Yesterday was day one of Museum-Con 2013 which is a two day event sponsored by the Calgary Strategy Wargaming Club. Usually the event is held in the local military museum but this year there was a scheduling conflict and the event was held at the Brentwood Co-op store’s community hall.
I took along my ASL SK1 set in case I managed to work in a game with fellow ASL neophyte Shane as well as my, as of yet unplayed, copy of Manoeuvre. When I got there everyone was already set up and playing games. I’ll remember to show up right away next year and not an hour after the event starts.
One interesting thing that was immediately apparent was the popularity of titles from GMT Games. Every table was taken over by one GMT game or another- two copies of Twilight Struggle, Successors and Command & Color Napoleonics. And every person that brought games brought two or three other GMT titles. I was quite surprised by how dominant the publisher was.
My Combat Commander opponent, Kevin, was busy at one of the two Twilight Struggle games so I spent some time watching a game of Command & Color Napoleonics with Bob and Robert. Robert beat Bob playing the first scenario of the game (it was a learning game for Rob) and then I took over the British and started playing the scenario against Bob. I wasn’t able to finish the game, Kevin’s Twilight Struggle game had come to an end, but I actually liked it quite a lot. It appear to have the same sort of randomness that other games in the series do but the long ranged fire and cavlry make it a very different game. I’m certainly looking forward to playing it again if I get the chance.
Kevin and I played a scenario from the Combat Commander: Europe set pitting a force of 12 Soviet Guards SMG squads against four squads of German line troops who are tasked with holding the Soviets back and stopping them from exiting the map. Kevin demolished me. The scenario has a Winter Camouflage special rule that allows the Soviets to get an additional benefit from Concealment cards. Kevin wisely made sure he had plenty of them in his had when he started to move forward making most of my fire pretty much useless for the entire game.
I made a few pretty bad moves over the course of the game that didn’t help but the cards really were against me in the game. I lost one LMG due to pulling a Jammed result on a doubles role while using the Suppression Fire Action. Sniper events broke my Weapon team with the HMG twice during the game and I also Jammed the HMG. To make things even more overwhelming, Kevin brought on a Soviet artillery battery with Smoke access as a reinforcement and spent the rest of the game dropping smoke on my troops to further diminish my firepower.
That said it was actually a fun game and I learned a heck of a lot about how to organize my cards for actions, deploy my troops and how to move safely. Combat Commander is always fun as it always seems to create a wild narrative for you to enjoy and participate in.
I had a lot of fun at the event and even though I only made it own for the first day I am looking forward to the event next year.