Saturday, July 27, 2013

Historicon 2013: Friday

On to Friday! I suppose technically Friday began Thursday night, as I stayed up late drinking Yuengling and just hanging out. I then work up early and hit the ground running again, in a hurry to do nothing. I may not have had any plans, but I can sleep at home! I cruised around, taking in the sites, strolling through the vendor hall, and hit the flea market. And in that flea market, I found...more Russians! For some very great prices, I picked up (if I recall correctly) sixteen stands of guns, two and a half regiments of cavalry, and another twelve battalions of foot!! At this point, I'm thinking this is about three, possibly four, divisions of Russians. That's more than I was planning on in the first place!

Quick pic of the haul:

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I went back to the hotel, stashed away my wares, ate lunch, then headed back to another event that I was, somewhat surprisingly, targeting:

F-220 The Age of Arthur: An Introduction to DBA
Dark Ages; 12 PM; Length: 4 hrs; Hosted by: Chris Brantley; Scale: 15mm; Rules: DBA rules, version 2.2+; No. of Players: 0.
It is the Age of Arthur and Vortigern and the fate of Romano- Celtic Britain hangs in the balance. Take on the role of a British dux bellorum, Saxon warchief or Pictish toisech. With each victory and defeat, you can change the map of Britain. This is a walk-up gaming opportunity designed to introduce players to the fast-play 2.2+ version of De Bellis Antiquitatis ancient and medieval rules. Play one game or play a dozen. This is a walk-up event so c’mon by - no ticket is necessary! DBA tutors on hand to help introduce you to the game, teach and answer questions. Experienced players also welcome. Can you rally the Britains to hold back the barbarian hordes? Or will the Saxon warbands of Horst and Hengist (and the Picts in the North) overthrow kings and carve out new lands to rule? Participants are eligible for raffle prizes including Splintered Light Miniatures’ Saxon and Sub-Roman DBA army packs. Unlimited participation over each session. Sit down and play for just 30 minutes, or try again and again! For NEW players. Kid friendly.

I have owned DBA for just about as long as I have been into historical miniatures, but never played a game of it. I had 15mm Essex New Kingdom Egyptians and Hittites for many, many years, with a pathetic one stand of archers painted, before finally selling them away and turning my back on DBA forever. Well...until Number One Son started taking a big interest in ancient Rome. There's no way I'm going to go big into ancients just because my twelve year old son is interested-- he'd be out of the house before I ever finished! But...twelve stand armies? A twelve stand army or two, that I could do. And then I found Corvus Belli army packs for Polybian Romans, Later Carthaginians and ancient Britons on Bartertown, dirt just seemed the DBA stars were aligning.

What can I say, I enjoyed the demo! No, the rules aren't much fun to decipher, nor is the game any great spectacle. Yet, it's easy to get going, fun to play and finishes in an hour or two. I wish there were more miniatures games you could play with so little commitment and cost!!

I thought the campaign aspect of the tutorial games was a great idea-- I took a province for the Saxons (white), but the Britons (red) held their own, and we divided Britain between us, at the expense of the Picts (green).

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I didn't win the door prizes. Ah, well!

I puttered around again until it was time for Vauban's Wars. It's quite a different game from the typical miniatures game-- it covers a full 18th century(ish) siege, with each turn representing a week's time.

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Here, you can see us starting the game. The Poles are inside the fortifications, and we Russians are digging zig-zag trenches in from the first parallel. We didn't see a whole lot of good possibly wasting our powder supplies bombarding from long range, so we held our fire for now, until we could move our guns forward.

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Whoops!! Lucky shot sets off a Polish magazine! The resulting explosion destroyed two supply points of the garrison's power (they started with five, I believe, so very significant), and also damaged the wall section at that location!

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Now the Russians have their second parallels started, and have moved some guns forward to open up on Praga.

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The Poles sortie out to attack the sappers!

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Nail-biting finish-- the Russians are ready for the assault, but it is down to the wire before a relieving army shows up and the siege must be halted! If the Relief card turns up for the Poles before the Russian Assault card, they win-- but it doesn't. The Russians assault, finishing this game with a win. However, ideally, it is now set up for a tactical game. Given time, we could continue with a tabletop game from these positions and actually play out the assault!

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  1. Great pics and narrative, Andy... and a fine haul of Russians to boot!

    1. I've got to get them out on the table! Then I'll be satisfied.