Sunday, November 19, 2017

Brian Weathersby Reports on MillenniumCon Post Captain

IHMN at MillenniumCon XX

   The third game I participated in at the convention was the game I brought: In Her Majesty's Name. It's a Victorian Science Fiction skirmish/warband game. 

   I provided four factions: the Society of Thule, the Servants of Ra, Lord Curr's Incorrigibles, and the human Minions of Otto Maton. The mission in this game was simple: escape oncoming death. Having disturbed ancient secrets in the Sahara, a curse of flesh eating scarab swarms is chasing all of the factions. Their only hope is to make it to the river boats.

The village of Ruh Naway and the all important boats moored at the docks.

   In order to escape on a boat, a faction had to have control of it - there could be no members of a different faction aboard. Then, on the following Movement phase, it could leave - but not if anyone boarded that turn. Boats then moved up to 9" in a turn (just off the board was sufficient).

The setup.

Lord Curr veers his Incorrigibles away from the Society of Thule

The Society and the Servants mix it up on the right.
One of the Servants, Sairah the Assassin Queen, dashes far ahead of the rest.
Every cultist would lay down his life for Akhenaton.

Maton's Minions move in a disciplined group along the far left flank,
led by the quadcycle.

   The fellow who played the minions stuck strictly to the mission, and it paid off. He got every one of his forces onto the boat, gaining a game-winning 45 points (plus two kills).

In the village square, "Mad" Mick stands alone against the Jaegers and Todtruppen
of the Society of Thule.

   This is the first time I have managed to get the Todtruppen (zombie jaegers) on the field. They are fun, but slow. Mick was abandoned to his fate by the rest of the Incorrigibles.

The boats casting off. In the lead is Akhenaton.

   Note that one boat is missing: Sairah stole it by being first to the docks. This ensured that one team would not be able to escape. A clever strategy. As it turned out, the Society of Thule was doomed. Even more fun, the mummified priest used his power of the Path of Shadows (essentially a teleport spell) to board the boat after it launched.

   After the game ended, we had a bull session about how to improve the scenario. The best idea was to change the motivation of the Servants of Ra. The suggestion was to use them as a blocking force in the village, and reduce the number of boats to three - or maybe even just two. Most importantly, everyone said they had fun, which was the whole point.

   I want to give a special thanks to Jim Johnson for helping me out by bringing a few pieces of really nice terrain. A couple of those buildings are his, made by Crescent Root, and excellent pieces. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Game 2: Frostgrave

   The second game I played in at MillenniumCon was on Friday afternoon. This time, I was trying out Frostgrave. This is a set of fantasy skirmish rules with a definite campaign / warband building aspect. It's quite popular, and the minis are nice. You can also use random other fantasy figures to help fill in your warband. I bought the rules back in the summer, so it was time to give it a try.

One part of the magnificent lost city of Frostgrave

  It is a terrain intensive game, I think. Is this a dichotomy of wargaming, that the fewer figures you need, the more terrain you want? It seems to be...

The Witch and his apprentice.

  I chose the witch as my wizard because, well, it's a cool looking model. Also, I have this pair already, though not painted.

Fallen columns of frost-rimed stone...

A rapid retreat with the loot...

   You always want to be sure to secure some treasure. That's the point of the game. You use treasure to build up your warband over a series of games.

A giant worm erupts from the frozen ground.

   This worm would be responsible for the death of the archer you see there. And also my wizard. Darn it.

   All in all, I had fun. I won somehow, as the rules count how many spells you successfully manage to cast, and I cast one more than my opponent. All other factors being equal, that meant I won the game by a slim margin. Even though I lost a lot more of my warband including my wizard. Well, I didn't set the victory conditions - I'll just be glad they favored me.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Posting about Post Captain

   So the first game I played at the convention was on Friday morning. I tried out a set of Napoleonic naval rules (Age of Sail) called Post Captain, which are produced by Old Dominion Game Works (ODGW). They also make Close Action and some other rules I believe for nval gaming in other eras as well as land gaming. But I digress.

   Being a total Anglophile, and the first to arrive, I got to choose which ship I would captain. I took the British vessel. Hearts of oak, and all that, what? After a couple of turns maneuvering, the French let fly at my rigging from a great distance, doing little damage. We closed to more effective ranges and began hammering one another.

The French (on the right in this photo) have the wind gage. 
I maneuver upwind, eager to bring them under my guns.

My ship, Northumberland (74), the pride of the Royal Navy.
Miniature is Langdon, I believe.
Custom rigging by the owner, Brian Weathersby.

The French fire at my rigging...

I cross his T and stern rake the Frogs!
Up until this point, my larboard battery had not been fired.

   Eventually, I managed to cause some pretty critical damage to his vessel, hitting both his pumps and smashing the wheel. Stuck on a single course, I could maneuver right up behind him for the fatal blow. My last broadside was from my previously un-fired larboard battery, at virtually point blank range, right into his stern. This is about as good a situation as one can find oneself in from the standpoint of being the giver. This cannonade killed his captain, shattered his mizzenmast, sprung the main top, dismounted about half of his remaining guns... he hauled down his colours.

Jeff Hunt, owner of Portsmouth Miniatures.
They make nice ships too.
He's running a different game here.

   I had fun, but don't think I will be getting deeply into this sort of gaming. First, Brian is local and I figure I can get him to come beat on me anytime, and he has plenty of ships. Plus, his are spectacularly rigged out, taking hours of concentration and skill. Really, they are beautiful. Second, I am already working on so many other projects now... and third, it does take a good deal of time. We managed as two beginners to have a one-on-one duel to a conclusion in just under four hours. A fleet action would have been an all-day affair.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

MillenniumCon XX Flash Report

   Just got home from Round Rock. Overall, I had a really good time at the convention. Photos will follow soon (ish). Highlights:
  • My game went really well. A few bumps, but everyone seemed to enjoy it, and I got some good feedback for a future refinement... this one may return.
  • I played in five games. Of those, I won four (one was a co-operative win). The other was determined a draw.
  • Bought a good deal of new toys.
  • Met a lot of new people, mainly gamers from Texas.
  • Ran into a lot of people I have met over the years at various other stores and conventions.
  • Best of all, I ran into someone I knew a long time ago. Tim was one of my fish buddies when we were in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. We are both Class of '94 members of Company A-2, 7th Btn, 1st Reg't. We hadn't seen one another in almost 24 years, but we got a chance to catch up some while we played a game of OGRE together. Information exchanged.

   Basically, I have to say that MillenniumCon is the best small convention I have ever attended. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed. The venue is good (could use food service) and clean.

   That's the FLASH report.