July 22, 2024

Origins 2024! Wargame HQ Event Report

Armchair Dragoons PAO, 30 June 2024

Way more wargaming than you probably thought was at Origins, huh?

Friday actually ends up being our ‘biggest’ day in terms of total number of events at the Wargame HQ.  Not counting the Origins War College seminars we sponsor, our count1  breaks down as follows:

  • Wednesday – 7 events
  • Thursday – 31
  • Friday – 34
  • Saturday – 29
  • Sunday – 1 (plus the raffle)

Now, Saturday tends to include a whole lot of 4-hour events, which limits the total number of events we can put on a table, but the point still stands, that Friday is our busiest day in terms of setting up, teaching, and playing games.

Let’s also be very, very clear – this was just the games run by us.  This does not count all the other wargaming, both tabletop and minis, that could be found all over the convention center and that we’ll bring to you in another article later this week.

 

Setting Up

Unlike last year, the convention center completely ignored our setup diagram, and we spent an hour rearranging tables.  Fortunately, we had almost all the tables we actually needed, so we didn’t need to go appropriate any.  But we did put the kids to work on the raffle cups, and some of the tablecloths

 

Command Post Exercises (The CPX) and the CPX Bootcamps

In addition to our usual CPX’s we included 3 small session “CPX Bootcamps” that were focused on specific facets of the planning process during the CPXs, with the goal of giving the players a deeper dive into different parts of that process and a focus on the tools used for it.  At the end of each session, every participant left with an example of the product (a sync matrix, an R&S plan, etc) that they had created themselves during that bootcamp.

Then we launched into the actual CPXs, and boy howdy what a blast.  With a couple of different missions to stymie the red horde pouring over the inter-German border in the mid-80s, our players had their hands full in all 3 missions.

 


Brazen Chariots

This year’s big “rolling game” was MMP’s Brazen Chariots of the BCS system.  Our team had 6 sessions of this one lined up, where each session picked up where the previous one left off.  There was a ton of room to maneuver out in the deserts of North Africa, but these player slots didn’t fill quite as fast as games in previous years.

 


A Distant Plain (Team COIN) by GMT Games

We actually had enough players to do this as a legit split-table, 8-player multi-headed COIN game, and folks had a great time trying to parse their teammates’ intents, reports, and projected needs.  In the end, we were all so busy heads-down playing this one that nobody took any photos!


PicoArmor Panzerblitz by PicoArmor and Avalon Hill

Back for another year, this fan favorite continued to stop traffic along the aisle and dragged in both new players, and folks coming back from last year for another go.

 


Kriegsspiel (200th anniversary)

We’ve got a separate article on this one coming, so stay tuned as we highlight this one event in it’s own article

cnxLine BLUE

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

Much like last year, we had players ranging from –40x-series veterans to wargame newbies.  We put 2 players on each side to share some decision-making and let loose with the invasions, and . . .

 


Nevsky

This is the first year we included the Levy & Campaign series, and our Nevsky sessions were among the first to sell out, the first to get played, and the most popular we had.  This was also the first time John & Bill had GM’ed with us, and we’d love to have them back in the future.

 


Twilight Struggle Red Sea

A late add to the schedule once we had Jason Carr from GMT coming to join us, these three sessions all sold out, and somehow no one got any photos?!?


Space Empires 4X

These filled up last year.  They filled up this year.  If Mike does them next year, they’ll fill up again.  Folks love this game.

 


Empire of the Sun

We had 2 sessions of his one, and game to the conclusion that in 4 hours, you’re just barely scratching the surface here.  This might be a candidate for a “big” game in the future, but the players we did have enjoyed themselves.

 


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

Night Witches – with co-Designer David Thompson

With Liz off galavanting through Europe, it fell to David to shoulder the load of showing off their upcoming Night Witches board game.

 


Votes for Women • Shores of Tripoli • Halls of Montezuma • Hunt for Blackbeard • Shakespeare’s First Folio

Fort Circle’s portfolio is expanding like crazy and we had a bunch of their games spread across 2 tables all weekend, and didn’t even get First Monday in there anywhere!  Votes for Women designer Tory Brown was back, and Fort Circle Honcho Kevin Bertram was showing off a bunch of games, too.

 

 


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

True Command • Sadr City • Crisis in Korea • Campaign Bagration and Campaign Fall Blau • Arabian Struggle

 

 


Other Publishers / Games

Campaigns in Europe with Decision Games

Decision Games joined the Wargame HQ for the first time, as Doc Cummins joined us for demo games of Campaigns in Europe and Drive on Stalingrad

O24 WHQ Decision

 


#ManeuverWarfare by the Dietz Foundation

The designer once called it “Pokemon for Marines” since it’s a hip-pocket deck-building card game of near-future warfare, and a bunch of his game sessions yielded a lot of great ideas and insight that’ll likely get incorporated into the upcoming rules, since this one’s still on pre-order.

 


Song For War by Invicta Rex Games

They guys redesigned the game from one big Med theater game into 2 smaller ones, focused on North Africa and Italy, and this was one of the first public playings of either.

 

 


We Are Coming Nineveh from NUTS! Publishing

Right after Origins, we found out that We Are Coming Nineveh won a CSR Award; if we’d found out in time we could’ve hyped up even more.  Here’s a slideshow of some of the sessions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 


Air & Armor  &  NATO ~  The Cold War Goes Hot by Compass Games

With both Fred & Bruce in town, we had the whole design/development team, and boy did they make some friends showing off both of these.  There was even an impromptu session of Air & Armor as everything was winding down late on Sunday afternoon, with Bruce teaching a pair of our locals.

 


10K Games had their new Symphony of Destruction series – Dash to Daugavpils, June 1941 and Shove to Shavli, July 1944

Unknown to many convention-goers, Todd 7 John nonetheless corralled a few folks into a few games of their division-level East Front games, and got some great feedback for these upcoming titles.

 


And we even had a table full of Napoleonic minis2  – Quatre Bras for Charge!


Pickup and other off-schedule games

We had a couple of other games break out when no one was looking, including a few things no one really saw coming!

 

Star Fleet Battles – this was a Saturday night pickup game and might have to turn into a scheduled event next year when we ened up with 5 players

 

“Littoral Commander: Science Fiction” ⁉️ – Dr Witcz3 showed up outta nowhere with this one and . . .  wow

 

 

 


ORIGINS 2024 COVERAGE

PREVIEWS:
WARGAME HQ EVENTS ~ MiD PREVIEW EPISODE ~ WARGAME HQ GAME PREVIEWS ~ WAR COLLEGE PREVIEWSCONSOLIDATED ALL WARGAMING EVENT GRID ~ EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT
AT THE SHOW:
SETUP & FIRST GAMES ~ DAY 1 REPORT ~ THE SHAMAN ASCENDS ~ EXHIBIT HALL ~ BINGO ~ GAMEPLAY PHOTOS ~ WARGAME HQ EVENT REPORT  ~ COSTUME PHOTOS ~ CONVENTION PHOTOS  ~ KRIEGSSPIEL ~ 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.

Footnotes

  1. that totals 102 events, if you’re keeping score at home
  2. and no Cyrano!
  3. of Robotech Reconstruction fame

Brant G

Editor-in-chief at Armchair Dragoons

View all posts by Brant G →

2 thoughts on “Origins 2024! Wargame HQ Event Report

  1. FYI, after I clicked on a pic to enlarge it, the Forward and Backward buttons on the pic didn’t work, nor did the “X” close screen button. I had to use my browser’s Back button to get back to this page. I tried several pics.

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