Monday, July 07, 2008

GenCon Oz Part 2

This is Part 2 of my day at GenCon Oz. Here is a link to Part 1.

So, here I was at GenCon Oz on Sunday, the final day of what was touted as "The best four days in gaming". It was a pity I'd only been able to come on one of those four days. Due to still recovering from a bad cold I'd almost not come at all, however, now that I was here I was glad that I had made the decision to come.

The board games section in the great hall

Keith, the organiser of the Memoir '44 mini-tournament had just informed me that the event had been cancelled due to insufficient numbers. After overcoming my initial disappointment, I suggested to one of the other entrants that perhaps we should just play a friendly game of Memoir '44. He said he wanted to watch his son who was playing in the Pokemon CCG tournament but a friend of his nearby, Jarrad, was interested in learning how to play Memoir '44. So, after a quick introduction, Jarrad and I sat down together and set up the board for the Pegasus Bridge scenario.

Jarrad had flown up from Canberra and was into cosplay and anime. I'd never heard of cosplay before. Cosplay is short for costume play and is basically a performing art behaviour of self-rigging out as a character (most often from Anime, Manga or computer games) with corresponding costume, accessories and/ or parameters. That would explain all the people in costume I'd noticed walking around the convention.

Pegasus Bridge - I played the Allies.

As Jarrad had never played Memoir '44 before I had to explain the rules. I also advised him on his options each turn and explained the reasoning behind my moves. Jarrad rolled well and I must have been too good in teaching him the rules because he won the game 4 medals to 1.

After that Jarrad left to meet up with some fellow cosplayers. As I was packing up the game Keith asked me if I'd be able to explain the rules to a family at another table who wanted to learn to play Memoir '44. Keen to promote the board gaming hobby, I agreed. Carol was there with her two teenage sons, Tristan and Casper. Coincidentally, they'd also set the board up for the Pegasus Bridge scenario. So I sat down and explained the rules and answered their questions on tactics and strategy. They quickly caught on to the mechanics and were soon able to play fairly well with few checks of the reference cards. Even mum Carol had picked up the rules by this stage and couldn't help offering suggestions to her sons at critical points in the game.

Casper was playing the Allies and Tristan the Axis. Casper kept making shocking rolls as he sent his units forward to attack the sandbagged emplacement protecting the bridge on his left flank. Tristan's German infantry behind the sandbags kept rolling great and mowed down two full units of Allied infantry before they were finally overwhelmed. Meanwhile, on Casper's right flank he'd taken the other canal bridge and claimed the victory medal for that objective. Unfortunately for him, a lucky roll by Tristan forced him off the bridge and he lost the victory medal. The game was soon over with Tristan's Axis forces winning 4 medals to 1. I commented to Casper not to feel bad as I'd just played the Allies in this same scenario and had also lost 4 medals to 1.

Their appetite for Memoir '44 had been whetted and they both wanted to play again. They'd tasted infantry-only combat but now they wanted more! This time they wanted a scenario with artillery and armour. I chose the Liberation of Paris scenario, showed them the map, gave them a quick explanation of artillery and armour and left them to it. Before I went, however, I mentioned to Carol that Memoir '44 was on sale at the convention or if they were interested there were speciality game stores in Brisbane where they could find it. It's always worth trying to recruit more people into this hobby!

Part 3 tomorrow.

No comments: