Monthly Archives: March 2015

Dwarven Forge City Builder Kickstarter

Chris Palmer I just wanted to take a moment and let my readers know about the new Dwarven Forge City Builder Kickstarter.   It is introducing a neat new product from Dwarven Forge for creating modular city buildings.   While a little on the pricey side, I really like the “building block’ nature of the components, and think it will be a lot of fun to play around with, besides being really beautifully crafted like everyone has come to expect from Dwarven Forge.

    I’ve gone in for the Hamlet set and a couple of the extra roof packs so far.  I’m interested to see just how far this one can go, knowing the success of past Dwarven Forge Kickstarters.

  To check it out for yourself, visit their Kickstarter Page.

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Crystal Golem from Bones II

Chris Palmer

     I had time this week to finish up the Crystal Golem figure from the Bones II Blue Translucent Set. I wanted to paint him up like some kind of Ice Golem to use with my ever growing collection of winter themed figures.
      I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 1.5” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue. The washer was big enough to hold, comfortably, so I didn’t glue it to a tongue depressor like I usually do.

  First, I gave the figure a heavy wash with Iron Wind Metals “Dark Blue” ink with a pin point of dish soap added to help it flow into the crevices. I used a brush I had dipped in water, to help thin the ink slightly.

  When the ink was good and dry, I drybrushed the figure lightly with Americana “Salem Blue”, and then went  over that with a drybrushing of plain white.

      Lastly, I added two white dots for eyes, and painted the entire base white.   After everything had had time to dry, I gave the figure a coat of Cermacoat “Matte Varnish”.   When this was good and dry, I mixed a little white paint and Elmer’s white glue together, and painted some patches on his shoulders and back.  While it was still wet, I sprinkled it with Woodland Scenics “Snow Flock”.  I then gave the base a coat of Elmer’s white glue and flocked it with the “Snow Flock as well. I finished up by adding a little clump of unfrayed twine to be some winter grasses.  I didn’t spray with the usual Testor’s “Dullcoat”, as I liked the slight sheen left over from the Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish” (Which is not 100% Matte.)

    I’m really pleased with how this figure turned out.

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Battleground WWII – Friday Cold Wars 2015

Don
Friday afternoon at Cold Wars 2015, I ran a Battleground scenario called “Defending the Pont”.  The scenario was a recreation of K Company’s defense of “The Point” on Peleliu.  It was a hard fought battle for the Marines as Japanese machine guns and direct fire guns steadily whittled them down, man by man.  Random artillery rounds fell on the Marine positions through the fight with little real effect. 

The Marines gave as good as they received and Japanese casualties littered the sand.  In the rear, the Japanese Commander stayed in his bunker the entire battle – not very inspirational but he did survive the battle.

A view of The Point from the Marine side

 On the first turn of the battle, the Marines lost their radio to Japanese howitzer fire.  And with it their chance of obtaining artillery support from the landing beach.

On the left flank of The Point, the leader of one Japanese unit told his men to prepare to banzai charge. 

Japanese unit prepares to banzai charge….or maybe not
 As they got ready, the leader, Naga-Jeff-asaki, changed his mind and ran off the board (Rolled a 20 on a morale check); leaving his troops very confused.
 
On the other side of The Point, another Japanese leader yelled for his men to follow him.  Yelling “Banzai….Banzai”, he charged toward the Marine position.  After 20 yards, he noticed that none of his men had followed – he died alone but with honor.
 

A view of The Point from the Japanese side
 
Marine casualties start to add up


On the left flank, the Marines wait for the inevitable Japanese assault

As things got tough for the Marine defenders, 4 or 5 Japanese managed to gain a foothold on The Point, killing several Marines.  Captain Hunt moved to intercept them…..

Captain Hunt engages  4 Japanese

Captain Hunt earns his Navy Cross
 In the end, the Japanese came close to gaining a foothold on The Point….but close wasn’t good enough.  The Marines held on until reinforcement arrived.

