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"“Siege Fort St Elmo - 1565” at Historicon 2023" Topic


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961 hits since 25 Jul 2023
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Doug Fisher25 Jul 2023 8:56 a.m. PST

Link to pictures on Flickr

link

I first created the Fort St Elmo board for Historicon 2005 as part of the Great Siege of Malta. This year it made it's 3rd appearance at Historicon. Each time I have improved on the terrain, the Fort and the scenario. This year sandbags were added to the trench works, detailing the surf around the peninsula and more colorful canvas tents in the Ottoman camp. The Fort got a major rebuild adding porches with swivel guns to the front, a modified 2nd breach, more historical ravelin and the big change an entire 3rd smoldering demolished fort.
Our goal was to be more than just a wargame. To give our players the actual feeling by experiencing the entire historical siege, replacing the Fort twice with an entire fort and filling the moat (we became a well oiled team by the end of the con) as it was reduced to rubble by the Ottoman artillery as the Hospitallers, Spanish and Maltese defenders buy time with their lives.
To simulate the amount of troops the Ottoman's assaulted St Elmo with (the entire Ottoman force is generally estimated at 40,000 and they lost 6,000 assaulting St Elmo) every time one of the Ottoman commands had 4 or more stand removed as casualties they return to the trenches and came back in during movement. There was no breakpoint for either army. The Knights were fighting to the death and the Ottomans had no choice but to move forward. We simulated the historic Janissaries capture of the ravelins, because the sentries were either shot or sleeping, but gave the Fort a chance to wake up early by a roll of a 6 minus 1 each turn after the first move …and in each of 5 games they woke up one the 1st or 2nd try. The objective, capturing the fort and killing all defenders, is time related. To win the Ottomans need to kill all the defenders quicker than the historical siege and the defenders need to hold out until the end. The siege lasted 4 weeks so each hour of our 4 hour game was basically a week of the siege. The replacement to a more damaged fort was triggered by events. The Ottomans did not build their artillery platform and open breaches until after the outer works were secured. So the Ottomans needed to capture the ravelins before the 2nd breached fort would make its appearance. When the number of defenders reached approximately 1/4 of their original numbers the rubble fort would appear. Depending on how fast this all happens determines the winner. The defenders were able to hold out well into the 4th hour in the first 3 games but the Ottomans with a little more encouragement from their Oracle won the last 2. I was pleased at the balance.
A HUGE a thank you to my team Rich and Marie. They enjoy every moment of hosting our games every con. I could not do this without them as anyone who played or stopped by to watch will attest. They are my Dream Team.
Thank you to John Hollier for all his help as the Event Chair, Joby Miller for the whole con, Steve Boegemann for the awards (we were awarded a PELA), the volunteers, the game masters, the players …basically everyone. See you next year!

PzGeneral25 Jul 2023 9:11 a.m. PST

Amazing!! Great work and congratulations on your PELA thumbs up

Dave

The Gonk25 Jul 2023 9:54 a.m. PST

It was amazing, a real show piece. Well done!

Mad Guru25 Jul 2023 1:14 p.m. PST

Incredible! From your description it sounds perfect: finding a way to turn a cool but arguably unbalanced epic historical scenario into a competitive and fun epic game. Only wish I'd been there to play or even just see it it person. Well done and congrats on the awards!

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2023 2:38 p.m. PST

I as there at 2005,you were set up in the Lobby.Loved the destroyed wall sctions,just incedible

Berzerker7325 Jul 2023 5:00 p.m. PST

Wow that setup was phenomenal!

FlyXwire26 Jul 2023 4:21 a.m. PST

An extensive game board creation, that then transitions with battle damage as the battle rages – WOW!!!

What awesome prep work, for gamers to be able to enjoy (I'd feel privileged if allowed to play this).

captainedanjou26 Jul 2023 6:36 a.m. PST

Speaking as the Sultan during the first siege at Hc 2023 (on Thursday), I can comment with some level of knowledge. The fort, with substitute damaged sections, was an amazing work of art, and one of the best-looking setups I've ever seen, while cleaving closely to the historical background. The rules (Swein Forkbeard) are pretty good for a siege format, and the players all were engaged from the outset. Rich and Doug and their crew kept the game moving, and there were few dull moments once the Turks got into the dry ditch on turn 2. Pretty good history, and a near-run thing for all of us. I heard much the same from other players, and the hosts deserve all the credit and more. I built and ran Camerone, and received a Best in Show at Hc 2012, and I'm not at all hesitant to acknowledge that this was at least as good if not better, due to its scale alone. I don't know what was Best, but cannot imagine anything at the show which combined spectacle and history and fun all at once. Bravo and thank you to Doug and Rich.

Ultima Thule26 Jul 2023 11:09 a.m. PST

captainedanjou, I lost my password and started a new account to post this but can't comment using the new one for 3 days …then after trial and error I remembered the first password. Thank you, Best in Show is definitely a goal. It has not been announced as of yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Amk21129 Jul 2023 1:06 p.m. PST

It was a pleasure chatting with you on Saturday and i look forward to playing in your game next year.

Doug Fisher07 Aug 2023 10:43 a.m. PST

Thank you all for your kind comments. My team and I tried very hard to bring a premium game to Historicon. Every little detail I could think of to enhance the game was completed. The addition of the last demolished fort thoroughly brought to reality the devastation of this particular siege. We strove to be an experience not just a game. I think we accomplished that as we had several players remark it was the best game they have ever played.
Next year we will pivot to a Napoleonic fighting sail game. The action of November 5th 1813. I will be challenged to create the harbor and coast line of Toulon, France. This should be interesting….

FlyXwire08 Aug 2023 4:41 a.m. PST

Doug, an undeniable act of gifting.

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