ProtoTO! An Amazing Weekend!

Well, we’re back from ProtoTO and we had a great time! I can’t share all of the stories and tell about all of the games in one post, so this will be a multi-part post, hopefully one each day this week. Keep checking back until you get to the end of the telling of this adventure.

It was Friday afternoon that Bill and I set off downtown to ProtoTO.  It was Friday evening by the time we arrived, though, due to a collision on the QEW. Anyway, we checked in, dropped our bags, changed into our official BSGames shirts and headed downstairs to register and prepare our showcases.

I saw a few games that I wanted to try, and got tickets for those (this year, instead of adding your name to a list, the designer handed out tickets colour-coded to the session number and with the table number and game description on it), and handed out a couple to Mathemagician’s Duel.

After that, it was some open gaming, out for dinner, then off to bed at a timely 2am to be ready for the next morning, bright and early!

The next morning I put on my new Mathemagician’s Duel shirt, opened the curtains to greet Toronto, then went for breakfast.

Morning window - MD smaller
The Mathemagician’s Duel signal! Someone needs my help!

My first game was Tank Brawl, by David Gonsalves of Fantasy Realm Games. I decided to play this one because Tanks! The art looked awesome, and I was curious to see how it played, since there was no board. This wasn’t a “top-down view, manoeuvre your tank on the field” sort of game. As the players arrived, I sat down at a seat in front of a plastic-coated sheet with a Panzer IV on it.

 

Tank Brawl Panzer - smaller
It’s a blurry photo, not blurry art. The actual sheet looked awesome.

 

On my right sat Dan, who had a Tiger (!), and beside him was Nenad, also with a Panzer IV. Across from us were Colin, Rebecca, and Sean who had American M4’s (Two Easy Eights and a Sherman, I think).

Tank Brawl - Colin smaller
One of my opponents, Colin.

The reason there is no board to to give you the experience of being inside the tank. To set up, we rolled a range die for each of our opponents to determine how far apart we were, close, short, medium or long range. Naturally, if I rolled “long range” for Colin, he would set his range die for me at “long range” also. Next, we would make a spotting roll to see if we had seen each other. There are modifiers to this depending on range and terrain (indicated also by a disc that we draw). If one of us spotted the other, we then each pulled a disc that had an overhead view of a tank with one side of it in red. This showed the orientation of our tanks relative to each other. If Colin’s disc had the left side red, then I would orient the little green tank he handed over to me with the left side facing me.  This is important because the armour value is different on the different sides of the tank. If I take a shot, it will be against the armour value facing me.

After setting up, we began combat! And it was fun! It seems complicated to explain now, with so much going on, but David did a great job of introducing us to the rules and rolls while keeping the game moving. Our commander issued 3 commands to the crew to either load the gun, fire the gun or move the tank, or the commander could use a command to try to spot an unseen tank. Dice were rolled to see how far along the loader and gunner were with their tasks, and when the gun was loaded, and the gunner had drawn a bead on an enemy, shots were fired! The first shot of the game was the Tiger destroying one of the American tanks in a single shot!

Tiger shooting

 

My loader, in his haste, managed to jam my main gun, but the next turn he did a better job and damaged Rebecca’s tank.  Nenad also had Rebecca in range and did a small amount of damage to her tank. Rebecca almost took a solid shot at me, but her crew were rattled by the shot they just took and failed to accomplish their order, leaving me the finishing shot on her tank. Colin’s tank sat in a bog and tried to see where the combat was happening.

After the game, David showed us the sheets for the Sherman “Firefly”, and the British Cromwell and a couple of other tanks. He has a card for the Russian T-34, but didn’t have it with him. The tanks have different abilities according to their historical differences, and the variety makes for a lot of different scenarios that could play out differently depending which tanks you use. If you are fan of WW2 armour, I recommend you keep an eye out for this one. David is from the US, but will be in Mississauga for a couple of weeks. We hope that we’ll have him out and one or two of our game nights/events before he heads home.

Tank Brawl - David Smaller
This is David Gonsalves of Fantasy Realm Games. He made Tank Brawl.

 

Check out their Facebook and Instagram to see more pictures of the game, and keep up to date with progress and developments.

That was the first game I played. I think session 2 is going to have to wait for part 2 of the blog! For more pictures of the event, check out ProtoTO on Twitter.

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