Monday, March 30, 2015

Vancouver Salute 2015

The local game convention(perhaps THE local game convention) 'Trumpeter Salute" happened this last weekend. There was a bit of a scramble to find extra hosts for games (as the numbers were down a month or so ago), so Bryan and I decided to host a game of axles and alloys. Borrowing some of Cameron's gear, we proceeded to add more cars, add game play assists (white board, rules QRS, a spinner for direction when you lost control, a stack of pre generated car rosters) and some terrain.

We hosted saturday night, and managed to get 8 of our 12 spots filled. Based on Doug's report from Salute (HERE) most games were struggling to get enough players, so I think we did quite well. The players seemed to have a blast, it appeared that many of them were friends to good natured razzing and grudge kills were the order of the day.

We had a rolling entry, so if you died, you grabbed another car and rolled in off the edge of the board the next turn. Points were given for kills (2 points, and steal half of the dead players points), and deaths and kills were tracked. We ran through about 20 cars in just over 2 hours before everyone petered out from a long day of gaming. Everyone was pretty happy to get out a bit early, as some people had been going since Friday night, and others had a long game session to host on Sunday.

Early morning game - GdC
Earlier in the day I managed to get in a game of Doug's General du Corp (his long developed convention rule set).

I somehow ended up in the role of Napoleon and Drout commanding the reserve, while doing my best to teach and advise my two new player subordinates.

The right flank was handily maneuvered and made a solid attack on the British-Belgian line. As the corp finally cracked and fell back my guard moved into the hole. 

The prussians chose to show up at that point (Too early dammit!) and it was a questionable decision to continue to attack.....but it'd be a shame to withdraw early. With Milhauds cavalry corp buying time on that flank, the guard went in, and with some atrocious rolls, they bounced off the charging british heavy horse. It was obvious the day was not ours, and the retreat began. Just in time too, because my tardy generalship was needed in another theatre.....

Midday Game - Sword and the Flame.
With the Something Quiet on the Martian Front game AWOL, I went with my second pick to try the sword and the flame. The 1st world powers had a military column cut off in the heartland of China. As they fight their way back to the rail line, they are heavily pressed by hordes of boxers, and eventually some national chinese regulars.

We started in a corner, and needed to march to the red railway station in the distance. The chinese all started hidden.
 Here we see my Belgian cavalry moving up to help slow down the national chinese forces that appeared on our flank.

Activation was by card flipping (red european/black chinese). Movement was by dice rolling, with changes based on formation. Firing is resolved against different formations and types of troops, by rolling d20s. Firing also is random order by card flips. It works fairly well.....but it's probably just not fast enough for a convention game. 

The Chinese players did a great job and accosted us from the beginning, making it incredibly difficult to manage the traffic in the corner as we deployed. Despite handily killing 4 units of boxers, our advance was sufficiently slow it was unlikely we would have made it in the end. Chinese cannon were just beginning to have angles on us as well.

These fellows to the right were barricading themselves on our line of advance as well. I thought the boxer units were particularly well done with the colour and mix of melee weapons and occasional rifles.


  1. Very nice pics of some cool looking games!

    That last one in particular looked fun.

    1. It was pretty interesting to where we got. I think it would have been quite fun to play out. Unfortunately the 3 hour block wasn't enough time, by a fair margin, to get to a satisfactory point. The middle of the day block gets pinched a bit by late running games int he morning, and the need for people to run and grab lunch.

  2. Nice write-up, and you guys did an excellent job of hosting A&A, which was a blast as always.

    I didn't see any evidence of a light turn-out, but I was locked away up in the corner of the stage for the first two sessions of Saturday, so my perspective is a bit narrow.

    1. It didn't LOOK especially light, but I do remember 2 years ago when it was hard to get into almost any game I wanted to play. Considering they were saying the number of games this year was down, I wouldn't be surprised if actual people numbers were low.

  3. Nice looking games and beautiful pictures!

    1. Thanks Phil! I'm using my camera phone, but it mostly turns about quite usable pictures. It was a fine day for gaming.