Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Historicon 2013: This Year's Picks

Martian skyships battling it out during Historicon 2012

It's like Christmas morning! The PEL for Historicon 2013 was just posted, and my gaming buddies and I are making our short lists of the games we are hoping to get into. There are TONS of great looking games, far too many to even see while we're at the con, let alone get a chance to play. Some of my favorites for this year after the jump.


We'll be driving down Thursday morning, so realistically I don't think we'll be able to get into a game until after lunch. I'm really intrigued by "The Search for Amelia Earhart" at 1:00, but my group seems to be in agreement that we want to try for the 2pm Hail Caesar game, the only HC game hosted at the con this year (what gives? We love that game, doesn't anybody else?).  That HC game will mean we can't get into the Red Dawn skirmish game, or one of the many Fireball Forward games. With luck we'll be able to pick up one of those at another time.

After dinner I think my buddies want to try Tankers Challenge at 7pm, as it sounds like a tabletop version of World of Tanks which they play regularly. As for me, I'm tempted by the two other Fireball Forward games, but I think I'd like to get in on Nagashima 1574, a samurai game run with Pike and Shotte.

My short list, with my picks in bold, my buddy's picks in italics.
  • 1pm : The Search for Amelia Earhart T-203 (also at 7pm T-204) 
  • 1pm: Battlestar Galactica: Leap of Faith T-322 
  • 2pm: Into the Wilderness (Hail Caesar) T-426
  • 3pm: Fireball Forward: The Nail Factory T-439 
  • 3pm: Red Dawn: the Road to Los Alamos T-286 

  • 6pm: The Battle of Browne's Farm (AWI) T-183 
  • 6pm: Quick Strike Demo: The Chatham Incident (Battletech) T-507 
  • 7pm: Nagashima 1574 (Pike & Shotte) T-489 
  • 7pm: Fireball Forward : Witmann's Ride T-437 
  • 7pm: Fireball Forward: Steel Curtain T-438 
  • 7pm: Tankers Challenge T-387 
  • 8pm: Crazy Horse & Crook (24 players run at 1:1 scale. "Crazy" indeed!) T-270


So many great games on Friday, although the morning is a little lighter than the rest of the con. We had a fun time learning Bolt Action last year, and I wouldn't mind getting in another game of it, but I think I need to hop on the Fireball Forward game.

Starting at noon, there will a group running DBA 3.0 demo games. At 30 minutes each, and able to accommodate walk ups, I'm pretty sure we'll give it a whirl (even though I own DBA and the rules were a bit thick with the infamous Barkerese on my read through). After lunch my buddy Mike wants to get in on the Battle of Midway (apparently he's got a thing for naval wargaming this year). There looks to be a massive SAGA game, but it appears to require commitment to two sessions, which I don't think I can do. I'll have to pass on a number of 15mm and 28mm WWII games as well I think. 

Around dinner a number of laid back games kick off. There are several Wood Wars games I think my son would get a kick out of, and a "Pointless Space Battle" game that seems very low stress ("play while you eat your hot dog dinner"), but I think I'd like to leave myself open for Fallout being run with This is Not a Test (which the Chicago Skirmish Wargamers have been play testing.)  Oh whoops! I nearly missed the first of Miles Reidy's pair of Civil War games this day. I've followed his preparations for the past two con games he's run, and would love to play on a table full of Architects of War terrain. Let's hope we manage to grab some spots for those this year.
  • 9am: Battle in Bavaria (Bolt Action) F-428 
  • 10am: Battle of Satala (ancients, rules taught) F-362 
  • 10am: Fireball Forward - Panther Hunter F-441
  • 11am: Battletech Book of Shadows (beginners welcome) F-508 
  • 12pm: DBA walkup (12-10pm, 30 minutes) F-220 

  • 1pm: Battle of Adrianople (Impetus) F-136 
  • 1pm: SAGA - Battle Prelude F-180 
  • 1pm: Battle for Berlin (Disposable Heroes) F-184 
  • 1pm Fireball Forward Into the Inferno F-444 
  • 1pm: Battle of Midway F-121 
  •  2pm: Gnome Wars: Forage Frenzy (those GW tables always look great) F-452 
  •  3pm: Ruins of Karna - Lord of the Rings F-369  
  •  4pm: SAGA - Battle F-181 
  • 4pm: Sword of Dunland (LotR) F-219 
  • 4pm: Zombie Town F-479 
  •  5pm: Return of Wooden Wars (throw balls to knock down enemies. You know. For kids) F-304 
  • 5pm: Pointless Space Battle (hot dog friendly) F-319 

