Monday, 27 February 2017

Finally: Poldercon 2017!

Hoi,

It has taken me long enough (2 weeks) but I have finally made it to resize and sort through the pictures I took at Poldercon. Elsewhere your can read about the format of this convention (basically you sign in for max. 4 games and play them) I will just relate my impressions and thoughts on the event.

For me Poldercon is pretty much one of two moments in the year I get to play wargames lately. The other one being the Ducosim convention I sometimes get to go to. Anyway I signed in for 3 games since I have to go by train and would miss most of the first game-round getting there. These games were Sharpe Practice, Bolt Action and En Garde, I have the rules for Sharpe Practice and En Garde but haven't had a chance to play them yet. Like manyu others I learn a game best by playing it and specially for the latter two since when reading the rules I got the impression both games were really cumbersome with loads of deifferent formations, movement-types and specially many many many (Commandant Lassard anyone?) modifiers on the rolls with the dice.

Bolt Action is a game almost just as popular as FoW and since I am still looking for the perfect ruleset to use with my 80's Pulp games, (no I do not think 7TV will do) even though I think I found it in Black Ops, I wanted to try this out.

Well here we go!

Some more general shots:


A brilliant looking Roman wagon escort.




Another ancient battlefield, no idea what ruleset or figures.


A FoW game I believe, nice scenery!


This AWI game was hosted by Jasper and looked amazing!



A very nice WW2 in the Netherlands game.


The Chicago Way game. Brilliant map, anyone know what make this is?



No idea what this was, but very nicely made!


Very detailed modern urban diorama!


Dead Man's Hand, very nice table. The train of course is the best!



A very good Freeebooters Fate table. The landscaping is just downright gorgeous.


Team Yankee table I believe.


Mister Crijns provided a workshop: "How to make your own tree"nothing like Bob Ross at all.



The first game I played was Sharpe Practice run by Eltjo in more or less period dress.


As commander of the Continental Right flank my teammate and I had to make sure the ferry over the river was taken and the British rearguard destroyed.


Soon my Continental Militia entered the compound and started shooting up a unit of Loyalists. This went rather good even though my troops were of less quality. Meanwhile our left flank was seriously cut up by the British regulars but managed to hang on.

My shooting was pretty good, scoring 5 hits on a unit of 6 men. To see what would happen my opponent rolled 5 ones thus saving all five of them...


My militia shot down more loyalists and I was reinforced with my dismounted dragoons.


Just as I finished off the Loyalists, a unit of Hessian grenadiers used the ferry and landed on our side of the river.


Now hard pressed by the loyalist unit on my left flank and the Hessians in my front, the militia was seriously under pressure.

Instead of doing what grenadiers are good at: charging, they were happy to trade salvo after salvo with me.


Meanwhile some Continental mounted troops had arrived and we decided to let them jump the fence and charge the last loyalist unit in the flank.


Most of the unit made the jump and charged home, through some obscurity it was not deemed a flank charge, but it hurt anyway, relieving my militia a great deal.


The loyalists were broken...and my dragoons charged the Hessians in the flank and cut them up. With just one big unit still on the beach-head, the Brits had lost. Huzzah for the Continentals!



Next up was the lunch break and a little shopping, a little because there are few dealers present since the event is geared towards play, not pay! In the end I came home with just one purchase, an Empress Miniatures Humvee with grenade launcher. Nice little model for my 80's Pulp project.

After lunch I was able to try out Bolt Action. I was going to play ze Jermans against some Frenchies in early 1940. Now I do think my object was to flush the French from the village, but I failed miserably. To get a hang of the game the starting forces were made up of all sorts of troops and that's fine, but if I would have to choose my own forces i would have left out the artillery observer and the AT rifle team and got some more infantry. It also didn't help that my armoured car was blown to smithereens by the French 75mm from turn 1.


My wheels advance!


The infantry try to sneak up on a la vache...


My observer calls down an off-board artillery bombardment.


These troops are seated in the halftrack, just so you know...

Some Frenchies in a house, I do believe it's La Belle Alliance...


The French PAK and some pigs.


A General advance


The infantry enter the paddock.


