I had a miserable Saturday night. I woke up sick to my stomach and got very little sleep. Sunday was our scheduled annual day at the Museum of Flight, and all I could think of was whether there was a way I could get out of it. Hmm, I’m the lead contact person. I’m hosting two games. Nope, I was in up to my neck, so I had to make the best of it. At least by 7:00 A.M. I was starting to feel a little better. So on about four and a half hours sleep I stopped at Starbucks on the way out of town and headed for South Seattle.
I think I write about the Museum of Flight every year. I’m not sure I have tons of new stuff to say about it, except this: we are incredibly lucky to be there every year. It’s super difficult to find an inexpensive venue in the middle of Seattle to host gaming activities. Yet the Museum folks ask us back every year. They give us a wonderful space in the Great Gallery under the SR-71, which can be good and bad, but mostly good, and they pay for our admission. That’s right my guys get in for free to do the things we love to do: spend time together and play games. That doesn’t mean things are always perfect. This year we got booted from our planned November 1st day due to an emergency memorial service planned by a board member. But generally the folks there work with us.
The date change reduced our attendance, but it was still a very fun day. Sven Lugar ran his very attractive All Quiet on the Martian Front, while Lloyd Bowler, making the trip up from Astoria, ran Wings of Glory. Paul Grandstaff and Al Rivers ran some WWII Check Your Six, while Scott Murphy ran an afternoon game of Star Wars Armada. Armada and WOG attracted nice audiences of Museum attendees and we saw groups of parents and grandparents gathered around tables to help their kids play the games. Dave Schueler manned the information desk and talked up the hobby with Museum visitors. For the first time attendees said they timed their visit to the museum to coincide with our game day.
I ran two games. In the morning, it was a full six person crowd of air racers. Friends, many I’ve known and gamed with for decades ran my little Shapeways planes around the board. As always, my role was to keep the game moving and goad the players into various acts of folly. Not many crashes today, though a couple players ran of out of gas. Scott Abbott, leading the race all the way, ran out of gas on the last turn and landed his plane a hex short of the finish line. Gary Griess motored past him in the Gee Bee R-1 for the win.
in the afternoon I ran Thunderboats!! The game is always popular with visitors. There are lots of memories of the early boats I have. One observer had been a member of a pit crew in the 70’s, and gave the game his seal of approval. That made my day.
We had only four racers, so I decided to play too. I chose the brand, spankin’ new Squire Shop boat. But you know how it is with new miniatures. If they perform poorly in their first action, they are cursed forever. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Everyone seemed to take nitrous bottles for their boats. The nitrous oxide additive gave bursts of power for boats in the late 60’s, but the highly flammable material could also have some deleterious effects, including fire and explosions. It seemed every other turn a boat was zooming ahead, but then slowed as they tried to douse the fire from nitrous oxide explosion. I didn’t take a nitrous bottle, but stuck with my tried and true plan of going as hard as I could, pushing each turn with a great driver until my boat was in serious danger of breaking down. I got some good movement die rolls as well as consistently strong die rolls to support the risks I took. Squire Shop took the lead in the second lap and won the race despite a couple of late nitrous fueled charges.
It was a good day, and we wrapped up early. I’ve given up most of my NHMGS responsibilities in the last year, but I’ll probably hang on to the scheduling the Museum day. It’s always a lot of fun, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to game there.