02 August, 2014

Historicon 2014 Report

I left Columbia, South Carolina Thursday morning at 7 am and arrived at the hotel just after 1 pm.  It was definitely nicer to stay at the Hampton Inn next door; it made short trips to drop things off or take a break possible.  After checking in I made my way over to the convention center, picked up my badge and found my first game, ‘Necronomawhat?’  It was a 28mm skirmish game for 6 players with various dark age Britain warbands (I played Bran Mac Morn and his Picts) searching for the infamous Necronomicon.  We played on the Miniature Building Authority table loaded with great-looking terrain.  The rules worked well, the game flowed quickly and was a lot of fun.  Various Lovecraftian monsters appeared around the table as we searched for the evil book, and once it was found, factions turned on one another in an effort to claim the book and carry it off the table.  My treacherous Picts made a late play for it but didn't manage to capture the dark tome from King Arthur, who ended up it.  Great fun!

View of the table at setup.  My Picts are in the lower left corner.

A nasty surprise awaited us in the church graveyard!  I decided to skirt around the church and enter from the other side to search for our objective.

I've moved up into the wheatfield.  Various monsters are now on the board.

After meeting my friends Mike, Jenny, Keith and Mike upon their arrival from Columbus, Ohio and grabbing a bite to eat, I tagged along with Mike to his game and filled an empty spot.  “A Very British Battle’ was set in the fictional 1930s British Civil War.  I’ve never played a VBCW game before but they seem to be popular.  My Anglican League managed to enter the Catholic church first and discover the gold hidden in the crypt below.  Unfortunately I was being attacked by Fascists on one side and Communists on the other.  My remaining troops sought refuge with another faction that had broken through the front of the church and exchanged gold for protection.

Friday morning I played in the Saga tournament.  It featured 4 rounds, each round using a different scenario from the Saga rulebook.  I played Scots, which are my favorite army and also the first I painted for the game.  I won my first 2 games (Clash of Warlords and Battle at the Ford) and lost the last 2 (Escort and Sacred Ground), ending up in 4th place.  The 2 players who beat me finished 1st and 2nd, and I was the only one to beat the 3rd place player.  It was an enjoyable, well-run tournament.

First Saga game vs.Vikings after turn 1.  My Scots are on the bottom.  My unit of Warriors in the upper left of the picture have driven off the Viking levies and are about suffer 60% casualties in a fight with Viking hearthguards.  The rest of my force went on to kill the Viking warlord and most of his troops.

Second Saga game vs. Vikings as we approach the river.  My Scots are on the left.  I held off the Vikings at the upper crossing and captured the lower crossing.

Third Saga game vs. Bretons.  My Scots are on the bottom.  I managed to kill the Bretons and baggage on the right and destroy one of the central Breton units, but suffered heavy casualties in the center and couldn't catch the other 2 baggage units before they moved off the board to win.

Fourth Saga game vs. Anglo-Saxons towards the end of the game.  My Scots are on the bottom.  I have captured the right-hand hill but was unable to maintain a presence on the left-hand hill.

Friday night I played in ‘They Used Hitler’s Brain…A Doctor Who Adventure’.  I was interested to see how another GM ran a game with the DWMG rules (http://www.drwhominiatures.co.uk/).  The scenario featured an unholy alliance between Nazis and Daleks, with the Allies and Renegade Dalek factions both attempting to storm a castle and stop their nefarious experiments.  My other friend Mike also signed up and we had the British Special Forces squads.  It was a fun scenario, with lots of action going on in different parts of the table.  True to form, the Doctor snuck into the castle at the last minute and foiled the villains’ evil plan.  Back at the hotel, we played a game of ‘Seven Wonders’ which I narrowly won for the first time; the 5 of us were all within 10 points at the end.

I spent Saturday morning running a flea market table, selling a fair amount but not everything I brought.  Mike and Jenny brought a bunch of boardgames for the table as well.  I roamed the dealer hall in the afternoon, then played in ‘Fireball – Showdown in the Zombie Apocalypse’.  It was an adaptation of the WWII Fireball Forward rules, which I had read about but never played before.  The scenario featured American Marines in the Horn of Africa trying to locate an IED and clear the road for a convoy.  The Insurgents (including me) were trying to stop them and the Zombies just wanted to eat everyone.  I liked the rules, they were easy to pick up and ran well for a convention game.  The addition of zombies made the scenario less real-world and more enjoyable as a game for me.  I don’t play modern games all that often but this was fun, and the GM and players all had a good time.

View of the whole table.  The Marines entered along the road at top left, while the Insurgents entered from the bottom edge.

The Marines are moving towards the trucks to search for the IED but are in danger of being overrun by Zombies.

A close-up of my Insurgents trying to cover the truck with the IED.

Overall I had a great time at Historicon.  Wegman's provided delicious food as usual and the improvements to the gaming areas (carpet, more dividers, better chairs) reduced the sound and produced a better overall experience.  I look forward to returning to Fredericksburg next year.

Stuff I bought:
2 pieces of post-apocalyptic terrain for use in the upcoming game 'Across the Dead Earth':   http://www.deadearth.co.uk/
A 28mm Sci-fi Porta-potty from Miniature Building Authority, also for AtDE.
Revolt on Antares:  an old TSR mini-game, one of my favorites to play as a kid.
A copy of the 'Guns of Liberty' AWI rules for use in my AWI project.
6 bottles of paint by Iron Wind, Howard Hues and Army Painter.
2 Irregular 28mm Highland Cattle and 2 Pigs for use as scenery in Saga.
2 Civil War coloring books, a Star Wars battle droid and an animated Transformers DVD for my kids.
A 28mm Welsh Chieftain Gripping Beast figure won in the Saga tournament.
A Robocop figure (for my son) and a 28mm Adric (Doctor Who) BTD figure given to me by my friend Cade.  I look forward to Adric dying in a game soon (he was not my favorite companion).
A bunch of assorted Renaissance Ink bases given to me by my friend Jenny.
A 28mm Acheson Creations Large, half timbered and stone barn with thatched roof purchased during their sale earlier this year and delivered by my friend Mike.  It will be used in my Saga games.  I'm waiting for 2 more buildings to arrive so I can paint them all at the same time.

A 15mm Mongol DBA army by Pass of the North.  I received this in the mail the day before and didn't open it until I was in Fredericksburg so I'm listing it here.  I don't play DBA much anymore, but they are fantastic new figures and I've always wanted some Mongols.