Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Winter War Preview: Friday Evening

This here post is part 2 of my seven-or-so part preview of the upcoming Winter War convention, where I run down the games listed in the pre-registration bookletand give you my recommendations for what games might be cool to try. Winter War is February 9th through 11th here in Champaign, Illinois. Click here if you missed Part 1, where I outlined the scheduled Friday afternoon events.

Friday, February 9th, 7pm

The two bigass all-convention-long events, the Advanced Squad Leader tournament and the Living Greyhawk freak-out, continue through this slot of the con. Again, you can check out Warhorn for more details on the LG events.

The Friday night boardgaming section looks really lively, ranging from a 12-player game of Formula De to a similarly-sized Car Wars scenario to new fan favorite BattleLore. Leland Black and Charlie Priest are running a newcomers-friendly game of Shadows over Camelot. I've played that a couple of times with my sister and it is wicked cool. Glenn Overby is running Memoir '44 in addition to the previously mentiond BattleLore. Tom Hendricks is running two more games, another round of the old chesslike game Feudal and coldwar paranoia fantasy Fortress America. The real pick of the Friday night board games has got to be Alan Conrad's Complete History of the World. The original History of the World is a fabulous game and Al has been working on his grand variant for years. This is one of several unique events you will only find at Winter War.

The miniatures department looks pretty sweet as well. Dale Lybarger will once again be reffing local favorite Clay-O-Rama, the Play-Doh battle game first appeared in Dragon #125. Every time there's a Clay-O-Rama table at the con the result is a lot of hootin' and hollerin' and a general good time. On the historical angle Rich Nelso is running Rally 'Round the Flag, one of the more popular rulesets for the American Civil War. Most of the rest of the minis dance card is filled out with sci-fi stuff: Ken Vreeman (an excellent ref with great minis and scenery) is running the old GW classic Space Hulk. Dustin Burger, another great ref, plans an Imperials versus Orks outing of Warhammer 40K. And a couple of chaps I don't know will be presenting a post-apocalyptic fight over a stockpile of Spam. You heard me right. Spam. I love it when the post-apocalyptic world is full of black humor like that. Entitled "FallOut Wastelands: Quest for Spam", this event will be run with the Days of Reckoning 28mm skirmish rules. Google doesn't seem to be helping me learn anything about this game.

All these minis events look like solid gold to yours truly, but the standout game has got to be "Sleepless in Rockwood", a 28mm zombie minis event. Boo-YAH! I am totally on the zombie bandwagon. If you want to call me a zombie poser, that would be okay. Getting back on topic, the rules used for this event are All Things Zombie. God bless this era of easily-distributed niche games.

In addition to the Living Greyhawk stuff, there are four RPG events on the Friday night schedule. Chris Fairfield offers a scoundrel-themed d6 Star Wars game called simply "The Kessel Run". Mr. Fairfield's Star Wars games are quite popular locally and, really, who wouldn't want to go on that infamous Run? Carol 'Cookie' Morris once again shows up to Winter War ready to run some HackMaster. Despite my own recent run-in with the KenzerCo boards I still think HackMaster is super-cool. And Cookie is exactly the right kind of wicked devil-woman to run it. I mean that in a nice way. Honest. People like myself who dig D&D 3.5 but don't get jazzed up by Living Greyhawk have the option of signing up for an Iron Kingdoms session designed to introduce newbies to that setting.

The RPG pick of the litter has to be Dave Hoover's Feng Shui game. Dave is a bit of a local legend, as he once ran a game in every one of the seven sessions of the convention. Some of us seriously thought this feat was going to kill him, but he made it through. He couldn't speak coherent English by the end of the weekend, but he ran all seven games. Feng Shui is one of Dave's signature games. The combination of frantic cinematic action and mindfuckingly freaktastic hidden backstory is a perfect fit for the kinds of games he likes to run. Dave has a cult following, so by the time you read this post his games might all be full. But sign up for his stuff if you can.

That's the Friday night line-up as I know it right now. The only other thing I should note is that the Living Greyhawk room will be open through the 'Friday twilight' session, which runs until 4 frickin' AM. The rest of the con is dead at that time, but the RPGA guys plan to go all night long, baby.

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