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Monday, July 11, 2016

Looking Forward to Historicon 2016

By Mitch Reed

Summer brings the heat, humidity and mosquitoes here in Northern Virginia, and along with this comes one of the biggest conventions of the year.  Historicon is put on by the folks at the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society and takes place  this year on 14-17 July.  Hosted at the Fredericksburg Expo & Convention Center in Fredericksburg Virginia, Historicon is one of the largest gaming events in the country.  I have been going to the event since it moved down from Pennsylvania a few years ago, and it is something I look forward to all year.  This year the theme is “Cavalry - Mounted Warfare through the Ages” which does not mean for us in the Flames of War community that we can only play with Recce lists.

For the FoW crowd, Historicon is a “must do” event; each year the convention hosts many tournaments or pickup games during its 4 day span.   The biggest FoW event at Historicon is the annual National Tournament hosted by Battlefront.  This two day (Friday-Saturday), six game event takes place in one of the three major FoW eras, and the 2016 Nationals is a 1420 point Late War competition.  I have not played in this tournament in 3 years due to my commitment to coach rugby, however I can tell you how exhausting and fun the Flames of War Nationals are.  Battlefront hosts 4 of these events a year, with the venues rotating eras and one event held in Canada.  It does bring out the best players in the country and is a true test of your mastery of the game.   Even playing in the Mid-Atlantic area where we are flooded with events, this event always stands out.  It’s a great way to meet FoW players from other parts of the country; I still stay in contact with the Pittsburg, Raleigh, and Canadian players I have met via this event.  I would also recommend this event for new players, while it will suck to lose a majority of your games, it is a great way to learn the game through a fire hose.
So we drove all the way down from Philly and forgot the dice??

The Bob's at play
While the FoW Nationals attracts about a 100+ players, the close second is the I-95 Doubles Tournament which is hosted the day before the Nationals (Thursday).  Sometimes this event even surpasses the National event in participation since each team has two players (hence “Doubles”).  This year the Doubles event this year consists of three 2.5 hour rounds. Using only official Late-War, East-Front briefings (including the Japanese). Each team plays two 1,000pt companies but you can only have one tank, one mechanized, or one infantry company with no fortified companies allowed. An Axis team may combine Germans with Hungarians, Romanians and Finns. The Russians may combine with Romanians. Teams can also “swing” up to 200pts to either 1000 pt company.  Teams are limited to only one air purchase and each team can have one named hero per 1k list.  I have written an article on playing Doubles before and I can promise you that you will have a blast.  The I-95 crowd also uses a homebrewed mission called “Domination” that really gives you a challenge as you fight to gain control of key points on the table. 
Gamers?  Maybe, but these guys may be rehearsing for the singing contest
This year - as we have talked about in the News from the Front Podcast -WWPD is proud to be hosting two great games at Historicon this year in the Flames of War tournament area.
The first will be a Pacific-themed game and the second will be a Team Yankee mega battle with both being played on a 4x12 table. Battlefront are providing prizes for everyone participating. Because of the exclusivity of these events, you will not be able to sign up online and will only be able to register for the games at the convention itself.

Peleliu Bloody Nose Ridge
The 1st Marines are pushing hard for Bloody Nose Ridge, but the Japanese under General Nakagawa are not giving up anytime soon. This will be a close infantry fight with all the Pacific War tactical problems, Banzai attacks, caves and bad attitudes. Kids allowed with playing adult.  A familiarity with the Flames Of War rule system is encouraged, but not required.
10am Friday 15 July
6 Players
3 Hours

Stem the Red Tide 
World War III has begun with the Soviets advancing though West Germany. The NATO border forces have been over run and reinforcements are racing towards the front to stop the Soviets before they can completely break through to Frankfurt. This will be a mega battle featuring the Team Yankee rules. Armor and infantry commands will battle to secure three major objectives on a 4x12 table while being harried by air assets.  Will the Soviets advanced elements be able to secure a route to Frankfurt or will the Americans task force be able to hold the line against the Red Horde? Basic knowledge of Flames of War or the Team Yankee rules system is encouraged.If the game finishes in a timely manner Luke will be happy to set the game up again for a second battle.
5pm Friday 15 July
8 Players
3 Hours
Joe Moore! This must be an old picture from Historicon
As I look over the events listing I can see a few events that a FoW player would enjoy.
  • On Friday 15 July, Wayne Wiltshire is hosting a game that recreates the fighting around Khe Sanh during the Vietnam War.
  • Also on Friday, Allen Smith is running “Breakthrough at Lauterbach”, where he is using the Team Yankee ruleset, however in 6mm.  I have a feeling a lot of iron will be pushed around on this table.
  • On Saturday Bob Everson is hosting “Counterattack on the Dneiper”.  I know Bob has put a lot of energy into this event and if you want to play waves of Soviet Naval infantry this game is right up your alley.
Even if these games fill up, players are always welcome to come by and watch and check them out. I have also seen players just show up with their FoW army bags and pick up a game or two in the event hall.

I bring up John’s game because Historicon is about all types of miniatures gaming and the wide variety of things you will see on each table will make your head spin.  Every type of conflict, real or imagined seems to have a miniatures version of it.  Each domain, the sea, land, air and even outer space can be found on a gaming table at any given moment. Sometimes just walking around and checking out each table is a pleasure in itself. If you fancy yourself a keen painter, then why not try the event’s annual painting contest.

The Meta busting steam tank!
Besides the great gaming, many people just come to shop and socialize.  Battlefront and many other miniatures companies set up in the vendor hall and you can always find great deal in Wally’s Basement where gamers come to sell everything from whole painted armies to books and board games.  I think the shopping aspect of the event is one of the biggest draws.

Vendor hall rules!!
No matter how much luck you have on the playing tables you are always a winner at the WWPD Podcast where we record an episode live and most attendee’s leave with some great prizes.  Come by and grab a seat on Saturday night at 7PM, you can see what Luke really looks like.

I will be live tweeting from the event, so follow me at @Mitch WWPD

You can also reach me at


Mark G said...

I belive Bob Everson's Dnieper game has moved to Thursday afternoon. With the move, if you are not playing in the doubles, I recommend seeing if there is room. If you cannot, at least stop by and have a look at the bronekaters. Gunboats in 15mm are pretty cool.

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