for, but I needed to see them in action to know. I always learn by playing. And that's one of the things conventions are great at doing.

The Zef Secret Service, in their finest, not-so-secret uniforms.

Our fearless gamemaster presented us with a number of options of companies to pick from. Helpfully, he happens to have posted the stats (and closeup pics) for the non-book companies online; you can check them out here. After some dithering, I went with the Zef Secret Service, there to defeat the foul Count Krabbenstein and his wicked minions, and thusly convince the villagers how much better life would be under Zef rule.

 The villagers are revolting.

The whole table, a grand affair. All our action focused in and around the castle. A whole separate battle was waged around the village, which was a great way to run the game for that many players. And, truth be told, after three turns our so, we had the majority of the rules down, and just used the gamemaster for rulings or more obscure questions.

And a river runs through it.

The foreboding forest.

I was sitting next to the Black Dragon Tong player. Check out the glamor shot of the paintjobs (and that Yeti!)

Another pic of the village I wasn't visiting. Love it! Especially the little details, like the scarecrow there.

The villagers, being an angry mob, pretty much barreled right towards the castle. The Count sent his brides out to give them a good thrashing. Zef's finest, meanwhile, fanned out and started taking out the Count's Cossack minions, including shooting them off the castle walls.

One Cossack really stood out, and was the fan favorite on our side. His musket jammed early (should have invested in fine Zef engineering!) and, discarding it, he leaped from the parapets to join the fray! He was a house on fire, shrugging off shot after shot. I am pretty convinced his last name was Rasputin.

Between the villagers and Zef steel, the Count and his ladies were dispatched with extreme prejudice. But before the day could be won, the Gypsies finally committed to the fray, and it turns out they were a bunch of werewolves! They tore through what remained of everyone in the big scrim, in short order.

Seeing a lone villager run towards the now-empty castle, the remaining Zef forces saw the wisdom in his rustic peasant attitude, and started hightailing it towards the gate, as the werewolves cleaned up the last men standing.

Pictured above, the last of the Zef Secret Police is overrun by lycanthropes, while the last villager successfully makes it to safety. I have zero idea what happened in the village, but it sounded like they were having some fun plot twists of their own.

 The gamemaster put his writeup of the day here, check it out.

Officially, I rule IHMN a success. The game is relatively intuitive, and runs very smoothly. The turn sequence (all players move, in initiative order, then everyone shoot, then melee happens) keeps people involved, and allows for some interesting tactical choices. And a wealth of VSF companies to pick from, combined with some good rules for writing up your own, means there's something for everyone. Time to get my own figs painted up and run some games for the local crowd.

I had one more game scheduled for the evening, but was beat, and didn't want to stick around for more before my drive home (much less kicking around for the WWPD podcast after that.) So, for my last act of the day, I hit the dealers room a third time, mere minutes before they closed, and renewed my Old Glory membership. I wasn't sure, going into the con, that I would need to. I mean, hadn't I bought enough Old Glory in the past year? But the more notes I took about future purchases, the more things I kept finding to grab from them, so yeah, decision made. The money made off the table that morning made it an easy call.

Finally, here's some links to other people's Historicon reports. I do regret missing out on Les Miserables: the Wargame, because wow. Mister Nizz put up his full con AAR, always a good read. Victoria's Boys in Red presented their VSF report as well. You can follow the links here for some YouTube reporting goodness. Luke from WWPD put up his gallery, including some fancy close-ups, one thing my cell camera isn't great at. And oh, if you check out nothing else, here's plenty of eye-candy at 1000 Foot General too, so many fine pictures. Make sure to follow the links for the other days.

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