Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue Max game at Historicon '09

My friend Rich Oster (on the left) and I have been friends and fellow Blue Max fanatics since meeting at Historicon about a decade and a half ago. Since Rich lives in Ohio and I live in New Hampshire we only get together at the Historicon conventions. This year Rich wanted to get his Gotha on the wargaming table and we joined forces to put on a huge Blue Max game for the occasion!

I was involved in the original conversion of the Blue Max Board game into the first edition of the Blue Max Miniatures rules. Phil Hall was very generous to give me co-authoring credit for my work on the project but truthfully all of the hard work was done when he originally created the excellent board game. Since that time I've continued to play Blue Max, but Rich has continued to follow Phil Hall's improved rule set which Phil has developed with Eric Hotz. The new rules, now called Canvas Eagles, are available for FREE, including all game aids and aircraft charts on Phil and Eric's excellent site http://www.eaglesmax.com/. The current version includes many improvements to the original system as well as much improved artwork on all of the airplane charts. Everything you need to play is provided in printable PDF format. Rich and I ran our game with the new Canvas Eagles rule system which all of the players, only a few of which had ever played Blue Max or Canvas Eagles, were able to learn quickly.

The game was surprisingly bloodless for a three-hour fur ball of over 20 planes in the air. We had one early 'Golden Bebe' shot as one German pilot pulled a 'pilot killed' chit, but for many turns both sides jousted only causing minor damage until late in the game when each side lost an additional fighter. With the Gotha successfully dropping it's bombs on the Allied airfield and the Germans only suffering two fighters lost the game was declared a minor German victory. I'd like to thank Rich for running the game with me and also I'd like to thank all of our players who approached the game in a fun and very sportsmanlike manner. At conventions you meet all types of gamers and this was a great group of new friends I hope to game with again in the future. Additional photos are available on the Northern Conspiracy events photo gallery page.



I also got to play my first game of the "British Grenadier" AWI rules and enjoyed it enough that I picked up a copy of the rules and the scenario books. My friend Byron took some photos of the game while I was playing and when I get copies of them later I'll probably make another blog entry about the game and my impression of the rules.

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