We were there bright and early at about 8.45am ready to set up the table (as well as help set up the last bits of the shop). By 9.30 a couple of other guys from the club had turned up and most of the other games and trade stalls were set up ready to roll when the doors opened at 10am.
"The Plan" ™ was to run two games in two time slots; game one (10am til 12.30) would have 5 players (2 v 3) with a Dindrenzi-Directorate alliance (commanded by Paul and Woody) fighting to seize control of the space station, with the Aquans, Terrans and Sorylians (controlled by myself, John and Gary respectively) defending the station (which was itself inoperational). The result of game one would determine the setup of game two (1pm til 3.30pm); if the Dindrenzi-Directorate won, they would be able to bring the station back online and launch an attack into Terran territory and ambush a civilian convoy (the Terrans would be isolated in the centre of the board and would be required to keep the three civilian ships alive). If the Aquans and co. won, they would force the Dindrenzi-Directorate forces back and gain a chance to strike a decisive blow (the Dindrenzi-Directorate would be limited to 75% of the points of the attackers and enact a "last stand").
Of course, "The Plan" ™ went to pot as soon as we put figures on the table....
First, John and Woody hadn't turned up . To stand-in, we had to recruit two members of the club who had never played the game before and were completely unfamiliar with the rules (Marc, in charge of the Directorate, and Josh controlling the Terrans). By 10am were ready to rumble and the first turn was underway, at which point one of the missing players turned up. We explained the situation and he wandered off to browse the trade stalls for a bit, so he could take up the play in game two. Anyway, the game progressed slowly (as was to be expected for the first turn when everything was still out of range). Turn 2 comes along and we finally get some firing, although nothing of note happens. At this point, Josh decides he's had enough and wanders off. Luckily, another member of the club had turned up by now (Andy) and, although he'd never played Firestorm before he had played a couple of games of Uncharted Seas and so had a little bit of knowledge about how the rules worked.
Unlike Josh, Andy picked the game up quickly and by the end of Turn 3 things were hotting up. Gary, controlling the Sorylians, couldn't roll dice for toffee though which left the Aquans and Terrans facing off against more than twice their number of points, ships and guns!
|The Terrans make their slow advance with all guns blazing|
It was at this point that Complication #2 occurred. John (who was supposed to be controlling the Terrans originally) and Nigel (who had brought his Brethren fleet for the day) decided they'd waited long enough and brought on parts of their fleets. At this point, we adapted "The Plan" ™ and decided to scrap game two and just keep going with game one for the rest of the day.
Another turn came and went, and it was obvious that the original Terrans and Aquans would not last much longer - both fleets were reduced to just two ships, and the Dindrenzi-Directorate had lost almost nothing in return:
Another turn gone, and the majority of the Sorylian fleet finally turned up:
Of course, by this point it was too little too late. The original Terrans and Aquans were destroyed, leaving the Dindrenzi and Directorate still largely intact to face off against a Sorylian-Terran fleet that was roughly the same size as what we started with (i.e. not a lot!).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
All in all, despite the 'complications', the game turned out pretty well. We attracted plenty of interest from spectators, many of whom had not seen the game before. We got several people involved in playing a new game (including some members of our own club!) and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
We're already talking about possibly putting on games at other shows for early next year; currently, the plan is to run a Stalingrad FoW game as well as another Firestorm game. That said, Spartan Games have just released Dystopian Wars (a Victorian-era Steampunk-based game encompassing land, aerial and naval combat) which has caught the eye of several club members, myself included. Of course, with Christmas coming very soon it's dangerous to buy myself presents (I've made that mistake before and ended up buying the same thing that someone else got for me!). Not to mention my better half would be a bit cross if she knew I'd been spending money on myself rather than various friends and relatives...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So, what's next? Well, with Wargamer out of the way I've not got any painting deadlines for the immediate future which basically means I can work on any of the numerous half-finished projects I have waiting in the wings. First though, I do have the two Aquan Heavy Cruisers to finish (they're half-done, but I couldn't get them finished in time for Sunday). After that, who knows? It may pay dividends to actually make a list of what projects I've got, and how far along each of them is. Animosity 5 is coming soon, so it might be high time to get that Tilean army on the move again....
Whatever I decide, I'll be sure to share it so stay tuned! Until next time...