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Convention News Page

This page is for Piquet Convention News and is a member page to the Official PK Gamers Site.   Piquet is published by Piquet Inc. and © by Robert W. Jones.

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Date Report Was Written

Description of the Convention

July 1999

Piquet at Historicon99 Reports

  1. I was one of those unfortunate Continentals in "Prelude to Yorktown" and I can say that I had a marvelous time. The rules are most intriguing and I look forward to playing them again. When my buddy asked how the game went I could only reply "Glorious defeat!". Thanks again to Pat for the superb event! Eric Kohl
  2. Sounds like you had a good time and did well. We stopped by the booth. I already have the basic set and the supplement for Colonials. We looked at the software, and while it looks really great, my hubby vetoed it since he'd rather look at the charts rather than pay the extra expense on the programs. I'm still trying to figure out if you need one to really use the other why you have them on different CDs as separate purchases. Did I really miss something? Btw: didn't catch his name, but the person working the booth did a great job trying to show us the software. When my husband said he couldn't find the stuff for the Colonials and we'd check back later after he had a chance to look for it, he came and found us after figuring it out. Nice job. Unfortunately, no matter how much I wanted it the purchase just wasn't in the budget this trip. I purchased the software and now that I have played with it some value it as one of my best Historicon purchases. The reason for 2 disks is that one of them just does rosters and manages that fantastically. I never need to look up all the bonuses that you get for this troop or that troop. The computer automatically does it for me. This makes setting up a game a snap and can be done in just a few minutes. The other disk is the battle "moderator" I have yet to play with it but some of its attributes intrigue me. The best thing being that you can hide all the unit abilities from both sides. Thus, you just do not know how good your troops are until they give you some good results. Anyway, I would really suggest the recruit disk to anyone with a computer and piquet. The battle disk would be for someone that does not need to roll the dice and would prefer to be a general.
July 27, 1998

Historicon 98' Report and Thank You by Bob Jones

Piquet had the most successful convention yet. All of the games came off very well and a huge number of people were exposed to the game for the first time. All games were full and most had several observers and kibitzers.

Some Highlights:

Pat McGuire's Boxer rebellion game was won by the Boxers! A final charge out of the woods by Fred Avner's sneaky bunch, supported by fanatic cavalry, overran the European line. If ever a game illustrated how experience can overcome inpetus this was it.
Bill Perk's ACW game was very close fought with the tide swinging back and forth. Both sides depleted their morale, and it was decided on the last
move of the last turn! A nail biter! I believe the Union won, but, after all, it was 1864.
Patrick Velas watched in his Platea Archon game as the Spartan Commander grew strangely cautious and allowed the Persians to win!!!! Patrick said that he play tested it several times and the Persians lost each time, but then I suspect both sides again had a tad more experience than in this game.
The Seminar was packed and went well. Over 40 gamers discussed Piquet for over an hour. One guy was outraged by a morale system that wasn't automatic, another said that it was all luck, another said that the 95th Rifles were elite and never had a bad day (forget Corunna). It was wonderful as Jeff Grein, Al Martin, Brent Oman, and Fred Avner rallied around the old GP and fought back the Doubting Thomases. I think a lot of people left with a strong interest in the rules, and curiosity was very high throughout the show.
Jim Getz launched a version of C de Piquet and Jim and I believe the damn thing works! It will be published early in 1999 as a Piquet: Les Grognards:Variant. It has a number of neat rule ideas in the initiative area, as well as new "Command Cards".
Ken Bagalley's Renaissance game was every bit as much fun as you might imagine from his wonderful battle reports. It was the funniest convention game I've ever seen! I don't want to spoil it for you, as Ken is going to report on it, but wait till you hear the fate of Caesare de Salado!!! If ever there was an act of vainglory and bravado-this was it! Only in Piquet! Only in a Ken Baggaley game!
Brent Oman ran the 1944 POA game and it was a great game. Early on the Germans had it pretty much their way with PzIV's and SS pouring through the Allied right flank. The U.S. Commander thought that POA meant Pick On Allies! But then the US made Radio Contact and got a couple of artillery barrages and a fighter bomber attack ordered up (1944, remember!) BooM! You should have seen those Krauts scatter! Unfortunately a US AC unit was badly hit by friendly fire, but the Arsenal of Democracy eventually won out.
Eric Burgess' SYW game was absolutely huge with 8 commanders and 20-30 onlookers! It was a great game (except for one guy that just wanted to move and shoot-and grew frustrated by piquet's limits) It featured a devastating flank charge by the Prussian 1st Cuirassiers that took out 2 horse, 3 infantry, and a gun battery! Wow! Eric inserted a Brilliant Brigade
commander card that was terrific!

