Tag Archives: Conventions

Winterfest: Wargaming’s Mini-Mecca

Pull out of the winter doldrums with a heavy dose of hex-and-counter happiness ~

Gary Mengle, 28 February 2018

A small gathering of wargamers has met in Sandusky, Ohio for the last 21 years. While the Cedar Point amusment park sits frozen just up the road and Sandusky sleeps through its winters, the February weather is ideal for wargaming. The centerpiece is a small handful of monster wargames, with smaller titles played on the side and a variety of pickup games in the evenings, or throughout the day as folks shake loose from their bigger games.

This year the featured monsters were a playtest of OCS Third Winter and a combined La Battaille game of Ligny and Quatre Bras. The venerable Stonewall Jackson’s Way was also played throughout the event, as well as twin games of Axis Empires: Totaler Krieg. Smaller but nevertheless multi-day games included TCS Omaha, OCS Sicily: Triumph & Tragedy, OCS Tunisia II and a double-blind game of Flat Top. Short-format actions included Amateurs to Arms, The Napoleonic Wars, Close Action and Star Fleet Battles. It would be impossible to categorize the sole miniatures game of Teutoburger Wald as “small” but it only took a few hours in each of two playthroughs.

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As you can see from the above list, titles from The Gamers and Multi-Man Publishing were very well-represented, but stuff from GMT, Avalon Hill, Clash of Arms and even ADB got busted out and played. Plans for next year’s games are already afoot. This was my first year in attendance – it won’t be the last. As one of the new guys I was made to feel very welcome, and there was always something available that I wanted to play. Even with an event-long attendance of less than 30, Winterfest is a great little event that you should take a look at if you’re in or near the Midwest or can’t make the annual pilgrimage to Tempe.

More Info:
Winterfest Wargaming
Ardwulf’s Lair


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2018 Convention Calendar

Your local convention…  and plenty of national ones! ~

GrogHeads Staff, 23 January 2018

Obviously, we pimp Origins pretty hard because that’s the one where we have our “official” presence.  But there’s plenty of gaming all over the country (and Europe!) that you can check out if Origins isn’t in your schedule or budget.

If we missed your local one let us know (links / feedback at the bottom) and we’ll try to remember for next year.

Game On!
8-11 Feb, Seattle, WA
An ASL tournament, along with the Hank Award and all sorts of hex-and-counter goodness.

Williamsburg Muster
16-18 Feb, Williamsburg, VA
A new date this year, but the same wargaming fun.  There’s also an additional boardgame area run by TAGS that includes all sorts of non-wargames.  This annual wargaming convention is hosted by the Hampton Roads Wargamers.

Playthrough
17-18 Feb, Raleigh, NC
A newer convention, but growing like crazy.  A mixture of digital and tabletop games, with previous exhibitors including folks like Epic Games.  A big free-to-play area of classic consoles complements another large area of open tabletop gaming.

MACE 2017 Convention Report

Our intrepid conventioneer checks out another of the South’s excellent game expos ~

Avery Abernethy, 15 November 2017

MACE (Mid-Atlantic Convention Expo) was held for the 21st time in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 10-12, 2017. I had a great time. There are a number of MACE events annually in North Carolina with MACE being the largest.

MACE is a gaming convention. There is no costume contest, concert, film show or game shows. MACE is about gaming. Except for two live action role playing games (limited to a single room) and three game panels, everything was RPGs, Board Games, Miniature Games or Tabletop Games.

There was a lot of gaming going own. There were a total of 174 RPG sessions, 121 Board/Table Top Games, 101 Card or Deck building games and 22 miniature games. This does not include the “play to win” games, pick-up games from the game library, demos, or spontaneous games started by attendees.

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Arms & Ambition – Playtest Report

GrogHeads had a chance to check out a pre-release playtest of the new Arms & Ambition boardgame ~

Chris Caran, 15 November 2017

This weekend while attending the MACE convention in Charlotte, I had an opportunity to sit down with Brad Warren and play his new wargame, Arms and Ambition. The game is in development, but very polished so far – a beautiful vinyl mat, 3D printed pieces, and professionally printed cards. Only the rules and documentation are still in developmental mode.

In the game, you play one of eight noble families vying for the throne after the ruling dynasty collapses. Each family has starting territory and “family ambitions” – victory conditions specific to the player. The overall goal is to gain 100 victory points and declare yourself the new king. You have starting units and each territory you own (represented by a card) has an income value.

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Convention Report – Spiel 2017

What did you miss in Essen this year? A special report for GrogHeads.com ~

Eddy Sterckx and photos by Ann Therie, 4 November 2017

Spiel is a boardgame convention held every year in Essen, Germany. There are 2 things you need to know about it :

  1. It’s big – really big – over a thousand new boardgames got premiered there this year
  2. It’s not a boardgame convention in the US sense of the word : people don’t go there to play games 24/7, they go there to get a demo and buy games – it’s more akin to a very large gamestore with a huge inventory and plenty of staff than anything else.

A tiny subset of the games getting presented there are wargames – or close enough – what follows is an overview of what managed to get my attention.

Phalanx Games

This Polish publisher managed to get the rights for doing the 20th anniversary edition of the famous Hannibal : Rome vs Carthage. It got overwhelming KickStarter support and was supposed to be delivered there, but got a bit delayed – they did have the final production version there though.

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