Miniature Wargaming Free Demo Day

I finally got around to organizing and running a free demo game day to showcase a variety of miniature games with some of my gaming friends at my friendly local gaming store.  I’ve participated in several of these sort of events, organized by Shades in the greater D.C. area at different stores  ( ), but this is the first time I took on the mantle of leadership and rallied the troops, so to speak, to show off some games in my home town.

FreeI started with a mission statement:  my goal was to create an event open to the public and invite anyone to step up and try a game.  Then I presented the store owners with a proposal, which was accepted, arranged for a date, and recruited some gamers to present their favorite games.  Finally, with several players agreeing to bring in their own painted miniatures and allow members of the public to handle those figures and ask questions about the respective games, I created a poster and started promotion.

astoreWe had game masters to set up and run demo games for 6 different miniature games including Dystopian Wars, Warhammer 40K, Hell Dorado, X-Wing, Flames of War, and Relic Knights.


Setting up a table near the front of the store with a variety of examples of miniature wargaming, I included a basic setup for a game of BattleLore which served as a good introductory game to introduce basic concepts of wargaming to interested but inexperienced gamers.


One of the veteran gamers in my local wargaming community brought in his scratchbuilt table to demonstrate a game of Hell Dorado with 2 sets of beautiful miniatures he has painted over the course of the past year.


I had time to run a basic naval game of Dystopian Wars using 2 painted fleets of ship models.



As expected, X-Wing was the most popular game, and we set it up in the back corner so players would pass the other games on display.  Some of the local Flames of War players brought in their tank models to show off.


We had plenty of walk-in costumers coming in to pick up comic books I invited to try a game, but most passed on the opportunity.  All the same, having the games set up in the store at least triggered some interest and prompted some costumers to at least check out some of the painted miniatures.


Special thanks to our volunteers–we couldn’t have run so many different miniature games without our experienced game masters.



Historicon 2014

Historicon: another impressive collection of miniature wargames again this year in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I didn’t spend the entire weekend at the event, but my partner in time agreed to accompany me to see what it’s all about, and I took a few pictures of some tables and figures which captured my imagination.

H14 East TownH14 Airships2

The small city attracted both of us almost as soon as we walked into the main hall, and my partner was tempted to actually try a game set to run among the range of buildings on a huge table.  But sticking to our schedule, we walked around the rest of the space, checking out a big table set up for a steampunk game on another planet; Historicon features a variety of games, not only historical simulations.  But the Revolutionary battle set up across a winter scene got me thinking again about completing my own plan to create and run my own game set during the French & Indian War… maybe next year.

H14 Winter

H14 Samurai

H14 Spears Ancient H14 Martian H14 Landship House H14 Jungle River H14 Flea Market H14 FIW H14 30YW H14 BSG

Hell Dorado Games Day

Made it to the Game Vault by 11 on Sunday morning and started a basic game with a new player so she could learn the rules and dynamics of a typical game.  Then the Richmond boys arrived and we divided into 3 teams and set up 3 games by noon.

ImageI had my 200 points worth of Immortals (mostly) painted and ready to play.  We relocated to the back room and set up 3 different game boards across 2 tables–one thing I like about this game is the small space required to resolve a typical battle; each game board measured 30″ by 30″ and featured an interesting range of terrain features and enough room to maneuver pieces while keeping a constraint on the time involved moving figures across wide and open spaces on the table.

ImageWe had 2 players with Immortals and another 2 with Westerners, so pairing up those teams made sense, then we matched up the Demons player with the Saracens player in a tentative alliance.  My Immortals ran up against a faction of Demons in a Howling Wastes, the center of the field dominated by giant skulls of long dead monsters.


I split my forces.  The main force, composed of 3 Independents (a Swordmaster, a multi-armed Lamia, and a Sentinel wielding a poleaxe) moved quickly up the right flank, charging into the main force of the enemy Demons and dispatching 2 of the enemy by the end of the second turn.


Meanwhile, my peasants guarded the left flank and were quickly slaughtered by a pair of Demons playing the old bait-and-switch game… the little guy ran away while the big guy waded through my peasants with a sword longer than the height of a man.


And then, just as the fight on the right flank was turning in my favor, the lead Demon manifested a power which eliminated himself from the battlefield while restoring health to the remaining wounded Demons–my Immortals gained determination to fight until the bitter end because of their wounds, but the renewed strength of their opponents led to their demise.  When I realized I only had my wizard and his spell courier remaining, I offered my hand across the table and resigned victory to my worthy opponent.


Meanwhile, in other parts of the table, I seized the opportunity of my swift defeat to photograph the other games still in progress.  My immediate teammate beside me was edging out a narrow victory against the new player to the group…


…while her Westerners teammate beat the Saracens.  All this meant that each team had scored 1 victory each for the first round of battles.



The scenario was an assault against a defensive position.  Short story:  I was assaulting armored Westerners.  First, my Swordmaster runs up and strikes, most of the damage she inflicted was negated by heavy armor, and then she was killed in the counter-attack; next, the Sentinal charges, strikes, Westerner plate armor negates most of the damage, and then he is struck down; finally, the Lamia, same sequence as before.  And my peasants didn’t stand a chance against a full charge by a mounted knight.  In the end, my wizard was surrounded and put up a good fight, but it wasn’t enough to win the battle.


Two consecutive victories scored by Georg and his armored knights won the day for the Westerners, while my two consecutive defeats put me at the bottom of the list.  All together, I learned some new dynamics in this game and enjoyed the time spent with some like-minded gamers, etc.