05 September, 2019

Current & Future Projects

Post-Historicon I have been pondering what projects I will be working on for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.  After spending most of the last couple years on 7TV spy-fi and post-apocalypse, I have decided to return to mainly historical projects.  I have been thinking about this for some time as my interests have been moving back in that direction.  For instance, I bought 2 painted ECW armies at Historicon and have been researching rules options.  I plan on expanding the armies with the large amount of unpainted lead that came as part of the purchase.

A large part of my time will be allocated to painting armies for SAGA.  I am already painting my own Romano-British army, currently on the 3rd of 4 foot units and the mounted are primed.

My friend Steve in Ohio was selling his SAGA stuff recently and last week I picked up another set of Romano-British and a set of Saxons from him.  Each is a 4-point box with some additional unit packs.  I am going to paint both of these with the intention of selling them when completed.  I am going to do the Britons first as I am already in Briton-mode.

Also arriving last Wednesday were miniatures for 2 longer-term projects.  I backed a Kickstarter in May for a set of post-apocalypse miniatures based on the 1980s RPG Aftermath.  I don't remember ever playing it, but my group did play Gamma World in that long-ago time.  I got 7 giant mutated rats with guns, a couple of rat swarms and 4 humans.  As I wrote earlier, I am taking a break from painting post-apoc so they will go into storage for now.  The bag on the left of the picture is a set of 12 Earth Force Infantry from Rebel Minis.  They were having a sale and I have been looking for some humans that I could use as the garrison of an off-world base for a future Doctor Who scenario.  Apparently they are modified versions of the mobile infantry from the old Starship Troopers miniatures game from Mongoose.  I never played that game but they will do nicely for my purposes.  Quick service from Rebel, I ordered them late Sunday night and had them on Wednesday.

25 July, 2019

Historicon 2019 Report

Last week I made my annual trek to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for Historicon.  This year was the first time it was held at the Lancaster County Convention Center (LCC) in downtown Lancaster.  I stayed at the Holiday Inn a few blocks away.  It was what you would expect from a Holiday Inn, and was a short 5-6 minute walk from the LCC.  The drive from South Carolina was the best it has been for ages with light traffic and no accidents or bad weather.  I took I-95 on the way up and I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley on the way back.  My usual friends from Ohio couldn't make it this year, but I fortunately managed to find a roommate: another Columbus wargamer who I first met back in the late 1980s, hadn't seen in many years and who was a great substitute.

I arrived at the LCC around 2:45 PM (my thoughts on the location are at the end) and spent a few hours wandering the dealer hall before my first game at 7:00, the English Civil War "Battle of Soggy Bottom" using the For King & Parliament rules.  I have been interested in starting to play the ECW again and wanted to try out these rules, which use a gridded board and playing cards instead of dice.  I ran the Parliament left center infantry command.  There were 4 commands on each side.  I kept the Royalists out of the town at the cost of most of my forces.  I enjoyed the game and rules and am considering ordering them.  Afterwards I browsed through the Thursday night flea market.

The Battle of Soggy Bottom (Parliament on the left, the King on the Right)

 My foot were defending the town for Parliament

The Royalist foot advancing towards my position as we exchange musket fire

 Action on our right flank

Friday morning following a quick, good breakfast at the Holiday Inn I headed to the early flea market and made my big purchase for the convention, two painted 15mm English Civil War armies (Royalist and Scots Covenanter).  They came with a huge amount of unpainted lead, some of which I will use to fill out the armies; the rest may be sold on at a future date.  I sold my ECW collection at least 10 years ago and I have wanted to get back into the period for a while.  It looks like I will get my wish!

The Friday game I played was a western, "Have Gun Will Travel".  It used an old 1959 boardgame as the basis for your gunfighter to travel to the area your randomly-selected outlaw was located, then you moved to the main board, which was fantastic.  It included all the western stereotypes such as a town, fort, native american encampment, graveyard, mining camp and mine.  It was lots of fun to move around on the board, locate your villain, and have a shootout.  I successfully hunted down one outlaw in the church and was killed by a second in Rosa's Bar..

Friday night I ran the first session of my game, "Battle of Montrose Platform".  It was a post-apocalyptic fight between 2 groups attempting to salvage a North Sea oil rig.  Two teams of three players moved on the table in boats, boarded the platform and a wrecked ship and fought it out.  I used the 7TV:Apocalypse rules.  I ran it again Saturday morning.  If you are interested in more details or pictures of the games, they are in a separate post here:

Saturday afternoon I got the chance to try out Frostgrave for the first time in the game "Island Towers of the Terror Folk".  It was a fun game with some nice terrain.  I managed to get on of my crew to the top of the tallest cliff on the last turn, only to be tossed over the side by the winged inhabitants.

  My crew

 My Heritor claiming a treasure marker

Saturday's final game was "Return to Lower Uncton", a 1st-edition SAGA game with four warbands of 4 points each fighting for possession of a village.  I brought along my Scots and fought against Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes.  I haven't played SAGA for some time but it came back quickly.  I won the second-place prize for killing the most enemies, which was a set of Norman SAGA dice.

My Scots advancing

Anglo-Danes in the foreground, Scots in the background

My Scots from the front

Fighting the Viking Warlord.  It took a few tries but we eventually cut him down.

My kills

So what did I buy this year other than the ECW armies?

Two ECW scenario books from On Military Matters and two OGRE counter sheets in the flea market

(Clockwise from top left) The free WWII jungle convention miniature from Warlord; some pin vice bits and two dice from Harmony House; 12 Gripping Beast plastic archers for my Romano-British SAGA army and a GB Pict warlord in a chariot for my Pict SAGA army from Badger Games; two Reaper Bones giant rats for 7TV from Windsword Hobbies; a set of SAGA Norman dice won in a game; 3 packs of Essex 15mm ECW; and a great surprise from fellow 7TV player Wayne, a large bag of 28mm miniatures for 7TV, many of which are OOP.

Not pictured are a rocky terrain piece from the flea market, a bottle of superglue and an Xacto knife I needed to make a minor repair for one of the terrain pieces for my game.

My first Historicon was back in 1995, so I have experienced many of the venues over the years.  I was very happy with the new location.  The LCC is a great building, fully carpeted with nice chairs and icewater stations at every room.  I played or ran games in each of the different rooms on three levels, and while it was loud at times, it was not worse than Fredericksburg or the Host in my opinion.  The large number of nearby restaurants is great and the Central Market has a variety of bakeries and lunch vendors; everything I got there was delicious.  I have heard and read some complaints about parking.  My experience was:
Thursday at 2:45 PM I got one of the last spots.  I wanted to see where I would have to unload everything for my game on Friday.
Friday at 8:15 AM it was full
Friday at 2:00 PM there were open spots on the top two levels
Saturday at 8:00 AM there were open spots on the top two levels

If I hadn't been running a game with the associated unloading/loading I would have left my car at the Holiday Inn all weekend, it was a nice walk at all times from early in the morning to late evening.  I would encourage anyone who stayed home this year to attend in 2020.

 Some other games I found interesting:







 A Riverboat game with multiple levels