Monday, March 29, 2010

Hotlead 2010

Vidal and I made the trek to Stratford on Saturday for Hotlead 2010. This is a great 2 1/2 day regional convention held annually and nicely book-ends Migscon in Hamilton in the fall. Saturday was a beautiful day in Southern Ontario despite being inside with the great unwashed masses. My comments about dress and deportment at conventions in a previous post were not particularly relevant for Hotlead. Not sure why (?).

I have to give kudos to James Manto and his convention staff for what seemed, from a punter's viewpoint, a well-run show. The convention hall was bustling for most of the day on Saturday with a good variety of games. The general aesthetic quality level of the games was well above that of the last few "big" conventions I've attended in the states. As I've mentioned before, the quality level of games at Historicon et al seems to have dropped quite a bit the last few years. Not so at Hotlead, I was happy to see. I've included a few random Crackberry photos below, so picture quality is not the best.

15mm Gaugamela. A very impressive game. The terrain was relatively boring (as it was historically, if I remember rightly) but hundreds of well-painted miniatures made up for that.

28mm Seven Years War in India using Age of Reason rules. Not a genre normally seen at conventions and more impressive because of that.

Not every game has artillery towed by elephants!

Or artillery mounted on a massive ox-cart!

As for shopping, Vidal and I picked up our Perry Miniatures Carlist Wars order from Terry and North Bay Games & Hobbies. If you haven't used Terry as a gaming resource, I heartily encourage you do so. He always responds quickly to orders and enquiries and his shipping rates in Canada are fantastic! I now have some Carlist infantry and cavalry to boost Vidal's army numbers.

I also picked up a Wings of War observation balloon from The Hobby Kingdom. This is a new product that I've been looking forward to for some time. My daughter Diana and I play WoW at home and sometimes at the club; much to my wife's chagrin, I seem to have roped a third child into the hobby (apparently, it's OK to have our sons play wargames but not a daughter). Of course, we had to put the new balloon on the table the next day and try it out. For a non-moving large object, it's actually quite difficult to shoot down.

A rocket-armed Nieuport 16 trying to shoot down a balloon while evading a following Albatross DIII.

You can see one of the nice WoW game mats in these photos. They fit nicely on a kitchen table and give enough room to fight with 4-6 planes. WoW games with one plane per side take about 1/2 hour to play. Easy set-up and tear down, quick games, and no painting involved! My kinda' gaming project!


  1. I think it's something about Canada. I think we have less hygienically Challenged Gamers(and people in general) then in the US. that's not to say we don't have none, but our country and cities seem to always look a little cleaner on the whole compared to American cities, so maybe that is indicative of the population.

    I've already painted my Polish Winged hussars I picked up at Hotlead. Spent all Sunday night doing 3 of them, but they look fantastic.

    I'm also going to try and get a few more British FIW figures done for Friday. looks like the painting bug has struck again.

    So when are you and Vidal going to show off your Carlist wars at the club??

  2. Ah, yes...good question. Vidal, are you listening?