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From: Indy <indy.kochte@g...>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 14:30:14 -0400
Subject: [GZG] Fwd: GZG ECC XI: an ACR

Gzg-l mailing list
ransmission of my EC IX ACR (after con report).

Quote Board coming separately, as it pushed the size of the email over


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Indy <>
Date: Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 5:02 PM
Subject: GZG ECC XI: an ACR

As I start to type this, it's been 24 hours since the official end of
ECC XI. At this point, I haven't seen any other postings from anyone
so I'm assuming either:

1) the listserves are being buggery (hence why I'm sending this to every
email list addr I have ;) ),
2) Everyone's beaten down with work, or
3) Everyone's beaten down from the fun. :-D

Or a combination of the three.

In any event, it was another good con with great games. While a number
our regular attendees were unable to make it for various critical and
family-emergency related reasons, we had a small host of new attendees
Indiana and Vermont make the trek to Lancaster for the weekend. A good
of fun people. Our ECC long-time veterans, however, are now down to
Jon Davis, Jim Bell, Stuart Murray and myself. Rick Rutherford was
unable to
make it for the first time.

one wanted to leave said tables for fear of missing anything, and partly
Quote Board got exercised again this year, but not as much as in years
I think this is partly because it was placed far from many of the tables
where the action was occurring and nomany of the newbies to the con
weren't cognizant of it's existence at first. In any event, I've
it and it is recreated at the end of this ACR.

Due to various events and happenings pre-con, I ended up playing *no*
this past weekend. I spent Friday evening trying to get the prize kitty
organized for all the games (and ran out of FT prizes since so many FT
were being played this time around - urp!), and went around snapping a
photos of various games being played. While I was prize organizing, I
realized I had left all the GZG ECC calendars back at home! :-(  I
called my
gf, she offered to drive them up to me the following evening (yay).

Later that evening John Lerchey and I retired to the hospitality suite
decompress a little and chat about various things in Life(tm), in
to our DS3 game that would be run midday Saturday. During this
enter into our room a 19 year old chick who was apparently a stripper
looking for Maury and Tom. A complete ditz, she couldn't understand we
weren't her customers. She was...disturbing to converse with (there was
space between her brain cells than there is out in our asteroid belt -
go see in the email archives my write-up about that!) but eventually
departed. After the fact it was an entertaining encounter. I've missed
lingerie event that was at the hotel, missed the wild ski party group,
missed all the other extra-con events that have gone on in the past 10
years. This past Friday night, we got the stripper. Heh!

Saturday morning came on like a freight train. After the shower (which
about 5 min for the water to heat up), joined Jon Davis and Damo for
breakfast at ex-ZImmerman's-now-Yorgo's. That place has had a renovation
facelift and we learned that they are open on Sundays now, 8am (later
learned there is another place just down the street from there open on
Sundays at 7am, but I was too tired to explore that come Sunday). After
pretty decent breakfast, I sauntered off to the local farmer's market
picked up two boxes of donuts for the con, and some produce for home.

Back at the con, first thing I was involved with was an alpha-test of
version of the draft SG:AC rules. Primarily run by Phil Pournelle, I was
GM assistant, insomuch as I could given everything else I had to attend
(i.e., the miniatures painting contest). That game went well, but the
current artillery rules as written were re-emphasized as being rather
domineering and broken. I didn't take copious notes (no time), but I'm
Phil will supply Jon T with what is needed. :-)

For lunch, the hotel offered to do an in-house delivery of sandwiches or
other food items. We were all given menus and placed orders if
interested. I
went with the fish and sticks (fried fish and a few large slices of
potatoes). Wasn't bad, but there wasn't enough fish for my liking. Ah
:-)  Trying to support the hotel here!

For the afternoon game John Lerchey and I ran a DS3 playtest game, the
Return to Gramicci Pass. It was a good game, starting swinging in one
direction, ended up going in the other. I *think* all of 2, maybe 3,
happened total. It has a VERY different feel and flavor than DS2. Moves
heck of a lot faster, more dynamic, more bloody. :-)  But still has some
things to work out. In the game each side had to choose a set of secret
orders/goals. The ESU had 8 different orders/goals, the UNSC had 9. Some
the orders/goals were complementary, others had nothing to do with each
other, and some offered an unexpected surprise for one side or the
other. In
this particular game, the UNSC's goal was to get into the pass and
the howitzers the ESU had set up. The ESU, who actually had NO
much less any set up, had the goal to get intel on all size class 4
and/or 5
vehicles the UNSC brought to the fight. Alas for the ESU, the UNSC had
size 3 vehicles in this game. Oops! :D	So while the two sides attempted
seek out their primary objectives, they ended up having themselves a
ol' fashioned knock-down, drag-out firefight that ultimately ended up
the UNSC push their way through the Pass and into the rocky highlands
beyond, precisely where the ESU did not want them to be.

