This past weekend was the 45th DundraCon, held at the Santa Clara Marriott which is just a short drive away from me here in Fremont. The crew all got together and headed there for a weekend of long overdue gaming.
We didn't really know what to expect - will people still be a little weary of events or will they flock to them after being isolated for so long. Well, to me at least, the convention seemed well attended. Miniatures gaming is not the main stay for DundraCon, it is primarily an RPG convention, but they've been working to expand their miniatures footprint and it is working. What would have been 2-3 miniatures games at a time at the peak of the con was more like 6-7 this year - so that was great to see.
The above pic ... so true. "Hey, we should have some time for a couple of boardgames ..."
We kicked things off early on Friday with some board games - always love playing me some board games. Colosseum is always a fun one. I will say - something we all thought was a little "over the top" was the last minute convention rule they implemented called the "bendy straw rule" ...
In short, the convention required all attendees to show proof of vaccination (no problem here), wear masks at all times (sure). No food or drink could be consumed outside of a specified eating/drinking area, UNLESS you use a "bendy straw" so that you can stick it up under your mask to drink with your mask on. Right. Ok. Not specifying wear the "bend" had to be we took this and had some fun with it - getting all sorts of whacky straws to use. Oh well ... fortunately it was't really enforced ... more of an online threat.
First game up was Matt Hilzendrager's lovely and beautifully done Sudan game using the Men Who Would Be Kings rules with some light house rules. I played on the Beja side and pushed up the center. Things were going very well until I got to the wall. All I needed was a 5+ on 2D6 ... nope. Nope a second time ... and the third time was a failed Rally test and a retreat. Oh well. Those British chaps then proceeded to pump my poor lads full of lead. Killed to a man! Fortunately my two companions running the flanks faired a little better. Still, at the end, a minor British victory.
After Matt's game we played in John Lantz's WW2 western desert game using Bolt Action. I played using the 2 x Diana's and had a *blast* ... hehe. Well, I made a lot of noise with the guns, put out some pins, but destroying something ... naa, that would require a 4+ on a D6 ... very elusive! If they ever make a game were rolling 1's is the target - well, I guess that would be the day I start rolling 6's! LOL.
We (the German's) had to cover a convoy while it worked to get off the table (getting VPs for each transport we got off). Very clever and fun scenario that looked beautiful. John always runs a fun game. Things were very close - in the last turn the Germans managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat.
I hosted my Orklands (Gasland's Refueled) game. This is always a fun one to host and play. What was crazy here is the group in the first picture came from all over (Texas, southern Cali, east coast) and only heard/saw Gaslands on the convention schedule. They took a look and bought the rules. Miniatures - bought those on the way. They went to the painting room at the convention to paint their vehicles. When I was setting up they were gluing their gates/terrain together so they could play after my game. Crazy ... as in crazy awesome. A great group of people. We had tons of fun. The guy who was having trouble getting forward in the race was the one who won the race (last man standing). Funny enough, he was the catalyst to the end game. He collided with a car and triggered a chain reaction of collisions and explosions that took out 4 players! Too funny and very Orky!
Roy Scaife ran his outstanding WW2 naval game using his 1:1200 ships ("normal" scale for WW2 naval is 1:2400 ... so essentially 2x sized ships, which I love!). Italians versus British. And an aircraft carrier ... the planes ... so many planes! Again, tons of fun was had. Bad day to be in the Italian navy. Two ships took critical hits and the result was boxcars - KABOOM! The second one of these was on the Italian battleship - which marked the end of the game. The British, while taking hits across many ships, only lost 2 destroyers ... the Italians ... a battleship, cruiser, 4 destroyers, another cruiser was half way in the water ... oof! British solid victory.
The excellent Nick Stern ran a couple of games at the convention. Below is his Opium Wars game entitled the "Taku Fort" using the Men Who Would Be Kings rules. Nick always runs excellent games. The fort looked excellent and the figures are beautifully painted.
Nick's other game as Isandlwana in 15mm. Beautifully done. Another excellent game. Nick did a great job of making this battle (which if you don't know was extremely one sided) something both sides could have a good chance at winning based on some cleaver victory conditions. If I recall correctly, the Zulu's narrowly pulled off the victory.
I mentioned in a previous post that I watched a couple of games of Test of Honour, the Samurai skirmish game. I was so impressed I was pushed straight off that cliff ... ordering figures and rules from the darkness of my hotel room bed in the weee hours of the morning (after we had stayed up way too late playing boardgames).
I was very active the entire time so didn't manage to get too many pictures of other games being run. I only snapped the ones below.
And there you have it. Another convention in the books. My soooo much more important is that this was far overdue and well timed as my motivation comes primarily from conventions and my motivation was seriously waning. Motivation infused. I am excitedly looking forward to KublaCon in may - full steam ahead!