Friday, July 25, 2008

First Day of Historicon

It was a very successful day here at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Der Alte Fritz invested a bit of the national exchequer into the military arms, the Prussians won a convincing victory in the snowy landscape of Bohemia, and I found some fruit.

The Dealer Area
The world famous Historicon dealer area is a sight to behold. It fills up the tennis barn, which is big enough to hold 3 or 4 indoor tennis courts. But who cares about tennis when the barn is chock full of an endless bounty of miniatures, terrain pieces, books, videos and other wargame knick-knacks.
I had a nice chat with Nic Robison of Eureka Miniatures and he indicated that he was considering shortening the time between the release of 100 Club figures to the members and the time when they are made available to the rest of the public. I think that this would be a good thing for the community. He also indicated that the Saxons and Dutch are very close to completion and that the Dutch WAS figures had one of the highest responses of any item that had ever been put up on the 100 Club board. I bought a significant number of French Revolution War infantry in bicorns and I intend to add these to my 1805-07 army. The French line looks like a real winner. He also showed me some figures of Austrian grenz infantry firing muskets which were resting on a pole. Really cool looking figures and I look forward to eventually seeing more Austrian infantry.

The next stop was at the Old Glory booth as I was really interested in seeing the 2nd Generation ACW figures in person. These are very nice sculpts and remind me a bit of the Perry style figures or even the older Dave Alsop Old Glory figures. Thumbs up on these figures. I re-enlisted in the Old Glory Army and received a bag of 28mm figures in various "dueling" vignettes. I also bought an 18th Century coach from Blue Moon Figures, an OG affiliate.

The Sash & Sabre 40mm range is another beautiful line of figures. I don't game with 40mm figs, but the artistry in the castings is of a very high level. Something to consider for the future.
I bought a couple of DVDs at another dealer:Belle & Blade, snagging a copy of Der Grosse Koenig with English subtitles, and a version of Waterloo with some extra minutes not previously available in the US.

Next was a visit to The Last Square where I bought a copy of Rise of the Eagles 1805 Battle Scenarios for Shako II. I thought about buying Shako II, but the $40 price tag gave me pause. The battle scenario book looks very useful as it includes all of the battles in the Austerlitz campaign.

A relatively new miniatures company is Pontoonier Miniatures based in Milwaukee, WI and they had some attractive Baden infantry for 1806-1811 that caught my fancy. I was tempted to buy some of these figures and add them to my 1806 Project. They are really good looking figures. The company plans to add more of the German countries that have not been covered by other miniatures companies.

The Wargame
We set up our SYW winter snow game in the main lobby and had our usual 6ft by 20ft table with two parallel 2.5ft by 20 foot back tables. I will post some pictures when I get home, but it really looked nice. Well, what would one expect when it comes to Herb Gundt made terrain pieces. Herb added some Wolf Pits for me that we used in the game. These are basically hasty fox holes or rifle pits that were occuppied by the Croats at Lobositz and Reichenberg. The Prussians had a difficult time evicting the Croats from these foreward positions and found that the melee didn't work in this situation.

A brief game summary, on the Prussian left, they seemed to get every first fire card for several turns in a row, causing the Austrians to get decimated. The Saxon cavalry arrived to hold back the tide of Prussian blue, and in this they succeeded admirably. However, the early infantry losses were too much of a penalty for the Austrians to overcome. On the Prussian right, they found their advance flanked by a wooded hill that was teaming with Croats and more of those infernal wolf pits. The Prussian jagers screened them off, allowing the rest of the Prussian infantry and cavalry to bypass this obstacle and attack the Austrian regulars. There was a huge cavalry melee in this sector that appeared to be going strongly in the Prussians favor. The center was a bit of an Austrian success in the left center, but the Prussians were firing their way through in the center right. So all in all, it looked like a Prussian victory. The Austrians and Saxons gave a good account of themselves, lacking only in first fire cards and jokers. The Prussians nabbed two jokers on two consecutive card draws.

The Finding of Fruit
I'm already feeling sugared and junk fooded out. My bod was craving some fresh fruit or something healthy after all of those carbs etc. We had dinner at the Pancake House at 1 AM since we got into town so late. The breakfast buffet had large bowls of melon, orange juice and other nutricious fruits that I eagerly ate this morning. Since our game began at 6pm and the setup was at 4pm, I missed dinner and everything was closed down by the time we concluded the game and packed everything away. So my dinner was a package of Strawberry Pop Tarts. Sigh!!!


  1. Surely, sir, you've engaged in enough campaigns to know to grab whatever provender is available (and save it for later).

    Ah well, this is more than a one-day engagement. Surely you have learned your lesson and will take steps to remedy the supply problem.

    Have fun!

    -- Jeff

  2. Sounds like a great time! Thanks for taking the time to post your experience, so that those of us not in attendance, can imagine being there, and dream of "maybe next year".

  3. Wow what a day - on and off table ! I am interested to hear more of the wolf pits - a photo I hope...
    Keep up the good work and the superb reporting - thanks gentlemen for giving us an insight.
    best wishes

  4. Herr Alte,

    Any chance of pics of those Badeners? They are one of my favorite Napoleonic armies, and while I have some Bicorne figures, I'm looking for better.