The PEL for Historicon 2012 was recently released, and rather than doing my usual swing through to glance at tables and pick up a few things from the vendors, I'm planning on going all out this year. We only live an hour and half from this year's location, but now that my son's a little older we're planning on at least one overnight stay so I can get in as much gaming within 24 hours as possible. I thought that would be plenty, but looking over the list of upcoming events I may have to make the drive down for a few more games as well!
I wanted to start planning out which games to sign up for via pre-registration, but there's so many that sounded fun I had to be brutal in cutting down my list. First to go were all of the Battletech, Napoleonic and ACW games. I'd love to play, but having played tons of Battletech and not ready to jump into Naps or ACW I decided to concentrate on the periods and rules I'm most excited about: Ancients, medieval, WWII, sci fi and fantasy, Hail Caesar, Black Powder, and SAGA. Even with those restrictions there were multiple games EACH hour I'd like to play, but with each being a multi hour affair I cut down my wishlist to something that's a little more reasonable.
ThursdayI probably won't be attending Thursday, but it's very tempting. Here's my ideal day:
Stirling Bridge (3 hours) - I'd be forced to skip some Lord of the Rings games and a Black Powder game to play the climactic battle from Braveheart. "The overconfident English have sent a force to deal with the
unruly Scots under their new leader, William Wallace. Crossing a bridge in the face of the enemy can be a risky business" This is one of the few medieval games being run this year, it'd be a shame to miss it.
Cog Wars (intro) (3 hours) - There are a number of quick, 2 hour Lord of the Rings games all day on Thursday, but I'd have to go for the this big 10 player medieval naval action. "Men in armor fighting on ships that sink. Go figure! Be the captain of your own cog. Defend the high seas in a most seaworthy vessel."
Battle of Telamon (Romans) (4 hours) - After a quick bite for dinner, it's a meaty ancients game. "Gallic invaders retreat northwards in Etruria, only to be caught between two Roman consular armies. The Gauls make a stand deployed both to their front and rear". This is being run with the Might of Arms rules, which I've looked at but I'm not familiar with. That wraps up the first full day of gaming.
FridayHere we go. Likely my first actual day at the convention, and featuring THE game I want to play at the show.
Learn to Play High Noon (1 hour) - I doubt I'll be able to rouse my wife and child to be out the door at 6 in the morning, but I'd love to get a quick demo of new rules, even if they're in a period I don't play.
Get Me to the Temple On Time (Bronze Age Chariots. Intro) (4 hours) - "A Hittite prince is on his way to Egypt to marry King Tut’s widow, but danger lurks on all sides. Will he arrive safely, or be ambushed in the desert? Fast-paced Bronze Age action with plenty of chariots!" Awesome! Desert chariot wars? Home rules taught at the table? This sounds great, but that 9 AM start time is going to be a beast to make. I'll likely be playing...
Aerodrome WW1 Dogfight (Fast, and fun) (1 hour) - "WW 1 Air Dog Fighting, The Way it Used to Be: Live in FAME or go down in Flames. Earn your Wings! Simple. Intense, and Bloody. FAST, FUN, and Challenging" Nice! I like the idea of these quick convention games to try out rules and periods I wouldn't normally get a chance to. It sounds like this is a 6 hour event, but players play in one hour segments. Plenty of time to finish up before my main event...
A Dacian a Day Keeps the Romans Away (Hail Caesar) (3 hours) Hail Caesar. Romans. Architects of War terrain. This is the one game I am most looking forward to. The 1 PM slot had FOUR games I don't want to miss though (Fighting for India (Alexander the Great in India), Egypt 1799 (Napoleonic skirmish using Sharpe Practice), South Africa 1876 (Black Powder).
Once the Hail Caesar game wraps up there are number of games that sounded neat (Aliens II - Colony Rescue, Wobbly Eight a WWI naval battle, Magnesia 190 BC), but I'd forgo them to have a chance at one of the three games at 7 PM that sound awesome.
Another ridiculous time slot with SEVEN games I'd love to play. I'd have to cut the Crossfire WWII game and the George Washington vs Zombies game from my wishlist, but the final three are really hard to choose between.
Friday Night in Glasgow, 55 AD (Romans, rules taught) (4 hours) - "Roman Legionnaires are marching back to civilized Briton after pillaging restive Celtic villages in the wild northlands. But the
Celts are anything but subdued by Rome’s show of might—and the surrounding forests and marshes stir with activity. Can the legion keep its Eagle?"
Samurai Command and Colors (3 hours) Hosted by Richard Borg, the guy who wrote it! "Is it a historical miniatures game with a board or a historical board game with miniatures? The newest game in the Commands & Colors series features elements of both miniature gaming and board gaming. A brief instructional introduction to the unique features of Samurai Battles will be followed by demo games using both the board game and a full – size miniature battle set up."
Dave Arneson Tribute - Super Dungeon Explore (4 hours) - "Tribute to Dave Arneson, co-founder of D&D, in a game I am sure he would have loved. Join the assault on the Crystal Caverns of Chaos for glory and riches! We will use a modified version of the TSR Battlesystem skirmish rules to keep the pace of the game moving quickly. Players will form teams and attempt to breach the depths and its denizens while trying to prevent other teams from doing the same. The team that successfully retrieves the two ruby eyes from the demon idol will be victorious."
Tons of great games, and that's without the Pig Wars Dark Ages skirmish, "Tarkin Must Die" Star Wars game, Pirates, Romans, aerial dog-fighting and WWII games!
SaturdayLooks to have a lot of great gaming, but there aren't quite as many games I NEED to play.
Learn to Play High Noon (1 hour) and Dystopian Wars Demo Games (1 hour) - I've heard some good rumblings about Dystopian Wars, and I see a lot of games being run this year that use it as the basis for historical scenarios rather than the steampunk naval game it's sold as.
Borderlands 1050 (SAGA) (3 hours) - "Try out the SAGA Dark Ages skirmish rules. Bring your own troops or try out any of the Factions. Several villages sit for the taking and points go for grabbing loot." I own SAGA, I've heard nothing but rave reviews for it, and I've been eyeing some Norman knights with dreams of putting together a tiny little force just to test the rules out. I'd love to hop into a demo. But that would mean skipping...
American War of Independence - Battle of Petersburg 1781 (Black Powder) (4 hours) - Aargh! A Revolutionary War battle run under the Black Powder rules? That's the other period and rules set I've been jonesing to try!
Borderlands 1050 (SAGA) (3 hours) - Nice! Looks like I could join that Black Powder game and squeeze in a game of SAGA directly after! But that leaves little time to eat because at 6 PM we've got...
Marcus Flavius Aquila Finding the Eagle (Romans) (4 hours) - "It is 140 A.D. and the centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila is defending a small camp in Britain as the Picts have descended into Northern Britain and are aided by the local Britons. Marcus or his subordinate must defend the camp against a renewed assault. Did we mention forming a tested and a chariot attack? Or about the relief forces?" There appears to be several of these Marcus Flavius games being run throughout the show, but I had to bump them in my wishlist until this last possible slot. Hope to get a game in!
Another great day of gaming and still I'd need to skip a number of awesome games of Crossfire, Black Powder and a huge 7 hour, 22 player naval battle! Even if I don't make into a slot in any of these wishlist games, there were tons that sounded great. Hopefully my Summer schedule works out to make a full trip to the convention this year a possibility.