Despite the early hour, my prep team had the table laid out in about 15 minutes.
I expected to be busy this year, and knew Cold Wars preparations might be an issue, so I registered to do something from the archives. I dusted off my Darkest Africa project, languishing in storage boxes since 2004, and ended up rerunning a scenario I'd used back in '02/'03, called Into the Valley of Shadows. This is a not particularly serious or historical one involving four factions starting at the corners of the table. Rival British and German expeditions are approaching the village, seen here at the lower left, which is having its own issues with a passing band of Zanzibari slavers. It's designed for eight players, with each faction having two players with separate victory conditions, and threaded so that everyone has problems.
Early morning players are not the most energetic.
Unfortunately, probably due to our early start time, we had only one player, so I was forced to shanghai my preparation team to fill out the game. We decided on the fly to simplify the scenario by leaving out the subordinates on each side. This worked, but also reduced the game length considerably. I suppose that's not such a bad thing for a show game. We had four players again for the second running of the game at 2:00. My lesson learned is that I need to have a clear plan for how to modify a convention scenario for less than the designed number of players.
The British expedition approaches the town in the 2nd run of the game.
It turned out to be a lot of fun to get these guys out of the box and on to the table. Perhaps I'll "complete" this project sometime; there's still a mass of natives floating around one of my boxes of projects set aside.
We had a major find in the flea market, but that'll get it's own entry later today (I hope.)
(Special thanks to my preparation team, Marc Zerfas and Norman&William Dean, who spent Friday night sorting and reorganizing figures and scenery, loaded, carried, set up, and then pitched in to help play the first scenario. I couldn't have done this without them--we were simultaneously preparing for a possible evacuation of our home due to flooding, so I was a little distracted. Happily, the river has receded since yesterday.)