This past weekend I once again attended the Recruits convention in at Lee’s Summit High School. I’ve gone to several of these in the past, and they’ve always been a good time. When I’m not so tired I’ll come back and link the past blogs about them here, but for now I wan to concentrate getting the pictures up. Because there’s a few of them.
My first Recruits I just sort of walked around and gawked, but I did get to play a demo game. The next time I went I came loaded for shopping. This latest time my friends and I put on our own demo. OK, it was my friends’ demo and I was just there, but I helped by carrying things…
The 435th Dust Warfare Club
The above logo is that of my friends’ club they started to try and build a larger local player base for the game Dust Warfare, from Fantasy Flight Games. I think it’s a good rule-set, but I have an allergic reaction to both WWII and anything involving real historical or current units. It’s an alternate history sci-fi thing so it skirts my second concern, but it’s still very much a WWII themed game, so I’m not into it. I’ve promised to build a small army if they ever do an Imperial Japan faction and the walkers are cool, but the dismissively Euro-centric way that the Japanese are treated in the rulebook’s alternate history section leads me to believe this won’t happen in a way I’m thrilled with, if at all.
Moving right along, the demo itself went really well:
Mr. B explaining how to start the game to an enthusiastic group of children.
This was our first group: two teens that were thrilled with the effectiveness of the German advanced technology, and a convention traveller from a gamer podcast. I forget which podcast he said he was from, but Mr Y told me he listened to it.
I want to highlight the centerpiece of the terrain we carted in. One of the fun things about a wargames convention is usually the elaborate and well built terrain to play on, and this year for the 435th’s convention debut Mr S labored long and hard on this signal shack installation. It received many compliments, especially for the painstakingly crafted fence.
The scenario was that the Germans had some xenotechnology captured from the SSU inside the shack. The Allies job was to capture it, the SSU wanted to destroy it, and the Axis needed to hold them off for 6 rounds. The last turns of this scenario are always pretty dramatic, because you’ve got just enough time to win, but every chance in the world to fail at the very last moment. Here, some SSU have just moved into the reaction area of a machine gun equipped walker and are about to pay for it with their lives…
Mr. R constructed the hardened walls there, and they are moveable. The Axis never manages to hold the line in that midfield, but getting up to those trees there and moving the concertina wire is murder.
A view of the signal installation board prior to the games period starting. The bulk of the Axis force started on that back road and had to move up to reinforce a smaller force guarding the far side.
The forces were set up so that two people could play per faction. This is before the start of the first game, showing the starting position of the SSU and Allies. Part of the fun of the scenario is seeing how much fighting the Allies and SSU are going to get into. Having playtested on the Axis side, I can tell you that letting the Allies Hot Dog walker live long enough to burn the SSU snipers out of that ruin is crucial to holding out…
The Allies had jump troops, but speeding them toward the objective without crippling the Axis support troops is super deadly for them. Here two heroes, one from the SSU and Allies each, end up dramatically facing off in the very end moves of the game. Miniatures custom painted by the 435th crew.
Speaking of terrain, when I wasn’t busy assisting at the demo I was walking around taking photographs of every damn thing there. I love the terrain that people bring. This was a 15mm sci-fi thing, though I can’t remember what game it specifically was. It really looked like the players were enjoying themselves though, and I definitely admire the urban set-up of the scenario. Smaller games open up possibilities for more cool terrain than is generally possible for 25mm and up.
I mentioned a distaste for historical wargaming, but I’m completely fascinated with WWI air combat and would love to find someone to play Wings of Wr with me. I’m not sure what rule-set these people were using, or what scale exactly, but I loved the fact they included cloud cover and had telescoping flight stands for true 3D movement.
WWII Pacific Theater naval battle, I believe. Everything was all set up to go, but I never saw anyone, not even demo organisers, anywhere near the table. Curious.
The first convention I went to the game I played was the .45 Adventure (I think the system is called) with objectives tailored for each faction. I see it every year, and every year it looks like just as much fun. I like the giant rock formation in the middle this year.
Not sure exactly what’s going on here, but the players were really into it, and I liked the modular mountain thing they had.
Flames of War games always have some of the most detailed terrain. This game was very large with lots, LOTS of terrain, and a very busy table with a crowd of observers around it all day.
I’m pretty sure it was Flamers of War, anyway. It was the right scale and there were tanks, tanks, tanks everywhere.
Of course, the “pirate dudes” brought the biggest, the most, and the swag-est terrain, of which this is a small representative. These guys had their own room this year, and I didn’t find out about it until lunch time.
