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, 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:

Sword and Brush:  Canada's Premiere Tabletop Wargaming and Miniature Painting Expo:

Lords of War Games Store, Oakville:

Sword and Board Games Store, Toronto:

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

Mark Zuehlke,  Opration Husky, The Canadian Invasion of Sicily

Robert Semrau, The Taliban Don't Wave

Canadian Content Corner

Our Guests:

Dr. Brad St. Croix: @OTDCanMilHis

Brian Hall: @Brian34586884

Brad's You Tube Channel:

Brad's Patreon Page:

Brad's conversation with Mark Zeuhlke on the Scheldt:

The Forgotten Battle (2020 Dutch Film):

The Battle of the Scheldt:

Closing Music:

Royal Regiment of Canada March Past:

Royal Regiment of Canada:


Contact Us:






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:

Also look for Jacob’s YouTube channel:


Evan’s Ninth Age Project: 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:

Other Stuff Mentioned in This Interview:

Bell of Lost Souls:

Jacob on Bell of Lost Souls: author/jwstauttener

Laurentian TableTop Gaming Group:

Universal Battle Software:

Critical Hit Gaming Lounge, Oshawa, ON:

Game Chamber Store, London, ON:


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


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:






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