Strategicon – Gamex 2016 convention

Last weekend WR and his son Daniel GM’d two historical scenario games at Strategicon – GAMEX Los Angeles regional convention. The southern California Strategicon group runs three regional multi-day conventions every year on different weekends: OrcCon on President’s Day weekend, Gamex on Memorial Day weekend, and Gateway on Labor Day weekend (Strategicon). Each convention has the full slate of games offering board games, card games, miniatures (historical and fantasy), roleplaying, collectables, and computer based games. Link to PEL copy: Gamex 2016 files

Gamex 2016 Book cover

Strategicon – Gamex YR2016 booklet covering the entire convention events. See link for .pdf copy.

Historical Miniature Gaming Society – Pacific SouthWest chapter (HMGS-PSW) sponsors and recruits local gamers to run their miniature games at Strategicon every year. This year the selection of games covered ancient times to the near modern era. During the convention on Saturday and Sunday, WR had brief moments during his own convention scenarios to quickly walk about the miniatures gaming room and photograph some of the games while in progress.


On Saturday afternoon, WR ran his small historical Peninsular scenario for the Battle of Alcolea 1808. Spanish rebellion forces recently raised with a few regulars joined to contest the advance of GD Dupont’s small French corps towards Cordova. The play by-play commentary will be written up soon on Wargamerabbit with links to the scenario design notes, background material, and another previous Alcolea 1808 AAR report.

Note: For each historical miniature game seen at the convention and mentioned below, WR copied and posted the actual Gamex PEL summary text in italicized script like example below.

Battle of Alcolea 1808 French vs. Spanish HMGS-PSW — Sat 4 pm — 25/28mm Napoleonics Club Rules GM: Michael Verity. General of Division Dupont, marching towards Cordova in 1808, encountered the improvised Spanish defenders under de Echavarri at the bridge of Alcolea. Historically, the action was somewhat brief and the Spanish scattered upon general contact. But with better defense, the Spanish could have slowed Dupont’s advance and maybe changed some of the early history of the Peninsular war before the battle of Baylen 1808.


Open scene for Alcolea June 1808 Peninsular scenario. French on road, Spanish blocking at the river bridge and far right on low hill.


Birdseye view just before the French columns attempt their assault to control the bridge.

The San Fernando Valley (SFV) Group presented their ongoing 15mm campaign scenarios for the Battle of Britain and Operation Sealion. The Germans have landed on the English countryside with paratroopers to seize control of Hawkinge airfield using the Gepanzerte Faust rules written by Steve P. Nearby British units; several battalions of infantry, various early war tanks, support weapons like mortars, and a stray hurricane above attempt to retake the airfield from the entrenched paratroopers.

Hawkinge, Kent, 1940 — Sat 10 am — Gepanzer Faust GM: Stephen Phenow. A British infantry brigade attacks the German 2nd Parachute Regiment reenforced by a battalion of the 1st Para regiment at Hawkinge bomber field in South Kent Sept 17, 1940 during Operation Sealion.



The cloth-covered table for the aerodrome and surrounding German paratroopers dug in. the main British attack came from the distant woods but their tanks and support found themselves in the near woods, separated from their companies.


German paratroopers hold the aerodrome while the English infantry approach using the woods at right for cover.

On a nearby table was John P’s Midway game using 1/2400 scale ship miniatures on two separate tables. Carrier based aerial strikes and naval combat action.

Battle of Midway – DOUBLE BLIND — Sat 10 am — General Quarters GM: John Paiva. Two teams will square off in a true Double Blind event!  Each 4 person team will completely control their forces beginning 0800 May 30, 1942. Control fleet movement, aircraft readiness status, scouting patrols, EVERYTHING. No experience needed with either the General Quarters rules or miniatures rules in general, everything provided. The rules are simplified “beer and pretzels” with none of the strategy sacrificed!



The USN carrier group steams in formation on one table.


Their opponents. The IJN carrier group is under aerial attack as the ship maneuver to engage the aircraft.

HMGS – PSW presents Gladiators — Sat Noon — Gladiators GM: Don Hawthorne. HMGS-PSW presents “Gladiators”, classic game of man-to-man combat in the Roman arena using 54mm figures. Up to 16 players compete in four multiple-elimination rounds to determine the champion.


