Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Guns for Der Alte Fritz! : 28mm Front Rank Prussian SYW Artillery

Hello friends.   I hope you and yours celebrated as well a Christmas as may be hoped for in the second year of the great plague.   As the old year winds down, I’m trying to get some finished projects off the painting bench.   Here, mustered into service of my small but growing 7YW Prussian army, are two 28mm guns and gunners.  I ordered them just before Front Rank was sold by its owners to Gripping Beast, and the last time I checked the GP website the FR ranges were still unavailable, so glad I got them when I did.

Each set of four crew included the aggressively pointing officer, so I kept one of these two models in reserve for a command vignette of some sort.

These figures were painted using Foundry triad paints over a black undercoat, and I’m slowly getting comfortable with these paints.   The silver officer’s sash gave me some trouble, so in the end I painted it in white, gave it a black wash, and then picked out the raised pieces with a Citadel metallic paint (Axebreaker, I think it’s called).

The FR gun castings come with two barrels each, one I think a 12 pounder and these ones below I think are the 6 pounder versions.  I’ve painted and kept both and have not glued the barrels to the gun carriage, which I think gives me some flexibility in deploying them.  The carriages were painted somewhat expressionistically in Foundry Union Trouser Blue, which I think gives them a Prussian look.  The ground material is a latex scenic piece from Barrage Miniatures, and the backdrop is something I found after doing a Google search for “18th Century German landscapes”.

Getting ready to set up camp on the painting bench is a Prussian fusilier regiment, followed by a Prussian cuirassier regiment, and at the rate I’m painting, we may see on of these two units by February.

I’ll be back over the next few days with some last projects completed in 2021.  

Cheers and blessings to your paint brushes!


Friday, December 24, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Christmas Party

James and Mike welcomed some friends to our CWP Christmas Podparty.   We also had a special visitor, Santa Grognard, though he seemed more interested in the Moose Milk than in our Christmas wish lists.

The usual silly seasonal natter and year end predictions.  We hope it gives you a laugh and a bit of cheer.

James and Mike with you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank you for your kind interest in our podcast!


"Moose milk" is a Canadian military tradition, favoured particularly at Christmas and year end mess parties and unit "sticky floor" parties.   There are a variety of recipes, and they should be approached with extreme caution:

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Episode 8 of The Canadian Wargamer Podcast is Out

In this Edition of CWP, James and I catch up after a month off the air by recounting our adventure at Lard, Eh?, the first Canadian wargaming event (to our knowledge) dedicated exclusively to Too Fat Lardies miniatures games.  We're joined by our friend and one of Lard, Eh?'s organizers, Chris Robinson.   Our conversation covers the planning of this event in the time of plague and whether it bodes well for the reopening of the live wargaming convention scene in the Great White North.  James and I also talk about our reactions to O Group; BLUF, it's fun, it makes your noggin a bit sore trying to figure it out, but it's an exciting game and very good at putting the player in the role of a battalion commander without worrying about which section has so many 2" smoke rounds left.

In the Canadian Content Corner, we're joined by our friend Dr. Brad St. Croix, making his second appearance on CWP.  We recorded this conversation on Dec 9 (the Defence and Fall of Hong Kong began on Dec 8, 1941), so it's a fitting date to speak to Brad about his speciality, the Canadian role in Hong Kong and the way it's been obscured over the years by some unfortunate historiography.  Though Brad isn't himself a wargamer, he was a good sport and helped us work through the battle and how it might be modelled on the table top.   Rumour has it that Mike ran straight from the interview to the Peter Pig website to grab some 15mm Japanese infantry!

Continuing the CWP tradition of finishing with some relevant Canadian military music, we end the episode with the march of the Royal Rifles of Canada, one of the two gallant Canadian battalions that were destroyed in the battle.

Brad's contributions to the CWP Virtual Library:

Tony Banham, Not the Slightest Chance: The Defence of Hong Kong, 1941.  UBC Press, 2003.

Marc Milner, Stopping the Panzers: The Untold Story of D-Day. U of Kansas Press, 2014.

