Armchair Dragoons PAO, 10 May 2023
Starting our weekly Origins previews as we count down to the convention, here’s a deep dive into what we’re offering at the Wargame HQ at Origins 2023
What’s on our agenda?
The full schedule for our crew is down below, but here are some additional details about each of the events.
Note that rules are taught for every one of our events
A bunch of our events unique convention experiences, as they’re almost impossible to recreate for a local game night with your friends back home
These events have become “tentpoles” that some people1 will plan their entire convention around
COMMAND POST EXERCISES (CPX)
The CPX is four hours of high-intensity role-playing wargaming chaos players are a members of a staff in a command post, planning and then fighting a battle. Each CPX participant becomes a staff officer – Commander, Executive Officer, Maneuver, Intelligence, Fires, etc – and is responsible for that part of the battle, taking on a computer opponent (run by our folks) as a cooperative team.
No idea what you are in for? No worries. The first 30 minutes or so are spent showing you everything you need to know about the “Military Decision-Making Process” (yes, that’s a thing) and outlining your objective in the game. You and your fellow staff officers then work together around a large map to develop a plan over the 45-60 minutes.
The details of the plan are handed over to the computer ops, who handle all the hands-on-keyboards work. Then, as the computer runs the battle, you monitor results, refine the plan, and cooperate to win the battle.
No plan survives contact with the enemy! There will be surprises aplenty and play will become intense as you try to achieve your goals. Playing a wargame solo is easy – as a team? Well, you’ll see 👀
The scenarios are a hypothetical Cold-War-goes-hot in Europe in the 80s.
Each event is roughly 4 hours, although the evening one sometimes runs a little longer.
THU 4-8pm (#3785) • FRI 4-8pm (#3786) • SAT 1-5pm (#3787)
Something new we’re trying this year – a set of shorter, doctrine-focused sessions that use the same games as the CPXs, but with a more directed focus on how a specific part of the battle is fought, and how to craft a plan for that facet of the engagement. These are only 2 hours long and run primarily earlier in the day.
THU 10am-Noon (#3829) – Movement to Contact
FRI 9-11am (#3788) – Gap Crossing
SAT 10am-Noon (#3789) – Counter/Recon
THE THIRD WORLD WAR by Compass Games
Last year’s monster game was such a hit that we’re coming back with another one. This remake of the mid-80s classic links 3 games together into massive East-vs-West battle stretching from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean, with multiple players on each side. Just like last year, we have six ‘rolling’ time slots where each session will pick up where the previous one left off and we’re play one continuous game all weekend long.
THU 10am-2pm (#3796) & 4-8pm (#3797)
FRI 9am-1pm (#3798) & 3pm-7pm (#3799)
SAT Noon-4pm (#3800) & 6-10pm (#3801)
A DISTANT PLAIN (Team Counterinsurgency) by GMT Games
It’s been a hit for years, so we’re bringing back our modified COIN game of A Distant Plain where players are split into multiple tables, in either a diplomatic or military role. This game is a “modified blind” in that the diplomatic players cannot see the military map, and vice versa, but all factions are represented on each table.
COIN games traditional involve a heavy does of interpersonal dynamics, but they are ramped up here in the way each faction is split into military and diplomatic players. They have wide latitude to engage with their peers from the other faction and the negotiation and metaphorical horse-trading is a key feature of this combat-light-but-conflict-heavy game.
THU 11am-3pm (#3808)
PICOARMOR PANZERBLITZ by PicoArmor and Avalon Hill
A boardgame with 3mm minis? Those are some mini minis. And we have a great many mini minis. The PicoArmor team is bringing their table-sized adaptation of the old AH classic PanzerBlitz with them. You get a chance to refight the Eastern front with a 3D-ified board game and your own horde of many mini minis.
THU 11am-2pm (#3890) & 4-7pm (#3791)
FRI 10am-1pm (#3892) & 7pm-10pm (#3793)
SAT 9am-Noon (#3894) & 4-7pm (#3895)
GMT has been a fantastic partner and supporter of our Wargame HQ (through their rep at Origins, Enterprise Games) and we always like to highlight their games. In addition to A Distant Plain (above) we also have the following
The soft underbelly of the Axis was the Allies’ target in the middle of WW2, and this invasion of the Italian peninsula plays out pretty much a full game in the 4 hours we have allotted for each session. US and British troops start with an amphibious invasion and hope to end it in an Italian villa, sipping some vino. The Germans & Italians hope to keep the Allied feet stuck in the sand as long as possible and hold the beaches.
WED 3-7pm (#3802) • THU 10am-2pm (#3803) • FRI 1-5pm (#3804) • SAT 9am-1pm (#3805)
LIBERTY OR DEATH
One of the best-looking wargame maps you’ll ever see belongs to this 4-player asymmetric game of the American War of Independence. The US & French face off against British & Native Americans as all four player shave different goals, and even allies will work at cross-purposes.
THU 6-9pm (#3825) • FRI 11am-2pm (#3826) • SAT 10am-1pm (#3827) • SAT 3-6pm (#3828)
SPACE EMPIRES 4X
A 4X game on the tabletop that actually works?! Yep, this multiplayer realm-builder is a big hit in GMT’s catalog and we’re going to fight over the spaceways as we compete for the best interstellar civilization
FRI 10am-Noon (#3811) • SAT 7-9pm (#3812)
PLAINS INDIAN WARS
The struggle for the Wild West takes center stage as the inexorable push of settlers continually conflicts with the Native Americans fighting to hold onto their lands.
