Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Last weekend was Dragonflight. Dragonflight is a multi-genre convention that has struggled over the past few years. It has had little miniature participation, and virtually no historical miniatures. As I have explained in a previous post, I was approached about running historical miniatures through NHMGS and bringing our guys along to play the games.

We pre-registered about 40 guys at a reduced fee, and we scheduled 15 games. In the past, when our members went to Dragonflight and scheduled games, they had difficulty attracting gamers to play them. This weekend every game scheduled went off as planned, though some could have handled more players. I felt that our participation was a success and I hope to continue this practice for next year.

I played in several games. Friday afternoon I played the French and Indian War Sword and the Flame variant. I had a great time. It was Norris Hazelton's game, and it was fun to play the Indians and pirates with David Sullivan and Arthur Brooking.

Saturday morning I jumped into Mitch Berdinka's General de Brigade game. It's been a long time since I played Napoleonics, and honestly I had a lot of fun. It is an interesting rules set, and I think it would be reasonably easy to learn and play. I am not, however, tempted to do Napoleonics. The scenario was Maida. We, the British, lost, but I still had a good time.

Saturday afternoon I got into Steve Winter's Spanish Armada game. It was a hoot. It is somewhat abstracted, but very enjoyable, with each team taking a turn as the English and the Spanish. I teamed with Dave Schueler and Peter Wort. We played well and had a good time, but managed to lose. It is one of those games when being unlucky matters, and we didn't have much good fortune.

I also ran a couple of games. I re-ran my Storming Party game from Enfilade. It was fun with John Kennedy, young Gil Fussell, Norris and Arthur. The English had a difficult time getting started. The French, led by John festooned many of the English attackers with crossbow bolts and ballista shafts. Eventually the English brought their onager into action and the longbowmen began to hit exposed defenders on the wall. However, the ladder assaults were costly, frequently deterred by deadly baskets of rocks dropped from the walls. The English finally killed the armored defenders and cleared their way into the gatehouse on the last turn of the game.

Saturday night I ran a scenario, I've always wanted to play--Kearsarge vs. Alabama--using the Ironclads rules. I went to a lot of trouble during the days leading up to the convention trying to get the ships painted and rigged, and they looked great. Enough rigging to give them a solid appearance, but still good wargaming miniatures. I also applied the gloss gel medium thicker over layers of blue and green paint, and the effect was a very nice watery base. In any case, the scenario was weighted heavily in favor of Kearsarge. I gave points to Alabama for doing damage to the Union sloop, and points to Kearsarge for the quickness with which it sank the Confederate raider. It didn't quite work out as I planned. Both players took turns running each ship, and in both cases, Alabama was fairly impotent against Kearsarge and earned no points. Both players earned five points by sinking Alabama on the fifth game turn, so things ended up a tie.

I didn't return on Sunday, but the weekend was certainly worth my time. It was great.