I spent the weekend in Santa Clara, California attending the Pacificon game convention this year. It was a lot of fun and I got to play quite a few interesting games and watch even more. As per my usual policy with conventions, since I wasn’t playing in a tournament I left my 40K miniatures at home because I like to take the opportunity to try games I either don’t get a chance to play very often or have never played at all.
My tricky French battleship group. Rockets away!
I have seen other people playing the Dystopian Wars naval game off and on for a few years now, but I have never played it myself. So I jumped into a four player demo game on the French side. I found the game to be a lot of fun and am considering buying into the game now that I’ve had a chance to play it.
Russian ships attempt to close the range.
Battle of Borodino, September 7, 1812
Although I only took a close up of one unit, this game was a large, cinematic affair with loads of well painted figures spread out over a number of tables. I also found it neat that the GM thought to run the battle on the weekend of the 203rd anniversary of the battle.
Here was a game of Battlefleet Gothic. I didn’t play in this game, but what made me take notice was the colorful game mat and especially the inventive ringed planet terrain piece in one corner.
One thing about many naval games, both historical and fantastic, is they sometimes lack interesting terrain. I thought this GM’s scratch built piece was attractive and whimsical.
It looks like rhinos on the attack but really they are hiding trying not to give up kill points.
Another game I’ve seen played but have never participated in: Epic 40K. I played on the space marine side and controlled a large wing of Dark Raven land speeders, a few bikes, and squadron of rhinos headed by a chaplain, who never set foot out of his rhino for the entire battle. He did do some good command and control work though directing the marines around him. I also commanded a reserve thunderhawk with a group of assault marines.
The Tyranids sport some rather unusual artillery, I must say!
It was interesting thinking about 40K battles in battalion or brigade level terms rather than the platoon and company level scale that I’m used to. One thing I had to get used to was how much more fragile units apparently are in Epic. (At least the version we were playing.) Even our numerous land raiders turned out to be rather easily destroyed with non-specialist weapons. In addition to the number of units this general fragility forced me to look more at the overall big picture rather than worrying so much about individual squads. We certainly didn’t have anything that I would call a lynchpin in our sizeable forces.
Watch out for those crazy elephants!
A picture from one of the ancients games Bill Butler of the South Bay Game Club in Saratoga, CA ran over the weekend. One thing I’ve been reminded about playing in ancients games is that you don’t want to get too close to the elephants, because once they get their blood up they are likely to go rampaging in any direction. The poor beasties!
“Twill be the yardarm for every man jack of thee!”
Noticed this interesting looking pirate game and took a picture on my way by. The ship in the corner with the wolf head on the sail reminded me of the Space Wolves. Perhaps someone’s island sunk and the men of Fenris are fighting over the scraps of arable land that remain? Or perhaps they are just a random bunch of priates after rum, doubloons and slaughter?
One of my con roommates enjoying Hotel Life with her wretched cup of Fruit Loops.
My friends were kind enough to allow me to share their hotel room for the weekend with a few other people. It was charming and fun with people sleeping on the floor, which brought back fond memories of going to cons when I was a teenager. Back then if we weren’t sleeping under the gaming tables in the convention hall we were stacked twenty five in a room. Good times those and it was fun living a friendly shadow of those olden days.