Sunday, August 18, 2013

In the Beginning... there were demos.

It shouldn't be this difficult.

But then, maybe I'm expecting a bit too much.

I'm Chris, a guy who's been wargaming for oh, a little over 20 years.    At least, I call it wargaming.  Some might not, but I'll get into that a bit more later.  For now here it is in a nutshell:  I learned about Warhammer 40,000 when I was in high school and I started playing it.  (Remember the 30 Space Marine box set you could get at GW for $20?)  I played that off and on for a few years and then in 2004 I expanded my gaming world into Warhammer Fantasy, starting with Bretonnia.  (And yep, the "current" army book for Bretonnia is still the same one I bought back then...)

In the last couple of years however, I've branched off even more into Warmachine, Malifaux, and now Infinity.  I also have a Bolt Action army underway and then there's the problem child of my wargaming, and the trigger for this blog...  My Macedonians.

I've been on a real Sword & Sandals kick lately, studying history, reading the Illiad and the Odyssey, reading up on some of the original source material for Alexander the Great and his campaigns... I've fallen in love with the idea of historical wargaming...  It's the reality of historical wargaming that's giving me fits.

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to get a little distance from the kind of wargaming I'd been doing and get into something a little more "serious."  Something a little more tactical.  Something a little less gimmicky.  Warhammer Fantasy is fun and all, but I wanted to cut my teeth on a system that relied more on tactics and less on random dice rolls for bizarre phenomena.  (Winds of Magic, anyone?)  So I went up to DropZone Games in Glen Burnie (Site of the old GW Battle Bunker) to see what I could get involved in.

There I learned about Hail Caesar, which covers ancient through Medieval History in its scope.  I picked up a copy of the book and the Ancients army list and was off to create my Macedonians.  Problem was, there wasn't much of a historical community playing there.  Most of the players at DropZone are about the sci-fi and  fantasy type games.  There are a couple regulars there who are interested in historical gaming, but it hasn't really generated much traction as of yet. 

So I spoke with Tom,  the owner, about helping to establish a regular historical gaming night there.  He suggested that I run some demos of Hail Caesar at the one-year birthday event for DropZone in June.  To support the effort, he hooked me up with a Conquest of Gaul boxed set for Hail Caesar which would enable me to run a Romans vs. Gauls game.

So I did so, got all the Romans (3 units of legionaries and a scorpion) and all the Gauls (3 warbands) together, did a little research to create a scenario (The Battle of Bibracte in 58 BC) and did a handful of successful demos.

The next big step was... Historicon... (Next post)