Monday, September 29, 2008

Southern Front 2008

Greetings! I figured now was a great time to start blogging, having just attended Southern Front in Raleigh, NC this past weekend. 

I plan to post my adventures (or failings, as the sad case may be sometimes) in miniature wargaming and other military history stuff...

It was a blast. Two days and late nights of uninterrupted gaming, and this convention was the first time that I've helped run a game. 

I kicked it off Friday afternoon with Brian's Booty Call. Guys on girls pirates (the figures, not the players), with an award going to the most successful double-cross of the game. That was earned by Brent (omitting last names here to protect the guilty) for blowing his own teammates to smitherines by shooting a stack of powder kegs. The rules seemed a little detailed for the number of players at a convention - 10+ people with 8 or more figures a person, and each melee or aimed shot being treated mano-a-mano down to the body part hit. That seemed to slow the game a bit, but didn't really cut into the fun factor very 
much. My crew went charging down the docks, joined up with Brent and fought another crew (an allied crew, nonetheless - very piratey) into submission. Overall a great-looking table and a very fun game.

Booty Call

From there it was on to my first Napoleonic game ever. I've been wargaming for as long as I can remember and the Napoleon's Battles game run by a friend of mine was my first foray into the genre. I liked the rule set, they had a nice flow once you got the hang of it and the combat system was easy to get the hang of. I really liked the game and the look of the miniatures and it's got me thinking of starting my own Nappy collection... eventually... Every gamer's gotta have one, right? That's what I'll tell my wife...

Napoleon Consults with his Generals

I kicked Saturday off with our Mongol game. Grant, Marty, and I planned this a while ago and combined forces to simulate the sacking of an Eastern European village by the Mongols under Subotai. It was a challenge to balance the game, and the hordes proved to be a tough nut for the Christians to crack during playtesting. In the actual game the lines of Europeans defending the town buckled, but the rear persuit force of Teutonics and other crusading knights cleaned up pretty well, with only one unit of the Mongol rearguard on board at the end of the game. One sad incident was when a player who had been chasing the Mongol's feigned flight all game FINALLY made contact and pushed back the opposing Mongol cavalry, only to have his fanatic Teutonic unit persue them off the board. I think it went really well overall. I'd like to send my thanks to Marty and Grant for letting me in on this project! Plus I got a GM discount!! Huzzah!

Mongols and Teutonics Clash

From there I engaged in a Flames of War game with the Germans racing to blow up a bridge before the Americans could get there. I'm a fairly cautious player and the scenario seemed to have been designed with two options - either race to the bridge at the double and blow it, winning the game in the span of half an hour, or get bogged down in a melee for the objective. Needless to say, I have been tainted by past experiences and was waiting for the trick bazooka in the town or the surprised mined road and didn't double and screend the pioneers with a point force of armored panzergrens, and the game devolved into a slugfest with and armored rifle company feeding in from one direction against my panzergrens and pioneers from the other. Overall the board was very nice and I really enjoyed flames of war, and the game orgainzers were good sports about me totally fouling up their plans for a quick game. Sorry guys! Next time I'll sink my teeth in, I promise. Also, there were prizes for the players, which was extremely generous of Richard and Joe. Thanks, guys!

German Halftracks Brewing Up

The final game of the evening was Panzer Marsch, put on by Bruce. It was a blast. The game was played double-blind to start, with movements being drawn out on a map. Our objective was to repair a King Tiger that was damaged and out of ammo, then get it over the bridge and blow the bridge. We had a StuG and two Panthers, a recovery crew to repair the tank, an engineer platoon to blow the bridge, and a reserve force. We had no idea what we were facing in wooded country. We made it to the Tiger II without making contact and began repairs. That's when American tanks started coming out of the woodwork and their enginneers set to work building a pontoon bridge downstream. The Tiger was obliterated by a side shot from an M10 the turn before the it would have been operational, but we made it back over the bridge and blew it successfully and then trucked on down the road and began assaulting the pontoon bridge before time ran out. 

The Königstiger in Front of the Bridge

The convention was fun, I didn't win anything in the raffle, but I didn't feel like I left empty-handed. 

I've posted a gallery here.

I plan to throw up some pictures of the Renegade WWI miniatures that I've been working on. Hopefully I'll run a game with them soon, too, and post a report...

Until next time...