And Now For Something Completely Different

I’ve been planning my annual deviltry for Enfilade. I’ve mostly shared what I’m doing–Bladensburg is big on Saturday morning.  I’ll run Thunderboats on Friday afternoon.  I’m really hoping to have my pickelfork boats from the 70’s done. May really be squeezing those in.

Aaron Burr exhorting frontiersmen to share his vision of an Empire in the West.  With him as Emperor of course

Aaron Burr exhorting frontiersmen to share his vision of an Empire in the West. With him as Emperor of course

But I’m taking a big chance with my Sunday offering.  I’m calling it Emperor of Mexico: The Burr Conspiracy.  It really is different and a bit risky. For those who have a difficult time remembering, the Burr Conspiracy was the plot by former vice-president of the United States Aaron Burr to acquire lands in the west (of the Mississippi River)

This is a six-player game, with each of the players taking on the role of a historical or quasi-historical character.  Each character has separate victory conditions.  Each controls a military force, has strengths and weaknesses, and probably has to work together with another character to achieve his goals and objectives. I’ve deliberately abstracted  time and, movement, and though the combat rules will be a lot like Brother Against Brother, they will be simplified.

Kentucky rifles are the backbone of Burr's frontier army

Kentucky rifles are the backbone of Burr’s frontier army

In many respects this will be a lot like Diplomacy, or a “screw your neighbor” multi-player board game, with aspects of role-playing and miniatures as mechanics in the game. Game turns will include a diplomacy/espionage phase to allow players to communicate with one another in writing, and attempt to gain intelligence about other players.  Some players may win through movement, others through combat, and still others through gathering information.

It’s a different sort of game.  Much different than any game I’ve ever envisioned or run before.  I’m hoping it’s a game that will draw some interest at the convention, and one that historical miniature enthusiasts can appreciate.  Definitely out-of-the-box.

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A view toward 2014

It’s now post-Enfilade and time to begin looking toward what I may have on the docket for next year.  Yes, I know it seems early, but I’m heading into summer vacation, my most productive time of year, and I really am a planner. So here are a couple of ideas for the convention

Director again. I’m going to take on the role of Enfilade director one last time.  My goal was to continue on with the people we have in place and find successors willing to take on the jobs for at least three years 2015-17, and I’ve done that with Dave and Lloyd of Astoria.  My other goal is to extend our contract if at all possible at the Red Lion so Dave and Lloyd don’t have to worry about dealing with it during their tenure.  That’s still up in the air but we may have some information soon.

Those are the big picture items I have my eye on, but the small picture is determining how my duties will affect my game-running role at the convention.  Usually I’m involved with four or so games and I can see a fistful of games I’d like to do, but I definitely have some commitments for the War of 1812 bicentennial.  They may take up all the time I have to run stuff at the con.

Bladensburg and beyond.  By agreement I’m hosting the Battle of Bladensburg, the action outside the District of Columbia that led to the burning of the capital in 1814. I’m painting Brits and Americans, which I’m happy to do.  I just finished painting the last of the four British Marine units that show up in the third wave of British troops that make their appearance. My chief task is to paint the three British line units (Victrix plastic figures) and massive light infantry battalion present at the battle.  I also have an American line unit and  one more unit of Maryland militia.  Ideally I need to have these figures finished by the first of the year, so I have some time to try out a playtest or two leading up to the battle. The Americans outnumber the Brits, but not by a huge amount, and the Brits definitely have the not stupid and unit quality factors on their side. 

Mark is also hosting Sackett’s Harbor and Doug is waffling about hosting Chippewa.  I may get tied into these games as well.  Or not.  Still 11+ months to go to see what happens.

Hero of Weehawken. This is the name of a solo board game on the Burr conspiracy.  But I was thinking that maybe there was an interesting way to make it a multi-player miniatures game.  I’m hoping I can talk Daveshoe into helping me craft something with varying victory conditions per player as Burr, commanding a force of loyal militia followers as American regulars under a loyal commander, American regulars under say, James Wilkinson, and Spanish forces close in on him.  I probably wouldn’t have to paint many more figures to make it work, and there could be enough choices to make it really interesting.

Hydroplane racing.  I would really like to run Thunderboats at Enfilade again.  I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the game and it would give me a reason to finish the nine boats I have.  I’ve already decided on a design for the JagWire boat in Emerald Ridge colors–my own fantasy boat using the old hulls.  It’ll take some research and work to put together my picklefork fleet.

Just some thoughts going forward.