Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Winter War Preview: Saturday Evening

Winter War is the oldest annual gaming convention in Illinois. This year is the 34th installment in the series. Come join us in Champaign from February 9th to 11th for a weekend devoted to gaming.

In today's Winter War preview I'll be looking at the events in the Saturday night section of the pre-registration schedule. If you haven't checked them out already, here are links to the Friday afternoon, Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon events. And don't miss the update to those earlier installments.

Saturday, February 10th, 8pm

Several events continue into Saturday night from earlier in the convention, such as the all-con Advanced Squad Leader tournament, the awesome Blind Sniper throwdown, and action in the dedicated Living Greyhawk room. The Warmachine and BattleTech Total Warfare events from Saturday afternoon will continue into the night as well.

The boardgames area is bursting with cool stuff to play on Saturday night. Don Botkin has reserved room for two full tables of Puerto Rico, one of my alltime favorite German games. El Nyberg offers a 16 player Settlers of Catan tournament. He notes "Using resource start plus Soldiers' Perogative rule." I've played Settlers more times than I can remember and I have no idea what that means. Super-nice guy Al Conrad offers a particularly intense session of Roborally specifically designed for veterans of that game. Racing game afficionados Leland Black and Charlie Priest present Daytona 500. And Glenn Overby offers even more Memoir '44 and BattleLore. That last one, BattleLore, is generating a lot of internet buzz. I plan on checking out that table to see what the big deal is. That's a lot of good stuff in the boardgame section, but I'll give my top recommendation to Al Conrad's Roborally event, with the notation that you need to have played that game at least once before showing up.

Over in the miniatures area you get your choice between beating up Nazis, zombies, or ninjas. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a win-win-win scenario. Travis McLin supplies the anti-Nazi action with his 15mm Flames of War game. Steve Massey and Bob Legro offer All Things Zombie, the 28mm game of post-zombie apocalypse skirmishification. And Ken Vreeman, subject of much gushing in earlier installments, once again will be running 'Shogun-Maker' his big Kingmaker/Shogun/house rules hybrid freak-out. Making a recommendation here is a tough call. I want to once again tell you to sign up for Ken Vreeman's game, but if you want something historical the real pick is Flames of War. And don't forget those zombies.

Besides all the Living Greyhawk events, the Saturday night schedule includes 3 role-playing games. 'Terror From the High Seas' promises to be a historical Call of Cthulhu event by GM John Harting. Important Tip: Evening Call of Cthulhu events almost always fill in pre-reg! If you want to play this game, go sign up for it ASAP. I think this particular event is a repeat or sequel to a similar game last year. Players from that previous game had a glowing report. If horror is your bag but the CoC game fills you might want to consider Brad Trumpinski's GURPS Space/Horror adventure. The event is called "In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream." Man that sounds familiar. Where have I heard it before? Finally, Dave Hoover is on the schedule to run Iron Gauntlets. Based upon recent events I don't expect that item to remain on the list. Look for Mr. Hoover to run another system in this slot. And look for that game to be awesome. Seriously, you could do a lot worse than filling out your pre-reg sheet with "Whatever game Dave runs".

Tomorrow I'll look at the game running in the Sunday morning slot of the con. Like many cons that's usually the hangover session, but I see a lot of cool stuff on the schedule. Also, this will give me a chance to talk more about my favorite subject: me! ;)