Review on Stopping the Panzers: https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1908&context=cmh

Info on Our Guests:

Chis' Blog: http://twothreesixmm.blogspot.com

Chis on Twitter: @LegendaryNoize

Dr. Brad St. Croix on Twitter: @OTDCanMilHis

Brian Hall: @Brian34586884

Brad's You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQZZQKAo8CqUzsUoOhuQdYw

Brad's Patreon Page:


Brad talks with the Juno Beach Centre about Hong Kong:


Closing Music:

"I'm Ninety Five": Quick March of the Royal Rifles of Canada: https://youtu.be/9DGOCtbJg48

Royal Rifles of Canada:



Saturday, December 18, 2021

Playing Lasalle with 3D printed 6mm Naps

“Hey, Mike, want a free army?”   That wasn’t how I’m usually greeted by V, the owner of my Friendly Local Gaming Store, and I was immediately suspicious, as V is a canny operator who has managed to stay in the retail hobby business for decades.   

“What’s the catch?”  I asked warily.

“No catch”, V said cheerfully, “you just have to paint it.”    V, who is a tireless (and sometimes cranky ball of energy), is an historical gamer at heart, even though the bulk of his business is a carefully balanced supply of action figures, GW kit, Airsoft gear, and Eurogames.   He’s also a born again 3D printer, has just bought a ton of .STL files, and proudly showed off a mass of 6mm figures that he’s recently stamped out.  Here is a stand of Spanish infantry in their distinctive bicornes.   As you can see, they are designed in the same block style that Warlord uses for their 18mm ACW and Napoleonic range, though less detailed.

And from the back.   The legs are not terribly distinct, and they are very well equipped for Spanish troops, but shouldn’t be that hard to paint.   

The .STL files also include a command stand (front left in the photo below), not terribly say to see in the black primer that V has used.   A command stand and three rank and file units make up a unit of foot in Sam Mustafa’s LaSalle rules, which V wants to use to play large battles.

Here are some photos of a LaSalle battle that V and I played this last Monday, an Anglo-Dutch army below facing off against the French.  V has painted enough figures to have a decent battle, and at 6mm, seen while looking down at the table while standing, they look perfectly acceptable.


LaSalle was new to me, though I’ve played Blucher and the concepts are generally familiar to anyone with some experience of Sam Mustafa’s games.  The game allows some tactical choices, while the fluid turn sequence, in which players can pass the initiative back and forth while spending momentum points (of which there are never enough) keeps things interesting.

The cavalry in V’s STL files print singly and look good enough when based, though they are all guys in shakos and swords, so it’s rather generic.

I agreed to take four of the Spanish stands home to test paint.   My own 6mm collection is single based, which work well for games like Blucher and TFL’s GdA.    Forunately they are about the same length as V’s bases in mass formation.

And two bases of my figures placed end to end equal’s V’s four bases formed in line, so our collections are roughly compatible.   V is quite pleased that I have large, ready painted French and Austrian armies (and apparently the makings of a Spanish army) so I think our two collections are generally interoperable.

I can happily foresee some H2H 6mm gaming in the new year, barring another lockdown.  It’s looking rather grim here a the moment.

Blessings, my friends.


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Getting to Grip with Honours of War

Hello friends:

As I’ve said here recently, the SYW painting muse has captured my attention lately, and her sister muse of SYW gaming paid a visit recently.    As I’ve been slowly painting Prussians and rebasing a rather old collection of Russians, I’ve been slowly getting to know Keith Flint’s Honours of War SYW rules, published a few years ago by Osprey.

SYW was one of my early gaming loves, and back in the day the group I hung out with had two favourite rules.  The grognards all liked Phil Barker’s Wargamer Rules 1685-1845 (WRG), while the young turks preferred Tod Kershner’s Warfare in the Age of Reason rules (Emperor’s Press).  Both were hugely influential rules in their day, and I suspect most people would point to Black Powder as their most prominent heir and successor.  I confess I’ve only played BP once and didn’t find it terribly compelling, but can’t offer a fair and comprehensive opinion.

I had been following Keith Flint’s wargames blog for some years and so was tracking his own SYW rules and even received a playtest copy, though at the time my life was complex and my gaming time quite limited, so I put it aside,   I was also discouraged by the fact that the National Characteristics didn’t include the Ottomans, as for some reason I’d found myself with a Turkish horse and musket army.  

Recently I’ve been rebasing my Russian SYW troops from their WRG-era bases and putting everything on standard size bases, since most rules these days seem basing agnostic and I can’t be bothered cutting fancy and precise bases for skirmishers vs heavy cavalry.   I sound like a grumpy old git, but there you go.   Feeling that I’d made enough progress to get some troops on the table, I divided my Russians into two forces, each of two very small brigades, just to push some figures around and get a feel for the rules.

