Monday, October 15, 2018

The Dying of the Light: Late Roman Wargaming with Lion Rampant

I'll be running a game at the HMGS Fall In convention next month in Lancaster, PA.  This will be The Dying of the Light, a Fall of Rome scenario set in my fictional Roman province of Ruritania sometime in the 4th century.  It will pit four factions of barbarian invaders against four factions of Late Romans and allies.  There will encouragements for players, particularly among the Romans, to attack other players on their own side.  I'll be using a slight modified version of the Lion Rampant rules.  Although Lion Rampant is a skirmish game, I'm using it as a sort of pseudo-strategic vehicle.  The game will be decided by victory points, represented by coins, with the barbarians acquiring coins for sacking various locations on the board and the Romans for having these locations intact by the end of the game.

This is going to be on a double sized table, about 6" x 8". My game room isn't large enough for this sized table so I did the test set-up in two stages.



This is one side of the table, representing the main area of the province of Ruritania.  One corner contains the provincial capital of Colonia Stresona.  There are also a few villages, villas, a state-owned granary (taxes were often paid in kind in the late Empire), a church, and a settlement belonging to the Roman-allied (at least initially) Sarmatian tribe, the Ruritanii, for whom the province is named.






The other side of the table will be the frontier area, dominated by the might Ister Flumens.





Here's some shots of the various forces involved:

 Queen Amalsuntha of the Gepids

Aurelius Victor, an Imperial pretender

 Victor is supported by a sizable army

 The Comitatenses of the Dux Ruritanicum

 The Sarmatian Ruritanii
Huns and their Slavic allies 

Less than enthusiastic Limitanei

Some "action" shots:

Warning signals from the border outpost

Defending the river

Breaching the river defenses

Goths engaged with Roman troops



The city prepares for the barbarian onslaught

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Historicon 2018: Ogres, Donkeys, Giants, and Shakespearean Shenanigans.

Nick and I had another great Historicon!  This was the 6th Annual Historicon Musical, this time a mash-up of Into the Woods and Shrek.  We had 16 players and the action was non-stop and crazy.  Plotwise, the Shrek characters were attempting to free Fiona from Lord Farquad's clutches, while the Into the Woods characters were attempting to escape the angry Giant.  The Giant was an NPC whose movement across the board was randomly determined.



















Here's a partial cast photo:
















Some shots of the table






Shrek's band of fairy folk massing to attack Lord Farquad's castle.

 For some reason, a lot of the players focused on trying to get Rapuzel out of her Tower.  This nearly resulted in disaster for many when Jack (of beanstock game) tried to lure the giant after him, causing the giant to turn ominously toward the tower.  Thanks to the frantic pleas of Donkey following by attack by Cinderella's black birds and the red dragon's flame, the Giant was forced back and tripped over Rapunzel's hair that was stretched between the tower and the beanstock.  This caused the Giant to fall, impaling herself on the numerous tall pines of the Woods.  The dragon went on to rescue Fiona from Farquad's castle and the princess shared True Love's First Kiss with Shrek.


There were a lot of great performances, such as completely smarming and hate-inducing Prince Charming and enthusiastic Gingerbread Man, the coveted Wazi award for Best Actor went to Donkey, who did a spot impression of Eddie Murphy.


Our other game was a reprise of our Elizabethan Frostgrave game, A Dead Man in Deptford, where various factions were searching for the lost manuscript of Dr. Faustus shortly after the murder of Kit Marlowe.
We had 16 players for this game and so got to use all of the possible factions I had created, including Puck and the faeries, and 


the Scottish Weird Sisters


The scene is Southwark, on the south side of the Thames.  The Rose Theatre and bear-baiting rink are just a few of its charms.



We got a great compliment on our table from a professor of English Lit at a local college who was attending the convention, who absolutely loved the look of it.








Here's some shots from in the game.

As always happens, the Rose was burned.

 Ultimately, Solomon Kane destroyed the spell book that allowed for the creation of dramaturgical magic while the manuscript of Dr. Faustus was taken by Grace O'Malley's Irish pirates, with the aid of both the Lord Chamberlains' Men and the Lord Admiral's Men acting troups.  They all escaped in Grace's ship to found the Irish National Theatre.


I also played in a number of games.  Here's the magnificent SOCCOM and sorcery.  It was western Coalition troops vs various shady forces that we dubbed the Axis of Evil, all searching for a hiding cultist in a underground Egyptian Lair. A fun, fast moving game despite its size with great scenery.





I ran some Afghan Mujaheddin troops


 My motorcycle-riding RPG proved to be the MVP of the game, careening through the corridors of the lair to snatch the cult leader from under the noses of the Coalition and monsters.



I also played in a couple of Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant games, which were great fun despite my doing absolutely abysmally in both games.




I also played in the incredible Ghost Archipelago game, unbelievably beautiful table.





The high point of my game was slaying the Fire Element in the belly of Vaal



Here's some other games that caught my eye.  A beautiful Necromunda table


ACW game.


Minas Tirath


The Siege of Fort St. Elmo in Malta



FIW game with great waterfall:



An impressive Battletech game.