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!

Friday, April 12, 2024

The Old Veteran

Master Yawdryl Maervik is taken out of the line.

"You've got a pretty ssssnout, dearie!" The drunken quar grinned lopsidedly at her, spilling some of his beer.


Clodha ignored the drunk patron and kept wiping the bar down when the door banged open. Old Maervik thumped in. He set a carefully washed tumbler on the bar with a nod to her and then turned, his cane and wooden leg tapping rhythmically as he crossed the bar room to his usual table near the fire.

Some younger quar, recently returned from the wars and proudly wearing their ribbons on their work suits were already at the table. One of them noticed the old quar and elbowed his friends to stand up, giving him the table. "Eldest." "Here Granddad," said one pulling out a chair. Maervik nodded and sat carefully. He pulled a pipe from a pocket and began carefully filling it. He was an unremarkable old quar. His brown tweed jacket was wearing at the elbows and cuffs. His grey cloth cap was weather faded. On his lapel was a shining brass pin with a piece of dark red ribbon. 


Clodha poured his usual and carried it over. "Evening granddad." She set his order, a pint of best and a tumbler of Old Snooty's 12 Year Old, in front of him, and a second pint and tumbler at the empty chair across from him.


The medical badge is a red blood drop on white

Maervik looked up at her. "Thanks love. Thank your ma for the worm and mushroom pie I found on my front stoop yesterday. It was as good as my Brygyd's."

Clodha laughed. "High praise indeed! Ma'll be glad you liked it." Maervik's late wife was renowned for her pies and ran a successful catering business for many years. "You should bring that jacket around and we'll mend it for you, then you can thank her yourself."  

"Ach! I wouldn't want to be a bother."

"No bother. Least we can do.  It helps ease her mind, with our Nobby away to the Wars and all." She fell silent thinking about her son, newly called up.

L-R: Milwer, Yawdryl and Officer

Clodha wiped some slopped beer and cricket crumbs off the table and then returned to the bar. The drunk was dozing off and in danger of drowning with his snout in his pint. She moved the glass to the side and watched as Maervik raised his pint and silently toasted the empty chair across from him before putting his snout into the foam and taking a long slurp. He sat like that, alternating slurps of beer and sips of whiskey and puffs on his pipe as he watched the fire.


Clodha didn't want to think about what he saw there. She ran the bar when the Veterans Guild held their monthly meeting. The Guild always met in the bar, booking it special for "a Private Function", because as one old soldier said, "after so much jabbering nonsense, the throat needs lubrication!" The "jabbering nonsense" being looking after widows and orphans and their destitute comrades.  But she heard snatches that made her snout curl as she gathered empty glasses and poured pints and sold bowls of salted crickets. Gate 18. The Fidwog Salient. Fort Vayk. Kryst. Toulmore. Wherever the ryhflers had marched and bled and died.

The other quar tried to get Maervik into a game of darts. But he declined. "Thanks, but no. Must be off. Grub boxes need mucking." He stood carefully and then thrust his cane at the quar with the most service ribbons. "Who'd you march with, kit?"

The younger quar stood proudly. "32nd Ryhfles."

"The Fighting 32nd! Ach, you beauties! Your mob fought through to relieve us at Brachyn's Pass when we were down to our last."

The other quar's eyes widened in surprise. "You were at Brachyn's Pass? My granddad was there and all."

"'Zat so, kit?" Maervik handed him the other pint. "Here lad, drink this to his memory. Saved my snout, he did."

Maervik then picked up the second tumbler of whiskey and nodded to Clodha as he limped out, cane tapping slightly less rhythmically on the floor.

Different packs!
 

I like all the kit sculpted on these quar. Pistols are a nice touch.

L-R: light automatic rifle gunner and yawdryl with sword and Doru SMG

She watched him as he carefully crossed the street to the Shrine to the Ancestors in the middle of the square. He gazed at it for a while, then straightening up, he saluted and poured the whiskey over the top, the liquid running down the worn and mossy grey stone. After another moment he stuffed the empty tumbler into his pocket and slowly walked off, leaning a little more heavily on his cane.

