Ed and I were deciding what to do for next year's Millennium 16. In past years we've done Fantasy (Lord of Rings: Strategy Battle Game), Napoleonics (Le Petit Empereur and Wellington Rules!) together and Ed has done a big battalions SYW game. We had decided to do AWI in 28mm and we were casting about for rules.
So, when we saw Steve's All the King's Men AWI game on the list at Millennium, we signed up. Steve Miller was a great GM and the All the King's Men rules are simple and intuitive. Admittedly, Ed and I are seasoned gamers, but it still says a great deal about the rules and our GM, that Ed and I were playing on our own by the second turn using only the QRS. We were also impressed with the quality of All the King's Men 's minatures used in the game which were enhanced by Steve's great painting and set up on his fantastic terrain.
After the game, Ed and I had long talks and came to the conclusion that All the King's Men and 54mm miniatures fulfill our simple requirements for a good convention game:
1. The game must be fun.
Fun for people that are interested in a new game/figures and for those who simply have a passing curiosity and may never have played a miniatures game before.
2. The game must be simple.
Too simple and veterans will turn their noses up; too complicated and half the time slot is consumed by explaining the rules which no one will remember during the play anyway.
3. The game must be visually striking.
We'll be at convention after all. This is an opportunity to show off figures and terrain. A set of rules written for 54mm figures is the foundation for a great looking table. If by-standers can tell what's transpiring on the table with a glance, the rules are doing a job of showcasing the game and the hobby.
So...Ed and I tossed our 28mm plans overboard and are 54mm converts. We will put on our own 54mm AWI game next year using All the King's Men and hope to see Steve and Ken there as well.
Just for the record, I must say that Ed and I were well pleased with Ken (a proper purveyor of pewter product) and Steve's (a master of miniature metal melee) easy going attitudes--or should I say lack of "attitude." They are, we thought, gentlemen gamers and hobbyists.