Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Intergalactic Convention Report

 It's called intergalactic but it's held here on earth, just like the Ms. Universe contest.

Working for the Weekend

The Intergalactic convention recently took place; this is a small local convention in Sacramento Ca.  I like to throw my support (whether they want it or not) at these local conventions because I like having conventions that I don't have to travel far to get to or stay in a hotel.  
So I signed myself up to run 4 games over the weekend, basically in each of the major time blocks; one on Friday night, 2 on Saturday, and one Sunday morning.  It's kinda like community service except that I don't have to wear an orange vest.  While the con had a Sci-fy theme, any game genre was welcome.

Friday is Lord of the Rings

Friday night I brought my Lord of the Rings set up for a skirmish set in Osgiliath.  

Pics of the set up.
Needs more rubble piles.

The rules were Fistful of Lead: Might and Melee.  Which is basically a dark ages / medieval skirmish game so the only thing that makes this fanatasy is the setting; crazy stone buildings and one side being orcs.  
I explained the scenario as "Sauron turned his burning eye to his orcs and said something like "Hey my dudes.  I think I dropped like a necklace or something back in Osgiliath like a thousand years ago.  Kinda been on my mind lately, kinda want it back.  Go there and look for it will ya?  Great.  Super, you're the best. But go NOW."  

There are 3 ruined buildings that cross the center line of the board.  Each has to be searched for the missing trinket.  To count as searched the Orcs have to pass two normal task rolls within them.  Orcs cannot search if there is a unegaged enemy in the same ruins.   When a building is searched nothing is found.  The orcs win if they can search all 3 buildings, as they can report back that the search was complete.  The Good side only had to stop this.  To balance things out a little, the orcs had more orcs than men had men.  

To aid in game play, I once again made sure that every character had it's own Pokémon card.

Boromir's Pokémon, I mean CHARACTER card.
Everything the player needs to know in one spot.

I brought enough warbands for 6 players, had 3 sitting around when the game began, so played myself to make it even.  I love it when that happens.

if you look closely, you might spot where one the ruins got damaged on the ride over,
and I forgot to bring any glue.

Random game pic
I also labelled each of the miniatures for easy recognition.

Another random game pic

In the beginning, the orc players were really invested in ling up shots with the archers, while I kept saying that archery wasn't that reliable in this game.  First two orcs shots resulted in 2 dead men.  They never believed a word I said after.

Players seemed to have fun, I was having fun.  Game started at 5 and wrapped up at 9 PM.

Let's take a look at the other miniatures games going on Friday night:

don't see any?
That's because mine was the only one.

Saturday is Kidding Around

As mentioned previously on this blog; The Intergalactic Convention mentioned having a 'Young gamers' program and since I have young gamers I volunteered to run two games for the program on Saturday.  Later on it turns out I was the entirety of the 'kid friendly' games available.  In the morning there was the Wooden Wars game and in the afternoon I was hosting some kid friendly board games.

Let's take a look at ALL the children that came.

Just one, and I brought him.
My Son#2 (age 6).
Just proves the adage that wargamers are grumpy old men who can't be bothered with kids.  
And one day, I will be one of them.
Daughter#1 (age 10) was supposed to come, but she was invited to a birthday party that same day that was gonna have go kart racing.  She had enough good manners to at least sound conflicted when she said she'd rather go to that.  

Wooden wars set up

Portion of the French line

I have mixed emotions about this.  One the one hand I was fairly disappointed to have put all this effort into Wooden Wars and have no one show up.  I felt bad for my son too, as he didn't really get a great 'convention experience of playing with a bunch of people some cool games' but more just 'playing games with his dad' which he does at home.  On the other hand, I'm fully aware that this game is a nitch, buried in another nitch, covered by a nitch coating so wouldn't be a big draw, especially for an already small convention.  So on one foot I would NOT go through all this effort to put on such a game again, but on the other foot; I already have it, so it would be easy to do again.  
I'm sure that if I brought this to a bigger convention that probably already had a bunch of kids going, it would of been more successful.  

I will say though that everyone was nice to Son#2, and he did get a kick out of walking around and seeing the game tables.  And people let him touch stuff.  

