Brant Guillory, 19 September 2022
We spend a lot of time covering the bigger conventions like Origins and GenCon, and joining conventions like Buckeye Game Fest and Connections, that we don’t always stop and appreciate the smaller, local conventions where a bunch of folks get together for a great weekend of gameplay.
One of those happens in the Raleigh NC / Research Triangle Park area every Fall, as the Triangle Simulation Society – a minis-focused wargaming club – get together for Southern Front, their annual convention. Attendance might top 100, and on-site attendance at one time maxes out around 80 or so1. And while there are a few vendors, they’re tucked at tables along the wall of the one big room, while everyone else is focused on the 10 game tables around the middle.
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Saturday was a pretty simple schedule of games, but the tables were humming along. Most games sat 4-6 (some up to 8) with manual sign-ups in a paper binder below this schedule for the players and a couple of alternates for each game.
Everything was in one large meeting / banquet room at a local hotel near the airport. The check-in was a simple table out front.
What was on the table? At mid-day on Saturday, you could catch some early games hitting their conclusions, and some afternoon ones just setting up.
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A French & Indian War scenario using the Live Free or Die rules. Note the large stand-up ‘card’ at the end of the table with game reference information for the players. This was the only game where we saw a giant player aid like that.
The Warkammer 40K in 15mm game didn’t really look all that small.
The end of the Battle of Camerone included a pretty large pile of “dead” legionnaires.
you can click images to enlarge
A WW2 commando raid using the Bolt Action rules played out across a very attractive table.
Before armies cared about putting their soldiers in camouflage uniforms, battles were much more colorful. The Great Northern War isn’t as well-known in the US as other wars of the era, but there are many scenarios to be mined for games like Carnage & Glory.
If you took some time to wander the vendors around the edges of the room, you could pick up some insanely-detailed minis, all manner of terrain supplies, a variety of books & supplements, and even some stray tabletop wargames.
yes, you can still click images to enlarge
The “Slaughterloo” minis from Alternative Armies posit a fantasy variant of the Napoleonic Wars. This battle had the elven French facing off against the dark elves of Spain and their Orcish/English allies. Why were orcs for the UK? Because the sun never sets on the brutish empire…2
There was a Force on Force game set in Vietnam that was setting up as I was leaving.
don’t forget to click images to enlarge
Minis wargames, in particular, will have more home-brew rules than other tabletop games, such as this one covering the Battle of Pest (across the river from Buda3).
Not a lot of room to maneuver as NATO counterattacks in this game of Battlegroup NORTHAG.
Warbands abound in this Lion Rampant game.
The raffle included a variety of prizes, with $1 tickets.
This was a locally-focused all-weekend cornucopia of minis wargaming, with plenty of good friends renewing acquaintances, and lots of dicing flying across the tables. This wasn’t about glitzy marketing launches or celebrity lectures from guests of honor. It was all about playing games, all weekend.
Walking around Southern Front, early afternoon. There were at least 2 other tables in action that we didn't get in this video. pic.twitter.com/NBwqdECRGx
— The Armchair Dragoons (@ADragoons) September 17, 2022
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