02 May 2010

Little Wars convention

Little Wars has come and gone, and I had an even better time than last year, when it was, by my accounting, pretty good.  Played in four games over a three day con, and enjoyed all the games, even if I had to keep my right hand from going for the green pen, Dr Strangelove-style, on some of the rules sets.  First was Mein Panzer — a Khalkyin Gol scenario of the Russo-Japanese battles of 1939.  Well-designed scenario run by a novice to the system who had never run or played MP with anyone else.  Came to his assistance a few times, and that helped keep the game moving.  Did not even mind that it was in 15mm, which is too big for this 6mm diehard.

Saturday, there were two AWI games from rules sets that I had never heard of.  Both used a modified buckets-of-dice system, with one having more historical accuracy than the other.  Still, neither inspired me to run out and purchase their systems, though I fell prey to the scenario book that one game had published.  Maybe I will spring for their ruleset now.  This latter game was almost spoiled by referee "helpers," i.e., co-authors of the game, who were so interested in moving the game along for each side that they were taking decisions out of the hands of the players.  They let up after a complaint, and we went ahead and made our own horrid errors.  Somehow we muddled through, as the colonists posted their second AWI victory in games I played.

Sunday morning I spent trying out a new WWI – WWII naval game, called Naval Thunder.  There were aspects of it I liked, and others I did not like so much.  My personal reservations about the game did not stop me from having my IJN DD put four torpedoes into Prince of Wales.  Bottoms up!  The Sunday afternoon agenda was the First Army Division museum in Wheaton, IL, for which my buddy and fellow traveller Tim can do a visual narrative from the number of pictures he took.  Good static displays of everything from a M5 Stuart through various AFV incarnations to a M1 Abrams.  Some infantry guns, too.

Did I forget to mention great pizza?  And Hooked on History bookshop? How could I forget keeping from reflexively reaching for my billfold like Tim, who is a candidate for carpo-tunnel syndrome from his continual wallet-grabbing.  Found some gems amongst owner Bruce Herrick's "rubbish" books at Hooked on History, and some of the discounted $10 books.  Nice.

Last gaming-related event was a visit to Games Plus, who took some of my money for an out-of-print Runequest Glorantha book and the inevitable dice.  Good to find blank versions of D12's and D20's.  May have to get some more of their out-of-print Runequest stuff.

All in all, a great break from the mundane and somewhat stale daily events.  Almost sorry to be back, but am looking forward to the next travel squad event for me and the intrepid few to the east coast and Historicon.

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