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Cold Wars Saturday Games in the HAWKs Room

Chris Palmer It was busy from morning to night in the HAWKs room Saturday at Cold Wars.  In between my GM duties, I was able to get some shots of some of the other games going on in the room.  For reports on the “Battle of Paris, 1814” game and the “Battle of the Elven Capitol” game I was involved in, see Paris and Elves.

An overview of the room Saturday morning.

David Schlegel (in red hat) running his “Incident at Schlegel’s Gulch” Wild West game using “Blood & Swash” rules

Duncan Adams (in maroon shirt) helps a player during his “West Bank at New Orleans, 1815” game using “Wellington Rules”.

A close-up of the New Orleans game, as British try to storm the American positions.

Kevin Fischer’s (in blue shirt) “Mobile Suit Gundam” game using “Mobile Suit Combat” rules

Norman Dean (pointing) explains an objective to a player at the start of his  Scarlet Pmpernel game using “They Seek Him Here, They Seek Him There” rules 

Another shot of the Scarlet Pimpernel game.

Eric Schlegel  (in black baseball hat) running his “Everyone Comes to Schlegel’s Ferry” game using  GASLIGHT rules.

Sam Fusion (in black and gray sweater) giving the rules brief before his “Dan’l Boone to the Rescue” game using “Muskets and Tomahawks” rules. 

During a lull in the action around dinner time Sam Fusion presented several of the HAWKs with thank -you awards, including battalion challenge coins and battalion mugs, from the 114th Signal Battalion for the HAWKs’ efforts in providing annual SLPD events for the battalion’s Officers, Senior NCO’s and Senior Civilian Leaders. For more info on the most recent HAWKs SLPD efforts, see SLPD

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Battle For the Elf Capital, Using “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” Rules at Cold Wars

Chris Palmer On Saturday night, we reset the 20 ft. table we had used for our morning Napoleonic game, “Battle of Paris, 1814”, (See report here) with fantasy figures for a big 12-player  ”Battle for the Elven Capital” game using the mass combat fantasy rules, “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” and 10mm figures. Buck, Surdu, Dave Wood, and I all co-GMed the game so there was plenty of help for players new to the rules.

An overview of the table. The Caledonian Heights can be seen in the back left of the table.

In this outing, the High Elves (and some of their Elven cousins from the Woods and Sea), replaced the French from the earlier Battle of Paris game; and a loose alliance of Dwarves, Antmen, Undead, and Goblins replaced the Prussians and Russians from 1814.  This time the attackers were bent on  ransacking the Elven city and capturing the wealth it contained.

HAWK David Schlegel  helps a young gamer and his Mom. Both mother and child grasped the rules pretty quick and seemed to have a lot of fun co-commanding their Elven force.

Apparently, the Elves had become over-secure and careless in their ever-increasing wealth, and the new outer walls of their growing city were only partially complete.  The alliance formed against them saw a keen opportunity to separate the Elves from their riches.

A force of Dwarves, with the Dwarven cavalry anchoring the right of the Allies line, advances towards the Heights

The Elves chose the Caledonian Heights  on the outskirts of their city to anchor their stand against the invaders.  The Alliance formed on the plains below to make their attack, with the Dwarves and Antmen on the right and right-center,and the Undead on the left-center, and the Goblins on the far left.

The beginning of the battle for the wall that lasted almost the whole game.  With  no one avialable nearby to hold the wall as the Dwarves neared, the local Elven commander sends his warband of Giant Eagles and a unit of Pixies to hold the wall. In the photo a unit of Dwarves has gained the first foothold on the top.

With commands distributed among the players, the game began.  The Dwarves and Antmen started their stoic march on the Heights, as did the Undead on their left.  The Goblins on the far left advanced towards some built up areas and canals they needed to cross to gain the Heights.

The Goblin horde advances on the left, as HAWK Noah Guilbault helps a young Goblin commander conduct a melee on a unit of Elves defending a built-up area

As the battle waged on the Heights, fortunes see-sawed back and forth.  Meanwhile, the Goblins on the left ran into stiff resistance and restricted approach lanes which greatly hampered their advance. In the center the desperate Elves had only a warband of Giant Eagles to send to defend their partial wall as the Dwarves approached. The Eagles were joined by a unit of Pixies as a back and forth battle developed for control of the walls.