Clearly wanting to modernize their thinking, the Russian army stages a mock battle on the drill fields outside Moscow.   Both sides have a brigade of two horse units, and both have a brigade with two batteries, a light infantry regiment, and a line regiment.  All units are rated as Standard and all commanders are rated as Dependable, just to make the test drive easier.

In some of the reviews I’ve read, people don’t like the initiative and command and control,system, and others like it.  I'm in the latter camp.  I liked the uncertainty of which brigade gets to move first, which breaks up the chess-like feel that SYW games sometimes have.   I also liked the fact that an average or good commander might get two moves in a turn, vs another brigade’s none, which introduces a very fluid feel.   

As others have noted, the game uses the same results table for Fire and Melee combat, which combined with fairly few factors makes it a quick study.   Units are rated as Inferior, Standard, or Superior, depending on their troop type and national characteristics.   Units suffer degraded performance once they take thee hits from shooting or melee, must retreat at four hits, and are removed from the table at five hits. Here hussars (Front Rank) and my newly painted cuirassiers (Foundry), each already with two hits, collide, each deals three hits, and both units are done.   It’s all quite bloody and fast.  I might have rated the hussars as Inferior and the Cuirassiers as Superior, just to make it more interesting.

You'll see a bit of a WRG hangover in these bases, as the hussars on the left are based on larger bases to depict light cavalry, while the figures on the right are on the generic 40mm square base that I now use for all my stands.

Another feature about the Fire and Melee table is that it uses average dice.  I had to beg some off a kind friend, as I'm not mentally agile enough to adjust the dice AND the modifiers in my head.  As my friend warned, don't let those average dice get mixed in with your regular d6 dice or you could have poor luck rolling sixes when you need them!

What keeps units on the table is their ability to rally if not closely threatened by enemy units, and especially if close to their Commanding General (a clever mechanic is that each turn players can relocate their Commanding General, which can aid a key part of the battle by increasing a brigadier's performance and helping units in the Rally Phase at the end of each turn.  Units with four hits must retire from the fight and reform, which takes time, provided that they are protected by fresh units, which is another nice mechanic.

The line regiment on the right in this photo will lose the fight because it’s being whittled down by one of the guns to the left and by the fire of the light infantry.   As some players have noted, light infantry can seem unduly powerful in this game, unless one remembers that they should usually be fielded as small units and as Inferior troops, so they shouldn’t be left in the open.   Here I had meant to retire the lights through the line infantry on the left, but at the key moment discovered the rule preventing voluntary interpenetration of units if they begin their move within 20cm of an enemy unit.   This is why we train, to learn things like this.

Luigi the Catbeast of Muscovy declares ENDEX and all troops return to barracks for extra vodka while their officers must attend a long and tedious AAR conducted by the Observer/Controller staff.

People have been writing reviews about HoW for a few years now so I have little to add that’s new.  Quick final thoughts:

- Simple, highly playable rules that still give a convincing SYW feel.

- I like the Command and Control and Initiative Rules, very clever and they give a very fluid feel that would keep players on their toes.

- As others have noted, it’s a game that I think is best played with large numbers of units.  With only 6 units a side, as I found, it’s over very quickly and the tactical choices are fairly limited.   I think the simplicity of these rules makes them a good choice for larger battles.    I’m starting to regret my choice of 28mm for this period, but I’m too far in to go back on that decision.

- These rules are well supported by the author and have their own forum, which isn’t true of all the Osprey blue series rules titles I’ve seen.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have more to say about these rules in posts to come as I get more units on the table.  

Blessings to your dice rolls!



Monday, November 29, 2021

A Lard Day in the Frozen North


Saturday, Nov 27th, may have been the first miniatures gaming day ever organized in Canuckistan to celebrate Too Fat Lardies games.   The event was the brainchild of Chris Robinson (@LegendaryNoize, www.twothresixmm.blogspot.com) and Barnaby Ore (Hamilton Tabletop Gaming Society) for pulling it all together.   Barnaby is one of the organizers of the Hamilton miniatures event Broadsword from years past, and used the same venue, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Veterans’ hall out in the gritty east end of Hamilton, Ontario.   It was a good venue and offered all we needed.  Two large rooms were more than enough room for socially-distanced tables, and there was a bar open downstairs for those so inclined.

