Cold Wars 2011: Friday

My first real day at the convention was the usual herky-jerky trying to accomplish tons of stuff in a short space of time.  I had a large chunk of my day tied up with working the events desk– I don’t begrudge this one bit but it does skew my perspective about what I experienced and how narrow that focus was.  I couldn’t hang out in areas of the con too far from the Distelfink ballroom or catch certain games or lectures (well, who am I kidding, I never go to those at a HMGS convention).

I got up earlyish but not early enough to game in the morning without massive coffee injections.  I wanted to run out to Wal-Mart to get some food and soda supplies and batteries for the crappy Vivitar cheap camera which was all I had available to take pictures with (sorry about this, my old Polaroid has given up the ghost and I’m shopping for a camera that can take decent closeups).

I did get a chance to go shopping when I got back… I actually came to Cold Wars with a list– I wanted to buy some 15mm fantasy figures from Splintered Light– his new gnomes.  I got a nice starter army for fairly cheap.  I also found a 15mm gray aliens army as well (can you guess that I’m on a HOTT kick right now?).   I like this one guy who sells bulk bases made from precision cut particle board and bought a bulk container of 40mm rounds,  some standup tokens from Harmony House (for the Waving Hands project I’m working on), and a new river set and plastic glue from the War Store.   So really these were purchases supporting existing game projects, which is fine.  I don’t want to start a big new thing quite yet.

One regrettable lunch later (the hotel food.. is not what it once was).

I pulled desk duty for a large chunk of Friday during the day hours– so missed out on a few games that I would have like to have seen, but that’s okay, it’s the price one pays.  Stand out for me were Del Stover’s around the clock efforts in the lobby with his Mummy card-driven game (his own design) using a lot of Doctor Who miniatures, custom event cards and beautiful handmade Egyptian terrain.  I also loved! the Battle of the Alma game put on by HMGS BoD member Paul Delaney and several others in the lobby.  This game earned the front spot. I also heard of (but didn’t catch) a Stalingrad game in the host room that was a treat for the eyes.  I took some pictures with a disposable camera that will add later– the pictures here are horrible but really just placeholders.

Click for the Slideshow

Shook loose of the events desk at 7 PM; just in time to jump in to the tail end of Pete English’s wonderful BATTLE OF SERENITY VALLEY game in the Distelfink.  I like Pete’s games and I was very pleased he saved a little “here comes the cavalry” role for your humble narrator.  Of course, we were promptly blown up and had to run for cover.. but that sort of mimics the fate of the real browncoats, doesn’t it.  I kicked around a bit, it still being earlyish, and found Ed Texiera running his new Gladiator game in the open gaming area by the flea market.  Like a lot of Two-Hour Wargame stuff, it was a bit fiddly for my tastes but after a while I got the flow of things.  I may buy this today and give it a try, as I have a ton of painted up 54mm gladiators.

Afterward, tried working on my War Machine Cygnar battle group to get them ready to turn over to Montrie for painting, but that was a bust.. I’ll have to pin the arms to glue it.  I still have plenty for him to do.  So put that away and went to the bar area to socialize with some folks– Bob, Del, Grant, Dan and a few others.  Always a fun time.. and thence, to bed.

Here’s a little bit of an audio ramble on Day 1:″

HMGS conventions, for all the drama attendant to them and behind the scenes, are still the best value for your money when it comes to a gaming convention.  I don’t hesitate to recommend them.  The current CW11 looks to be doing a brisk business and attendance looks like it’s up to me.  There’s still time to drop in on Saturday!

I’ll try to get another one of these out before heading home tomorrow.