This weekend was Historicon 2012. This year Historicon was held in Fredericksburg, VA. This was the first time in the new venue. While there were good and bad points to the new venue, in general, I think it was fine.
I ran seven games at the convention:
- Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT (Thursday evening)
- Austrians vs. French using LSNC: Napoleonic Wars (Friday morning)
- HAWKs kids’ army giveaway game (Friday evening)
- Mars by GASLIGHT 20 player extravaganza (Saturday morning)
- Prussians vs. French using LSNC: Napoleonic Wars (Saturday afternoon)
- Russians vs. French using LSNC: Napoleonic Wars (Saturday evening)
- Blood and Swash pirate tavern fight (Sunday morning)
I was generally happy with the way all the games played.
In the Northwest Frontier game, the British were trying to rescue Wee Willie Winkie from the Pathans in an open-field battle. The Pathans, however, were only holding her to lure the brigadier into the open so they could kill him. The game ended up being very close. The climactic action occurred on top of a rocky outcropping, where control of Winkie changed hands four times. In the end, it was the Sikh cannon crew which had no targets due to the ongoing melee, that captured Winkie for the last time and secured a victory for the British players.
The Mars GASLIGHT game had 21 contingents / forces with various objectives. The scenario was a mashup of Verne, Bourroughs, Wells, and others.
A funny incident occurred when a Russian tank was blown up. It was hit by a cannon from the Prussians, who rolled a critical hit on the tank. One of the female hussars’ helicopters was in the burst radius of the exploding tank. The helicopter also rolled a critical hit and exploded. Several of the female hussars were killed in the explosion as well.
In the end, several players accomplished their missions. The game was set up so that many players had competing objectives. It was a wild and crazy game.
Keeping a 21 player GASLIGHT game moving takes some energy. Chris and I were constantly yelling the names of units from the game deck. Each player had three or four units, vehicles, and/or main characters. This kept the game moving and ensured that no one had to wait too long before they could activate again. I think the game was a big success. We had one player fail his player morale and leave. One other player didn’t get into the game until late, because we had altered the board from the map to make the table fit in the room we had at the convention, creating a bottleneck on a key bridge.
Greg Priebe ran a very successful GASLIGHT zombie game set in the American Revolution.
I ran three LSNC: Napoleonic Wars games. They all went well. I ran some “stock” convention scenarios, so I could concentrate on the rules. All of the games filled, so I think there is interest in rules that offer something new for the period. Hopefully these rules offer something new.
With Napoleonic Wars, there are a lot of “experts” who have preconceived notions and generally cannot be pleased. It’s hard to create, but easy to critique. I was worried about a couple of the folks who played in the games, because they kept trying to map LSNC onto other rules instead of taking them on their own right. With the plethora of rules out there, I suppose this is inevitable, but it can be frustrating.
Every time I run the game, I find one or two needed tweaks. They are getting smaller and fewer, so I’m getting pretty confident. I’m still not completely happy with the successful roll to stand die for artillery. Also, I have a few lingered doubts about the skirmish fight.
Tank built this abstracted train for a Blood and Swash cowboy fight. The cars also have removable roofs, so there were times when people were running across them. This was a tremendous game.
Finally, I ran a tavern fight using Blood and Swash. These are always fun. Because they are simple rules and straight-forward games, they make a great way to finish the convention on Sunday mornings.
As usual, the convention was a time to renew acquaintances and play with toys for a weekend. I had an enjoyable time.