Monday, July 22, 2013

Saturday "Look, Sarge, No Charts" Games at Historicon 2013

This past weekend at Historicon 2013 in Fredricksburg, Virgina; the HAWKs ran numerous games using the "Look, Sarge, No Charts" family of rules throughout the con. On Saturday, we ran two large 14 player, two-table, Extravaganza games using the rules.  The first of these, called, "The Goblins are Coming! The Goblins are Coming!" started Saturday morning at 9:00 AM. It was our LSNC Fantasy Extravaganza using 10mm figures and "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" rules, (aka: Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients, and Medieval). These rules are currently underdevelopment, and we hope to have them completed by this time next year. The game was co-GM'd by Buck Surdu and myself.
   (Click on any picture to see it larger) 
Buck Surdu, in blue shirt, answers a player's question during the game's first turn.
   Buck and Dave Wood were scheduled to do a LSNC Napoleonic Extravaganza game after our Fantasy game. So, interestingly, to save time on resetting the whole table for the second game, we used the same scenario and table layout for the Fantasy game that was required for the Napoleonic  game that would follow. Simply replacing building with fantasy versions and adding other fantasy terrain elements here and there across the table. The Napoleonic game, The Battle of Laon, was from the 1814 Campaign, and featured a Prussian Army trying to cut the retreat route of a French Army.  So for our purposes, we replaced the Prussians with the forces of Evil: Goblins, Skeletons, and Wildmen; and the French we replaced with an alliance of High Elves, and Wood Elves. We tried to place the units exactly where their historical counterparts would be: for example, Elven Knights and Wood Elves riding Stags as well as Giant Eagles replacing the French Cavalry, and Goblin Warg riders and Skeleton Knights replacing the Prussian Cavalry.
Elven spearmen force back a unit of giant spiders.
  The victory conditions would be the same from both games. The Elves needed to hold open a retreat route, so victory was determined by who controlled the most of two roads that ran the length down the battle field, joining at a "Y" intersection a few feet before exiting the table behind the Elven forces.  For control of the single section of road from the table edge to this Y a side would be given 2 points for every foot, and for control of the two branches of the road that ran the rest of the table, the sides were given 1 point for each foot they controlled. Control was determined by having no enemy forces cutting the road between your farthest unit on he road and your home edge.
A view of the Elven right flank.
  We had a full roster of players for the game, and after a brief rules description, the game began.  A great thing about the rules, is after just a few turns the players were able to run play the game with little help needed from us GM's
Wood Elves brace for the impact from the seething Goblin horde on the far left of the Elven lines..
The battle was a close fought affair.  The Elven cavalry and spearmen launched into the Evil side's left wing, pressing them very hard.  While on their own on left, the Elves fond themselves being pushed back by hordes of Goblins and their human allies. In the center both sides became embroiled in a bitter fight for control of the city that straddled one of the roads.
Elven stag riders melee with a giant spider

A view down the length of the battlefield from the Evil side's right flank.

The Wood Elf Sorceress, on white unicorn, casts a wall of flame to block a flanking maneuver by the Wildmen
In the end, the game down down to a very close finish, with only a point and a half separating winner, the Elves, from the loser, the Forces of Evil. Everyone had a good time, and twenty feet of table laid out with some many forces, was truly a cool sight to see.
A view of the battlefield near the end of the game.
While we were running our game, James 'Tank' Nickle was across the room running a historical Rome vs Carthage ancients game using the same rules. Entitled, "Look, Sarge, Hannibal's Not Here", it was a Battle of Iberia scenario during the second Punic War.  The game had all it's player slots filled and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Tank, in cap, helps a player during the game.

The Carthaginian army (left and bottom of picture), faces off against their Roman enemies (top of picture)

Roman Legions arrayed for battle.
After our Fantasy battle was over, we quickly reset the table for Buck and Dave's Napoleonic game using the LSNC Napoleonic version: "Fate of Battle"  As mentioned above, this scenario was the Battle of Laon from the 1814 campaign. 
Buck, (in blue shirt,) gets up on the table to help a player with a combat

Prussian columns advance on the French position

Heavy fighting on the French right.
All in all it was a very successful convention for the LSNC author team.  We were able to run some great games for fans of the rules, and introduce a number of new people to the system.  And, we had a great time doing it.

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