After weeks of planning, hours of painting, and my normal contingent bailing on me, I have gone to, and returned from Cold Wars, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
This year was a bit sad, as none of my normal crew was coming down with me for the "guy's weekend" or beer drinking and wargaming. Just adds up that I have an awesome wife to let me escape the kids for the weekend, and an awesome job that let's me have the time off.
After dropping the kids off at day care on Friday morning, I hit the road and reached the Host by 10:30, picked up my GM badge with no hassle, and brought my stuff down to the Distelfink ballroom.
Our fearless gnome leader, Jim Stanton, announced he wasn't showing up on Friday to run his game, but fellow Stout Gnome Mike Lung and myself would have none of it. Combining what we each brought, we managed to throw together a Gnome Wars scenario that not only was historically accurate (outside of the gnomes and frogs), still fit the minuscule two hour time slot, but fielded 12 players in the process. More on the Siege of Apia in a separate Cold Wars/Gnome Wars post.
|55 Days in Peking|
|AWI Battle of Springfield|
I had promoted this Kickstarter when it came out, but did not pledge, and I have two official statements to make: (1) I was a fool for not putting some money aside for this and (2) those of you who are still waiting, be patient, it shall be worth the wait.
The scenario was a few Martian tripods versus a mixture of British infantry, armor, and artillery. The British took the early initiative and knocked out three of the tripods with armored cars and infantry! The artillery and tanks couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, and my rolling the mass number of dice netted a ton of lucky penetration hits which levelled the invaders.
|All Quiet on the Martian Front BEF Coil Gun|
|The Infantry and Armoured Cars Had Been Unstoppable... Until Now|
|Lord of the Rings|
|Auto Racing - Always a fun draw|
- We'll all be working together to add some much needed (but not mandatory) fluff to flesh out the rulebook, possibly adjusting point totals and unit strengths. Nothing's off the table, but we want two new fans to be able to buy the two different nationalities and each have a chance of beating the other.
- Some people just don't like sculpting certain types of figures, thus avoiding an almost guaranteed cash cow.
- Reapercon is highly recommended to anyone who wants to improve their painting and/or sculpting.
- Brigade Games has some cool random releases coming out.
- The Anthropomorphic Animal World will soon be all a buzz
- Gnome Wars as a game may make an appearance at GenCon 2015.
- Troeg's Mad Elf will kick every one's ass in sufficient quantities.
Despite some minor logistical terrain issues, my Second Samoan Civil War game went off beautifully. Between the naval bombardment actually causing casualties and the pro-Anglo forces moving so swiftly that they avoided part of the rebel ambush, the game's outcome did not reflect the history books.
I am a bit sad, however, that the only picture of the whole table came out blurry:
|The First Battle of Vailele, Second Samoan Civil War|
|Gnome Wars - Fort Gullistan|
|Something looks out of place in Schlegel's Ferry|
|Double blind WW2 game from the HAWKS|
|Who needs to talk about the elephant in the room, when there's a great white whale?|
Alright then, the ratings:
Site: The Host is the Host is the Host. It held up, despite all its idiosyncrasies. Bathrooms were clean. Parking was okay. Temperature was balmy, but manageable in Distelfink. although this is the first time I ever notice the huge amounts of heat the lights give off. Friday night I stood under one to watch a game and I nearly got sun stroke. Saturday I simply refused to do more than peek my head into certain rooms. Those gamers are much more dedicated than I will ever be. I only caught the quickest of whiffs of strong BO, although I was constantly overpowered by onions in multiple place. I also noticed all the trash cans next to the pillars in the ballroom disappeared Saturday night. Moved perhaps?
Lodging: after one disaster at the Host during the Fall-In Blizzard of 2010/11/12 whenever, it's been back to the Continental ever since and I refuse to look back. I personally loved playing Frogger as a kids, to the Route 30 Dash is not a problem for my large frame.
Food: The burritos were tasty, and the pretzels overpriced but tasty. I will mention one particular girl on-site was ridiculously pleasant and that was a breath of fresh air. I would question where they hired some of them, but since they still performed their job competently, if slow, and I've had too many bad experiences the past month trying to buy a gallon of milk back home, they get a thumbs up in my book
Events: Adequate. I would have like to have seen more exotic games based on the con theme (Forgotten History), but everything looked good. On second thought, there seemed to be a LOT of Alamo games.
Dealers: A couple missing dealers, but they were made up by Hobby Bunker and a few newer ones that didn't catch my eye. After completing my con game, I really saw little that I actually wanted to buy. Most of my shopping was completed in the half hour before my Friday afternoon game: Dice and tape measures from Harmony House, another box of Pegasus palm trees, a pint of bases, a pair of stone docks from MBA, and some Zap-a-Gap. Despite wanting a French unit of gnomes to properly do Great War battles, I resisted, desperately waiting for something else to go "A-Ha!" but it never did.
Flea Market: Even jumping into the queue for the opening one session, it still seemed relatively calm compared to previous cons. I snagged up a Teddy Bear's Picnic set, as well as two packs of Eureka Teddy Bear Pirates, then a few female 3rd Edition D&D minis for the girls.
|The Meager Haul|