400 people crowded into a relatively confined space. They sought out their friends, and gathered together in their designated spaces. They became animated, told tales of what happened over the past year, their voices rose to barely below a shout. It was a very good day.
No it wasn’t the first day of school, it was the first day of Enfilade. The participants weren’t 16 year-old boys, they were 40, 50, 60 and 70 year olds, with a growing smattering of women and young folks. But, most, like me, were a bit stouter, a little less hair on top, and maybe a little creakier than 2018.
There was a pile of great-looking games. Most were historical, but also some great sci-fi and fantasy to meet the 2019 theme of Winter War theme popped up. Some I have pictures of, but others I don’ t. I’ll follow up in subsequent posts with reports and those photos.
But for this post I simply want to make the point that the most important part of Enfilade, for me, is seeing old friends, gaming with buddies, catching a beer or a meal with guys I admire, but only get to see once or twice a year.
Maybe as I near my 64th birthday and retirement, I’ve just gotten soft. Many of my wargaming buddies I’ve pushed figures with for 25, 30, 35 years and more. Some of them are like family and our relationship extends well beyond the game table. It is not an accident that I ran four games with David Sullivan and Dave Schueler, ate in the bar with them three times, even though I spent each of the previous two weekends with them. They are two of my dearest friends.
So, this weekend, which included hundreds of games, beverages with friends, and a purchase or two (or more) made in the B and B, they were made that much more poignant with the three estate sales hosted by friends and families of those we lost, the most concrete example of the passage of time and the graying of our hobby.
Not to seem too maudlin, Enfilade 2019 was a great convention, with lots of terrific games. It was a convention without major problems. It was a little like an annual class reunion. And to that end, for this entry, I’m sharing pictures just of the guys, doing what they love, playing games on Friday night. To all those pictured, and those who aren’t, I look forward to seeing you in 2020.