Tuesday, February 21, 2017

DundraCon 2017 Convention Report

Another DundraCon has come and gone.  I had a blast at this convention ... with lots more on this in a moment, but first to quickly address my lack of posts in the last month ...

My horrible lack of posting to the blog here has been primarily because of my preparations for the convention along with just a lot of progress on many fronts with work arriving from the glorious Steve Dake (my force of Rohan on foot and Elves for Helm's Deep) and the excellent Mark Brooks (my Orc Blood Bowl Team).  I had a bunch of basing I had to finish ... along with limbers and guns to paint for my Pickett's Charge game.  Anywho, the good news is that I now have some time to get around to wrapping up those projects and getting some pictures done for blog posts ... so stay tuned!

Ok, on the the con report!

DundraCon is primarily known for as an RPG heavy convention, but it has much more to offer than just that.  The board gaming rooms are constantly packed with a wide range of games, the SCA (live action armoured combat), war college, protospiel, and more.  The miniatures footprint which has all but disappeared many years ago is doing much better.  Admittedly the miniatures at this convention are more fantasy/sci fi than anything else, but my jolly crew and I do our best to inject some historical games into the schedule.  And it just isn't us, other historical games are played throughout the weekend as well --- e.g. the great Aerodrome WWI fighter combat game that always looks great and draws a crowd of players.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of this convention is the miniatures coordinator Hector Torres.  He is the poster child of what I think a miniatures coordinator should be ... easy to work with, accommodating within reason, professional, and just a great guy.  He makes sure the trains run smoothly and for me it made life very easy.

So, early Friday morning we set off for a hearty breakfast and then got settled into the hotel.  First up was to play a 4 player full scene (three "acts" - aka games) for Dead Man's Hand.

Dead Man's Hand

For this game we used the US Cavalry, Pinkertons, Outlaws and Desperados.  I had not broken out DMH for a while so it was great to play it again.  It really is just a outstanding game.  Which reminds me I need to get off my keyster and get my The Chicago Way stuff done.

I played US Cavalry and suffered from the wide use of the carbine in the list.  When you are up close and personal it is hard to beat pistols and shotguns.  I tried to keep my distance but it just didn't work out that way.  Regardless, and mostly thanks to the efforts of the Pinkertons (played by Roy Scaife) - we managed to win the scene.  Valiant efforts put forward by Dan Kerrick (playing Outlaws) and John Lantz (playing Desperados).

Pickett's Charge

I ran my Pickett's Charge game two times - once on Saturday afternoon and once on Sunday morning.  Both games had maximum participation and between setup, playing and tear down only took 4  hours.  That is 30 minutes setup and about the same tear down ... so 3 hours to conclusion.  The Sunday game actually took 2.5 hours.

The Saturday game saw a decent breakthrough of the Union Center - with the Confederates pulling off a 15 point to 14 point moral victory.  The Sunday game saw a big last turn swing for the Union which brought the game to an 18 to 16 Union victory.  Every single game of this we've played has been very close.

I took a short video of the Pickett's Charge game using my phone ...

The awesome Thomas Foss allowed me to use his backdrop mat for a few pictures ... then he let me take ownership of it ... so I plan to take a bunch of staged photos using my collections in the future with it.  These ones are a bit rough has two guys are holding it and we just wanted to take a few quick pictures using it.  Thomas is an amazing artist with an infinitely creative mind.  Ok, lots of pictures of both games below.

Breaking Lances

Thomas Foss brought out his new game called Breaking Lances.  I picked up two sets from him (total of 4 knights, two "rails" and all the playing aids).  Rather than just focusing on the moment of impact in a joust, Thomas has created a more realistic game that of course has the moment of impact, but also captures the whole journey from the moment the jouster heads out and starts to jockey their horse, body, lance and shield into the perfect combination of attack and defence.

This is an easy game to learn and is very fun!  In short, each player has a board to gather dice on (D6's).  In addition to the dice board, there is a small shield that holds three cribbage pegs.  The first covers if you a cantering or galloping.  If you canter, you roll a D6 and need a 2+ to avoid bad things and move one "post" down the railing.  If you gallop you need a 5+ on a D6.  If you pass, you get to add 1D6 to your dice board that can be allocated to attack or defence later on (at the moment of impact).  If you fail you loose a die ... and if you don't have a die to loose you must roll a D6.  On a 1, your horse bucks and gives a significant dice advantage to your opponent.

Each turn players plot their attack posture and defence posture (head, body or shield).  This is done in secrecy and both players reveal their shield simultaneously.  If you attack a part that is not what the other play defends you gain an attack die to your board, if they defend the attacked area, the other player gains a defence die (this is also done for their attack and your defence).  This continues until both knights meet or pass each other.  Then dice for galloping are allocated, and attack and defence dice are picked up and rolled to see how many hits and blocks occur.  There is of course just a little more to it than that --- but that is the core of the game.  It drew great crowds and everyone had fun playing.

Star Wars Armada

John Lantz ran a battle at Endor game (second Death Star attack).  This saw rebel fighters making a run at the death start (picture on the mat) while the capital ships slugged it out.  I played on the Imperial side running one of the star destroyers.  It was not a good day for the Empire.

Funny enough, when setting up, John disappeared for an abnormally long time ... to the point that we figured he'd either been murdered in the parking lot or was taking the mother of all bathroom breaks.  Instead, he was preparing a surprise ... he showed up in full Imperial uniform!  Awesome!

There was another Star Wars ground game going on at the same time which looked like fun as well ... I just snapped a quick picture of it.

Outside of the miniatures games we played a ton of different board games ... including Epic Tiny Galaxies, Dragon Farkle, Condottiere, Potion Explosion, Star Realms, and more!

So there you have it.  Now I look forward to KublaCon in May where I'll be running my McPherson's Ridge scenario and hopefully will also have my Little Round Top scenario ready as well.