GMT West 2004 – Wrapup & Game Purchases

I enjoyed GMT West this year as much as I have enjoyed any wargame event in recent times, with the possible exception of MonsterCon. The War Room at Origins, and ConQuest and KublaCon’s wargame areas do not exactly provide stiff competition admittedly, but still. I think I can credit this mainly to Roger MacGowan’s hosting skills and general friendliness, as he was bouncing around making sure people had games, but also to the general friendliness of the attendees – this was one of the best wargame crowds I’ve gamed with. I’d still ideally have liked to see Roger doing more, but the fact that there was somebody there at all helping people to get organized was, for me, a big deal.

There were GMT games for sale, and I acquired a copy of The Devil’s Horsemen (which I had ordered via P500) and Alexander the Great (deluxe). Why? I dunno. I am not Richard Berg’s biggest fan, and the Great Battles of History games are, at best, a decidedly mixed bag. But I genuinely liked Cataphract, and The Devil’s Horsemen seemed a game which had more in common with that than with the earlier, more unwieldy games – if nothing else, Cataphract has no skirmishers, which in SPQR seem to be more of a time-wasting device than a game mechanism. Anyway, it’s a neat period and I’d like to give it a go. Alexander was a less defensible choice. It’s the only game in the series I’m missing, but how entertaining is it to see the brilliantly-armed and led Macedonian armies slice through their opponents? I’d say “we shall see”, but this is likely a game that will sit on the shelf for a long time, so we may not. I’m already wondering what I was thinking.

I also picked up the new, deluxe, Paths of Glory map, which is great and finally dispenses with need to tote around plexiglass. I just wish it had come out 4-5 years ago, when I was still playing the game regularly. I suspect I’ll get back to it sometime, because it is a great game, but as it is I haven’t played in well over a year.

Anyway, all in all, I quite enjoyed the event, and can heartily recommend it to fans of GMT’s games. The hotel is a bit overpriced, but I’m told that you can find other better deals within walking distance, so that’s what I’ll do next year myself. If it’s still around next year, I’ll be there.

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