Last night we playtested the Commands and Colors game I'll be running at Huzzah! I had some hope it would be a bit of a surprise since the last time we had demo'd it the minis had been unflocked, the terrain was unpainted, and the terrain mat had been just plain wrong. At the same time I had some concern that the mainly boardgaming group would be disinterested in a miniatures game.
Suspense is a source of unhealthy stress as Douglas Adams points out so let's start by saying the game was very successful. I hadn't run the troops through a full dress rehearsal so I was as surprised as anyone to see how pretty the board turned out. Let's send a "thank you" out to Games Workshop for their credo of painting everything several shades lighter than you'd think they should be painted. The terrain mat is a crazy fluorescent green, the static grass is the same day-glo color, and somehow at three feet the whole thing looks just fine.
The game itself flowed nicely. We had a full game in a few hours and all five players were engaged and active throughout. We used the "epic" rules and they stayed balanced, simple, and fun. The action was fast but stayed historically appropriate- skirmishers lodged in towns and picked off exposed troops. Cavalry bounced off of squares unless aided by artillery, in which case the squares got demolished. The British did well when in line and got crushed by melee attacks when isolated or strung out. On the whole I was very happy and the players had fun.
Next stop- Portland.