On 7th February (Year Of Our Lord Kidd 1987), more than 1,200 PBMers converged upon the Porchester Hall, somewhere in London. The turnout was impressive — enthusiasts young, old, male, female, in between, new and experienced, a mixed bunch by anybody’s standards. Were you there? If not, then you missed a great day out!
I turned up half an hour after the doors opened (oh, alright — I confess — half an hour before the bar opened) and was instantly taken aback by what I saw — people, and lots of them. A much better attendance than last year’s convention. After figuring out where everything was, I donned my invisible CRASH PBM CORRESPONDENT hat and trudged forth to see what gossip and news could be gleaned from GMs and garners alike...
Most of the 25 companies present had something to say about their games of today and tomorrow.
KJC GAMES decided to turn up for the event — apparently after a lot of deliberation. Crasimoffs World fans will be glad to hear that the game is not being shelved. Instead, KJC are revamping the game and issuing it under a different company logo, CRASIWORLD LTD.
MITREGAMES are having a busy time after deciding to reintroduce Starmaster — and they’re launching a new SF project, Starship Commander (billed as a quick-turnaround, low-cost game). More next month!
RAMPAGE GAMES have decided to stop offering positions in their popular game, From the Mouth of Hell. They say they’re concentrating company efforts on their Chicago-gangland game St Valentine’s Day Massacre and the design/playtest of a new game due out later this year (let’s hope it’s up to their usual high standard).
An original game which has oft caught my eye is Muskets & Mules, the Napoleonic wargame moderated by HISTORICAL ENGINEERING of Cambridge. Muskets & Mules is a highly strategic four-player wargame; it’s a very accurate simulation of the Napoleonic Wars in North Central Europe (1805–1809).
Players choose the country which they wish to command: each country has advantages and disadvantages, reflected by their different turn costs. And then the war begins...
The excellent rulebook has 61 packed pages, far too many to condense sensibly here. If you’re an avid wargamer prepared to spend between £10 and £13 (depending upon the power you rule) each fortnight, then send an SAE to HISTORICAL ENGINEERING. There’s no denying this is an expensive game, but I think wargamers will appreciate it.
LEGEND have been operating since September ’86, running their fantasy role-playing game (called AEs) to a very high standard — I was shown some of their turnsheets by a player I met in the bar at the convention, and I was very impressed.
In the game you roleplay a fresh young adventurer in a land of danger — you must expand your experience to become a legend. Details from: LEGEND INCORPORATED LIMITED. (Incidentally, ‘AEs’ is pronounced ‘Ayus’ — Novel!).
M.A.G established their new game, Crisis, at the convention. Their stand was busy all day with people crowding round to see this low-priced game of global war... which brings me to Megalomania, another new game involving strategy, diplomacy and world conquest. Full reports of these games are coming up in the next few issues, so keep your eyes open!
Everybody who attended the convention enjoyed themselves. Mixed in with the London Mafia were PBMers from all over the island — even a clan of Glaswegians (headed by Jimmy ‘The Champ’ Johnson) who’d travelled for seven hours on a coach to attend! The organisers did a very good job — well done, Mike McGarry, Wayne and Co. Perhaps next year the PA will be audible. We can but hope...
Everyone at the convention was issued with a voting form so they could nominate their favourites for awards. The results are below...
b/w Delenda Est Carthago