Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Home from Huzzah

Well, Huzzah,the Maine Historical Wargamers Association annual convention, has come and gone again and I am now back home after a stop to visit family. I was too busy to have done a proper survey but there was a wide variety of styles of games from the latest fads in historical miniature wargaming to old classics to innovative new games, historical, scifi, fantasy, board games and more. Here's a quick summary of my weekend.

One of the highlights for me this year was the appearance of a contingent of HAWKS from Maryland. (see Chris's report. - no idea how he did that camera trick where the hair on top of my head disappears.) The HAWKS are an active and creative group who put a lot into the hobby. I have known and gamed with them at conventions and by email since late last century and around 15 years ago they handed me a shirt and  kindly adopted me as sort of a foreign mascot.  For the last 4 years I have been unable to attend any of the big HMGS cons so this was a  welcome chance to reconnect with friends.

 Rob's 6mm fantasy armies on a printed game mat. Much more attractive than the handpainted one of the Chateaugay battlefield that I did in 1998 for my first appearance as a gamemaster at a US con. This one seems very durable but then my old one was refreshed and saw service at Huzzah last year so I guess it is durable too.

Friday afternoon was set aside for Rob Dean and myself to test out the basic rules for fantasy mass combat that we are adapting from Morscshauser's shock period rules. Rob's goal is a game using classic fantasy miniatures from the 1970's but for the test he brought along his much more portable case of 6mm HOTT fantasy figures and terrain and we lucked into an open table. We added a movement rule for flyers and assigned standard movement, armour and combat ratings for various non human units as seemed appropriate. We had no magic rules yet but Morschauser urged some form of objective beyond killing the enemy so we set a magician on the hill conjuring a spell to reduce the bad guys (elves and such) castle to rubble unless they (Rob and son Norman) could reduce the good guys (orcs and wolves and such) to below 50% before they suffered the same. Despite the small stature of the figures the action ranged across the whole table in a satisfying manner with my horse archers ending up behind the enemy's center. More on this soon on my Gathering of Hosts blog but the explosion that rocked the castle was very satisfying.

Friday night was our 1st Not Quite The Seven Years War (NQSYW) game of the weekend. CS Grant's Sawmill Village using Charge! and Prince August home cast 40mm home cast semiflat figures.
Friday night was the first of two Not Quite The Seven Years War (NQSYW) games that Rob and I hosted. We were a bit short on players but one of the good things about a group like the HAWKs is that there is almost always someone to step in to make up numbers sufficiently for the game to go on for those who have signed up.

HAWK Bill Acheson's Empire of the Petal Throne by Gaslight.  

Saturday morning it was my turn to help out as a NonPlayer Character running a native tribe hostile to strangers  in Bill Acheson's Empire of the Petal Throne game. I don't do a lot of this sort of gaming but it is fun to unwind and indulge every now and then, esp when it provides a chance to enjoy Bill's marvellous creativity and ingenuity when putting a game together.

Not Quite Fontenoy. Rob explaining Charge! to a full slate of players.

Saturday afternoon Rob & I ran another NQSYW game with the 40mm semiflats, Scenario 1 from Scenarios for Wargames or the rather-reminiscent-of-Fontenoy scenario. I won't clutter this post with dimly lit, fuzzy, cell phone snaps but I do have 1 or 2 more that will appear in a longer account of the battle on the NQSYW blog ere long. Suffice it to say that the game was a squeaker with a long lasting series of cavalry charges and counter charges and much shooting and storming of houses. As the light faded though, with both armies well battered, the Northern Alliance was still clinging to 2 of the objectives. 

The combined Rosmark Grenadier battalion ended the day bloodied but still in undisputed possession of the right hand town.  
Saturday night I had been scheduled to play in a new Firefly board game but was too tired and hungry and backed out in favour of dinner. Afterwards I filled in an empty chair in Eric Schlegel's 10mm ACW using the ACW version of Look Sarge No Charts.  I've seen various No Charts games being run over the years but never played so I was able to satisfy my curiosity as well as being useful and having some fun. I didn't take a picture so hopefully Chris will forgive me from borrowing one from his blog.

The 10mm figures are nice  but I needed my reading glasses and a close look to see the detail and read the unit stats printed on the bases.  (Picture by Chris Palmer)
Sunday was a relaxed day. I wasn't booked for anything so I wandered around the tables, dealers and flea market but concentrated on watching a Light Bobs game to see how it worked and hovering over Gary, my travelling companion, who was in his element playing in a 28mm Black Powder Waterloo, and offering  helpful comments like "Haven't you broken into Hugomont yet?"

At last it was all over and time to pack up and hit the road, already considering next year's game. Leading contender is a 40mm reprise of Montgomery's New Year's Eve assault on Quebec which I ran in 54mm at Cold Wars in 2001, but its early days yet.

Oh yes, the inevitable loot. Didn't do quite as well this year at not adding to the clutter at home. Rob & I traded some surplus figures and I think I came ahead on that one but this year I brought back more books than I managed to trade in: McDonald's Boer War in Postcards, Farwell's Great War in Africa, and Blanch's The Sabres of Paradise (19thC Russian in the Caucasus - I'm expecting to meet Flashman "Lick up the Honey"....) , a used copy of Season 4 Game of Thrones and a couple of fantasy figures from Foot Sore Miniatures (Its not my fault, they make marvelous miniatures),

Thank you to the organizers for all the hard work that goes into hosting an excellent convention like this and thank you to all the great gamers who played the games Rob & I put on.


  1. Really interesting report and the fantasy rules sound really exciting!

    1. Very small changes but they worked surprisingly well, if maybe a little quick for some.

  2. Great looking games. I have some Prince August moulds kicking around somewhere, really must get round to doing something with them!

    1. Its a taste thing but I like'em and nothing to do with the price per figure.