Thursday, July 25, 2013

Here come the British

I had been putting off buying bases until Historicon, so I spent the past week mounting the 28mm Napoleonics I had been painting.  First up, some doughty units of British line by Perry.  This is my first effort in plastics and my first go at 28mm large-scale units.  I based them to the standard of my local club, which was established when 25mm figures were significantly smaller than they are now, but I like the look.  I'm not fond of basing for rank-and-file troops with too much real estate between figures.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Road Home from Historicon: Manassas

My money spent and drained both physically and emotionally, I left Historicon early Monday morning.  With a few hours of "me time" to spare, I decided to drive ten miles out of my way to visit the battlefield of Bull Run/Manassas.  I visited the Fredericksburg battlefield a few years back and was gravely disappointed by how the town had encroached upon Maryes' Heights, where so many Union soldiers had died.  To my delight, Manassas was pristine, uncluttered by modern intrusions and only minimally cluttered with later memorials.  The park service has done a good job with both interpretation and maintaining the battlefield in its 1861/2 condition.  Kudos to the Park Service and the uniformed interpreters who were there at 8:30 on a Sunday morning!  

I love the countryside in this part of Virginia.  It's almost impossible to take a bad photo.

Stonewall Jackson contemplating what has to be the most butt-ugly battlefield monument I have ever seen.  This must be Union vengeance for two defeats at this site.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Last Historicon Update

The last game I played in, on Saturday night, was so epic it deserves a page of its own.  Run by Scott Christian and the groovy Prairie Pirate dudes who hope to publish the Fistful of Seamen rules (the "a" is important!).    I saw a copy of the rules in advance of Historicon, and in my opinion they blow other pirate rules sets out of the water.  Easily telescoping from skirmish scale to ship battles, the simple but elegant mechanic makes for a fun, fast game.

But enough text.  Lets see the game!

There was no way a non-aerial shot could take in the awesome size of the play surface.  This shows two out of three of the "open sea" boards.  The Pirate island and Cannibal Island are visible in the background, but my favorite board, Adventure Island, is off the shot to the right.

Our hard-working hosts.

I played on the Dutch team.  Here's my ship, the Rood Dijk (yeah, I know...).  She was wicked fast, but for the first half of the game, I was under the impression that she was a Millenium Falcon-style fast small freighter.  Little did I realize that she was actually a fragile yet lethal warship.

One of the great things about the game was the way that there were plenty of occasions for wild, crazy things to happen at a moment's notice, just short of a sharknado, but I would not be surprised to see such a lethal waterspout in future iterations.  So OF COURSE the Kraaken made an appearance.  It sank one English vessel and crippled a French warship.  That's funny because they're not Dutch.

Om nom.

Here is my first engagement.  War with the English broke out just as I had finished trading with two merchant vessels at sea.  They opened fire on me, and I found to my amazement that my return volley almost entirely wiped out the crew of one of my attackers as he tried to board me.  Go swivel guns!  Anyhow, he lacked the personnel to capture me, and my own crew was so small that I could not afford to take a prize.  I think the Brits were more scared of me than I was of them, and they agreed to a deal in which they would let me sail off unharmed.  So, my first battle ended with an embarrassed clearing of throats and an agreement to pretend the whole thing never happened.  Much like the real Anglo-Dutch War.

One of my Dutch brethren sailed away from the fleet, only to be cut off by six English warships!

Here's the English town I helped to capture, which is just as well, since our own port fell to the French.  And pirates.  And I'm pretty sure the cannibals and Kraaken were in charge at one point.  But we had Kingston, mon.

Kayla rings the bell to announce the last turn...

...which is just enough time for the Ghost ship to ram a Spanish vessel that the English had captured.  Good times.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday at Historicon

Sadly, my first game this morning was cancelled, but that left me more time to see the sites and to meet my fellow gamers.  Enjoy.

I took a tour of the game area where Scott Christian and his band of buccaneers hosted what has to be the most awe-inspiring and visually impressive game ever put on at Historicon. They won "Best in SHow" while we were still playing the game, and for good reason.  They worked really hard for a very long time to make sure we had a great time.  I'll put up another post just about the game, as I took a lot of photos. 

Pokemon gaming!  Audrey woulda loved this.

Here's my first Saturday game, the "Prelude to Vicksburg" run by Miles Reidy, whose blog I've been following for a while.  Amazingly, he painted these 28mm ACW troops after deciding to run the game six months ago.   He's a great guy who believes that fun should be at the core of every game, and he went a long way to make it that way for his players.

Oh, no! Ironclad approaching!

Hey, look!  It's Helms Deep!

Kudo's to the old guys who ran HG Well's "Little Wars," complete with spring-loaded cannon!