Well, Cold Wars is over for this year. I had a really good time. I ran several games, and they all went well. I had a chance to play in a FIW game with my kids. I even found most of the stuff off my shopping list and managed to avoid too many impulse buys.
We drove up Thursday night and played Magblast (cards) and Betrayal at the House on the Hill (board game) with some buddies. Friday I ran three games. The first was a Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII France 1940 game involving a French force trying to keep a road open against German opposition to allow the rest of the French to pass.
Eric and Andrew, long-time LSNC players were on the French side. Andrew has been playing LSNC since before the rules were published. He is growing up, and apparently his “kid dice luck” has deserted him. When the smoke cleared, none of his French tanks remained on the table.
Friday afternoon I ran a BAPS game as part of Don’s article project. He had the same scenario run three times, once with Battleground, once with BAPS, and once with Disposable Heroes. He intends to write an article comparing the three games. From what I could tell, the outcomes were pretty similar, ending in a grenade throwing contest for control of the house in the center of the board.
Friday night I ran the French and Indians come to Schlegel’s Ferry. Schlegel’s Ferry is a fictitious town on the upper Chesapeake that starts with two groups of Indians fighting for control of the area. The area grows through a series of scenarios: Indians vs. Indians, Indians vs. Dutch settlers, French and Indian Wars, War of 1812, American Revolution, American Civil War, World War I spies, 1920’s gangsters, 1950’s alien invasion, and post apocalypse. I ran the FIW version, with the French squeaking out a minor victory by getting a few soldiers into the stockade.
Saturday morning Chris and I ran our 16 player LSNC game of the battle of Lvov in Poland. I’ve described the scenario in a previous post. This was the fifth time we’ve run it. We didn’t get quite enough players to run the full game, so we cut off the Polish attack portion and just played the German and Russian attacks on Zboiska. This was the first time the Germans or Russians have gotten to the town with more than a handful of platoons.
Sam Fuson wanted to play Germans, since he had played the other forces in previous iterations of the scenario and because he “had an idea” of how he wanted to attack. We dubbed his idea the “von Fuson” plan. The Germans punched through the Polish cavalry, avoiding Chris’ infantry on the Polish right due to their anti-tank guns. Eventually, the Polish cavalry was forced back into Zboiska and constituted most of the defenders. Chris’ infantry was beaten back by Eric’s German infantry and eventually retreated back toward the town as well. On the Russian side, Kurt pummeled poor Andrew (again having lost his kid luck) while JJ pushed through the Polish defenders at the creek.
The Germans reached the town first, but the staunch Polish defenders pushed them back. By the end of the game, botht he Germans and Russians were fighting for the town. The Germans and Russians were not allowed to fight each other, so they used clever tactics like moving their forces between their “allies” and the town to slow them down. In the end, the Russians had about twice as many bases in the town as the Germans, so we called it a Russian victory.
Saturday afternoon I played a Brother Against Brother French and Indian War game with my kids. Tommy and Sammy were on the French side. I had the Indians on the British side. Brother Against Brother is a very bloody system. On turn one, I moved my Indians to the edge of the woods in open order. Then my daughter opened fire with her Courier du Bois from behind a stone wall and wiped out an entire unit. Taking advantage of the long reload time for rifles, I then sent my second unit across the field to work my way around her flank, but my movement rolls stunk and she got another opportunity to shoot at me. By the end of the fourth run, I only had 2 Indian figures left. Despite my miserable showing, we had a good time playing a game together.
Saturday night I ran my GASLIGHT gangster game. The scenario, a reprise of the one I ran for the HAWKs on New Year’s Eve, featured two gangs and police. One gang had captured a senator’s daughter and had also hijacked a shipment from the other gang. The second gang then came to town to get their money back and also to rescue the girl to ingratiate themselves with the local police.
Almost immediately, despite my warnings, the gangsters began firing tommy guns. This, of course, demanded a response from the police who came out with BARs and shotguns. Lots of 20’s were rolled, blowing up two car engines and jamming several weapons. In the chaos, the police found the hostage and got her off the table. Another group of police found the vault with the stolen loot and managed to get away with it as well. Atypically, the police won!
My last game of the convention was co-run with Chris Palmer on Sunday morning. It involved the South American frogs fighting for independence from their Spanish overlords. With the time change, our 0900 Sunday morning game was largely empty, so a group of teenagers from Howard County, MD, filled it.
The game featured a number of scratch-built tank vehicles. This scene shows a lone South American frog leader (who was unattached because the rest of his unit had been wiped out) preparing to take on the Spanish artillery crew single-handedly. Surprisingly, the cannon crew abandoned their gun and charged the lone leader. They were joined by the commander of the self propelled gun who chose to dismount and charge rather than reload his cannon.
In this picture note Chris’ war snail has been shot. The Spanish frogs scored a catastrophic hit, which killed the snail, but the crew survived and later charged the Spanish frog king. They were unsuccessful. Despite the rout of the Spanish king’s guard, the Spanish king defeated the South American guard, the snail crew, and a unit of South American frog spearmen.
Interestingly, the South American players decided to leave their fort and attack the Spanish frogs in open ground. (In this picture you can see the Eureka war turtle in the background.) At the end of the game, all the South American vehicles were destroyed, and the Spanish still had three. Both armies were almost devoid of infantry. We called it a minor Spanish victory.
I picked up a few items in my one hour of shopping that I needed for Historicon. We’re still on track to release The GASLIGHT Compendium at Historicon, so watch for lots of GASLIGHT games there. I’ll even be running at least two that are “straight historical” games; although, the scenarios will be ahistorical.