Friday, June 5, 2009

ConsimWorld's Expo 09

I attended ConsimWorld's Expo for the first time as the convention celebrated its ninth year. The main focus of this convention is to give a chance for historical wargamers to play their "monster games." That is, very large strategic-level wargames. ConsimWorld is already gearing-up for next year's convention which is scheduled for 1-6 June 2010:

The event was held at the Tempe Mission Palms Resort in Tempe, AZ:

There was concern that the convention would move to another location, but this turned out to be unfounded.

This year's convention was attended by over 200 gamers from as far away as Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

My friend Joe asked me to go and hoped several more of his friends could attend in order to play the Struggle for Europe, Clash of Arms World War II monster game. Struggle for Europe is actually a series composed of 3 games focusing on the various European fronts: War Without Mercy (East Front), Brute Force (West Front) and Struggle for Europe-The Med (North Africa & Mideast).

Since Joe & I were the only ones who could attend, we settled on playing War Without Mercy's Kursk Scenario.

We left on Tuesday, 26 May via Alaska Airlines from SeaTac International Airport. After getting settled we went down to the ballroom and spent the afternoon setting up the game.

My worthy opponent and friend with his daughter:

ConsimWorld's president John Kranz and Tori working the front desk:

The Main Ballrooom:

The Main Ballroom during a lull in the action, or maybe during the set-up (I forget which):

Nearly all the game maps were covered with plexi-glass or thick clear plastic. This made taking photographs rather difficult since the plastic reflected the overhead lights. So at times, I wandered around and managed to take some photos that I hoped would be legible.
Asia Engulfed:

Russia Besieged:
Determining the fate of the Galaxy in the game Twilight of the Imperium:

Pondering the next move:

Who will be the next Shogun in Samurai Swords (which use to be titled "Shogun"):

"I bid $5!" The auction held on the last night of the convention (Saturday, 30 May):

In fact I managed to buy 2 games for $5 each: Avalon Hill's Assassin and GDW's Battlefield Europe.
Since Joe & I were the only ones playing War Without Mercy we maintained a leisurely pace throughout the convention. I got up early each morning to do a short workout in the Hotel's fitness room. Breakfast was included in the stay and John Kranz would give a briefing of the day's events. We'd play for a few hours and then take a pool-break before lunch. John brought his two daughter's with him, so Joe's daughter had someone to pal around with. After lunch we'd usually play until 10-11 PM depending on the schedule of events. (Other gamers kept playing until 2 AM).
On Friday (29 May) we took a break from gaming and drove down to Sierra Vista/Fort Huachuca, one of Joe's assignments when he was in the army.
I'll post more detailed reports of our road-trip and the Kursk Campaign in upcoming posts.
Joe & I are hoping to attend next year's 10th Anniversary celebration along with getting the rest of our friends to join us.

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