During all of this the voting was open for the miniatures painting
and I took ballots in groups as they were submitted. It was interesting
see trends in the voting as the counts came in. Ultimately about 2/3 of
con participants voted (I abstain from voting unless there is a tie not
resolvable by other means I've implemented in the voting procedure), but
after a while it became clear that certain entries were favorites
the crowd. :-)	Some entries had tough fights for first and second or
and third places. Others, there was no contest (and if some of the
who weren't able to make it had come, there would have been at least
possibly two high-power fights for first place, I'm sure!). In the end
had the following winners:

DS/6mm Category:
3rd Place: Eddie Daub (OGRE Mk V)
2nd Place: John Lerchey (some military trucks and infantry stands)
1st Place: Martin Connell (Pacific Fed grav tank platoon)

SG-15mm Category
3rd Place: Phil Pournelle (US Cav, WWII)
2nd Place: Mark Kinsey (Citadel high-tech infantry)
1st Place: Martin Connell (Spugs!)

SG-25mm Category
3rd Place: Damond Walker (DLD APC)
2nd Place: Steve Barosi (Zeppelin Troopers fireteam)
1st Place: Martin Connell (Drantahk)

Full Thrust Category
3rd Place: John Lerchey (GZG pirate ships)
2nd Place: Scott Kern (unknown brand "with hostile intent" space force)
1st Place: Eddie Daub (BFG battlebarge - VERY nicely done!)

Despite these guys being the winners, all entries were pretty well done.
number of 4th and 5th place finishers were not that far behind the 3rd
person.A vote or two either way could have changed that standing

Now, one hint for some of you who entered but didn't place, esp wrt the
Thrust category: paint your stands and bases! Several people commented
how some minis looked good, but the unpainted stands/bases really
from the overall aesthetics. Just something to keep in mind. :-)

After the general announcements and awards ceremony, we broke up into
evening games. I ran an FT3 playtest game, pitting the ESU against a
battle force. The year was 2191. While they were arguing, a Phalon force
jumped i-system and began to lay fire on the ESU. The following turn
ignored the ESU and pounded on the NAC/NSL. I think the following turn
went back to the ESU, but might have stayed focused on the NAC for a
longer before re-focusing back on the ESU. The premise of this game was
simple: the NAC had, decades ago, placed a small battle base in this
backwater red dwarf star system, close enough to the Core Worlds that
any of the NAC's Core World holdings be threatened, this would be an
jumping off point. This being 2191, the Kra'Vak war had been going in
full-swing for 7-8 or so years at this point (go study the timeline for
the details of that year!). The ESU have not yet been told about this
despite the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" philosophy that brought the
human powers together (in a tenuous relationship) against the Kra'Vak.
NSL had been brought into the fold on this base, however. Anyway, there
factions of the ESU (and FSE) who feel the NAC (and NSL) should fight
Kra'Vak alone, weaken each other, then they can take the spoils. One of
high command ESU admirals who shares this point of view has spent the
few years getting other commanders who link the same into positions of
standing in the ESU fleet, to the point he has his own formidable task
he alone really commands. He's since learned about the base and decided
was time to put his battle fleet into action: take out the base, deny
staging area to the NAC and NSL.

The NAC and NSL have been, during the past few years, working on cutting
edge technology, and designed a few prototype ships each to test against
Kra'Vak. They just had a combined fleet exercise with the new ships
by the 'old' style ships and just jumped in-system here to refuel/re-arm
before going off to a perceived weak flank in the Kra'Vak "lines". When
jumped in-system, they found the ESU force above already barreling in
towards the base and system defense boats, weapons hot. They moved to

A turn or two later there was a disturbance in the jump fields, and
a new fleet of ships appeared - most definitely not human! Turned out to
a Phalon force looking to exact some change over their lost ship (again,
the 2191 timeline details where the FSE encountered a Phalon cruiser).
had no interest in the base, only the two battle forces. Being they
take them both on, they would "ally" themselves with one for a bit until
opposing fleet was reduced to 50% or less, then swap sides. And swap
again as the 50% limits were reached until all human ships were

We ran out of time to play it all out, but the short of it was that the
had gotten savaged and jumped out of the system, preserving both of
next-gen ships. The NAC had to stay in system and protect the base at
costs. The ESU wanted to destroy the base, period (the NAC next gen
would be a bonus). And the Phalons just wanted to remove the mobile
before opening negotiations. By the time the game was called, the ESU
pushing hard at the base. The NAC was trying to keep up and interdict.
the Phalons were behind both lobbing pulsers and random piles of plasma

As this was a test of the FT3 systems, the ones I was testing were put
good use, and for the most part found to be in pretty good shape. Some
further study needs to be done, but the players gave good positive and
critical feedback of the systems employed.

During this my gf showed up with the calendars and I was able to give
people who pre-ordered them theirs. Several other people bought some. I
two remaining if anyone is well and truly interested in them. All
for the calendars go straight to the con. Next year when Jon sends out
GZG ECC notification, the 2009 GZG ECC calendars will be available for
ordering directly. :-)	 Save me one thing to remember to pack. :-D

By the time everything was all said and done, it was 1am and I had to
everyone out so the ballroom could be locked up. No strippers for anyone
this evening.

Sunday morning came all too early. Jon and some others had gone off to
breakfast at 7am, but my gf and I weren't able to really get going until
8am. We did breaky at Yorgo's, then back to the con room where she
us geeky people for a while before heading home. I prepped my next game:
Pacific Theater WWII naval conflict known as the Battle for Savo Island
(look it up on wikipedia for more detailed info as to what happened
I was using FT rules for this game. As doing a direct and straight-up
recreation of the battle would have been b-o-r-i-n-g for both sides (the
Japs came in and smacked up the Allies barely taking anything in
return), I
gave the Japanese fleet players the option of taking the historical
route in
(SW Savo Is), or one of two other potential routes the Japanese might
taken back in 1942 (NE Savo Is and NE of Florida Is). To the Allies I
them all the ships that were available at that time and told them to
their force up into three sections: SW Savo Is, NE Savo Is, and far end
Florida Is. I told them to think carefully, as only *two* of these
would be able to participate in the conflict, but each area had to have
minimum of three ships assigned. Thus if the Japanese came in from
Florida Is, only the Florida Is contingent and the NE Savo Is ships
could be
available to interdict. If the Japanese came in through SW Savo Is, only
SW and NE Savo Is forces would be able to fight.

Oh, and to top it all off, this was night, with no radar. I was using
spotting rules pretty much stolen straight from Flames of War for this
mechanic. Worked pretty well, I might add. :-)

The Allied players divided their ships, giving the Florida Is force the
weakest fleet: a heavy cruiser, a light cruiser, and two destroyers. The
Savo Is force got the heavy cruiser Chicago, the heavy cruiser Vincennes
two destroyers. The NE Savo Is fleet received the heavy cruiser Quincy,
heavy cruiser Canberra, the light cruiser Hobart, the light cruiser San
Juan, and a couple of destroyers. The Japanese players opted to go in
historical route (SW Savo Is) and the battle thus ensued.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, the battle did NOT go as historical as
might have liked. They got nailed with a flare by the Allies and the SW
Is force savaged the lead Japanese elements, but not before they in turn
were pretty much all sent to the bottom. Then came in the NE Savo Is
The Japanese loosed a full barrage of their Long Lance torpedoes at
ships, but few were actually hit. The Allies were not in position to
torps of their own and had to rely on excellent gunnery skills
(rerolls!) to
send one Jap ship after another to the bottom. But again, not without a
price: about half of the Allied ships were badly damaged and/or sunk

I imposed a houserule on rerolls for the game that no battery could have
more rerolls than the class size of the battery (i.e., class-1 batts
only get one reroll, class-3 batts three rerolls, etc). This did mean
had to roll their gun shots separately, but it really didn't slow the
down any. It did add to the atmosphere, though. :-)   And there were
pretty solid hits on both sides during the game. Likewise, there were
pretty dismal rolls, as well (at one point Steve Barosi, Allied
rolled something like 15 or so class-3 dice, got two points damage; I
about to hand him the "Curse Of Indy" button when Damo, Japanese
replied with a similar amount of fire, with almost identically similar

The game ended with an Allied victory, but at a *heavy* cost.

After this, packed everything up and loaded the car. Stuck around until
everyone had left. Usually the last person to leave is Carl Shue, one of
vendors, as he has a ton to pack, but this year even Carl beat Ken Wang
Eddie Daub out the door! See the Quote Board list below for one of the
quotes of the con about this. :-D

Thanks again to everyone who came and made the con what it is. :-) 
you guys...we'd just be a smaller group of characters looking for a


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