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Thread: Wintercon 2017 summary AAR

  1. #1

    Default Wintercon 2017 summary AAR

    Wintercon this year was extraordinarily subdued, with at most 2/3 of the attendance of the previous year. Perhaps it was the previous week of subzero temperatures that kept the visitors away, or perhaps the lack of organisation. The same organisers have been involved for the last 40 years, and while the enthusiasm we all had in our late teens and early twenties is still there, the physical abilities we had then are not.

    Despite that, the Wings of Glory participation games on Saturday went well. While there were few visitors to Wintercon, what visitors there were often had a game or two. Whether they were women of a certain age - like me - but who unlike me had never played any form of wargame before, or fathers with young (4+) children. Plus the Usual Suspects.

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    Games included a German vs American fight - Fokker D.VII and SSW D.III vs Spad 13 and Nieuport 28 - and an 8 player game of UFAG C.Is vs an Italian Spad 13, Hanriot HD1, and a pair of Nieuport 11s.

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    Multiple 2 seaters that stay close together are nasty. You can get behind and below your target, but all too often you find yourself being peppered by the front or rear guns from his friends.

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    Sunday we only had the one game. But what a game! A marathon 4 1/2 hour one.

    Having such a sparse attendance had one advantage: there were plenty of spare tables, and lots of room . Usually we're very cramped. Not this year though.. which meant there was enough room and table space for a bomber scenario. The 4 giant raid of 16 February 1918 - one of the 5 that took off that night had to return immediately with 3 of it's 4 engines not working. Unlike historical events though, this time there was an ever replenishing cloud of interceptors they had to fight their way through - mostly specialised night fighting Camel or Strutter Comics, Brisfits or DH4s, with the occasional Pup from one of the many training squadrons in Home Establishment crewed by a night fighting instructor.

    As night fighters were shot down, retired hurt, or lost contact in the darkness, more would join in. There was a constantly replenishing supply of complete beginners who had never played before, plus a handful of experts. There were always at least 3 night fighters on the table, and once as many as 6.

    The Giants came in one at a time, in a bomber stream. As one would leave the first mat, another would arrive. First the weather recon aircraft at a low and constant altitude, then the rest at progressively higher altitudes to evade the interceptors.

    "It's a long way to the balloon barrage and AA line before the target"

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    "A VERY long way...."

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    HOW many Giants????

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    I think this might be some kind of record. Most Giant aircraft being played on a table simultaneously. 3 Zeppelin Staaken R.VI and an R.IV.
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  2. #2

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    Sounds like a lot of fun. Well done Zoe for all your work in running and organising the WoG games.

  3. #3

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    Yes thank you for the good games and great time. Having 4 Staakens on the table at once was awesome.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Brain View Post
    ....I think this might be some kind of record. Most Giant aircraft being played on a table simultaneously. 3 Zeppelin Staaken R.VI and an R.IV.
    Most German Giants possibly.... Mick's Memorial match saw four HP O/400 v Jasta 18 last year over five mats...

    http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sho...light=memorial

    Four of any Giant is pretty awesome to see in action and can take some stopping - Good to see Baz in the thick of the action too ! Well done all involved & especially Zoe for her efforts to entertain the masses

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    Shame about the low attendance but great to see so many planes on the table. Good to see Barry and Gary involved in the fracas, hope you all had a good weekend.

  6. #6

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    I am
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl_Brisgamer View Post
    Shame about the low attendance but great to see so many planes on the table. Good to see Barry and Gary involved in the fracas, hope you all had a good weekend.
    Both Barry and Gary did at least as much as I did setting up the games and packing the (literally) hundreds of planes I had made available away. I literally could not have staged the games without their help.

    And a good time was had by all, though I was a bit frazzled when I was running all 4 bombers simultaneously. Fortunately my son, Andrew, turned up after lunch and we shared duties thereafter, each with one XA Nexus deck and one XA Ares deck to avoid mixing up the cards.

    By my count, 2 Sopwith Pups, 1 Strutter Comic, one Camel Comic and one DH4 RNAS nightfighter were downed, but one R.IV turned back with half its crew wounded and only 10 pts remaining, one was shot down in flames after turning back just before the balloon line - it had been shot up badly enough to abort at the last second, but it was the fire damage that unexpectedly killed it - and one fairly lightly damaged one succumbed to a BOOM card that would have otherwise made it. One got through unscathed.

