June 24, 2024

Pax Unplugged 2023 – Bonus Pix from Pax!

Armchair Dragoons PAO, 17 December 2023

Late-arriving but still enough to share, we’ve got some additional Pax Unplugged coverage for you!
(Previous article here)

PAX Unplugged is an event with an endless array of activities. The Philadelphia Convention Center is packed with thousands of people, so it can be hard to decide what to do. On the first day, my son and his friend wanted to play my game (Storming the Gap from the World At War 85 series). My son and I also planned to participate in a four-hour, eight-player, 12-foot table miniatures game of Stalingrad run by the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (HMGS). HMGS hosts their own miniatures conventions, notably Historicon and Fall-In, so be sure to check them out! They had four sessions over the weekend, so you could participate on any day, which made scheduling other events or dinner with friends much easier.

It was interesting to play a two-player game in the midst of thousands of people playing other two-player games. It could be distracting, but it was also exhilarating to feel the energy of the gaming community. Of course, there were breaks to browse the sprawling vendor section, which could take up an entire weekend on its own. We had a good strategy for purchases at PAX. On the first day, we walked around and noted everything we might want to buy (with no budget restrictions). Then, on the last day, we went back with our budget in hand and made our purchases. There were many vendors and many tough choices!

Now, back to gaming. We had a fantastic time defending Stalingrad and counterattacking into the city. The pictures below only partially convey the fierce initial advances by the Germans, the holding actions, the tank assaults, and the close combats. And the Soviets triumphed!

2023 PaxU K 1
World At War 85 Storming the Gap Scenario 3 played at PAX Unplugged 2023. Informal game.

click images to enlarge

Then we played in a 12 foot table, 8-player Stalingrad minis game using wonderfully simple but deadly Hail of Fire rules.

2023 PaxU K 2
Left half of an eight-plater Stalingrad map. My son’s assault engineers are in the large building on the right. The Russians in the two buildings on the street middle left: the gentleman on our left flank stalwartly held his objective there against multiple counterattacks!


2023 PaxU K 3
Right half of the table. My assault teams are in the building in the middle. Good thing my son had my left, I had been taking fire from three sides and my guys were NOT happy. The other two guys on our team were amazing: The gentleman on our team to my right, see his assault lined up in the street all pretty? It went off like literal clockwork and cleared the block in front of him, It was like ASL: Prep fire, Move Assault!


2023 PaxU K 4
Talk about Reserves! See why his assault succeeded? 🙂


2023 PaxU K 5
Red disks – Disruption. These are my guys in the center when taking fire from three sides! But my MG Teams in the middle right were barking!




Thank you for visiting The Armchair Dragoons and mounting up with the Regiment of Strategy Gaming.
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There once were Dragoons in their chairs,
Wargaming expertise beyond compares.
With passion they’d play,
Strategizing all day,
The Armchair champions, nobody dares.
In the hobby, they stand proud and tall,
Wargaming prowess, they enthrall.
In each tabletop fight,
They prove their might,
Armchair Dragoons, the best of them all!

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