Well it’s become a bit of a personal tradition, but I always work hard to ensure I go up to Ontario’s biggest wargame show –Hotlead. I have been going for quite a few years now (I’m thinking close to 10 years) and managed it again this year. I gather it’s been going for 25 years now. It’s not a huge show compared to the big US/UK ones, but gets around 350 people or so on the Saturday. It has a wide selection of games, all of which are either competitions or participation games. There are also always a few local vendors in attendance. That allows you to spend money, but again nothing like the UK/US shows. Still it’s a great gaming event and well worth attending and supporting, if you are in the local area (Ontario/Upper New York state).
This year my car was full with friends from the local group as well so we had a fun road trip as well. Even driving back in a snow storm after a full 12 hours gaming did not diminish the experience. Storms can happen in early spring here and the slower drive just gave us more time to chat in the car. I only go on the Saturday, although the event runs from Friday night through to Sunday afternoon. I makes for a long day but it’s worth it. I also get to catch up with people I rarely meet from around the area as well, which is great.
Unfortunately, this year I was too late to register a game to GM as they were already full by mid Feb! That’s just shows how busy and the quality of games which people run at this event. I need to get my act in gear sooner for next year if I want to run a game. There is a great charity Bring and Buy (at least 10% of the proceeds goes to charity) run by the local club guys on the Saturday. This is always a bit of a scrum but allows me (and others) to get rid of projects which will never get done. It also allows us to spend money getting some great deals from other people doing the same thing. Normally, I do get a few good items/deal from this and this year was no exception.
This year there were some amazing looking tables and games. The quality of such things seems to be getting better year by year. Those ranged from a huge 28mm Battle of Hastings game (using the Triumph! rules) to the Ontario Lord of the Rings group competition tables – were super impressive as always. Another worth mentioning was a ‘what a tanker game’ in 1/32 (54mm) scale – that was a big table with a huge amounts of terrain. Games varied from Star Wars legion to Check your 6! with all things in between.
I tried out the ‘newish’ Triumph! Ancient rules in a different game than the Hastings one, which seem fun. They are in the ‘same family as DBA/Art de la Guerre’ but with some variation. I likely will do a bigger review at some point but they seem a fun set to play games with. I also spent some like looking at the Art de la Guerre demo game as well, but I was not signed up to play that one. I finished off the day with a game of what a tanker – my Sherman was the only original allied tank to survive the whole game and I killed a Panzer IV and assisted in the kill of a Panther!
So another Hotlead down, but this was a great event as always and I look forward to next years. Below you can see a sample of phot’s from the various games on display on Saturday which I managed to take.