Saturday, August 27, 2016

"The Hit" Historicon TCW AAR

Finally got time to get this written down; returning home from Historicon was just an onslaught of farm work, relatives coming in from out of town, college visits, new customers for horse feed, soccer starting up again, my D-Day Conneaut event, etc. etc. etc. Apparently no one knows how important this hobby is for my sanity :)

Here is a quick recap of the two games I ran at Historicon - originally I was only scheduled for one game, as I'd never ran a game before and was pretty nervous. I didn't want to commit to two games with the possibility of the first being a disaster.

Turns out that the first game Thursday evening was fantastic, and I had talked to so many people about the game, the rules, the table, the buildings, and the figures throughout the day, as well as Friday, that I decided to do another one Saturday night.

The game was a variation on "The Hit" scenario in the rule book. For each game I had 4 players in teams of two; the old classic 'good guys versus bad guys'. The good guys (two gangs of police, 4 figures in each gang - red and blue striped bases, and 1 car per gang) were tasked with protecting the new mayor from getting from one side of the table to the other. The bad guys (two gangs of gangsters, with 4 figures each - green and clear striped bases, and 1 car per gang) were tasked with eliminating this new mayor who is campaigning to rid the city of the violence and corruption that is running rampant everywhere; certainly not the kind of mayor a gangster wants :) .

4 cards were dealt for each players hand and the photographer was used as a bonus to the gang who was fortunate enough to play the highest initiative card to start the game. He turned out to be quite useful in the second game, saving gangsters twice from being eliminated if I remember correctly. The first game, unfortunately the player who controlled him really only remembered to use him when I reminded him that he could be helpful.

Each side started on either end of the table, leaving the middle third empty for the moment - initiative was normal with high card going first. To simplify things, all figures were allowed 4 under fire markers before they were eliminated and no bonuses whatsoever were given to any figures; this meant we didn't have to keep track of who was the boss, low level figures, etc. I feel there are enough modifiers in the game and with the cards that this isn't an issue.

For the first game the police and the mayor deployed on 1st Ave; the mayor in his red 1926 Rolls Royce Phantom 7 right in front of Brooklyn Antiques (above, and below on the right side of the photo). The gangsters deployed on the opposite side, at the intersection of Main and 2nd Ave (below on the left side of the photo).

The first game I unfortunately didn't take any photos except for one near the very end, and that was a bit blurry, top above. I did steal some photos from various miniature pages that posted pictures of my board and also got quite a few photos from one of the players, Kalissa, and also her husband David, who joined our Facebook group for the game, so full credit to them (and a big thank you!) for the photos.

She and her partner played the gangsters and they immediately drove their cars straight ahead to make a sort of road block; this was going to make it quite difficult for the mayors car to get through that part of the board and to the edge he needed to get to for a victory.

Lots of action took place around the Wrigley's Building and just outside it in the street.  A frightened citizen card was played to try to deflect some of the flying bullets around the fight on the loading dock, above.

I found it interesting how quickly the other gangster player (apologies I can't remember his name - something I'll be sure to remember in future games as you'll see below) figured out how brutal hand to hand combat is in this game. He ended up running through the back alleys behind Main Street taking out 2 police officers, and then another one when he came out onto 1st Ave. I wish I had a few photos of those sequences. Hand to hand combat is easily my go to combat option in this game!

The police gang ended up getting the mayors car around to the intersection of  Main and 2nd but the blue car above wasn't going to allow it through. Lots more gun fights happened around this intersection with the police finally making a run towards the blue car, getting in it and running it straight ahead into the window of the Union Market! This cleared the road for the mayors car to make its escape off the board straight ahead.

But this is also where the gangsters final plan came to action. This particular figure was pretty much in a solid observation position for a good portion of the game, waiting and watching for his opportunity. And his opportunity came when the path was cleared for the mayors final push to clear the board.

Again, I wish I had some more photos of these last two turns, because it was real Hollywood type stuff, but unfortunately don't :( . This gangster with the tommy gun, who was positioned initially on the roof of the Klapp Electric building, ended up sneaking down through the roof hatch and placing himself in a perfect ambush position next to the front door. This gave him the ideal spot to get to the mayor as his car attempted to exit the board. To start the very last turn of the game Kalissa ended up getting a high initiative card with this figure and used 1 move action to get within point blank range of the mayor's car and used her final two actions as 'shoot' actions to fire point blank at the mayor. This meant that a total of six 20 sided dice were going to be rolled (firing a tommy gun at point blank range gets you 3 shots per action, so depending on the situation you could potentially take 3 shooting actions at point blank range getting to roll a total of 9 dice - easily the most brutal weapon in the game!). Needless to say, those six shots easily took out the mayor, giving the gangsters the victory. The good guys were really close to getting the win though too, and had better initiative cards been flipped, who knows what may have happened!?

