Monday, September 4, 2023

PacifiCon Game Expo 2023

The PacifiCon Game Expo was held this weekend in Santa Clara, CA.  I was finally able to bring my Battle of the Pelennor Fields game to the tabletop in a large battle with my freshly painted (after some panic painting into Thursday evening) walls of Minas Tirith.

The excellent Stewart Blain was kind enough to snap this picture above just after I had completed setup.

One of our group was down and out with COVID (he was fine, just testing positive still so didn't attend the convention).  He was missed but the rest of us trundled on and had a great low stress fun filled weekend of gaming!

On Friday I ran my Orclands (Gaslands) game followed by several board games.  Saturday was the big day for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, also followed by board games.  And finally, Sunday I played in games ran by Thomas Foss and Stewart Blain (more on that below).

I didn't get as many pictures as I would like to have.  I ended up playing in the War of the Ring game while also hosting, which took the bulk of Saturday and meant I didn't get to go around to other tables to get pictures and even didn't take but a few pictures during my own game!

Battle of the Pelennor Fields

The great battle of our time --- or well, at least this last Saturday!  Mordor managed to pull off a pyrrhic victory in the end as they would not have been able to push on into the city, but it was clear our brave defenders of Gondor would have had to withdraw back into the city to regroup and reorganize.

This was a unique table, in a plus sign/cross configuration.  This allowed me to have the Rohirrim coming in from one side, the defenders led by Prince Imrahil coming from the city, and Aragorn leading the Grey Company and fiefdoms forces from the other side. 

Nice pictures below from my DSLR camera after I finished setting up ...

Phone pictures below ... 

I did also manage to complete a few new units (and one unit expansion) before the event ...

And, if you are curious about the painting ... here are some "as it progressed" pictures of the walls getting painted over the last month or so ... from raw 3D printed to completed.  Lighting and pictures are a bit crap ...

ACW Fire & Fury - McPherson's Ridge

The excellent Stewart Blain ran this game.  I took on the forces on the Union right.  I pushed hard against the Confederates, who didn't expect me to attack.  I managed to push the Confederate left flank, which forced the Confederates to dedicate desperately needed reinforcements for the center to the left to counter my remaining forces.  While I spent the entire force, it more than made up for it and managed to give us the time needed in the center to hold off the Confederates until the end of the game (turn 12).

Red Riding 1812

The famous Thomas Foss ran a game "in 3 acts" called Red Riding.  It was based off a diary from a Polish lancer in 1812 who was in an escort that was in fact attacked by a large pack of wolves (60'ish) - which turned into a running battle.  It is a great story (Thomas has all the details).  Thomas spiced it up with some eventual undead, vampires, werewolves, etc.  A great experience and based on a very interesting story!  This game used the Wiley Rules Horse & Musket based on the popular Fistful of Lead old west rules.

Orclands (Gaslands)

Orclands is always a fun time.  My hopes of one day getting to the 3rd gate were crushed.  I ran two cars, one which blew up before the first gate, and the second rolled over and exploded just before the second gate.  That being said, being goofy with Orcs for a couple of hours is fun.

Other Games

I took some pictures of other games and a few of the board games we played.  I particularly like Wonderland's War and bought some must have extras for that game (stickers for the meeples, MDF player board holders/overlays, and ally token/card holders).

Below - throwing ourselves back to the 1990's with some Samurai Swords!

And that's it for PacifiCon.  Next up I think we are hoping to go to Conquest in Sacramento in October, but if not the next convention will be DundraCon in February.  Time to maybe get back in the saddle and host some games at home.


  1. What a showman. Lotr and MacPherson Ridge, all in one show. Did you rent a fleet of semis to get everything there at once? Superb, Mr. White. The collective hobby shalom before your expertise.

  2. Dude, that first picture, simply magnificent! You are the Middle Earth King! Just don't put on that little gold ring.


    1. Lol, I do have a face for radio, so the ring could only help :-)

  3. How in the world did you get this written so fast? My ARR is still just a gleam in my eye and four sentences in a draft....

    anyway, It was GREAT to play many games with you last weekend (and Dan and John and as well). Your WOTR game is just an amazing display and if there was a 'best in show' it would certainly win. It was also really fun to play (even if I didn't get the rules 100% right) and I was thrilled to play Rohan. I get extra cool points for being the only player to slay an elephant.
    Glad you played in and enjoyed my ACW game.
    I hope to see you (and the rest) at a future convention. 😁

    1. Thanks Stew! I had a blast playing in your ACW game. Swept that Confederate left flank, yay! You handled the Rohirrum with a seasoned hand, and yes, taking down the Mumak was excellent! Looking forward to the next one.

  4. Fantastic report Jay and what a sensational WOTR battle. Absolutely stunning and inspirational.