Friday, March 30, 2012

Gamestorm 14 Report - a journey to sort of civilization

Let's skip all the VA hospital nonsense & get to the fun stuff:
First of all let me commend the Game Matrix as a wonderful well supplied gaming store & haven. I make sure I frequent it on every northern trip I make. Also let me tell you about a new store I visited - the Dtwenty Games Diner. If you are heading up toward Seattle I recommend you visit there. The food is excellent & the ambiance is probably the best gaming store I've seen. The merchandise is not the largest or most diverse yet, but it attractively displayed in wooden cases & is kept neat as a pin. The selection is centered around Pathfinder, D&D, Steve Jackson games, & other board games, but they do have other games as well. The gaming tables are fine wood that would grace a very "Tone" dining room. The lighting is conducive to a relaxed game atmosphere. You can order a full meal - in my case it was chicken fried steak that was lean & the sauce was not doughy. the vegetables were crisp & tasty. It was brought right to our gaming table. They have a good beer selection & the deserts were ever so tempting. Full marks for this store.

Gamestorm 14 is what most gamers in my area would look for in a convention. A wide variety of panels for those so inclined. A whole floor of CCG's. The RPG's took up several rooms. There were a couple of LAN rooms, a sizable dealer room, 4 large board game rooms, a hospitality center, an Indie game room, LARPS out the ying-yang, & of course my favorite: a miniatures gaming room with a dozen or so tables. The miniatures was first being added this year & it will grow over time. I was only there for 3 out of the 4 days but it was jammed through. Played in a couple Savage Worlds games, a Never-When demo, etc. for RPG's. Attended several good panels including one with the insightful & very knowledgable Anthony Pryer about "How many versions does D&D need" where the history & politics of the D&D versions were discussed along with current complaints, strategies, & plans by WOTC. After asking Anthony a question he chagrined me slightly by pointing out that I've been a gamer since 2 years before he was born. Heavy SIGH!

The bloodbath of Reds I left behind!
My first miniatures game I played in was a scenario from the Russian Civil War. Daryl played the Red Communist forces & I played a force of White Russians aided by Chinese coolies & troops, plus two squads of Yanks. My job was to take my odd collection of forces & guard the roadway (on the left side) so that the two carts could make it to the flat car, load up & make it off the board again. I was out-numbered. Oddly enough my Grandfather served in the American Expeditionary force to Russia after the end of WW1. I think he must have been present & manipulating the dice because I absolutely ate my opponent alive. I couldn't seem to fail most of the time. One hill towards the center earned the name "Red Hill" because of all the Red Communists dying there. His troops almost made it onto the flat car before the last of them died. My tactics were to focus on one unit at a time when possible & pour as much fire into it as I could until it was rendered ineffective. Then I would move onto the next unit. The rules were Triumph & Tragedy & the game was hosted by Frank Durovchic. He will run a similar game at Enfilade.

After massacring the "Commies" during the morning & early afternoon. Daryl & I set up our test "Kalvan of Otherwhen" game & debuted the upcoming Blackpoder Pike & Shotte rules from Warlord Games.
Kalvan of Otherwhen - the initial setup!
Since many people at the Gamestorm convention have not attended an Enfilade convention they were not used to the high standards of terrain one so often sees at Enfilade. With what would have been nice average for Enfilade, we wowed them! They were blown away by the miniatures as well. If I may humbly say so, Daryl & I did a good job painting them.
Prince Ptosthes encourages his troops forward!
Sadly I played on the Nostori side (Boo-Hiss! - they're the bad guys in the book) Frank joined us for the game along with several other gamers. The Hostigi troops did rather well on the infantry side & managed through good tactics (& the Nostori bad luck rolls by one of my co-commanders) to limit the advance on the Nostori right & center. However the Hostigi peasants did run & hide in the pigpen.
Yes these are period correct pigs!
On my side of the table a great cavalry battle developed supported by my dismounted dragoons. Admittedly my heavy Curassiers (the toughest troops on the field supposedly) screamed like little girls after a blunder roll & ran back & hid on the edge of the table. It culminated in a furious 54 figure brawl that left both sides mauled from a bloody mixed up fray!
What a fluster-cluck!
 My limited force held for the longest time before finally dissolving & my dragoon infantry were there to shoot up the Hostigi survivors. However back amongst the infantry things had heated up. The Nostori guard in their black uniforms managed to split the Hostigi line & create a wedge. That hole kept widening & widening until the Hostigi were forced to concede the field. A mixed emotion for me because I favored the Hostigi side because of the book, but was playing the Nostori bad-guys.

I hope all of this encourages you to attend next year!


  1. What a great write up and excellent choice of pictures.

  2. Thank you - I admittedly was sad because all that great dice rolling in the RCW game was against you. Your tactics were sound considering the deployment you were left with. But I guess it was just one of those days. Also you did a great job GMing the Kalvan game & kept it flowing nicely - thanks! Next time you play it & I GM.

  3. Great post and nice pictures. Keep bringing the miniature goodness to GameStorm!

    Minor correction - this was the second year that GameStorm had a dedicated minis room.

  4. My apologies Chris, one of the guys there told me it was the first year. Well hopefully it will just keep getting bigger & better!