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Tag Archives: Miniatures 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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Origins – Proving Ground Games

The award-winning minis heroes are back at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 16 June 2017

Gigantaur (don’t call him Godzilla!) in the front, and Heather & Mark Brown of PGG on the left, in the background.

Even with a brisk demo schedule and booth sales exponentially better than last year, Proving Ground Games’ Heather Brown gave me a few minutes to chat.

New this year is Crucible of Force, which brings PGG’s Fields of Fire engine to World War II. It’s available for purchase now. Hive, Queen and Country will be seeing Kickstarter orders filled soon, with a full release by end of 2017. This includes materials for RPG, miniatures and a supplement for vehicles. Coming soon via WargameVault, the demo scenarios run at Origins will be released in packs for Fields of Fire and Crucible of War in PDF format.

Proving Ground prides itself on games that are easy to learn, are well-researched, and provide an enjoyable gaming experience for all players. The rules are tested against extensive “rules lawyering” as a way for their system to be an entry to historical miniatures gaming.

Heather said that Proving Ground is pleased with the 2017 convention so far. The perception is that attendance is up, people are smiling and happy and buying, and that con staff were ensuring things were running more smoothly than in years previous. She was critical, however, of the mix of available events, citing a lack of diversity in LARPS and a general lack of historical miniatures. While there are more sessions, there are many repeats, versus original events.

The best part of the convention, though, “Someone brought me a pie!” (It was chocolate, walnut and bourbon, and it came all the way from New Mexico.)

Ed note: Proving Ground’s Movie Monster Madness variant for their Fields of Fire rules was part of our kids’ program this year. 

 


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A Look at the Nexus Game Fair

If you’re a large plains-roaming land mammal, or a driving cat, and you just can’t make Origins, there’s always the local convention  ~

Jim Owczarski, 31 May 2017

Milwaukee has missed GenCon since the day it changed lodgings in 2003.  I know.  I’m from here.  The mass of local gamers that were left behind have created other events and some have seen remarkable success, but none have approached the grand madness that is the mother of all American gaming conventions.

Still, I love the convention experience and was looking forward to checking out the Nexus Game Fair when it rolled into town late last week.  Most importantly, I was wondering if there would be anything at all for a grognard to do.  What follows are a few thoughts and a fair number of photographs documenting the experience of Friday and Saturday.

Hosted primarily at the downtown Hyatt, evident on the Milwaukee skyline by the spaceship-like restaurant perched at the top, Nexus seems to have kept its ambitions modest.  Attendance ran to the hundreds rather than thousands and there was rarely a press of crowds despite the smallish space.  It was, however, a professionally-organized operation with a well-designed program and a strong staff of workers managing registration.

Two beautiful days and I’m going indoors to play with little soldier men. (That’s the new Bucks’ arena going up.)

A Look Back at System 7 Napoleonics & Dragon Magazine

A stroll down memory lane to the days when wargaming and RPGs more comfortably co-existed ~

Jim Owczarski, 13 May 2017

I would have thought that after all these years the editors around this joint would have taken a liking to me.  I mean, come on, I’ve written reviews, previews, interviews, and even a travel journal or two, and have yet to get them sued for libel.  This is no small matter in our litigious day and age.

So why, then, does one of them torment me with this:

GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #97

GARPA! ~

GrogHeads Staff, 30 September 2016

The Russian Campaign, Designer’s Edition (GMT Games / Consim Press)
p500 $42 / MSRP $60

The Russian Campaign is an oft-revered game frequently mentioned among the ‘gold standards’ of classic wargaming.  It’s also been been mentioned with sputtered mutterings that vaguely sounds like “it costs how much?!?!”  Well, here’s your chance to get your hands on your own new, updated, corners-waiting-to-be-clipped copy of the classic.  You get 5 scenarios, counters with both NATO and icon artwork, full color rules & players aids, and 30 years of refinements and improvements to the rules, examples of play, game balance.  Blitz your way over to the p500 page to get your money down.

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GrogHeads Interviews Terry Sofian of Hive, Queen and Country

We connected at Origins, and continued the electronic conversation afterwards ~

Corinne Mahaffey, 30 July 2016

I sat down for an email interview with Terry Sofian, the creator of Hive, Queen and Country, a steampunk world where the European powers are, with the help of the mineral aerolith, extending their imperial reach to the rest of the solar system. They recently ran a 3 day game at Origins wherein a hive in Brazil was besieged by American and British forces.

 

What are your games and world about? 

Our games are about telling stories in an altered Victorian era, one in which the already stunning challenges of exploring frontiers on six continents, the seas and the polar ice cap, making scientific discoveries that fashioned the world in which we live today and developing amazing new technologies, are compounded with air and space travel and explorations both in deep space but also on several worlds within our solar system. The stories can be about fighting hordes of angry alien bugs. They could be about building a city on Venus. Perhaps they are about solving murder mysteries on any of a number of worlds.

The Hive, Queen and Country Universe was started as a sandbox in which a bunch of folks could get together to and discuss ideas set in such an altered time line. We designed the Universe to be a place where gamers, writers, artists, model builders and any other creative types could build “sand castles”. The games and world are designed to provide a framework for people to work within.

HQC in action at Origins

HQC in action at Origins

A Place 2 Play tiles – First Look!

The Origins Award-winning accessory hits the table floor ~

Brant Guillory, 09 July 2016

What do the new geomorphic hex tiles look like in action?

click images to enlarge

We’re using some Mage Knight figures just for perspective.

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This is a mix of meadows, paths, large trees, hedgerows, and edges.

The verdict?  Very cool and very easy to physically put together, but don’t do it on carpet (just like any other puzzle).

The challenge can be finding roads, hedgerows, and paths that link together well to actually move in the direction you want, or create the intersections you need.  Some of the graphics on the pieces don’t fit together quite as geomorphic ally as some wargamers will be used to.

Overall, if you’re going to set up a big terrain table for a larger battle, and have the time to put it all together, these are a great accessory.  If you’re going to try to change the map on the fly as you move from encounter to encounter in an RPG, you will want to spend some prep time making sure you have all the tiles you need and that you know how you want them all to fit together.


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GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #93

After a short hiatus, GARPA is back! ~

GrogHeads Staff, 20 May 2016

Polyversal Miniatures Game (Collins Epic Games)
$24k of $30k, ends 9 June 2016

We let Byron chime in on this one in an earlier interview.  After scaling back from an overly-ambitious earlier Kickstarter campaign, Polyversal has relaunched with a leaner, meaner, and slimmer campaign that’s focused on the game and the minis, and less on the terrain.  You still get the same great 6mm minis game with an innovative command system that visually represents command relationships with the layout of the unit cards.  Oh yeah, some of the minis are just wicked cool.  Rumble over to the campaign page at Kickstarter and see what you find!

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