Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cangames Day I - Day III

Well this certainly took a lot longer than expected to put up. In brief, I forgot my camera, squirrels attacked the house cutting short my Cangames and then work got very, very busy. Fortunately, Rob of Captain's Blog kindly sent me the photos below a few days after the event.


My game on Day I went very well. Five of six slots were filled and the players seemed to have a good time. As with every event, something important got left behind and that was the camera and of course my fancy new movement bases.

The Objective - An Ancient Martian Temple
I learned a great deal about running convention games. The play aids went down pretty well. However I did learn that a good percentage of players won't even look at a QRS, I found myself explaining things that I thought were pretty clearly laid out on the sheet.  I also found out that players will do the unexpected especially when they are not familiar with the time period.

Hill Martian light cavalry survivors flank the Earthers after charging formed infantry. 
On the Earth side, the three players had a good understanding of colonial era tactics and deployed and moved accordingly.  On the Martian side, this was not the case. I really didn't expect to see hill Martian light cavalry charging in the open against a formed British company (it wasn't pleasant). Later, another player told me he had never heard of an enfiladed line. Again no criticism of the players and a clear sign that keeping things simple is absolutely critical in a convention game.  The young lady whose Hill Martians charged the British with disastrous effect later routed a rifle company with her High Martians so player skill was not in question.

Watch the Monkeys..... 

Of course, the game brought out a number of sticking points with the rules - or rather my understanding of them.  A close re-reading after the fact cleared up some problems we had with opportunity fire - it is there, just not obviously so.  My only real complaint was with the initiative system. The Martians won initiative something like 5 times in a row leaving the Terran players twiddling their thumbs until the defensive fire phase. This wouldn't be a big problem in  a club game but it really isn't good to have players standing around in a convention game.  Card activation by unit is probably a better route.  

Please, Sir - Can we move?

A good game for a first time outing and many lessons learned on my part.  A big thank-you to all the players.

Martians Sir! Dozens of them!

Day two - Saturday was a slow one with some non-game related frustrations.  It began well enough when I found that the naval game I thought had been cancelled had been moved to later time period.  I had missed the game last year due to a scheduling conflict and was really looking forward to it this year.  I did my shift on the information desk and then the missus came by and we walked home together taking in a street festival along the way. Very pleasant indeed. 

I was cooking up some chicken burgers for an early dinner before heading back to the con for the naval game when I saw our attic squirrels were all grown up and ready to be booted out. To keep it short, a mother squirrel had chewed through a roof vent and nested inside. We had been advised to leave her be if possible because if we sealed her out away from her babies she would do a lot of damage getting back in and to put it bluntly, dead squirrel babies in your roof create quite a stink. Having been considerate to momma squirrel we now found she had torn away some of the shingling and of course it was going to rain the following day. 

I went back that evening to play in the home brew WWII naval game put on by Chris Evans from Ottawa Miniature Gamers.  Buckets of dice fast play but with a good level of detail. One of my Italian destroyers put a full load of torpedoes into a British light cruiser sending it to the bottom. I also learned a lot from Chris on how to run a convention game.

On Sunday, I went in for my volunteer shift as promised. I flipped part of my admission refund into Air Force, Tactics II and Lufwaffe from the gamer's market and headed home to repair the roof. I missed a WW I Naval game and sadly the DBA tournament.The only good side to this was that the damage was much less severe than we thought.

So a great learning experience and some great gaming with good people sadly cut short. I will go back next year - and may be run another game.

Rogues Gallery

A very big Thank You to Rob for allowing me permission to use his pictures.

Hill Martians advance past Shield Gunners

The regulars advance supported on their right by stragglers and staff from the Officer's Mess

What? Another flipping hedge? Canal Martian infantry tell the ref some area features
would go down well in the next battle.  

Using Earther tech against the invaders! A Whitworth gets ready to fire.


Temple Fanatics Charge the thin Red Lin!

3 comments:

Robert Hingley said...

Great photos on the Honour of Mars Game. I enjoyed taking part and look forward to another go, perhaps as a Martian on the next go around. It was interesting to follow your blog over the last couple of months leading up to the game and then seeing it happen. Good work.

Oerjan said...

Regarding the initiative issue, I've added two more "automatic initiative" clauses in my SC games:

5. If the side with the initiative doesn't make any moves other than with individual officers, the other side wins the initiative next turn. (Introduced after a series of games where British regulars defended fortifications against Zulus and won the initiative every turn once the Zulus had reached rifle range...)

6. If one side has won the initiative three turns in a row, the other side wins the initiative on the fourth turn.

If there's a conflict between different "auto-initiative clauses", the one with the lowest number takes precedence (so the side that won the most melees last turn will get the initiative even if this takes it above 3 turns with initiative, etc.)

Regards,
Oerjan

Pat G said...

Thanks Rob -it was great to meet you and have you there.

Oerjan - great suggestions.