Saturday, March 30, 2019

Aloha from Hawaii

Janine's special drink, that she calls a Hawaiian Sunset. Photograph by Janine.

  If I 've been strangely quiet it is because I have been on vacation.  Janine and I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and this was the year we made it happen.  Two weeks off, coordinating flights (a must if you travel stand by) and setting up time shares.  Spent a week in Maui and a week in Oahu.  A beautiful tropical paradise.

Relaxing after swimming with the sea turtles. Photograph by Janine.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cold Wars 2019: wrap up

  Not much to report on Sunday morning.  Due to the long ride back to New England we were up and on the road by 9:39.  Going over my pictures here were a couple other games that drew my attention.

A WW1 game.  Outstanding terrain.  Note the crashed aircraft.  Someone is having a bad day!

A beautiful sailing ship game.

The Battle of Isandlwana.  Amazing terrain!  Looks like the poor company of infantry is about to get overwhelmed.  Outstanding depiction of the action here.

From another Zulu vs British game.  We were talking to the game master who was a most excellent fellow.  I really liked how he mounted his Zulu.  An irregular shaped base with the figures fitting into it.  Easy to move, looks like irregular formation and easy casualty removal.  I think I will use this for my Riflemen and skirmishers in my Rev War and War of 1812 games.  Brilliant!

Another beautiful American Revolution game.

So another Cold Wars done.  As always I enjoyed myself.  Beautiful games, friendly gamers and a very nice location.  I feel the Host is improving greatly and on the right track.  I had heard that HMGS will be signing a three year contract to hold games there.  If so that is good.  I understand that some people had issues with parking and food.  I experienced neither of these issues.  Once parked the car stayed there.  As far as food there were plenty of places within a short walking distance.  I tend to have a good breakfast and then a early dinner and I am done.  I really liked the Starbucks and the two friendly people who worked it for very long hours each day.

looking forward to next year!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cold Wars 2019: saturday

The Cold Wars dealers area on Saturday.  There were a couple of long time exhibitors not attending this year (Eureka miniatures USA and Baggage train).  But a couple new I had not heard of .  Impudent Mortals has outstanding MDF buildings at very reasonable prices.  Perfect for North American.  They have outstanding instructions on how to put them together through their web sites.  Highly recommended as Hal would say.  Here is a link to his site:

An interesting American Civil War Game.  Looked like Brother vs Brother type game.  But I liked the nice house in the center.  I liked it so much I found the Charlie FoxTrot both and bought one!

Very interesting terrain for a Napoleonic battle.  Showed what you could do with very tiny miniatures.  I believe these were 10mm.

A very clever Wings of Glory game with Zeppelins!  Looked like a great game and everyone was laughing and having fun.  Outstanding!  The airships were models of the USS Akron and Macon suitably altered.  The grandmaster was great fun to talk with and very enthusiastic.

Very clever game with outstanding terrain.  Here the Union army could capture and destroy the CSA Tennessee.  Outstanding iron  clad ship models. Again a fun game where players and host looked like they were having great fun.

One of my favorite looking games .  Howard Whitehouse ran this toy soldier game.  The figures looked like they   came  out of those comic book adds we all saw in our youth.  Great old school terrain .I think the Rules used were his Gentleman at war rules.  I want to try this out!

One event I attended in Friday and Saturday were talks by Frank Chadwick and Glenn Kidd about game design.  These were incredibly interesting talks in his to write rules and how to translate your research into playable rules.  Both men were super knowledgeable.  A nugget I got from this was so not let the small details of research take over your game.  What level of game do you want?  Again, both men were outstanding.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Cold Wars 2019: Friday

  On Friday we got up early, had breakfast and wandered about the gaming areas.  I found the rooms very well lighted and bright. In the past you could not always enjoy a game because you felt you were in a cave.  Not now.  Some rooms, and the dealers area were warm  but that was more so to the high temperatures outside and the A.C. not yet turned on.

 There were a lot of great looking games.  I have come away with interesting ideas for terrain and troop basing.  Plus it is always great to get new ideas of how to do things.  There were three games that stood out to me, and were in the time periods I am interested in.

The Battle of Craney Island.  A War of 1812 action in 25mm.  Rules used were Carnage and Glory.  This action saw a naval landing by the British on the U.S. Naval base at Portsmouth through the back door at Craney Island.  British Marines and sailors, landing barges and mixed American forces  what is not to love here!  Looks like a great scenario and a fun game.

A Cow! A Cow! My Kingdom for a Cow!
A 25mm American Revolution game using the rules Sharp Practice.  British foraging expedition in the South 1781.  What a brilliant table.  I greatly admired this person's game last year for his attention to details.  Great terrain with lots of fun things mixed in.  Farm animals and civilians and more.  After seeing his game last year I worked to improve my terrain.  This year I learned more and will adding more fun items.  I love his morale and casualties  markers and plan to add these to my armies soon.  Outstanding!  And a fun game.  Everyone looked to be having a great time.

Long, Obstinate and Bloody:  Guilford Courthouse 1781.  15mm, British Grenadier rules.

What can I say! This has to be  the ultimate Guilford Courthouse game.  During my time with the National Park Service I had been detailed to Guilford Courthouse for special events.  So I  am familiar with the ground.  As I was walking across the gaming area toward this game I knew instantly  what this game was.  The ground, the trees and the everything were spot on.  Just brilliant.  In many ways it was superior to most dioramas I have seen. The troop positions looked great.  Little details like the 2nd Maryland in Brown coats faced red were correct.  He just got so much right.  I plan on going back on Saturday to get more pictures.

Cold Wars 2019: The Host

Arrived at the Host in Lancaster Pennsylvania Thursday afternoon.  There had been a lot of talk about the renovation and work going on there and I was curious to see for myself how it compared to last year.  Here was the entry way.  Still under work.  We had no problem parking and went I to register for the convention and our rooms.

I pre registered and it was easy peasy.  Scanned my bar code, got my bag of swag and I was done.  My friend George did not pre register and so he took a bit longer.  Here is the registration tables.

Inside the Host I was not prepared for the changes. They have done a lot of work.  And it showed!  Here is the bar.  A very pleasant waiting area is near here.  Nice chairs and couches.  The Starbucks was very good with friendly and helpful staff and a good cup of coffee.  The registration desk to check in was handling the wireless being down well and we got checked into our room.  Which was very clean and comfortable.  All in all a very good first impression.

The renovations are not done and there are signs of work everywhere.  Like here you have the old and the new mixed.  But I was very happy with what was done and the improvements have already made the Host a much better place.