RogerBW's Blog

TringCon 27 September 2014 28 September 2014

This small one-day boardgaming event happens twice a year in a village hall in Deepest Buckinghamshire, and has been going for quite a few years. This was my second visit, and probably the last autumn one I'll get to for a while as it will clash in future with YSDC Games Day.

I started with a second game of Nicola Zealey's customised Wings of Glory, now even more customised with terrain mats (which did a great job of holding the planes in place), a home-made piece of No Man's Land between them, and some observation balloons (also custom-made) which were our objective.

This made for a more three-dimensional game than last time, as the balloons were at significant altitude, and represented a collision hazard as well as potentially an explosive one.

The enemy sent all three machines down the middle. We sent one up each side, with one held back for defence. This was probably an error.

The defender fought valiantly, but wasn't able to prevent the Huns from getting in among our balloons.

Which rapidly started stacking up the damage. (Being fair, so did theirs, which were undefended except by ineffective ground fire.)

We'd read the victory conditions, which gave 60% of the points of a destroyed balloon for depleting 50% of its hits, so had decided to split up. Both the German balloons were soon on fire.

So was one of ours.

I ended up circling behind enemy lines, high enough to stay out of ground fire, and gradually adding up the damage.

Even the enemy didn't really seem able to stop us.

I did get the killing shot on one of the enemy balloons, but in the end all four went down. And since we'd each lost one machine in the attempt (our valiant defender, and one of theirs who'd flown headlong into our last surviving balloon) the match could be considered a draw.

I found this more enjoyable than the trench-strafing of last time, and not only because I'd managed to start at a sensible altitude and thus get involved in the fight. The balloons were at different heights, and this meant the climbing and diving rules were severely exercised.

After a break for lunch, we played some shorter games: two runs at The Resistance (with most of the players new to the game the first one was mostly a warm-up; the second time, the spies managed both to fail on a three-player mission, which meant that the other three players who hadn't been on it all knew they weren't spies. So then it was just a matter of convincing them that I was the loyalist, which eventually I achieved. (Yes, all right, I am "most likely to be falsely accused of being a spy" whether playing on-line or in person.)

Then a couple of games of Guillotine, which I had bought after the last Cambridge role-playing convention but not actually played. I did very badly. But hey, there's a fair bit of luck involved. I'll keep telling myself that.

Finally, one player particularly wanted to try Revolution. Sadly, as it turned out, it's not really the sort of game he enjoys, but at least he now knows this. Bizarrely enough, I won; I really didn't expect to, as I won the Cathedral and Fortress only at the last moment and mostly as a side-effect of someone else mucking about with the Apothecary, but in the end that did the trick.

I'd hoped to play some Firefly, but both my passenger and I were starting to fade, so we headed for home. Still a very good day.

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