Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Huzzah Followup- a Rockin' Good Time
Well it's a little late but I want to write a bit about my experience at Huzzah, a gaming convention in Portland, Maine that took place the weekend of April 30th.
In brief the event was just terrific. But let's hit some of the high points. Last year I drove down to Historicon in Pennsylvania for the country's largest historical gaming convention. I enjoyed about seven hours of traffic through New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. To be sure the Pennsylvania area is just breathtaking but so is Concord, MA and you don't need six hours to reach it. At the event I played in about six games and had a fair time. One game was really superb and the rest were not much better than what my club plays every week. In the end I paid for hotel and gas and food and while food in Pennsylvania is cheap and yummy it was still a bit of an expense. So stage set for Huzzah.
Portland is of course not very far from Boston. We made it in a few hours and even being stuck on the Maine Turnpike because of a burning semi is not too terrible. I walked in the main hall and was immediately struck by the incredible quality of the games being run. There were armies with hundreds of figures, huge castles and mockups of European towns. There was a fabulous depiction of Pacific islands and a model Alamo. Each game was of top quality in terms of presentation and preparation.
Two days later I left on a high note. I don't think I've ever met such a friendly group of gamers. I played a skirmish game depicting the Battle of Hampden (see photo on right) and Eric the game master regaled us with stories of this historical action that took place in Maine during the War of 1812. Not only was the action pretty exciting (ill-trained Americans try and slow down the British) but the story included the typical cast of crazy characters that makes the War of 1812 so interesting in the first place. I also got to play in a battle between Ethiopians and Italians set in 1935 and a skirmish between Germans and retreating British occurring late in the Second World War. Each game was just terrific in terms of presentation and playability. Finally, I got to run my own game, the Battle of North Point, which took place outside of Baltimore during the War of 1812 (see photos on left). I think my game was fair but the players were so good natured that a good time was had by all. Definitely another example of how fun players can make any game a success.
I'd get reservations for next year's Huzzah now if they were offered. I enjoyed a national level of gaming a few hours from home, my wife enjoyed Portland, and I met a great bunch of people. Huzzah! indeed.