Sunday, May 29, 2005

Come Out, Come Out Mr. Mike

Where was I? I've tended of late not to blog too personally as some of my family read this blog and like to use the personal stuff against me. Family....

But yesterday, I took a road trip with Mark to Nashville for Nashcon 2005. That was a historical figures and wargaming convention. I participated in an Epic: Armageddon tournament. Epic is a tabletop wargame with 6mm figures simulating small-army combat. My army is the Space Marines, the Emperor of Mankind's finest and most elite fighting force. I call my force The Black Sun Legion.

Unfortunately, I still have much to learn. (I've only been playing since January.) I went 0 for 3 in my tournament games. I fought the Eldar (ancient dying race armed with fast skimmers that are hard to catch), another Space Marine force (It was almost identical to mine. He had a pair of Warhound Titans I covet for my own force. Think of a cross between the ED droid from Robocop and the AT-AT walkers from Star Wars.) and Chaos Space Marines (Marines gone over to the Dark Side). The Eldar completely wiped me from the field; the other Marines pounded me flat. It was only in my fight with the Chaos SMs that I acquited myself moderately well. I still lost, but went down swinging.

I was completely holding my own for a while, even breaking some of my opponent's forces, until late in the game when he got reinforcements. I handled that poorly and he chewed me up for a final win. It was the only game where I felt like I was fighting a battle as opposed to watching the carnage.

You can read Mark's most excellent recap for a better idea of what the game's like. Unlike yours truly, he did significantly better, coming in third in the tournament! He also fights Space Marines, losing his first game (also against the Eldar), then winning his next two. Way to go, Mark!

It wasn't pleasant to lose every time, but the whole experience was tremendous fun. I love playing Epic, win or lose. It was fun to meet more enthusiasts. All three opponents were great people, friendly and helpful to a newbie player, much more interested in having fun than in kicking my ass. No attitudes or "play to the death" grimness at all. A couple of times they even offered me strategy tips to help me out.

I also got to watch a lot of other wargames of various kinds: paper and carboard counter battles, card games and painted figurines on tabletops. Some of those figurine games were elaborate in the extreme, with detailed landscapes and buildings to add to the atmosphere, and exquisitely painted miniatures. A couple of games intrigued me, but I'll have to wait before I try them. I went into the dealer's room, but didn't have any money to spend. No fun, I must say.

We left Memphis for Nashville at 4AM, to arrive in time for setup. We left the convention around 9PM, getting back in town before 1AM. Bennie, the cat, seemed glad to have me back; she even slept most of the night in the bed with me! But I was completely exhausted -- I had to ask Mark to stop once so I could get out and walk around to get revived. I fell asleep immediately after getting home and finally woke up to get out of bed around lunch time. Yow!

I spent the day reading around and catching up on news and email. I was so out of the loop I didn't even know that John Ford had resigned! I did make one necessary post here and several at Say Uncle, where I'm guest blogging for the next few days. It's late now, and I'm back off to bed.

More tomorrow.

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