Thursday, March 5, 2015

(Throwback Thursday) Cold Wars '99

I had previously attended Cold Wars in Lancaster as a flea market vendor and a cheap college student sliding into the dealer hall under false pretenses on Sunday morning, but Cold Wars '99 was my first HMGS con as a normal participant.

The theme for Cold Wars was “Battleground China” and that meant a slew of Boxer Rebellion and Russo-Japanese games.

For the regulars who attend the HMGS cons today, you might be surprised by the simplicity of the digest-sized on-site book:

A few ads, over 200 events, excluding tournaments, and outside of a select few car racing or non-GW Middle Earth game, everything else was very historical!

My first game was COL246 55 Minutes at Peking – Theme Event – GM Ed Watts, based on the rules from an ancient issue of Wargames Illustrated. It was a spectacular set-up, with so much terrain, that we had no clue what was going on at the consulates on the other side of the table. I think I played the second half of a split unit of Americans (French perhaps?) and we did nothing but hold our ground as the Austrians and Russians ran through the board in a panic, yet killing all the Boxers they encountered.

The second event I can’t find in the on-site book. It was a Boxer Rebellion game covering the relief expedition heading to Peking. If I learned anything from my first game, it was claim dibs on the Japanese. They were a small unit, but they were disciplined and kick-ass.

This was also my only foray into Carnage and Glory , the computer moderated game system. I provided the referee with my unit’s actions and once everything was entered, it churned out the results. Not a tremendous amount of fun, but my Japanese single-handedly cleared out the artillery emplacement in the center of the board. The referee also sounded exactly life Patrick Warburton, known for numerous roles (including something called… Seinfeld?) but I knew him as the live-action Tick.  

For my first historical wargaming convention, it was a hoot, plus I could proudly walk into my German class on Monday with my "Der Krieg mit China" t-shirt.

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