JJ Con 2010

For several years, my friend JJ Dziadziola has hosted a gaming weekend at his house in North Carolina.  This even was originally designed to get our old high school gaming buddies together, but it has grown to include several other folks, including Dave Wood, whom I met at West Point, and the Schlegel brothers of the HAWKs.  This year, the gaming began Friday morning with an ironclads game, using Beer and Pretzels Ironclads.

David (Ook) Dziadziola, Nick Cirocco, and JJ harassing each other about the Beer and Pretzels Ironclads game

JJ, the GM for this game, pulled a fast one on us.  I was part of the Union force that was sent to rescue a fellow Union ironclad stuck on a sandbar within range of shore batteries.  As our boats got close enough to haul the boat off the sand bar, we discovered that it had been boarded the night before.  We discovered this when it began firing at us.  Big surprise!  It really spiced up the game.

Our next game of the weekend was Poland 1939, using Look, Sarge, No Charts: World War II.  This was a play test of a portion of the Lvov extravaganza described in a previous post.  In this game, Ook ran the Polish cavalry, trying to slow the German armor and infantry.  Nick commanded the Polish armor which conducted a spoiling attack around the German right.

Mark (second from right) pushes his tanks around the Polish cavalry toward the town of Zboiska

Ook’s cavalry screen managed to strip off the German infantry, leaving Mark with just armor to assault the town.  As that is a very difficult prospect in LSNC, we called the game a Polish victory at that point.

German infantry and armor push through the Polish cavalry screen
German infantry and armor push through the Polish cavalry screen

The third game of the night was a Blood and Swash cowboy game.  Eric used the factions and victory conditions from an Italian card game, Bang.  I was the marshall, and I didn’t manage to survive the fight.

Eric's cowboy Blood and Swash game
Eric's cowboy Blood and Swash game

Saturday morning we played Wellington Rules.  The scenario was based on the action around Laon in 1814.  We were part of the French rear guard retreating through a defile.  The Prussians were trying to stop us and block the road to prevent the French main body from escaping.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this game, because both sides needed to maneuver, rather than one side being on the defensive.

Prussians (Mark and Kurt) prepare the attack my retreating French
Prussians (Mark and Kurt) prepare the attack my retreating French

I was the rear guard of the rear guard.  My division was tasked to hold the end of the road closest to the enemy.  As the enemy neared, I turned to face them.  Mark and Nick hit my two battalions in line with six battalions in column.  One of my battalions evaporated.  Fortunately, I had a third battalion ready to plug the gap.  By the end of the game, my division had been completely destroyed and my guns overrun and captured.  It was a lot of fun, but the end was ugly.  

The French rear guard prepares for the Prussian onslaught
The French rear guard prepares for the Prussian onslaught

The final game on Saturday was another play test of Kurt’s Stones River LSNC extravaganza.  We had planned for this game to only last four hours.  We started at about 1300.  At 2100 I realized that we hadn’t stopped for dinner.  It was gratifying to note that all the players were busy and engaged in the game until the end.  We rarely play any games, let alone LSNC, for that many hours.  In fact, I can’t remember when I played the same game so long in many, many years.

Several echelons of Yanks at Stones River
Several echelons of Yanks at Stones River

JJ Con was the weekend before Halloween.  JJ’s wife, who puts up with the annual gamer invasion of her house, went to a Halloween party, dressed as a pirate, to escape the madness in JJ’s gaming room.

JJ and his lovely (pirate) bride, Karen, who graciously puts up with a house full of gamers every year
JJ and his lovely (pirate) bride, Karen, who graciously puts up with a house full of gamers every year

In addition to the miniatures games, we also played a few games of a card game, called Mag Blast.  These are short, light games that we could play at the end of a hard day of gaming to unwind.  If you haven’t played Mag Blast, you are missing a fun game.  One of the gimmicks is that when you play an attack on an enemy ship, you have to make sound effects or the shot is a miss.  Nick never seemed to quite get the hang of the sound effects, even with Dave whispering in his ear.

I think a good time was had by all, and I am looking forward to JJ Con 2011.