Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Winter War Preview: Friday Afternoon

I'm going to be doing something new for the upcoming Winter War. In a multi-parter I'll be giving you my recommendations for what games might be cool to try. My hope is to lure some of my regular readers to the con. If you live within an easy drive of Champaign, Illinois I'd love to see you in February.

I'm getting all my information from the Winter War 34 pre-registration booklet. You can download the booklet and check out the whole deal for yourself. If you pre-register you get a break on the price and first shot at signing up for the game of your choice.

Friday, February 9th, 2pm

As I type this there are seven events listed for Friday afternoon. Tom Hendricks is hosting a game of Feudal, the chesslike strategy game that was part of the 3M Bookshelf Game line. Mr. Hendricks is also running a nuclear variant of the classic Risk. Both these games sound like perfect warm-up material for the first session of a con. And if this Tom Hendricks is the same fellow involved with the local Living Greyhawk scene he is a super-nice guy, too. Tom's games are labeled 'younger players welcomed'. I like it when people run stuff the kids can play.

Speaking of Living Greyhawk, CIRCA (the Central Illinois Roleplaying Combatants Alliance) will once again be organizing LG events throughout the con, check out Warhorn for more details. The Living Greyhawk contingent has been a substantial portion of the con over the years. Last year I was hoping to lure a few LG players to my Original D&D event (i.e. the 1974 rules) but they could not be pulled away from the glitter of Officially Sanctioned Experience Points. I ended up with a table full of great people anyway, so no harm there.

A dude by the name of John Harting is your go-to guy if Living Greyhawk isn't your bag but roleplaying is. John's running a 4th edition Shadowrun scenario called "Fish or Be Bait". I haven't played ShadowRun since the heady days of the near-broken 1st edition, but my informants tell me the new 4th ed is pretty darn slick. If you haven't played an elf computer nerd in a while this might be a good opportunity to testdrive the new version.

Mild-mannered grognard Al Conrad will be running RoboRally on Friday afternoon. RoboRally is an absolute hoot to play. It's one of those games where I laugh out loud even as I'm losing horribly. And Al is a great guy to have at your game table. Mike Wilson rounds out the boardgaming sections of the slot with Circus Maximus for up to 15 players. As far as I can tell, Circus Maximus was written to simulate the legendary chariot race sequence from the film Ben Hur. And it pretty much delivers on that goal. Good game.

If I can take the afternoon off from work you'll find me at Ronald Ralston's table, where he'll be running a sci-fi ship-to-ship minis game using the Starmada Compendium. Damn this game is fun. It lacks the potent crunch of Star Fleet Battles, but the it delivers a lot of frantic action. Full Thrust is the one of the few games that compares well to Starmada. I prefer the latter because I like hexes on my spacemap while standard Full Thrust uses tape measures and turning wheels.

Finally, I should note that the all-convention-long Advanced Squad Leader tournament is listed in this slot but that the event itself doesn't start until 6pm. I'm not sure what there is for an ASL player to do between 2 and 6, so consider yourself warned. I don't play ASL and there's probably not much I can say about this event other than to tell you that this is the place to be if you're the kind of person who wants to spend two and half days playing Advanced Squad Leader.

In the next installment of this series I'll share my thoughts on the games running in the Friday night slot of Winter War.