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  1. #1

    Compass Games Expo 2019 (attended)

    The 2nd, annual Compass Games Expo 2019 was a smashing success, with even more attendees this year! They also had an expanded footprint, with the addition of thee Crown Room ballroom; the main game hall being in the Nutmeg Room.

    I bought nine new games.... all 50% off for special convention pricing for the second year in a row. I was able to pick up every game except one (which sold out before I could get to it) that I missed out on picking up last year, making my ultimate wish list near complete! That elusive Vietnam game will have to wait until next year... they are reprinting it soon!

    Games bought were:
    • Interceptor Ace (WWII German fighter solitaire game)
    • Zeppelin Raiders (solitaire game)
    • Bar-Lev (Arab-Israelite War game)
    • Fortress Europa (redesign of the old Avalon Hill classic, which I also own)
    • Revolution Road (American Revolutionary Ear game)
    • War for the Union (American Civil War game)
    • Pacific Tide (WWI in the pPacific Theater naval game)
    • Korea: Fire & ice (Korean War game)
    • Vietnam (well, Vietbnam War game)


    I also bought Breakout Normandy from the flea market table! It was listed for $15, with no rules... I offered 10 and took it home! I just need the rules, now. The flea market took up two walls of tables this year so, double the offerings, the majority being extremely well priced. Hereís a offerings...

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    I was a little smarter this year (yes people...it is possible, though rarely seen) in reaching out to gamers.designerss in advance, which worked out well; but the best luck came from a gamer (Tim) reaching out to me for Lock ĎN Load Tactical, which took up the majority of my gaming, and most fun had! Here we are playing Heroes of Normandy, taken by Compass Games co-owner, John Kranz....

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    Last year, I was more of a flower on the wall type, watching much more than playing. This year was the opposite, and the way it should be. Gaming from about 8 in the morning to 10 at night.

    Iíll always play as much Lock ĎN Load Publishing games as I can, and playing European and Pacific Theater scenarios was awesome. Another highlight was a demo campaign, playing one of Compass Gamesí latest offerings, Combat!, a solitaire game I picked up on pre-order but had yet to play...I played it cooperatively with an awesome gamer whose name unfortunately escapes me at the moment....

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    It was demoed by one of the game play testers, Steven Fliss, who was just an awesome game instructor....

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    He laid out a scenario of his design and walked us through an entire game. It was really pushing the limit of my brain capacity Saturday morning, but the system is amazing and I cannot recommend this solitaire game highly enough! Very intuitive bit system that seems to be the most Ďhuman thinkingí Iíve ever experienced! Funnily, I kept thinking to myself that this game reminded me of a game I was well enamored with, and that turned out to be the old Victory Games Ambush game! The designer of he game loved Ambush and wanted to make a modern update version of it...he succeeded!!!

    Iíll post up more pictures later, but wanted to get something up for you all. If you can make this expo in the years to come, you really should. The half proceed games alone pays for your efforts! ...and the gaming is a ton of fun. Itís the closest thing to the old Origins, War and Board rooms that I experienced a decade ago.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator josta59's Avatar
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    Wow, Em. Thanks for sharing. I'd love to do something like that someday. Right now, it's just not possible to find the time. But you've got me dreaming!

    Combat! sounds like a great game.

    Were there miniatures games too, or just board games?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by josta59 View Post
    Wow, Em. Thanks for sharing. I'd love to do something like that someday. Right now, it's just not possible to find the time. But you've got me dreaming!

    Combat! sounds like a great game.

    Were there miniatures games too, or just board games?
    No miniatures, though they would have allowed them...in fact, Iíd thought of bringing TANKS! To try out with whoever wanted to give it a go, but ended up having my dance card filled

    This is probably now, my neck-in-neck favorite expo/convention to go to, next to Origins. What I love about this ne is the small atmosphere, though I have a feeling as word gets out, this will be a huge-attendance event in years to come. Itís a family atmosphere, and the Compass Games folks couldnít possibly be nicer! They even sprung for free pizza Saturday night (which I partook in gladly) and provided two humongous sheet cakes (which I somehow avoided, but not happily so).... and Dunkiní Donuts fare, as well... truly, with half off their games, I doubt they are breaking even with a low $40 weekend registration cost. Itís obvious they are doing it for love of the hobby, and respect of their customer base.

