Sunday, 23 March 2014

Hot Lead - "... And a good time was had by all!"

Yesterday, my wife and I and our friend, DJ, journeyed through snow and drifts to Stratford, ON to join in the fun of the convention known as Hot Lead. As winter recedes in Canada, this is the convention to go to. Well, winter is fighting every step of the way as it retreats this year. My friend, Raiffe is taking out a contract on Old Man Winter aka Jack Frost, and I'm seriously thinking about buying into that deal. But winter will leave us to return later, later, later. Once in the con's doors, we met up with our friends, Andy, Kevin, Martin, and Steven as well as seeing old friends (like Steve, the RSM for the Royal Scots reenactors) and new from all over.
I'm uncomfortable playing table-top games with people I don't know so I usually don't game at conventions. I also only have Saturday to go to such festivities, so my main thing is to go and buy stuff. I found a load of good things at the bring-and-buy and sold a few things myself. (The con takes 10% of the proceeds of what you sold and funds a charity with it. I'm all for that since I consider bring-and-buy money to be "found money" anyway.)
Beth and I did walk around and watch the gaming and took photos of the ones we liked and there were some really good looking games at the con.

Gaming the siege of Fort Erie.
We've taken part in this reenacting event the past few years and always enjoy it. So we had to see this game!
The British-Canadian forces are almost at the wall and some are already in the fort.
Such a great model of the fort. See that big cannon in the redoubt on the far left? That's where Andy and I stand during the night battle at the reenactment... as the infantry guard for the artillery piece there... usually a real 6-pounder!
An impressive number of attackers. Andy's son, Steven played part of the Crown forces in this game.
In reenacting, he's usually with the 16th US Infantry.
Napoleonics appeared to be making a come-back at the con. I don't think that period ever goes away; I think it's a perennial and will always bloom at cons and on my game table.

Ah! Austrians! My favourites!
Artie Conlieff's Shako in 28mm using the large battalion option. I like this game although I use 15mm.
It was a welcome sight.
The French opposing the Kaiserlichs.
Intense thought by the Russian command.
Such an impressive array!
Russian cuirassiers. The black thingie is a status marker. I don't know what the dice mean.
Lots of miniature horse-flesh
Success for the Whitecoats. From what I saw later, it was short-lived.
Bladensburg 1814       Not Shako but War of 1812/North American Napoleonics
Maryland Militia vs. British regulars
I liked the look of this game.
Back to Europe for another Napoleonic outing. Rules and sides unknown but fantastic visuals!
Micro-armour. Kevin and our new friend Goeff took part in a WWII Micro-armour game. Looked interesting!
"They're out there somewhere! Do something constructive with your artillery!"
Such a pastoral scene -- makes you want to live there.
Canadian armour advancing with infantry as well. Kevin wondered why they deployed so far back.
Now Beth and I agreed that THIS game was our favourite among all the really great games there. Somehow Japanese monster movies just please the soul. I wish there were some JSDF tanks for the big monsters to kick around but you can't have everything. Beth and I felt that this was the sharpest visual feast of all the games and it looked like just plain fun. I've got a copy of the old Beast That Ate Sheboygan I've got to dig out now.
The city sleeps, not knowing that gigantic terror awaits.
I've rarely seen street this deserted. Do they know something or is it summer holiday?
The dramatis personae line up for their introductions.
Mechgodzilla leaves a trail of destruction and dead rubber-suited actors in his wake.


The final battle ensues! Mothra and Mechgodzilla. Ack! The Tower is down! We'll NEVER get mobile reception now!
King Kong and some other gargantuan beastie fight/dance/tell secrets/end their date/whatever.
The Tower and the movable craters. The dingus in the bottom left corner is a nuclear reactor.
Not in my backyard! Or across from my Mac's Milk!
Property values are going to take a nose dive on Monday.
The bring-and-buy had some great bargains. I've added to my ACW, WWII, DBR, and Traveller stocks.

Beth caught me, Kevin, DJ, and Andy looting - um, checking out the bring-and-buy.
Where else could I buy 50 Napoleonic French hussars for $5.00?
Beth and I saw many other games we didn't take photos of - like an age of steam naval game, ancients, Wings of War WWI aircraft, a sky-dreadnaught game, the DBA tournement, and the Warhammer games (in the basement) to name only a few.
I'd like to offer my personal thanks and congratulation to the leadership and staff of Hot Lead for a job well done, even from a day-tripping scrounger like myself.

Oh, the best thing of the day? Andy bought a copy of Shako.
Vive l'Empereur! Hoch Hapsburg!


  1. It was good to see you at HL, a bonus of my brief walk-through there. Like you I was quite entranced by that monsters-in-the-city game.

  2. I was hoping to see you at the con. Yes, the monsters captivated me. I have a version of it, an old S&T game that I got ahold of on-line. I want to try to make the buildings and convert it to figures. Hurray for tiny little Japanese Self-Defense Force tanks and fighters! Unleash the weird science... like the Oxygen Destroyer in the original Godzilla movie!