A round of four gladiators match up for their deadly combats. Hope that wasn’t a real die roll “00” at lower edge.


Robert and his son Jessie always run a scenario at the local conventions. WR seen them at the local HMGS-PSW convention and Strategicon for over 20 years+ (27 years?) now. This season the 1st day of the Battle of Gettysburg using 6mm scale miniatures, playing Fire & Fury rules, on a “permanent” terrain game board for the battle.

Gettysburg – the First Day — Sat 9 am — Fire and Fury GM: Robert Boyens & Jesse Boyens. 6mm recreation of the first day of Gettysburg. Command a brigade, division, corps or army. See if Bobby Lee can break through Meade’s defenses and march on Washington.



The Gettysburg table. Look close to see the 6mm miniatures marching along the road exiting Gettysburg or heading towards the town.


Early combative action between the Confederate advance guard Division and the Union cavalry.


Closer view of the Union brigade exiting Gettysburg and heading to support the pressed Union cavalry.

The Saturday evening crowd favorite… Chariot races! All the spectacular action and dice rolling suspense. Required to chant the classical phases….. “FLIP…FLIP” and “Runner on the track.” You can hear this game across the entire ballroom noise.

Circus Maximus — Sat 5 pm — Circus Maximus GM: Jaime Vann Harken. Back to the glorious days of ancient Rome! Thundering horses, unstoppable chariots and the roar of a blood-thirsty crowd! Family fun for all! Prizes will be awarded! Most fun you will have all con! All materials provided, no experience needed… really no experience needed.


The race track with the 1st turn coming into view. No speed limit posted.


Looks like the first chariot wipe out has occurred behind the yellow chariot.

Another “regular” at the HMGS-PSW GM’d tables is Adam H’s Flames of War (FOW) 15mm mash-up in the desert scenario. This year he is joined by Mark N. to run a multi-player Flames of War 15mm game staged in the open sands of North Africa.

HMGS-PSW Presents “North Africa’s Rumble!” — Sat 6 pm — 15mm Flames of War GM: Mark Nicholson and Adam Hammer. Old Blood n Guts throws out a green, but rugged Battalion of Armor and Infantry to team up with Veteran British Tommies. Their mission is to crush an assaulting force of the Afrika Korps and the Italian Folgore. Play this large-sized, multi-player demo style game where all materials are provided and players of all experience levels are welcome.



The 12×5 table has German-Italians on the left and Allies on the right. Guess what is the victory objective? It has a dome.


View from the other end.


Both sides rush towards the domed objective. Allied artillery is registering on the Italians.

Before showing photos for Sunday gaming, a quick view of the large miniatures room. WR understands the convention had over 2,000 in attendance this show per email sent out by the convention management staff this week.


Miniature room floor.


Another view and different angle for the photo.

Sunday gaming: First up was Daniel’s Valmontone 1944 scenario for the Allied breakout from Anzio and race towards Rome. Basic scenario from the FOW scenario pool played out with 20mm miniatures vs. the normal 15mm scale for FOW. The scenario tabletop was slightly widened from six to eight feet with adjustment for the German reserves entrance points, and an additional M4 Sherman platoon was added to the American roster. Otherwise, the scenario played out the same. Seven players enjoyed the fast paced six turn scenario with the final Allied victory won on turn six Allied assault phase. Full scenario and game AAR write-up pending in the WR typing pool.

Valmontone Italy 1944 FOW HMGS-PSW — Sun 10 am — Flames of War using 20mm miniatures GM: Daniel Verity. US 5th Army has launched breakout of the Anzio enclave, directing his breakout spearheads towards the Alban Hills and distant Rome. Task force Howze and the US 3rd Division ordered to seize Highway Route 6 from arriving elements Herman Goring Panzer Division.


Americans advance from left to right against the Herman Goring Division defense. After Action Report pending on WR.


The final effort at the objective has burning Panzers, destroyed HG panzer grenadier platoon, American artillery bombardment and two American platoons, soon only one, remaining holding for the win.

