Monday, February 25, 2013

GZG ECC 16 - An Overview Wrap By Indy

Well, yet another ECC has come and gone. Lots of people showed
up, lots of games were hosted, lots of prizes given out, and lots of
people had fun.

After the long 5-hour drive up (missing the weather channel-
warned storm in the mountain passes of Pennsylvania by a couple
hours), I arrived with plenty of time to check in, unload the car of
my stuff, and get in on Ron Walls' "Star Trek Starship Combat:
Into the Maelstrom" game. Setting was a mystery ship has appeared
in this nebulosity surrounding a black hole near the neutral zone and
both the Freds and Klinks sent a squadron of ships to investigate. I
got to be the mystery ship and it turned out I had the Excelsior Prime
from the Mirror, Mirror universe. Adm Hikaru "Oh Myyy" Sulu
commanding. My goal/objective was to test out the new antiproton
beams that were installed in place of the typical phaser banks
(antiproton beam -think "planet killer" from "The Doomsday
Machine"). I was also to capture any tech from either side, and kill
as many as I could (granted, I was in a battleship, but I couldn't take on
both sides at the same time, so was going to have to 'ally' myself with
one or the other). The Feddies attempted to hail me and find out who I
was, but I didn't let out much of info. So to confuse them I asked them
where they were from. and set out to maneuver at a substantially high
rate, with shields and weapons charged, adding to the apprehension
of both sides as they saw my speed and were doing scans of my
weapons. I finally let them know who was commanding the

Excelsior Prime, and since I outranked the Commodore on the
Chandley (or whatever ship it was; can't remember), they decided to
try and form up on me to drive off the Klingons. The Klingons in turn
tried to encourage me with the 'enemy of my enemy' philosophy. To
which I replied that I was leading the unsuspecting Feddies right to them.
I wasn't sure yet if I was going to turn on the Feds or blow away a
Klingon or two. In the end I got the two sides together, the Klingons
(not trusting me) covered some of their (or more literally, my) asses,
and in one turn a LOT of phaser and photon fire ensued, accompanied
with substantial antiproton beam blasts, which basically gutted two
Klingon ships at point-blank range. One Klink blew up, and I went
to tractor the other and take it back to my universe, but it self-destructed
so I let it go and went home. :-) The remnants of the Klingons warped
out, and the few surviving Fed ships picked up the pieces and survivors
(as good Feddies are to do).

Saturday morning Noam Izenberg and I ran a playtest of a starship combat
game we are developing and got a lot of good and positive feedback from it.
Double win there.

Saturday afternoon I got in on a Tomorrow's War game run by a friend of
mine who had come up to the con for his first time. He has doing a Mars
Rebellion series of four games locally, and ran the middle two scenarios at
the con. Prior to this I had only been able to help him playtest the first
scenario. So it was neat to see how the second one went. Basically the
Terran Marines had worked their way into one of the Mars Domes and were
looking to secure it (take control of the facilities in order to pacify the
resistance). I was helping play part of the resistance commandos (lower
tech, lower troop quality units) and we somehow managed to avert a Terran
take-over of our control complex at the last possible moment. WIN for the
Mars Revolution! The People's United Mars Provinces (PUMP) rule!

Saturday evening we had our awards ceremony for the minis painting contest.
This year, since Ken Wang was going to do a scratchbuild workshop, we
expanded the minis contest entries to include a scratchbuild category.
There were a lot of fantastic minis entered, and as usual, I abstained from
voting since I wanted to remove any actual or perceived bias from knowing
who's mini(s) was(were) whose, and let the attendees of the con vote
instead. This year, over most any other year, the first place winners were
far and wide in the lead in ALL categories - by a factor of 2.5 points in
votes! The differences between 2nd, 3rd and 4th place were pretty slim, and
I even squeaked in a 3rd place win with an "old style" NAC battle
squadron. :-D (I usually enter something in most categories just to help
fill the field and to give everyone a chance to compare 'poor' painting to
'great' painting techniques :-) ). Due to the generous donations of our GZG
and Brigade sponsors, I was able to give some very nice prizes to the

After that I got in on Ron Walls' Tomorrow's War game set in the Aliens'
universe. This was a fun and tense scenario but the flow was disrupted a
bit by some communication disconnects between the GMs, the GMs and the
players, and the Aliens player and the players, which caused some confusion
and frustration for those playing (and I'm sure GMing). But getting beyond
that, it was a fun game, and as one of the Marines I got to shoot things:
egg sacks, face-huggers, and a handful of highly armored Aliens (D10 on the
defense? holy crap!) We even got to see the Weylund-Yutani Mercenary
plasma-fusion armed grav tank explode. I'd play it again.

Sunday morning I ran MY Tomorrow's War game, "A Walk Through the
Valley of Death". From my scenario blurb:
*"The humans, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another race would
surrender to despair, the humans fought back with even greater strength.
They made the Minbari fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have
never seen anything like it. They would weep, they would pray, they would
say good-bye to their loved ones, and then throw themselves, without fear
or hesitation, at the very face of death itself, never surrendering..."
Emperor Londo Mollari, 2278

The year was 2247. Flinn Colony was the site of some of the bloodiest
ground fighting during the Earth-Minbari War (2245-2248). Prior to this the
Minbari were able to deal with ground forces in a pretty straight-forward
manner, but Flinn Colonys ground-based defenses forced the Minbari to land
a large number of units on the planet itself. Massive hand-to-hand combat
raged across the planets surface, until every human of Flinn Colony was
killed. But high Minbari casualties told the tale that the humans made the
Minbari pay for every human death inflicted.*

I had four players, two Human, two Minbari. Three of the players were
brand-new to Tomorrow's War, so it was a little frustrating for them as
they had some preconceived notions as to how it should play vs how it did
play. But once they got past that they had a good time and shot stuff up.
In the playtest games I'd run before the Minbari won, but at a substantial
price (usually with half of their members seriously wounded or KIA), but
this time only one KIA and one or two seriously wounded. The rest of the
Minbari were running rampant on the Human defenders. The boneheads
(especially Jim Bell) had gotten some great die rolls most all game and
combined with lack of movement by the humans (they should have either
moved up to perform a pincer or move together and levied withering fire
into one or two Minbari fireteams rather than go at them semi-piecemeal)
contributed strongly to the Minbari win. Nevertheless I think the game went

I shot a lot of photos and took a number of time-lapse sequences (with and
without the dolly) but upon review last night I'm not wholly happy with
most of the time-lapse shots. I'll get a slideshow together later when I
get some time and I'll drop in some of the TL sequences, but won't be as
many as last year's was (

Jerry Han has the Quote Board, and while there are not nearly as many
quotes posted as there have been in years past (mostly because I think
people are starting to forget about posting quotes during games), there are
some gems in there. One of my favorites is this (may be slightly
paraphrased; Jerry will post the actual quote, but this is close enough) :

Jerry Han: "I didn't realize Aliens had opposable thumbs"
Greg Davis: "...and the tank?"
Jerry Han: "The tank was the Aliens' lunchbox"

(if you didn't draw the connection, this was the explanation
for why the
W-Y Merc tank mentioned earlier exploded)


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