In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Still Hot After 20 Years, Hotlead 2014

Our 20th Hotlead has come and gone. Mrs. Rabbitman is still counting money and crunching numbers but my Mk. I eyeball tells me it was dazzlingly successful. More games on Friday night than ever before, with all of them running, so I think more gamers too. Sunday morning was also quite full and busy with 6 or 7 games and lots of people playing in them, plus the DBA tournament. This tells me more folks came and stayed for the full weekend, unlike the last couple of years when economic conditions caused fewer full weekend passes. Previous years, Sunday has been pretty quiet; sometimes with just the VSF game and folks making last purchases and saying their good byes. This year it was pretty busy, and J&M Miniatures was making sales right up to the boxes being taken out to Martin's van!

The Bring and Buy also broke some records, raising $1800 for charity, which means the team did an astounding $18000 dollars in sales in 8 hours! Usually we only bring in a thousand, plus or minus a hundred or two (last year it was down with only $830 raised). They certainly earned their beer that evening. I even sold a gratifying amount of stuff to finance my Samurai project. Plus none of the left over stuff (there are always abandoned B&B items that the owner doesn't want to take home) came back with me like in previous years. Steve just got folks to make him a deal and even gave some of it away.

But on to the pictures. Friday night:

Setting up the J&M booth Friday night.
Dan's "Mongols with Mausers" '30s Pulp skirmish game.
Which requires silly hats, bad accents and lots of laughs
close up of "Mongols with Mausers"
"Flames of War" Grosbeek Heights Sept. 1944, which ran in three time slots
"Dux Britannarium" which proved quite popular all weekend.
Monsters and giant robots trash a city. Also popular all weekend.
First of many Napoleonic games.
First of many 28mm WW2 skirmish games too.
First action in a "Wings of War" campaign that went on until Saturday night.
On Saturday I met an Italian gamer who is at a local university for some graduate studies. He thought we were larger and nicer than the Milan game convention. So we're an international hit now, I guess. Plus we hooked him up with some gamers in the area he is residing in so he can do some gaming while he's in Canada. Hotlead, the friendly convention.

More pictures:
New volunteers at the Bring & Buy
Saturday morning crowd starts to swell
15mm Fort Erie in the War of 1812
15mm gunboat for the War of 1812
A 20mm WW2 game gets going
Battle of Liebertwolkwitz in 28mm, yes masses of 28mm cavalry thundering around
More Lieberywolkwitz
Another 28mm Napoleonic battle, 
The Battle of Magnesia in 28mm
Dreadnoughts in the water
Dreadnoughts in the air, "Leviathans" had players all day.
1/72 scale Baltic Crusades
Air war over the Pacific
More Dux
"Blackwater Gulch" a later version had zombies and demons running around too...
28mm French Indochina
This looks like more of the Battle of Magnesia
A glimpse of the scrum around the Bring and Buy. Red shirts hard at work (or creaming off the good stuff first?)
A rather pretty 20mm Canadian Recce Sqdn
This year we had some "Axis & Allies" minis games. One session each of air, naval and land. They seemed popular.
A quite pretty 28mm D-Day game using "Bolt Action". We talked the GMs into running it a third time after dinner and filled it with Hotlead staffers, who got very loud....
Big German bunker. The brass ring represents smoke...
View from the Landing craft
The rather nicely done town of Liebertwolkwitz
More Liebertwolkwitz in the afternoon
The British storm Fort Erie
"Axis & Allies" in the air
1/72nd scale American War of Independance
Another view of the AWI game
15mm Battle of Ipsos using DBM. Look at all the elephants!
more of Ipsos
6mm WW2 Normandy game "Advance to Falaise"
More monsters and giant robots
ACW naval. The Battle of Mobile.
Another 28mm Napoleonic battle. Kulm.
Another view of the Battle of Kulm
War of 1812, Battle of Blandensburg
Saturday night crowd, still pretty busy...
Yet more "Dux"
Unwinding with the gang over some beers and Bolt Action. Told you we got loud...
I'm not sure what they're celebrating, maybe getting off the landing craft?
28mm War of 1812, Battle of Longwoods with "Black Powder"
1/72nd scale Biblicals
Allies get off the beach
An unscheduled 28mm ECW assault on a fort.
Nice fort
Space naval from the 'Honor Harrington' universe
15mm Napoleonics. Battle of Montereau 1814
6mm SF, OGRE minis
Also in the basement we had some smaller meeting rooms with 5 tables running "Warhammer" and "Warhammer 40K" pick up games and a another table where they could get some painting and modelling coaching. This was an unexpected expansion arranged by the fellow who co-ordinates the local "Warhammer" crowd, but it seems to have worked well.

Sunday morning, seven games and good crowd for a Sunday:
The crowd Sunday morning, still pretty good
VSF Bring and Battle, it's become a hit with the kids
The "Pinkilicious" takes down a Martian flier
Flashpoint Krplakistan
More "Bolt Action" action
An unscheduled game of "X-Wing"
An unscheduled game of "Bolt Action"
Some "Full Thrust"
The J&M booth, the piles are smaller now...

But if I've added things up right we had the 5 DBA tournaments, the GW pick up game son Saturday and 77 open participation games throughout the weekend! Last year we only had a few over 50. So that's what, a 50% increase?

I didn't buy much. I picked up a Battlefront Centurion tank from their Vietnam range for $5.00 because I have a fondness for the venerable Centurion.

Less stress this year. Although there was a comedy of errors involving my car keys Sat morning which caused me some panic for a bit. Delegating the program and sign up sheets was a huge load off. The guys (and gals now) are doing a stellar job with the Bring and Buy. Mrs. Rabbitman and I thought for next year we'd get them a printing calculator to help with the cash out, when everyone's eyes are spinning and simple addition isn't so simple any more. I'll need help with the event coordinating next year too, as March 2015 threatens to be rather busy for Lt. Rabbitman as he attempts to get his Training Officers Course done (4th time I hope will be the charm...).

Others have posted more pics to the Hotlead Facebook page and AARs are starting to appear on blogs too.

I've set the date for next year: 27-29 March 2015. Mark your calendars now.


  1. Encore! Great job on the charity at the B&B! What charity was the chosen recipient?

    1. The two Army Cadet Corps and the Scout troop that staffers also work with.

  2. James, it looks like you had a fantastic weekend. Should I ever end up back in Cambridge I will certainly be heading to Hot Lead.

  3. Looks like a fun time was had by all. Congratulations on achieving a new milestone for your charity fundraising efforts..

  4. Hurrah! Wishing I could have done more than my quickie visit. Next year. Definitely next year.

  5. Fantastic event! Your great pics show there is much talent in our hobby. How do you choose from all of those fine tables? ;-)