Monday, November 25, 2013
Fall In Convention
Due to scheduling, my attendance at Fall In 2013 was sporadic. Fortunately, I live only about 40 minutes away from the Lancaster Host so I commuted for Friday and part of Saturday. First, some general observations, as some other folks mentioned, attendance seemed to be light, especially on Friday. I noticed lots of games cancelled and at least two GM said they cancelled because they didn't have any players. I normally run big games with 10-12 players but this time I was lucky to have 6 players in the game I ran on Saturday afternoon. Despite that, I had a very good time, it was a good convention, and everyone else I talked to felt the same.
The game I ran was my weird science Roman game, Res Mechanica, that I had run at Historicon. The scenario took place at the end of the Year of the Four Emperors but in a world in which the Romans developed high technology. Vespasian's brother and his son and their retinues barricade themselves onto the Capitoline Hill after a failed attempt to get the rival Emperor Vitellius to abdicate. As the Capitoline is being assaulted by Vitellian die-hards, the Flavian relief forces, consisting of a strong cavalry force, including steam cavalry with the allied Sarmatian Ruritanii as well as the air and land ship elements of the Roman Fleet.
At Historicon, the Flavians prevailed through a slow advance that wore down the Vitellian defenders to break through. At Fall In, the Roman Fleet player pushed past the Briton and Amazon defenders and got into the city very early. There they met disaster. First a unit of Praetorians disembarked at a wine shop. Then Balteus (an ancestor of Blackadder's Baldrick) used his "cunning plan" ability to toss a augury chicken into the Archimedean heat ray of the landship, causing a grease fire that stopped the ship. The Vitellian Trojan Horse came up behind and set further fire to it. This caused a neighboring insula to catch fire that ultimately caused the destruction of the airship. On the other side of the board, the Flavian cavalry was chewed up but did get its big steam car into the city in time to break up the final Vitellian assault on the Capotiline. In the city itself, the Vitellians tried repeated to storm the Hill but were beaten back each time but it was a very close run thing. The big winner turned out to be Nigerapis (Blackadder) who abandoned the Vitellian side and ran off with Vitellius treasure and Mrs. Vitellius.
I ended up receiving an award for best game in my time slot.
The only other game I had chance to play in was Howard Whitehouse's Chainmail Bikini. As expected it was a great time. Four player leading teams of adventurers entered d a dungeon from four directions, hoping to rescue a prisoner being held in the dungeon. The rest of us players ran the barbarians and other things that were defending the dungeon. I got to play Nostril the Necromancer, the main villain who amazingly survived to retire, along with a withc from one of the other player teams, to run an Orange Smoothie stand in Boca Rotan, FLA. It was that kind of game.
Chainmail Bikini is the fantasy version of Howard's Astounding Tales!. He's added some really great features to CB, tactic cards, to enhance the hand-to-hand fighting rules. The rules should be published in the near future.
These are pictures of the "other City of Rome" game, Cy Taylor's Gangs of Rome. I was disappointed that I could fit this game in my schedule, it looked like great fun.
There was another anachronistic tech game, this based on the ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci: