Saturday, December 4, 2021

Historicon 2021: HMGS Next Gen

Surely one of the best kept secrets in HMGS (East), is its affiliated but separate HMGS Next Gen program. From their website:

HMGS Next Gen, Inc., was founded in August of 2020 as an extension of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society. Our goal is to seed and fund the growth of game clubs in the United States and around the globe. By facilitating game design thinking along with game based professional development, HMGS Next Gen will grow the hobby and the critical thinking that it fosters.
Currently, HMGS Next Gen is working with public and private universities, secondary schools, along with libraries and corporate organizations. We are composed of facilitators who have seen, first hand, the value of games as a learning tool. Games provide participants with an opportunity to explore diversity, teamwork and camaraderie. This is done through analytical thinking, leadership and stress management. The key developmental points carry over to real life skills that are used on a daily basis. To that end, HMGS Next Gen will provide game based services to support the development of our ever burgeoning client base. These services include both supplies and grant funding for new and growing game clubs. Supplies can include items such as paints, miniatures, rules, board games, roleplaying guides, and other components as needed. Monetary grants can also be provided for a club upon receipt of a simple grant application.
Another game based service and aspect of the HMGS Next Gen mission is the facilitation of “game days” for all levels of clubs. Given that not every environment has a seasoned or professional gamer, we would provide the service by partnering with experienced facilitators. This allows us to access already prepared facilitators who have the supplies and means necessary to run a fantastic and worthwhile event. HMGS Next Gen has run games on topics such as the Roman Empire, the American Revolution, and World War Two, and has the ability to expand this offering to almost every point in history.
When looking at corporate organizations, HMGS Next Gen can also provide professional workshops and training sessions on topics ranging from diversity training to decisive decision making, depending on the needs of the client. Using games as a teaching tool gives all participants an opportunity to connect, work together, seek advice, and grow.
Finally, HMGS Next Gen plans to hold a yearly conference designed to bring together clients, professional speakers, educators, game designers, and others for the express purpose of gaming and game theory exercises to explore their benefits in the classroom and boardroom.

In all, there were 24 games listed in the PEL under the HMGS Next Gen banner, all run in the Maple/Juniper double room, and at least 8 GM's involved , including myself. It was tight quarters at times, and the location was very out of the way at a site noted for being spread out. Youth participation, not surprisingly, was mostly seen on Saturday. Unlike Historicon, most younger gamers would have been in school on Thursday and Friday. 


Limey's & Slimey's - Ed Regendahl

Fiery Reef - The Midway of the South China Sea; the first running of this game was Wednesday night; the only Wednesday night game in the PEL!

Fast forward to current time. The PLAN (Chinese Military) have attempted to take Taiwan back. The Taiwanese have blunted the invasion, inflicting heavy casualties. The PLAN now set their sights on the Philippines and are building up reserves on the Spratly Islands for their next move. However, the Allies (US, UK, and NATO) have moved a large invasion fleet to take Fiery Reef with its large airfield.

Presented by Mike Fatovic. 

The Great Heathen Army - 865AD - GM John Spiess
Rules: Halberd, Mace, & Great Sword (Advanced)

After many raids, King Aella of Northumbria finally captured the Viking leader Ragnar Lodbrok. Legend says Ragnar was executed by being thrown into a pit of snakes. This didn't sit too well with Ragnar's sons, who invaded England with the largest Viking army ever assembled. This wasn't a mere raid, but had the goal of conquering all four kingdoms of East Anglia, Northumbria, Mercia, and Wessex. First up, Northumbria, as the Vikings seek their revenge. 

Battle of Cape Ecnomus - 256BC

The Roman and Carthaginian fleets of galleys are facing off in the Mediterranean for control of the sea. 

David and Andrew Waxtel present two years of modeling 28mm scratch built galleys and over 300 figures.  Considering all that effort, they ran this game 5 different times over the course of the convention.

More Limeys and Slimeys - "the classic game of plundering pirates battling for control of unsuspecting merchant ships.", this version listed as run by Ed Sitter. 

Battle of Nottingham - 867AD by John Spiess; With the kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria under their grasp, the Great Heathen Army of Vikings set their sights on Mercia. On the open plains outside the Village of Nottingham, two great shield walls are about to clash. This one is going to be brutal.

Cape Economus again with the huge scratch built Triremes!

I ran my first Ramses game with To the Strongest!, "Foes East and West" on Thursday AM. 

