Category Archives: Conventions

Convention reports & photo-essays.

2020 In Review

Well, that was quite a year, wasn’t it?

No conventions, no in-person gaming at all for a good part of the year thanks to our local COVID precautions, and yet things still got painted, finished, and even played with.

Before COVID (Remember That?)

village
Low over the coastline, approaching the village. Click for larger.

We started the year damp and cold off the 1/1200 coasts of England with a lot of naval gaming and scenery for that, then we were briefly visited by a very strange bartender indeed and got a few games of tiny ships done in-person.

narthoks finished, front
Narthoks all finished except for basing. Go on, tell the bartender your troubles! Click for larger.

The Weird Begins…

March was when it all went weird. The high point of my own gaming year, Trumpeter Salute over in Vancouver, was cancelled on less than two weeks notice, work-from-home started abruptly, and all sorts of other things went very, very sideways. I did spend some of the money I’d have ordinarily have spent on other things on orders from Bad Squiddo and Forge of Ice, two tiny one-person companies I’ve been meaning to order from for many years now, so that part was nice, but the fact that March/April/May 2020 have fewer blog entries here, combined, than I made in January indicates how off-kilter everything was!

The end of May did see the modification of our local COVID restrictions so that we could have “pods” of up to six or so people, so my brother and a friend resumed gaming most Sundays, starting up a Frostgrave campaign that eventually morphed into a fantasy-flavoured Pulp Alley campaign.

start of game
Start of the game. My chaps centre foreground, Sean’s ogre ladies top left, Corey’s mousling bravos top right. Click for larger.

COVID Bubble Gaming

June and July saw something like a normal posting pace resume here as I cranked out a bunch of fun quick fantasy scenery to add to our Forestgrave tables including a standing stone and a big tree. There were also a few impossibly tiny planes as a diversion from fantasy!

Tiny, tiny 1/1200 RAF and Luftwaffe airplanes to trouble boats not quite as tiny.

August saw a return to naval stuff and small scale scenery, and September saw the arrival of Gaslands on the scene, which has provided much pandemic diversion since!

Mad mushroom jungles for properly fantastical fantasy gaming!

The Bubble Bursts…

The last quarter of 2020 saw tightening of our local COVID restrictions and the end of even limited in-person gaming, but before that we did get to see some mad mushroom jungle terrain and some other weird fantasy terrain before we finally turned to that most 2020 of communication solutions, online webcam conferencing, for a Gaslands gaming fix.

Gaslands by webcam, via OBS and Discord.

So, that was our 2020 here at the Warbard! A weird, stressful, very strange year but here’s hoping that sometime before the end of 2021 we’re back to in-person gaming, conventions, and something vaguely like pre-pandemic normality.

In the meantime, wear a mask, keep an eye on how soon you can get your COVID vaccine, try to get some hobby time in if your situation allows, and stay safe. Happy New Year, I guess!

Interesting Times

Well. One minute I was too busy getting ready for a local SCA event mid-March and then Trumpeter Salute 2020 in mid-April to blog about what I was doing… and then the real world intervenes rather abruptly and rudely.

Painting and terrain building hasn’t stopped although it has slowed down. We’re safe and well enough, the cat is enjoying having people around to sit on much more of the day than she’s used to thanks to work from home, and I promise I’ll get actual content up here shortly.

I’ve got some more ships for 1/1200 WW2 coastal naval, some fun stuff for my 28mm fantasy-ECW project, and I’m probably going to be building up a Frostgrave fantasy skirmish warband, because why not?

Stay well, stay safe, do that physical distancing thing, and try not to let work from home drive you insane.

The Trumpeter Salute 2019 Haul

Trumpeter Salute 2019 has come and gone. This was the first Trumpeter in many years where I didn’t run a game which felt kind of strange, but that did leave more time for other people’s games!

It was also the kick in the butt I apparently needed to devote a bit more time to gaming, after most of a year (two?) of basically doing squat except watch my gaming stuff gather dust.

Among the things I bought at Trumpeter was a pack of Frostgrave Wizards in plastic. I’ve been musing for a while now about mixing up 17th Century English Civil War/Thirty Year’s War figures with magic and fantasy stuff of some sort, and while a lot of things like wands or wizard’s staffs would be easy enough to add to figures with wire and putty, a couple of sprues of ready-made bits seemed like a good plan.

The Trumpeter Salute 2019 haul. First three Warlord/Frostgrave magic users on the left, new frogs on the right, chevaux in the foreground. Click, as usual, for larger.

It turns out the Warlord plastic ECW figures and the North Star plastic Frostgrave figures are pretty much perfectly compatible. Very similar heights and proportions, and heads and hands similarly scaled. The arms are jointed identically at the shoulders on both, too, although the heads & necks are separate on the Frostgrave figures but integral to the bodies on the Warlord stuff, so if/when I want to start doing headswaps I’ll need to do some surgery.

