Back Again


Well, my family and I are back from our week’s vacation.  As always, we had a fun time visiting the mother-in-law at her home in Kenosha.  We were relieved that our new dog and her new cat got along quite well together.

We drove up last Saturday, and on Sunday attended the Milwaukee County Zoo, something that we have been doing since our adult children were quite young.  The Zoo is quite spread out, and the animals seem to be well treated, with plenty of area to roam in their enclosures.  We ended our visit, as we usually do, by viewing the bird show.  After the Zoo we spent some time at a Half Price Books, as it would not be a McClarey family vacation without plenty of book buying.

On Monday we visited the Kenosha Civil War Museum.  The highlight of our visit was viewing a ten minute movie, Seeing the Elephant, a look at the experience of combat in the Civil War.  The movie used 360 degree movie technology, which gives viewers a slight taste of what it was like to be in a Civil War battle.  While there I bought  a book, As They Saw Forrest,  a compilation of contemporary observations of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, written in 1956 by Forrest biographer Robert Selph Henry, and which had been signed by the author.

On Tuesday we drove back to our home in Dwight and on Wednesday we were on our way to the GenCon gaming convention in Indianapolis.  I purchased several games at the game auction and was pleased to discover a card game set in Medieval England:  Ortus Regni.

Here is a tapestry displayed outside of the room where the game was played:


(I have a picture of myself standing before the tapestry, but out of aesthetic considerations I will not post it!)  I am sure the readers of this blog will note the Dominican friar on the tapestry.  Go here for a free download of the computer version of the card game.

My daughter had a great deal of fun playing as a bard at the True Dungeon event at GenCon, although her entire party was killed.  I thought about posting a picture of her dressed as a cat lady, she looks quite fetching, but fearing the physical harm she would visit on me if I did so, I will not post it.  (A true story:  when my daughter was born by C-section, her cries sounded so much like the mewlings of a cat, that my bride inquired as to whether a cat was in the room!)

My son who is soon to return to law school for his second year, accepted a position while at GenCon on a law journal published at his school.  Needless to say he is making the most of his summer rest and recreation before the law school grind begins again.

My bride participated in a crocheting event at GenCon which she greatly enjoyed.

I spent all of my time at the war game auction along with most of the grognards in attendance at the convention.  Each year we get a bit more grizzled and gray and I wish we had more younger gamers in our ranks, although I assume youthful war gamers mostly gravitate to computer and iPad games, and that is where I spend most of my gaming time myself.  However, there is a great deal to be said for paper war games both as simulations and for the camaraderie the games inspire.

Saturday, back to Dwight.  I thank Saint Christopher for whatever role he played in keeping us safe in our travels, particularly in the traffic around Indianapolis, parts of which are not suited for faint of heart motorists.

More to explorer


  1. The Bear, too is a grognard. Currently Sails of Glory, Conflict of Heroes, a couple of Lock n Load games (WWII and 80’s) and a few similar are his favorites. The Bear’s most exhausting GenCon was when he was a Pressganger for Warmachine. But it is a great family activity and glad you enjoyed it.

  2. While I understand GenCon is fun, with lot’s of variety, if you want to experience the mother of all historical miniature wargaming conventions you might want to go the Historicon, currently being held in Fredericksburg, VA in July. In addition to the gaming there are many Civil War sites to visit in close proximity. The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society also holds somewhat smaller conventions in Lancaster, PA in October and March.

    As an aside I attended what would have been the second or third GenCon’s in 1973 when it was held in Lake Geneva. The GenCon organizers have invited me to run miniatures games several times but my schedule wouldn’t allow it.

  3. I would love to get out Historicon some year dcb, but it will probably have to wait until I am retired. It is hard enough to take the time off from the law mines to go to Indianapolis for GenCon!

  4. I understand…work has an annoying way of interfering with the important things of life…not to mention you’ve got plenty to do to keep this wonderful website going.

    If you’re interested in a new computer game and like Napoleonics I highly recommend Scourge of War:Waterloo…not perfect by any means but the best so far…given your interest in the Civil War I suspect you’ve seen their Gettysburg game.

  5. “If you’re interested in a new computer game and like Napoleonics I highly recommend Scourge of War:Waterloo…not perfect by any means but the best so far…given your interest in the Civil War I suspect you’ve seen their Gettysburg game.”

    Yes, as to both. I rather enjoyed Sid Meier’s Gettysburg and Waterloo from years ago, and I have had lots of fun with Ultimate Gettysburg. Hex War on the ipad has recently put out interesting games on Waterloo and Gettysburg.

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