In the vender hall, I told him that he could pick out 'one small thing' thinking there wouldn't really that much to tempt him.  The folks working at the GEG space knew they're business.  "hey" she said, "check out these dice, they're made from the same material as bouncy balls, so they bounce really well."  
Sure enough they did. It was a set of D&D dice (d20, D3, D10, etc..)
He played with those things for the rest of the day. just trying to get certain numbers to happen. 

hey lookit,
I DID finish that English cavalry.

He was able to play Wooden Wars for close to two hours.  After that we drove to a nearby McDonalds for needed junk food.  Ate it next to the Bolt Action tournament.  

In the afternoon we played some boardgames.  He got through one game of Forbidden Island before basically getting over the whole experience (got mentally tired, but not sleepy).  I did have two grandparents show up for 'boardgames with kids', looking for suggestions on what they could play with they're grand kids.  So I got to sound like an expert as I made recommendations.  
We left for home around 4 PM.

At the end Son#2 said it was "a good time" and "could we do it again next weekend?" Which I took as encouragement for my Father of the Year award.  Though later on when I told him he couldn't play Legos or whatever he wanted to play because we all had to take his mom to urgent care because she felt really sick he yelled "So I WASTED MY WHOLE DAY?!!!"  

Me:  "........"

Anyway, let's take a look at the other miniature games going on Saturday:

Don't see any?

just kidding, that's my fault.  Actually, there was a decent number of miniature games going on, but I failed to take any pictures.  I had a hyper active 6 year old high on cookies with me. 

Nice guy Mr. GM ran a really great looking Rank and File game that I was envious of not being able to pay in.  And Mr GM shared some snacks with Son#2.  There were some nice space ship games and etc..
There was a Bolt Action tournament with some really nice tables that I was also envious of not playing in.  There were 6 players and enough prize support for 10.  

Overall for Miniature games I would say there were scarce options, and I saw quite a number of cancellations as well.  The games I saw were good; just not a lot of them on offer or a lot of miniature players in attendance.  The good side of that is that none were overcrowded, and you could play in any game you wanted.  
The con was kinda spread out over the convention center, with activities in different rooms.  Which I like because it cuts down on noise and bumping butts, and I don't want to be mistaken for a roleplayer.  
Though when I did wander into the role playing and board game areas; those places were hopping busy.
There was a smile on everyone's face, except that one guy who just rolled a 1.

Sunday in Space

I returned on Sunday without the boy for some serious grown-up gaming.  Time for real Grown-up fun with little dolls.  I mean miniatures.  

My friend Mr. CG ran a game of Battle Tech Alpha Strike.
Stompy Robots do the stompy dance

My other friend Mr. DR ran a game of AT-43:

While I ran a game featuring the franchise BELOVED by millions, Star Trek.  
Using rules Starmada unity.

Serious Grown up wargaming.

All in all, it was a fun, laid back weekend.  The location was clean and nice, only about 40 mins from me.  I would definitely attend again and run some more games. 

Thanks for reading,
Double thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Wooden Progress

 A post where I do minor things somewhat badly.

Fast Times

It's been hectic times over the last couple of weeks here.   Feels like things go at a breakneck pace and then suddenly stop.   Like everyone. You know the feeling.

I lost a few nights of convention prep due to this little known holiday called Easter.  Maybe you've heard of it.  To some people it's a big deal.  In-laws visit.    My wife is sometimes a Catholic and Easter becomes a thing.  Also for small children who like egg hunts and such activities, it's a thing.  For my own part, I needed to make the traditional Easter Egg racing track. Which is a creation of cardboard and masking tape to make various ramps on a large plank, placed onto stairs, and eggs roll down.  

Egg racing in action.
My shirt states my favorite drink,
in case anyone thought I was thirty.

The Monday after Easter Sunday is Ceasar Chavez day.  It's probably a holiday that you've never heard of just like that What's-It's-Name Bunny holiday.  What's important about CC Day is that it's a California State holiday; and I being an employee of the state, had it off.  No one else does.  Kids go to school, and Mexican restaurants have specials.  