I also got a pack of four “Frogs with French rifles” from Pulp Figures, to give my Cthulhoid fishmen/frogmen forces some actual firepower. I’m not sure if these will be sold via Pulp Figures or Crucible Crush, but they’re awesome!

Finally, I picked up a pack of Renedra’s Chevaux de Frise for more barricades to scatter around – perfect for some of the Pikeman’s Lament scenarios that call for a line of barricades or a barricaded village. The pack contains a pair of sprue frames that will give me about 18″ or so of chevaux de frise all told.

First three magic users! See text for details, click for larger.

I whipped up the first three “weird ECW” magic users already. On the left is one of the regular Warlord cavalry figures with an arm and hip pouch from the Frostgrave wizards; centre is a Warlord firelock body with both arms from Frostgrave (usable as a religiously-inspired figure in straight historical games too), and on the right is a body from the Warlord infantry command sprue with arms from the same sprue and a wizard’s staff from the Frostgrave set.

I’ve got a whole bunch of photos still on my camera from the actual Trumpeter Salute show; I’ll try and get them edited and uploaded this coming weekend.

Back From Trumpeter Salute 2018

It was an excellent weekend.

I was under-prepared for my Pulp Alley games but managed to get enough done to pull them off. The table, at least, looked awesome as I’d been distracted from other prep by the building of many new buildings.

Eight players each running a full ten point League is really too many bodies around the table and too many figures on the table, but it was glorious chaotic fun. The geese won.

Lots of other good games, and of course the meetings with all the folks I usually only see once a year at each successive Trumpeter Salute.

I actually have some great photos; I’ll get them off my phone over the next couple of days and posted here, along with a more coherent narrative!

For now, sleep!

The Trumpeter Salute 2017 Loot Haul!

I managed to escape from Trumpeter Salute 2017 at the start of April without buying a single actual figure, but I brought home a batch of scenery bits and pieces and some reading material, at least.

The haul from Trumpeter Salute 2017 all laid out. Click for larger.

It helped my wallet that Bob Murch of Pulp Figures wasn’t there, and neither was Uncle Mike of Uncle Mike’s Worldwide/Strange Aeons. The excellent folks of Imperial Hobbies did help lighten my wallet and bulk up my luggage a bit, at least, although winning a pair of their $20 gift certificates in the very generously supplied door prizes offset the wallet-lightening a good bit!

The centerpiece of my acquisitions are the Pikeman’s Lament rules from Osprey, to finally put my long-neglected English Civil War/Thirty Year’s War figures to use and get them some time on the table! Related to that I snagged Issue #87 of Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy, their ECW special, which has some great articles including an excellent building how-to by Tony Harwood that I’m going to be doing my own version of sometime soon.

The rest of my Trumpeter Salute acquisitions were scenery, almost all from 4Ground. Short & Gated Stone Wall Sections, Weathered Picket Fencing, two packages of 25mm bases, and finally Renedra’s Palisade Fencing package to round out the set.

I’ll be doing proper review articles on the 4Ground and Renedra fences & walls sometime soon; those posts are already being drafted.

Trumpeter Salute 2017 Photos

I headed over to Vancouver for my annual pilgrimage to Trumpeter Salute again at the very end of March. My girlfriend and I decided to tie it in with a road trip the week before to visit my folks a few hours inland from Vancouver and her folks up on the Sunshine Coast just north of Vancouver, which had the affect of making sure I was tired even before Trumpeter weekend started!

Regardless, it was a great show. I’ve been going for eight or nine years now, with one or two gaps, and there’s a number of folks I only ever see at the Trumpeter Salute show every year that I look forward to reconnecting with and seeing what spectacular gaming projects they’ve been up to.

This year we started off on Friday night with some 15mm WW2 Eastern Front action, leading a German mix company to a really marginal victory against the Russians. No photos of that, unfortunately, which is especially sad as Troy runs a spectacular looking game and each vehicle and infantry stand is a tiny work of art!

Saturday morning we started off by borrowing Martin’s son’s Star Wars Lego collection to run a good sized Star Wars Lego Battle of Hoth, complete with AT-AT, snowspeeder, and a fierce Bantha! Luke in his snowspeeder managed to bring down the AT-AT, but when he went back out to rescue the pinned-down Wookie squad, Darth Vader managed to capture him (and Han!) in the middle of the snowfields.

Star Wars Lego FUBAR

Saturday afternoon we ran a 1980s air war scenario based on the Iran-Iraq War. The Iranians had all American fighters, including the F-14 Tomcats the Shah had purchased before the Revolution, and the Iraqi Air Force had then-new MIG-25 Foxbat fighters, straight from the USSR. Unfortunately for the Iraqis, Iranian luck and high tech American missles meant it rained Foxbats and parachutes into the Persian Gulf all afternoon!