    The idea of having multiple Giants/Gothas entering singly about one every 3 turns (9 cards) on a long map, and a replenishing cloud of interceptors, starting with specialist night fighters - the RNAS DH4, Strutter Comic and F-2 Brisfit are the official ones available - then obsolete trainers flown by instructors from flight schools as replacements - works well as a scenario. And it's scaleable to cater for games of any size. 2 Gothas or 20.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Brain
    Both Barry and Gary did at least as much as I did setting up the games and packing the (literally) hundreds of planes I had made available away. I literally could not have staged the games without their help..
    Thank you all for your efforts: I'm glad they were well rewarded with the attendance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Brain
    The idea of having multiple Giants/Gothas entering singly about one every 3 turns (9 cards) on a long map, and a replenishing cloud of interceptors, starting with specialist night fighters - the RNAS DH4, Strutter Comic and F-2 Brisfit are the official ones available - then obsolete trainers flown by instructors from flight schools as replacements - works well as a scenario. And it's scaleable to cater for games of any size. 2 Gothas or 20.
    Hm, hm. There's a mini-con coming up in September. and I'm committed to a game of WoG. And I have two Staakens & 2 Gothas. Hm.

    Or, I have two Ca3. and two Handley-Page O/400s.

    Hm.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Brain View Post
    Wintercon this year was extraordinarily subdued, with at most 2/3 of the attendance of the previous year. Perhaps it was the previous week of subzero temperatures that kept the visitors away, or perhaps the lack of organisation. The same organisers have been involved for the last 40 years, and while the enthusiasm we all had in our late teens and early twenties is still there, the physical abilities we had then are not.
    This is a problem I have noticed at my local historic-minis con -- everyone involved is Old, and getting Older; and I don't see any new blood coming in....

    God help 'em, I may have to volunteer.... :)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    This is a problem I have noticed at my local historic-minis con -- everyone involved is Old, and getting Older; and I don't see any new blood coming in....

    God help 'em, I may have to volunteer....
    Wintercon caters to more than just the historical gaming set - you have Warhammer, Battletech, all the new fangled skirmish games, roleplaying, board games, etc.

    I don't think we can underestimate the effects of the cold-snap - Australians seem happy to play at Cancon in 35 deg C heat but -4 whilst not cold compared to some places would be cold enough here to keep people at home.

  10. #10

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    -7 actually. We don't get much snow here, too dry. It feels much colder here at -7 than Montreal felt at -12 with snow everywhere. Buildings are insulated, but nowhere near to the standards they are in North America or Europe, they're mainly to deal with 35+ temperatures rather than -5 or below. We can get both within the same 24 hr period of course. Same latitude (35 south rather than north) and same altitude as the mountains in Libya and Tunisia, but without being so close to the sea.

    Warm clothing is not to the same standard either, old fashioned woolen in layers rather than cheap modern well insulated parkas.

    One problem we don't have that Montreal etc does is having to dispose of large quantities of snow. The most we've ever had here is a few cm, and that's more often hail than snow and can happen even in mid summer. I was fascinated by the sheer amount of infrastructure required to clear the snow, and the problem of where to put it in Quebec.

    This pic from Feb 2007. Mid summer, and that's hail, not snow.

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    Buildings usually have reverse cycle air conditioning, but oil or gas furnaces are unknown. I've had real problems printing decals as the ink has frozen into sludge, ruining the ink cartridge. Printers work poorly when the temperature inside the house is well below zero. Painting becomes very difficult too when internal temperatures rise above 35.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl_Brisgamer View Post
    Wintercon caters to more than just the historical gaming set - you have Warhammer, Battletech, all the new fangled skirmish games, roleplaying, board games, etc.

    I don't think we can underestimate the effects of the cold-snap - Australians seem happy to play at Cancon in 35 deg C heat but -4 whilst not cold compared to some places would be cold enough here to keep people at home.
    The husband & wife plus woman friend that played in the Giant Game Sunday said it was Minus 5.5 Celsius at their suburb that morning. It was a balmy +5 at Moruya when Chris & I left.

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  12. #12

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    So it was REALLY like flying in an open cockpit!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl_Brisgamer View Post
    So it was REALLY like flying in an open cockpit!
    Oh Yes!

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians



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