Saturday, May 29, 2010

25. A Brief Interlude - Dinosaurs and Wizards!

We'll return to our semi-regularly-scheduled cannibalistic pygmies in a moment.  First, I'd like to report on some great games at a great convention.

The weekend of May 21-23, 2010 saw the inaugural days of Texicon in Ft. Worth, Texas.  This was a full-fledged game convention, featuring miniatures, RPGs and board gaming.  It's good for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to finally have its own con again; it's been far too many years otherwise.

For a first event, I thought things went pretty well.  True, it was a small set of rooms, with a limited number of attendees allowed due to the hotel regulations, but it was constantly and consistently as full as possible all day long the entire time I was there.

So first, congratulations to Texicon!

Second, I had a blast attending.  I played a CR3/Swordplay game that was a hoot, with most excellent terrain, run by Ron H.  (I hesitate to use anyone's last name without permission; this is, after all, the big bad world wide Internet.  However, if any of you want to contact me and say it's o.k., I'll happily give you the credit you deserve!)  We had to get inside the wizard's tower, go down to his dungeon to retrieve dungeon-y type stuff.

Here's some pics of it:
Above:  The approaches to the Wizard's tower.  The portals at the corners provided access for our two parties.

Above:  The dungeon below the tower.  Each room was painted with magnetic paint, so doors would stick to them.

Above:  My group of fearless adventurers.  A Dwarf, an Elf, a Cleric, and a Paladin.
AboveWe're besieged by Merry Men look-a-likes.  That's the other party in the game rounding the Kraken's pool in the background.  Sure looks like Robin Hood to me.  Are we sure these aren't his men after all?
Above:   So we finally make it to the stairs...
Above:   ...and after beating off the Kraken, the bandits and a whole lot of wolves, we get inside.  The game went a lot faster after I realized you don't have to kill everything:  you can run away!
Above:   The rooms/corridors were revealed as we went:  open a door, and Ron placed the "terrain."
Above:   We actually weren't competing with the other party of adventurers, but we got to play the bad guys whenever they attacked, and vice versa.  Here it looked pretty bad for old Robin, until I rolled very poorly on the dice roll for the not-Skaven.
Above:   With our backs to the wall, Legolas ended up Out of the Fight after this.  Unfortunately we had to end before actually completing the game.  To be continued?

Next day I played a terrific Pathfinder RPG game, DMed by Peter Y.  Let's not get started on the relative merits or lack thereof regarding D&D4.  I will simply say I won't play D&D4 anymore.  Pathfinder, though, is the cat's meow!

RPGs are much harder to take good photos of:
Above:  Believe it or not, that knight with the red shield, I painted over 20 years ago for my friend, who was also playing in the game.

After that it was off to an Old West skirmish game using "The Rules With No Name" ... er, rules, GMed by Adam V.  He's a teen who built everything on the table, and is strongly supported by his family.  He also runs a fun game; really kept things moving.  Alas for me, only the legendary leader of the banditos escaped with the gold (meaning, not my characters).  My two ne'er-do-wells met an untimely end in the dusty streets, although I did make sure one lawman won't ever be able to get a date with Miss Kitty again!  He's got a yellow stripe a foot wide now.

Above:  Paper buildings from Whitewash City, a paper train, but good looking stuff.  One of my characters is watching the horses while the gold approaches from the upper right.
Above:  Here comes the Law!
Above:   Yep, that's me, watchin' those horses.  Then I get on one and try to ride off.  Eventually I am gunned down.
Above:  This was another outlaw about to make his getaway, when Miss Kitty (a citizen, not in the picture) took a max range shot through intervening terrain...and got a kill!  The lawman picked up the gold and headed back to town.  My second bandito, who was about to survive by leaving the table, decided to see if he could take out the deputy with a quick kill and steal the gold for himself.  It was not to be.  Then I ran around the corner to give chase...right into the arms of Miss Kitty and another lawman!  I wounded him, making him run away, but another lawman filled me full of lead.  A painful death it was, but spectacular.
Last but not least, I played a dinosaur hunt game, using Two Hour Wargames' "Adventures in the Lost Lands," GMed by Ed T. himself.  It was a blast!  Our three hunters, plus attendants, only wanted to salvage a simple kill to prove dinosaurs exist.  The trouble was, the meat-eaters kept trying to prove we don't exist, by eating us.

Above:  There's the Scotsman on the left, myself in the middle, and my friend Tom (a former Foreign Legionnaire, don'cha'know) on the right.  We're here to bring back evidence of dinosaurs, and must explore each section of the table.  We decide to cross the river.

Above:  We've crossed the river, and detect something ahead of us.  Quiet!
Above:  It's a feeder dinosaur.  Kinda big, so we decide to explore some more before gunning him down.
Above:  In fact, it's a whole herd of dinosaurs.  Herd of dinosaurs?  Of course I've heard of dinosaurs, everyone's heard of dinosaurs!
Above:  We are set upon by cute little vicious, toothy bastards...
Above:  ...who we take out with one shot.  Other feeders arrive.  This is gonna be eeaassyy.
Above:  We decide these guys will make good evidence.  We shoot, one runs away, but we get one kill.
Above:  The Hunters are very sensibly on the far side of the river from the next approaching dinosaur, while the hired help tries to carve up the dino as fast as possible!  (Ed, I don't know what you mean, calling us chicken.)
Above:  Being on the far side didn't help, in the long run.  Here, Tom tells us, "I got this one."  He did, too, although just barely.  Two different times, even.
Above:  Later Billabong and Bouillabaisse decide to high-tail it out of there, only to be cut off by more of those toothy little meat-eaters.
Above:  They opt to join us on the other side of the river, where we've been successful in carving up a sabre-tooth tiger.  Bouillabaisse is wounded, but Tom is a good man and carries him along.  Either that, or he's saving him in order to make a quick get-a-away if need be!
Above:  More bearers go down.  It's so hard to find good help these days.
Above:  Now we're in trouble.  We've got multiple meat-eaters approaching.  The big one ends up getting shot by, you guessed it, Tom, but the medium ones...well, we decided to hoof it.  See ya!
Above:  After a chase in which Tom advantageously drops Bouillabaisse to save his own sorry self, and by extension, us too, we make it to the river.  Only Billabong is still with us.  It's a good thing, as he's carrying all the proof we need to show that dinosaurs exist!  We'll be rich!  All we have to do is get across the river and we're home free.
Above:  That's when greed reared it's ugly head.  The Scotsman decided to explore just one more area.  He got a nasty surprise.  Is he up to the challenge?
Above:  Nope.
AboveBut Tom and I are.  The dino goes down!
Above:  Then greed reared it's ugly head, yet again.  I, yes even I, decided to check out that (certainly unguarded) nest of eggs.  I got a bit of a surprise too.  Was I up to the challenge?  Er, no.

No worries, though, right?  Since Tom was dependent on me for a ride home that night, surely he would drive off the critter, before saving himself.  Riiight?  Nope.  Two close calls earlier, plus the lure of claiming ALL the fame and fortune, proved too much for such a selfless act.  He skedaddled faster than a long-tail cat in a rocking chair factory.  Ah well, I gave him a ride home anyway.

So there you have my fast and furious Texicon report.  Can't wait for next year!

Later this summer is Skirmish, but since it's all miniatures, mostly all historical, it's almost a completely different animal.  Last year's was fun, though, so I'm looking forward to it, too.

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