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Category Archives: Conventions

Origins! Your Grog Crew

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A Grog has no name.  A Grog has only a screen name. ~

The GrogHeads Crew, 23 June 2016

photos by Corinne Mahaffey / click to enlarge

Dubbed “Fort Kickass” by the GrogHeads Central Command crew, our little patch of concrete in the gaming hall was the nexus of some excellent wargaming at Origins 2016.  While it’s not the overwhelming dominant presence in the gaming hall like it was in 1978, anyone who says that “there’s no wargaming at Origins” is just flat-out wrong.  Hex-and-counter, card-driven area, or minis-on-terrain, we had wargames in spades.

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More to the point, we had the Grogs!

And our GrogHeads crew has their own thoughts about Origins 2016, as we asked them (1) “What’s the coolest thing you saw?” and (2) “What was the thing you enjoyed most?”.  Here’s what they told us…

Origins! Griggling Games

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Play all of WWII in one sitting?  That’s what the GG guys gave you with Quartermaster General ~

Corinne Mahaffey, 23 June 2016

A quick stop at the Griggling Games booth yielded an interesting – and different – conversation about Quartermaster General and its genesis.  Expansions are already rolling out the door for QMG, so look for more to come from them.  Designer Ian Brody explains

I wanted to make a simulation, then abstract it until I had a playable game.  I also wanted a game that people could play together in an evening, rather than one played in turns for days.  I have given the game rules to a new player, then not see them for a week while they read the rules, or learn, as in Axis and Allies, base 6 statistics. Ex Hall - IMG_6900 I also didn’t want to be able to gain in-game intelligence because I had to explain rule that my opponent wanted to use.  Finally, I wanted a game that war gamers and historians would agree touched on the salient points of World War 2, and had a sense of the narrative of the war.

I was introduced to Magic [the Gathering] by a friend, and realized how much game mechanic could be put on a card.  Then I looked at old war games, including World of War, Third Reich, Rising Sun, World in Flames and Europa.  I looked at the headings, and realized I needed a card for each one.  All the game chrome and fiddly rules could be put on the cards.

I also found that, by front-loading the luck on the card draw instead of backloading the luck on the dice, choosing the one card to play that turn becomes a move of skill.  You don’t get to micromanage; you must play the hand you are dealt.

As a reminder, we reviewed Quartermaster General a while ago, and will have some coverage coming soon of the Air Marshal expansion.


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Origins! Carolina Game Tables

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Beautiful furniture for your gaming goodness ~

Brant Guillory, 21 June 2016

photos by Corinne Mahaffey

Carolina Game Tables were showing off some of their creations in the Studio 2 booth (with the Savage Worlds guys).

Dropped interiors and dining-room quality looks make for some great tables, and the staff even showed us how easy it was to pop the top on and off.

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Origins! Exhibit Hall

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Lots to see! ~

Brant Guillory, 21 June 2016

The exhibit hall is hardly just for wargames, but gamers of all types will find plenty to play there.

The best advice we can give folks about the exhibit hall?  Find 5 games you’ve never even heard of, and ask the booth crew to show them to you.  They live for showing off their games, and while you might not find something that’s you’re perfect game, you might find find the right one to recommend to a friend somewhere down the line.

photos by Corinne Mahaffey, click to enlarge

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Origins! Iello Games

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The gang from Heroes of Normandie are back for more ~

Corinne Mahaffey, 21 June 2016

What is your new game?
Sea of Clouds is a challenging strategy game fighting as air pirates.  You amass points through set collecting and uses a Winston Draft as a mechanic.

What is your favorite game?
Am I allowed to confess to Fun Farm?  It is a game of quick visual deduction and snatch and grab.  A great kids game and a great drinking game. (ed note: please don’t get the kids to drinking when they play!)

What is your favorite mechanic?
In Medieval Academy you start with a hand of cards, of which you pick one and pass it along.  The challenge is to play cards to seven boards to advance.  If you reveal your priorities too early, the other players can sabotage you.

If you like ____, you will like _____.
If you like Yahtzee, then you should move up to King of Tokyo.

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Origins! Lock ‘n Load Publishing

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What’s Dave got on the tables this year? ~

Heath - IMG_6867Corinne Mahaffey, 21 June 2016

We had a chat with David Heath of LNLP at Origins

What is your new game?
Hollow Cell is our new science fiction squad game.  The kids are loving it. (ed note: seriously, we couldn’t drag the teens away from the table on this one)

Of the games you sell, which one is your favorite?
Lock and Load Tactical.  We have lots of different fronts and theaters, and since they have the same underlying system, you are not learning new rules every time.

What is your favorite mechanic?
No specific tactic, but I like games that come down to the last turn.  The game is not as fun if I know by turn five of ten that I have no hope of winning.

If you like ____, you will like our game _____
If you like Advanced Squad Leader, you will like Lock and Load Tactical.


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Origins! Last Day Wrap-up

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What do you do when it’s all been done? ~

Corinne Mahaffey, 20 June 2016

Sunday is a weird day at Origins.  The high points of Friday and Saturday are over, and it’s a thinner crowd.  Some people are intent on finding a possible last minute deal in the Dealer’s Room, others are squeezing out the last possible bit of gaming time.  And many people are trickling off homewards.

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Origins! Lost Battalion Games

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LBG - IMG_7219Origins Awards Winners! ~

Corinne Mahaffey, 19 June 2016

Lost Battalion Games won an Origins Award for Best Game Accessory for their A Place 2 Play map system.

What is your new game?
Hell on Wheels is an expansion to Sergeants! and plays with both D-Day and the minis.  Hell on Wheels allows a person to drive a tank from the viewpoint of the crew, like the fury movie.

What is your personal favorite game?
Battlegroup is a carrier naval game as a card game that plays better than anything I’ve ever played.  I thoroughly enjoyed designing it with my mentor, S. Craig Taylor Jr.

What is your favorite mechanic?
The story system in Sergeants! changes the turn sequence dynamically, inserting random events without requiring the GM to determine what will happen.

If you  like ____, you will like Sergeants!.
If you like Up Front, you will like Sergeants because it is a man to man patrol level game.

 


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