The battle rages on the heights. In the foreground a pair of monstrous Dust -Devils prepares to assault an Elven unit, as Antmen come under a hail of Elven Archer fire.

Just as in the historic game in the morning, the attackers seemed to be in reach of gaining their objective of capturing the hill right as their losses began to tell and some of the attacking warbands began to rout off the slopes.

Another view of the battle

There was massive carnage on all sides.  Besides the loss of many rank and file warriors, commanders and airships were brought down as well.   First one of the Goblin over-all commanders fell to some Elf Knights,  then the Elven Commander on his mighty dragon was cut down. The majestic Elven Airboat was brought down by a unit of Giant Wasps.

The battle for the wall continues. The Dwarves have now gained a stronger presence on the wall, and the Eagles are beginning to be the worse for wear.  In the end, the Eagles were eliminated and the Dwarves held the wall,  but a small remnant of Pixies still held out in the right-hand tower

In the end, the Elves managed to hold the Caledoinain Heights at a heavy cost, and they were declared the victors.   Everyone seemed to have a good time and picked up the rules very quickly.  As GMs, we had a great time running the event for a great group of gamers.

An Elven Wizard creates a magical wall of flame to hamper the advance of some approaching Dwarves.

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Cold War Report: The Battle of Paris 1814, using “Fate of Battle” Rules

Chris Palmer Saturday morning we were up early to do the final set-up for our big 12 player “Battle of Paris, 1814” game using “Fate of Battle” rules and 10mm figures on a 20 ft. table.    The battle centered around the Montmartre Heights on the outskirts of the city, as Russian and Prussian armies attempted to storm the city and oust Napoleon.  Joseph, who had been left in charge of the city while Napoleon  was out trying to raise a new army, was supposed to have been fortifying Paris, but had only managed a few hasty defensive works as the enemy approached.
      Buck Surdu, Dave Wood and I were the GM’s, but due to being short a few players, I ended up commanding a force rather than doing a lot of help with the game-mastering

An overview of the battlefield near the beginning. The Montmartre Heights can be seen in the back left of the table.

    The game began with the Prussians and Russians making the march towards the slopes and coming under long range cannon fire.  My command was located on the French right, were we attempted to fight a delaying withdrawal against superior numbers.

A view of the battlefield from the other end of the table. The ranks of Prussians and Russians can be seen preparing to climb the slopes. 

     As the battle raged on the Allies began to push further up the slopes. Meanwhile, on the French right, the canals and built-up areas prevented either the attackers or defenders from gaining a true initiative as movement was slowed and maneuver difficult.

Buck Surdu, pointing, helps a player work out an artillery fire result.

    It  eventually began to look to everyone that an Allied victory was inevitable, as the Allied forces neared the crest of the heights; but the wear of the uphill battle began to show on the attackers, as one after another brigade began to rout back down the heights. To everyone surprise it suddenly began to look like the French would be able to hold the heights after all.

Dave Wood, the other GM, explains a rule to an onlooking player.

      As the game wound down there were some tense turns as the French and Allies, like two battered boxers, tried to land some decisive punches on the heights, but both seemed too exhausted to do so.  When time was up, the French were declared the winner; as the Allies did not appear to have enough strength left to dislodge the remaining defenders from the hill.

A close-up  of some cavalry action on the French right, as a unit of Russian Cavalry appears on the flank and French cavalry turns to meet it. 

     Everyone seemed to have a good time, and it was a great group of players who took part.     I certainly enjoyed myself; even though no decisive outcome was had on the French right were I as located.  

The Allies push further up the heights, meeting a determined defense.

Dave helps measure a range, as fighting nears the crest. Some of the retreating Allies can be seen on the plain below the hill.

A shot of myself, maneuvering some cavalry to counter Russian cavalry dogging my steps as I attempt a gradual withdrawal.

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Cold Wars HAWKs Room Friday Evening Report

Chris Palmer After we finished our Friday evening Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT game, (See here for a report on that game)  I was able to get around and take some shots of some of the other HAWKs room games that were going on.

