Saturday, December 3, 2011

My 1st Gaming Convention: Gen Con XIV

First an apology, I have not been very good at updating this blog. I acquired a new job and not as much free time, plus summer maintenance on our home sucked up most of my free time. Now that the snow is flying, I have more time

Secondly a shameless plug, for my best friend's business venture. We met in my wife's aunt's second grade class. Actually we had met before that. We were born three days apart and we were in the hospital nursery together. So I have literally known him all my life. Well anyway he has opened a hobby store in Ypsilanti Michigan. It is called called The Model Cave, address is

103 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Wed - Sat: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Description Your single stop model building shop
Phone 734.316.2281
On Facebook

He carries kits, a full line of Vallejo, Humbrol, Tamaiya , Testors enamels for automobiles, airbrushes inks, powders and all the tools. He does not have a web presence yet. I believe that will happen after the holidays. So if you live in Southeast Michigan or just passing through check out a nice model store.

I was cleaning the basement and this fell out of a file. 

That sure brought back a lot of memories. There were four of us from our group that decided to go to GenCon. We drove about 5 hours in a huge van pulling a 18 foot trailer, caravan for you English chaps. I watch Top Gear. I put my home stereo speakers in the van. These speakers were huge, They had a 16 inch woofers, 10 mid-ranges and two 2 inch tweeters. They were great speakers and I still wished that I had not sold them. We listened to some really loud music. The one song I remember the most was Stroke Me, Stroke Me by Billy Squire.

We drive around Chicago and set up camp. Unhook the trailer, get it level. We open the awning and set up the picnic table parallel to the trailer ( this is very important to the story). Evening sets in and starts to rain. I mean really rain, all of a sudden, we all here this big thunk and several small thunks. This camp site has a small incline and with the amount of rain we had, the chocks on the wheels start to shift. The trailer starts to roll down hill. Well you have seen four guys trying to get out of a small trailer door. It was a sight. The real scarey part was that the van was about 10 feet in front of the the trailer, parked perpendicular to the trailer . I mentioned the picnic table before. The trailer as it was shifting and rolling down the hill. It had shifted a bit to the right. The frame of the trailer landed on the seat of the picnic table and the picnic table stopped the trailers forward motion. That was a tense few seconds.

We then go to GenCon the next day. We had preregistered, so we were in no hurry to get there. We wait in line get pay our entry fee a.. We then go to pick-up our chits for the games we preregistered for. Only to find out that all the games we had been preregistered had all been canceled. Who ever was working that area said you can choose any of these games that were left. What that amounted to was nothing. If memory serves me correctly there were maybe ten games were available and we really did not want to play any them. We were not happy campers. I believe that if we had not traveled so far, we would have demanded a refund and left. As a side note many years later our gaming group had expanded. We were heavy into Harpoon at the time. We find out that Larry Bond is putting on a Harpoon game at GenCon. I tell them the a fore mentioned story and caution them. They do not pay attention to my story. Five of my friends FedEx next day to register the Harpoon game, so they are sure to get a space. And this was when FedEx was brand new, so it was novel and expensive. They go to GenCon only to find out that Larry Bond was a no show and the game had been canceled.

Back to my story. This was the first convention that we had been to and we were not aware of pick-up games, thank God for them. We had a great time after that. I played my 1st game of micro-armor there and have been hooked since.

I remember one game, it is on page 31. Modern Micro Armor 2013. It was a huge game with helo-troops and paratroopers. I did not play in it, but I watched a bit and the fellows that were playing it were having a good time. I scanned a few pages, I am not going to scan them all, the guide is 62 pages long. So here is a sampling of some of the games that were offered.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Battle of Abu Agelia using Cold War Commander

