|Wonderfully painted, eh? But look at the d4...|
|Yes, these are normal d4s; the figures are 54mm tall...|
|Overview of this game - I was astounded!!!|
|The table next to ours - WWI air combat|
|The game I played in; I am in Hermione, the green ship|
The week did not go well, at first; I had a particularly nasty flare-up of my gout. I woke up in very acute pain at five am on Wednesday, and had to crawl down the stairs on my hands and knees to the medicine chest. I had to take a day off, and spent the whole time feeling really sorry for myself. The misery was relieved somewhat by an invitation from a gent I know, to play in a naval game on Saturday. I really didn't know if I would, but the very persuasive personalty of Dave Wesely (yes, that Dave Wesely!) got me back on my feet and feeling better. Between the powerful medications and the ortho boot, I was able to get there and play.
This event is the Minnesota Miniature Gamers' Society quarterly meeting - a sort of micro-convention, if you will. There were all sorts of games on offer, from WWI aircraft through modern armor to an absolutely astounding French and Indian Wars game done in a dense forest. In 54mm. It was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. Judge for yourself, of course...
I had a great game. I'd never played these rules ("Close Action") before, so Major Wesely and one of my old gaming friends from the Conflict Simulation Society took the bulk of the ships and I got a nice 32-gun frigate. Our mission was to get a captured French ship back, and hopefully prevent the British ship from getting away. The setting was the approaches to Boston harbor, during the American Revolution, and we had the wind against us.
It was one of the very best games I've ever played in. My fellow players got stuck right into each other, each capturing his opponent, and I used my nimble ship to keep the channel blocked and to dart in and out of the British guns' range to keep hitting them where it hurt and not get hurt myself. At one point, the referee was pretty impressed by my ship handling, and asked me "Are you sure you've never played these rules?" Nope, never had; but I had Dave Arneson as my teacher on how to handle ships during the Age of Sail.
The GM also pointed out that I could have gotten more into fighting range, but the good Major interrupted him and pointed out that as far as the Royal Navy was concerned, I'd won the game for the French; while everybody else was pretty badly battered, I was still in very good shape, I had the weather gauge, and was still blocking the channel to the sea. He pointed out that while he was sure he'd lose his prize, he was not going to get his ship away to the open sea without a fight, and was probably going to have to suffer the agony of surrendering his 50-gun line of battle ship to a light 32-gun frigate.
It was wonderful; I felt like I had gone back in time to those Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons in Coffman Union back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Lots of fun, a great game, and lots of laughs as we rolled the dice.
Afterwards was even better; I gave my commander a ride, and got invited in for a sandwich and a cool glass of ice water. I spent the next six hours telling stories about those far-off days. I was in heaven, and my foot didn't give me any serious trouble the whole time.
It was all right up there with the day I married the Missus...