May 24, 2024

Origins 2024 Countdown! The Wargame HQ Gaming Event Details

Armchair Dragoons PAO, 15 May 2024

Starting our weekly Origins previews as we count down to the convention, here’s a deep dive into the “holy crap that’s a lot of wargames” agenda we’re bringing to Origins in 2024.

What’s on our schedule?

First up, this is just the gaming events, and we’ll give you the rundown of War College events in another article.
Note that rules are taught for every one of our events, and many of them – the CPX, Brazen Chariots, PicoArmor, Quatre Bras, and others – can absorb additional players beyond what’s listed.

A bunch of our events are 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 people
1 will plan their entire convention around

Command Post Exercises (The CPX)O23 whq cpx 11

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 but as a team?

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.
WED  6:00 PM (#4222) • THU 12:00 PM (#4223) • FRI  1:00 PM (#4224)


CPX Bootcamps

Refining an idea we tried last year, we’ve got a set of shorter, doctrine-focused sessions that use the same games as the CPXs, but with a more directed focus on how to prep for the battle.  We take a deep dive into the tools behind the missions & teach players how to apply military doctrine to wargame planning

10 seats and lasts 2 hours.

WED  3:00 PM (#4227) – Sync Matrix
THU 10:00 AM (#4225)  – Decision Support
FRI 11:00 AM (#4226)  – Recon Planning

Brazen Chariots

This year’s ‘monster’ game is uses the BCS system and covers the battles in North Africa in 1941.  As before, this one will be played as a ‘rolling’ game where each session picks up where the previous one left off.  There are multiple players on each side, as the BCS system lends itself to team play and division of command quite well.

6 seats / 4 hours.  WED  4:00 PM (#4217) • THU 12:00 PM (#4212) • THU  6:00 PM (#4213) • FRI 10:00 AM (#4214) • FRI  4:00 PM (#4215) • SAT 11:00 AM (#4216)

A Distant Plain (Team COIN) 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 traditionally involve a heavy dose 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.

8 seats / 4 hours.  THU  2:00 PM (#4205)

Origins2019 THU IMG 20190613 141900
A team game of A Distant Plain


PicoArmor Panzerblitz by PicoArmor and Avalon Hill

Smaller minis – bigger battles!  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.

6 seats / 3 hours.  THU  9:00 AM (#4247) • THU  7:00 PM (#4248) • FRI  9:00 AM (#4249) • FRI  2:00 PM (#4250) • SAT 12:00 PM (#4251) • SAT  5:00 PM (#4252)

o23 whq pico 4

Kriegsspiel (200th anniversary)

The iconic, original double-blind Kriegsspiel is back, with players only able to see and affect their small slice of the battlefield as they war rages around them.  Players are in blinded desks with only their maps and the messages sent to them from the umpires, and make their best battlefield decisions based on very limited information and situational awareness.  A few years ago, we had so many people drop in to this event that we were kicking staff members out of the game to make room for all the players that wanted to join.

16 seats / 4 hours.  THU  7:00 PM (#4238) • SAT  4:00 PM (#4239)

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

Normandy ’44

It’s the 80th anniversary of D-Day! This regimental-level game covers the Operation Overlord landings on June 6th and the battles that raged in Normandy for the next 21 days

4 seats / 4 hours.  WED  4:00 PM (#4243) • THU  9:00 AM (#4244) • FRI  8:00 AM (#4245) • SAT 10:00 AM (#4246)


The first of the Levy & Campaign series, Nevsky gives players command of medieval armies in northeastern Europe to manage sieges, vassals, logistics, politics, and more

4 seats / 4 hours.  WED  2:00 PM (#4296) • THU  6:00 PM (#4297) • FRI 10:00 AM (#4298) • SAT  1:00 PM (#4299)

Twilight Struggle Red Sea

A scaled-down implementation of the classic Twilight Struggle, focused on the Near East naval flashpoint

4 seats / 2 hours.  THU 12:00 PM (#4293) • FRI  8:00 PM (#4294) • SAT  9:00 AM (#4295)

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.

4 seats / 4 hours.  THU  1:00 PM (#4267) • FRI 12:00 PM (#4268) • SAT  9:00 AM (#4269)

Empire of the Sun

South Pacific scenario from the acclaimed strategic-level game of WW2 in the Pacific

4 seats and lasts 3 hours.

FRI  9:00 AM (#4231) • SAT  7:00 PM (#4232)

Fort Circle Games are back in the Wargame HQ, bringing some impeccable design coupled with fantastic production values.

Night Witches – Play with Designer

The Night Witches – female pilots of the Soviet 588th Night Bomber Regiment – work together to fly harassment missions on the Eastern Front during WW2 in this fast-playing solo/co-op wargame where the map unfolds to reveal the opponents as you fly over them.

