Monday, December 1, 2014

Fall In! 2014

Hello!

Where have I been?!?

Sadly a patch of work and some family health issues have kept me away from the gaming, the paint table, and blogging for a few months. Things started to ease in early November which I celebrated by heading down to Fall In! in Lancaster, PA. So let's get right to it!

I arrived at the Host a little after lunch on Friday. I took a quick spin around the vendor floor and then headed over to my first game: Samurais!
Rising Son by Ron Baron

When I arrived at the table, I must confess some trepidation... hexes? I like miniature games to be "free range". If I wanted hexes I'd play a board game. But Ron's simple but subtle rules quickly won me over.

The scenario. Three brothers are trying to recover their kidnapped sister. In the above photo the three brothers are closest and the kidnappers are at the far end. The main kidnapper is Mataro whose forces are on the left. He is joined in his evil doing by Akio, a government official who has decided to strike out on his own.

The three brothers consist of Hiro -

Moichi -

And the youngest brother, favored son, Pomaru played by your humble scribe.

Most of the brothers had a unit of samurai cavalry, a unit of samurai foot, and a unit of ashigaru. I believe Hiro also had a unit of archers. I consolidated Pomaru with the unit of cavalry to increase their hitting power and moved up the right flank.

Just as I passed the open cave, Akio summoned a unit of demons.

This was a bit of a surprise, as I thought this was a purely historical scenario. Somewhat miffed by this dishonorable attack, I sent my samurai foot in to engage Akio.

Meanwhile Moichi was under direct assault from Mataro. Mataro had joined his unit of samurai cavalry as I had. Mataro had also taken our sister into his unit and was using a unit of samurai foot to clear his way straight through Moichi. Hiro provided harassing fire from the left. 

Pomaru wanted to go aid his brother, but was surrounded

Mataro broke through Moichi and Pomaru broke free to pursue Mataro. Pomaru gets cut down by Mataro's foot troops and I am out of the game. Sister! I have failed you!

Great game! The rules were very simple and quick to learn. D6 based with different levels of units throwing different numbers of dice. What I really liked was how an enemy unit in base contact could elect not to attack but the contact would still limit you to one hex movement. This lead to some interesting strategies of trying to get a markedly inferior unit in the way of a superior unit to slow them down so other units could be marshalled. I snagged a copy of the rules for future experiments.

Getting killed did give me an opportunity for another pass at the vendor hall before I met up with friends Krimso and Mark M. We headed into downtown Lancaster to eat at the Cocina Mexicana. The Cocina is an old favorite of mine and Krimso's from back when the GZG-ECC was in downtown Lancaster. I had not been back in years, since both Historicon and GZG-ECC had left town. The Cocina did not disappoint with excellent Mexican food, just as I remembered. What had changed was that others now knew our hole-in-the-wall joint. We used to have to order at the counter, now there were servers, real menus, and there had been a minor tarting up of the interior. If you're ever in Lancaster, the Cocina Mexicana is well worth checking out!

Returning to the Host, we added Clambo to the crew and set up a quick game of Ares fantasy skirmish in 15mm. I don't know where my brain went, but I a can only find two pictures from the game. My lizardman leader doing battle with Clambo's kobolds -

And Clambo mixing it up with Krimso's humans - my lizardmen sneaking up to join the kill -

Mark M won the game killing the most points. He was running some faun archers and faun heavy spear. Figures shown: Lizardmen are by Raven's Forge Black Raven Foundry (painted by me), the humans and kobolds are by Splintered Light (painted by Krimso). The kobolds are from Splintered Light's 20mm fanasy line, but fit in extremely well with 15mm.

Saturday morning I had a table in the flea market. I brought four bins of figures and games with me. I only went home with half a bin! Yee-hah!

Saturday afternoon I played in "English Civil War - Battle of Tankersley Moor" run by Glenn Gibson using Warlord Games Pike & Shotte. Parlimentarian forces were mustering in the village of Tankersley (of which I was a member) when set upon by Royalist forces.

Below, my unit of foot are moving down the road to engage the Royalists. I failed a number of command rolls, so it took them a while to get into contact. Fortunately the cavalry I was commanding had "marauding" so did not need my command intervention; top center, in front of the ridge they are engaging a unit of Royalist cavalry. My cavalry won, pushing the Royalists back.

Then another Royalist cav unit joined, pushing me back. That's wy unit on the left. My infantry is finally in musket range!

Meanwhile on the right flank the other full foot unit and some skirmishers have been mixing it up for some time.

My cavalry unit dissolved, freeing up the Royalist cavalry to focus on my foot unit. I went into the hedgehog formation, but after a turn or two we called it a minor Royalist victory.

I enjoyed the game. It took me a few turns to catch on to some of the rules such as units under fire become disordered on a 6. If I'd known that sooner some of the Royalist units would have been disordered earlier in the game and that might have made a difference. I am not very familiar with the ECW (but trying to learn) and had never played Pike & Shotte or any of its brother rule sets. I did note that the GM had to refer to the rules a number of times and even those playing familiar with the rules seemed sketchy on some points. Perhaps it was because they played several of the rules in the family and weren't sure of the ECW minor variations. I'm not ready to run out and buy the rules, but I am willing to give them another try at some point.

Saturday night we got to dinner late (Jennie's Diner - our first time based on a recomendation I saw on TMP - WOW, this will become a Lancaster staple for me!) so we ended up just shooting the breeze with friends until the wee hours. A little tipple of bourbon for me and some scotch for Krimso.

Sunday was a last vendor pass, a peek at the flea market, and we hit the road for home.

And that was Fall In! This was my first Fall In! since 1999. I seem to be in the minority in that I did not enjoy that Gettysburg experience. Since Fall In! moved to Lancaster it has been on Halloween weekend (bad from a family perspective) or too much going on at work. But I finally made it and it was a pleasure. I loved being back at the Host after many years absence. It was like going home to an old friend. And the fact that there were more vendors at Fall In! than there were at Historicon helped too. Both Krimso and I are debating (dare I say it) dropping Historicon and putting Fall In into our regular gaming calendar. Shorter drive, less expensive hotels, more vendors, and great gaming. If it wasn't for meeting up with old friends from across the country at Historicon, it would be no contest!

No con report is complete with the booty list! I exibited an unusual amount of restraint (especially after having missed Historicon this year). So what did I get?
  • At Battlefield Terrain Concepts I purchased several unpainted hills, a rock outcropping, some Silfor Tufts packs, a pack of flowers, and a set of 10mm ancient Celtic buildings.
  • From Recreational Conflicts I picked up a stone circle set by Aintsy (I just finished painting them, will have better pictures shortly), some 15mm steampunk figures (I think - they are "15mm Hardsuits" by Lead Bones, which appears to be Recreational Conflict's in-house brand), a pack of GZG Hammer Slammers jeeps, and two packs of Splintered Light prehistoric beasties (Terror Birds and Raptors).. 
  • From WindSword I picked up a number of scenic pieces and some 30mm x 60mm metal bases. The WindSword Pieces were very reasonable at $2.50 to $4. The mushroom packs will be a great addition to my 'shroom obsession. I will be picking up from them in the future.
  • At Casemate I picked up "The English Civil Wars 1642-1649" by Bob Carruthers
  • And from the Flea Market I picked up a back issue of Miniature Wargames (Issue 317 with some ECW coverage), the Warmachine Menoth warcaster Feona (2009 edition), and a pair of figures of Red Riding Hood and The Wolf (see below).

Red and the Wolf - no markings - can anyone identify these?

That's it! Great to be back!

Latah!

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