Monday, 23 May 2016


Last weekend, Martin, Kevin, and I journeyed to Hamilton, ON to join in the festivities of Broadsword, a games-day/mini-convention put on by the gamers in Hamilton. Our friend, Barnaby was a major player in getting this thing off the ground. The three of us from the London/St. Thomas area went there to assist Ralph with his Hail Caesar! game of Conquistadors vs. Aztecs. I had the dubious honour of being the Emperor Moctezuma II, in overall command of the Aztec side with Kevin and Greg to either side. Ralph, Laim, and Dan (an old friend) ran the Conquistador/Allied Tlaxcalan side. The game was incredibly colourful and quite a nail-biter for the most part. The various ranks and precidence of the Aztec warrior societies is quite confusing to me, so let me just say I had two small units of slingsers, a large unit of the elite emperor's guard, a unit of novice warriors, and a unit of Cuachicqueh ("The Shorn Ones") fanatic shock troops. I also was the keeper of the "chili fire." Martin did some cat-herding and took photos.

(Photos courtesy of Martin, Barnaby, and myself... as it were.)
Kevin's brigade, including a crazed unit of warrior priests in black body suits with white polka dots and conical caps.
Ralph has done an incredible amount of research on this period, specializing in the Meso-American armies.
Ignore the Tim Horton's box.

Some of my troops. The Imperial Guard in the van.

Greg's brigade

Aztec chemical warfare - the Chili Fire
It appears that the Aztecs would light a bonfire and throw large amounts of chili pods into it, using the smoke to blind the enemy. In our case, any unit -friend or foe- that the cloud passed through took a break test at a +2.

Dan's Spanish. He had the cavalry.

Laim's Conquistadore centre with a slave-pushed mobile fort with archers.

Ralph's Tlaxcalan allies.

Kevin's warrior priests supported by some novice warriors in combat with Spanish sword-and-buckler men.
They are at the foot of the temple pyramid.

... and the Temple-pyramid was open for business!
Greg and Ralph fought a see-saw battle. Kevin and Dan exchanged some very nasty hand-to-hand fighting, which proved supports to be very important. Laim and I were evenly matched. My novices were wiped out early on after the palace guard retreated throught them. Laim eventually lost a unit of arquebusiers. The Shorn Ones (Please don't make me type that Aztec word again.) destroyed the mobile fort and squared off against a unit of halberdiers. Even after the game ended, we played it out. Those two units were locked in combat for at least three turns. At the end of the game, since we were nearing curfew, the Aztecs conceded a winning draw to the Spanish and Allied side. It was a tough game and one I wouldn't mind fighting again.

Novice warriors with skirmishing slingser in front.

Halberdiers and arquebusiers.
We counted the arguebus as crossbows since Hail Caesar is a pre-gunpowder set of rules.

Ralph's Tlaxcalans advance. They appear to prefer white garments and shields.

The Cuachicqueh shock troop advance.
The small die shows they'd sustained one casualty.

From Laim's side of the table.

The Cuachicqueh take out the mobile fort.

The Conquistadores watch the mobile forts crew go running.

The Spanish had cannon, but they were not too effective.

My novices attack the halbrediers with the Guard in support.

The Spanish lancers hit the front of an archer unit while swordsman hit the flank. It did not go well for the Aztecs.

Laim points out the coming melee between my shock troops and his halbrediers.
Three turns later, they were still locked in combat.

The Tlaxcalans are making a mess of things for our side.

Here are a number of view of other games being played at Broadsword.

"Charlie Company" Viet-Nam war combat --- rules and figs by RAFM

Cthulhu himself as part of a game called "Cthulhu Wars."

The gameboard and playing piece critters for "Cthulhu Wars."
I always feel I have to scrub up after seeing or thouching these things.

"Flint & Feather" - a game of warfare in North America prior to European contact.
All was not "sweetness-and-light" in North America among the First Nations!
Rules (yet to be published) and figures by Crucible Crush attached to Pulp Miniatures.

"Frostgrave" - fantasy skirmish with some wild terrain

"Roadkill" - a highway apocalypse game

Some sort of sci-fi pod racing game. It looked good.

There was a dedicated DBA table. Oneof the forces included this quite nice ship.

DBA hoplites "in full battle array"
A nice view of the Spanish horsemen.

An over view of the "Charlie Company" game
I don't have photos of everything, There was a micro-armour WWII game being set up as we were leaving and as to the vendors - well, you've all seen people buying stuff before.

Next entry: The Road to Culloden.


  1. Those Aztecs are really colourful. Nice stuff.

    1. Thanks! I thought so too as far as the colour goes.