Wednesday, May 9, 2012

GZG-ECC 15, Part.1

Well, sure it's two months after the fact, but it's still more timely than my reportage last year!

Once again, if you are missed this convention, you are missing the best three days of SF gaming. Fun games, great people, and mellow.

This year we were blessed by unseasonably good weather so the drive up was quick and painless. What did take me by surprise was the hotel was under reconstruction. The hotel sits along the banks of the mighty Susquehanna river, and apparently the huge snowstorm that hit the east coast in October of 2011 resulted in the first floor of the hotel being flooded. All of the rooms on the first floor were closed for remodeling - the place was gutted. Our room on the second floor was fine though, and the restaurant had been restored, so other than the somewhat spooky walk through the first floor hallway to get to the lobby, everything was copacetic.

So let's jump to what it's all about, the games! This year was an experiment: non-GZG games were permitted with convention director approval. This was an excellent addition which not only provides greater variety, but will hopefully attract more folks to the con. My first game was a non-GZG game; a neat 4 player game using Ambush Alley rules with touches taken from Tomorrow's War. It was called Battle for Lancaster by Stuart Murray. (All these pics should enlarge by clicking)

Basically veteran troopers starting at the closest edge in the above picture needed to retrieve trapped folks by the flipped bus (by the very rectangular modern building. Insurgents (GZG Crusties) worked to prevent the veterans. Two players played the troopers and two were the insurgents. Ambush Alley was fast enough that we could play the scenario twice in a single game slot, giving everyone a chance to play both sides.
First game I played troopers with my oft-GZG-gaming-partner Clambo (of Daddy's Little Men). In the above pic, Clambo is skirting up the left side. That pile of kill tokens on the right? Yeah, that's my squad save the one unscathed trooper and the two wounded guys to the left of the yellow car. Did I mention Ambush Alley is bloody?
And when a pile of Crusties started raining death from above, it was "Game Over, man!"
Above is a shot when we reversed sides. Note all the kill markers on the buildings with the Crusties. Is having a Epic Fail regardless of what side you play evidence of a balanced scenario? I don't know, but no matter what, it was an extraordinarily fun game, I definitely want to give Ambush Alley another go. I'm also impressed with how a fantastic scenario can happen in a 2'x2' area.

Here are some quick picks of games going on during Battle for Lancaster:
Battle for Cormorant Moon, a Full Thrust game run by Jon Davis.

Mayday! Mayday!, a Starmada scenario by Richard Meaden.

So ended Friday night. Saturday games in part 2.


  1. Looks like another fun GZG ECC ! Need to make my way up to one!

  2. Indeed you do! I enjoy Historicon, I love Cold Wars, but the GZG-ECC is still the pinnacle of my gaming year. If there could be only one, it would be GZG for me.

  3. Hello,

    I have very much enjoyed reading your blog. The GZG con looks very fun. There are not enough people who play GZG or other non-GW games out here.
    Did you find learning the rules to Ambush Alley easy?
    Who makes the red/white armored troops in the second picture from the top?
    Thanks for your time.

  4. Hi, My apologies for not catching your comment earlier. Work has been insane until recently so I have been neglecting the blog. So I contacted the guy who ran the Ambush Alley game and the figures you asked about are Nationalist Infantry from Art Crime Productions ( I thought Ambush Alley was fairly easy to learn, the hardest part
    being that insurgents use their turn in response not the typical I-go-you-go. I did only play it once though but it did prompt me to find a copy (it's out of print). Best of luc!