     I had the pleasure of playing a game of Cold War Commander run by Dan Joyce at Drums at the Rapids gaming convention.  This game is a scenario based on the Battle of Abu-Agelia.  As in an earlier post, I stated we played a game of CY6 Jet Age.  Who won the CY6 game, directly affected what support the opposing sides would get.  The Israelis won the CY6 game and received three Mysteres as ground support.  If the Egyptians had won the CY6 game, they would have received a battery of  artillery.  I want to apologize for the AAR, I had never played the CWC before and have since bought the rule book.
     The previous two photos, show the disposition of our glorious Egyptian forces. (Sorry for the bias)  The infantry were dug in and we dispersed them in two lines.  There were two units of T-55s on the board and a unit of T-62s came on board on the second turn.  We had to contend with Israeli Centurions.  Their range was almost   twice the range of the Egyptian tanks.  Our answer was to have the hills mask the tanks.  We could then pop up on the hill when the range was not so disadvantageous for the T-55s and T-62s.    The next photo shows the Israeli disposition.  The infantry that is nearest is the paratroopers.

The next photo shows the 1st Mystere attack, not very effective and this will be a theme.

The second Mystere attack again,  it ends up in the dust.  This poor showing can be attributed from the FAO being too far away from the target.

The previous photo shows the Israeli that is farthest away from the camera.  The CO blundered the command and had a full movement away from the Egyptians. This really slowed his advance.The next photo shows the T-62s advancing in the center.

The T-55s pop up on the hill to slow down the advance.  They take out two Ishermans and suppress one Centurion.

The Centurions trade shots with the T-55s.

The T-55s did not fair too well.  In the next photo, you can see  the one  T-55 left in the unit.  Oh well, as my fraternal Soviet brothers say.  There are more T-55s where that came from.  In all seriousness, I was trading time for T-55s and I believe it was a fair exchange.

The T-62s getting into position to pop up  and fire.

Just after the next photo, the Israeli paratroopers tried to assaulted the dug in militia.  It was not a pretty sight.  Note to self, never try to assault a dug in position without the foe being suppressed.  Sorry, I did not get a photo of that.

The T-62s are taking out Centurions.  It is getting down to the nitty gritty.  The Egyptian breaking point is twelve and the Israeli breaking point is nine.  The Israelis  hit their breaking point and they are successful in not breaking.

The next turn, again the T-62s and Centurions trade shots.  The Egyptians reach their break point and the Israelis are now two units over their break point.  The Isrealis break and the Egyptians  do not break.  The Egyptians hold the battlefield and win the game.  It was a fun game and I really enjoyed the rule set.  I went out two days later and ordered it. 


Sunday, May 29, 2011

CY6 Jet Age at Drums at the Rapids 5/21/11

     On May 21st at the convention Drums at the Rapids, I had the pleasure of playing two games run by Dan Joyce.  The 1st was a CY6 Jet Age game and the 2nd was Cold War Commander.   I have always wanted to play Cold War Commander, but that will be in a post in the future. 
     The game was Egyptians and Syrians flying MiG-21s and MiG-19s, for a total of three MiG-19s and two MiG-21s (armed with Atolls).  I was flying two MiG-19s.  The Arabs had one +1 pilot and  he was flying a MiG-19 (my pilot).  We were flying against 3 Israeli Mirages armed with Shafirs, piloted by two +1 pilots and a +2 pilot.    Before I go on and I did not take a photo of  Dan’s maneuver sheets.  He made some in Publisher and they were really easy to use and very good looking.  I do have a partial photo of one and I will point it out.
      The 1st shot came from the Israeli +2 pilot ant long range and he hit. The MiG-21 pilot blew his robustness and it became a critical  hit.  It blew up his canopy and the pilot became unconscious and never regained consciousness.   In three turns he made a slow turning egress from the playing table. Then came some maneuvering.  The MiGs are trying to get into a slow turning fight  with two Mirages.  These are the +1 Isreali pilots, the +2 pilot is chasing the unconscious MiG-21 pilot and fails.  He is very far away from the action by now.  My +1 MiG-19 finally get a shot and I shred  one of the Mirages. The Mirage pilot fails to eject and goes down with his plane.

