Friday, June 29, 2018

CanGames 2018

Ok, this is going to be a long one (albeit a late one) as last month I was in Ottawa for CanGames 2018 and played in 7 of the 8 timeslots, only skipping the last session Sunday evening for dinner with family.  A very good dinner from the famous So Good Chinese restaurant.

I used a day and a half off work to get to Ottawa in good time Thursday so I could be bright and bushy-tailed Friday afternoon when things started.
As in my recon run to last year's CanGames, I pre-registered for all my games, just to make sure I had a slot.  It seems like only about 1/3 of the slots get filled that way, a lot of folks seem to wing it, but given I was coming in from Peterborough, I wanted to make sure I got into something.  This year I met a fellow in from Saskatchewan who had the same philosophy, and I know one other gamer also pre-registers for one particular game.

My first game was a old West skirmish using Legends of the Old West rules, each of us starting with 3-5 figures in a 4v4 game in a nicely set up 28mm town.  Our host, Mike, has more up on his blog report
My dead pile, soon to be joined by the rest of my guys!
I don't really remember now what my objective was, we were the side of law and order, so it may have been to clear the town of the bad guys, dead or alive.  But spiritually I feel my goal was to get to the other side of town to chase off the mariachi band.

In between games I caught part of this sweet collection of chariots for a racing game that evening that used about 4 tables in a square:

I was playing a game of Blucher, which I'd had fun playing in Chatham with the KEGS guys a couple of years ago, this time re-fighting Quatre Bras, one of my favourite Napoleonic battles.  Somehow this turned out to be the only photo I took, looking across the table at the dastardly French commanders.
We won a razor thin victory, thanks to Bob holding onto that hill on the left of the pic.  Pro Tip:  Don't refight Quatre Bras based on what you remember from Sharpe's Waterloo.

While hanging around Saturday morning, in between bouts of shopping, I got a few pics of Mike's great Helm's Deep set up:

More pics and the game story are also up on his blog I linked to above.

I however had my eye on another prize, getting into Rex Brynen's Trump Tower Zombie Apocalypse game, which follows on last year's game (that I watched a bit of but didn't play in) where the Donald was bitten by a zombie and became the Zombie King.  In this Saturday morning sequel, four factions - Team Mueller (Sean and I), Team Saunders, Team Clinton, and Team White House (who had a ridiculous amount of "Fake News!" cards to play and make us re-roll things) - fought over a zombie-ruled New York City.
My part of Team Mueller:
The Zombie King in his Tower at the start of the game:
You know this showdown had to happen:
Things are hot all over the old town tonight:
Team Saunders had acquired an ambulance, and were using the speakers to promote free health care for all - including zombies!
The last stand of the FBI, as we kept drawing zombies from everywhere.  Guess we should have been quieter.  Our highlight was subpoenaing Sarah H. Sanders out of her barricaded hideout and into the waiting arms of the zombie horde.
Nearing the end of the game, with Team Saunders just hustling off the table with enough victory points to beat Team Clinton (Team Mueller finished last, for the record!).  Unfortunately it was a bit of a pyrrhic victory for them, as a child zombie bit Bernie just as he was escaping.
The afternoon game, which I didn't play in but got an update on later, had four new teams, including North Korea and the Travel-Banned!  My teammate Sean has his take on our game on his blog here.

Saturday afternoon and I got back into the horse and musket period, and the 1762 Battle of Wilhelmstahl, in the Seven Years War, hosted by Nick and the Ottawa Miniature Gamers.  I played in their WAS game last year and had a great time, one of the best tactical battles I've ever personally fought.  This year I didn't fight nearly so well (who said I should be in the role of Frederick the Great!?!?), though things didn't go well for our side in many places on the table.  I would also like to officially blame my dice rolls for slowing my troops down.

As always, the table was huge and impressive, these are my forces in the middle.
My opponents across the table (although Duncan on the far right was on our side):
Our left - I was pretty busy with my guys in the middle, so it was hard to check in on this, it was basically a separate battle, but things didn't go well!
My lines are always beautiful and perpendicular.
Beautiful lines on the left, if not quite as straight as mine:
Just before our lines finally went head-to-head, as Bob's troops deployed to join Robert's against me.  Meanwhile my guys in the centre are still trying to actually move forward!

Saturday I got into a renaissance game of Lithuania/Poles vs. Russia, using the Fire and Sword rules, also hosted by OMG (Tod and Martin this time).  Beautiful figures on a Cigar Box mat, poorly managed by my teammate and I.  I lost control of the Winged Hussars, and hadn't quite figured out how the other troops played out, and my teammate somehow thought our artillery was better on the move than shooting at the stolen wagon train and Cossacks.
My Wing Hussars on the left, before they broke through the Cossacks and never really got under control again...

Sunday morning I brought my nephew Theo out for a game of Mobile Frame Zero, which uses Lego mecha and terrain.  As you'd expect, Theo's first attacks were launched at me, until the rest of the sides got closer and things turned into a free-for-all.  My guys are the two closer ones here:
Theo's mecha:

Theo enjoying lunch!  He also got engaged by a RPG GM and now he wants to try those out too, though I'm not sure how much he really understands about how the games are played!

Great looking pirate-ish game, possibly with monsters, in the Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago setting:

After dropping Theo off, I got in one final game, the 1918 Battle of Megiddo using Great War Spearhead rules.  Originally this was going to be played with TooFatLardies' If the Lord Spares Us rules, which I wanted to try, but as I also want to get into GWSH (more for early war or the eastern front), this worked too.  Rex Brynen and I were the British, with Rex taking on the cavalry to be the hammer while my infantry was to be the anvil.  Despite taking a beating to hold off the Germano-Turkish force while my second division got into position and across the river, we were able to win in the end.  

The starting positions:
The battle as the British lines get formed up - that's one of my divisions in a beautiful line between the river and hill, with Rex's cavalry going in on the attack on our left.  Further to the left, on our side of the river, the New Zealanders (or Australians, or both) are attacking Turkish fortified positions.  In the bottom centre is my second division, finally getting turned around as we realize where the Germans are coming from (the top right).
Cavalry jumping barbed wire, what could go wrong?
Finally getting ready to cross after most of the first division has evapourated.

So that was it, a pretty intense seven games over 2+ days.  I think next year I'll look at bringing a game for one of the less frantic timeslots.  I'll also try to get Theo out for more than one timeslot, so he can enjoy a full kids' day on the Saturday.

In terms of shopping, somehow I accidentally bought some stuff.  Some fancy fiery-looking d6s, some 20mm odd tanks - Canadian Ram, some Ram Kangaroos, Dad's Army one-offs - for Chain of Command and/or What a Tanker.  And some Ospreys.  Like 8.  They were on sale, it wasn't my fault.  I also bought some Essex landknechts figures without really looking at them (they were like $7 for 7-8 packs) from the Crossed Swords mystery bins, but then when I checked out the codes I found out they were weirdly sculpted Mike's Models figures, which really only go with themselves.  Guess I now have something for the Bring-and-Buy at Hotlead next year!

I've been a bit burnt out on prepping or painting miniatures through June, but now I'm looking at putting something together for Broadsword 6 in August, so I'm starting to get my mojo back.  Will post pics as things develop.

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