Everyone work masks and had to show proof of vaccination, and since almost all of us were of a certain age, sensible, and moderately at risk to COVID, there was good compliance and no grumbling.

I arrived half way through the day, as duties in the parish in the morning came first, but arrived in time to catch up with some old friends over lunch.   So good to see them for the first time since the plague years came upon us.

Keith Burnett of KEGS (Kent Essex Gaming Society) is always good for a flying game, and offered a beautiful Great War flying game using TFL’s Algernon rules.   Three Canadian aces (Barker, Bishop and Collishaw in his signature Sopwith Triplane) cleared the skies of a variety of gaudy Huns. This time the Germans were the Twenty Minuters.


Many of the games had Canadian themes but not all of them.  Thomas S. ran a Chain of Command Barbarossa game, “Showdown at Yartsevo”.   

 Roger C offered a cracking War of 1812 Sharp Practice game,”Raid on McCrea’s House, or The King’s Cowboys”, featuring Canadian settlers and militia trying to gather the harvest and save the livestock from US ruffians.

 US ruffians, who were rumoured to have been “sampling the local hooch”.

 Locals defend the fence line.  That donkey on the far left might be US troops in disguise.

 Sean M introduced folks to TFL's newish Infamy, Infamy rules, a scenario entitled “Hard Brexit” featuring Romans against Britons, whose battlecry was “Romani Ite Domum”.  Once again, the battle seemed to involve livestock.  On the left in the photo below is Chris H in the red shirt and Alex McCutcheon, our most recent Canadian Wargamer Podcast guest.

 Romans and Britons debating trade barriers and immigration quotas.

 Finally, Brian Hall offered a chance to try TFL/Dave Brown’s O Group rules in a scenario called Bounce the Seine.   In an historic scenario from August, 1944, a Canadian brigade has a tenuous bridgehead and is trying to break out and deny the high ground to German artillery and spotters.   Brian’s 6mm table was quite intricate.

 This was my game of choice.  I took the Germans, commanding a Luftwaffe infantry regiment with some artillery and armour support, tasked with holding the key village of Sottesville in the centre of the the table against the railway embankment.  Here my old chum and dastardly rival James Manto (@JamesManto4), aka Colonel Canuck, plots his attack.



We both enjoyed our introduction to Group.  While Brian was an able instructor, I think James and I agreed that this is a complex game that requires a significant investment at the front end, but we both felt that we were actually commanding at the battalion/regimental level.   There was never enough actions (called orders) to do everything that we wanted, and as James found, it was easy to get sucked into a firefight and forget that there were other assets to hand that could be maneuvered to intervene, flank, and exploit.  Now that I have some sense of how it plays, I definitely want to work on learning it at home.

Some of the chaps stayed for a curry dinner, but as I had a two hour drive with threatening snow and an early morning, I left around 6:15pm, trusting my GPS to get me out of the labyrinthine east end of Hamilton.   

Big props, kudos, and cheers to the organizers of LardEh.   It’s a significant step in the Ontario gaming scene, and I hope it leads to other Lard -themed events.    If you like, there is a Canadian TFL themed group on Facebook, Frozen Lard, where you can connect with other Canadian Lardies and see more pics of these games.

Cheers and blessings to your dice!


Monday, November 22, 2021

Lady Rathbone's Raiders: Some Pulp Figures

Have you ever painted figures just for the fun of it, without a really clear idea of what they were going to be for?  

That was my motive for painting these five 28mm figures from two-fisted Canadian sculptor, Bob Much, proprietor of Pulp Figures.  This set, called Lady Rathbone’s Raiders, had just been released and somehow snuck it’s way into my shopping cart on my last trip to Bob’s site.

Faithful readers of this blog will know that I am partial to Pulp Figures, and have painted a lot of them for my Rockies Ablaze project.   However, these figures seem kitted out to take on a dangerous tropical paradise, so I don’t really have a clear use for them at present.


 Nevertheless, I like the strength and whimsy of these figures, as well as their racial diversity.   Not sure who Lady R is, but like a good pulp character, she has an exotic and varied crew at her back.  I also enjoy painting unique figures, which feels like a painting adventure, free of the dull constraints of the same uniform X 20 or X30, though these figures mostly ended up in predictable military colours, except for the Lucy Liu-is sword lady, who got a treatment of Citadel/GW contrast paints.



