What I did on my Fall IN Vacation

FALL IN! 2008: It was a good time!

FALL IN 2008 has come and gone, and I have to say I’m really enjoying this show these days, maybe more than the others– it’s mellow, laid back and the crowds aren’t overwhelming like they can be at HISTORICON. I showed up late on Thursday, but early enough to schlep tables with Andy Turlington. I was volunteering for this one, and had been assigned a nice enough task– working the front desk at the exhibitor’s hall. One nice part of this job is that you get to see EVERYONE at a convention if you work a dealer’s hall. Less nice, is you seem to be “away from the action” most of the time. So it goes. Me, I liked it, but I like schmoozing with people.

I don’t know beans about attendance numbers, how well we did with the money, etc. So I can relate only the anecdotal stuff.. Bob from RLBPS told me he had his best Friday at FALL IN, evah! I saw some new dealers present, from the puzzling “I’ll renovate your basement” guy to a couple new boardgame dealers. The folks I talked to seemed very pleased with the amount of business they were doing. Another BIG intangible– you couldn’t find a parking spot at the All-Star on Saturday for love nor money, unless you went way back in the back forty to a “lot B” I had no idea existed. That’s a first.

I did some judging for Pete Panzeri, for the GM awards. I had to join in giving the AUSTERLITZ game I saw run in the All Star one more in the fistfull of awards it received; simply lovely old fashioned 15mm Napoleonic goodness. Reminded me of Borodino 92 (remember that one?).

I participated in the Society of Daisy’s OFF THE TABLE MODELING and OFF THE TABLE PAINTING contests– I didn’t really think I had much of a shot at it but it’s a worthy effort, worth supporting. So I entered my “Steampunk light armor company” made entirely from kid’s toys and castoff junk. I submitted my “Clockwork Hussars” in the painting contest– with very little hope of a prize. Let’s say I “paint for utility”. Sure enough, none of them won first prize, but one of them (can’t figure out which) won THIRD prize.. hey, ten bucks. That’s a beer and a half!

Jim McGaughey ran an HMGS-sanctioned painting contest too, it was supposed to transpire on Saturday in the All Star, I think– I couldn’t find it. I hope it went well.

I got asked to run FALL IN, during the course of the weekend. I said I was interested, but thought Andy Turlington was in line for this job, and wouldn’t make any kind of strong case for myself if he wanted it– Andy’s a great candidate for the position, and I really don’t have any ego about being a Big Chief or lil’ Injun after doing the COLD WARS job for four years. Fortunately Andy took the job and I think he’s the best man for it.

Got into a great game Friday night, BIPLANES AND BATTLESHIPS, based upon the Hector Bywater “Great Pacific War” scenario. I sacrificed my light cruiser squadron, but the Americans ultimately won with heavy losses. Yay! Liked the rules system, the historical era, and the scale (1:6000th). I may pick this up and try it some time.

Here’s a Travel Montage:

I didn’t end up buying out the store. I got some Historical Products 20mm Spanish Civil War stuff (for use with Russian Civil War armies.. they adapt well). Mostly these were “anarchists” and troops with the Adrian Helmet, plus a few guns. I picked up some WW2 naval infantry at Dave Markley’s recommendation, from Pegasus models. These will make dandy Russian Civil War Naval Infantry troops, if I ignore or convert the ones with machine pistols. I have some Naval Infantry from IT FIGURES painted up already, but I like the poses on these guys– more aggressive and more detailed. I also got another Pegasus set of Russian log houses, a Whippet tank, and a Scout car.

I didn’t get into the cubicle zombie game, Saturday night.. I was out having dinner and didn’t get back in time. It sure looked funny. It’s a great idea, but I’ll just wait for this chap to run it again. 😀

Corporate Zombies, from the CUBE SET from ThinkGeek.com

So, instead, I hung out, drank beer and played boardgames. The first attempt was BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL. This proved a tad complex to the fellows assembled. Since the “Traitor” guy showed up fairly early the game ended after I’d gone the grand total of one room in to the mansion. Somewhat anti-climatic.

Betrayal One

Betrayal 2

John C’s excellent dramatic reading of the events paragraph (captured on a period authentic Edison Kinescope) was the highlight of this game.

SEE THE VIDEO, bottom of the page.

I wanted to get in on the game of Mall of Horror nearby.. but it was full up. Sigh.

Since Betrayal lasted.. oh.. five minutes or so, and most of the rest of the company present were passed out, we pulled out a recent purchase, COWBOYS: THE WAY OF THE GUN, by Worthington Games. Mostly as a learning experience.

Scenario: Bust Our Pard out of the Jail

Citizens cleared the streets when Stinky, Paco, Snake Eyes and Jeb rolled into town.

The Sheriff was there to greet us. “Por Favor, Sheriff, might I inquire..” (BANG! “Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!”) Clearly the local law facists don’t care for Mejicans.. Paco was shot in the stomach before he and the sheriff could exchange greetings. Stinky, Paco, and Snakeyes duked it out the local law dogs, while Jeb rode round the long way.

The ensuing gun battle was a fracas. Paco and Stinky were riddled with bullets, enforcing my low opinion of this town’s tolerance for both hispanics and the unwashed. The Sheriff and his deputy ceased to exist. However, that was the signal for the uprising of citizenry. Every other turn, a new citizen popped up to activate and start blasting away with shotguns and rifles. Paco and Stinky rode hard for the outskirts of town, but ended up getting killed right on the edge of the map. Sigh. Victory was so near.

We rather liked COWBOYS. Like GUNSLINGER, without all the detail work and fine level of granularity.

Sunday was anti-climatic as it usually is. I flea-marketed a bit, for the first time. I made some money! James Mattes ran the raffle for prizes in the dealer’s area.. it seemed to have gone over well. I went home not exhausted, as usual, but pretty energized. I had a great time and will definitely attend more FALL INs in the future.


  1. Walt,

    I am glad you got a chance to stop by my Zombie game and at least take a look.

    Hopefully you will be running something at Cold Wars so I can learn more from the master.


  2. Huzzah!

    Great AAR, Walt. Glad to see photos in your montage of (1) our pick up TSATF game at 2:00 and (2) Howard Whitehouse practicing his diabolical salsa dancing at approx 2:12.

    Sorry you didn’t run a game, you prolly won’t at Cold Wars either, right? Or maybe so – let us know!


  3. Actually, I hope to run two. My near and dear project is to run a game of Olympica (the old microgame) done in miniatures. I just heard from Eric Hotz and the game mat is finally on the way, or soon shall be.

    The other game I had in mind was to finally finish that Yak-cart zombie jockey game.. So much of it got done before losing the bubble on it, it would be a shame to lose that effort.

    Mr. Nizz

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