More in another note-but I encourage the gamemasters to write up their impressions. Most of all-Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! to Pat McGuire for coordinating and each of the game honchos-particularly Eric who painted a ton of troops and drove a few hundred miles, Patrick who did his first gamemastering just fine, Ken for his life and humor, Jim for being such a good friend and supporter, and Bill Perks who, in addition to being a great gamemaster, is the best possible dinner companion! Brent got a lot of folks to see the potential of the POA system and we talked about a lot of new ideas on the flight back.

Second Annual Piquet Historicon Cocktail Party by Bob Jones

The second annual Piquet Cocktail party was a resounding success. Last year we had about 20 gamers come by to chat, but this year over 60 gamers stopped by for an hour or so for food, drink, and chatter. Duke Siefried was there. So was Jim Getz, Jim Perky, and Al Martin. Many of the new attendees were recent converts to Piquet, and I got to talk extensively with Tom Downs, Joe Fish and Gary the K. at their table. What a great gaming group! Greg Skelly from my neck of the woods was there, along with Brent Oman and Ed Meyers. Many of the attendees were new to the game and a few were either stunned or bemused by a rules publisher giving them something for free! Bob Pavlik was so touched he broke down in tears (or was that the Chinese mustard on the egg rolls?)

We had a little round robin introduction of everyone present and it really was interesting to hear everyone's story and background. Ed's story took about as long as the rest of the room combined, but now you guys know why Piquet was designed to move along so quickly, otherwise with Ed in a game we'd never finish! :-)

The highlight was, of course, the Official Piquet Song that Pat McGuire wrote and performed.  Ah, the Pavarotti of Piquet was in rare form! Brent imitated a music stand very well and kept the lyrics and music in front of Pat at all times! The singing sounded like a cross between the Yale Glee club after a week long spree and a herd of cattle right before they stampede! They were loud! Pat described the singing contest quite well in his note-I will only add that the one side singing followed by the other singing format was the only time any Piqueteers have ever done move-counter-move, and may have contributed to their just awful performance! Jim Mauro, Fred Avner, and Ken Baggaley were particularly noticeable in their energy and volume level. The Zealots won (or so Pat the barmaid averred) but the Acolytes vowed Revanche!

A huge success and a guarantee that we will have a 3rd annual next year,
though I think we will need a larger room (and more food and drink)! Next
year's buttons will perhaps try a new theme can't be predictable, you know!

Thanks, Bob Jones

Historicon 98' Thank You by Brent Oman

I just want to take a moment to thank all of you "Piqueteers" who made this a memorable Historicon. I don't believe I've ever been in a room full of singing wargamers before.  I had the best seat in the house (holding Pat McGuire's Piquet song lyrics) up front watching two groups of grown (?) men belting out the Piquet song. From my perspective, NEITHER side can carry a tune!

What makes Historicon special? For me it is the people and friendships formed. I look forward to seeing this band of crazies every convention (Jim Getz, Pat McGuire, Bill Purks, Jeff Valent, Jim Mauro, Trip "What about the cavalry?" Alford, Eric "Big Battalion" Burgess, Patrick "Dense Hoplites" Velas, Herb Gundt......) - THIS is the real reason I enjoy the convention. Oh yeah, and I did happen to buy some toys!

This seemed to be a 20th century theme convention for me. I put on a POA game - the Americans looked plenty nervous (sick?) until their airpower and artillery made an appearance. They effectively sealed off the German retreat, corking the bottle. Big impetus swings in this one - I'll never forget the Germans scattering like cockroaches when a light is turned on after the American barrage markers were placed. They didn't care where they went as long as it was away from the markers!

