Sunday, January 12, 2020

Photo report on Spartacon 2020; the Return of the Storm-God

        Somebody made Thor angry. To celebrate the thirtieth year of Spartacon the weather decided to return to its historic model of dropping a massive storm on the convention-goers. A bitter combination of freezing rain, sleet, howling winds and snow hammered western Michigan the day of the event. This being Michigan a good-sized crowd still showed up for the convention. I helped run a big Hail Caesar game in the first period and ran my Thirty Years War scenario in the second, both games were fully booked and we all had a jolly good time. Photos of the second half of the convention were limited due my GM responsibilities. But enough of that, on to the photos!

Hail Caesar, Romans vs Successors, 
Presented by Tom Ferries and Bastion Games
 armies deployed and awaiting their generals

I do love the sight of massed ranks of 28mm figures
the deep formations of pike are particularly effective

the Roman Legionnaires replied with their classic checker-board formation

the Successor left flank moved rapidly to the attack 
while the center failed its Command rolls and stood by watching

in a mirror-image the Roman right jumped forward 
while the rest of the army failed to advance

by the third turn the centers had met near the middle of the battlefield,
 the pike drove in the first contact with the Romans 
but the hard-as-nails Legionairres stuck to the fight and it became a bloody standoff

the Successor right was echeloned back as the elephants smashed into the Roman line

eventually the Successor left managed to curl around the Roman  flank
the armies were battered and the game ended with both sides exhausted
a true Pyrrhic finish

              This turned out to be one of the best Ancients battles I have seen in a very long time, the game swung back and forth and the victory looked to be in the grasp of both sides several times during the game. Thanks to the players who seemed to be having a jolly good time and to Bastion Games and Tom Ferries for presenting this game.

Battle of Lutzen 1632
Presented by Pat LeBeau and Dale Wood

I may have said this somewhere else earlier, I love the look of a massive game with loads of miniatures, especially if they are masterfully painted 28mm minis

the larger scale allows for each base to become a miniature diorama
 as can be seen from this lovely group of cannon

the attention to detail extended to the entire table,
I have to confess that I don't add chicken coops to my farmyards

then there was the delightful eye-candy of the town

a look down the table

the windmills that made the game instantly recognizable

       A stunning effort, I don't know what rules they were using but it appeared that everybody was having a great time and the battle was moving along nicely. Kudos to Mr. LeBeau and Wood for the titanic amount of effort that they put into this. If anybody know what rules were used please dvise in the Comments section.

Check Your 6! DD Laffey at Okinawa
Presented by Mark Walsh
I love playing CY6! but it doesn't ever seem to photograph well 
despite the excellent presentation by Mr. Walsh

Mekong Delta 1967
Presented by Michael Harris
helicopters, Pibbers and Guerillas and an appropriately brown river!

Rules by Ral, Medieval Combat
Presented by Russ Craft

Rules by Ral, the rules were probably older than most everyone playing in the game
 but they give a fast fun game that gets down to business without complicated charts

it was also the  longest game at the convention
in physical terms

Battle of Hattin, Triumph rules
Presented by Rod Cain
Rod returned with his lushly detailed and expertly crafted terrain for the Horns of Hattin

of course the figures were absolutely top-notch as well

I may just skip running games at a convention soon 
so that I can get into this game before he swaps it out for a different one 
(I never managed to get into the Hastings 1066 game that he presented a while back)

Desert Tank Fight, What a Tanker!
Presented by Matt Koltonow and Michigan Toy Soldier Shop
whimsical Chibi tanks fight over a mythical desert oasis

the What a Tanker rules provide a fun game

and the models are a delightful caricature of the real vehicles

Western Desert WW2, Flames of War rules
 Presented by Paul Makoski
if this was in black and white you could easily mistake it for a period photo 
Paul's work on the models and terrain are simply beautiful

I didn't get a chance to follow the action but the models are superb

Assault on Fort Fisher, Johnny Reb rules
Presented by Chris Maes
a very good looking game and everyone seemed to be deeply into the action

oh, and large-scale boat models,
I love large-scale boat models

The Vikings Meet Chuck Heston, 54mm Pig Wars
 Presented by Todd Kershner
an eye-popping game in 54mm

the combination of large scale models with a skirmish level rules is just about perfect

The Warlord is one of the movies that got me into wargaming 

Pegasus Bridge, Bolt Action rules
Presented by Glen Cooley
nicely detailed terrain dominated by the trademark bridge

I am constantly looking for good water effects, 
this captures the calm waters of the canal very well

Knuckle Duster
Presented by Larry Campbell
they hadn't started yet when I walked by but it looked so good I had to snap a picture

       If it hadn't been for the ferocious weather attendance would probably have been higher. I commend everyone who braved the worst weekend this winter to attend and would like to personally thank Ray Braemer who has been one of the guiding lights of this convention for a long time now. He is passing the torch to new members of the group who will no doubt do a fine job.


  1. I love convention reports! Some great games on display and fuels my own creativity.
    And jealousy. 😀

  2. Was the weather report. Looked outside when back to bed. Hey driving in crappy weather. Glad to see a large turn out. I best the majority of the folks where from around the Lansing area.

  3. Those are some sweet looking games. How come Pro or Con doesn't put on such displays? Just kidding of course. Nice photos Anton.


  4. Some great games on display, thanks for sharing the photos.