Friday, July 26, 2013

Historicon 2013: Thursday

I traveled to Fredericksburg, VA, again this year for Historicon. I honestly have yet to have had a bad Historicon, so if I tell you, yet again, that I had a blast, I'm not sure how you should take it! I will say that I had concerns this year. I typically hunt for games with interesting rules I haven't gotten a chance to see in the flesh and try to get in those. However, this year, every set I could think of that fell into that category-- notably Maurice and Dux Britanniarum-- wasn't being run. In fact, I only preregistered for two games, and wasn't particularly enthusiastic about either (and, in fact, played in neither). There were a few things I was definitely interested in, though. Of primary interest was the Vauban's Wars playtest, an unofficial game.
My usual convention companion Bob and I drove about seven and a half hours up to Fredericksburg. This shaves about two and a half hours off our old drive time up to Lancaster, which frankly feels like a lot more when you're driving it than it sounds when I write it on my blog. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, which was nice again this year. It was about what you'd expect, but done well. Coffee was ready all day, cookies were laid out in the evening, breakfast was decent and different each day. The Host will always have a sentimental place in my heart, but I'd much, much rather actually stay at the Hamption Inn!! That may change the first con with bad rains-- we'll see how I feel about walking to the convention center then! But this year, the weather was clear and very hot.

Thursday morning saw me grab a spot in a 250th anniversary of Pontiac's Rebellion game of the the Battle of Bushy Run. From the PEL:

T-425 The Battle of Bushy Run 1763
Other; 9 AM; Length: 4 hrs; Hosted by: Cliff Brunken; Scale: 28 mm; Rules: This Very Ground; No. of Players: 6.
Come experience the 250th Anniversary of this pivotal battle that ended the Indian rebellion to open the way for western expansion. Come join Col. Henry Bouquet, the 42nd and 77th Highlanders with the 60th Royal Americans as they march to the relief of Fort Pitt and are ambushed by a combination of North American Indian tribes. After fighting until sunset the survivors build a make shift redoubt and continue the fight in the morning. Hand to hand, man to man and bayonet vs. the hatchet. Scenario designed by Gregory Padilla. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult.

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I like This Very Ground, and own a copy for that far distant day when I have my own FIW figures finished. However, I thought the hand-to-hand combat here was pretty brutal, in the Indians' favor. I talked with another Indian player, and we kind of agreed that the scenario might have been a bit fairer had we not been informed that the game would be scored specifically on how many pack mules the British got off the table. This let us recklessly charge in and kill them. Had our objective been a bit more nebulous-- "Ft. Pitt is down this road. Make sure it doesn't get resupplied," the game might have lasted a bit longer. Still, it was a fun game, and it sounded like it had been played several times without quite such a brutal result. I will chalk it up to superior generalship on the part of (at least one of) the Indian generals!

And that was it for playing on Thursday! I actually decided that I would rather just take it easy the rest of the day. I wandered the flea market and the vendor hall, and socialized with people, and generally relaxed. The dealer room seemed quite full, a bit more so than last year. I did wind up with a significant purchase from the dealer room. I have been saving my shekels to send off a bunch of 15mm Napoleonic Russians to be painted in Sri Lanka, probably by Fernando. However, I saw that GAJO Miniatures had stock on hand, for not a lot more than what shipping to Sri Lanka would have cost. And better yet, they had them NOW. So, I bought up the Russian foot he had-- about ten battalion of line and Jaeger. I bought two units of cavalry, but held off on the artillery. The cost was a bit much, and I thought I could knock that out quickly enough on my own.

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Later that evening, I hung around Peter Anderson's Battle of Möckern game. Peter always puts on some impressive Piquet games, and this was no exception!

T-237 Battle of Mockern October 16, 1813
Napoleonic; 6 PM; Length: 4 hrs; Hosted by: Peter Anderson; Scale: 28mm; Rules: Field of Battle, 2nd edition by Piquet; No. of Players: 6.
On the opening day of the Battle of Leipzig, Blucher’s attack from the North prevents Marmont’s Corps from aiding Napoleon’s main attack in the South. Teens age 14 and above welcome with a playing adult.

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