The lone remaining MiG-21 gets a shot with it's Atolls (sorry no photo).  Neither one malfunctions they are both near misses and of course the Mirage makes both robustness roll.  More maneuvering ensues and in two turns this is what transpires (next photo)

The outcome from the previous photo is one less MiG19 I have to pilot and he does mange to eject safely.

You can see Dan's maneuver sheets beside the erasable pen.  I wish I had taken a photo of those, oh well maybe next time.

In the end the Arabs lost two MiG-19s and one MiG-21 withdrawn. The Israeli lost one Mirage  The other Arab planes bugged out, so it was an Israeli victory.  Now what was interesting, the outcome of this game affected the Cold War Commander Game in the second session.  With the Israeli victory they received 3 Mysteres  fighter bombers as support.    If the Egyptians would have won, they would have had artillery support.  I will tell you more about both of those in the next post.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reliving Military History through Gaming

   I know personally and I think our hobby as whole has a hard time explaining to people what we like about miniature gaming. I know for me, I do not want to get a negative reaction or worst of all be thought of as a Nazi.  I was afforded the opportunity to help explain our hobby in a good light.
     A very good friend of mine, Jim Wonacott, was asked to give a presentation about historical miniature war gaming at the Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library in Blissfield Michigan.  He was kind enough to ask if I wanted to assist him.  I thought it was a great idea and jumped at the opportunity to assist Jim. 
     Jim made up four tables with examples of AWI, ACW, WWII and Modern Conflicts.  I brought a bunch of 1/300 scale airplanes, 1/285 tanks painted and unpainted.  I also brought along some 3mm miniatures to demonstrate how small miniatures could be.  I brought a bunch of paper buildings too.  One emphasis of his presentation was on how to get into the hobby cheap.  As we all know this hobby can quickly spiral out of control once one is hooked on those damn little men.
     Jim’s presentation started out with how he got into the hobby and then he went onto each table in chronological order.  He explained the scale and how he painted the troops.  He also had a table with tools of the trade. We brought several kinds of paint, including craft paints, to emphasis the inexpensive end of the hobby.  Jim and I then entertained questions from the audience.  We had 16 people attend, this included Jim, Laura (his wife) and myself.  There were several artists and they totally understood why we liked painting the miniatures.  One visitor brought his grandson; he was going to be graduating college and attending ROTC there.  He understood it and paid particular attention to the modern table.  Another guest was a computer gamer, as he was leaving, he hoped his wife understood that she was now going to loose her quilting room.  I know we had one convert.
     It was interesting, that once the hobby was explained, that people really understood it. They appreciated the time and effort that went into being able to field units so they could go on a table.  

Jim being introduced by the Library Director.   
Gathered around the AWI table.

The AWI table

ACW table

WWII table

Modern Table

Modern Table part two 

1/285 & paper buildings

1/300 airplanes & various other miniatures

Answer and question period.

Monday, May 2, 2011

AWI conversion of Gettysburg Soldiers American Civil War Rule set

   Three people in our gaming group help play test the a fore mentioned rule set.  They really like the rile set and I tend to agree with them.  I think that it is a great game for a convention.  It is easy to play, giving players a fun couple of hours instead of a couple of hours of frustration.  We believe it gives reasonable results after a three hour gaming session, as opposed to getting four turns done in that time period.
     As an extension of this rule set we enjoy AWI, so we decided to do a conversion.  We changed some of the pluses and minuses on the to-hit table.  These had to do with rifled muskets and artillery to name a couple.  I do not have the charts.  We played a game that had militia, Indians, French, Hessian and regulars.  It was the battle of East Nowhere.   The British held the field at the end of the game, due to the outstanding die rolling of the British player.  If he needed to beat a roll, he rolled it.   I did not take notes, but here are some photos of the game.
The first photo shows me on the left, I played 1/2 of the Americans.  The fellow with a large portion of his head missing is Jim Wonacott, he of the hot dice and Ted Bender (the other American) is taking all the photos.