Monday, March 28, 2011

Hotlead and Empty Wallet

I'm back from Stratford and the 2011 Hotlead Convention, as mentioned my first. I had a great time, staying in nearby Kitchener at a brother's place, then making the short (30 min.) drive to the convention each morning.

I didn't take any photos, but other people did, and here's the first of the galleries available.

I played a game in all five timeslots, starting with "White Terror" Friday night, a 15mm Russian Civil War game using the TooFatLardies' Triumph of the Will rules. This is actually a picture of us early in the game, I'm the only one without a Justin Bieber haircut sitting at the table, looking pensive. Thanks to my heroic White Russian MVI tank, which pretty much single-handedly took out the Reds' armoured train, we won the game in memory of the Czar. My opponents and team-mates were all teens from the Warhammer/Warhammer 40K crowd, but they were nice kids and had a lot of fun. So much fun the Red players preferred shooting their buddies' infantry with the train's cannons, rather than my tank!

I spent Saturday morning losing the English Civil War for the Parliamentarians, using 28mm figures and Field of Glory-Renaissance rules. They were really nicely done up figures on both sides, with appropriate poodle-loving or poodle-hating banners.

Saturday afternoon I got into the Battle of Pondicherry in 28mm, using Warfare in the Age of Reason rules. No pics are up yet, but they will be (lots were taken). The figures were really popular at the 2010 convention, and I'd been aiming to play in this game since I saw those pics, as the SYW in India is a period I'm getting into. When the pictures are up, you'll be amazed at my generalship (well, colonel-ship, maybe major-ship) as I held the left flank for the British, saving India in the interest of tea profits.

I had the most forward BEIC position to start the game, marines and sailors and one gun in a rebout, and the French and allies decided to try to flank us rather than overrun us, and I was able to get the rest of my command up there in a perfect L shape, eventually joined by the rest of the BEIC (except for our unfortunate Indian allies, who alternated between stalling and running away). When the French allies finally got through the jungle onto my flank, my two battalions there sent them reeling back. The redoubt with the gun and marines survived 3 charges by Mysorean mobs, either the cannon or musket fire driving them back before they could get into melee range.

In the evening I saved Rome from Hannibal and his elephants, with help from the two Daves. Actually the two Daves did most of the work on the flanks, while sending negative reports about me back to the senate! I had the good troops in the middle, and once we had one unit of elephants rout, my legions were already closing the trap as time ran out on the game (still a late Roman victory). The rules were Might of Arms, which I also want to get into, so this was a chance to learn them in the heat of battle.

Sunday morning I was into another TooFatLardies ruleset, Sharp Practice. The scenario was Ottomans vs. Hungarians, and I was the right flank of the Ottoman attack. These pics are from earlier games (it was run 3-4 times over the weekend), but you can get the gist of it. The figures were awesome, the terrain nice, and the three other players great to play with, as was Steve the umpire. A good fun game, even though the Ottomans got spanked! I had a chance for a last minute heroic charge, but my charge was negated by the Hungarians having the one counter-charge card!

In terms of shopping, I bought some nice Artizan pulp figures, including the all important Casablanca, Kelly's Heroes, and Dirty Dozen packs, as well as two Blue Moon pulp cars. At the Bring-and-Buy I got four Ospreys for $20 - two on modern Soviet forces, one on US mech. inf., and one on Alexander's Army. Later I got two other Ospreys for $10 apiece from one of the dealers, Queen Victoria's Southern African enemies (useful for Imaro) AND Fortresses of India. I'd been looking for the later for the last several months, it's OOP and all the online dealers were just teasing me about its availability. Suckers, I don't need you now!

I also bought some Reaper Chronoscope figures, for 28mm VSF, and a Mk. IV (female) tank for WWI and pulp gaming, and some 1/72 terrain bits for Vietnam skirmish. I could have spent more if I wasn't trying to play in every game session, there wasn't much time to shop. Maybe next time I'll pace myself better.

The 6mm club I play in in Toronto had a game Saturday morning, I was there before the games began and didn't make it back, but it sounds like it was well-received. Most of the club guys I play with regularly were there, and I met some new people as well, there weren't any negative experiences (other than the one vendor who kept wandering by the RCW game to offer suggestions on tactics!).

So thanks to all the game masters and convention organizers, as a newbie I had a great time and looking to come back next year, and maybe hit one or both of the fall conventions (MIGS and Council Fires). Cangames in Ottawa is close too, but May is a terrible time for real-life workload, and I usually prefer sleep on the long weekend.


  1. Wow. You are into a lot of periods!
    Glad you had a good time. We;ll see you next year.

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