Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cangames 2013 Day 2 Saturday May 18th

It is an early morning, and we have to get ready to head over to the convention site. Desperately needed, in short supply are coffee and tea As is the purchase of an air pump based upon last night's comedy. We were up until 1:30 AM, preparing artist board bases, upon which to display our units for the painting competition. The idea was by Joseph and both Paul and I thought it was worthy of use. Joseph had purchased enough supplies to go around. My first game is at 9:00 AM and I wanted to get my figures entered in the painting competition, and to get to my game on time.

9:00 AM Spaghetti Western by Gilbert Collins.

It was 9:03 and I was the twelfth and final gunslinger to arrive. They were about to give away my spot, for which I had preregistered. This is a wildly popular game, play with a set of home grown rules played to the last man, or woman standing. The object is very straight forward. Reach the centre of the board, in this scenario, an abandoned farmhouse: search for a bag of gold and exit from whence your character came.

Five more Players with the GM  on the left
Three Players to My Left
The GM randomly dealt characters to the players around the table and then explained the rules. Briefly when your character was selected, by draw of a card, you could perform one action. Walk, run, crawl, go to cover, fire, aim, reload etc… I think if you had a total of 5 hits you were dead. When you fired your weapon you gave one ammo marker to the GM. You’re forced to scavenge ammo to reload, unless you have a shotgun and then you carry a couple of extra rounds.  The GM also encouraged us to make alliances with the people closest on the tabletop in order to survive the start of the game. I lasted until 10:45.

The Target

My character is based on Frank, played by Henry Fonda in the classic film Once Upon a Time in the West by Sergio Leone. I am an expert with my pistol having 3 dice to roll.  On my right I have an agreement with Harmonica (played by Charles Bronson in the same film), and another with a nameless character on my left. A mistake on my part, Harmonica is true to his word, but not the same with the character on my left who along with his ‘brother’ open fire on my back as I approach the stone wall that I hoped to use for cover, against the teams approaching from the others side of the board.

My Figure: Armed with Pistol not Shotgun

My Card
Different people have different styles of play. On the far end of the board it seemed the players commenced firing on one another at the start of the game. There was another player with a sharpshooter rifle who seemed to only be interested in a body count. If you were wounded and he could spot you, he tried to finish you off.  Once dead I saw no point remaining in watching the carnage and went off to find breakfast.

Almost to Cover but Shot in the Back

Notice the body near the well

2:00 PM: Last Flight of the Leper Colony by Bernhard Holmok

The Leper Colony

Over the years at Cangames I've taken photos of many of the games that Bernhard has run. This was the first time that I played. This year he ran both the Dambusters game (Friday night and Sat morning) and this, a scenario inspired by Dr. Strangelove. The game is elegant in its simplicity. The players are all on one side, fighting against the system. In our case, Soviet Air Defenses which grow stronger and stronger the deeper into the Rodina-Mat that we flew. I would assume that it was the same format used in his Dambusters game.

Strike Missions Entering Soviet Air Space
The table was three 8 foot table lengths long, divided into 2 foot bands.  Each band had random events, SAM missile batteries or fighters. Once we passed the half way mark on the table we started to encounter secondary targets, with the primaries located far in the distance in the end table. With each move forward you were allowed to adjust your altitude (Low, Medium, High) which altered some of the search results against your plane, or you could shift from your flight path into an adjacent lane. There were three streams on the board, left, right and centre.

The game was for 8 players, including 2 members of the French Force de Frappe, 2 planes of the RAF, and the rest were American. I ended up flying the Leper Colony, the B-52 Bomber commanded by Major T.J. King Kong. No one else it seemed wanted to be a large lumbering target.

Soviet MIG-21 launching AA Missile
SAM Battery in position
SAMs and MIGs enter the fray.
Events could be deadly or humorous, as was the one I drew labelled survival kit. And to quote the movie, which it did in most part I received: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings.

As Major Kong said,  a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

Here on turn 3 we see the Brits taking a Missile up a tailpipe.
In the next move the Brits pass a random event card to me. The Leper Colony is the target of a random SAM missile. I try to brazen it out with my flying and not waste a flare.

I am certain I will need all I carry as I fly deeper into the enemy's territory. This is a mistake on my part because I take 3 points of damage. My plane's airframe can withstand 20 points but I am doomed and don't know it.

Turn 6: I draw a random event. Fuel Leak. Because of the 3 point hit I took in turn 4
I now have 3 turns left in the air. My primary targey is out of range.
I was forced to turn around to go at the nearest secondary

Bomb's Away

Heading Away from the Blast: Another Airfield Dead Ahead
Once things went hot, mushrooms were spouting all over the board. I took an early hit which caused me to divert to a secondary target. I was leaking fuel and only had three turns left in the air. Afterwards I tried to aim for a Russki airfield to ditch the plane, but I was assured by the ref that I wouldn’t make it.

The theme of this year’s convention was Armageddon, and this game fits the bill. I hope Bernhard was recognized for his fantastic efforts.

Fortunately for our side, most of the allies were able to get through to the main targets. Murmansk is taken out by the Force de Frappe. Congratulations to Paul and his wing-man.

My Best Major Kong Impersonation.
 I didn't have a White Stetson.
7:00 PM: Junta hosted by Norel Rebin

This game is a long-time favorite of mine and I try to play every 2nd year at Cangames alternating between it and Rail Baron. Norel does a great job at hosting this event with as many as 3 games going on at once. He prearranges the budget amounts so each table will receive the same amount of budget in turn. The cards and players will do the rest. This year the Atlantic Simulations Society was well represented with four players at two boards and Mike providing commentary. In the final analysis Stuart won 2nd place and I took third.

The game is played with some home rules. The Minister must attempt to assassinate somebody each turn, and the President must always stress how bad the economy is. Everyone receives a free Megabuck if they have to play a card that requires money to attempt an assassination. Things can be bloodly.

Taken from Boardgame Geek we have the following description for Junta:

Players represent various office holders in the ruling Junta. Depending upon his office and the various cards he holds, each player has a certain number of votes. These are important as they must first elect El Presidente and then vote on the budget that he proposes. Here's where it can get sticky. El Presidente draws cards face down from the money deck (which varies in denomination from $1 to $3) and must propose a budget for the year, distributing the money as he sees fit amongst the various offices. Of course, loyalty to him is usually rewarded, while those pesky 'thorns in his side' are usually cut off completely. The beauty of all this, though, is that El Presidente can - and most always does - keep some of the loot for himself. And since no one but he knows the value of what he drew, no one knows how much he's keeping. Suspicion is always keen.

Players may attempt to assassinate the other players by guessing where they will be from among five locations. Players who successfully assassinate another player take that player's money, as the only safe money is the money that has been deposited in a Swiss bank account, and the only way to get to the bank is to survive the assassination round.

If the players are unhappy, and there is an excuse, they can call for a coup, where the opposition players seek to take control of a majority of the power centers. Rebel players control the forces of the role which they were assigned (e.g. army, navy, air force), and players loyal to El Presidente do the same, seeking to control the strongholds until the rebellion is quelled.

The goal is to amass the greatest wealth secreted away in your Swiss bank account

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