Greg’s “Dr Who and the Crash of te Byzantium” game

A Weeping Angel attacks in the caverns beneath the crashed Byzantium.

A frantic battle ensues within the crashed ship.

David’s “Hunger Games” event drew a big crowd of players.

Jim’s “SAGA” game was popular with the players.

Duncan’s Monthyon WWI game using a homebrew variant of the “Look, Sarge, No Charts” rules

A close-up of French and German troops battling in a woods in the “Monthyon” game.

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Cold Wars Report: Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT

Chris Palmer I arrived at Cold Wars Friday afternoon, had time to check  in to the hotel, unpack, and then helped Buck Surdu set up our Friday evening Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT game.  I was scheduled to help GM, but  we were down a couple of players so I stepped in to take one of the commands.

An overview of the field, as the British start to set up a defensive position on the hill in the center to guard Wee Willie Winkie.

   The set up for the scenario was based on  a previous game, where the British had been tasked with rescuing Wee Willie Winkie from the evil Pasha’s fortress. Now, the Brits were heading back with Wee Willie Winkie in tow, only to find themselves ambushed by a force of the Pasha’s men, bent on retaking their prize.  The Pathans was aided by some Russian advisers who sent some old timberclad steam-tanks, and a small contingent of troops.

Another view of the table.  as a hot firefight develops near the center.

      Things got off to a great start when I decided to charge my commanding officer, Victoria Hawkes, at an approaching open-topped Russian Steam-lorry; with the goal of dispatching the driver.  The driver rolled a hit with his Scuffle, and I a miss.  I then promptly failed my Save roll, dying gloriously.  Much laughter followed.  

Russians charge the Female Hussars’ Steam-Carriage. 

  My misfortune continued when I managed to have one of my two support helicopters shot down by the same steam-lorry, and my other one failed its Sustain roll on the first turn and was never able to get started again before crashing to the ground.  The driver was allowed a last ditch Save to auto-gyro safely down, but failed that miserably as well.

A unit of my Female Hussars ends up with the short stick in a melee against a unit of Pathans

        My last attempt at glory came when a group of Russians charged my broken down steam-carriage. I counter charged with a unit of Female Hussars, and a swirling melee developed on top of the vehicle.  Unfortunately, two of my troops rolled 20’s on their Scuffle attempts and were ruled to have fallen off the top of the vehicle to their deaths. I did however win the battle and two of my Hussars retained control of the vehicle-top as the Russian unit failed their morale and ran.  At this time the vehicle crew inside the Steam-carraige had managed to repair their engine, and attempted to move the vehicle. This caught the two surviving Hussars on top by surprise apparently, as both failed their Save to not fall off a moving vehicle.  We decided all their troubles were caused by the long skirts the unit wore that made movement and balance difficult. 🙂

The Punjab Lancers charge a Timberclad Steam-Tank

    A last bit of British “heroics” occurred when the Punjab Lancers charged one of the  Pathan timberclads and attempted to use their lances through the gun port.  A lone Pathan commander charged the Lancers in return, and the sight of the lone crazed fanatic running madly at them was apparently too much, as the Lancers failed their “to stand” morale check and went fleeing back away from the Pathan commander and the vehicle!

In the end, the Pathans were unable to ever reach their prize.

    Despite all the British mishaps their modern firepower decided the day, as by game’s end the Pathans were too badly chewed up to get at Wee Willie Winkie.  The British were declared the winner.  The game was a lot of fun to take part in and a good time was had by all.

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Townsfolk Grandmother: Figure 140 of 265

Chris Palmer

This week I took a break from working on the Dwarves Set, and did this Grandmother figure from the Townsfolk Set, because with the Cold Wars game convention this past weekend I knew my painting time would be limited.    I didn’t know she was a Grandmother when I painted her, as I usually don’t look up the figure’s names on the Reaper site until after I’ve painted them.  So, I painted her as a younger woman.  I don’t think anything particular about her says she is an older person.
      I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish- soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 1” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.

     I began by painting her dress with Americana “Mississippi Mud”, and her apron and hat with White.  I then painted her face and arms with Apple Barrel “Apple Flesh”.

