In 1981 my buddy JJ had a sleepover wargaming birthday party when he turned 16. A bunch of us got together this past weekend to celebrate with 50th birthday with a weekend of gaming. We managed to fit in 7 miniatures games and a couple of card games in two days of non-stop gaming.
(In the picture from 1981, most of the faces are hidden, but I will identify the faces you can see. Most of the faces won’t be familiar to the group, and many of the faces are hidden. Standing at the left is Mike Janes. He was quite a bit older than us but often hosted games at his house, and he took us to our first gaming convention. I have been trying to link up with Mike, but he has no Web presence. Standing (and waving) in the center is me. Seated below me is Matt Stone. We have all lost touch with Matt. To the left of Matt, seated, is Mark Lauzon. Standing at the top right, with just half his face visible and the other half behind the Elton John glasses, is JJ. Other folks who are probably in the picture but I cannot identify are John Bice, David Dziadziola, Jeff Dziadziola, and Steve Jarosz.)
From left to right, Nick, Dave, Jimmy, Rick, Mark, JJ (the birthday boy), Duncan, Eric, and David (aka Ook). I took the picture.
We began the weekend, according to time-honored tradition, with a large Beer and Pretzels Ironclads game. The Rebs got spanked by the Yanks, having lost most of our larger ships.
Our second game was a 2-1/2 lap chariot race using the rules Roman Circus. Nick won the game easily, having come from behind.
While I was setting up the next game, most of the guys played Red Dragon Inn.
I ran a WWII GAMER scenario, which involved the heavily outnumbered Germans attempting to delay the advancing Americans. The Americans had to get at least 10 figures off the table by the end of the 15th turn.
Retrograde missions are hard, but the Germans eeked out a victory, because the Americans only got five figures off the table by the end of turn 15. Another five figures were close — but no cigar.
We set up Duncan’s game for the next morning and then went to bed. Early Saturday morning we played a reprise of Duncan’s War of 1812 GAMER scenario from Christmas. The Americans raided a British encampment. Initially the Brits were outnumbered two to now, but Duncan and I each had a squad of reinforcements that arrived in time to turn the tide of the battle. It was declared a clear British victory.
The game was quite fun. Playing a second game with the same rules (GAMER) was good, because it was easier for many of the folks who only game once a year (or even less frequently) during JJ CON.
After Duncan’s War of 1812 game, Eric ran his Orc’s Drift fantasy game using GASLIGHT. It was a tense, hard-fought battle, but in the end the good guys were able to withstand the assaults of the misunderstood bad guys.
We cleaned up Orc’s Drift and played another chariot race.
I was set to win the second chariot race, but my last movement roll was dismal and I barely made it across the finish line. Dave came from second place to win.
Our final miniatures game of the weekend was a thrown-together X-Wing scenario.
The rebels were attacking to knock out the three laser turrets on the surface of an Imperial station. This was the first time I had used the laser turrets, and I think they worked well.
The rebels knocked out one turret and damaged the other two, but they did not achieve their objective of knocking out all three.
After we cleaned up, it was about 10:30, so we elected to start a “short” game of Nuclear War (by Flying Buffalo). The game dragged on until after 1:30 in the morning, so none of us got much sleep.
All in all, it was a good weekend of gaming, laughing, and fun.