Time for the obligatory Historicon report: I was pleased with the new venue (Valley Forge Convention Center). The facilities were nice and for the most part cool, in their defense the temperature was 105 when I arrived their Wednesday. My main gripe with the Host in Lancaster was their abysmal air conditioning system. I stayed at the Radisson and the rooms were nice, the staff was pleasant. Unfortunately, for most of the convention only 1 of the 3 elevators was operational. Walking down 10 flights of stairs while being a nuisance isn’t that big of deal; walking up 10 flights of stairs, well, that just isn’t going to happen.
I found the dealer hall and flea market to be rather lacking compared to past years. (Warning rant follows) If you are the exclusive U.S. dealer for a line of historical miniatures why in the world wouldn’t you attend the premier historical miniatures gaming event in the country? It actually probably saved me money since with the current dollar to pound exchange rate it’s actually cheaper now to order direct from the UK and pay the 25% postage then it is to order from the particular US distributor in question.
After nearly 25 years of being in the hobby I finally played in my first Civil War game. The game was run by Dr. Tim Cooper from the U.K. using the new Zouave rules by Bob Jones. Since bob wrote the original Piquet rules the two systems are similar, creating what I feel is the best ‘fog of war’ effect of any system out there.
I met Tim at Historicon last year. He is a fellow Piquet Field of Battle (by Brent Oman) player and became an honorary Hofkriegsrat. Hoffriegsrat I hear you asking. For Historicon 2009 a group of us crazies (under the leadership of head crazy Peter Anderson) got together and ran 6 1809 games culminating with a massive Wagram battle.
I also played in a General Quarters III game. I managed to get my two British Cruisers reduced to smoking, sinking scrap metal. I’ve played the GQ 3 rules a couple of times and really like them – but then I don’t really know much about naval warfare.
The last game I played in was Tod Kershner’s “Great Redoubt” game. Tod is the author of the Warfare in the Age of Napoleon rules. I had a small Russian cavalry command (2 Cuirassier and 2 Hussar units) on the right (north) flank of the redoubt. Between myself and the player on my right who had a brigade of Dragoons we managed to clear all of the French Cavalry off the table. I enjoyed the game, I always enjoy routing French troops.
I still prefer the Field of Battle for Napoleonic battles. At this stage in my gaming career I find the “I go, you go” type of rules a little gamey. As I reflect back on my time as a Tank Company Commander I never new for sure if my Lieutenants would show up where they were suppose to when they were suppose to and I feel that the Piquet system does the best job of representing that uncertainty.
Other than the above I schlepped some lead and provided morale support for two of Peter Anderson’s Field of Battle Napoleonic’s games (both of which won PELA awards).
As always there was lots of eye candy with some truly stunning game setups. Below are photos of some of the tables that caught my eye. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to play in any of these. The first 3 were part of the 'Uncle Duke' games, the last 3 are from a Space 1889 Cloud Ships of Mars using scratch built 25mm ships.
All in all it was a good convention, good gaming, and good seeing old friends.