Monday, July 16, 2018

Historicon Game Report: The Dwarven Loot Train

     On Saturday night at Historicon, after I spent the day selling in Wally's Basement (the Flea Market) with my wife, Jennifer; I ran a game in the HAWKs room called, The Dwarven Loot Train, using the underdevelopment "Combat Patrol: Medieval & Fantasy" rules.
An overview of the table at the beginning of the game.
     While the game was sold out in preregistration, I only had two ticket holders show up.  I think the HMGS preregistration system needs an overhaul, or to be scrapped altogether.  Luckily, I was able to recruit my wife, Jennifer, and HAWK, Mike Thomas, to fill two of the empty spots.
The battle kicks off with one of the Dwarf units getting pin-cushioned by a Goblin archer unit that got 3 fire activations before the Dwarves got a chance to run for cover; which happened when they failed morale.
      The scenario involved a force of Dwarves that were escorting three loot wagons, and who were camped overnight in a small village.  the Orcs have caught wind of the loot, and have planned an early morning raid.  Whoever has control of two or more of the loot wagons at game's end is the winner.
The fear of the Goblin Archers resulted in two of the nearby Dwarf Units running for cover within a walled field, as the Orc troops advances.  
      The game started off poorly for the Dwarves when a unit on their far left got caught in the open by a unit of Goblin Archers who proceeded to pelt them with arrows for 3 activations, before the Dwarves broke and headed for cover.   A seesaw battle then developed in the middle, and it looked like a bold counter attack by the Dwarves might turn the tide and save the day, but the Orcs were eventually able to overpower them.  In the end, the Orcs were the clear dominant force on the table, but they had come nowhere near the loot carts; so while it was a technical Dwarf victory in scenario terms, the Orcs surely would have won in the long run.
The pieces are moved into place: on the left, as the Dwarves' allied Stone Giant advances, the Goblins start massing to attempt to overwhelm him with numbers. In the center the Dwarven Commander, mounted on her Warbear, commits herself  to battle to counter the Orcs' Swamp troll as it advances towards the walled field. A unit of Dwarves hops the wall to support her, as a unit of Orcs advances near the clump of brush near the field.
        I had a great time running the game, and players enjoyed themselves too.  The rules worked really well, and after a few turns the players were pretty much running the game themselves, with me simply flipping activation cards and answering questions.
The Goblins begin their wave attacks on the Giant.  They lose a soldier every attack, but with a hit here and a hit there, the wounds start to add up on the Giant.

The battle of the wall heats up, as Princess Snow and her Dwarf Miners charge over the wall.  The Dwarf Commander sends the Orc's SwampTroll reeling back to the woods from where it entered the battle, after it gets a bad morale result. 

The townsfolk spent the game guarding the loot wagons.

The beginning of the end; the hits are starting to added up on the Dwarf Commander, and she and her bear can only do so much.  The Orc archers have arrived and start to add their deadly shafts to the carnage.  Before the Cave Troll (foreground) can enter the fight, the Dwarf Commander falls, and panic sweeps the line. (All units become pinned when the commander dies.) Her bear continues heroically, but doesn't last long.

On the Dwarf right, the Giant falls in a final wave of Goblins attacks.


  1. Looks like fun! And I agree that the pre-registration system needs a bit of an overhaul. I know (now) that GenCon charges a fee for each ticket. Even if it was only nominal - $4, maybe - it would mean that people who registered had a bit of skin in the game. I think they'd be more likely to turn up then. They could also reduce the entry price slightly to offset it without hurting revenues. Heck, it might actually increase the revenues and attendance both, if the cost to simply show up was lower.

    1. Thanks! And I agree that charging would be a great idea. That's how it's done at Origins as well. Maybe use the $$ to help afford some GM incentives.

  2. Beautiful table, beautiful figures! Looks like a great game was enjoyed by all. Nice to see a fantasy game at Historicon. ;-)

    Encountered this issue at other conventions, myself. I agree, people get greedy with free event tickets, and judges are left wondering where all the players are... Even if they charged a single Dollar, it would likely cut down on people grabbing tickets and forgetting to show up... Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Sgt.! Charging a small fee would be a great idea in my opinion.