Next, I painted her hair with Crafters Edition “Spice Brown”, then did the broom stick with Americana “Sable Brown”, and the head of the broom with Americana “Moon Yellow”.

     When all that had a good long time to dry, I gave the entire figure a wash with GW “Agrax Earthshade” wash.

     When the ink was good and dry, I did her eyes; painting the sockets black, then adding the whites, then doing black pupils.  Then I painted her lips with Americana “Shading Flesh”. I did highlights on the face with the base “Apple Flesh”, and then added a little white and did some lighter facial highlights. Next, I did highlights on the apron and cap with the base White, and the dress with the “Mississippi Mud.”  Lastly, I highlighted the broom stick with the “Sable Brown”, and the bristles with the “Moon Yellow”.  I finished up by painting the base GW “Khemri Brown”.
        The next morning I gave the figure a coat of  Ceramcoat “Mate Varnish”.  The following day, I sprayed the figure with “Testor’s Dullcote”.

     I’m generally pleased with how this simple figure turned out.  She will make a good villager or tavern employee.

Figure 140 of 265: Complete

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Cold Wars 2015

Buck

The Pterodactyl Bomber with its fighter escort

The Pterodactyl Bomber with its fighter escort

Cold Wars 2015 began with a huge snow storm that crippled the Northeast.  Schools were shut down, roads were clogged, and (thankfully) Congress was closed.  I had planned to head to the convention around 1500 and play a pickup, invitational scenario using G.A.M.E.R. rules.  Because the roads were treacherous, I wasn’t able to leave until 1815, arriving in Lancaster at 2100.  None of the HAWKs were in view.  I spent about 90 minutes loading junk onto my cart and limping my way back and forth with lots of stuff for the five games I planned to run.  Due to my late arrival, the G.A.M.E.R. event did not occur.

The Goolanders' space ship

The Goolanders’ space ship

I ran into the Goolanders, father and son, Thursday evening, and they told me about their spaceship game using G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.  One of the first things I did Friday morning, then, was look in on their preparations.  In the picture (above) you can see part of the setup.  They built a wooden box about 2 feet by 4 feet, I think.  In this they placed smaller boxes representing the various rooms on the ship.  This makes the spaceship reconfigurable for repeat play value.  Eric Schlegel played in this game and had a good time.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to participate, because I was running my own event.

The Germans and Allies in their starting positions

The Germans and Allies in their starting positions

Friday morning, my first event of the convention was Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, USAAF, and RAF.  I used X-Wing with custom dials and pilot cards.  Only one player had ever used the rules; although, one or two had read the rules previously.  The Allies weighted their right flank, and the “bomber” was able to maneuver to their weak flank.  In the end, the Allied inflicted few hits on the bomber before it crossed the table — a decisive German victory.

Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT

Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT

My second game of the convention was the Northwest Frontier by G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.  In this scenario, the British column is trying to get Wee Willie Winkie across the table when they are ambushed by Pasha Chrismajadeen and his Pathan chieftains.  The game had a number of memorable and humorous moments — for which G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. is famous.  Chris sent Victoria Hawkes out ahead of her female hussars to melee with the driver of the Russian steam lorry.  She failed to inflict any damage and was herself killed by the driver.  Later, just as the crewmen were about the abandon the female hussars’ steam coach, a squad of Russians assaulted the vehicle.  As they clambered atop the vehicle, the crewman thought better of their plan to bail out and instead redoubled their efforts to repair the coach’s engines.  A squad of female hussars counter attached, and a roiling melee ensured atop the coach.  Two of Chris’ hussars rolled 20′s and fell off the coach to their deaths.  Meanwhile, one of the scout helicopters was shot out of the sky, and the engine of the second conked out, crashing.  On the other side of the table Pasha Chrismajadeen charged single-handedly against the 33rd Punjab lancers, who seemed to have trouble staying on their feet and instead spent a fair amount of time falling and standing back up.  Despite these setbacks, the British managed to achieve a clear victory, protecting Winkie.

