Monday, July 31, 2017

Survived Historicon and the Move

  Hello all! Just a quick note to let you know that I did, in fact, survive Historicon and the move that took place immediately after returning. How immediately? We got home late Monday, and the movers arrived Thursday morning bright and early. So, pretty immediately.

  So how was Historicon? It was a lot of fun, as usual. I think I came home with less stuff than I left home carrying, thanks to a decent showing at the Sunday morning Wally's Basement (aka gamers' flea market). I got to play games with and chat with a lot of people that I usually only get to see at the convention: Buck Surdu, David and Kalissa Skibicki, Jon Lundberg, Lon Weiss, Martin Goddard, James (whose last name I can never remember, but he runs lots of 40K themed games), Frank Chadwick, and others. I missed Howard Whitehouse this year, as he couldn't attend. I also made a couple of new acquaintances, so new folks to look forward to seeing in future years.

 As for the games, well, I played in several. I posted photos to Facebook from my phone, since that was the only camera I took with me. I'll get a few shots up here soon, I promise. The table for the Frostgrave games was truly amazing, and I need to get some photos of it up. Sadly, I couldn't get into any of the games they put on, but they looked just great and the players all seemed to be enjoying it. I ended up buying a set of the rules and a few figures for a pair of starter bands (a Witch and Apprentice and a Sigilist and Apprentice). So the games I did get to play...
  • Dystopian Wars 2.0: Just about the same as far as I can tell to older versions, though we didn't get into deeper strategies, so maybe that's where the difference lies. I did hear that a newer edition is on the horizon. I played as part of a Japanese force against a FSA fleet. We lost, but it was a near thing.
  • Congo: Probably my favorite game this convention. I tied for the win. The system for initiative and activation is really interesting, as it requires planning ahead but is still pretty flexible. It's also a pretty simple resolution system, which I liked.
  • Empire of the Dead: While I did horribly in this game (the victim of two factions ganging up on me and killing off all of my guys, barring my Packlord), I had a lot of fun with it, too. The 28mm scale Martian screw galley (a Whispering Death-class, IIRC) was amazing. So amazing that I bought a kit for it. God only knows when I will get around to building it. Anyway, I had the werewolves, and did my best to make sure it was 'night' throughout the game, but to no avail. If I had a bit more influence, it would have been night and a full moon. I did manage an eclipse, which lasted six turns with the help of the vampires. Anyway, Jon Lundberg put on another great game on the Miniature Building Authority table.
  • Bolt Action 2E: The Defense of Grammercy, Sicily. This game was amazing - it won the award for Best Theme Game (100 Years of Tanks) as well it should have. A big table with great scenery and models. The Skibickis (David and Kalissa, two of my favorite gaming folks EVAH!) really went whole hog on it and it showed. I was on the victorious German side, leading some Panzers and a few hapless infantry who never really got a chance to do much until the very end, where they assaulted and killed a Canadian Sherman. So that was fun.
  • And One I am Forgetting: I also forgot what time one of my games was and flat missed it.

  As far as toys purchased, I mentioned a couple already - the Frostgrave stuff that I bought from Brigade Games. I also bought a lot of trays and stuff from Dave's Baggage Train to help me organize my existing collection of minis. I bought a few test figures for a 15mm fantasy line by Battle Valor Games, mostly because they looked fun to paint. I got a paint rack and some 15mm huts from Impudent Mortal (nice folks, turns out the wife went to school with my sister a few decades ago) - and check out their upcoming Kickstarter. The giant ship I bought in the flea market, and I bought a few gifts for friends back home, also mostly in the flea market.

  Offspring #2 (Dane) who also went, spent a bit of time in the Hobby University, and has mentioned an interest in painting. I will need to get him a good basic set soon. He did spend a little of my hard earned money buying a few figures to paint, primarily Reaper Bones.

  So there's my brief, un-illustrated convention report. It's a long three and a half days, and a long five days of driving roundtrip, so I got home really tired only to have to pitch in to the move, but it was a good time and I really enjoyed the time I spent on the road with my son who is about to head off to college (uni for my UK friends) in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

On the Road to Historicon 2017

   Hi guys and gals! Long time, no post. I've been crazy busy - we are moving! This means lots of packing over the last month or so and not much gaming. So I have been very much looking forward to this trip with my youngest son (who just graduated high school and earned an Associate's Degree at the same time !). We are driving from League City, Texas, to Fredericksburg, Virginia. That's about 1,550 miles (2,460 km). One way.

   We are taking it in easy stages going out but have to hustle back home after the convention. So tonight, after two days in the car, we are in beautiful Charleston, WV. Actually, I don't know if it's beautiful or not - it was dark when we got to town. But the hotel is nice (Embassy Suites Downtown, got a heck of a deal on Priceline).

  So that's what is going on here in my world. I have been playing a weekly game of Pathfinder with a small group of adults, which is nice. The GM is right at my age and does a good job of storytelling. I've died three times already, but it is more an issue of each of the players dong their own thing rather than supporting one another. Oh well. My newest character is designed to be supportive. Maybe that will work out better.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tabletop Gaming Day 2017

   Last year I participated in a a local Tabletop Gaming Day event put on by a nice guy named Curtis. He invited me back again this year, and I went. I even brought a few other people, four guys from the Pathfinder group I am playing in now.

   I stayed a lot later than planned. Like, until midnight.

   Played a lot of games, some for the first time, some not. I did okay in wins/losses, too, which is unusual for me. I usually lose a lot more than I win, but have fun playing the game anyway so that's what matters most. Here's what I played, and my thoughts about the games.
  • King of Tokyo: Played twice, showing one guy how to play for the first time. I won both times.
  • Tsuro: Played twice, the first time for me. Okay with two players, but would probably be more fun with three or four. Very Asiatic and Zen in its play. Follow the path...
  • Dominion: First time. Played against three other people. The owner of the game, who was showing the rest of us how to lay, won handily. Still, it was fun. He had some expansions to the basic game in there as well.
  • Smash Up: I really like this game a lot. We play at home fairly often. I brought my copy with three (or is it four now?) expansions. I was the only experienced player of the seven (that's right, 7!!) playing. I played a new combo, Ghosts and Zombies. It was my first time playing Ghosts, and I didn't like them much. I still won, but it took FOREVER with that many new players. Like three hours.
  • Machi Koro: A neat Japanese deck building game where you try to finish off your city's landmarks. I played with three other people, I think the Bright Lights, Big City edition with the Harbour expansion as well. It was a lot of fun. I also won, which doesn't hurt the fun factor.
  • Cards Against Humanity: A group of about eight of us played. When we quit, I was tied for the lead with five cards. I'm a little ashamed of myself...
  • Werewolf: In this game, you have people who are secretly werewolves, and the rest of the players are villagers (well, some are special villagers). We played twice, with about 15 players each time. I was killed in both games, but the villagers discovered the werewolves the first time around. The second time around, I was the last villager and two werewolves got me. Oh well. It was a lot of fun, but I think it needs a lot of people. Playing with only five or six would be dull, and with less than four would be pointless.

   The cost for the event was a $5 door fee. They held raffles, and I won a $25 gift certificate to a local game store. They also provided food and non-alcoholic beverages all day, including donuts and pigs in a blanket in the morning, lunch of home smoked bbq brisket sandwiches, a variety of sides, a killer buffalo chicken dip, and pizza in the evening.

  All in all, considering I got three meals and made $20 while having a good time for about 14 hours, I would say it was a great day of gaming. Can't wait until next year!