Adam and Mark, having recovered from running the previous evening Flames of War event, woke up Sunday to run their 28mm Pike and Shotte Renaissance event. Before the morning coffee was consumed, the massed pike blocks were touching pike points while armored cavalry thundered over the green textured cloth fields. Impressive buildings WR likes to add.

HMGS-PSW Presents Renaissance Italian Wars — Sun 10 am — Pike and Shotte 28mm GM: Mark Nicholson and Adam Hammer. The French Army is attempting to destroy the Imperial Spanish Forces where the town of Milano is at stake. Play this exciting and fast paced, pitched battle where combined arms tactics are critical to success. The forces are very colorful and diverse featuring Swiss Pike, French Gendarmes, Landsknechts, and Arquebusiers just to name a few. Beginners are welcome and all models and supplies will be provided.



Scenario start with first movements done. Seems to be “hands on” with Milano town in background.


The entrenchment position looks on as units engage in combat before them.

While the Italian battles were being fought on other tables, the 28mm Bolt Action gamers warmed up for several rounds of tourney play.

Bolt Action Farewell to Mk1 Tournament — Sun 10 am — Bolt Action GM: Frank Vassallo. 750 Point tournament. Bring your most fun list. Mk2 is coming, make the most of Mk1. The tables will be filled with terrain, city, bocage, etc. plan accordingly.



The grand BA table with several others nearby.


Another BA table setup. Interesting what the Russian biplane was to be used foe.


Iian and Frank prepare for their BA action.

Robert and Jesse switched time period to fly the open skies over Europe. Both WWI and WWII era aerial gaming using the popular Wings of Glory / Wings of War games.

Curse You Red Baron — Sun 10 am — Wings of Glory/Wings of War GM: Robert Boyens & Jesse Boyens. Come fly your favorite WWI or WWII (or both) plane against a soon-to-be ex-friend. Everything provided. HMGS event.


Since the German paratroopers had major issues holding the Hawkinge airport from the British counterattack on day two, they called in the German fleet… of WWI era, on Sunday morning. Impromptu Jutland scenario game having the German High Seas battle cruisers vs. their counterparts in the Royal Navy cruising about the North Sea.



Full steam ahead… straight at the opposing enemy ships.


Battle for Otisburg! — Fri 6 pm, Sun 2pm — Team Yankee GM: Tim Keennon. Captain Bannon must take his armored team and stop a Soviet spearhead into the sleepy German town of Otisburg. Loaner armies available, or bring your own.

Ranger Training — Sat 2pm — Bolt Action GM: Justin Rodrigues. WW2 company sized games. Bolt action is a quick small unit action game. Come learn with us and join the action.

Cheers from the convention floor. Now to finish the AAR on Alcolea 1808 and Valmontone 1944 scenarios.



4 thoughts on “Strategicon – Gamex 2016 convention

  1. Great overview of a very large Con (yes, I understand that the HMG ios onl;y a small part of it). Interesting that all of the conventions are held on Holiday weekends. We generally avoid that back East as family commitments for memorial Day and Labor Day would cut into attendance, and President’s Day, well, that’s the peak of the snow storm season! Doesn’t seem to have hurt attendance in sunny Southern CA, though! Good to see Daniel running a game, and also Adam Hammer. who I know from several of his trips to Historicon.


    • Snow? Maybe over in the Hollywood area…. on the movie sets or dealt out on the darken street corners. Out in the Golden Fried State the convention (regionals) are all held on the major holiday weekends. The secondary ones are held on the two day weekend type…. HMGS-PSw own convention, SacCon, FresnoCon, ComicCon, KingdomCon, AnimeCon, Stripper’sCon, AdultCon, HottubCon…. yep… there is a HotTub convention. Just north of the warren is the film town / capital of the Adult industry.

      Daniel ran a “hot” FOW game… tense to the last turn. Almost had the same number of players for the larger 15mm mash up scenario the previous evening. 20mm vs. the smaller 15mm out draws them every time.

      Alcolea was again a fun scenario. Spanish are so unpredictable… Like finding the toy in Cracker Jack. Hope your scenarios at Historicon run well. Looking forward to your version of Klagenfurt.


    • Thanks Adam,
      Always great to photograph your scenario and the smiling gamers. Just wish Strategicon staff would promote the miniatures and the other games on their site regularly.

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