Historicon 2010: Duke’s Jubilee

Duke Siefried has gained a reputation over the years for running large, impressive games at the conventions.  He decided to retire from this and clear out his collection, presumably so his kids wouldn’t have to. But first, one last bash: Uncle Duke’s Diamond Jubilee!

For his last year at Historicon, Duke brought 14 games and ran them (with the help of numerous volunteers) throughout the weekend.  There was a special area set aside just for these games, and they were all always full of players.  After the show, everything was available for sale (I didn’t check the prices: “if you have to ask…”)

Here are some pictures I took of the highlights.  It’s hard to convey the scale of these games in pictures.  They are simultaneously really big and highly detailed at a small scale.  The miniatures were definitely painted to “convention gaming” standard, but when you put this many 25mm figures on a table at the same time, it looks impressive even with a basic paint job.

Most of the games were large, but his Jolly Roger game was played in a very innovative way.  Large scale pirate ships with 25mm crews were mounted on waist-high movement stands, and the game was played on the floor.  This provided for a much bigger game than a table allows (due to arm length limitations) without having to sit down.  There were floating islands and ports around the edges of the play area as well.  The game used Duke’s Jolly Roger home rules.

I think this game is Zulu! with Isandlwana Mountain in the distance.  It stood taller than me, and the table was probably 15-20 feet long. The rules were a variant of The Sword and the Flame.

I didn’t take notes on which game was which, but this one is most likely Fire & Sword in the Sudan, using Duke’s Fire & Sword home rules (not to be confused with The Sword and the Flame rules for the same period).  The table used real sand scattered over the terrain for a very realistic effect.

This one is Babylon I, with the hanging gardens just out of frame to the right.  This Babylonian vs Assyrian game was played with 25mm figures and a variant of DBA called De Bellis Extravaganza.  Talk on the Fanaticus forums suggests the rule changes were minor, and related to the specifics of this battle: some combat factors were modified, and some troops that ordinarily don’t have ranged shooting could shoot.

Finally, Azteca!   Set in Tenochtitlan (Mexico City in the time of the Aztecs), this battle between Aztecs and Conquistadors was played with another of Duke’s home rules: Aztec! The Game.