I just wanted to do a quick post regarding Brad and my trip to Fredericksburg VA for Historicon 2014.
For those of you who don’t know, Historicon is one of 3 annual conventions hosted by the HMGS. The HMGS, or Historical Miniature Gaming Society, is an organization that promotes the miniature gaming hobby along the east coast of the US. Their other 2 conventions, Fall-In and Cold Wars, happen in Lancaster PA – a much easier place for me to drive to.
Coming from Canada, we were braced for a long drive. We decided to leave Wednesday morning so that we could have a casual trip and “get there when we get there”. We left about 9am and got in around 8pm. Most of the trip when pretty well. We didn’t hit traffic until we got near Washington. This added a good 2 hours to our trip. So, after decompressing, we headed over to Hooter’s for some wings and saw the new Planet of the Apes movie (both of us liked it and can’t wait to add monkeys to our next scenario).
Our first day started with a H.A.W.K.S. Game of “Look Sarge, No Charts”. This is a rule set that this gaming club is working on. The scenario we were playing was that of a group of elves trying to defend against orcs, goblins and rat-men until reinforcements could arrive. I played the defending elf prince while brad was on the side of the goblins. The rules are still in the play-testing phase but show some promise to be a good game. Like many convention games, there were issues of balance which led to some of our fellow gamers getting a little restless.
Later that day, we had a chance to catch up with our friends and ended up having an amazing meal at a German ale house. We are really fortunate that these conventions has led to us meeting some really amazing people who have become good friends. In fact, I’m sure that this company wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for their encouragement and skills they shared with us. Like ReaperCon, a lot of the vendors at the HMGS conventions are hobbyists themselves and started their businesses as a side venture to their regular lines of work. For some like Lon at Brigade Games, it remains a side business (though with the size of it, I don’t know how he finds the time). For others like Jim at Miniature Building Authority, it became a full time line of work. Either way, they both bring a lot to the hobby and we are avid fans of their products.
Speaking of products, Thursday was our big shopping day. Though their wasn’t much we actually needed, it didn’t stop us from dropping some serious cash in the dealer hall. From Brigade Games I got 2 S.W.A.T. Cars to paint up for my superhero game. Miniature Building Authority supplied me with a new church to use in our western scenario, a farmhouse, 5 futuristic port-o-potties and a small bridge (I still haven’t finished the one I’m sculpting for our line). I also got more Martian and American figures for All’s Quiet on the Martian Front as well as the deluxe rulebook. I already had the starter box which came with the rules but, if you are at all a gamer who likes reading the fluff, the hardcover rulebook is a must. It is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. Thanks again to Wendy at Architects of War for their friendliness and excellent customer service. I always love seeing them at these conventions. I picked up some other items as well but I’ll save these for when I end up using them in a game and have pictures for you.
After dinner, the group went back to the convention hall to play Jim Stanton’s Gnome Hopper game. We initially met Jim through playing his insanely popular game called Gnome Wars and have now become great friends. Like the name implies, Gnome Wars is a table top war game where groups of Gnomes battle in different scenarios. Not only does it have an effective rule system but the gnomes are hilarious. Each gnome is a parody of a nationality and act/dress accordingly. For example, I play the French Gnomes. We have boomerang croissants and a puff pastry mortar along with our rifles and other munitions. There are also Germans with beer and bratwurst, Japanese with Wasabi bombs and Scottish Berserkers with kilts and claymores. Though it has definite tactics and solid rules, you can see how the theme would infatuate the kid inside all of us.
The Gnome Hopper game is equally silly and fun. Basically, it has gnomes strapped to the backs of squig-like creatures. The object of the game is to get to the end of the field and back again before everyone else. In your way are hedges, stone walls, gaping chasms and, of course, other gnomes. Even the best laid plans can be thwarted by the roll of the dice and/our the treachery of your opponents. The game is fast, fun and a great filler when you don’t have the energy to play a full game of something else. I really hope that Jim ends up publishing this game along with the other games he has created set in his Gnome universe.
By the end of the night, we were dead tired. We headed back to hotel and prepared for Friday’s gaming. We had an early start as well as we promised that we would run our old west zombie game for our friends.
However, there was one more things that really made our day. Our friend (and business partner) Dan wasn’t able to make it to Historicon. Instead, he took the time to reach out to some of our favourite pod-casts and gaming sites through Twitter. This resulted in The Nerdherders tweeting out a link to our website! This blew our minds! Not only is this one of our favourite pod-casts (we just listened to the toy episode on the way down to the convention) but it also was our first mention out in the gaming universe. This mention really pumped us up and we couldn’t wait to show our products during the games we were running this weekend.
I’m going to cut this entry off here. I am still recouping from the trip and trying to catch up on projects. I will make sure to share more about this great trip in my next posts.
Until then, peace out, eh?
Kevin “MiniCannuck” Jacobi