Monday, September 7, 2015

Convention Report - Pacificon Game Expo 2015

This past Friday morning I had my car all packed up and I set off to the Pacificon Game Expo being held here is Santa Clara, California.  I was all set for my Hell's Highway game I was going to run on Saturday morning.  I met up with Roy Scaife and set off ... to the sound of a shifting bin ramming into my bridge model ... resulting in some breakage of railings and such ... oh my ... a rough start.

I managed to make it to the hotel without any more damage.  I made the repairs and settled in for a weekend of gaming.  This is a very long post with lots of pictures (from my phone) below ... I hope you enjoy all the eye candy from the convention.

Also, as a quick side note - I have a few posts in the pipeline to cover some of the stuff below in a little more detail, including my new WW2 British vehicles, ships and ACW units.

First up was Dan Kerrick's modern Afghanistan game using "Some Corner of a Foreign Field" .. I played the bad guys and managed to would several of the British soldiers attempting to rescue downed US pilots ... but in the end a couple of good shots and a grenade launcher pulled out a coalition victory.

After wrapping up the modern game we set off for Matt Hilzendrager's "Bastard Sons of the Desert" game using his "Hell or Highwater" home brew rules.  Matt always run a great game and this was another hit with a full roster of players.  Lots of dead on both sides ... but in the end the French Foreign Legion emerged victorious (if not in need of a new recruiting run)!

Some board games here and there and that wrapped up our Friday.  Saturday morning I woke up early and headed down to the miniatures room to setup Hell's Highway.  I made some major changes to the scenario (need to update my original post) ... but I reduce the forces on both sides and changed the town setup.  These changes proved to be exactly what I needed!!  I had a full roster for the game and we managed to play the entire game to a decisive conclusion in 3.5 hours!  A big part of this was the group activation.  I organized both sides into small combat teams consisting of 4-6 vehicles ... for those carrying infantry the vehicle count was lower.  I put dice equal to the number of combat groups into the activation bag.  When I pulled a dice that side would determine which player would activate their entire combat team.  This worked very well.

This picture shows the reorganized town.

Everyone seemed to have a great time and there was sufficient carnage on both sides to give everyone a feeling of accomplishment.  The British paid a heavy price but managed to carry the day.

Played lots of board games and stayed up way too late on Saturday night!!  Games of note are "Leaving Earth" from Lumenaris.  In this game you play a space agency in 1956 attempting to win the space race (based on a number of randomly selected missions that are completed for victory points).

We also played Exploding Kittens - the "not safe for work" edition --- which was hilarious!!  I was dealt my opening hand and spent about 10 minutes laughing uncontrollably.

Another early morning, I got up and brought my ships down for Thomas Foss's game "The Battle of Lepanto - 1571" ... which I was helping him run.  The game had around 65 ship models and an overly full roster of gamers itching to get into an awesome Renaissance naval brawl.  Thomas also used his new custom painted mat that is based on a painting of the battle in the Vatican ... super cool!  This was another bloody game, but the Holy League managed to keep history on their side.

Thomas Foss did an outstanding job painting up his
mat for the game - based on an actual painting of
the battle in the Vatican.

Next up on Sunday was Matt Hilzendrager's ACW game "The Battle of Miller's Farm" using his beautiful terrain and models.  Matt's games are a staple of local convention miniature game quality.  His setups are what inspired me to take my wargames to the next level.  Matt used the "Brother Against Brother" rules for the game.

Another game worthy of mention is Rick Schultz's "Bridge at Remagen" game and his "Kelly's Heroes" game ... I did get to play in either due to other games going on at the same time, but both looked spectacular as expected.

Ok, last up is a selection of photos from other games.

And that's it folks!  A lot was going on ... and some really spectacular looking games.  I'm looking forward now to getting back on track with ACW, Robotech RPG Tactics and my modern Iraq projects and planning for DundraCon in February.


  1. Stunning jay ! Im really impressed by your phone blog post, so much eyecandy, thank you very much !

    Best regards Michael

    1. Thanks Michael, it was a great convention with lots of great games. I'm already looking forward to the next one :-)

  2. Brilliant Jay! Your game, and honestly your whole weekend, looked top notch!

  3. Love to join at one of year when I win the lottery

    1. lol ... I need to make it over to BLAM someday to play with your excellent stuff ... perhaps one day. I'll make you a deal, if I win the lottery I'll fly you over ... if you win fly me over ;-) Ha!

  4. Lots of great pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jay, splendid eye candy and over all an excellent report and weekend! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. Jay, Do you know the manufacturer of Matt's acw figures?
    Redoubt or mostly sash &sabre?