Welcome to the latest of my rare blog entries. This past weekend I had the chance to attend Historicon in Fredericksburg, VA. I was able attend from Thursday through Sunday thanks to the generosity of my wife, who let me go while she took care of our two young boys.
My first event on Thursday was a SAGA tournament hosted by the unrivaled Joe Moore and generoulsy sponsored by Architects of War. SAGA is a skirmish game where Dark Age war-bands duke it out for supremacy. It features a "battle board" mechanic where dice are rolled to determine what normal and special activations and abilities you can use. You allocate the dice and plan your turn accordingly. This allows for a lot of heroic combat a la the Viking Sagas, and is great fun. The format was three rounds to be followed by a fourth round free-for-all amongst the top 4 competitors. I played my Irish army, using the Welsh battle board as no rules for Irish exist yet. The warbands were 6 points. I took 2 points of hearthguard, 2 of warriors, and 2 of levies. My plan was to used mass ranged fire and my large numbers to overwhelm my opponents' units in conjunction with the Welsh abilities such as Taunt and Strength in Numbers. In my first game I played against a Viking army and we played the first scenario Clash of Warlords. The goal was to kill the enemy warlord and if not to have scored more victory points.
Early on I maneuvered into the tree line to use the Welsh terrain advantages and start sniping.
Here you can see my warband on the lower right, the Skraelings on the lower left, Steve's Normans top left and the Colonel's Welsh on the top right.
Here you can see the Roman setup. I was assigned to the Roman army and took command of the cavalry and elephants. I typically hate the Romans, but well, I had no choice! In this scenario the Romans are besieging a Dacian fort, and are hit in the rear by a relieving force of Sarmatian heavy cavalry. The Roman goal is to simply survive the game and protect the siege engines on the hill. Nos moirturi te salutamus!
On Saturday afternoon I did a little shopping and picked up the fantastic (and I mean it) Wargames Factory 28mm WWII Germans and a few other odds and ends. I retired to the hotel room to assemble a few and I was not disappointed with them. After dinner I played in a gigantic and gorgeous WWII skirmish game called "Rattenkrieg: Der Kursk Weg" which was set in Ponyri on the Eastern Front and used the Crossfire rules set. The game was put on by Peter Gaut, another obviously talented modeler and painter! In this game, I played as a Soviet commander (of course) and our mission was simply to stop the Germans from securing a majority of the victory locations on the board, which were marked by Soviet flags. The Germans had enormous armored superiority but the Soviets start completely hidden and have some serious artillery and sniper support.
Here is the board before any figures are on it.
On Sunday I went back to the flea market and surprisingly sold a good amount of stuff, despite the much lighter traffic. I picked up a couple of 28mm German vehicles before I got lunch and headed home!
For shopping, I thought the dealer hall was pretty good, although it did seem perhaps a little smaller than in the past. There were also not as many good sales as I have sometimes seen in the past. I picked up the new Bolt Action rules from Osprey, some Flames of War Eastern Front terrain, some SAGA stuff to go with my free army (hee hee) and two boxes of very reasonable 28mm Germans in plastic along with three vehicles from the Bolt Action and Army Group North lines. At the flea market I got some 20mm plastics for my Imjin War project and a copy of Richard Borg's Abaddon sci-fi game. I also found a 28mm Tiger for very cheap. Overall, I got some good stuff and managed to stay focused on the projects I had in mind before I went to the con.
Overall it was my best HMGS experience ever! I live in VA so it was only an hour drive to the convention for me, which of course was great. I found the site to be very good. The acoustics in the main hall were a bit rough but tolerable. The location offered a lot of food choices, especially if you went not 5 minutes from the building, where there was a Wegman's, or about 5 minutes down the road where there was an enormous number of restaurants. I stayed at the Hampton Inn, which was perfect. No mold, no stink, no complaints! I don't miss the Host at all, folks! See you next year at Historicon in Fredericksburg!