RogerBW's Blog

Summer Stabcon 2017 20 July 2017

This long-running games convention had another instance at the start of July. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.


Slowish going on the M6, as usual. I suppose I might try going via M42/A42, M1 and Chesterfield, but that bit of the M1 is often bad too. This is the longest trip out that I've logged, at 4¾ hours (including breaks), but I've definitely had worse that I haven't logged. Being plentifully supplied with fuel, audio books and food, this wasn't a particularly bad thing.

As usual for me, the Friday evening was mostly chatting, but I did get in a few games, starting with my new set of Colony (finally found at a reasonable price), even if I did come last. Well, obviously, I handicapped myself by not taking the free upgrades recommended in the first game. Ahem.

We went on with Tem-Purr-A, a game that's perhaps excessively cutesey in its art (you are all cats eating Japanese food and trying to avoid indigestion) but which has a surprising amount of tactical complexity.


I ran my Falklands horror scenario Still Bennies in the morning, going from two signups to a full roster of six at the last moment. It went more or less all right, but didn't quite have the correct feel. It may simply not have been the right time of day for a horror game.

I saw people playing A Touch of Evil, but as always seems to happen they'd got well into the game before I found them. One of these days I will actually get a chance to try it.

Some of the upgrades available in Mega Civilization.

Played in one of Dr Bob's Squaddies scenarios in the afternoon: infiltrating a prisoner-of-war camp, as new prisoners and guards, in order to investigate certain irregularities. We gathered lots of evidence, then… called in the cavalry rather than trying to arrest people ourselves. In spite of the lack of physical threat, it was an effectively tense session.

After that it was time for a few more board games: Coup: Rebellion G54, which I got knocked out of first (have I lost my Coup mojo?),

Forbidden Desert, which we lost quickly (no Archaeologist or Water Carrier),

and Robo Rally 2016, where two players were sufficently lacking in spatial awareness that they didn't even make it off the starting grid, but they still seemed to have fun.

Finished off the evening with Hero Realms, which, yes, all right, really is Star Realms slightly upgraded; I liked the gameplay and the easy handling of more than two players, but I still very much prefer the SF theme of the original game, even if it doesn't necessarily make any more sense than the fantasy theme of this version. Ah well. Looks as if Star Realms is getting a similar upgrade treatment with the new Frontiers set anyway.


No RPGs booked on Sunday morning, so instead I got into some Grifters (which it's been a while since I last played, and I came last);

Hex Hex/Hex Hex Next where I came in the middle of the three, and once again I keep thinking that I want to play this more often (I'll take it to the next Marlow meeting as it can handle anything up to twelve players);

and finished off with a chaotic five-player game of Colt Express, fully expanded, where I played the Marshal for the first time (and did a lousy job of it). I really need to write a rules summary and teaching aid for this game, in part to get my own head round it a bit better.

It was 1pm by this point, so I set off for home, with lots of slow traffic but nothing actually coming to a stop. The trip in this direction is pretty reliably 3½-4 hours, and this time was closer to the latter.

[Buy Colony at Amazon] [Buy Tem-Purr-A at Amazon] [Buy Coup: Rebellion G54 at Amazon] [Buy Forbidden Desert at Amazon] [Buy Robo Rally 2016 at Amazon] [Buy Hero Realms at Amazon] [Buy Grifters at Amazon] [Buy Hex Hex at Amazon] [Buy Colt Express at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 08:35pm on 20 July 2017

    I decided to call the cavalry in Dr Bob's game simply because of the number of people who were implicated, and the ease with which they could kill the vital witnesses, then lie about it. There was an implicit physical threat the whole time, but it could be trumped with misdirection quite easily.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 08:39pm on 20 July 2017

    Indeed. I could see certain elements pointing us towards a climactic battle, but I agree that sudden overwhelming force to prevent the fight from starting was a much better option.

  3. Posted by Dr Bob at 12:08pm on 21 July 2017

    Glad it felt tense. I forgot to have Peiyun lose it (the guy Roger was watching in anticipation of him losing it), and didn't really do much with the drug dealers.

    I leave it to the players as to whether they go in all guns blazing (and outnumbered 100 to 1) or call the cavalry. Last time I ran it the players phoned out for more genuine young POWs to be delivered (to see what happened!) and then had to race to rescue one of their number who had blithely ignored the "don't wander off alone" warning! The place was in near riot situation and only THEN they called the cavalry.

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