Texicon 2015

Texicon has come and gone for this year. It was a lot of fun. I ran 5 sessions of my Mission St. Mary game. One session had no players (insert sad face here). All in all, it was a fun three days.

The Flames of War tournament didn’t seem quite as large as last year, but the War Machine tournament was huge. (Ok, odd side note. I wasn’t sure if I had spelled “huge” correctly. So I opened up another window and looked up the word. The search engine provided images of the word “huge” – they were all images of women with breasts the size of beach balls and larger. I don’t know which is more disturbing, the fact that the word conjures the image of large breasted women, or that there are women with such, well….)

Another thing that was new this year, which I’m not sure if I like, they divided miniature games into two groups, Historical & Non-Historical. The historical gamers even had their own room away from the rest of the convention. This shouldn’t be a problem, but historical gaming has always been a problem in the DFW area. I may get some grief over this, but here goes. Some historical gamers in the area tend to be prima donna drama queens. The slightest thing that doesn’t go their way and they pick up their toys and go home. What’s worse, they get other gamers to do the same. They talk a great deal about their knowledge of history and ability to put on memorable games, but most of it is just vapor and never quite materializes. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good guys who do buck the drama queens and put on some great games. But it was sad to see so many empty tables.

Well enough negative talk. Those guys just missed out. They rotate the theme each year at Texicon and this year’s theme was board games. And the board games were packed this year. On the role playing side, it seems Pathfinder was played more than AD&D. There were also a lot of other RPGs played as well: Rifts, Call of Cthulhu, etc. However, my love is for miniature games. I guess it is the 3D visual appeal of the games.

Watch out 40K! It is no secret that 15mm for sci-fi games is becoming the way to go. The guys at ACP Games were demoing the beta version of their 15mm mass combat game currently called “Valkyrie”. The game is sleek and the models are gorgeous. Think “Halo” or “Edge of Tomorrow” type infantry. No skulls or spikey bits just sleek sexy designs.

sign
Each table had a sign designed by Brian Guarnieri

The game I ran this year was an expansion to the Explore encounter found in Two Hour Wargames’ “Mission St. Mary” rules. The players each played a Rep 5 leader of a group of explorers. The only minor tweaks added to the game were muskets, reduced line of sight, guides, and scientists. In addition, each of the 9 sections of the table had a different theme.
The table set up before the 1st game session of the day.
The table set up before the 1st game session of the day.

One session had 3 gamers all under the age of 13. They were a lot of fun. It was interesting to note that after the 1st PEF resolved into a band of angry natives, one of the players moved his star (who had been leading the group) to the rear of his group.
Section 1: Chief Norbu's Village
Section 1: Chief Norbu’s Village

I also discovered that if you scattered creatures across the board, the players treat those areas like impassible terrain. No one wanted to go near the big snake in the forest & they shied away from the 2nd table section because of the crocodiles on the water’s edge.
Large snake on the jungle floor.
Large snake on the jungle floor.
Section 2: Pool of the Apsara
Section 2: Pool of the Apsara

Sections 3, 6 & 9 saw the most action. The players gravitated toward that end of the table. The PEFs caught up to them there & resolved into bands of natives, Amazons, and slavers.
Section 3: Pillars of the Old Ones
Section 3: Pillars of the Old Ones
Explores encounter astral creatures.
Explores encounter astral creatures.

Section 4 was the Valley of the Forgotten. Players encountered sabertoothed cats and mystic warriors wearing masks. No one rolled the velociraptors or the carnasaurus.
Section 4: Valley of the Forgotten
Section 4: Valley of the Forgotten

Just as players avoided the giant snake & the crocodiles, they also avoided the meerkat village found at the Tree of Life. I’m beginning to think players make terrible explorers or they’ve played too many games where the GM killed them off.
Section 5: The Tree of Life
Section 5: The Tree of Life
Meerkats!
Meerkats!

Section 6 was the False Idol. It was a place where much blood was shed.
Section 6: The False Idol
Section 6: The False Idol

Kambu-Mera’s Mine revealed lions, a rat ogre, & two snakemen treasure guardians.
Section 7: Kambu-Mera's Mine
Section 7: Kambu-Mera’s Mine

The Fallen Temple was strangely avoided. Only one player ventured there & bagged a couple of lions.
Section 8: The Fallen Temple
Section 8: The Fallen Temple

On the other hand, Section 9, the base camp, was visited a lot. Some of the players kept thinking that if they kept going back to the base camp they would get reinforcements or resupplied. Well, bad things happened at base camp as well as good ones. Ask the player who lost part of his party to dysentery, or the player who had to resolve a mutiny.
Section 9: The Base Camp
Section 9: The Base Camp

Only one player successfully visited all 9 sections & he also found the rare flower. It was a fun game. The only real disappointment occurred at Chief Norbu’s village. One of the players rolled “Who’s for dinner?” as his encounter. The villagers were roasting a woman scientist. They considered her a witch & if they ate her they would obtain her magic. The chief would have let her go for three rifles. But the player wouldn’t part with the rifles & he didn’t even bother to barter with the chief. It was a pity that he allowed the girl to suffer a horrific fate. If he would have saved her, he would then have had someone in his party with a death ray more powerful than a Maxim machine gun.
Who's for dinner?
Who’s for dinner?

I wish I could have taken more pictures of the convention. But I’m there to host and play games. Next year the convention moves to the Hurst Convention Center. I hope to see you there.

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