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"Sand Wars 2023 convention report" Topic

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Mad Guru30 May 2023 8:59 p.m. PST

A little over a week ago on Saturday May 20th & Sunday May 21st HMGS Pacific South-West held its second go at a regional convention for our part of the country at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona, which is in the East Valley region of the Phoenix Metroplex.

It was a good time featuring great games, active attendees and at least one very happy vendor -- I know he was happy with his sales because he also played in the game I ran & could not contain his positive vibes!

I myself had a great time as a GM with a packed game on Saturday and as a player in an awesome Charge of the Light Brigade game on Sunday.

I believe plans are already in the works to do it again in 2024, and when those plans comes together I'll be back with more info, but for now here are some pics from Sand Wars 2023…

Saturday on the gaming floor:


Flames of War Tournament:


"The Good, The Bad & The Dynamite" using Gunfighters Ball rules:


More Western Dynamite fun:


The Tabletop Gaming Society:


The aforementioned "Charge of the Light Brigade" game:


"Into the Valley of Death rode the six-hundred…"


55 Days in Peking:


6mm Sci-Fi Polyversal rules:


28mm G.I. Joe using Red Traitor rules:


Walking Dead Zombie game:


28mm Wild West Shootout:





28mm WWII skirmish in Italy:



WWII Tank Battle using homebrew rules:


The aforementioned Battletech:


Memoir 44 – Pegasus Bridge:


CAMERONE "Not Men but Demons!":




The set-up for Saturday's "Paint & Take":


A little while later had painters galore:


And finally, some WWII Naval Action:




Next up on the HMGS-PSW calendar will be the annual MINI-WARS convention, to be held this year on Saturday October 14th & Sunday October 15th at the Double Tree by Hilton in Buena Park, California, located approx. 10mins. drive from Disney Land in Anaheim and 40mins. to 1hr. drive South from Los Angeles, depending on traffic. If you live in the Pacific South-West or plan on being here in mid-October, hope to see you there!

Greylegion31 May 2023 3:04 a.m. PST

Nice report out, on this event. There are some pretty snazzy tables. I look forward to hearing more on this.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2023 5:54 a.m. PST

55 Days at Peking looked magnificent but Camerone gets my vote :)

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2023 10:36 a.m. PST

Nice variety of games. The Camerone board is amazing!

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2023 9:33 p.m. PST

Great stuff!

2 thumbs up for Camerone. So real.

Mad Guru31 May 2023 11:44 p.m. PST

Thanks very much all for the positive comments!

I drove to Mesa from L.A. to run the Camerone game with my buddies "Last Stand" Dan who drove from Colorado and Shawn "CAPT SHANKS" who drove from Texas. We enjoyed it so much I'm happy to report the 3 of us will be running the same game again -- with slots for 8 players -- at Min-Wars on Saturday October 14th. There's a rumor Dan may also run one or more of his legendary/infamous "Get to the Boat!" Sudan and/or Darkest Africa games. So no pressure but if you really like the look of Camerone… consider coming to Orange County in October!

Captain Pete01 Jun 2023 7:26 a.m. PST

From what I see from the pictures there were certainly some great looking games.

The Camerone game looks spectacular but the Siege of Peking and the two Wild West themed games look great as well.

I will try to make the next convention that comes to the greater Phoenix area. I am a local. Who knows, maybe I will sign up to run a game.

Nice to see things happening!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2023 9:15 a.m. PST

Amazing photos of amazing games!

I am working on a fantasy ship battle game, and I've been struggling to find a decent table surface to use. That WW II ship game shows a superb water cloth -- I am going to need to search for something similar! I have tried other options, and they just don't work as well as I'd like. Thanks for sharing all of the eye-candy games! Cheers!

Mad Guru03 Jun 2023 1:09 p.m. PST

@Captain Pete: Agreed, lots of the games looked good! The Siege of Peking game was close to my table and it looked even better in person. It would be great if you could bring a game to the con and I hope I get to see that next year!

@Sgt Slag: Unfortunately I don't know the GM who ran the naval game but I have put the word out and if I manage to get in touch and learn the source of that water gaming mat I will post it here.

Joe1870 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2023 4:45 p.m. PST

Mad Guru, Camerone was a blast with great folks (both GM's and Players), awesome terrain, and at least for me – my typical bad die rolls. Couldn't have had a better time – it was worth the trip flying from Iowa. I appreciate what you all did to put this together and look forward to seeing more down the road.

Gray Bear03 Jun 2023 11:38 p.m. PST

Ditto Joe1870. Cameron was a great game, on a magnificent table, with great group of players and refs. Mucho funno. Viva Mexico!

gavandjosh0204 Jun 2023 6:17 p.m. PST


Captain Pete04 Jun 2023 7:37 p.m. PST

Thank you Mad Guru! I will definitely consider running a game at the next one.

Mad Guru11 Jun 2023 2:24 p.m. PST

Captain Pete, hope to see you & your game there next year!

Joe, great to see your comment, which made me grin! Hey, don't complain too much about your "bad die rolls" -- you won the very last one, enabling you to capture (rather than kill) the last 2 Legionnaires standing and thereby show the world how honorable the Mexican Army is!

Gray Bear, many thanks for your kind words! Sounds like maybe you were one of the players. If I may be so bold… which one?

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