I got back from my trip, which itself fell right after all of the excitement surrounding Norman's wedding, on Friday afternoon, with all of the collecting and packing for my game still to do.
I had considered the scenario in advance, and elected to use one of the tried and true C.S. Grant situations from Scenarios for Wargames, #15, Reinforcements in Defence: On the Table. In my usual translation of Grant scenarios to Charge, that gave a force of four foot regiments and a cavalry regiment to the attackers, and three infantry regiments and a cavalry regiment to the defenders. What I hadn't stopped to consider in advance was that I only have six complete regiments of infantry around the house. I decided to assemble the assorted companies of incomplete units to get the seventh, but it did involve "reflagging" some of the Schoeffen-Buschhagen troops as belonging to some unspecified minor power with similar uniforms.
I was happy to find that all of the necessary scenery was near the surface, although my scenery storage boxes now definitely need a reorganization, as ad hoc searching through them the last several games have induced a good deal of entropy into the system. By 10:00 Saturday morning I had everything gathered, and attached it all to a hand cart we got for Gencon the other year. I had heard that parking was likely to be a problem, so I wanted to be ready to haul the game as needed.
|Hand cart test loaded|
|I can't resist new 1/72; the Airfix imprinting remains...|
Eventually, I got things set up. As can be seen from the pictures, I used the dozen company movement stands to keep things moving along. By Saturday night most people were starting to run down, so I had only three players of a possible six, so everyone had plenty to do. The attackers got two players. I had several situations arise where Charge!'s old school mechanics were troubling players, so I'm not sure that it was one of my better games, a bit disappointing after all the labor to haul it and set it up.
|Coalition forces deploy to seize the hill|
|S-B Hussars charge, bravely but futilely|
|Cavalry melee develops as Alliance dragoons attempt to buy time|
|Alliance reinforcements begin to deploy for battle|
|Situation as night falls; hill remains contested|
Also, I'm not a night owl, and it was a somewhat tense drive home, well beyond my usual bed time. Duncan Adams helped me out by watching my cart while I got the car. I wasn't thrilled by running out of the regularly inhabited zone of the downtown district at 11:30, but I got back to the convention center with the car, where I found that the designated parking was all blocked by non-Historicon people. Nevertheless, we got things loaded up. Rough roads on the way back were hard on the travel boxes; the cavalry, in particular, don't have enough steel area to "grab" the magnets of the boxes for their weight. Happily nothing was damaged, but the appearance upon arriving home was alarming.
|Rough roads home from Lancaster|
Overall, I'm cautious about the new venue. It's much nicer than the decaying Host had been, but the difficulties around parking and unloading don't appear to be easy to address. The center also had three of six escalators malfunctioning, and an elevator problem would have been serious, given that the spaces used were stacked on four levels. If I go again next year, I'd prioritize running a more portable game, just for some extra margin with contingencies.