Iran Iraq Air War

Meanwhile, this spectacular Vimy Ridge game was being put on by the White Rock Gamers.

Vimy Ridge

Sunday I ran a Pulp Alley game with six players. There were three groups of fishmen, a Miskatonic University research team, a team of human cultists, and a mad scientist all competing to find or recover a lost Treasure of Dagon! Lots of action and pulp hiliarity ensued, ending in the cult leader blasting multiple other characters with terrible occult power and preventing the recovery of the Treasure.

Fishmen vs Lunatics

There are a bunch more photos – 18 in all – over in my Trumpeter Salute 2017 album on Flickr. Enjoy!

LANtasy 2017 Photos!

Our local “big” convention, LANtasy, was a couple weeks ago now. I participated in the Blood Bowl & Infinity tournaments all weekend, and my Infinity terrain made up two of the four tables in the Infinity tourney. We’d hoped for more players and had originally reserved space for up to eight Infinity tables, but six players was it. I managed to come dead last, by a fairly good margin, including conceding one game at the bottom of the second turn (of three) but they were good games on good tables!

I brought my Lizardman team, the Handbag Factory (they’re crocodile figures, hence the joke name) to the Blood Bowl tourney and did nearly as badly, including one game where I got six lizards including my Kroxigor killed and didn’t injure a single orc…

Some photos – see captions for details.

Trumpeter Salute 2017 was last weekend in Vancouver and was a lot of fun. Lots of different games, a chance to see folks I only ever see at Trumpeter, and I ran a Pulp Alley game that was a blast and greatly enjoyed by all six players. I haven’t processed the photos from that yet, so I’ll do another post this weekend about that show.

Trumpeter Salute 2017 This Friday!

Bit quiet around here but I’ve been busy painting up a storm for my Trumpeter Salute 2017 game!

“The Faithful of Dagon” will feature several competing sects of fishmen, some human cultists, and various other factions all competing to recover things Man Was Not Meant To Know, all powered by the Pulp Alley rules. Look for it Sunday morning at Trumpeter Salute.

I’ll get the WordPresss app reinstalled and running on my smartphone before Trumpeter and try to show off some photos and such from the show, but I’m on a holiday road trip right until Friday when I rock up to Trumpeter, so posting is going to be light until then.

See you at Trumpeter, hopefully, and hope March was a productive wargaming month for you like it was for me.

Trumpeter Salute 2016 Photos

Finally got my Trumpeter Salute 2016 photos off the phone and onto Flickr a few days ago.

The full collection is over on Flickr but here’s a few favourites and highlights!

Reagan vs Ghadaffi

Saturday morning we ran a Libya vs US Navy air war scenario, based on an amped-up version of the real Gulf of Libya incidents in the mid-1980s. The Libyan MiGs humiliated the US Navy Tomcats, shooting down two and barely losing any aircraft, while blowing up the oil tanker they had come to strike!

Ain't Afraid of No Ghost!

I didn’t play in this one, but it certainly caught my eye. Rival teams of Ghostbusters (they’ve become a franchise, apparently) try to clear a haunted subway station. This was one of Lisa’s games, she always runs awesome creative games that are very welcoming to gamers of all ages!

Cold War Hot

Another 1980s based scenario for Saturday evening, this time using Martin’s awesome 6mm hex terrain to do a complex West German vs Soviet scenario. Soviet air-landing battalion vs West German home guard, then a counterattack by West German armour that runs into a spearhead group of Soviet armour coming to relieve their paratroopers! Great game and a decisive Soviet victory.

The Pulp Finale

Sunday I ran a big Pulp Alley game for six players. It was somewhere in India after the Great War, and we had rival teams of Thugee cultists (the cult wasn’t as extinct as everyone thought…), various interfering foreigners including White Russians and Red Air Pirates, and two rival British Army Lieutenants each out to prove themselves the best! It all ended in a giant brawl in the collapsing cursed temple of Kali, with the Thugee generally being seen as the winners!

As always, a great time in Vancouver. It was good to see most of the regulars there and catch up with them, and see all the great games being put on. Until next year!

Heading Home From Trumpeter Salute

Heading home from Vancouver and an excellent, exhausting weekend at the Trumpeter Salute show! Good to see most of the Trumpeter regulars, many of whom I only ever see once a year at this show.

Great games all weekend, including the six player Pulp Alley game I ran Sunday, “Terror in the Thuggee Temple”, which was a gloriously confused and messy multi-sided mess enjoyed by all.

I got a good crop of photos all weekend, including a bunch of my own pulp game, and I’ll get them edited and posted here soon!