Wednesday, March 31, 2010

KublaCon Games

For me, the nearest game convention is KublaCon, which is held in Burlingame, CA over the extended Memorial Day weekend (Friday afternoon through Monday morning). I try to run a few games each year, since volunteers get their admission fee refunded. This year I've signed up to run:

- Commands & Colors Fest: I ran this event at Conquest SF last year over the Labor Day holiday. It's an open gaming format. I bring multiple copies of all 4 Commands & Colors games (Battle Cry, Memoir '44, BattleLore, and Commands & Colors: Ancients), let people choose their own scenario, set up and play whatever they like. Players can come and go as they like while I can hover around to teach the rules, answer questions, or leave people alone as they prefer. This event worked really well when I ran it at Conquest on Monday morning, the convention's final day. The last day of a convention, in my experience, is always difficult for events, as people are packing up and getting ready to leave. Yet, many people may be in for a short game of some kind. The Commands & Colors games work well for this difficult time slot because they're easy to teach, play fast, and each game only requires 2 players.

- Learn Panzer Grenadier: I've been enjoying the Panzer Grenadier line of tactical WWII games. Unlike many tactical WWII games, PG units are platoons rather than a squads or individuals, so the game makes some abstractions that make the game easier to play (e.g., there is no concept of unit facing). In addition, the rules are only 16 pages in length, and there is a huge wealth of scenarios available. My goal in this event is to identify some low-counter-density scenarios that only last 8-12 turns or so that can be used for teaching and let people play them.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Battle Cry Online!

I'm a big fan of the "Commands and Colors" games by Richard Borg. For those of you who don't have (or can't find an opponent for) his ACW game Battle Cry, the Game Table Online site allows you to play against other players or against an AI.

Now this isn't particularly new; Battle Cry has been on Game Table Online for quite some time. What is new, at least for me, is that I've been able to play this game on my Mac. In the past, Game Table Online has only really supported Windows; the Java applications have not run well on Macs. Now however, I've played several solo and opponent games on my Mac (using the Firewfox browser) with nary a glitch. This is really good news.

If you haven't tried GTO, give them a visit. They have quite a few games online including Axis & Allies, Tigris & Euphrates, etc.

By the way, if you don't have the rules for Battle Cry, you can download it from Wizards of the Coast.