I have been in the habit of attending Huzzah, in Portland, Maine, for several years now. This got started when my friend Ross Macfarlane had been unable to make it down to a Cold Wars for a while, and suggested that we meet somewhere halfway between his home in Nova Scotia and mine in Maryland. It’s a twelve hour drive for me, or a relatively short flight, which seems like a long way to go for a local convention, but between an opportunity to stage games with Ross and the fact that the Maine Historical Wargamers put on a great show, it’s worth it.
This year I had planned to fly, so Ross and I ended up deciding to run a Dragon Rampant game, using my portable 1/72 scale plastic fantasy set.
|Portable fantasy game configured for an air trip the week before Huzzah|
I’ve been working on the 1/72 scale plastics a fair amount this past year. For air travel, they have the advantage of being light enough to carry around, and also light enough that the bases stick to the magnetic travel boxes very firmly. The configuration shown above was from the Detroit trip mentioned in the previous post, and I had to dismount the top box to get it jammed into the overhead compartment. This time, I left that at home and just brought a 6 liter box with three war bands worth of troops (about 35 60mm x 40mm bases) and the 12 liter box with support gear such as scenery, dice, tokens, and rules. I had some curiosity from the TSA agent boarding in Baltimore, but no problems. Norman showed up with a fourth war band and some spares in a 4 liter box, so we had two thirds of the game in hand.
|Picoarmor, more visible en masse than I expected|
I elected to take the Syrians, which turned out to be functioning in the role of ducks in a shooting gallery. The Israeli Centurians were effectively indestructible, so it wasn’t my best game of the weekend.
|Barbarians of the Cold Islands in action|
We modified the rules for multiplayer games by using side activation; each of the three players on a side got to act until a unit failed its activation roll, after which play passed to the enemy. We issued each player three reroll tokens, good for an activation or morale roll, so that they had some luck mitigation available in the event of bad rolls. Nevertheless, this game does work better as a two player game, and six is pushing the upper limit of what can remain fun. As Ross noted, the point values are approximate, and I’m not sure that our war bands were actually balanced as intended. On the barbarian right flank, for example, 30 points of Cold Islanders with “bellicose foot” (essentially berserkers) were unable to make any headway at all against a 24 point war band of Robin Hood-Style archers and scouts. Nevertheless, the players seemed to be enjoying the game, so we’ll call it a success and plan better next year.
|54mm Accurate AWI foot in action|
After a leisurely supper, I was invited to play in a pick up game of Osprey’s Honours of War, which I picked up on speculation a while back (as I already have figures) but which I hadn’t read. This was hosted by Al Coughlin, using 54mm figures from Accurate and All the King’s Men. I do love the toy soldier look of the big figures on the table, but the rules were probably not anything that I see using in the future.
|Ross’s 40mm homecast WWI|
On Sunday morning, after the traditional breakfast at Cracker Barrel (next door and an easy walk from the hotel), we ended up doing a reprise of Ross’s Friday game, a 1914 scenario using home cast 40mm figures and a gridded map. I’m not a big fan of gridded maps, but I think that has more to do with not wanting to fuss with constructing one than the actual games. I took the Germans on the offensive against my son Norman’s French and British. Apart from some success on my right flank, where I was able to push my scout cavalry and bicycles up through the woods, attempting to attack the redoubt in the center of the board was a costly mistake. It needed a lot more artillery preparation, and I see how WWI offensives ended up starting with weeks of bombardment.
|Ross, Norman and me, at departure time|
I managed to avoid most of the shopping for the weekend, spurred on by the knowledge that everything had to go back with me as a carry-on. I did end up picking up a few books from the flea market, something on the 30 Years War, something on the Ottomans in the 16th and 17th century, and a copy of the old WRG guide to Armies of the Greek and Persian Wars, one of the few I don’t already own.
via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2018/05/huzzah-2018-after-action-report_28.html
from Tumblr http://tumblr.hawks-club.org/post/174336181123