Perhaps they are on a rescue mission to find Amelia Earhart?    That sounds like a pulp tale in the making.  Now, to find some tropical islanders and perhaps Imperial Japanese sailors and soldiers?   That sounds like a fun project in embryo. 


Thanks for looking and blessings to your die rolls!




Wednesday, November 17, 2021

New Troopers for the Czar: Foundry SYW Russian Cuirassiers

There was much excitement here last week as a small package from Madrid arrived in my post box.   I’ve become a tiresome convert to Adolfo Ramos’ flags, I think he’s simply the best in the business, and his presentation flags mounted on poles with the tasselly things are the bees knees, if you don’t mind paying a little more and waiting a little longer.  This is my third order from Adolfo and I’m a huge fan.

All of these are for SYW units in the painting queue, starting with the newly finished Kievsky Regiment of Cuirassiers.    Seeing as the standard bearer is cast holding the standard pole, I ordered the 25 and 15mm versions to be cautious, and was pleased that I did so, for it was the 15mm flag that fit.

 A warm spring day on the parade field as the newly raised unit is mustered into service under the watchful eyes of several generals.

 Father Piotr Mikhailovich blesses the banners and prays that they will fight well for their God and for their Czar.  The Orthodox priest is a figure painted and given to me years back by my friend and podcast partner James Manto.

 “May God bless you with good dice rolls!"

 The regiment passes in review.   These are Foundry figures, I purchased six of them years ago in a bring and buy, and recently bought another six to make up the unit when the SYW bug returned.     I think Foundry SYW figures are even better than Front Rank for the detail and animation of the faces.


This regiment gives my Russian army some badly needed hitting power in its cavalry arm.  Now back to the Prussians who have several regiments and a battery in the queue, along with impatient Alte Fritz and his staff! 

Thanks for looking.  Blessings to your brushes!


Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday Fantasy: Thistle and Rose Barbarian Raider Cavalry

These four rough and smelly riders are finished and mustered into the ranks of the wild Dunlending hillmen opposing the Kingdom of Rohan for my Lord of the Rings gaming.   These are 28mm sculpts from the Vendel catalogue that was taken over a few years ago by Thistle and Rose miniatures.  I have quite a few of their hillmen foot counterparts, which I’ve collected to use as allies of my Isengard orc and Uruk army in the service of Saruman, so it’s nice to have a small mounted capability for my Dunlendings.

 These are very basic sculpts, with minimal detail, but they have their own old schoo charm, rather similar to Minifigs in style.    The horses supplied are likewise very basic, without a ton of detail.   Because they’re such simple minis, I painted them much more quickly and basically then I usually do for, say, Seven Years War figures.   I had to drill out the hands to fit the spears supplied with the minis.


I don’t imagine that the Dunlendings would have mustered many horsemen.   As I imagine it, they’ve been pushed into the hills  and lower mountains over the centuries by the Rohirrim, fighting a guerrilla war against Rohan’s border forts and garrisons, and retreating where the Horse Lords’ cavalry can’t reach them.  They would likely have a small number of sturdy, smaller horses suited to the rough country and useful for raiding the occasional village.  As you can see by the one shield, they have received some arms and pay from Isengard, who find the Dunlendings useful for keeping Rohan off guard.

One of the sets of rules I want to use for this sort of fighting is the Dux rules by Too Fat Lardies, and in the Dux the Raiders supplement there is some provision for small bands of raider cavalry, so these chaps will do nicely.  Those sheep a few posts back are now in a lot more danger!


Thanks for looking and blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Episode 7 Is Out

Podcast Notes for Episode 7:

In CWP Episode 7, James and Mike talk to Canadian wargames manufacturer Alex McCutcheon of Full Battle Rattle Miniatures.   Alex has brought his soldier's knowledge of the contemporary Canadian Army together with a talented sculptor to create a boutique label of gorgeous 28mm miniatures for gaming the Canadians (and their adversaries) in Afghanistan.   There's even a LAV 3!

We talk with Alex about his nervy decision to put his own money into the business, and get some mouth-watering hints as to where he might go next (1885 NorthWest Rebellion, anyone?).   We also talk about Alex's love of skirmish gaming, his crazy on again off again GW girlfriend, and a really interesting crossover of tabletop gamers and scale model builders in the Toronto area called Sword and Brush.