The French in the building take potshots at the advancing Germans.

My return fire forced the French unit out of the building, they were so distressed that they kept on running...


My panzer had advanced into the square and was trying to shoot up the French gunners and failing miserably.


The halftrack was taking the longer but safer way round the back.

The troopers in the village  advanced even further but were targeted by a French HMG in a building and had to go to ground.


My other squad had disembarked and tried to sneak up on the French cavalry unit.


While under heavy fire my troops tried to rush the street and dive for cover in the farmhouse.


The cavalry noticed me and charged, but my shooting caused several casualties.


The ensuing hand-to-hand combat left all French dead and just my officer and a second standing. These in turn were despatched buy French infantry who only now dared show themselves.


The unit in the village was pinned down and would go nowhere.

With time against us I conceded the game and had to conclude that I really like the system, all be it that I don't get why I should use dice as markers/ tokens but never mind that. Sadly this ruleset is not really good to play low level skirmishes with named characters with.

The final game I played at Poldercon was an En Garde version of John Carter of Mars. Jan-Willem had constructed 4 brilliant Barsoomian flyers, well one from Helium, one from Zodanga and two from the British Star Empire. Since I was only fighting against one opponent (one young lady with the name of Sanne) we decided to discard the British flyers and make this a Barsoomian get-together. Some evil genius Queen or such had conquered an atmosphere tower and threatened to destroy the entire planet. We had to stop her of course. JW had implied that when players work together the game could be over and won in 10 minutes. If players would start to target each other...

Well this is what happened:
An overview of the table.


My flyer. You flew them by using a system derived from the ever hilarious robo-rally.


Early on, I decided not to shoot at Sanne, she decided otherwise because it would be more fun to fight each other. Now shooting as JW had envisaged it causes really a lot of damage and therefore might just leave the both of us with too little left to fulfil the mission. So therefore I only shot back to see if I could disable her guns, this only worked partly and I got hammered in turn.


As one of the effects of the damage I took was that my ship was going down towards the ground, I decided to go for the door at the base of the tower rather than the platforms. Sanne caught on and went for the platforms.


Chivalrous as I am, I shot at the guards at the platforms, so Sanne would have less to worry about and got hammered yet again for my trouble...


For my shot to breach the doors I rolled magnificently!


Before taking too much damage I disembarked on half of my force. We both had one leader and sidekick/ lieutenant and 8 regular grunts.


After my ships ability to fly was disabled, I evacuated it and went for the door. Knowing JW and having seen Tarks and White Apes on the board, I was half expecting the tower to be packed with nasty surprises.


Only to find out there were none. I therefore raced my troops into the tower but Sanne beat me to it. She destroyed all left over guards and eventually the Queen as well.



The scenery and figures were just a delight for the eye!


Now a new plan entered my shaken mind: since the lady had shot down my ride and had engaged the Queen by this time, I decided to steal her flyer leaving her victorious but stranded on the arid Barsoomian plains.


While Sanne was fighting the evil Queen with her Lieutenant, she had left her boss vulnerable on the landingpad next to the flyer, I swamped her and cut her down, with minimal loss. If time and JW had permitted I am sure my 9 troops with 2 leaders would have easily overcome her left over crew of 4 on the flyer. This left me with a draw.

So my conclusions of Poldercon? Definitely worth every penny and minute spend on it! The atmosphere is so friendly, you get to meet old- and new friends and play games you have not tried before. The hosts all know what they are doing and are all very nice and friendly. 
My verdict on the games? Well Sharp Practice is far nicer then I thought and I will try this again soon.
Bolt Action is really nice to play but I think the rulebook is rather expensive at the moment and am not sure I want to get into this. 
En Garde, even though JW provided us with a brilliant game with even more stunning figures, I just can't get this game! JW had to provide all scores and modifiers and not once was I able to deduct for my self what I needed to score or what effect my dice rolls had. I just basically rolled the dice, looked JW in the eye imploringly and he told me what had just happened. Total bullocks. 

My main conclusion is: I am good with Linear Warfare of the Horse-and-Musket period, I am reasonably well at skirmishes and suck in WW2. Oh well I can live with that!