The key to a good marriage is communication.  It's what any marriage counselor is going to tell you (there, I saved you a session).  I 'communicated' to the wife about twice during the week that on Monday I wanted some time to do the battlefield project.  Typically, I do all my hobbyness late at night after everyone is asleep.  But this project had to be done during the daytime and EVEN WORSE, done outside. Nothing good happens outside.  

What I wanted was a few hours, what I got was 40 minutes.  Even that was interrupted by her saying "hey, I have to go to the store, can you watch the 3 year old for a little bit?"  

Hubby minutes, like hubby points, have a very low exchange rate.  

Battlefield Fail

In order to make the battlefield for the Wooden Wars, just something that marks out 'this is where we are playing"  I decided the easiest and cheapest way would be to get a painting drop cloth and paint it up like ground.  I have all this left over paint from various painting projects anyway so that's no worry.  At the hardware store I looked for canvas drop cloth, thinking that something around 8 feet by 10 feet would work. 

An exciting picture.

closest thing was either 6x9 or this 9x12.  Being American and "bigger is always better" I got the 9x12.  (only exceptions to bigger is better?  my stomach and my wife's ass).

Set it up in the backyard.

I was rushing and didn't really have a plan.  I had a hodge podge of left over paint cans / colors.  I would just throw on various shades of browns / greens, whatever, and see what happens.


Well, not done.  I ran out of time and had to do other stuff.  I also vastly underestimated how much paint would be needed and ran out of appropriate colors.  Painting, even with a large brush was pretty slow work.  Got about half of it done.  

So leaving it dry outside while I did other things like pick up the kids from school, hit the grocery store, and hiding my frustration and doing a minor thing rather poorly.

Hooray for French Hussars

The weekend after Bunny Day (or whatever it's called), my family had yet another holiday but only in significance to us; Son #2's sixth birthday.  It's a thing.  There are decorations.  In-Laws visit.  

Blowing out the candle.

But as I am  master of scheduling and late night coloring, I finished the French Cav. for Wooden Wars.

French Hussar
No lie, it took me a solid minute to work out that these guys
aren't actually wearing the little jacket, but it's draped over the shoulder.
I'm SURE there is a good reason for that. 

I did an image search for French Hussar Uniform and got a billion different versions. So this one is what I settled on. 

That the French army complete.  I still have the British Cav to do and the game is this Saturday.  I see some late nights ahead.  Gonna need a lot of my favorite drink.  

Not to mention prepping for the OTHER games I'm running this weekend.  I'm not quite the master scheduler Afterall.

Though to be honest, it's not imperative that I finish the British cav, it'll just be nice.  But what is imperative is that battlefield to play on.

Battlefield Partial Success

Communication is the key to a good marriage.  Anyone will tell you.  I 'communicated' to my wife that I would need some time on Sunday to finish the battlefield.  last Saturday was the kid's Bday, Sunday morning the In-laws left, so Sunday afternoon was battlefield time.  This time I was armed with some brown paint, some green, and some white, and a roller.  

What I said and what my wife heard were different things, as often happens.  I ended having to watch the kids and do the project while she took a nap.  In her defense she was sick. 

starting again.
later in the day than I wanted.
Notice where the shadow of the house is.

Being a Master of divide and conquer, I bribed my oldest girl with a new game on her NIN Switch to stay out of the way.  The two boys, ages 6 and 3, could help me or play in the backyard.

See how far that shadow moved?

Took some time.  even with the roller and extra help.  Everyone knows that when little kids 'help' with something it takes longer.  Still, they didn't get completely covered in paint.  Sure, they got paint on them, that couldn't be helped, but not completely covered.  It was bath night for them anyways.
Once again, I was out of paint, and out of time.

To be honest, I don't love it.  
Kinda looks like bad camouflage rather than ground.  And while the roller was quicker it doesn;t blend as much.  Maybe when I get some troops on it, it'll look better.  IN hindsight, I should of just bitten the bullet and gotten way more paint and done more of a patchwork of fields or something.   Oh well.  It's done.  it'll work.  Not every creation can be a masterpiece.

thanks for reading.
double thanks for writing a comment
Till next time.