4 seats / 1 hour.  SAT 12:00 PM (#4241) • SAT  2:00 PM (#4242)

Votes for Women – Play with Designer

Votes for Women has been featured on NPR & in the Washington Post, banned from Facebook ads (no, really!), and was the best-selling game of the month in March (Women’s History Month) at several stores around the country. This is a card-driven game covering the American women’s suffrage movement from 1848-1920, culminating with the ratification (or rejection) of the Nineteenth Amendment

4 seats / 2 hours.  THU  9:00 AM (#4288) • THU  5:00 PM (#4289) • FRI  9:00 AM (#4290) • FRI  4:00 PM (#4291) • SAT  7:00 PM (#4292)

Shores of Tripoli

The award-winning historical game of the US fighting against the Barbary pirates of the Mediterranean Sea, with impeccable graphic design and a very light learning curve

4 seats / 2 hours.  THU  3:00 PM (#4265) • SAT  6:00 PM (#4266)

Halls of Montezuma

The new historical game of the USMC operations in Mexico in the 19th century will give players a unique insight into this seldom-gamed conflict.  Builds on the Shores of Tripoli mechanics with new political dimensions.

4 seats / 2 hours.

THU  8:00 AM (#4234) • THU  1:00 PM (#4233) • FRI  1:00 PM (#4235) • SAT  2:00 PM (#4236)

Hunt for Blackbeard

Pits two players against one another as hunter and hunted in a fast-moving game of detection, deception, and confrontation, from designer Volko Ruhnke.  Coming soon to Kickstarter!

4 seats / 2 hours.

SAT  9:00 AM (#4237)

Shakespeare’s First Folio

Players take the role of printers in the early Seventeenth Century competing to print the first folio of Shakespeare’s plays

4 seats / 2 hours.  FRI  8:00 AM (#4262) • FRI  5:00 PM (#4263) • SAT  4:00 PM (#4264)

Catastrophe Games always bring innovative mechanics and new twists to their tabletop wargames.

True Command

Division command in the opening days of Barbarossa WW2 in this pre-pub game that forces players to smartly manage their command resources and plan several turns ahead.

2 seats / 2 hours.  THU  3:00 PM (#4270) • FRI  2:00 PM (#4271) • SAT 11:00 AM (#4272)

Sadr City

Urban fight for hearts and minds in Baghdad, pre-pub using Zurmat system with new mechanics to reflect urban warfare

4 seats / 2 hours.  THU  9:00 AM (#4259) • FRI 12:00 PM (#4260) • SAT  1:00 PM (#4261)

Crisis in Korea

Try to round up unsecured nuclear weapons, and don’t trigger armageddon while you gain as much territory as possible.  Designed as a microgame for government policy experts to explore some questions around securing nuclear weapons in North Korea.  Freshly Kickstarted and coming soon!

4 seats / 2 hours.  THU  1:00 PM (#4228) • FRI  5:00 PM (#4229) • SAT  5:00 PM (#4230)

Campaign Bagration

Take charge of the Russian summer offensive of 1944 against the German Army Group Center

2 seats / 2 hours.  FRI  7:00 PM (#4218) • SAT  7:00 PM (#4219)

Campaign Fall Blau

Take charge of the German summer offensive of 1942 in Southern Russia

2 seats / 2 hours.  THU  5:00 PM (#4220) • SAT  9:00 AM (#4221)

Arabian Struggle

A pre-pub game that’s currently on pre-order, The Battle for Arabia is an early 20th Century multi-polar wargame using Judean Hammer system, about the founding of Saudi Arabia

3 seats / 2 hours.  THU 11:00 AM (#4211) • FRI  9:00 AM (#4209) • SAT  3:00 PM (#4210)

We’ve got games from other publishers, too!

#ManeuverWarfare by the Dietz Foundation

This deck construction-style game explores the complexities of modern and future war. Attack and defend in the land, air, sea, space and information domains, and destroy your enemy’s reservoir of will before they destroy yours!  Taught by the designer

4 seats / 2 hours.  THU  9:00 AM (#4200) • THU  3:00 PM (#4201) • FRI  3:00 PM (#4202) • FRI  7:00 PM (#4203) • SAT 10:00 AM (#4204)

Song For War by Invicta Rex Games

These guys have reworked their original game that covered the entire Mediterranean into 2 separate games covering North Africa, and Italy, in WW2

Song for War ~ Allied Invasion of Italy

WW2 1943, players take command of Allied and Axis forces as the nations of Great Britain and the US attempt to break Germany’s hold on Italy.  Fast play, unique mechanics

4 seats / 3 hours.  WED  6:00 PM (#4276) • FRI  7:00 PM (#4277) • SAT 12:00 PM (#4278)

Song for War ~ Battle for North Africa

WW2 1942, Command forces across air, sea, and land as Monty and the Allies square off against Rommel and the Axis for control of North Africa.  Fast play, unique mechanics

4 seats / 3 hours. THU  9:00 AM (#4279) • FRI  2:00 PM (#4280) • SUN  9:00 AM (#4281)

We Are Coming Nineveh from NUTS! Publishing

The Iraqi government campaign to liberate the western area of the city of Mosul from the forces of Daesh in 2017 has won accolades all around the globe, and has been used by military students to explore various dimensions of urban conflict.