  • 6pm: Wood Wars (floor battle) F-308 
  • 6pm: Stalingrad Mass Grave (28mm) F-175 
  • 7pm: Lifeblood of Rome (ancient naval) F-443 
  • 7pm: The Pure Land (Pike and Shot samurai) F-490 
  • 7pm: Sink the Tennessee (Miles Reidy, Uncivil War) F-295 
  • 7pm: Pearl Harbor: Not a Surprise F329 
  • 7pm: More Ships for Iron Bottom Sound F-414 
  •  8pm: Fallout (This is Not a Test) F-268


The last big day of gaming, and HGMS is really packing it, with game scheduled until 10pm. The morning slots are full of attractive games. Dungeon Hack is tempting (the dungeon crawl game we played at last year's Historicon remains one of our favorite games played, ever), there's a Bolt Action game, and a Pig Wars game (I heard good things about Pig Wars before the bumper crop of Dark Ages rules game onto the scene a few years ago), but really the one game that stands out is Impetus with the designer Lorenzo Sartori. Before I got into Hail Caesar, Impetus was the ruleset I was leaning towards.  Of course, if my kid begs me to play the Teddy Bear wargame, you know I'll be doing that.

After lunch it's a no brainer: the second Civil War game by Miles Reidy, this time run with Black Powder, although the Fireball Forward Ostfront game with designer Mark Fastoso is tempting too.

Dinner schedules may dictate this evening's game. My guess is we won't be back to play until 8, but that opens up the possibility of grabbing the second Fallout game, otherwise we have our pick of pulpy skirmish games. I have no idea what to expect from Midnight Massacre, but it certainly seems like something we could wander by and join on a whim.

  • 9am: Dungeon Hack S-424
  • 9am: Misdrops on Normandy (Bolt Action) S-159 
  • 10am: Pigs in Greece (Pig Wars) S-114 
  • 10am: No Picnic in the Park (Impetus with designer Lorenzo Sartori) S-534 
  • 10am: Rorke's Picnic (teddy bear kids game) S-288 
  • 11am Fireball Forward - Tigers Attack S-445 

  • 1pm: Prelude to Vicksburg (Miles Reidy, Black Powder) S-296 
  • 1pm: Battle of the Hornburg (LotR 6 hrs) S-243  
  • 2pm: HAWK's Army Giveaway (for my boy) S-385 
  • 2pm: Mystery at Castle Krabbenstein (in Her Majesty's Name) S-101 
  • 2pm Secret Science of Mars (Dinosaurs!) S-197 
  • 2pm: Fireball Forward - Railroad Station 1 (Mark Fastaso) S-436  

  • 6pm: Battle for Guilford Courthouse (Black Powder) S-294 
  • 6pm: Secret Science of Mars (Dinosaurs!) S-198 
  • 6pm: Battle of Chaumont (Bolt Action) S-347 
  • 6pm: Perseus Raid (Silent Fury) S-230 
  • 8pm: Mystery of Castle Krabbenstein (In Her Majesty's Name) S-103 
  • 8pm: Commandos, Cultists Nazis Oh My!S-119 
  • 8pm: Fallout (this is not a test) S-269 
  • 10pm: Midnight Massacre (lots of drinking, no pre reg required)


Everything winds down on Sunday, although there are a smattering of games. I think we'll need to play it by ear, but typically my family is pooped and ready to head out by Sunday morning. That said, there are a bunch of kid friendly games that I might join if my son is up for it.

And that's it! Making even a "short list" is impossible. I had to drop all kinds of neat games, from Battlestar Galactica fleet actions, to more Civil War games, to Wings of War... there are just far too many attractive games to do everything. Really looking forward to the con. How about you? Are you going? Running anything? Is there a gem I've missed?

Oh, and what gives with the WWPD podcast, the various painting clinics, etc? When are those? Do you need to sign up for them? Do they take up one of your two daily even registrations?

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