Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gamemastering at Enfilade 2012

(Image:  Yours Truly, standing, looking scholarly at my first game at Enfilade 2012)

Well, I managed to survive my Enfilade Gamemastering Triathalon.  As I mentioned in my Product Review post (17 May), this was my first time at running games at a convention.  I've been GMing for close friends since I was a teen, but have never done this with total strangers.

Everyone liked the games I ran, which were Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC), Cold War Commander (CWC) and Future War Commander (FWC)

In my first game, BKC pictured above, there were 3 players who were familiar with the game.  I was greatful for this, since they helped me get with understanding the rules.  However, as the game progressed, this inadvertantly turned into the proverbial double-edged sword, because one or more players often got ahead of themselves in terms of the game sequence.  Fortunately, they recognized what was happening and made efforts to follow the proper order.

My friend Adrian, was a participant in my second game, CWC.  He was running a 3mm CWC game next period and since this was his first time using the rules, as it was mine, he wanted to see how everything played out.  Despite his "alterior motives," I was glad to have a good friend attend one of my convention games.

By the time I ran my FWC game, I was tired but finally comfortable with my GM abilities (or lack thereof).  I chose to use these rules because I have a micro armor collection that spans WWII, through the Cold War and into the sci-fi realm.  I also plan on using FWC for mass combat in my Redshift Campaign.

After reading each set of rules, about 3 times over, I was pleased to see they played-out as I expected.  On the good side, the rules are easy to pick up.  Basically, one needs to roll a 4, 5 or 6 on a 6-sided die to successfully hit an enemy unit.  There are several modifiers and special notes that are often hard to remember, but that's the same issue with any other set of rules.

The command and control mechanism is fairly simple and certainly generates a "fog of war" feeling.  However, I'm not particularly crazy about the idea that since command units are immune to direct fire, they can race ahead of the combat units they're leading.  Since the convention, I wrote a 3-page command variant, which I plan on playtesting with my friends.  Once the bugs are worked out, I plan on incorporating this into the Redshift Chronicles--and maybe using them at the next Enfilade I attend.

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