Section of ryhflers

Note different packs!

The quar who had received the second pint was at her elbow, also watching. "Who's that then?" he asked.

"You must be new to town, not to know Maervik. That's Maervik and Maervik is who he is. Soldier, kit and quar, for 50 years, serving King and Crusade. You can usually find him on a fine day in the park feeding the pykpyks."

The newcomer looked in wonder at his half-drunk pint. "The Maervik?! That Quar is legend. Our drill Yawdryls told us stories about him."

Clodha shrugged. "Most of us around here just call him uncle or granddad."

A bit of Quar fan-fiction to go with some recent additions to the Catrawds from my delayed Black Friday purchase.

First up is the Stretcher Team. This was a challenge to assemble. The stretcher bearer's hands are cast on the poles of the stretcher and then you've got to slot all four onto the arm ends.I had to do some creative bending and even then didn't get a good join on one of the four wrists.

Then some additons to the Crusader leadership. Yawdryl Pren, a rugged veteran. I liked his helmet with the goggles and camouflaged Bogen. Caerten Baeden Croux adds another officer to the Crusader army. As is my wilful way, I've given him a regular ryhfler helmet. And the thrid is a generic Milwer (Junior NCO) who I think came as a figure with the heavy shotgun team I haven't assembled yet.

Also the Coftyrans get some reinforcements with a second full section of metal ryhflers. This set has a different yawdryl and light automatic ryhfler sculpt and some different ryhflers as well. I also ordered the accessory packs, and just in time, because they disappeared off the Zombiesmith store right after Black Friday. These packs gave me some different pack options for the Royalists, which I used for the section. You'll notice there are 9 ryhflers, because Joshua added an extra in when he was fixing the missing parts of my order.

Next to come are a pair of Crusader light mortars and a second heavy shotgun team plus a Royalist second heavy machine gun team.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Hot Lead 2024 (LOTS of pictures and video!)



The Battle of Magnesia. 

Well, the 28th Hot Lead has come and gone. And we're left with the photos, bags of purchases we may regret, and some crazy memories.

Hotlead has always prided itself on being the "friendly convention." Mr. Roper here just want to give everyone a hug.

Late season snow squalls on Friday kept a few people away, but it was still hopping. Here's a video from Friday night around 6:30, as folks are setting up and shopping has already started. As you can see there's already quite a buzz as things get going:


Compare that with this video I took Sunday morning around 10, still quite a buzz. It was the busiest Sunday ever.

Attendance was up about 10%, putting us just shy of 400 people.
We also had the most games ever I think. 84 open participation games, plus another that was cancelled. 6 Role playing games. And 3 Tournaments. Adding the Infinity Tournament to Sunday helped create more traffic for that day.

All periods, scales, genres, and elements of games were well represented.

There were 12 naval games of various scales and in every period. The Dread Not! WW1 game made it's debut this year. I missed getting a picture of the 1/300th scale WW2 destroyer action on Friday night. I was busy actually playing a game and having my monthly beer.

WW1 battle cruisers

ACW Ironclads

War of 1812 on the Great Lakes



Napoleonic Wars British vs French

Ancient gallies

18th century piracy



Star Wars


Hotlead was the debut of Dread Not!, a fast play, First World War game put out by Dobbie's Hobbies and supported by a range of 3d printed ships.

More War of 1812

More WW1

Aerial warfare was also well represented with 5 games. Two set in WW2 and 3 set in WW1.

Canvas Eagles


Balloon busting in Wings of Glory

King Kong was used as a quick tutorial session before players started the game

Late War with Check Your 6!