I picked up some more W.W.II 15mm armor, US infantry etc., along with the
new 25mm Battle Honors German (Wehrmacht) infantry packs. Neat stuff. Of course, I also weakened and bought the 25mm BH Tiger - $30, but I only need one! I envision a neat skirmish game with the Americans trying to knock out the Tiger. BH is coming out with US Paratroopers in about 2 weeks, and US Infantry this fall. There will be an extensive range of vehicles and heavy weapons so that the 25mm skirmish gamer is well supplied. Let me tell you, a 25mm Tiger FEELS like a tank!

I also made the plunge into 20mm WW1, buying IT Figures Austrians and Russians, along with Britannia Germans. Beautiful little figures.

Some snippets of observations at the convention:

Bob Jones and Trip Alford in a political debate....
Eric Burgess' beautiful 15mm SYW game - I won't make any more comments about the little guys again - these 15's looked great.
Purk's 15mm ACW game - he mounts about 3 times the normal number of figures on a stand - 12 or so on a 1 1/2" stand. Looks great!
Velas' Archon scenario....He didn't seem to like the Greek's losing to the Persians!
McGuire's Boxer Rebellion game. I'll never know why the British left their position with an open plain in front to advance to the woods. Lots of sharp Boxer weapons can hide in woods.
The look on a gamer's face in the POA game when his Panther platoon
failed a mechanical check...
The dealer's room.....
The Neptune diner.....
The bar.......(I'm willing to bet I spend more time in the bar at Historicon than any other non-drinker in attendance!)
Waiting for our meal in the Host's restaurant on Saturday night. Our waitress (who looked all of 18 years old), came over to say that our beverages were delayed in being served because the bartender "had paper stuck in his thingie".
The Piquet Cocktail party.

Thank you all!!! Brent Oman

Historicon - POA Game by Mitch Osborne

At long last I had the opportunity to actually participate in a Piquet game at Historicon. It was Brent Oman's POA game - perfect because 20th Century wargaming is my primary interest.

I have long thought that Piquet's basic ideas are sound. Introducing a larger element of chaos onto the tabletop is an idea long overdue. But not having played the game, I reserved judgment on the execution. No longer. I was immensely pleased with how POA plays. The flow of the game was closer to the campaign histories and war memoirs that I have been reading of late than anything I have yet played. I have not come away from a game more excited by the rules system since the original edition of Command Decision was published in the 1980s. There really haven't been any rules since then that seemed worth taking my time and effort to learn  until now. Immediately after Brent's game,I rushed down to the dealer's area and plonked down my money and picked up POA.

I have never seen a game whose basics are so easy to learn. It is a game that I can seriously think of teaching to my young children. They will not be put off by reams of detailed rules and labyrinthine charts. They enjoy cards and dice.There is potential here. Piquet is at heart a simple game, but it is certainly not simple-minded. A savvy player would have cut us rank amateurs at Historicon apart - thank goodness they didn't show (or at least laid low). I look forward to mastering the subtleties.

I plan to enlist as many of my fellow gamers to the system as I can. And I plan to learn the rules as thoroughly as possible. I expect there are those on the list who will regret this. I am a contraire (heretic?) by nature, and articulately opinionated about 20th century warfare. I expect to ask many questions, pick many nits, and put forward many suggestions. But my comments will be geared toward tailoring the rules to better reflect history. As far as proposals to move to a more move-countermove approach - they won't be coming from me. The liberation from that most artificial of conventions is the most gratifying aspect of Piquet. I will resist any move to dilute it.

Remember, you have been warned,

Mitch Osborne,Heretic-in-training

The Official Song ©by Patrick McGuire

As promised, here are the lyrics to the official song sung at the Piquet cocktail party during Historicon. We divided the room into two groups, the acolytes and zealots, and had each sing the final stanza. I then got our bartender, a frail woman named Pat who seemed both frightened and excited, to judge the singing. When the singing was done she whispered to me "Oh they both sounded really nice." This would never do. "What if I put a gun to your head?" I asked. Without skipping a beat, she pointed to the right. "That group." She had pointed to the zealots, and thus,her life was spared. However, I warned her to leave town immediately because some of the acolytes looked none too happy.

Patrick McGuire

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