For me, my second game Saturday night was even better than Thursday. I learned a lot, especially what not to do, to make the game easier for the players. I did get extremely lucky and 3 of the 4 had experience with Dead Man's Hand so that made things even easier :) Something I made sure to do this time was use each of my players names as we went through the turns; calling their name when it was their turn or when actions came up. For me this created a real sense of just a bunch of friends playing a game at the house and something I will absolutely continue to do in the future.

This time I was hoping the Sinclair garage/gas station could get some action happening around it, so I flipped the starting sides for the good guys and the bad guys from the game Thursday night, meaning the mayor needed to exit the board right there for a victory. Turns out that didn't do anything to get figures battling it out around the building though :( . Someday maybe I'll get a good battle at that intersection!

I had Dave and Richard running the gangsters and Rosalyn and her partner (because I've waited so dang long to get this written I've forgotten his name, which is extremely frustrating, because I see him every year and have even played in games with him... grrrrrrr. So the pro tip here is don't wait so long to write AAR's and take some notes!) took control of the good guys and the mayor.

Both gangs pushed forward in their vehicles, making the run of Main St. in front of the Wrigley's Building full of guns blazing and general chaos!

Some very Ivor-like rolling of the dice came from Richard early on in the game; this was a tommy gun burst at point blank range! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who rolls like this :)

Dave ended up using the Nitti figure (probably my favorite of the gangster figures) to jump into the vacated yellow agent/police vehicle, after a vicious firefight around the loading docks of the Wrigley's Building (two photos above), and tried to run over the agent on the loading dock by driving the car backwards! Luckily the height of the dock prevented the agent from getting hit, but great stuff none the less!

The first several turns saw the mayor's car slowly work its way forward and down 2nd Ave. only to end up reversing back where it came from, as Main St. quickly turned into total chaos.

Richard made a push towards the mayor in his green model "J" Duesenberg, stepping on the gas and speeding forward. He crashed into the mayor's car head on! The damaged caused meant the car was out of action, and no longer a viable option to get the mayor off the table. This really put the mayor in a precarious position - essentially he was trapped in his car, because exiting the car at that moment would have more than likely meant an easy victory for the gangsters.

Richard started to bring the remaining members of his gang across the intersection to finish off the mayor - at the same time as this was happening, Rosalyn and Richard were battling it out in the alleyways behind Main St. They had some pretty brutal hand to hand fights as well as some Mexican stand-off type gun fights! But this is really the point of the game that turned it back to an even match; Richard really put himself into a great position to win the game, but Ros charged back, much like the cavalry, to rescue the mayor from certain doom.

Richard had positioned his gangster right against the mayors car for the final hit when Ros and her police officer saved the game - photo above. That's the gangster out of action on the ground, leaning against the car!

Ros had her Eliot Ness figure also finish off any further threat that Richard posed by taking out the gangster above in the intersection of Main and 2nd, despite the photographer being able to help a few times through the whole sequence!

This final turn put us right at our three hour mark - we certainly could have continued on as the game had turned and could have gone either way, but by this time it was 10pm on Saturday night, after 3 days of 12+ hours of gaming everyone was pretty much whipped, so we all agreed to call it a draw and end the game.

Overall I was really pleased with how everything turned out. I got to talk to a lot of great people, had lots of positive feedback on the table and buildings (someone even said my table was better than the one used for the Wargames Illustrated feature of TCW rules, as he was there for that demo and photo shoot), had absolutely fantastic players for my games, and even made several new friends. I know a ton of TCW buildings and figures were sold over the event, and know for certain that all rules for TCW were sold out completely! So if I helped in the least with that, I couldn't be happier - Stuart and Mark put out a fantastic game that is great fun and really easy to play, so it was great to sort of represent the GEG guys in a small way at Historicn 2016 :)

As always,
thanks for looking!



  1. Those sound like fantastic games. They certainly look good: well done!

    1. Thank you sir! Very much appreciated :)
      As you have mentioned in your reports before, having great players makes a huge difference in a successful game, so very fortunate in that respect.

  2. Great report and two very well run games - being a GM at a con game is a lot of fun isn't it?

    1. Thanks Miles! It certainly is, and definitely something that I think I enjoy a bit more than actually playing - mostly because I have no "tactics" per se and roll dice so incredibly bad that it can only be described as horrific or laughable!
      I can also see the desire to make next years games even bigger and better, as you've successfully done with yours each year - but then the question is 'where is the ceiling?' :)
      *maybe there isn't one, right!*

  3. Absolutely. Frick'in. Awesome. I'm jealous!!! Beautifully done!

    1. Thanks man! Appreciate it! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your TCW :)