I didn’t photograph the large French-Indian table this year, but I got this larger scale battle on the other side of the room. I think it’s from the same era, but I’m not sure. I don’t know enough about that time period to say with any kind of authority.
Pretty sure these guys were playing Infinity. I think. I know someone was playing Infinity, and these were the only super sci-fi skirmish photos I had on my camera so it must have been them. I see this game talked about on the image boards all the time, but I had never seen anyone playing it before.
This isn’t a very good picture (it was hard to get a good position near the table without being all up in the players’ faces), but this is a good old fashioned Battletech game. I should have tried to talk to the organiser, because I am absolutely dying to play this game again. I’ve had a single game since I bought the new boxed set when it came out, and that makes me sad. I loved their fabric hex terrain, though. It’s a great idea.
This table was really cool. They had an Aliens scenario going on, though I have no idea where the models came from or if they were using official rules or a makeshift system. It looked like fun, whatever exactly they were doing.
The “pirate game” has these awesome 28mm ships. Ive done lots of pictures of them before, but I couldn’t resist just one more for this year.
SAGA, obviously. What I gleaned from the tubes is that it’s from a company called Studio Tomahawk from France? Or maybe they’re Quibecois? Someone call me out on that if I’m wrong, but the search engine wasn’t being cooperative and I want to get this done and go to sleep…
The latest gaming fad that is crossing the great Grognard Divide and attracting people who aren’t normally gamers is X-Wing. Star Wars is a powerful IP, and FFG has produced some truly awesome scale models for us to play with. I’ve played it myself and I enjoy it, but I wonder about its lasting power. The Millennium Falcon models probably mostly went to collectors for the first run, I’ll bet. They’re very, very cool. I totally want to get a squadron of TIE Advanced and go with a small super-elite Imperial force, but I’m both broke and addicted to Nottingham plasticrack…
I don’t know the name of this game, but it’s about 15mm. It might be the other 15mm sci-fi game I mentioned above, but I don’t know. The vehicles and terrain are nice.
Dreadball. This is from Mantic, who make space dwarves, among other things. They have decently priced plastics for both fantasy and for “space fantasy” armies, though they sort of suffer when it comes to number of possible poses. But Dreadball is their version of “space rugby”, a concept that’s been around a while. On a tangent, when I was a kid I really loved the Rutger Hauer film The Blood of Heroes when I was a kid.
The organisers of this Star Trek spaceship fightin’ game have an absolutely mental campaign at my FLGS. It’s been running weekly for years now, and there’s a mob of people that play it. I’m not really into Star Trek that much, but every time I’m in there for painting and see this madness I sort of get the itch to want to join in. I’d be over my head when it comes to the background, though, because I never really cared for TOS and only sort of followed TNG. The movies are my main point of contact with the IP.
This man laser cuts wooden sailing ships that are very nice looking, and he’s local. I had a flyer with his information, but I don’t know what happened to it. I’ll try to find out his info and update this later, because those are some very nice ships.
A close-up of the Battletech terrain, just because. I don’t mind the cardboard maps, it is primarily a board game after all, but there is something much more visually appealing about this sort of presentation. Cool models and terrain make the game more enjoyable. Painted models also are more successful on the table too, everyone knows that.
“Hey, did you guys know there’s a bunch of stuff going on downstairs?” So yeah, I had been walking around wondering why the convention seemed smaller than previous years when I decided to follow some people down the stairs. There was an X-Wing tournament going on, and on the other side I believe it was a Warmahordes tournament. Anyway, people were playing those two games. I didn’t see the mob of 40k players I normally expect, but there was Comicon that weekend as well, and other stuff was happening later after we left, so it could have been that. Someone was setting up a proper Apocalypse sized table in the entryway area when we were leaving, so perhaps they all showed up after I left. At the FLGS later I saw the usual people hanging out doing their thing, so it’s also possible that without an official scheduled tournament with prizes nobody really cared enough to pack their minis off to Lee’s Summit.
This stuff is everywhere these days. Even the war games convetions are not safe…
Something in the silent auction definitely worth bidding on. Oh, how I wished I had the cash to put bids on these. I don’t know the winning bid, but I bet it was well under the MSRP of everything there. There’s a certain prestige to collecting a Sisters of Battle army. It says to people, “I am the bull goose looney of GW customers!” I mean, that’s totally why I have a SoB army, anyway.
That’s it, I believe. I sort of uploaded the photos to my media library in a screwy order, so I won’t know if I forgot something until after I’ve published this entry. But that’s good enough, because that’s a lot of pictures and witty commentary.