Thursday, March 23, 2023

Conquest Avalon Convention

This past weekend (March 17-19) was the Conquest Avalon game convention in Sacramento, California.  Roy Scaife, Dan Kerrick, John Lantz, and myself all piled in my SUV and made the trek up north to attend.

Avalon is a Science Fiction and Fantasy game convention, so I had packed up my Firestorm Armada and several board games, including the excellent Star Trek Ascendancy.  Dan brought along his Star Wars miniatures to use for a Galactic Heroes game based on the rebels working to clear out imperial remnants on the forest moon of Endor.

I didn't bring my fancy camera and only snapped a few phone pictures throughout the weekend.  The convention is a small convention.  While small, the stress factor was extremely low, there was plenty of gaming space, and we could game the whole time without anyone bothering us.

We arrived before the doors had opened on Friday, so we used my suite to play some board games.  Fortunately the bar was already open by then :-)

We played our first game of Star Trek Ascendancy.  This is an excellent board game and is exactly what I want out of a Star Trek galaxy themed game with a very good balance between economy building and military conquest.

On Saturday I hosted my FSA (Firestorm Armada) game.  I pulled out my entire Dindrenzi fleet and it took on a large Alliance of Kurak fleet with an even split of fleets from the Terrans and Sorylians.  The Dindrenzi players took the day with superior dice rolling!  I continue to love FSA!

After FSA I hosted a 7 player Star Trek Ascendancy game.  We had so much fun playing it on Friday we just couldn't wait to play it again.  Three of the players had not played before, and the rest of us had only played our first game the night before.  One of the best aspects of this game is that if your faction hasn't made first contact (isn't connected to other factions), players can complete their turns at the same time.  As a result, this 7 player major space exploration, economy, and military conquest game only took us 4 hours!

The excellent Stuart was running a Star Trek miniatures game - I don't recall the rules but it looked great using custom miniatures (printed form Shapeways I believe) and I know the players all had a blast.  Stuart is a great guy and always runs fun games.  It was great to see him out at the con.

The picture below is near the end of the large Star Trek Ascendancy game ... little ole me actually won it ... just barely (won on a tie breaker).

Dan's Endor game using Galactic Heroes was excellent.  I played Chewy with a few rebel troopers and some Ewoks!  Oh, the Ewoks - they did just fine (despite heavy casualties).  Rebels managed to take a solid victory on this one.

There you have it.  A short report but we all had a great time.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

General d'Armee: Battle of Weissenfels, 1813

On Saturday I hosted the Battle of Weissenfels at my place.  This scenario is from the General d'Armee 1813 Germany scenario book.  This scenario sees the Russian army attempting to prevent the French from entering the village of Rocken.  The French need to make a successful river crossing then push to the objective.  If the Russian prevent the French from entering Rocken by turn 14, the French loose.

The scenario lasts for 14 turns.  There was no way we would be able to fight the entire battle to completion on the Saturday afternoon, so we pushed through the first 7 turns of the game.

Below you can see the initial table setup.  There are two bridge crossings on the French side of the table.  Additionally there are two fords making it 4 crossing points.  Only skirmishers can cross the stream, all other units must cross at bridges or fords.

You may be asking, where are all the troops?  Well, nothing starts on the table initially.  The Russian note their brigade deployment positions, then the French attempt to scout the brigades.  If a brigade is successfully scouted, it is immediately deployed.  After the scouting, the French deploy two of their brigades, with the rest entering the game in later turns (as space permits).  Then the Russians deploy their non-scouted brigades.  A fun little pre-game event.

I took some nice pictures of the table setup with my zoon lens before the game started ...

So far the Russians are doing well.  That being said, the French have just finally finished crossing the river with all their forces.  The 2nd half of this game is going to be very interesting.  The Russian cavalry continue to be a major problem for the French, but the French cavalry just crossed and can now start fighting back the Russian cavalry on at least one of the flanks.

Next up below are some pictures from the end of "part 1" of the game.  Lots of French infantry squares are under threat.  While there are some Cossacks running around, they can't charge formed units to the front so they are mostly annoying to the French at this point - BUT, the French need to be careful as with so many units now concentrated in the center the Cossacks may find an open flank to charge.

Pictures below using my nice camera and zoom lens ...

Here are some "in progress" pictures, a combination of a larger lens on my SLR with a flash (not a fan of those results) and my phone pictures.  You can see the initial phases of the French crossing and Russian brigade deployment ...

I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this game.  I recall can't tell you at this point who will likely win.  I think the Russians enjoyed most of their success so far due to the French river crossing and difficultly coordinating the bridgehead, but that has effectively come to and end and the remaining French forces are ready to start pushing hard to Rocken.