20 July, 2018

Historicon 2018 - Games I Ran

This year at Historicon I signed up to run a game using the 7TV spy-fi rules by Crooked Dice.  I ran the same scenario twice, once on Friday night and once Saturday morning.  Both games were full with 6 players each time.  I think it went well and may roll this scenario out again someday.   

The event description was:

Dial X for Missile
SHIVA (Secret Headquarters of International Villainous Agents) is building a secret weapon as part of their evil plan to rule the world. British intelligence agency Department X has located SHIVA's base. Can they destroy the weapon before it is activated? 60s style spy-fi action using the 7TV rules. 

The scenario featured the heroes of Department X attacking the villains of SHIVA at 3 different points on an island in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland.

(1) A freighter carrying the final pieces needed to complete the missile.
(2) The missile silo.
(3) The underground base that housed the computers needed to launch the missile.

Each area was set up as a separate 2-player battle.  I did  because some of the features of 7TV, such as the countdown deck, which are random events that occur each turn, work better with fewer players.  It also speeds up the game, so each pair of players could play at their own speed.  The scenario was set to allow up to 9 turns for each player.

I neglected to take any pictures of the first session but my friend Mike who was playing took a few and they are included at the end.

The board ready for players:
The freighter

The missile silo is to the left of the ruined church

The secret base

Initial setups on turn 1.

The game is underway.

X-Commandos advance towards the freighter.
The ship's crew is advancing along the beach.

Good guys (in the foreground) are taking fire as they advance towards the ruined church.

The X-Commandos are assaulting the room at bottom left.  Meanwhile, one commando in the top right has been hypnotized (indicated by a blue marker) and has joined the villains.  A black panther is on the prowl in the center. 

Dept X is taking heavy losses.

Heroic reinforcements arrive in a Land Rover at bottom.

The missile silo is open.

The Land Rover and has been destroyed in an explosion (event from a countdown card).

Pandora King, leader of the Dept X team attacking the missile silo, is down.  She took out the mad scientist Doctor Mao before succumbing to her wounds.

It was just a flesh wound!  Pandora King returns to the fight (countdown card event).

Evil mercenary Ernst Kohner leads a counterattack accompanied by 3 minions and an attack dog.

The freighter was also carrying a giant gorilla, which has been set loose and is charging the X-Commandos near the beach.

The Dept X munitions expert set a charge earlier in the game and has detonated it, killing the black panther and wrecking the forklift.

End of game.  The freighter is still in the hands of SHIVA but the agent carrying the final components is dead.

Kohner is the last survivor around the silo.  Pandora King has fallen again after a valiant effort.

60% of the launch computers have been destroyed.

Some closeups from the first game:

19 July, 2018

Historicon 2018 - What I Played, Saw & Bought

I made my annual trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for Historicon last week.  I planned to meet my friend Mike from Ohio Thursday afternoon. We usually have a larger group, but this year was a throwback to my first trip to Historicon with Mike way back in 1995.

Registration this year was a big improvement, all you had to do was scan the code you received by email when preregistering and everything printed out for you.  On the negative side, the Lancaster host is in the middle of an extensive remodel and was a mess.  I am glad I reserved a room at the new Hilton next door.

Despite a long traffic jam due to a burning semi, I made it up Thursday in time for my first game: Once Upon a Time in the West Country (ECW).  I often pick a theme when I register for games and this year it was English Civil War.  It is a period I enjoy reading about and playing, but I have never found a set of rules I am completely happy with.  I played the right side of the Royalists (on the left of the first picture) and did well with my horse, but not so well with my foot.  An enjoyable game.


Friday afternoon I played in Clodwig the Red Strikes Back using the Dux Britanniarum rules, a set I have heard a lot about but never played.  I was one of the Roman players defending our lands against some pillaging Franks.  I liked the rules mechanics and we drove off the Franks, although they did manage to loot half of the village.  I am in the early stages of painting a Romano-British army for Saga, and it was a bonus seeing a lot of the same miniatures painted and in a game.


Friday night and Saturday morning I ran two sessions of the same game using the 7TV rules, Dial 'X' for Missile.  I will cover that in a separate post.

The rest of Saturday I wandered around looking at some amazing games and capped it off by playing another ECW battle, Naseby.  I ran the New Model Army foot and we won, though the Royalist foot did not advance as in the real battle.  It used the Carnage & Glory II computer-moderated rules.  I was a bit hesitant, as I had played several Napoleonic games using those rules many years ago and did not particularly enjoy them.  But Naseby is one of my favorite battles so I though I would give them another try.  I am glad I did, it was a great game with good players.  While I would probably not use them at home, the rules did a good job of handling a large game with 7 players.

Here are pictures of some of the games that caught my eye:
 Battle of Pelennor Fields






A spectacular game of Frostgrave



Historicon loot (clockwise from top left):
I did not have a large shopping list this year.  I came home with a pack of flower tufts; a pack of 2 boats by Things from the Basement; 2 Sarissa Sturmboots from Wargames Tools;, 4 packs of Crusader miniatures for Saga from Pictor's Studio; Gripping Beast Viking standardbearer from Badger Games; Saga Roman dice and LBMS Muslim transfers from Cotton Jim's; 3 bottles of Howard Hues paint from Dayton Painting Consortium; a free pack of flag cards; Army Painter static grass from the Warstore.

When I arrived home, I found a box from GMT waiting for me.  I had ordered a copy of Washington's War (AWI) and a mounted mapboard for Unhappy King Charles (ECW) during their 4th of July sale.  I am planning on a solo game of Unhappy King Charles this weekend.