4 seats / 3 hours.  WED  5:00 PM (#4273) • FRI  1:00 PM (#4274) • FRI  6:00 PM (#4275)

Both of these are led by designer Bruce Maxwell, with an assist from developer Fred Schwarz.

Air & Armor by Compass Games

The 1980s classic is back!  This is a company level simulation of a hypothetical Soviet attack on West Germany in the mid-1980s, with updated mechanics & rules.  Taught by the designer & developer.

4 seats / 4 hours.  THU 10:00 AM (#4208) • FRI  4:00 PM (#4206) • SAT 10:00 AM (#4207)

NATO ~  The Cold War Goes Hot by Compass Games

NATO is a division/brigade-level simulation of a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. The game system has been reworked to better reflect the fluid, fast-paced, and deadly nature of modern warfare. Taught by the designer.

4 seats / 4 hours.  FRI 10:00 AM (#4240)

10K Games are bringing their new Symphony of Destruction series to Origins

Dash to Daugavpils, June 1941

The German 16th Army and 4th Panzer Group attack thru the Soviet 11th Army with strategic surprise. Can the Germans seize the Dvina River bridges intact or will Operation Barbarossa fail its first test? 10K Games presents Symphony of Destruction, the first game in the Horsemen Unleashed series. Horsemen is a hex-and-counter system that presents WW2 in 3-day turns and 10km hexes, with realistic casualty rates and logistics enmeshed in a fluid sequence of play. Symphony covers the Leningrad – Konigsberg sector from 1940 – 1944.

3 seats / 4 hours.  THU  9:00 AM (#4282) • THU  6:00 PM (#4283) • SAT  7:00 PM (#4284)

Shove to Shavli, July 1944

The Soviet 1st Baltic Front crashes into the German 16th Army in northern Lithuania. Can the Soviets sever Army Group North from the Third Reich? 10K Games presents Symphony of Destruction, the first game in the Horsemen Unleashed series. Horsemen is a hex-and-counter system that presents WW2 in 3-day turns and 10km hexes, with realistic casualty rates and logistics enmeshed in a fluid sequence of play. Symphony covers the Leningrad – Konigsberg sector from 1940 – 1944.

3 seats / 4 hours.  FRI  3:00 PM (#4286) • FRI  7:00 PM (#4285) • SAT  9:00 AM (#4287)

Decision Games are joining us this year for a pair of games

Battles for the Ardennes

Demonstration of the new Deluxe Edition with enlarged map boards and counters. The game features a campaign game of Battle of the Bulge. It also includes a shorter campaign game as well as smaller battle games covering, Clervaux, St. Vith, Celles, and Sedan. There is also a bonus scenario and counters for the Sedan 1940 campaign.

4 seats / 3 hours.  FRI 11:00 AM (#4301)

Drive on Stalingrad

Demonstration of the new Deluxe Edition with enlarged map boards and counters. The game features Case Blue, the German offensive to capture the oilfields in the Caucasus as well as Stalingrad. It also includes Operation Uranus, the Soviet counterattack.

4 seats / 3 hours. THU  1:00 PM (#4300)

And we’ve even got a table full of Napoleonic minis!

Quatre Bras for Charge!

The Battle of Quatra Bras, June 16, 1815 using the Charge! Eagles Rising rules, 15mm minis (provided)

6 seats / 4 hours.  THU  8:00 AM (#4253) • THU  2:00 PM (#4254) • FRI 11:00 AM (#4255) • FRI  5:00 PM (#4256) • SAT 10:00 AM (#4257) • SAT  4:00 PM (#4258)



Thank you for visiting The Armchair Dragoons and mounting up with the Regiment of Strategy Gaming.
You can find our regiment’s social media on MastodonBlueSky, Facebook, TwXtter, YouTube, and even Threads, if we could ever get an auto-post to it.
(We have an Instagram page and it’s really just a placeholder & redirect to our articles.)
You can support The Armchair Dragoons through our Patreon, also, and find us at a variety of conventions and other events.
Feel free to talk back to us either in our discussion forum, or in the comments below.

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.


  1. who all seem to be named “Scott”

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