It has taken me a week to get to my Huzzah report. Ross Macfarlane has, as usual, written circles around me and gotten all of his Huzzah material posted already, although it might be noted that he has the advantage of being retired. For those not already familiar with Huzzah, it is an excellent local convention run each May by the Maine Historical Wargamers (MHW) in Portland, and has the additional special advantage of being about halfway between my house in Delaware and Ross's house in Nova Scotia.
In preparing for this year's Huzzah, Ross and I had agreed that we would field games using our Not Quite Seven Years War collections. Mine hadn't been out in a year or so, at least until we did the remote playtest of the Ambush scenario a few weeks ago. Following the playtest, we agreed on the force levels we would use at Huzzah. I brought two 24-man infantry units, 2 12-man infantry units, 2 12-man cavalry units, a 12-man sapper unit, and a couple of guns, plus some command figures. Two 6-liter boxes have been calculated to be the most that will fit under the seat on most commercial flights, and that all fit, once I selected the cavalry from those who were't waving swords in the air.
|Infantry ready to go|
|Cavalry, with a few needed taller figures cushioned in handkerchiefs|
|Armies on the go; 2 6-liter Really Useful Boxes|
I met fellow HAWK Duncan Adams at the airport; we hadn't planned to travel together, but the limited air schedule from Baltimore to Portland meant that I wasn't completely surprised to see him. We had a limited HAWKs team this year, just four of us altogether.
We arrived at the hotel in good time, before the MHW people had finished setting up registration. Registration was the one element of the convention that didn't go as well as the MHW had probably hoped. It was entirely my own fault that I forgot to register in advance, but the computer system they were using this year turned out, as they discovered, to be unable to register people at the door. Handing them cash in return for a handwritten badge was not a problem, but it did have the knock-on effect of leaving me unable to register for any games, since I wasn't in the computer system. They said that they would return the paper game registration books next year, or perhaps they will have the computer system worked out. I will also make sure that I am properly registered...
Ross arrived within an hour, and we decided to set up a test game of A Gentleman's War in the afternoon session. I don't have much to add to Ross's account of the battle.
|A couple of turns in; initiative cards and rules prominently displayed|
We were pleased with how the rules played, particularly as a two-player game. I was a little slow in picking up the implications of the initiative system, and Ross was able to get better use from his artillery. So, the forces of Schoeffen-Buschhagen were eventually compelled to retreat, leaving the village in the hands of the Rosish.
After supper, we set up the second game. This was the ambush scenario (#30) from C.S. Grant's Scenarios for Wargames, using Ross's home rules, "With MacDuff to the Frontier".
|S-B Adelmann Regiment advances to its blocking position|
|S-B von Nordhafen Regiment also moving to block|
|Wachovian Hussars facing down the Rosish cavalry|
As Ross has noted, the Schoeffen-Buschhagen ambushing force put most of its strength into a blocking effort along the road, and left the light infantry off to their left to harass the convoy, and, as it turned out, lure a significant part of the convoy escort into chasing them into the rough ground away from the road and the wagons. The S-Bs managed to win the game by not losing their patience .
I took the Saturday morning session off, to do some shopping and get my Gencon event wishlist in order, because the Sunday of Huzzah was also the opening of the Gencon events registration. I was fairly restrained; although I did pick up a nice clean copy of the Avalon Hill edition of Kingmaker and a couple of figures for my Dark Ages/Saga collection.
On Saturday afternoon we set up the second game we were running, the Sittangbad scenario from Charge!. Ross and I occasionally slipped and referred to our usual forces as "my side" while gamemastering. As it was, what felt like an endless array of "his" forces came rolling across the table at "mine", which were attempting to evacuate supplies and mine a bridge. Excellent work by the King Rupert Jaegers in holding the farther town slowed down the advancing Rosish tide for just long enough to mine the bridge. Rosish grenadiers had just assaulted "my" troops guarding the bridge and were in a position to clear the engineers if they drew the next initiative card.
|Starting view of the table, prior to Rosish entry; key bridge at the upper left|
|S-B forces form a line to hold, following an initial cavalry melee|
|Just in the nick of time; the general and the engineers cross the bridge to safety moments before the explosion|
Happily for S-B, the card fell for "us", and the general and the engineers made it to safety as the bridge was demolished in the explosion. Unhappily, a dragoon regiment, the remaining grenadiers guarding the approaches to the bridge, and half of the engineers were left on the wrong side and compelled to surrender. It is to be hoped that a prisoner exchange will occur soon.
|Jeff Bickel's C&C Ancients Gaugamela game|
I spent the evening session commanding the Persians against Alexander in a Command and Colors Ancients game run by Nova Scotian Jeff Bickel. As expected, Alex was hard to beat, and we didn't...
We tried one more session of A Gentleman's War on Sunday morning before we departed. I got busy running the game, and didn't end up taking more than one picture.
As noted in Ross's report, he used a fire advantage carefully, and the S-B infantry attack was repulsed without too much difficulty.
|Rosmark artillery takes a toll of S-B Grenadiers|
We talked about next year's convention over lunch; the current notion is that we will dust off and expand the French Revolution collection for the game(s).
|Meisterzinn pieces for a new 1793 unit|
|Checking available Meisterzinn head castings against Funcken illustrations|
More on that to follow...