Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Historicon 2014: Spamalot, Conan, and Other Stuff

My son and I attended another Historicon. We had a great time although we ended up not playing in that many games as previous years but we ran two big games that appeared pretty successful to us.

This was the premier of our second annual Musical as Wargame event. Last year was Les Miserables, this year was Spamalot, played on Friday night. Not as much singing this year since Spamalot has dialogue but players were still able to do a re-roll if they belted out a Broadway tune.

We had a great turnout with all of the players acting wonderfully silly. I had originally posted the game for 8 players but we ended up with 14 playing, some walk-up playing smaller roles. We used Howard Whitehouse's new Outlaws of Sherwood as the base rule set but with a number of special rules to reflect the madness. Even with large number of players, it seemed to go pretty smoothly, although if I run this again I may try to streamline the combat rules for Lancelot's attack on Swamp Castle. We also had a fair number of spectators during the evening.

Too much stuff went on to give a blow-by-blow but some of the highlights were the limb-lopping of the Black Knight, Tim the Enchanter incinerating a line of French can-can dancers, and Sir Lancelot making the Red Wedding look like a picnic. However, Sir Lancelot was unable to rescue Prince Herbert from his unhappy wedding when he was attacked from behind by Sir Robin who proved remarkably courageous and actually managed to keep from getting slaughtered by Sir Lancelot. Of course it didn't help that Prince Herbert's attempt to shoot Sir Robin with an arrow ended up hitting Lancelot. King Arthur made an appearance and broke up the fight and put his knights back onto the quest, leaving Herbert weeping.

Brother Maynard and his monks battle a French maid and mime.

No one expected the Spanish Inquisition

The players who got to Castle ARGGG to find the Grail was the rather odd combination of the Lady of the Lake (who is a major character in the play vs the movie), the Knights Who Say Ni (who had worked out some sort of deal with the Lady, I think it was for a Grail-shaped beacon for their garden), and Sir Bedivere the Strangely Flatulent. Despite catapult-flung cows, the French were defeated and Sir Bedivere managed to retrieve the Grail itself. Arthur and the rest of his knights were still dealing with the Killer Rabbit. The ladies of the Castle Anthrax had earlier been driven out by Sir Bedivere's proficiency in "chemical warfare."

Saturday afternoon, we ran "Conan, What is Best in Life?" using the Crom rules from Matakishi's Tea House. They are a great set of rules, simple to pick up in about 5 minutes but with the need to make choices to make it challenging. We had ten players who all remained engaged throughout the game. It was run in three scenes with the ultimate goal of rescuing a princess who was to be sacrificed to summon an Elder Being. In the first scene, Conan and a virtual army of companions had to storm a desert village to rescue Akira the Wizard. In the second, the party had to obtain a magic sword from an ancient tomb. With wizard and sword, they then attacked the temple in scene three, succeeding in rescuing the princess just as the evil Thoth Amon had his knife to her throat that would have completed the evil ritual.

Conan in the Tomb of King Kull

Red Sonja dispatches some Snake men

There were some very fine games. The center piece was the All Quiet on the Martian Front. I didn't get a chance to play in it but a friend did and said it was a great game.

Here's a couple other games:


commissarmoody said...

Looks like a great game and lots of action at historicon. Maybe next years musical could be "south pacific", "fiddler on the roof", or "my fair lady" :P

commissarmoody said...

Oh and don't forget "A funny thing happened on the way to the forum".

bogdanwaz said...

Actually, we've already thought about it and it's likely to be "Fa - A Long, Long Way to Go; Sound of Music the Wargame." Nuns vs. Nazis, can't beat that.

commissarmoody said...

Nuns are always good for a laugh

Mark Rabuck said...

Flamethrowing robots and 30 cal MGs
Legions of undead and fresh AFVs
Guard grenadiers and weather of the rings
These are a few of my favorite things...

Mark Rabuck said...

That's "wraiths", not "weather".

Stupid autocorrect.

Walt said...

Ah, wonderful, wonderful.. a pity I could not attend.