RogerBW's Blog

Stabcon 2020 25 January 2020

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


Travel was direct and pretty good; three and a half hours out, including a stop for fuel, and three and a quarter back.

My first game of the convention was V-Commandos, playing a couple of single terrains with a friend. The first two went quite cleanly, with no spotting and no alarms.

Another friend new to the game joined us, and we took on the battleship terrain, which ended up with some of the team sandwiched between blocks of enemies.

This would have been the medal-winning moment, when the medic sneaked in under the nose of an élite enemy to retrieve a first aid kit, then ran back to treat his wounded mate.

Except, alas, that with both the explosives planted two of the three of us were pinned down and badly wounded. My sapper was already on the way to the exit, so was forced to set off the charges as he left. So still a victory, but a close and imperfect one.

I was wandering around when I spotted someone setting up Wacky Races: The Board Game and jumped in. To gamers of an age to have seen this as children, this is clearly hugely tempting; and it turns out it's also not an entirely terrible game! (I know, I shouldn't be surprised by this any more, but I remember what licenced computer games were like in the 1980s and 1990s.) All right, there is a lot of luck involved and it's not a masterpiece of strategy, but there are definitely meaningful decisions to be made.


At the last few Stabcons I've mostly been boardgaming, but this time I took along and ran my Cthulhu Hack scenario The Last Thing Civilised (which may turn out to be the first of a series of "CSI: Arkham" adventures). It went rather better than on the first run (thanks to the Cambridge group guinea pigs for their advice).

Then into the main room and a couple of games of Flash Point: Fire Rescue, first in the merchant ship (which started badly, looked good for a bit, then fell apart quickly):

and then in the hotel, which I think is one of my favourite boards. Lots of role changes on this one, and I ended up hauling victims out as the Paramedic.

There was time for another V-Commandos run with the new player from Friday night and a couple of others, and this one went a lot better. Yes, the alarm did go off briefly towards the end, but playing as the sapper I didn't once need to fire my BAR.

Then off to Michael Cule's excellent Gumshoe adventure Ho Ho Homicide, about which I shall say nothing further because if you are very fortunate you may get to play it one day.


More RPG in the morning, run by that new V-Commandos player and set in the world of UFO. We tracked down a landing site in a remote part of Washington state, got slightly blindsided, and had to chase to catch up with the invaders. I've never actually seen the series, but it was easy to get the hang of being a slightly different sort of Men in Black – even if terrible dice luck all round the table (using a tweak of the Blaster RPG) meant that, while we should have had about 50% or higher success rates at most of our rolls, we ended up failing about three-quarters of the time.

Finally, a game of an original Cheapass edition of Lord of the Fries (I have the later Steve Jackson Games deluxe printing):

and Tobago, first game with the copy I bought second-hand at Essen – and I won! All right, against two novices, and I got some of the rules wrong (it's play a clue or move, not and move), but we still had a good time and it's one I want to play a lot more.

Then home again into the gloom and darkness.

[Buy V-Commandos at Amazon] [Buy Flash Point at Amazon] [Buy Lord of the Fries at Amazon] [Buy Tobago at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

  1. Posted by Phil Masters at 08:37am on 27 January 2020

    The Wacky Races game sounds good, but I can’t help thinking that if it simulates the source material correctly, the eventual winner should be randomly determined with no reference to what happened during the race.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1