Monday, March 18, 2013

Not Ar: Gary Con V

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This time around, I didn't drive to the convention with the windows down and my coat on the back seat.  Snow lingered on the ground and a brooding sky cast grayish hues upon the countryside.  It was so much warmer and cozier at the resort outside Lake Geneva.  Arriving just before 8:00 am, I hurried downstairs, picked up my badge, and charged into the gaming hall in the back.  

The cool big guy with the beard, the dragon bandana, and piles of tiny toys was Wayne Targo.  He ran Wings of War, a WWI air combat game.  I am a sucker for this stuff and spent the first two hours recklessly barreling through the sky with my Sopwith Camel, hunting for pesky Fokker Dr.Is.  One soon popped up in my sights, heading straight for me, and we both filled the air with lead.  I ducked behind my engine as projectiles whizzed and smacked all around me.  An instant later, the Fokker zoomed past while I dove into a nearby furball.  Amid sheer madness, I pulled an Immelman and found my nemesis once more, also full of holes. There we were, like knights at a joust, boldly challenging each other in a second head-on attack. My Vickers raging, his twin-Spandaus spitting back at me, the suicidal one-on-one unraveled.  Got him!  Down went the triplane. Snoopy scored again!  But no!  My engine had caught fire.  Wayne chuckled, gleefully taking notes.

Never mind the impending doom.  I yanked the stick to port, stepped on the left rudder pedal, and clenched my teeth, banking into the fray once more.  I zoomed this way and that, shooting bursts at everything with a black cross.  Missed, missed, and  missed again.  Jammed!  Rats. . . Smoke filled my cockpit and left a trail in my wake.  The engine complained and sputtered.  Its wings and tail shot full of holes and torn up, the Sopwith shuddered.  I had 2 points left out of my original 15.  It looked pretty grim when Wayne said, "By the way, your fire dies out!" Lucky me,  I made it, and with the only kill for the day.  The squadron broke off and finally hurtled away into the sunset.  My mechanic will have my hide when he sees what I've done to his baby.


The game was over, much more quickly that I wanted.  I'd be back the next day for another mission.  Little-bitty camera in hand, I went hunting not for triplanes but images.  Rather than explain everything in so many words, I thought pictures might do far better at sharing the fun.  I'm no Spielberg, but you'll get the point with the random encounters video below.



I included a series of stills, since I couldn't resist making a few more pictures along the way.


Gary Con Wayne Targo
Herr Flugmeister Wayne Targo, aka Von Deekin
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Rob Kuntz (left) and Luke Gygax
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James Ward
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Tom Wham: "Uncle Tom Wants You!"
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Frank Mentzer
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Hackmaster Play Surface, backlit, with computer hookup
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Panoramic view of a demo display (click on the image for a better view)
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Same, further on the right (click on the image for a better view)
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Quit playing with your coconuts!
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Detail of the Jousting Tourney
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Vikings on the beach!
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Setting up for D-Day
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Diesel's largest art piece to date!
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The iconic sig
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It's Saturday, and we're off to the TSR Dinner.  Peggy Cooper & Hubby.
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Ken & Lesa Reek
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From left: Patty Martin, Jeff Leason, Jonathan Coke
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Tracy Isler (formerly Zamagne) & Hubby
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Karen Conlin (formerly Boomgarden, right), her daughter Kelley (across), and leftward, Scott Douglas, Barb Young, Jim Lowder, Sue Weinlein, & Bill Connors.

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From right: Barb Young, Jim Lowder, Sue Weinlein, Bill Connors
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I'm so upset with this shot being out of focus.  My apology to you two!  Sue Weinlein & Bill Connors enjoying very good times.
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Marlene & Kevin Vail (again, sorry for the "flou artisitique")
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From left: Charles Kohl, Tim "Ollie" Cahoon & son
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From left: Barb Nish & Charles Kohl
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From left: Mike Carr, Jack Morrissey & wife
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From left: Kifflie Scott, Flash-Borg Unit 3-77x, Elizabeth Baldwin, and last but not least, Margaret Weis
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From left: Kifflie Scott & Borg Unit. . . um, Steve Sullivan!
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From left: Keith Polster & son
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Heidi Gygax
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From left: Jon Pickens, Al Hammack, Bruce Nesmith
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From left: Al "Disappearing Act" Buchholz and Aileen Dimery
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Sheryl Gustafson, Janet Deaver-Pack behind her.
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From left: Mrs. (Mike) Cook, Debbie Conrad (formerly Poutsch), & Kathy Waldeck
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From left: David Megarry & wife, and. . . Darn it, Jim!  Quit horsing around.  You came off all blurry in this shot.
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Cindy & Dale Donovan, with daughter ducking for cover.
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Kelley & "Peekaboo" Donovan no longer ducking for cover.
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The curse of the blurry picture strikes again... sorry about that!  Janet "Tasselhoff" Deaver-Pack and David "Ravenloft" Wise
I do apologize to those I missed while I turned my attention to help the staff sort out everyone's orders.  As a result, I omitted an extra table with Laura Roslof, David "Diesel" & Lisa LaForce (formerly De Leon), and Harold Johnson.  I know that Tim Kask was there, but he vanished before I could reach his spot at the table.  A major thanks to Barb Nish who also helped out with the billing process.

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It's Sunday morning and I'm back in the miniatures game room.
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Jeff Burklow -- yes, I know, we're all waking up.
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That one never falls asleep.
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At the ready for another round of jousting.  Honor is Honor, plastic or not.
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After hours, when the lights go off, all the miniatures come here for the night. It's complicated.
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A wide shot of the setup for Bridge on the Remagen
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A Tribute to Gary Gygax
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Hey! It's me. . . with the future Mrs Leonard, aka Princess Leia.
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A last look behind the DM's screen
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A cozy spot favored by James Ward, awaiting the next snow storm expected (and later confirmed) for the next day.
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Out back, a view of Como Lake still mostly frozen behind the convention grounds (click on the panoramic image for a better view).
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Fond Farewells until next year.