THU 3-5pm (#3809) • FRI 8-10pm (#3810)
Tactical warfare in WW2 with a heaping helping of card-driven chaos that forces players into quick, challenging decisions.
THU 6-8pm (#5355) • THU 9-11pm (#5356)
We’ve got games from other publishers, too!
BRIEF BORDER WARS by Compass Games
Ever heard of “The Soccer War”? Did you know the Chinese invaded Vietnam? Some of the 20th centuries smaller and more obscure “fun-sized” wars hit the tabletop with this quad game set designed by the incredible Brian Train.
THU 7-9pm (#3806) • FRI 8-10am (#3807)
SONG FOR WAR by Invicta Rex Games
Our showcase game from Origins 2022 is back with a production-quality copy of their operational-level wargame of WW2 in the Mediterranean theater of action. We caught up with them at Buckeye Game Fest for both a game session and an interview. This one plays fast, looks great, and keeps players on their toes throughout the turn with a unique sequence of events. Look for it to (re)launch for crowdfunding this Summer.
WED 6-10pm (#3830) • THU 6-10pm (#3831) • FRI 10am-2pm (#3832) • FRI 6-10pm (#3833) • SAT 10am-2pm (#3834)
UNDAUNTED: BATTLE OF BRITAIN by Osprey Games – play with the designer!
The latest in the award-winning line of Undaunted games, the Battle of Britain introduces a variety of innovative mechanics, and who better to teach you than the designer himself.
THU 4-6pm (#3836) • FRI 3-5pm (#3835) • SAT 2-4p (#3837)
This year, we have several publishing partners working with us in our event area, providing their own GMs to teach not only their current games, but some upcoming ones as well
FORT CIRCLE GAMES
Votes for Women has been featured on NPR and in the Washington Post, as well as being the best-selling game of the month in March (Women’s History Month) at several stores around the country. Shores of Tripoli won a variety of awards over the past 2 years and provides an easy-to-learn exploration of one of the oddball conflicts of American history. The forthcoming Halls of Montezuma takes the same basic game engine, puts a few tweaks on it, and heads to the Mexican-American War.
Votes for Women: WED 6-8pm (#3844) • THU 11am-1pm (#3845) • THU 8-10pm (#3846) • FRI 2-4pm (#3847) • SAT 9-11am (#3848) • SAT 1-3pm (#3749)
Shores of Tripoli: THU 5-7pm (#3838) • FRI 6-8pm (#3839) • SAT 7-9pm (#3840)
Halls of Montezuma: THU 2-4pm (#3843) • FRI 10am-Noon (#3842) • SAT 4-6pm (#3841)
Decamping from the exhibit hall to pump up their event count with us in the Wargame HQ, the entire Catastrophe Games crew is bringing a robust mix of published and developing games to the convention, featuring modern-day counterinsurgencies, fighting for civil rights, and the struggles of command in kinetic combat.
Arabian Struggle: THU 11am-1pm (#3819) • FRI 1-3pm (#3820)
Judean Hammer: THU 3-5pm (#3823) • SAT 1-3pm (#3824)
Sadr City: FRI 9-11am (#3815) • SAT 11am-1pm (#3816)
Stonewall Uprising: THU 9-11am (#3817) • FRI 3-5pm (#3818)
True Command: FRI 11a-1p (#3813) • SAT 9-11am (#3814)
Zurmat: THU 1-3pm (#3821) • SAT 3-5pm (#3822)
We’ve also got a variety of games we’re dragging along that are not official events on the game calendar, but will be in our booth area for any variety of pickup games or other shenanigans
LITTORAL COMMANDER ~ Production copies are here! We’re definitely going to slip this onto the table at some point
ASSAULT: RED HORIZON ’41 ~ the new game from Assault Games, which they shipped over to us to be able to show off at the booth
BAYONETGAMES’ WARFIGHTER SERIES ~ the original Warfighter game from 2005, and not the card game that stole the name 5 years later, this modern platoon-level wargame incorporates some unique asset rules and should hit the table Friday morning, or whenever else we feel like
ROBOTECH RECONSTRUCTION ~ We’ve interviewed them on both our podcast, and at The ACDC, and they’ll come see us at the Wargame HQ so folks can get a taste of their COIN-inspired asymmetric sci-fi conflict
TRAVELLER ~ If Ardwulf is with us, then Traveller is going to hit the table, so look for that Saturday night.
ORIGINS 2023 COVERAGE
WARGAME HQ EVENTS ~ MiD PREVIEW EPISODE ~ WARGAME HQ EVENT PREVIEWS ~ ADVICE FOR ROOKIES ~ CONSOLIDATED WARGAMING EVENT GRID ~ EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT ~ THE MAILBAG ~ FOOD & DRINK
SETUP & FIRST GAMES ~ REPORT FROM THE SHOW ~ EXHIBIT HALL PHOTOS ~ GAMEPLAY PHOTOS ~ WARGAME HQ EVENT REPORT ~ REPORT FROM THE DRAGOONS ~ CONVENTION PHOTOS ~ AAR
DISCUSSION FORUM THREAD
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At the Origins Game Fair, so vast,
Wargaming enthusiasts amassed,
With armies in sight,
They prepared for the fight,
And victory was theirs at last.