Philadelphia Inquirer: War buffs do battle (no blood), Convention pulls in fans of miniature conflicts.

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Philadelphia Inquirer: War buffs do battle (no blood), Convention pulls in fans of miniature conflicts.

War buffs do battle (no blood), Convention pulls in fans of miniature conflicts

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By Art Carey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER                                                                                                                                     POSTED: July 26, 2008
LANCASTER — On a tabletop in a Lancaster hotel, Terry Carman was placing miniature trees, fences and log cabins, preparing for a massacre.

Settlers who had encroached on Indian territory in upstate New York, circa 1757, had raised the ire of the Huron Indians. Now there would be hell to pay, in a battle of revenge and survival that would also involve British regulars.

Carman, who designed this war game and drafted the rules, chose a title that left no about the potential for gore: “Our Tomahawks Dripped Blood.”

No blood was in evidence yet, but Carman, of Laurel, Md., was, metaphorically speaking, sweating it. In about an hour, players would arrive – some very discriminating – and his game would debut.

As “gamemaster,” the overseer and umpire, he knew this was showtime on the grandest stage of all – Historicon, the largest gathering of historical miniature war-game enthusiasts in North America.

“You have to know the rules and be able to explain the history,” said Carman, 56, a training coordinator at the University of Maryland. “You have to manage the game and make it flow. Most of all, you have to make sure people are entertained and having fun. You’re the god of this particular universe…..”

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