Monday, March 7, 2016

Part One: Gary Con VIII Pictures

At last, the convention is underway.  I was going to write an introduction, but then my day went from 6:00am to 11:30pm.  So, here we are, Monday morning already, with a bunch of pictures to format and little time to do so.  I'm glancing with despair at even more from Days Two-to-Four that will need some attention as well.  I'll try to comment as I paste these images into the blog (reformatting them is about as exciting as root canal, but hey, at least they'll all be here for years to come.)  Hope some of the enjoyment I experienced will transpire through what you can see, and that I can share the fun with you.  If not, well then, start planning now to come next year!

Early morning and the registration line is growing.  Good thing that more than half of the attendees were pre-registered!
Breakfast in a blur...
The first game is already over--Wings of Glory. About two fun-filled hours of WWI aerial combat, trying to guess the other guy's moves and ending up in the silliest situations. Wayne "Von Deekin" Targo, the referee, modified the standard rules (for the best) to make the game more detailed, colorful, and exciting. It's still pretty simple. I've been a fan since the first day I tried this. When Gary Con IX comes around, I expect to see full tables. I'll be attending (even though I'm generally not registered for events). It's not Mystara or Calidar, but it flies, therefore... If you're local, be sure to join the Southern Lakes Area Gamers (aka SLAG) for more of this. We meet every 3rd Sundays of the month, at the Pizza Ranch in Elkhorn, WI, for all-day gaming.

Meanwhile on the next table, a dungeon in the making.
Next, JUTLAND! Need I say more?
And less than an whip's length away, CIRCUS MAXIMUS!
To the dungeons those who fell in the race...
Dragon Wars folks hard at work
They ran three tables simultaneously in the main gaming area
Off to the Exhibitors' Hall
One of the sharpest-looking exhibitors' booths: DDD
A random shot of the Exhibitors' Hall
Back to gaming... upstairs in one of the large rooms.
Dave C. Sutherland III's life and achievements were showcased this year.  I learned a few more things there that I had been unaware of. Thank you, Paul Stormberg, for this.  DCS was truly a great guy.  Here's one of his original paintings.  We miss this man.  All Hail!
Paul Stormberg (left) and Allan Hammack.
This innocuous area was kinda neat, upstairs, between the games library and a number of other gaming rooms. It turned out to be noisier than expected when a jazz band starting playing downstairs, in the main lobby lounge.  There's a balcony opening right above the lobby at the end of this hallway.  Just so you know, requests have been sent along to have the band removed altogether for Gary Con IX.
Wendy running a Euphoria boardgame
Nancy in her favorite Steampunk costume
And then I ran across HMGS's corner.  They ran three tables, one of which in particular caught my interest:  a Lord of the Rings tabletop miniatures wargame (battle featuring Gondor's civil war).  Yes, they had room for another player!  I quickly made arrangements to catch the next game, Friday, 6pm til 11pm.  There went my last open game slot.  I'm now booked solid for all four days of the convention. 
FORWARD EORLINGAS!
FOR GONDOR!
Whoever you are...  CHAAAAAARGE!
The white city.
Luke at work
Tom at work
My big game, Thursday afternoon: Star Wars--Armada. Wayne "Von Deekin" Targo was the moderator (see my earlier comment abould the SLAG gaming group).
Luca, you rebel scum, your pathetic scheme won't save you from the power of the Dark Side!
Behold the new Death Star in the making.  There is no stopping the empire.
My pick for the day: an Imperial Star Destroyer and Gladiator.  I can already hear the whine of tie fighters as they dash through space in search of the rebels' X-Wings. (Yeah, yeah, sound *does* carry through space's void in the Star Wars universe).
The thick of the battle: the rebels have unwisely split their forces.  This will be your undoing, rebel scum!  The alliance ship on the left blew up after this move.  Battered but unvanquished, the empire's mighty fleet sails on to win the battle.
Admiral Luca: your charming smile will not save you today!  Keep your cheap Jedi tricks for a lesser foe.
Notice the winner's smug expression.
Meanwhile, not far away: Saving Private Ryan.
Saving Private Ryan was another of HMGS's setup.
The third HMGS table: the Battle of Britain.  I really wanted to play both this and Saving Private Ryan.  I just did not have the physical time to include these events.  Next year... Either this, or I'll have to go to the Little Wars convention.
HMGS's Battle of Britain event
And at the end of the day, Janet caught up with me as I took Dave Poppel (visiting from Austria) to the Next Door Pub, less than 10mn away from the convention's Grand Geneva site.  Next Door Pub was the hangout for TSR's staffers.  The local specialty, the "garbage pizza," along with a local brew are worth a shot. Before this, Dave and I drove around TSR's offices on Sheridan Springs Rd, around the corner, so I could point out the essential parts and where my own office was located.  After that, I made a quick dash to Milwaukee to drop Dave off at his hotel, and headed back home for some much-needed sleep.  More convention pictures tomorrow. 
Click here for Part Two