Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recruits Wargaming Convention - Part 1.

This past weekend was the Recruits Wargaming Convention held in Lee's Summit, MO. This is going to be a fairly long post but I want to capture my experience while it is fresh in my mind. Recruits is an annual convention, generally held in middle September. My first impression was of the gorgeous weather that had bloomed for the weekend. The massive heat of a mid-west summer had broken, and the sunny, high 70s temperature was absolutely perfect. This post shows a limited number of games where I participated. I am sure there will be more pictures and information at the Recruits web site about the overall experience.

The second impression of the convention is how inexpensive it is. 5$ gains you a pass for the weekend! So I went over on Friday night around 6:00 PM, played until closing at 11:00 PM and was then back for an all day Saturday. On Saturday, the doors opened at 8:00 AM and gaming started around 9:00 AM. I played all day and finished at 10:00 PM completely sated with gaming. The point about expense needs to be taken further. Food and drinks are available on site for minimal costs. A bottle of water is 1$. Hot dogs are 1$. Slices of pizza 2$. This allowed me to focus the vast majority of my gaming funds on wargaming paraphernalia. There are vendors, a silent auction and a raffle. I spent money in all three venues.

The third impression, is the age disparity between gamers. This convention is held at a high school, with the intent to introduce new gamers into the hobby. There are old grey-beards like yours truly down to spotted face teenagers that are finding a way to socialize over a gaming table. It is an interesting mix and a lot of fun. Finally, it was a weekend of getting reacquainted with old friends. That is the part I treasure most. Now on to the events!

Friday night I played in a game of French and Indian Wars. This is done with 54MM figures and beautiful scenery by Chris at CluckAmok. The idea was for the British to protect two different built up areas, a little fort and a small homestead. The French and Indians were to burn both establishments. The British had some hidden militia in both areas. The Indians could appear anywhere on the board. The first two images are an overview of the board.

A ferocious band of Indians appear suddenly in the forest. They are carrying torches and are obviously up to no good.

The provincial army raises the alarm about the Indians in the woods.

A unit of Grenadiers makes a volley at the enemy in the distance.

The British form lines, however it was a little too late, off in the distance, the fort burns. At the end of the day, the fort was burning. The farmstead was secure. The French and Indians had taken heavy casualties, but it ended in a draw.

On Saturday, I played in an American Revolutionary War game, followed by a sea assault in the age of pirates. First up is the American Revolutionary game. The scenario was that a American supply train had to start on one side of the battlefield, move along a road, cross a bridge and then get off the battlefield. The English wanted to destroy or capture the wagons, the Americans needed to protect it. I think those oxen realized they were the evening meal, because they were slow! They moved 2" per turn.

Here is a view of the battlefield with the supply train on the right. It would take almost 7 turns before the wagons would reach the bridge.

Americans had the militia deployed forward, with the regulars waiting to defend the road.

The militia performed admirably by stalling the British advance well past all expectations. The losses on both sides were brutal. However the militia was eventually driven back. Losses were high and they finally routed.

The right flank of the British was in no hurry to engage the American Regulars now opposing them. Fresh Americans with artillery waited. The action switched to the center of the battlefield. The British assaulted the town in hopes to cut the road and capture the supply wagons.

Losses were high on both sides. The British reached the town and the American Regulars were getting shaky. It was neck and neck at this point, but we were out of time. It was ruled that the British had a narrow victory. The damnable oxen hadn't crossed the bridge and the British were pressing.

This was a nice game, but it tested my math abilities. The best thing about this game was the great guys playing and the mountain of dead markers that the GM had painted. Looking at the table, one could see where the lines had come together, fought, bounced and slammed together again.

This post is getting rather long with a lot of images. I will post about the Invasion on the Spanish Main in part 2.

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