In the Canadian Content Corner, James and I convene a blue ribbon panel to discuss the new Dutch film The Forgotten Battle, because how many times in a lifetime do we get to see a film about Canadians in the Battle of the Scheldt (which could oversell what the film actually delivers)?  We're joined by grizzled grognard and Canadian Army vet Brian Hall, and by that rising phenom of Canadian military history, the newly minted Doctor, Brad St. Croix, to talk about what the film got right and wrong.  We end the conversation with some thoughts on how we would advise Steven Spielberg if he came to us with a hockey sock full of money and a desire to give the Canadians in WW2 a proper screening.

Links from this month's podcast:

Full Battle Rattle Miniatures: https://fullbattlerattleminiatures.com

Sword and Brush:  Canada's Premiere Tabletop Wargaming and Miniature Painting Expo: https://swordandbrush.ca

Lords of War Games Store, Oakville: https://lordsofwargames.com

Sword and Board Games Store, Toronto: https://www.theswordandboardtoronto.com

Alex's Contributions to the Canadian Wargamer Podcast Digital Library:

Mark Zuehlke,  Opration Husky, The Canadian Invasion of Sicily https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B003Z9JMS4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Robert Semrau, The Taliban Don't Wave https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B003Z9JMS4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Canadian Content Corner

Our Guests:

Dr. Brad St. Croix: @OTDCanMilHis

Brian Hall: @Brian34586884

Brad's You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQZZQKAo8CqUzsUoOhuQdYw

Brad's Patreon Page:


Brad's conversation with Mark Zeuhlke on the Scheldt: https://youtu.be/XGpDwvk5uUc

The Forgotten Battle (2020 Dutch Film): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forgotten_Battle

The Battle of the Scheldt: https://www.bing.com/search?q=battle%20of%20the%20scheldt&FORM=ATUR01&PC=ATUR&PTAG=ATUR01RAND

Closing Music:

Royal Regiment of Canada March Past: https://youtu.be/ylAiGTAc8sA

Royal Regiment of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/military-history/history-heritage/official-military-history-lineages/lineages/infantry-regiments/royal-regiment.html


Contact Us:

Mike: madpadre@gmail.com








Tuesday, November 9, 2021

May Sheep Safely Graze? Some Table Livestock

A bit of a backlog of finished figures to show off this week.  I’ll start with these 28mm eight sheep from Wargamer Foundry.  They’re Foundry’s code GPR066 Flock of Sheep.  They’ll be useful as tabletop scatter, objective markers for Dark Ages /LOTR gaming (“what about them sheep?  They look tasty!”), and so forth.

 I’ve painted them as per the sheep from the box art of Yorkshire Tea, which is the household staple here.   Fairly quick and dirty, but they’re not baaaaaaad.  (You knew there would be a sheep pun here, didn’t you?). 

Someone on Twitter said that they were just Warhammer Fantasy Battles Beastmen in disguise, which I thought was quite clever!

Nothing more to say about these guys, so I’ll just flock off.

Cheers and thanks for looking,



Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Episode 6 Is Out!


OK, it’s been out for a month or so, but I just realized that I’ve forgotten to blog it until now.   Here’s the link:

And here are the pod notes.   If you listen to the podcast, please like, comment, and recommend.  Cheers,  Mike

Part One: “The Kids In The Hall”:

Our interview with guests, Jacob Stauttener and Evan Switzer, borrows its title from the 1990s Canadian comedy show, "The Kids in the Hall".   Two (youngish) grandads, call us The Airfix Generation, put two (youngish) gamers, call them The GW Generation, on the spor to talk about generational differences and crossovers.

We talk about crossovers from the kind of turnkey gaming systems that young gamers find in a Games Workshop store to more "obscure" (shhhh, don't use that word around James!) games.  We talk about the appeal of creative and collaborative projects such as Evan's role in The Ninth Age, a player-driven continuation of the old Warhammer Fantasy system.  We also wonder if old gamers, like old church people, can stop clutching their pearls about "Where are the young people" and trust that the next generation will find its way into the hobby and make it their own.  And that's a good thing, we conclude.

Stuff mentioned in Part One:

Jacob’s Must Contain Minis website:  www.mustcontainminis.com

Also look for Jacob’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_dq-xyb2a9bgYKwD9gqTUg


Evan’s Ninth Age Project:

https://www.the-ninth-age.com/community/filebase/index.php?download/3990/ download link for one of our 'full books' we did for ninth age. good example of the quality we're striving for.