    I really, REALLY hope you go one year, and Iíll be more than happy to play a ton of games with Ďya

    On the Combat! Game...OMG...if it plays the consistently, the way it played in my demo, this has the potential to be my second Favorite WWII game of all time; definite Top 3 as of right now. Itís amazing. I always thought the ivory Games, Ambush game was a work of art in solitaire wargaming ó which is supported in the simple fact that thee five games (core and four expansions) are so highly coveted (I still canít get my hands on Battle Hymn...the only Pacific War expansion for the a series) ó but this blows that one out of the water. They will be doing a bunch of planned expansions fr it, too!! Here are pics from the demo I played in....

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    ...sorry for the crappy pictures!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  4. #4

    Compass Games Staff

    The Compass Gameís staff, including co-owner Bill Thomas (seen In the following picture, at left) were just awesome...

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    And of course, their stock of games (the following pic being just a sampling) at a whopping 50% off....

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    Sorry I didnít get more pics of the staff.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  5. #5

    Pics of the Nutmeg and Crown Room Gaming Halls

    The Nutmeg room (actually smaller than thee Crown Room) was again, the main gaming room, and last year the sole gaming room. This year, they added on another ballroom (the Crown), which was a little bigger, but the Nutmeg remained the main space

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    ...and the Crown room...

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    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  6. #6

    Games Being Played

    Lot of great wargamers in attendance. At these expos and conventions, some of thes folks can be aa bit, well, weird...standoffish, snobbish, aa little too intense. It happens at all of them, unfortunately. Yeah, I wonít lie, there were a few of those types in attendance, however the vast majority are the exception (and exceptional) in being extremely friendly and accommodating....another reason I love this expo!

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    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  7. #7

    The hotel

    So, in all things, not everything is perfect. In this case, it was the hotel. Itís an old hotel (called in Inn), and I mean OLD! Cracked floor tiles, Fabeezed to almighty Hell, sub-par beds, faulty toilets/sinks/tubs, blown out room chairs, one of two elevators having been out for many months, and probably the worst cafe Iíve ever eaten in. Incredibly, there is no coffee pot, fridge, or microwave in the rooms...thatís not cool.

    Parking is a little difficult, as once you score a premo front space...you leave and a vulture is in in a flash!!!

    Last year, there were two pulled fire alarms...thank goodness that wasnít the case this year. Unfortunately, the pool was out of service...but there hotel website stating this, failed to mention the hot tub was open! (...a pity, as Iíd have used it).

    But, Iíve been in worse, LOL.

    The important thing was, the gaming rooms were very nice and accommodating of gaming needs.

    The area around the hotel is great, having some national chain restaurants, and a world-class Italian deli. Thereís a Stop & Shop supermarket close by. Thereís even a Lowes, if you need that last minute piece of Plexi-glass for your maps!!!

    The hotel is located right off of Interstate I-91, which is awesome.... and Cromwell, Connecticut is nicely located around Middleton, and maybe 45 minutes from the shore, for you seafood nuts.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator josta59's Avatar
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    That sounds so fun.

    Looking at the Combat! board, and judging by the size of those trees, I'm guessing each counter represents one soldier? Or maybe a handful?

    If that's the case, any scenarios included might be perfect for pilfering for a miniatures game. I'm always on the lookout for scenarios, so any game at that scale grabs my attention. Especially for a solitaire game.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by josta59 View Post
    That sounds so fun.

    Looking at the Combat! board, and judging by the size of those trees, I'm guessing each counter represents one soldier? Or maybe a handful?

    If that's the case, any scenarios included might be perfect for pilfering for a miniatures game. I'm always on the lookout for scenarios, so any game at that scale grabs my attention. Especially for a solitaire game.
    I was told the demo game I played was true to the mechanics, so: In this’s one, I had three counters, that represented a squad of 8 men; two counters were three men, and one counter was two men. I would assume the game could be played as one soldier each... especially where the counters were listed each for instance, with a single character name (Private Smith, for instance), which confuses things. Maybe that;s just the way her played out the scenario?

    ....the point being LOL, that the game is still in the shrink and I’ve not looked at the rules yet, haha. I pre-ordered it and it came in about a month or so ago, but had a couple counter sheets or something that had misprints on the back Compass Games was rocket fast at correcting this by reprinting the sheets and subsequently sending them to the folks that got the game on Pre-order. I just opted too not open the game in the meantime, and then life as usual got crazy and I never opened it.

    I am planning to open it after my next business adventure and play it on Thanksgiving break so, expect a scan of the scenarios ...and yes, I think that’s a great idea of utilizing the system for miniatures!!!

    As for the counters, they are super big and wonderfully done. Great for us older guys, LOL!!!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

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