The highlanders and female hussars, part of Wee Willie Winkie's escort

The highlanders and female hussars, part of Wee Willie Winkie’s escort

Another view of the Northwest Frontier game

Another view of the Northwest Frontier game

While I was running these two events, other HAWKs were busy running other games.

Jim explaining the finer points of Saga to a West Point cadet

Jim explaining the finer points of Saga to a West Point cadet

Jim and Don ran a very popular, six-player Saga game that they have been developing for months.  This was Jim’s GM debut, and the game went extremely well.

Don's and Jim's 6-player Saga game

Don’s and Jim’s 6-player Saga game

Greg ran one of his Dr. Who games featuring Noah’s dungeon tiles.  The folks seemed to really enjoy the game.  Mark Ryan played the rear guard, hold off the Weeping Angels long enough for the Dr. and his entourage to patch up the crack in space-time.  Greg told me that Mark “went all rogue” and actually charged the angels, which was quite unexpected.  In the end, I think all Mark’s folks were thrown into the “vortex” by the angels, but as I mentioned, he delayed the angels long enough that order was restored to the galaxy, universe, or other large timey-wimey place.

Greg Priebe's Dr. Who game

Greg Priebe’s Dr. Who game

The interior of the crashed spaceship with lots of action going on

The interior of the crashed spaceship with lots of action going on

Kevin Fisher and his Mobile Suit Gundam game

Kevin Fisher and his Mobile Suit Gundam game

Though I was remiss in capturing them in electrons, Dave ran a series of Look, Sarge, No Charts demonstration games, both Napoleonic and fantasy, all day on Friday.  His final Napoleonic game lasted until one in the morning.

David Schlegel running his Hunger Game

David Schlegel running his Hunger Game

Typically Greg attracts all the females at a convention for his Dr. Who games.  He has the HAWKs title of Lord Admiral High Priest Babe Magnet Potentate.  At Cold Wars 15, however, it was clear that Greg’s chick-Fu is now weak, and David Schlegel has wrested the Lord Admiral high Priest Babe Magnet Potentate title from him.  David’s games were full of females from ages 8 to 48.  Apparently all these women and girls really wanted to be the heroine from the Hunger games more that one of the Doctor’s companions.  What women David didn’t attract ended up in Duncan’s game or Eric’s games.

Duncan running his War of 1812 (prelude to) New Orleans game

Duncan running his War of 1812 (prelude to) New Orleans game

Our big Fate of Battle game for Cold Wars was the 1814 attack on Paris by the Russians and Prussian.  Duncan, Chris, Dave, and I worked on a piece of the centerpiece terrain element: the Montmartre Heights.  Jennifer thought the mountain was uninspiring and “eh,” but we were proud of it.

A view of the Montmartre Heights before the battle commenced

A view of the Montmartre Heights before the battle commenced

Russians and Prussians advance toward the Montmartre heights above Paris

Russians and Prussians advance toward the Montmartre heights above Paris

While the French fought a delaying action on their right flank, the main action took place on the heights.  Due to overwhelming numbers and really poor French artillery marksmanship, the Prussians and Russians swarmed up the hill.

A long shot of the battle

A long shot of the battle

Patrick, the commander of the division defending the heights failed both his unit’s morale and his player morale.  After a “dressing down” from the overall French commander, Patrick held the heights.  Everyone predicted an allied victory; however, within the next three turns, all but two allied brigades failed morale and scurried back down the slopes.

The Prussians and Russians swarming up the Montmartre Heights

The Prussians and Russians swarming up the Montmartre Heights

Though one Prussian unit remained on the heights, I judged the game a French victory.  For those folks who argue that war-games emphasize casualties more than morale, this was a battle that turned on morale.  All the players had a good time.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch…

Ed and Sam running their Muskets and Tomahawks game

Ed and Sam running their Muskets and Tomahawks game

… Daniel Boone was captured by the French…

Norman Dean's Scarlet Pimpernel game

Norman Dean’s Scarlet Pimpernel game

… the Scarlet Pimpernel threw the French authorities into a tizzy…

Warhammer Ancients run by a VERY excited Rob Dean

Warhammer Ancients run by a VERY excited Rob Dean

… angry people bashed each other with swords and pointy sticks…

Tank at Schlegel's Ferry

Tank at Schlegel’s Ferry

… and everyone came to Schlegel’s Ferry, including Nazis, space aliens, the adventure party from the Hobbit, Charlie Brown, and gangsters.