Evan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/switz.hobbies.1

Other Stuff Mentioned in This Interview:

Bell of Lost Souls:  www.belloflostsouls.net

Jacob on Bell of Lost Souls:  www.belloflostsouls.net/ author/jwstauttener

Laurentian TableTop Gaming Group: https://laurentiantabletoporganization.blogspot.com


Universal Battle Software:  www.universalbattle2.com

Critical Hit Gaming Lounge, Oshawa, ON:  www.criticalhitgaminglounge.com

Game Chamber Store, London, ON:  www.thegamechamber.com


Jacob’s Digital Library Contributions:

Joseph A. McCullough, Frostgrave, 2nd Edition, Osprey Press

Blood and Plunder: The Collector’s Edition Rulebook, Firelock Games


Evan’s Digital Library Contributions:

Nathan M. Greenfield, The Damned: The Canadians At the Battle of Hong Kong and the POW Experience, Harper Collins, 2010.

Brent Watson, Far Eastern Tour: The Canadian Infantry in Korea, 1950-1953.  McGill Queens University Press, 2007.


Part Two:  Canadian Content Corner. 

Brad, aka @OTDCanMilHis, as a guest on WW2TV

Ask Me Anything on Canadian military history



Mike speaks with Alastair Nichols, author of  ellington's Switzers: The Watteville Regiment  about European redcoats in Upper Canada in the War of 1812.


Alastair's book is available for purchase at https://kentrotman.co.uk


3) Whats Going On In Canada

- True North LardEhs Game Day #1

- November 27, 2021

- 9:30am-7pm

- Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Veterans Association Hall, Hamilton, Ontario

- intend for 2 timeslots of (at least) 4 TFL games per timeslot

- trying for curry dinner!



4) Closing Music:

Slow March of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery


Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery at Buckingham Palace



Contact Us:

Mike: madpadre@gmail.com








Saturday, October 30, 2021

Getting Biblical: A New Project

Hello friends:

I’ve been in a bit of a blogging funk lately but I thought I should shake it off to report that I seem to have been bitten by the biblical bug.   Normally I’m quite reluctant to pick up a new period or scale.  In fact, I’ve recently purged my quite large 20mm WW2 collection to force myself to focus more on fewer projects.   However, for some reason, I found myself ordering these three books.


(Annoyingly, the bottom two books disappeared without a trace.   My wife said with a stricken face that she may have scooped them up in a stack of recycled magazines, so the Assyrian book is reordered from Osprey).  

So why ancient biblical armies?   Partly it’s because I’ve been listening a lot to the Mad Axeman podcasts.  Tim Porter and his crew make ancients gaming sound like too much fun, and all a bit mad, really.   I confess I’ve never been that sold on the idea of ancients gaming.  Line up two mobs with stabby pointy things, sound a horn, they all run at one another and bish bosh one side or another runs away.   I’m intrigued enough now to have a go myself.

Also, as a wargaming vicar, it really just seems like something I should do.   Recently I taught a course on the Book of Isaiah, and had to restrain myself from telling my students too much about the military details, though they are in themselves fascinating.   The 7th century BCE has loads of interest, perhaps starting with the Assyrians, the apex predator of the period, but there is of course the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Syria or Aram and its various city states, and Egypt to the south, so quite a few armies and possible matchups.  Of course, the idea that all these armies have chariots makes it appealing (see 2 Kings 9.20).

So what rules to use?  Again, to thank Tim and the Mad Axeman crew, the new edition of ADLG seems worth a look, and it’s many army lists will help me, a newcomer to the period, figure out the basic troop types and which army looks like what.

 I reached out to Tim on Twitter and asked his advice on figure manufactures, of which there are many. To field largish armies and to make the painting faster, 15mm seemed the best scale.  I settled on Fighting 15s / Gladiator Miniatures, ordering a bunch of fairly generic infantry and a variety of two horse chariots with a variety of armoured and unarmored crew.  This should be enough to flesh out Syrian and Hebrew armies with some Bedouin allies.    I’ll add the Assyrians on a subsequent purchase.  Here are some test figures almost done.   

It’s a back burner project for now but a pleasant change of pace.

