Monday, April 12, 2010

HELGACON III - Analog Team Fortress 2

So the first event I ran/participated in was a miniatures strategy/skirmish game based on the popular Team Fortress 2 game from Valve.

I've been a HUGE TF2 fanboy since it came out (although ironically, I've never played it. I just love the style and the writing and the imagery and everything.) and two years ago I had occasion to attend an event at GenCon 08 where a bunch of enterprising lads converted Heroscape to simulate TF2. It was cool, but the minis were, I'm sorry to say, a bit lackluster, and therein was born one of my projects/manias, to create the characters from the game as minis. I gathered my materials at a bitz dealer on the GenCon dealer's floor and when I got home set to work, and within a couple weeks, I had these guys.

So anyway, I first played these guys in a tabletop context at Paul's annual Halloween Zombie Hunt as the side fighting the zombies. We used the Savage Worlds rule set, and it was such a hoot to play I cleaned it up and prepped it for Helgacon II, but since I'd scheduled other events it didn't get its chance in the limelight.

So when this year's Helgacon rolled around, I decided it would be one of my offerings.

Still with me? Yeah, I've got a bad habit of loading on the expository text... Go get a sandvich and come back...

So the first phase of the operation was to get the participants to set up the playing field, which I used wooden building blocks for.

We had four players on each side, including myself, so we drew lots to split into the Red and Blu teams and each chose two of the nine characters available. Here's the Red team. You can see my custom movement rules for different heights of block, some of my measuring tabs, and the Red team's intelligence briefcase, tucked safely in their home base.

The object of this game was to get to the enemy's base, swipe their intel, and get it back to your own base. I ended up on Blu team, with Allister, Dave, and Kevin, facing John, John, Emily, and Dan on Red team.

When the countdown sounded (provided by Emily's sister Maggie, who did an excellent turn as the Announcer) play began and we rolled out.

I chose the tried and true combo of the Heavy and Medic, and set up shop at one of the access points to our end of the map. My memory's otherwise kind of fuzzy on who played who. The Scouts zipped across the board, while the Snipers climbed up the high points and tried to get a bead on their foes. Blu's Engineer set up a Sentry Gun and a set of Teleporters, while Red's Demoman laid down a nasty cordon of Sticky Bombs in his home base, that sent our Scout to his doom at least once.
By the middle of the battle, the Red spy had infiltrated deep into our territory, while we'd gotten our forces into theirs thru the Teleporter. Pyros were roasting enemies left and right, as the Heavies laid down walls of gunfire and the Soldiers blasted away and rocket jumped with their missiles. (Or beat enemies with their shovel. I recall Blu's soldier ran out of ammo early and was mostly hand to handing it.)
In the end though, it came down to a race between both sides' Scouts, each of which had grabbed the other side's intelligence and were hotfooting it across the board. (You'll also note in the following image the Red Spy about to shank Blu's Sniper in a chaotic little skirmish mid board. He's currently invisible, and therefore untargetable by any but the flames of the Pyro at this point.)

By a lucky break of the cards, the zippy little bastards got terrible initiative draws, which was awesome because in the final race, it gave the teams several chances to try to tackle the runner, as it were. All attempts failed, though, and it came down to a final rush, with Dan running the Red Scout back to base. He rolled his running, and got a max roll, giving him 20" of movement.

With that final burst of speed, the Red Scout coasted into his base with our intel, and the game was won! Victory for the Red Team! Humiliating defeat for the Blu Team!

So yeah, this was a blast. By the time we wrapped up it was 11:00 and I was drained. I put away my toys, thanked my WONDERFUL players, and went to bed. The first inning of Helgacon III was complete.

"My head's a freakin' intelligence magnet." - Dan the Scout.


  1. HA HA!

    I ran a team fortress inspired scenario once, back in the day using Fantasy Flight's Descent Dice. These days I run savage worlds. I would KILL to have the stats you used for the various classes (not to mention the mini's) any chance you might email me your notes?

  2. I also would love to know your stats for the classes!