Martin, an long-time friend who now lives in Vancouver, has been slowly posting his photos from the recent Trumpeter Salute gaming convention. As I mentioned in my writeup, he’s got a significantly fancier camera than mine, a fairly recent Canon DSLR, and he also hauled a lightweight tripod to the show, so many of his photos are really excellent.
We headed over from Victoria Friday afternoon, making good time and even seeing orca whales from the ferry, which I haven’t seen in years. Friday evening I spent flying in Rene’s perpetual World War One air combat game. I was doing fairly well until a Fokker Dr1 slipped in behind my Camel and blew me away in one savage burst!
Saturday turned out to be “Soviet Saturday” for me! I played the 30mm Dust Warfare skirmish system with Martin (an old friend) and his nephew Riley (this was Riley’s first gaming convention!) and another gamer in the morning, Weird War Germans vs Soviets over cardboard ruins Martin and I had been up until 2am assembling! It’s a fast system with some interesting features, and I want to have another bash at it at some point.
Saturday afternoon it was time for my big Russian Civil War game, with a full set of six players and loads of toys on the table – the White Russians had a SPAD XIII for air support and a field gun, while the Reds had a huge horde of cavalry, an armoured car and an armoured train! The cavalry did better this game than they have ever done before, completely shattering one wing of the defending White force by themselves.
We rounded out Saturday evening with more Russian-German action, this time a WW2 Eastern Front scenario of a scratch Soviet force trying to hold off flanking attacks by German panzers. The 15mm figures and vehicles were really well done, and the terrain was elegant. It was a close fight, with the Germans losing a fair number of tanks to Soviet infantry but being positioned by the end of the game to push their untouched reinforced infantry units into the Russian villages with their remaining tanks in support.
Sunday Martin and I played Colin’s very nice and well-run War of 1812 scenario, a re-creation of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm 200 years after it actually happened. I played the invading Americans with two other gamers, and we got our asses absolutely handed to us by the British/Canadian/Mohawk defenders. Nevertheless, we apparently did better than the Americans had actually done historically – we did manage to drive one of the two big British infantry regiments from the field, but the effort wrecked my brigade, while Canadian militia light troops and British cannon drove the rest of the Americans off!
As is often the case at conventions, I got too involved in actually running or playing games to take many photos, but here’s a few pics from GottaCon 2013! These are all over on Flickr in my GottaCon 2013 Photoset.
Friday evening Corey ran and I played his homebrew fast-and-simple pulp racing game. You can read my Friday writeup for details, but basically it was Our Hero being chased by Evil Henchmen down a narrow, twisting country lane. Sheep, other traffic, skunks and an elephant got involved, and pretty much everyone crashed.
Saturday morning I played a naval board game with a friend I hadn’t seen in at least four years. Great to reconnect with him again, and totally random – I just happened to wander by the board gaming area looking for something to do, because there was nothing in the miniatures or RPG area I was interested in!
Saturday afternoon was, of course, the first running of my Russian Civil War game. See Saturday’s writeup for a few more details; I’m also going to be posting a more detailed writeup on the two games later this week, because from identical starting positions involving identical forces over near-identical terrain, they wound up radically different games! I didn’t get any photos of the second game on Saturday evening, but the terrain involved changed only very slightly, so this overall table view will work for both games.
Sunday morning Corey and I wound up re-running his pulp racing game, with rules slightly tweaked after discussing Friday’s game. We have a draft system for vehicle damage, which is fun and adds to the tension and chaos.
Sunday afternoon I played a short demo game of Infinity. The system is interesting, but the terrain being used was fairly bland, so I didn’t bother taking photos.
So that was GottaCon 2013! Same again next year, only more of it – as I said in my Sunday writeup, I’m pretty sure we’ll both be running more games next year, just to get the kind of gaming we like represented!
Short and frankly lazy day of gaming today. Corey and I re-ran our pulp racing homebrew from Friday evening, roping one person in. We’d tweaked the rules slightly, added actual damage to the vehicles, and the mayhem was just as pulpy, daft and destructive as ever!
I spent most of the afternoon being a spectator (and forgetting to take pictures, worse luck) and blowing the last of my GottaCon budget at various vendors. I spent the lion’s share of that at TableTop Scenery on three bases of trees, each base with a pair of threes in the 5-7″ tall range. Trees are the one major pieces of terrain I’ve never gotten around to doing, as good looking, largely gamer-proof trees can be fairly challenging to make. The TableTop trees are “bottlebrush” style, with a wire core and hemp branches shaped and flocked. I also picked up a random scattering of other things – more dice, a Munchkin booster pack, and four or five Reaper fantasy figures that were on clearance at one booth.
I also played a short three-turn demo of Infinity, a game I’ve been intrigued by for a while now. The game seems fast, rules light and incredibly lethal. I scored the free Intro Rules booklet (which seems fairly complete, actually) and a pair of infantry figures from the Nomad faction. I might paint them up soon, actually, just as a change from the Russian Civil War hordes that have lately flooded my painting bench. The nearly insane per-figure cost of the official Infinity figures is discouraging me from actually getting into the game, though. I know you don’t need many figures per team, but still, $10-15 for a single infantry figure puts one off.
Corey spent the afternoon running a D&D 4th Edition Essentials module for three or four teenagers, but didn’t manage to kill every single one of their characters. Pity, that.
I haven’t heard any official estimate of attendance from the guys who run GottaCon, but it felt busier throughout than the last couple of years, and a couple of the repeat vendors I’ve gotten to know in passing said it was a better year than previous ones for them. That bodes well for Victoria’s “big” gaming convention in it’s fifth year.
The one thing that continues to bug me about GottaCon (and has since it started) is the lack of non-tournament miniatures events. I’ve basically come to the conclusion that if GottaCon is going to continue to amuse me, as a gamer, I’m going to have to continue to arrange my own amusement, in coordination with my brother and a few other like-minded gamer friends. I’ll almost certainly be running more stuff next year, possibly making the double-header Russian Civil War games official, as well as working with Corey to bring back our pulp extravaganza games in some form. I may even try to organize an RPG session using Savage Worlds or one of the systems I enjoy, as an alternative to the endless parade of 4E & Pathfinder RPG sessions GottaCon’s roleplaying track is currently clogged with. We shall see!
In just under three weeks our local big convention kicks off – GottaCon 2013 is February 1st, 2nd & 3rd at the Pearkes Recreation Centre.
I’ll be running a Russian Civil War scenario, possibly with a Back of Beyond flavour. It’ll be a variant of my Even Whites Bleed Red scenario from last year’s Trumpeter Salute convention, mostly because I haven’t yet come up with a more entertaining title than that!
I’ve got Red sailors, cavalry and more Red regular troopers on the painting bench as we speak, and some nice scenery bits to add to my existing Russian scenery. Now, to get off the computer and back to that painting bench!