Cheers and thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Rockies Ablaze, Part Three

 This post picks up where Part Two of The Rockies Ablaze left off. Part One can be found here.

Near Camrose, Alberta, February, 1937.

The morning after Frenchy Lamoreux’s visit, Sgt. Bill Craighurst set off for the mountains.  It was a calm, bright winter day, and he figured he could make it to Indian River and back before dark.   From Frenchy’s account, he wanted to have a word with Ratko Gligic, the person of interest in the disappearance of Scotty Grainger.   Craighurst relished the chance to get away from the post and breathe the mountain air, and Laurier, his massive Husky, was clearly delighted to be trotting along.

 The Mountie stopped first at Grainger’s cabin, which as he expected was cold and empty.  There was no sign that it had been ransacked.  Everything was tidy and orderly, like the man himself.  He reached Gligic’s ramshackle place shortly before noon, and saw faint smoke rising from the chimney.  Craighurst dismounted, tethered his horse, and approached cautiously, studying the cabin.   Other than the trace of smoke, there was no sign of life.

 Craighurst didn’t see the trap until he was on top of it, but his natural dexterity allowed him to throw himself aside before his foot descended on the touch plate.

 He was still lying in the snow when he heard a snarl, a shout, and a fusilade of shots as Gligic stormed out of his shack.   Craighust felt a bullet pass through his Stetson as he crawled behind the shelter of Gligic’s woodpile, dragging his rifle by the sling.   “Ratko, calm down!  I’m just here to talk!"

“Go away!  Leave me alone!  I kill you!”   From the thick Slavic accent, it was clearly Gligic.

A bullet slammed into the woodpile.   Craighurst chambered a round as a precaution, but thought talking was still better than shooting.  “I just want to talk about Scotty Grainger.  Where’s Scotty?"

“Wasn’t me!  It was him, the wolf!  The wolf gets him!"

“What wolf, Ratko?”  

“Wolf with red eyes!  He get you too!"

This conversation was clearly going no where.   Craighurst gave a hand signal to Laurier, who trotted off behind the cabin.  Another shot, and a volley of Balkan curses.  “You go now, bastard!  I kill you!  Wolf kill you!”   

A snarl and a shout told the Mountie that eighty pounds of Husky had pulled down the trapper.   Craighust raced over, rifle at the ready, putting his boot firmly on Gligic’s pistol.   “Good boy, Laurier.   Now, talk sense, Ratko.   Tell me about Grainger.   What’s all this about a wolf?"

Spittle flecked Gligic’s beard and his eyes were rolling in his head.  He spoke in a kind of keening moan now.  “The wolf!   The wolf!   He coming.   He coming now.  He eat you up!”  As the prospector’s voice tailed off, a snarling growl came from deep within Laurier as the big dog bristled and bared his teeth.    Craighurst’s rifle came up, following the direction of the dog’s muzzle.

Craighurst’s gaze locked with a pair of deep-set, coal red eyes as his brain tried to make sense of the upright figure crouched in the trees, a hundred yards from him across a small clearing.

 Time seemed to freeze.  The figure in the trees was as motionless as Craighurst’s rifle.  Sensing his moment, Gligic scrambled to his feet and ran towards the woods.   The Mountie wasn’t going to shoot a man in the back, and he wasn’t going to take his sights off the strange creature across from him.   By the time his eyes flicked back from the fleeing suspect, the apparition in the trees was gone.

Craighurst slowly exhaled, and lowered his rifle slightly as one thought kept going through his brain.  Wolves dont walk on their hind legs!

 Moving slowly, his senses on full alert, the Mountie crossed the clearing, searching for the tracks of the creature he had seen.  Gligic wouldn’t go far, he could be easily be picked up later, or killed, if that was how he wanted to go out  A skilled naturalist and woodsman, Craighurst had no difficulty finding and identifying the tracks in the snow.   They were the hind feet of a wolf, as deep set in the snow as any man’s, and only the rear feet.  After several hundred feet, they tracks went to four feet as if the creature wanted to make more speed.  So damned big, he thought.

Craighurst noted the sun’s position, and calculated the remaining hours of daylight.  Just enough to get back to town, he thought.  He’d be back tomorrow, and he wouldn’t be coming alone.

(Figures by Bob Murch from his Pulp Figures range. Werewolf by Reaper.  Cabin by 4Ground).




Blog Archive