I have spent almost three years painting Glenn Drover's Napoleonics collection, and I hope the figures provide a good spectacle. Of course, the point of all that work is to play a game. Glenn usually runs a game at Little Wars each year. This year Glenn Drover was going to put on Waterloo with the figures I painted, and he invited me to spend the better part of a week in Chicago.
I arrived in Chicago late Wednesday. Thursday we packed up the collection and drove to the venue. We spent a couple of hours setting up the game. Although we never made an official count, I would guess that we had between 1,800 and 2,000 figures on the table. We used Glenn's own rules, "Miniature Battles: Napoleon," which he will be publishing this year.
|The Whole Table|
|d'Erlon's Infantry Supported by Cavalry|
|Dutch-Belgian Light Cavalry|
|British Lines in the Center|
|Bauduin's French Prepare to Attack Hougoumont|
The event organizers put Glenn's game right next to the entrance doors, so everyone coming into the convention got to take in the sight. Both games saw the battle finished within four hours of playing time, and the scenario was well balanced and enjoyable! The first game saw a British victory, and the second game saw the French break the British center and reverse history.
The players picked up the rules very quickly, and everyone enjoyed them. Well, there was one player who was frustrated because she couldn't move every unit every turn, but overall the rules were a hit! I will certainly be using them for some of my own games.
|Glenn Starts Briefing the Players|
|The British Players Discuss Their Strategy|
|All the Players Were Pushing Lead within Minutes|
|Glenn's Friend Paul alongside Ivor Janci|
|The French Players Examine Their Options|
|The French Took Hougoumont, but Stalled Short of the Ridge|
|Game Two Took Place Friday Morning|
|Glenn Helps Players Resolve a Combat|
|The French Captured the Ridge and Closed in on Wellington|
|To the Strongest! Mongols vs. Chinese|
|Vikings Raid a Saxon Villiage|
|The Saxons Prepare to Defend|
|Age of Sail|
|Waterloo with Paper Figures|
|"1812: The Invasion of Canada" with Custom Board and 6mm Miniatures|
|Epic 40mm Lord of the Rings Game|
|The Figures Were Prepaints|
|This One Drew a Crowd of Players|
|Beautiful 15mm Lord of the Rings Game|
|Excellent Sabot Trays|
|The Figures Were Beautifully Painted|
|All of Market-Garden with 15mm Figures|
|Pirates in 15mm|
|"To the Shores of Tripoli" American Marines Storm a Fort|
|The US Navy Supports the Attack|
|Howard Whitehouse Runs an Entertaining Game|
|Eutaw Springs in 15mm|
|100 Days Campaign|
|Mollwitz. I Knew It Immediately|
|French and Indian War|
|Pretty AWI Game|
|A Vietnam Game|
|French and Indian War with 1/72 Plastics|
|Another AWI Game|
|Crusades with some True 25mm|
|Memoir '44 Using Plastic 54mm Figures|
|Jurassic Park Game Was a Hit|
|Thirty Years War Action|
|Is that Frank Chadwick?! Why yes, yes it is.|
|Lots of People Enjoying Games|
Saturday afternoon Glenn and I, accompanied by his friend Jack, set up Glenn's new board game designs and played. We started with "Victory and Glory: Napoleon," which allows players to complete the whole of the Napoleonic Wars in about two hours. This was my first time playing, and we finished in about 90 minutes.
|Victory and Glory: Napoleon|
I LOVED this game. I have followed Glenn's design process over the past two years, and it is very gratifying to see the final product play so well. This game will get heavy rotation with my gaming group, I can tell. It should be hitting your local game store within a week or two.
We also played a game of Railroad Rivals, which will be a hit with my family. It's a tile laying resource delivery game, and Glenn has produced another winner. Glenn's company is Forbidden Games. I got a sneak peek at the next three games in the production queue, and they all look like hits to me. I don't know how much Glenn wants to reveal yet, but I can say that the games are all very different from each other. Glenn hired an artist from Disney, and it shows! The look of the games is fantastic.
I have been playing Glenn's board games since 2002, and there is a reason he won the Origins award for Historical Game of the Year. His designs just keep improving. I feel very lucky to know him and am grateful that he invited me into his city and his home.
|GP, Mike, and Me|
|Coming Soon to a Miniature Near You|
GP was not the only online friend I met for the first time. I got to spend a few minutes conversing with George Nafziger, Mark Severin of Scale Creep, Larry Reber of Gettysburg Soldiers, and many more. I was surprised to have my name recognized by so many people at the show. I never realized that so many people followed my blog.
On Sunday Glenn and I skipped the closing games and headed out on the town.
|Lake Michigan and Downtown Chicago|
|The El Train|
|Glenn and Me at Wrigley Field|
|A Beautiful Day for Baseball|
After the game, Glenn and I hit a few bars, then went to Juno Sushi and got the works. This was the best meal I have had in my life. Wow.
A night of drunken debauchery followed, and by 4:00 AM I was at the airport, bleary eyed and still a little boozy.
It was a great trip, full of good games, good food and drink, and very pleasant people.