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Saturday, October 22, 2005

I've been a wild rover

So I took another afternoon out in Dundee yesterday, visiting GW and Highlander Games again.

In GW one of the staffers' advance orders had come in, giving me a chance to take a good long look at the new plastic space marine scouts sprues. These look very nice and no doubt I will be picking up a box when they appear on the shelves early in December.

Thereafter it was a quick bus ride uptown to Annfield Road to pay another visit to Dundee's FLGS. I had hoped to get some gaming done this time, but unfortunately had left my visit too late. Which was a shame because the place was really buzzing.

As the ever-cheerful Gary explained: there had been a CCG tournament only the previous day: and there was a M:tG event planned for today. So there were quite a few avid cardgamers present, trying out new decks and comparing notes about tricks and strategies. Other games I saw being played were Upper Deck Entertainment's Marvel VS TCG, and WoTC's Axis & Allies Miniatures CMG.

I also caught up with some of the local Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) crew. The presence of these guys is something that still boggles me a bit when I visit Highlander Games. Let me explain: ASL is a game for the grognard's grognard. Highlander games aside I have only ever met 4 other ASL players in the 20 or so years since I first got into the game after having been a fan of the original Squad Leader series of games. And one of those 4 ASL'ers was the cheesehead in Prague only last month.

Imagine my amazement then to discover a whole group of them meeting monthly in Highlander Games in my old home town! And imagine my frustration to discover that their get togethers clash with my Sunday roleplaying group. Talk about the fortunes of war! Still, I met a couple of them yesterday and we were able to share a dose of our enthusiasm, while I added a rash of my own for Memoir'44, naturally enough.

Caught up in the thrill of the moment, I finally got my hands on a copy of the ASL Starter Set #1. The only set available had had the counters popped out for the 1st scenario and then been put aside for a shop copy, so Gary gave it to me for a generous discount. Which was nice.

Sitting down thereafter for a bit of a gloat, and to enjoy the crack of a bunch of gamers at play, I was able to look over the aforementioned set of the Axis & Allies Miniatures CMG. This looked interesting so, throwing caution to the winds, I got myself a starter set of this too.

After nothing more than a gloat over the box contents and a quick scan of the rules I can report that this looks like a very plausible introductory level WW2 tacsim. If- along with games like M44- this serves to generate new interest in WW2 boardgaming, then grognards everywhere should be celebrating.

And that's it: another gamer's afternoon in Dundee. Thanks to all concerned for making me feel welcome, and to Gary in particular for his generosity to this wanderer. I'll be back, and I'm still hoping to get down to some dice-rolling and ass-kicking just asap. Cheers one and all! ;)
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