Sunday, May 5, 2013

Huzzah! 2013

This weekend was the Huzzah! 2013 Wargaming Convention. I was only able to attend Friday night and Saturday morning and afternoon sessions due to other commitments. Still I had a great time. This was the first year for the convention in a new hotel conference center and I have to say the new venue is a great improvement. There was a lot more room, on site 'quick food' catering and separate rooms for board games, large on-floor games and also a Field of Glory ancients tournament. Although the convention spanned many areas, the majority of the action centered around the main ballroom where most of the games, the vendors and both WWII tournaments (Flames of War and Bolt Action) were held. Below is a video panorama of the ballroom on Friday evening. Please excuse the poor quality, my still camera suffers in video quality particularly in low light.

My good friend Gordon from Adler Hobby was there as both a vendor and also as the organizer of both of the aforementioned WWII tournaments. For my part I donated some prize support in the form of the sportsman prizes and donated my laser time to manufacture the trophies. Gordon did a nice job finding a variety of interesting 54mm figures which he painted to look like sculptures to decorate the award plaques.

Friday evening I pre-registered for a "paint and take" session hosted by Eric Jones of Hotspur Historicals. Eric is a fantastic painter and had a great session planned where we all followed his instructions to learn how to paint using his 'big battalions' method. This wasn't like any other speed painting techniques I've seen before. I learned a bunch of great tips: spot washing, how to efficiently black line small detail items like musket barrel straps and buttons, and other great tips like which colors to use with a wash so you get the correct final colors you desire. Even though I was painting in a dark room and not at my usual work station, Eric's techniques produced a great looking figure in a little more than two hours including instruction. I could probably reproduce these techniques on a half dozen figures in two hours at home. Twenty minutes per figure for something looking this nice is pretty awesome - especially for ACW Zouaves with lace details!

I've been painting figures for almost 30 years and I always benefit from learning how other people paint. Even if you're an experienced painter I highly recommend you participate in such seminars yourself. Also holding such a seminar at your club or with friends is a GREAT way for everyone to improve. A huge thanks to Eric for sharing his knowledge and for hosting such a great session.

Saturday during the mid-day session I played in a Carnage & Glory game hosted by Peter Lowitt. The game was the battle of Crysler's Farm 1813 - part of the war of 1812. This scenario showed how unique Carnage & Glory is. The battle featured a 4:1 advantage in numbers for the American army but the battle ended in a British victory. Fatigue from crossing battlefield obstacles and traversing muddy fields took a toll on the Americans in the battle and C&G models that well enough that as a scenario designer, Peter was allowed to use a historical order of battle and still host a competetive game. In the end this time the Americans lost horribly, but Peter has run this scenario several other times where the Americans have been able to achieve victory.  Thanks for the fun game Peter!

Also at Peter's table, but not part of the game, was a 28mm Monitor he built for anther game hosted at the convention by a friend of his. I was impressed at the workmanship of this scratch built gaming model.

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