The Last Kingdom - Alfred the Great strikes back
Only Wessex, The Last Kingdom, stands in the way of the Viking invaders. In May 878AD, Alfred the Great rallied the fyrds of his shires and faced down the Vikings at the Battle of Edington. The fate of England will be decided on this field. 

John Spiess invited me to play in this game Thursday evening; he was the other player on our side. 

He soon regretted the decision. Robert, in the orange shirt, opposite me had very hot dice!  This is a buckets of dice style game, and I don't think he had a single cast that was even average!

I usually have pretty good dice, but that night mine were stone cold. I hardly threw an average result all night, some being amazingly bad. I managed to lose the battle with John's troops hardly even getting engaged! At least I polished off the enemy Knights! After the game, John good naturedly begged me never to play on his side again, LOL!


Paleo Diet - Neolithic hunting!  I couldn't find a PEL listing for more information. 

Gnome Wars: The Joust, run by Jim Stanton.
Come and try your luck in the Gnome Joust. Rules Taught, Quick, Easy. FUN!!!

I ran my second Ramses game with To the Strongest!, "They Came from the Sea" on Friday AM. 

The Siege of COVID Castle, November 1187;  Rules: Tactica Siege

After the surrender of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, a terrible outbreak of a plague started to take place, now occupied by the Saracens. Saladin has received word from one of his Imam's that a potion exists, as well as the wizard who developed it, and both are at the COVID Castle. Saladin must take the castle to save his kingdom. Will the Crusaders be able to hold the walls and keep control of the potion?

The PEL list the figures (? Elastolin) as being 54's, but I think they are more like 90 mm!

GM : Mike Fatovic


Blood and Plunder.. I think this one slipped in from my other phtos, not a Next gen game, but nice anyway!

Jim Stanton ran this game of underwater fishing; I couldn't find it listed in the PEL. Very unique!

I ran my third Ramses game with To the Strongest!, "The Battle of Kadesh" on Saturday AM. 

Gnome Wars, run by Jim Stanton on Saturday night.

The description in the PEL doesn't seem to fit the game at all.

It qwas obvious the players had a great time in this one!

Castle with Golem!

Imjin War Convoy Escort, run by Yuhan Kim, one of 6 Yale students who made it to Cold Wars on Saturday. Rules: Ronin. 

: A small force of Koreans are escorting several valuable artillery pieces, which a group of Ashigaru and Samurai seek to capture. Who will emerge triumphant in this fast-paced skirmish?
I contributed a table cloth and a few trees to Yuhan's effort. 

I ran The Battle of Fuentes de Onoro, with Field of Battle, 3rd edition, on Saturday night. 

Closeup of some of the figures awaiting packing up for the trip home after the 2nd Running of COVID Castle on Saturday. I think COVID Castle was run three times - understandable considering the effort to bring that much LARGE kit with you! 


I ran my 15 mm renaissance Galley game, Oars and Cannons, Muskets and Swords! using Galleys and Galleons by Ganesha Games. It was one of only 6 Sunday games in the PEL. 

War College

I also attended interesting lectures at the HMGS War College on Friday, "Youth Gaming, Best Practices" with Paul Lawson, and "From War and Peace to Princess Ryan's Star Marines - and Back Again", by Mark Mclaughlin (the perennial Ney of our Snappy Nappy Campaign in a Day events). I think it was the second event he attended that I asked what he did for a living. He replied "I design games!"  I replied, incredulous,. something like "But what's your day job?". An interesting overview of his somewhat accidental career as a professional game designer, which also touched on some discussion of involving youths in our hobby.  


  1. A great mix of games and the youth programme can only be applauded!

    1. As a group, a fairly ambitious slate of games for sure!

  2. Splendid collection of games,the 28mm triremes are awesome!
    Best Iain

  3. A wonderful array of different games there must have had a great time participating in this event!

    1. I did indeed; the only downside was not being able to spend time brainstorming with my fellow GM's.

  4. A great collection of entertaining games there Peter. How many attendees would there have been in all, across the 24 games?

    1. total convention attendance was a bit over 1600. Gamers served over those games... hmm, hard to say but at least 150, maybe even 200+ including the Joust!

  5. Great looking games and the Next Gen project is very noteworthy, Peter. The images of grown ups crawling around on the floor pushing around those huge and lovely galleys is priceless!

    1. Yes, the floor games are perhaps somewhat beyond me at age 66, although I am fortunate to not have any arthritis issues, at least as yet!