Monday, January 22, 2007

ConQuest '07

I am the miniatures co-ordinator for ConQuest '07. It is a multi-genre convention in the same vein as Dragonflight. It's biggest drawback is that it is a California for-profit con unfamiliar with the area. Last year was the first year of the convention and they suffered financial disaster. Sort of like the Donner Party of gaming. I attended the convention and met Gabriel "Mondo" Vega, the principal of the corporation and I was impressed by his genuineness and enthusiasm for the hobby. I agreed to coordinate the miniatures and do what I could to encourage NHMGS to support the event.

This is always a bit of a challenge to me. In my role as President of NHMGS it is unseemly for me to profit from involvement with other conventions. All of the goodies that come with volunteering for other conventions, such as Dragonflight or ConQuest, I have to turn down. This included free admission and rooms at the hotel. So, I pay my admission, and will drive back and forth to Bellevue (some 30+ miles each way) for three days in February. Oh well.

On the other hand, the miniatures portion of the convention is looking pretty good. Saturday should be a day in which we are filled up. Parts of Friday and Saturday also are busy. We'll see what happens in about three weeks.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mechanical Madness

Yesterday we had another Martian get together out at Game Matrix. Mark Waddington and I have been hosting these games for the last several months. We have two games we're hosting at ConQuest, and we wanted to play test them with live bodies before we actually host them with strangers. The first scenario-A Sea of Enemies-involves the relief of a British hill fort, surrounded by hostiles in the Martian wastes. We've run that twice, and it's turned out well.

This second game is called "Mechanical Madness." Mark has his full compliment of amazing scratchbuilt goodies in the game. There were three of the eight-legged walkers, conversions of the Wild West Burger King toy. British walkers, of course. The Brits also had a pair of steam tanks, and two armored suits. They also had the beautiful Zepplin Mark converted and were reinforced by the piece de resistance, the scratchbuilt Aphid gunboat. Martians had mainly foot troops with some entrenchments and fortified artillery. They also had Mark's gorgeous Ranger gunboat, a conversion from the Star Wars Tatooine Skiff, and were reinforced by a pair of Merrimac walkers and a unit of German allies.

This was the first time we'd played mechanicals vs. mechanicals and with their more deadly firepower we noticed some potential for catastrophic damage. One of the British walkers suffered a catastrophic penetration and explosion from a medium gun. The Aphid likewise suffered a crippling hit that forced it out of the game, and expedited the British decision to retire from the battle on its first turn of entry.

All in all we learned a lot about how the mechanicals work in a game, the need to tweak a few rules, and that Space 1889 is a real crowd pleaser.