Vancouver Report 1: Gaming

Nik and I spent the weekend in Vancouver and had a nice, relaxing time. I’ll divide my report into two entries: gaming and eating. First, gaming.

I spent Saturday at Trumpeter Salute, a wargaming convention put on by Vancouver’s venerable Trumpeter Tabletop Games Society (established in 1964). I’ve been meaning to go up for this con for many years and finally had the chance. It took place at a community center near the Metrotown mall and I’d guess there were 300 attendees or so. My goal was simple: play some damn games. I got there at 9 am and was able to get into a WAB game which pitted ancient Egyptians vs. Assyrians, with two players per side. I was on the Egyptian side, which was fine by me. The game started off badly when my co-general sent his chariot unit racing unsupported towards the enemy battle line. It was charged and broken by Assyrian cavalry, routed back to our lines and rallied, and then was charged and broken again. The ensuing panic caused half our infantry to panic and start to run. I used our chariot-mounted general to destroy the cavalry and then reform the battle line. Things went much better after that and the enemy generals capitulated at the end of the session. The game was fun, the other players and the GM were friendly, and the game was in the quietest room of the con. Good start.

In the second session I had to decide between playing Blitzkrieg Commander or a Legends of the Old West game set in the Firefly/Serenity setting. Since I’ve played BK many times but never got to try Legends of the Old West, I chose the latter. I also knew the GM, Lisa Smedman, who worked with Nicole on Adventures Unlimited Magazine back in the 90s. The rules worked well for Firefly, requiring only a few changes for some of the higher tech items. The basic scenario had six groups in a small town with individual goals, but on turn two a Reaver ship showed up and chaos ensued. I was playing the local sheriff and his posse of townsfolk. Other players controlled the various Firefly characters, a gang of outlaws led by Patience, an Alliance squad, and a loading crew of Rasta-looking dudes. Lisa had built out Serenity using downloadable scifi terrain packs and it looked pretty good. My crew’s job was to maintain law and order but with multiple rivals and Reavers in the mix, that was not happening. The Reavers were insanely tough. On several turns I’d have 7 or 8 of my posse unload on one Reaver and if I did even a single wound it was a rousing success. The game was fun but the system strained a bit to handle six players and a GM faction. I have some Western figs I got ages ago from the Foundry; I should bust them out for a Legends game with Rick some time.

Those two sessions kept me busy from 9 am to 6 pm, so that’s all the gaming I got to do. I did have a chance to look around at some of the other games being run and there was some beautiful stuff on display. The Pulp Figures people were there and they had a stunning table set up with gunboats, big Buddha statues, and even a waterfall if memory serves. The Blitzkrieg Commander game I did not play in had really well-painted 20mm Germans and French forces in a 1940 battle (it also won “best of session”, so I guess it was pretty good). I was amused to note that every single Battletech game there was played on Heroscape terrain. Oh, and one guy was running a Warhammer 40K Apocalypse game of ludicrous proportions. There were a dozen Baneblade tanks on the board, along with 30 or more Leman Russ tanks, and a horde of Tyranids. It looked like tactics were non-existant, basically line up 18 inches away from each other and charge. Still, quite a spectatcle.

So that was the gaming. Food later.

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