The HAWKs gather for dinner

The HAWKs gather for dinner

We had a brief lull in the action as the HAWKs gathered around the Elven Capital for dinner.  We took this opportunity for Sam Fuson to present some mementos to the members of the HAWKs to supporting the 114th Signal Senior Leader Professional Development event mentioned in a previous blog posting.

Sam presenting a coffee mug to Dave Wood

Sam presenting a coffee mug to Dave Wood

Those HAWKs for whom this was their first SLPD event received battalion challenge coins.  Those who have supported multiple events received a battalion coffee mug.

Kurt (and his coin), Sam, and Eric (who received a mug)

Kurt (and his coin), Sam, and Eric (who received a mug)

The kind gesture was appreciated by all recipients.

Chris and a coffee mug

Chris and a coffee mug

My fourth event of the convention was a reprise of the Paris 1814 game, but with Elves substituted for French and a variety of fanciful creatures substituting for the Prussians and Russians.

Paris converted into the Elven Capital

Paris converted into the Elven Capital

The "allies" advance against the slopes before the Elven kingdom

The “allies” advance against the slopes before the Elven kingdom

This young man and his mom seemed to really enjoy the game. He quickly caught onto the rules and was largely independent after a turn or two.

This young man and his mom seemed to really enjoy the game. He quickly caught onto the rules and was largely independent after a turn or two.

David's eagles defend the partially complete wall against a series of assaults

David’s eagles defend the partially complete wall against a series of assaults

The various beasties slogging up the Elven heights

The various beasties slogging up the Elven heights

The elves successfully defended their capital.

Ed and Sam ran a very popular modern Afghanistan game with Ed's home rules

Ed and Sam ran a very popular modern Afghanistan game with Ed’s home rules

While the orcs, goblins, spiders, dwarves, giant ants, and other assorted creatures was assaulting the Elves, Ed and Sam were running a modern game with Ed’s home rules.  Jim said later that he really enjoyed the game and the rules.  It was the first time the Americans won this game, I’ve been told.

A second view of Ed's modern game

A second view of Ed’s modern game

Sunday morning I ran my 54mm chariot race game using Roman Circus rules.  There was a SNAFU with the convention hotel — again.  This time, they kicked us out of our room early, so we had to pick up all our gear and move to another room in time to start our games.  While I was watching four of six chariots crash, Duncan ran his Charted Seas game and Don ran a pickup game of Saga for a bunch of West Point cadets.

The largest Charted Seas game in history

The largest Charted Seas game in history

Don's Saga pick up game for the West Point cadets

Don’s Saga pick up game for the West Point cadets

Attendance was off due to Thursday’s storm.  The dealer hall seemed empty all weekend.  I’m sure a bunch of dealers were very unhappy.  In the past it has been hard to get to the Old Glory booth, for instance, but many time I passed it was empty.  I did my part to stimulate the economy, partaking in a convention special on Middle Eastern buildings from Miniature Building Authority, some roads and trees from Battlefield Terrain Concepts, and other odds and ends.  Dave did his part too, by hauling a bunch of stuff away from the flea market.

I enjoyed Cold Wars.  The past couple of HMGS East conventions I didn’t enjoy.  Whether it was a bunch of recalcitrant players lousing up a game, not being able to find what I came to get in the dealer hall, or something else, the last few were starting to make me think that I should cut back on convention attendance.  All of my games went well (although a little more play testing would have made the fantasy game on Saturday a little better) and there were no spoiled sport players, so I really enjoyed game mastering.  There was enough white space that I had plenty of time to wander around looking at stuff I didn’t need and socialize with the other HAWKs.  A handful of folks I hadn’t seen in quite a while, including Patrick one of the early HAWKs, were there, which was pleasant.  I would have liked to run my G.A.M.E.R. event Thursday night for a few folks who haven’t had a chance to try the game yet, but otherwise, I had an excellent time.

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