I recently attended Carnage on the Lake in Eastern Vermont. It’s the only real convention in my home state and the only one that under three hours of driving. There seems to be some sort of family emergency or sickness (once ended up with a 2 year old in the hospital the day before) that always seems to foil my plans for this con. This year I made it for a full day, quite an accomplishment. I even managed to make ONE game I was interested in, even better.
My Three Games
Lobositz with Carnage and Glory rules
I was most excited by this game as I’m a huge SYW fan and I have created this game in 6mm, so what’s not to like. It was in 28mm at the con. Now, I never understood why folks would use 28mm for large battles, I always felt the smaller scale offered more of a big battle feeling and 28’s would leave me wanting. Boy, was I wrong. The 28mm figures were beautiful and I instantly fell in love with the figures and game setup. I still like my 6mm armies for SYW, but now I’m going to be painting 28mm Austrians and Prussians for some Sharp Practice at the next opportunity.
This game offered my favorite opponents, Prussians vs. Austrians, in my favorite period. The new thing for me was playing Carnage and Glory, a computer controlled diceless system. It was OK at best, I didn’t mind it, but the lack of dice left me wanting. I was destroyed on my side of the table (I controlled all the Pussian cavalry) and only won two of the many melees fought, not very Prussian. If I could have seen my bad rolls all game, that would have let me feel a little more involved in my losses, perhaps I would have felt more responsible for the performance of my troops.
My second shock (the first time I learned of this) in the game was that all of the figures were purchased painted from China. The guy who ran the game bought them all. He was a top shelf bloke, but I was surprised. To me, painting is a major part of the the whole. This seemed to be somewhat of a norm as I found out.
Civil War with Volley and Bayonet
This was some sort of Civil War defend the hill scenario, I was on the hill with Union troops trying to keep the rebs at bay. I only played in this game as it came the closest to my interests, ie, they were using muskets. Otherwise I find the civil war TERRIBLY BORING in every way imaginable. Just not my cupa.
Volley and Bayonet seemed OK, not much flavor but got the job done. I’m not really a fan of one stand units, but they were pretty and it was a game at a con, so I imagine on a larger scale, you could get quite a good game going. No command tension in this one, the troops do what they are told and it’s a game of maneuver.
Some other Civil War game with Fire and Fury
My AWI game was cancelled, but I found some of the guys I had been playing with throughout the day running another Civil War game. Again, take the hill with your bland, faceless Civil War troops. Nothing against the guys running it, they did a great job, I’m just not really sure how you spruce up a Civil War game.
Fire and Fury has some command tension, which was OK, but I found moving up to 16-20 tiny stands of troops when you move a unit to be VERY FIDDLY. Enough to put me off the system.
There were lots of 10mm troops in this one and very nicely painted. Again, all purchased painted by the owners.
- I found out that I really don’t like gaming the Civil War. I always knew it held little interest, but now I know I don’t even enjoy moving them around the table.
- I was surprised that so many people buy their troops painted. The looked great, but I can’t imagine much satisfaction in owning/using them. But that’s just me.
- I don’t like games with large numbers of stands in a base. It seems that you can do it in a much better way and I think many modern rule sets are doing that.
- Only one game had any type of introductions between the players. I believe that if I hadn’t introduced myself to some of the players, we could have spent 4 hours at a table and not know each others names.
- Gamer funk seems to be prevalent in the Sci-Fi area of the hall and less so in the Historical areas.
He are some pictures of varying quality of the wonderfully painted and presented SYW figures in my Lobositz game. I commanded the Cavalry of the Prussian right flank and was trounced. The computer allowed me to win about 2 of maybe 15 encounters. After the first few losses, it was 2:1 against me for the rest of the battle, since my guys were constantly rallying and returning.