Gracie–having a rare quiet moment.
Greetings, dear reader.  Before I proceed with the subject of this post, I thought I’d mention that a new addition to the household, Gracie, a four month old puppy, has consumed much time and attention (and required much monitoring).  This, plus a few other bits of life business, have displaced time and energy available for blogging, although I have managed to continue lurking on other blogs (which I have continued to enjoy following,  even if my commenting has been light lately).  The good news is that there has been hobby activity, so there is a backlog of things to report upon–once things settle down into a more „mature“ routine. So much for the real world. On to the convention report.
I recently attended a new small regional convention, Mayhem, that was run in Lebanon, New Hampshire April 21-23.  It was both well run and extremely well attended–in short, a success.  Plans for Mayhem ’24 have been been announced and received with enthusiasm.  The convention successfully brought together a range gamers, from „alt“ to historical, with an emphasis on miniatures, and had something for everyone (and in sufficient amounts to satisfy all). 
The Granite Mountain Ballroom during the first gaming session Friday afternoon, April 21. This was the space where most games were held.

The registration was speedy, offering merchandise as well as badging (above left). Registering for games was done online.  There was complimentary coffee service (above right) on Saturday–just the thing given that the first gaming session kicked off at 0800. 

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The scene on Saturday at mid-day.  134 games were on the schedule and there were 250 gamers in attendance. Here in the US, convention games are all of the participation variety.  

Although hardly a Wargames Development Conference of Wargames counterpart, I was struck by the percentage of the games that were innovative modifications of other sets or „home brew“ designs.  Here are a few that I noted. Apologies in advance: I didn’t embark on a comprehensive logging of games, so what follows in general will be a smattering of what I captured and what I can recall. As usual, you may clix pix for BIG PIX in this report…

Above Left: A miniatures version of the GMT Manoevre game. Above Right: Napoleonic Domination, a home brew strategic game. 

This science fiction game using modular cubes for ships (or vehicles?) and a movement system similar to X-wing or other air games. 

A game called „Arena Battles“ that used a variety of 4″ toy soldiers, ranging from warriors to monsters, pitting them against each other gladiator-fashion. Given that I brought my toy knights to this con, I felt an affinity for their efforts (and we had a nice chat tableside at my game on Saturday evening). 

Far from a „graying of the hobby“ scene, this convention crowd. 

As I have mentioned, it was an inclusive atmosphere, with a range of games,  many of them being very well presented. Here are a few shots–I didn’t focus on recording and reporting while there, so understand that there were many, many more games than I captured images of (sorry, no specifics on these).

I must draw attention to one game in particular….

…a very smart-looking Bloody Big Battles Franco-Prussian War game…

…where they were using the player references that I had produced.  I was standing bye quietly as the game master was going through his explanation of the rules until I opened my big mouth to contribute to a point being made on movement. At which point all eyes turned towards me, not without a tinge of annoyance at the intrusion. To cover for my breach of etiquette, I mentioned that I was the perpetrator of the player reference sheets they had in hand–and couldn’t help myself–which led to a fun moment of recognition as they connected my name tag and the „Ed M“ on the reference sheets. I was offered a seat at the game, but had to start preparing to run my own game later, so beat a graceful retreat and left them in peace.  

Speaking of running games, my fellow club members were well represented among the game masters…

…Phil (standing in the blue vest) ran his Jericho Mills Fire and Fury game

…Michael B ran a Cruel Seas in the Med game…

…Robert (standing at the far end of the table), ran his 8-player Bautzen Napoleonic game twice (using another home grown set of rules, I should add–which have been extensively playtested and proofed by the grognards and die hards in our club)…

…and your humble correspondent debuted his Joust for the Fun of It game using the recently completed teams of big knights (and associated supporting bits). There will be more on the completion of this project in a later post. 

To round out this report, I will add another chapter in the ongoing saga of Hats and the Gamers Who Love Them

The Trilby: the size of a derby but more Sinatra than Stan Laurel. 

Pith helmet and goggles: a touch of adventure with a minion vibe.

The jaunty blue beret; worn with just the right touch of insouciance.
The dew rag: not just for bad hair days any more.
Pikachu: elevating the baseball cap from the mundane to the picaresque.
Well, that concludes this tour of recent events ‚round here. If not enjoyment, I hope it has at least provided a bit of distraction.

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Autor: Ed M / Ed M’s Wargames Meanderings

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