Friday, July 24, 2015

Historicon Day 2 & 3

It's amazing how time can just get away from you! Here it is a week later and I finally have my Historicon day 2 and 3 post up; awful, I know.
This year found me playing (I really enjoy building/painting and hosting games more than playing) in more games than I ever have in three years of going to Historicon. My son Jakob also played in more games than he's ever participated in as well; I think, including our open games, he topped out at 11. I played in 7.
There were two games I was looking forward to. First was part 2 of the Decision in Delmarva: The Battle of Easton, MD. It was a 28mm American Civil War game using the "Longstreet" rules by Sam Mustafa. Part 1 was a naval battle on Thursday afternoon; I didn't get in on the first run of that game, but I did get in on a replay Thursday evening. 
Miles Reidy was the host for this game, and I've played in every game Miles has hosted for the past three years at Historicon. When the list of events is posted I immediately start looking for Miles' name so I can be sure to get in on his game. Three years ago when I first played in Miles' excellent Sink the Tennesee battle (a Confederate ironclad that is a museum quality 28mm build by Miles' partner in crime Mike M.) he started off his introduction by saying "We're here to have fun! I'm going to make mistakes with the rules." This message was absolutely brilliant and something I've stolen from him ever since, saying the same thing before every game I have hosted.
Obviously from the photos, the first thing that draws you to the table is the amazing figures and scenery. It is absolutely top notch and deservedly so, Miles and Mike won an award for Best Game for this table (As well as winning Best Game for the naval battle the night before).
I commanded the Texas Brigade on the left flank. Photos of my command are below.
This is what I was looking at ahead of me to start the game.  We were short one player and Mike was recruited in to take the Union right flank against me. It was fun because I think Mike and I are a lot alike in that we like the painting and building, and watching other players enjoy what you've created, more than the gaming. 
I'm pretty awful at actually playing games, so I'm sure Mike and I messed up rules somewhere along the line that allowed my troops to actually move swiftly up this hill below and then sweep right, almost completely destroying the Union troops.

"Longstreet" plays with a deck of cards that work as interrupts for you or your opponent. These types of games are right at the top of the play list for me; Dead Man's Hand and Pulp Alley also have a similar card aspect. There was lots of fun throwing cards down that helped your dice rolls or hindered your opponents! Lots of laughing and groaning went on because of the cards! Another great game from Miles and Mike, and I'm already looking forward to what they are going to come up with for next year.
The other game I signed up for during my on-line registration was "A Hot Time In Dodge City". This game used the Dead Man's Hand rules from Great Escape Game. I absolutely love this game and was more than excited that someone was actually going to run a game using these rules; I'd been waiting three years! The host was Rick Horner, and I'd actually met Rick on Wednesday night in the main gaming hall when I was setting up my DMH game for open gaming. Rick was super nice (we actually bumped into each other quite a bit over the four days, and I actually sold him some of my old Knuckleduster wounded figures which got plenty of table time on Saturday!) and watched the game I ran with my son. It was his first time running DMH at a convention and he was a little worried about getting the rules right, so he wanted to watch us run through a game. Of course this is when I told him about what I've now named The Reidy Doctrine; "We're here to have fun! I'm going to make mistakes with the rules."  I'll have a report on our games hopefully in a few days.
Rick's game came off great! We had 4 players, each controlling 4 figures within each gang, and each player also had objectives. I had the Earps, Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan, and also Doc Holiday. Our Sheriff had to get a prisoner to the gallows, I had to protect the bank, the Banditos had to rescue their man from the gallows, and the Outlaws had to rob the bank.
Lots of action happened around the gallows and outside former Undertakers (above), but Rick changed the sign to a new merchant and I apologize to him as I didn't take a picture of it. Honestly I didn't take nearly enough photos of this game, which I'm upset about, but I guess that was because we were having too much fun to bother with pictures.
The Outlaws ended up winning by sneaking out the back of the bank with the money. I think everyone had fun overall, and once the other two players got a hang of when to throw the cards down, it really got fun! Lots of trumping happened, where you got to say "Nope, you're not going to do that!", and for me being more experienced with the game, I was able to throw cards down to help the Sheriff's gang, which ended up making it almost feel like a 2 vs. 2 game, as opposed to every man for himself. It was a lot of fun, and it made me make up my mind that I am going to run my own DMH game at Historicon next year; and maybe even Fall-In this November if I am able to work out being out of town!
The last game I want to plug is "Corner Kick" run by Bob Wiltrout. I was unable to get in this game as I had a game at the exact same time (and in hindsight, I really wish I would have stayed here. Oh well, I got to see most of the second half), but my son stayed and got to play my beloved Liverpool in what was called "Assault On Anfield". It was Liverpool vs. Chelsea, with 4 players on each team for a total of 8 players. These are a soccer rule set that Bob and his son Jeff created themselves. Each player controlled 2-3 figures. I've seen this game being played for the last three years, but it's always sold out, and now I know why. It's absolutely brilliant! It really feels like soccer, and that's pretty tough to do. I'm an old Subbuteo player, and as far as a table top game, that is really about it; until now that is. My son had so much fun playing and talking with Bob that he used his own money to buy a copy of Bob's rules right there at the table! I have since been in touch with Bob though email, and my son has purchased 4 teams (again with his own money! Bob was blowing through rule books and bags of figures as I watched the game; Jakob actually got the last set of rules he had) which hopefully will be on their way soon.
The following are some photos of tables that caught my eye while walking the floor and side rooms.

So much to always see, and so much I always miss. Looking at reports on The Miniature Page it's amazing how many tables I missed; someone had a Kelly's Heroes type game and an Indiana Jones like game, that I'm pretty disappointed I didn't get to see first hand. Overall, another great time at Historicon and we're already looking forward to next year!

As always, thanks for looking!


  1. Ivor - thanks for the very generous write up but the real key to a successful con game isn't the GM's - it's great players like you and your son. Mike and I are cooking up something bigger for next year's HCON and there will always be room for you and your son to play no matter what the registration system says!


    1. Thanks Miles! It's great that I've found your blog and I've added it to my read list; I've spent the last few hours reading old posts and it was especially fun to see photos of Jakob from three years ago!

      I think I'd like to make up shirts with The Reidy Doctrine, and I think we should add "Don't blame me, blame history"