04 March 2018

Gnomecon 2018 - Friday and Saturday [post 700]

Gnomecon 2018 has been a blast. I hung out there Friday and Saturday playing lots of games. I think I'll stay home today - I'm beat after a marathon day of gaming yesterday.

Friday afternoon I took my new roller derby-inspired game Rink Racers down for a public demonstration. It was well-received and created good interest. I couldn't be happier with the outcome.
My son Cameron (in blue and orange) and his buddy Wyatt playing RR.

I also got to take in a demo game of Rumbleslam, a fantasy Pro-Wrestling miniatures game. It's interesting for sure. It would seem to be what amounts to a small-scale skirmish with no terrain. If there had been any starter sets available, I probably would have picked one up. Two days removed from playing it, I might hold off. The minis are great.

Saturday morning I headed up bright and early and set up Wings of Glory WW2.

David took control of the Japanese interceptors while I drove the B-25 and Mike ran my escort P-51. It was a simple bombing run scenario, and we'd recycle casualties until we were tired.

So, during run 1, David got me locked up caused massive damage to the bomber early on.

A few shots later and she was done. Japanese get on the scoreboard big time early! We did manage to knock out one of the interceptors, although it recycled...

We had been joined by a couple other players when Mike had to dip to manage his game of Ogre. The Santa Claus-looking fellow took over running the Mustang, while the guy next to him piloted one of the two Ki-84s. You can see that my second bomber is making nice progress up the battlefield.

Ol' Mustang Sally gets a great angle on the Jap plane and shreds it!

David and I trade shots, but I'm so close to the drop zone!

A move or two later and it's BOMBS AWAY! Scratch one yakatori stand. Two bomb runs, one Japanese victory and one US victory. Good times.

Next on the slate was the Second Annual Gnomecon Rubber and Lead Grand Prix brought to you by The Great Wall Chinese Restaurant.

Crowd response to R&L was equal to last year. I got a great location and loads of walk-by traffic.
Race one is underway. That's the 2017 champ, Mark on the right with the Gnomecon V shirt.

And two laps later, our first winner is John, driving the Greased Lightning!

It was on to race 2, a particularly violent affair.

 Milkrun ends up behind a destroyed Coppertop.

And plows through in fourth gear! See how far Coppertop has been pushed and the wicked position that it ends up in.

And our race 2 winner, Jennifer, driving the H8 Team. There's nothing wrong with lurking, and letting everyone else destroy themselves.

Game 3 got started. My son Cameron got in on the nuttiness driving the Lamborghini, Raging Bull which will be renamed to Lambo Calrissian.

In a first of it's kind situation, The Green Machine smashes into Jack O Lantern and spins it 180 degrees! He's headed the wrong way! Coppertop and Lambo are inbound and The Green Machine has looks like he's in the clear with no one close.

But tragedy strikes as The Green Machine comes in a bit hot into the last corner! He catches the wall at a steep angle and is destroyed! So Close!

The Jack crosses the line first, with Cameron's Lambo in second. A hell of a comeback from being reversed on the track!

And the driver, I think his name was Don.

Heat 4 featured James versus the pack of kids. The kids were wonderfully violet and killed each other in no time. James, in Ol' Yeller, coasted past the wreck of Jack O Lantern for the victory.

On to the finals..

We switched to the higher difficulty "track 2.0" and in no time at all, John in The Silver Bullet cement truck shoved two opponents onto the dirt section.

And once they were back together, The Silver Bullet kept up the battering ram behavior!

The fury didn't slow down as Watch Your Head got in on the pushing and shoving. Both Pickemup and the Bullet lubed the track. Excellent!

James and the convertible got into the co-lead, James was again forced onto the dirt section but deftly avoided the mines he'd left earlier.

In the end, James' Flatbed was the fastest and most durable vehicle of destruction.Congratulations James on a race well run!

The final four.

No rest for the over-committed Game Master! It was 7:30 and SFB was set for 8:00PM. Mike made the call to push it back to 8:30 so we had a bit of a breather and time to get the table set up.

The scenario was a convention favorite of ours. We used Cadet ships (16 impulses) and essentially ignored EA but limited what ships can do. Eight asteroid clusters were set up and at the center of each was set a token. One of the tokens is a MacGuffin that everyone is after.  A shuttle or ship can search for the MacGuffin if it ends its movement for the turn in that hex. Once the MacGuffin is found, it is picked up and taken off the map. If the carrying ship is destroyed, the MacGuffin stays in the hex until something else picks it up.

Ships were randomly assigned to the seven players. Mark for the WYN Aux Cruiser, David got a WYN Sand Shark, Mike drew the Fed CA, Al got a Gorn CA, I drew a Hydran Hellbore cruiser, Gabby drove a Rom KR and James got a Kzinti cruiser.

The rogues gallery, plotting and scheming.

My Hydran was cleverly disguised as a Tholian.

At the end of turn one, only one search was made by the Gorn and the device not found.

On turn two, James' Kzinti got crunched. Let's take a look.
Gabby had launched a Plasma S earlier and it chased the Kzinti. James' ship took light to moderate damage.

At the end of turn two, ALL asteroid fields were checked, bar one. The one not checked was indeed the MacGuffin! Out of eight cards, the Joker was the one not pulled. We all knew where the treasure was now - Gabby and I were closest to it. The race was on.

She plotted 4, and I, 6. We'd both end up in the target hex at the same time. I made the conscious decision to hold my fire until I was at range "0" seeing as though that's what Hydrans are best at.


32 internals later. The resulting explosion tore down my front shield. No bother.

So I was now at decision time. My ship was 15 hexes from the edge but I was balls-deep in an asteroid field. I checked the asteroid collision chart (P3.2)
The choice was obvious. My competitors were all facing the wrong way to give chase. I announced that I would move speed 16 on turn 4. My ship was in good enough condition to weather a severe asteroid strike.

Impulse 1. I move.The table watches as I roll a die.

Yeah. pretty well saw that coming. I shrieked and the rest of the table erupted in laughter. Fifteen internals.

Impulse 2. I move my second hex through the rocks. The table goes silent.

Yeah. pretty well saw that coming. I shrieked and the rest of the table erupted in laughter. Fifteen internals.

My ship was destroyed. Ah well... it was a bold plan! Anything other than boxcars and I'd have been OK.

I had left the item at the edge of the ship graveyard but had a shuttle nearby. I decided to eff with the table and send him in. Al (the Gorn) goofed a move and I again got the MacGuffin! Huzzah!

I kept playing keep away. The Gorn had re-loaded his torps and added a third hull to the graveyard. Kzintis out!

A Starfleet selfie.

The Gorn got hammered by the Feds and WYN and headed off the map. David sneakily arranged a pickup of his shuttle that had gotten its mechanical hands on the treasure. The blue and silver ship now had to make a run for it!

Though James and Mike gave it all they could, luck was on David's side and he managed to avoid their worst, took hits on still functioning shields and really just "making it happen." A win for the WYN. Congrats David on a very hard-fought victory.

That game ended at 1:00AM. It had been a four-hour affair and absolutely fantastic. We all had enjoyed it tremendously.

2018 was a great Gnomecon experience. Looking forward to the next one.


  1. Thanks for the report! Looks like a ton of fun. Too bad about that asteroid field.

    1. Asteroids... now they've killed my ships in X-Wing, Firestorm Armada and Star Fleet Battles. They're a menace!

  2. Diversified and beautiful looking games, thanks for sharing!

  3. That's a lot of games to run; looks like they all went over well, which makes it all worthwhile.