Gaming Marathon

I spent an hour writing this, only to have Livejournal eat it. This version is going to be briefer.I spent the weekend in Olympia at Enfilade, a convention put on by the NHMGS (Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming Society). This has become a yearly event for Rick and I, and I enjoy the opportunity to go to a con just for fun. No business, no booth duty; just playing games. This year turned into something of a marathon because we added in a pickup game of 40K. Rick, Jefferson, Stephen, and I brought down armies and threw down on Friday night in an empty conference room we found in the hotel. We started at midnight and finished up around 4 am. Then I was up at 8 for the first session. By the end of day Saturday, I had played five full games in 28 hours and then did one more Sunday morning. I certainly got my fix for minis gaming. Here’s what I played (and there are pics on my Facebook page).

Kashgar, October 1920: A four way battle in Central Asia between Red Russians, White Russians, warlord Chinese, and Afghan tribesmen. We were all fighting to seize the lost gold of Alexander the Great, recently unearthed by American archeologists. I played the Chinese and it was a vicious battle. My “Dare to Die” troops overran the American marines and seized the pack mules with the gold, but then fell before White Russian firepower in their exposed position. The battle used The Great War rules by Warhammer Historical and most of the minis were from Copplestone Castings’ excellent “Back of Beyond” range.

Unlikely Allies: This is the aforementioned pickup game of 40K. Jefferson’s Necrons and Stephen’s Black Templars (I said they were unlikely allies) took on the Imperial Guard. I think this was the first time I fought Necrons and they were disconcertingly tough. The Imperial Guard battle line held but it was a close run thing.

King Philip’s War: A skirmish scenario set in New England in 1675 during this little known conflict. I was part of a force of American colonists and their Native American allies assaulting a Wampanoag village. The first part of the scenario was the advance of the attack force through the woods. Then we recycled our figs for the attack on the village (sensible, since we only had 3-6 minis each). The game used the Black Powder Battles rules and they had some peculiarities. Had the hang of them by the end though and we took the village for the win.

Von Lettow-Vorbeck’s Cross Border: I’ve recently been reading a book called Tip and Run about World War I in Africa, so I knew I had to play this game. I commanded a German force attempting to capture a British train in East Africa. I think the rules were the GM’s homebrew and overall they played quickly and were fun. He didn’t expect much hand to hand combat though, so those rules were slight. Naturally, our guys did a lot of charging into hand to hand! We blew the tracks, stopped the train, and then successfully assaulted it in the name of the Kaiser.

Venus gehoert Uns!: Last year I played in a Sword and the Flame game set on Mars. This year Chris Bauermeister (a college friend I see but rarely) was running a sequel, a big game with 12 players on a 5′ x 16′ table. This time the colonial powers of Victorian Earth were trying to impose their will on Venus. Having just played imperialists in the last session, I opted to join the native resistance this game. The first hour was slow, as I had only one unit to command. As the game went on, Chris would periodically hand us additional units as more and more Venusians emerged from the fog and mud to attack the Earthmen. It was like the Battle of Isandlwana with scaly Venusians instead of Zulus. We gave those imperialist Earthmen what for too.

Punic War: My last game was a classic matchup of Rome vs. Carthage using Warhammer Ancient Battles. This was four players and two GMs, and it was a nice change of pace after the mayhem of the previous night. I played Hannibal and had a ball. I thought we might have lost on turn 2 when my co-general’s cavalry assault went disastrously wrong and our entire right flank broke and began fleeing. Most of them rallied though and we were able to turn the tide. Our elephants and veterans punched a hole in the Roman line that they could not recover from. No salting my fields this time, Rome.

I had planned to try out Grand Armee, a Napoleonic game, in the final slot but Rick was beat so we headed back north early in the afternoon. We talked about maybe running a game at next year’s show, and that reminded me of when I started going to GenCon. I just went to play for the first few years but then I started running my own games. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to do that Enfilade, as putting on a big convention minis game is a lot of work and it would make the weekend less relaxing. Still tempting though.

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