On land, we had everything except cavemen and post-WW2 modern. But lots of choice from skirmishes to traditional big Napoleonic and American Civil War battles.
Friday Night Fight! Titans smash each other in Legio Imperialis

The Sherrif of Nottingham goes tax collecting

Space Hulk

In space, no one can hear you scream! Xenomorphs and Predators have infested a colonial outppost

big ancient battle

Epic Black Powder American Civil War 

28mm WW1

54mm Viking Raid using Ravenfeast


28mm Napoleonics. 1812 General d'Armee


The extremely popular chariot races

Colonial Marines run into a Predator

Toy Town makes off with the teddy bear's marmalade supplies

The Tatooine Incident. Must be spring, the plants are looking pretty lush.

English Civil War in 28mm

Battle of Mariagano in 15mm

More Epic 40K

Teddy Bears get their marmalade back

Push of pike in the 16th century

Push of pike in the 1st cent BC. Battle of Magnesia in 28mm

The siege of Fort George

Silver Bayonet was popular, running three times

I cannot remember what this was....

6mm American War of Independence using a true 1 figure to 1 man, and 3mm to 1 yard scaling. 


Battle of Magnesia in 15mm

28mm Renaissance 

Ork buggy races returned and were very popular all day

The 2nd Annual Hotlead Mystery Game. This year it turned out to be Marvel Crisis Protocol

Battle of Stratfordegawa, 15mm Samurai 



Saturday night I joined some of the Hotlead Team in a special session of Matthew Sullivan's homage to 80s dungeon crawl Advanced Dungeons and Dragons sessions; Dungeon Creepers. The experience was very similar to his Dead Man's Hand game I played last year, using similar mechanics. Each player was the Boss of a team of dungeon monsters, competing for dominance but also defending the dungeon against parties of adventurers who kept coming in to kill the Liche that runs the place.

Everything could be interacted with. Often there was a moral choice with various risks and rewards.

A rust monster. No one interacted with it though, so who knows what would have happened

Don's Fire Cultists guarding an homage to the AD&D Player's Handbook

Pig-faced Orcs in the guardroom run by the very load and orky Rico

The gelatinous cube. Part of Chris' slime team.

Standard adventuring party; wizard, cleric, fighter, dwarf, and thief enters to cause mischief

Rico's orcs lie in wait

My troll encounters a Mimic. No one likes the Mimics. They don't pay into the coffee fund and never bring donuts when it's their turn. Actually of all the chests in the dungeon, I was the only one to run into a mimic. Everyone else found useful things.

A worried goat

Used to summon a demon. Big Dave rolled exactly what he needed to add the demon to his team. A pip in either direction would have been bad.

My team of monsters getting attacked by the neighbors. I had decided to help the prisoners (following my werewolf) instead of eating them. This would help me against the Adventurers, but the other players now got double VPs for killing my creatures. And Rico massacred the Adventurers by rolling very hot. So I had a princess and a mad hermit, that I couldn't eat now. Ho hum, life is tough as a lonely werewolf.

Rico's ogre angers a water sprite 

Canadians secure a bridgehead



Sunday was quite busy with 10 games and an Infinity Tournament with 18 players.




Infinity Tournament

Infinity Tournament

Infinity Tournament

Infinity Tournament

Infinity Tournament

My purchases were pretty modest this year. I sold $140 worth at the Bring and Buy and only spent $40. I got some Average Dice because both Honours of War and Twilight of the Soldier Kings both require them, and the cube of yellow dice to give me another colour for reasons, like rolling for Lewis guns jamming in Mud & Blood. There were two Wargaming Estate sales running as well. I got Through the Mud and the Blood from one and Wargaming in History form another. $10 each.


Then I also got a bunch of freebies. Another sprue of the Warlord plastic samurai. A book of pictures from the First World War put out by Life magazine for inspiration. Some resin HESCO bastions and pair of land rovers from a long time dealer who is trying to get rid of stock. A Russian flag from the Flag Dude and a GI with a cup of joe, to go with my various tea drinking figures.


The $2400 dollars raised for charity either through direct donations, or sales from the Bring and Buy mostly went to support Red Cross relief efforts, plus a small donation to my Air Cadet Squadron and a Veteran's charitythat Rico raises funds for.

Now it's just cleaning up the website and making notes for next year.

The dates are already booked: 21-23 March 2025.