Sunday, December 11, 2011

MILLENNIUMCON 14 AAR Pt I - General Info & Force on Force: Africa

While I am working in Texas, I got a weekend off where I was not able to go home, but fell on the same weekend as Millenniumcon in Austin, TX. As I was about a 2 hour drive away, I went up there for one day. While I was there, I was able to get into two games (Force on Force Africa & Charlie Don’t Surf), which is a lot for me lately. What I am going to do is break this entry into three different parts: a review of the convention as a whole; a review of one game; and finally a review of the other game.

The Convention

All in all, it is not a bad little gaming convention. It is not a huge national gaming convention like GenCon or Origins, but a nice size for a regional convention which I quite honestly prefer over the large national cons due to the smaller crowds and lack of big ego and openly public mudslinging/poo-pooing that taints the HMGS-East conventions (I have been both a HMGS-E Cold War & Fall-In cons and can easily say that the smaller regional cons blow both of them away pretty much in all aspects.)

It was held a nice looking hotel that had a small convention building attached to it. There was a bar/restaurant there, but I did not eat there. The only thing that I would like to have seen was some more places to eat within walking distance. The gaming areas were nice and located in several rooms with the dealers located in the largest room along the gaming. While there were not a huge number of dealers, there were more than some other regional cons that I have been to. They had a flea market set up for Sunday morning only, which I was not able to attend, so I can’t comment on the number of sellers then. There were some nice looking games tables and some pretty figures. I didn’t get many pictures of any of this due to me being more interested in playing in games and the fact that I forgot my camera, so I had to use my camera phone which does not take the best of pictures.

The Convention Hall with Dealer's Area

One of the nicest look table boards

Force on Force: Africa

OK, this actually my second game for the day, but I am going to talk about it now. The guy running the game is one of the authors of the upcoming Force on Force: Africa supplement book. We talked a little bit about various books and information on the post-WWII African wars. I am not going to claim that I am expert on African conflicts, but years ago I was in hot and heavy on researching the Congo conflicts, Rhodesia, South Africa, plus Liberia & the Ivory Coast long before those last two conflicts where of any real interested over here in the US. I actually was able to start reading French, even though I never had been properly taught, because I was reading French magazines/news articles and was able to figure out enough by just knowing what the articles were about.) I always found the conflicts very interesting and brutal…humanity at its worst. Anyway, I have my opinions on this setting with these rules, but I will hold off expressing them depending on how the final book looks…especially the section on the Belgian Para-Commandos for the Congo.
As for the game, it was called “Bronze Cross of Rhodesia: Operation Snoopy”. In the scenario, platoon of Rhodesian Light Infantry has to ambush a Mozambique army armored column of a platoon of infantry riding in BTR-40’s and a T-55 tank. The RLI was to hit hard, stop the column and escape from the board. The Mozambique army was to exit their armor off the board and try to keep the RLI from escaping the board for at least 10 (or something like that) turns. The game went badly for the RLI. Mostly it was due to really bad dice rolls, I felt sorry for the one RLI player whose dice rolls were as bad as someone I know back home! (You know who you are!) He shot my BTR-40 several times with an RPG and only slightly damaged it once, still allowing me to escape off the board with it. He also rolled a lot of “1’s” for his reactions and was getting hammered with bad luck cards. But, I also believe that the RLI players lost the objective of their mission and got too tunnel visioned with shooting up Mozambique troops that they didn’t try to break contact and run away to set up another ambush site. Of course, they couldn’t do that after a while as too many of their men were getting hit and were rolled as serious wounded. In the end, the Mozambique army was bloodied with probably 50% wounded or dead infantry and a knocked out T-55 blocking the only vehicle ford at the stream. But every RLI was killed as the remaining Mozambique troops shot all of the wounded before turn 10.
In review of the game, it was way too bloody and both the Mozambique and RLI where too much like supermen for morale as they were being massacred and didn’t run. At one point, half of my squad of Mozambique troops jumped out of a moving BTR-40 because they failed a morale roll from small arms fire…I have a problem with that. If it was from a RPG hit or the BTR was still, I could see them jumping out. Instead, I believe that they would have hidden gone “to ground” inside the BTR.

Pushing on without my vehicle-leaping infantry

No comments: