HAWKs Expeditionary Force to Nashcon

Buck

Packing the rental minivan for Nashcon

Packing the rental minivan for Nashcon

Greg, Chris, Geoff, Don, and I constituted the HAWKs expeditionary force to Nashcon in Franklin, TN, this past weekend.  Our adventure began Thursday afternoon, when everyone converged on Rally Point Surdu to pack the rental minivan with terrain, drinks, snacks, and HAWKs.

We got it all in there somehow -- and we didn't need to leave anyone behind.

We got it all in there somehow – and we didn’t need to leave anyone behind.

As a group we ran six games at Nashcon.  In order to fit all the terrain and figures for this many games into a minivan with five gamers, we had to be quite clever about planning.  This meant re-using terrain between games.  We ran three games on the same jungle terrain (two WWII Pacific theater skirmish games and a Dr. Who game), two on the same Paris 1814 terrain (Paris 1814 and a fantasy battle), and one with its own terrain (British march from Concord to Lexington).

It's a game of Tetris.

It’s a game of Tetris.

We set off a little before noon, stopped outside Lexington for the night, and arrived about 1000 on Friday — plenty of time to set up out first games, go get Chinese food for lunch, and return to start our games on time.

Don and I used the same terrain to run two WWII skirmish games.  Don used Battleground WWII by Easy Eight for an American raid on a Japanese radio outpost.  The raiding force consisted of Marine raiders and Army paratroopers.  Despite heavy casualties, the American seized the compound.  Then I ran a Combat Patrol™ game featuring a Japanese counter attack to recapture the facility.

While Don was running his Battleground game, I played in Bob Duncan’s excellent Spanish American War naval game, using his Gunboat Diplomacy rules.  Below are a few pictures of this game.  Bob scratch built all of the ships in this game.  It was fun, but we Germans were soundly defeated.

Below are some pictures from my Combat Patrol ™ game.  The players seemed to catch on to the unique mechanics of Combat Patrol™ without much difficulty.  The game went well.  We started where Don’s Battleground game left off.  The Americans had just seized the radio facility and had not consolidated on the objective when the Japanese counter attacked with a platoon of infantry and a Chi-Ha tank.  The Chi-Ha quickly suppressed the airborne bazooka team, but the Marine bazooka team was able to get off a good shot that brewed up the tank.  Two squads of Japanese were being chewed up by an understrength Marine squad in the jungle, but then the Japanese launched a very effective banzai charge that nearly wiped out the Marines.  A funny movement (for me as GM) arrived when one of the Japanese players called for mortars on some airborne troops.  Then the player who called for the mortars decided to charge the Americans — in the blast radius of the mortars he had himself called.  When the mortar shells landed, the only figures in the blast zone were the Japanese who had called for the mortars in the first place.  About half the Japanese squad caught in the burst radius was wounded or incapacitated.  In the end, it was determined that the Japanese were unable to recapture the facility, despite having inflicted many casualties on the Americans.  I think the game went well, and the players seemed to enjoy it.

Part of the setup for the Combat Patrol (TM) game

Part of the setup for the Combat Patrol ™ game

Paras searching a Japanese hut

Paras searching a Japanese hut

The Japanese radio shack was still burning form a white phosphorus round in Don's game

The Japanese radio shack was still burning form a white phosphorus round in Don’s game

A bazooka shot finally took out the Chi-Ha tank

A bazooka shot finally took out the Chi-Ha tank

While I was running this Combat Patrol ™ game, Geoff played in a terrific looking pirate game.  The guy running the game had purchased these fully rigged models.  Then he told me he floated them in a tub of water and dye to find the waterlines.  He then used a Dremmel to cut off the bottoms.  The result was fantastic.  According to Geoff, the game was a lot of fun.

Beautiful sailing ships for a pirate-aganza

Beautiful sailing ships for a pirate-aganza

Geoff preparing to demonstrate his sailing prowess

Geoff preparing to demonstrate his sailing prowess

Below are three shots of other games at Nashcon that caught my eye.

A huge 28mm fantasy game

A huge 28mm fantasy game

A naval game involving a shore fortification

A naval game involving a shore fortification

A bocage game using Battleground and 15mm figures

A bocage game using Battleground and 15mm figures

Saturday Greg, Chris and I ran two Look, Sarge, No Charts games.  The first used Fate of Battle and was the Napoleonic battle of the defense of Paris in 1814.  Russians and Prussians advanced to take  the heights around Paris.  The second game used Bear Yourselves Valiantly.  It was a replay of the Paris game.  The Russians and Prussians were replaced by humans, dwarves, giant ants and swarms of other creatures.  The French were replaced by elves.  The Russians and Prussians were unable to get over the heights and into the outskirts of Paris.  On the other hand, the “allies” were able to breach the elven defenders and get into the outskirts of their capital.  I think the players enjoyed the games.  As usual after a turn or two, we game masters had little to do as the players were doing everything themselves.  We just had to call off activation cards and answer questions.

Initial disposition of Russians columns

Initial disposition of Russians columns

Prussians advancing against stiff French resistance before the heights

Prussians advancing against stiff French resistance before the heights

Prussian players advancing

Prussian players advancing

Russian assault on the French positions on the outskirts of Paris in 1814

Russian assault on the French positions on the outskirts of Paris in 1814

Closeup of Russian columns advancing up the slopes

Closeup of Russian columns advancing up the slopes

Elven defenders on the heights outside their capital

Elven defenders on the heights outside their capital

A view of the fantasy version of Paris 1814 in which various forces (Russians and Prussians) are arrayed against the Elves (French)

A view of the fantasy version of Paris 1814 in which various forces (Russians and Prussians) are arrayed against the Elves (French)

Saturday evening, Geoff, Chris, and I played in Greg’s Dr. Who game along with several other folks.  The scenario involved a group of developers that were turning the site of Don’s and my WWII games from Friday into a luxury hotel on a jungle island.  While doing so, they run into Japanese who do not know the war is over as well as a Dalek in the jungle.  Hilarity ensued.  I had Duke Morrison from my various Pulp games, and I eeked out a victory over Boss Ebenezer McSneed (Geoff) and the Doctor.

The remnants of the Japanese radio post from our Friday games.  The jungle has begun to encroach on the area, and the developers have constructed temporary shelter.  Note that the blow-up Chi-Ha is still there.

The remnants of the Japanese radio post from our Friday games. The jungle has begun to encroach on the area, and the developers have constructed temporary shelter. Note that the blow-up Chi-Ha is still there.

Ebenezer McSneed orders his men to investigate.

Ebenezer McSneed orders his men to investigate.

This is something you don't see all the time:  civilians, a blown up tank, and a roadster in the jungle.

This is something you don’t see all the time: civilians, a blown up tank, and a roadster in the jungle.

 As usual, the HAWKs Expeditionary Force enjoyed Nashcon.  We thank the convention organizers for running this excellent event.

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