Here's a somewhat belated report on my trip to Historicon 2022. In summary, a great time was had!
It was held at the Lancaster Convention Center on the square in downtown Lancaster. This is a great site for the convention, with numerous places to eat just steps from the hotel. The layout for the convention itself was good, all events in proximity without seeming too crowded. A big change from the subpar Valley Forge Casino site.
I ran two games at the convention. The first, run on Friday night of the convention, was a reprise of a game I ran a few years ago, Sharp's Pride and Prejudice and Master and Commander and Zombies, taking Seth Graeme-Smith's hilarious "adaptation" of the Jane Austen classic and adding a few popular period literary heroes.
This time I used a modified form of the new Silver Bayonet rules (as well as adding Mary Shelley and Frankenstein's monster). I believe they worked well for this game, intuitive enough for the players to pick up easily and quick playing enough despite having 14 players.
Rosings Park and the village of Hunsford, site of the unpleasantness.
The local militia under Colonel Fitzwilliams
Mary Shelley and her friends experiment with a new method of fighting zombies, their own undead construct. Part of this faction included Lord Byron which resulted in adding a rule for Cutting Remarks for several figures, a last minute addition that worked well and had quite a bit of humor - Thanks to Virginia Montrie for coming up with that idea.
Our heroes, Elizabeth Bennet and the hopeful Fitzwilliams D'Arcy who hoped to convince Elizabeth to marry him.
The grave yard at Hunsford, Zombie central
Richard Sharpe and Harper fending off some zombies with the help of a couple of Healthy Farm Girls.
There were various types of undead, most of them quite disgusting and, on occasion, explosive.
A zombie horde on the move.
The final confrontation occurred on the grounds of Rosing Park, Lady Catherine de Burge's sprawling estate. This resulted in one of the more colorful incidents when one of the exploding zombies was "detonated" next to a traveling merchant who was carrying explosives and ammunition. The resulting explosion destroyed Lady Catherine's troop of ninja bodyguards but our heroes managed to survive.
Although Wickham had escaped and thrown himself on the mercy of Colonel Fitzwilliams, he was unaware that the Colonel was D'Arcy cousin. Using his quick wit, D'Arcy was able to convince the Colonel to order Wickham to marry Lydia, thus preserving the Bennet Family reputation and winning the heart and hand of Elizabeth.
All in all, I think the game was a success, thanks mostly to a great bunch of players who enthusiastic got into the spirit of my Regency zombie melodrama.
The second game I ran, on Saturday afternoon, was a reprise of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Prince of Foxes that I had run at Historicon 2021. See https://bogdanwaz.blogspot.com/2021/11/historicon-2021-masks-saving-christmas.html for more details on the plot of this game.
I had another group of enthusiastic players, 15 this time, who made this another great gaming experience.
I also got to play in several very fine games. On Thursday morning, I got to play in Miles Reidy's Battle of Manziket game. Miles is a great GM, who keeps the game moving and livens it with very funny banter. This game was true to that form.
The last turn of the game saw a dramatic fight between the elites of both armies
Thursday evening, I played in Peter Anderson's Battle of Pavia game. This was using the To the Strongest rules. This was the first time I played this unique set of rules and I liked them. They are designed to play large battles very quickly, using a gridded tabletop and card draws instead of dice. T
I was the commander of the French Army's Swiss mercenaries. We replayed history pretty well. King Francis was captures and my Swiss slaughtered. Still a very fun game.
Friday morning, I played in Dave Waxtel's Ramming Speed. I was the Admiral of a five ship Roman squadron, each with its own player-commander, taking on a Carthaginian fleet of 6 speedier and more maneuverable vessels
The last game in which I played was Mike DeCarlo's Open Range - Rawburn's Revenge, using the Ruthless rules modified for running cattle herds. As part of the bad guys, I managed to prevent the good guys getting their herd across a river crossing, mostly by stampeding my own herd. A fun little game that was the perfect ending to the convention.
Although I didn't get to play in them, I saw a lot of really fantastic games at the con. Foremost among these was Martyn Kelly's Ravenna. I had played in Martyn's Bicocca game at the last Historicon. The game's him puts on are truly works of art. Beautiful scenery with vast number of very colorful, extremely well painted figures, just an absolute treat for the eyes.
I was disappointed I couldn't play in this game as it conflicted with one of my own. Martyn runs a great game that reaches a satisfying conclusion in only 3-4 hours despite the epic scale.
Another stunning game that attracted a lot of attention was Doug Fisher's Have Gun Will Travel. Based on a 1950s board game, players as bounty hunters maneuvered on the board in search of their criminal prey. Once found, they transferred to one of the gorgeous miniatures table to fight out the action. Great idea well executed. I hope I can get to play this game at some future convention.
Here's a few other games that caught my eye:
A French and Indian War game:
The Battle of San Juan Hill: