Huzzah! 2023 – my recap and photos of my 3 Wars of Ozz and 2 Feudal Patrol Games

As I wind down from Memorial Day weekend activities, I wanted to share some of my photos from the Huzzah! 2023 gaming convention. I ran 5 games there – two Wars of Ozz games on Friday, two Feudal Patrol games based on the Spanish Conquest in Mesoamerica games on Saturday, and a final Wars of Ozz game on Sunday. Each game slot was 4 hours long.

As usual, setting up and running a convention game (let alone 5) takes away from being a photographer. In the end, I want the games to take priority – and find a moment or two to take some shots for you, my readers. I do not have a good play-by-play to share, but I will give you the general gist of the games and hopefully the pics will suffice – there are a lot here.

If you like wargames photos – or you were at Huzzah! 2023 – this post is up your alley!

As background, the Huzzah! 2023 gaming convention was held in South Portland, ME, from May 19th to May 21st. It is run annually by the Maine Historical Wargamers Association (MWHA). There are two Facebook pages associated with the group, one is for the MWHA and one for the Huzzah! convention that you can access.

I arrived early Friday the 19th – around 11 AM – so that I could check into my hotel and move all my stuff from my very full car into my room and get my first game set up for 2 PM. Unfortunately, the hotel would not let ANYONE check in before 3 PM – and yes, that was during my game slot. The staff of the hotel claimed that they needed to keep rooms free for flight crews (not the fault of MWHA btw). In any case, my car was not packed such that I could just grab stuff and go – and after a bit of transloading in the parking lot I got my stuff into the convention space and set up my first 6-player Wars of Ozz game. The table was smaller than I had planned – and had a lot of figures on it, but with all of the scrambling, I made it work.

Friday Afternoon Wars of Ozz Game

I set up all of my Ozz games as “meeting engagements”. The idea was to expose the players to the rules and for them to have a fun and straightforward game. In the first game, on the “bad guys side” I had a brigade of Gillikins (loaned to me for the convention by my friend Chris Comeau), my brigade of Winkies, and another Winkie brigade (loaned to me for the convention by my friend Chris Palmer of the Maryland HAWKS club). On the other side I had my Great Land of Harvest Brigade, my Munchkin Brigade, and a Quadling Brigade (also from Chris Palmer), At future conventions, I should have enough of my own Ozz troops, but thanks to the two Chris’s, and Eric Schlegel (the HAWK who brought the Maryland-based figures m to the convention), I was set. Each player had a brigade – and here below are some shots of the action.

The players ready to play. The bases with more than 1 building represent towns.
Brad advances his Lesser Apes and Winkies.
A view of “the good guys” side – from nearest to furthest are the Great Land of Harvest Brigade, the Quadling Brigade, and the Munchkin Brigade. Some of the units will be the subject of future posts (I had not had enough time before HUZZAH!).
A Winkie zilk-riding regiment is disordered after fighting and routing the Great Pumpkin Heads. Moving up to challenge the Winkie cavalry is the Carrot Creature Regiment – supported by both Mushroom Creature and Corn Creature regiments. You can also see the Great Pumpkin Heads routing to their right.
Carrot Creatures and Winkie cavalry are disordered after melee. A Harvest Witch prepares a spell.
The Great Owl regiment attacks and disrupts the Gillikin goat-riding cavalry in front of Munchkin infantry. The Gillikin cavalry had just routed the Munchkin Light Cavalry at the top of the picture.
Munchkin infantry and artillery move up – while Munchkin cavalry continues to flee the battle.
Later, the Winkie cavalry broke the Carrot, Corn, and Mushroom Creature regiments. Unfortunately the Harvest player’s dice were set on rolling badly – very badly.
In the middle of the battle, Quadlings and Lesser Apes collide – while the other Winkie cavalry moves forward.
The aftermath of the Quadling/Ape scrum was a routed Quadling infantry.

The first game was an overwhelming bad guy victory. I reset the game, finally got checked into my room, and prepared for the next band of players. As for dinner – a bag of crackers and a Coke had to suffice for the time being.

Friday Night Wars of Ozz Game

When I reset the game, I removed some of the terrain to alter it a bit. I also deployed the forces closer to each other. Here below are some shots of this game.

The game 2 players – and yes the gentleman on the left middle (James) played again – in fact he played in all 5 of my games! This game had several of the “Berkshire Boys” playing, as well as Sam and Matt who are veterans of many of my convention games.
As before, the Great Pumpkin Heads made contact with the enemy first, and again they were routed! This time though the Harvest troops fought better.
An overview of the battlefield.
Some Winkies advance – while others are routed…
The battle develops – and the casualties (on the blue tablecloth) mount.
Forces of good and evil collide!
With a bold move, Sam fly’s her regiment of Great Flying Apes towards the Quadlings and Munchkins.
The Munchkin Light Cavalry hits the Great Flying Apes.
The end of the game (due to the hall closing!).

At the game’s end, the bad guys had the advantage – but the tide was (in my opinion) turning in favor of the good guys. All had fun in these first two games.

At this point, I grabbed another Coke, a bag of Goldfish crackers, and a microwaveable frozen mini-pizza for the room, and crashed.

Saturday Morning Feudal Patrol Game – The Battle of Centla

The next morning, I got in early and set up my next game – the Battle of Centla. This is a Feudal Patrol skirmish game based on the first encounter between the Conquistadores and the Maya (Cortes would later fight the Aztecs).

I again sold out! It was nice to have a full table.

The players assemble on Saturday morning.
Leif and Brad – veterans of the game – brief their teams and strategize.
The Spanish advance towards the Maya city. Their victory conditions were to get to the city, or inflict excessive casualties on the Maya, or to incapacitate their leader, Tabscoob. To win, the Maya needed to inflict excessive casualties on the Conquistadores, incapacitate Cortes, or just avoid any Spanish victory conditions being met by the game’s end.
Brad advances his warband led by Alvarado.
Alvarado (red hair at bottom left) sends his war dog at the Maya in the bushes.
Maya atlatls hit the Spanish advancing on the middle road.
The Spanish players coordinate their actions.
As the Spanish move toward the city, the Maya take up a defensive position astride the jungle path.
The Maya get timely (and lucky) reinforcements to confront the Spanish bringing a smile to Michelle.
The Spanish under Alvarado try to hack their way through the Maya, but are stunned by atlatl fire, slowing their advance.
In desperation, Alvarado hurls himself at the Maya, but is stunned by an atlatl hit.
Back in the middle of the table, the Spanish are near a breakthrough as well.
However, the Maya hold.
The game ends with a narrow Maya victory – the Spanish nearly succeed!

Thankfully, I was able to get this game dismantled (with a lot of help especially from Leif and Brad) and put away and moved to my final table of the weekend. Fortunately, this was going to be a BIG table – five 6′ x 3′ tables of watery battlefield – Lake Texcoco – where the Aztec capital used to be.

Saturday Evening Feudal Patrol Game – The Battle of Lake Texcoco

This game would be in the evening on Saturday – so I set up during he afternoon – all 23 war canoes (with 5-6 Aztecs inside) and 5 Spanish brigantines (with 13 or so figures in each ship). Each side gets Victory points differently. The Spanish get points for successfully firing their primitive lombards and falconets (cannon) at the city. The Aztecs get points for successfully boarding each brigantine. Both sides get points for inflicting casualties on the enemy – with the Aztecs getting more points for inflicting them than the armored Spanish do. There were 9 players.

At the start – Spanish on the right, Aztecs on the left.
The Aztec players advance their war canoes,
The Spanish players try to advance their brigantines.
The Aztecs move quickly as the Spanish do not raise their sails and instead rely on rowing.
Close up of the war canoes.
Another shot of the war canoes as they advance.
Long view of the battlefield from the other side of the table.
El Dolar is boarded!
James eyes the approaching war canoes and fires his lombard (in the stern castle obscured by the sail) at an approaching canoe.
It’s a bad scene on El Dolar – half the crew was killed or jumped overboard – plus it got damaged hitting an island.
Near the end of the battle.
The massive number of Morale pips on the dashboard of El Marcos tell a sad tale…

In the end the Spanish lost the game – as not a single shot hit the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The Spanish players were somewhat cautious in their advance but also too willing to fire valuable cannon opportunities at war canoes. While they inflicted a lot of casualties, the lack of cannon hits doomed their chances at victory. Meanwhile, the Aztecs boarded all of the brigantines, and that was the difference in points.

After a cleanup, I had help setting up Sunday morning’s upcoming Ozz game on this same table.

Sunday Morning Wars of Ozz Game

I only used 4 brigades this time as I dropped the Winkie and the Quadling brigades that I had borrowed from Chris Palmer. There was a LOT more maneuver space and several of the players were from Friday’s Ozz games. Also there was lot of action in this game as you will see below!

Ready for action!
Stephen advances the Gillikins.
The Harvest Brigade here – with the Munchkin Brigade to their right. The two opposing forces were deployed at opposite corners of the tabletop.
The Mushroom Creature Regiment enters a town.
A view of the Munchkin Brigade.
Gillikins move through and around a town with their skeleton allies.
Harvest forces try to get into the town before the Winkies.
Munchkin forces advance.
The Munchkin Medium artillery battery safely in the hard cover of the town with their infantry on the right flank.
An amazing Ozz scene as Union Civil War reenactors watch the Ozz game unfold – black powder weapons on the table and around it!
Forces close on the town.
The Harvestland artillery (the pumpkin chucker) is wiped out to a man (or pumpkinhead) by Winkie Infantry. Meanwhile, the Great Pumpkin Heads seek revenge and deploy into line.
The Great Pumpkin Heads repel the Lesser Apes.
The Great Flying Apes manage to get behind the Great Pumpkin Heads and attempt a rear hit. The GPH manage to turn to face them, but now have enemies to the front and to the rear.
A Great Pumpkin Head base close up as they are surrounded.
The GPH have had enough and rout…
On the Munchkin front, the Winkie zilk-riders attempt to charge the Munchkin Medium battery – and fail to make it – and are staring at the business end at point-blank range.
Meanwhile, Evora the Witch cast “poppies” in front of her Winkie Light battery to deter any assaults on the gun.
Gillikins have turned the flank of the Harvest left side,
The Harvest center begins to weaken.
Forces converge.
The zilk riders are smashed by the Munchkin battery and flee, pursued by the Great Owls.
The Lesser Pumpkin Heads form line, and turn to face the rear attack of the Great Flying Apes.
The Harvest left flank crumbles!

That was the end of the game as time expired. It was not really over as the Munchkins were still intact and the Winkies had taken losses too. Had it gone on longer, I expect that it would have been very close – but as it ended the Winkies and Gillikins made it a three for three weekend.

I hope that you enjoyed the photos – and I want to thank all of the MWHA folks for all of their hard work – and I want to thank the players as well. I do believe that everyone had a very good time at my games – plus I think I will see some of them at future Mass Pikemen games – and I really look forward to that!

As always, I appreciate any feedback from you in the comments section. Thanks for looking!

Cold Wars 2023 – from my view (& lots of photos!)

Last weekend the Cold Wars 2023 gaming convention was held in Valley Forge, PA at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. I participated as a game master and as a player. I ran three games of Feudal Patrol, played in two games of Wars of Ozz, and participated as a player in an American War of Independence (AWI) game. I really enjoyed the convention – and personally had some special moments as you will soon see in this post. I, a Massachusetts “carpetbagger”, am grateful once again for the welcome, hospitality, and friendship of the HAWKS club, especially Buck Surdu, Greg Priebe, Chris Palmer, Dave Wood, and Eric Schlegel – who all contributed to making my experience a memorable one. I also want to thank the players who chose to play in my games. I also must thank the HMGS staff and volunteers for making the convention work so well.

I thought the best way to share this with my readers was to focus on photographs – with a little bit of description. Some of these photos came from Chris Palmer and others on Facebook, and some are from myself.

AWI Playtest

This was on Thursday night in the HAWKS room and was a playtest of a set of rules being worked on by Buck Surdu, Chris Palmer, and Greg Priebe and other HAWKS. Basically it is taking the Wars of Ozz/Eagles and Empires engine and applying it to the AWI. I needed to set up my first game (The Battle of Centla) so that I could play on Friday morning in a Wars of Ozz game without any concerns. I played on the British side with 3 line regiments and two grenadier regiments. I had nothing but open field in front of me and a mission to take out an American gun battery that was surrounded by colonial infantry in soft cover commanded by Chris Palmer.

The set up for the AWI playtest. You can also see my Battle of Centla game all set up for Friday in the background.

I advanced my troops as quickly as possible but got shredded by canister as I git close – though I did do some – but not enough – damage to Chris.

I got trounced but it was not a situation that I think I could have attempted differently, but hey, it’s a game and a playtest at that.

…and a satisfied Chris surveys the battlefield!

Wars if Ozz – Winter of Discontent (Wars of Ozz)

This was a “bring your own brigade” game GM’d by Chris Palmer – and to help I brought both my Winkie and my Munchkin brigades in case they were needed. As it turned out, I commanded the Munchkins, and faced my own Winkies!

Several different factions are shown below.

And here are some more – click on the images for a better view:

The board was fairly open with some hills and woods in a wintery scene.

The game set up.

It was a fun game, though I felt like I was a bit torn fighting my own troops!

Moving my forces out.
Looking across to my fun opponents – here I have moved Colonel Tik-Tik’s regiment on the left into line to optimize missile fire – but the Winkie zilk-riders went into line and smashed into them.

That Winkie cavalry attacking player rolled 5 dice for hits – not a single miss (the roll was amazing) – and those hits would be doubled due to impetus. All 5 hit rolls yielded 10 hits – and that took out fully 50% of Tik-Tok’s regiment in one fell swoop. Tik-Tok routed, but I was able to rally it and keep it in the game.

While successful in their attack, the 20th Winkie Light Cavalry was now disordered – and my Munchkin battery and my own pony riding cavalry took the opportunity to hit the zilks from both the flank and the rear, and sent them into a retreat.

“Avenge our dead” – was the cry of the survivors of Colonel Tik-Tok’s infantry as their brethren close on the hated Winkie zilk riders of the 20th Winkie Light Cavalry.

The Winkies then attacked – buy mainly piecemeal – and the Munchkins were able to hold and repel both charges by the Winkie Sharpshooters and their ally the Lesser Apes. The artillerists did abandon their gun when the apes hit, but short range canister and a round of melee had already sent the Lesser Apes packing.

In the middle of the game was a big scrum between the brigade of Ice Trolls, Elves, Dark Elves, and that of the Teddy Bear Infantry, Teddy Bear Artillery, and the Toy Soldier Cavalry.

Scrum in the middle.

The game was a “good guys” victory!

The Battle of Centla (Feudal Patrol)

On Friday afternoon, I ran the Feudal Patrol game of the Battle of Centla – a battle between the Maya and the Conquistadores under Hernan Cortes.

The Spanish needed to reach the Maya city or kill 50% of the Spanish, or kill Tabscoob, the Maya leader. The Maya needed to prevent the Spanish from achieving their victory conditions, kill Cortes, or kill 50% of the Conquistadores. In the game, the Maya do get reinforcements, and the Spanish do not. Time is not on the Spanish players’ side.

I was happy to be able to use some of my new beach-adjacent jungle bases here.

The game set up – the Spanish are on the beach.
Maya moving onto the beach.
Buck Surdu joins the game replacing a departing player – and commands Cortes.

The Spanish were not initially as aggressive as I expected – though as the game progressed they did start to advance.

Buck and I confer on his troops’ data.

Unfortunately, the Spanish needed to take some risks – and Buck moved Cortes up and into the fight. This was very appropriate given the state of the game at that point. A Maya warrior got a lucky hit on him and cut off his leg – yielding a victory for the Maya. This game is very cool – I have run it several times and both sides have won in the past.

Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost (Feudal Patrol)

After the Friday afternoon game (Centla), I quickly got my next game ( this was held on Friday evening) set up with a lot of help from Buck, Dave Wood, and Greg for Friday night. This is a scenario as described below:

The game went back and forth and it was not clear at all which side would eventually win. There was a lot of action.

The game at the start – the Aztecs needed to cross muddy field to reach the Spanish and the Tlaxcalans. There were also food and gold objectives, and of course VP for inflicting casualties or taking captives.
Greg Priebe advances his Aztec commander, Asupacaci and his warrior priests.

The Spanish used their war dogs and arquebuses to good effect – but the Aztec Elite troops berserked and fought bravely.

Finally, both the Aztecs and the Tlaxcalans started taking prisoners for sacrifice – and gaining victory points in the process. Eric Schlegel successfully fired his falconet again with langridge at a swarm of Aztecs, taking out several of them in the last turn. This was to be pivotal.

I tallied the points – and it was a TIE! 46-46! I call that play-balanced!

I then set up my massive Battle of Lake Texcoco, which would be played on Saturday afternoon. This way I would have all the time I needed to enjoy my next game as a player on Saturday morning – which would be the Wars of Ozz game described next.

War to Save Yule: Battle for the Bauble of Time (Wars of Ozz)

After a short sleep, I played in another Ozz game on Saturday morning. This one was the second of three linked Wars of Ozz scenarios that Chris Palmer and Buck Surdu ran pitting the forces of the Ice Queen, Aurora, versus those of Babbo Natale (really Santa). Aurora wants to seize the Bauble of Time – a magic item that can bend time and lets Babbo deliver all his toys in one night. Of course, Aurora wants it for her own evil purposes. The Bauble was hidden in one of three buildings – and the neither the forces of Yule or Aurora knew which one. The goal of the attacking Ice Queen was to search each of the three areas – which meant that her forces needed to clear defenders from them first. I played on the Yule side in this game, on the Yule’s far left flank.

The game set up. Bruce, Buck, and Chris discuss the scenario.

The three possible search zones were as shown below.

Here is a photo of me by Chris surveying the battlefield:

A view towards my position. Aurora’s forces were attacking from the right here. I think I look tired!
Opposite view as Chris briefs the players earlier.

The forces defending the buildings/search zones on the Yule right and center were overwhelmed. Only the one on the Yule left held.

The odds were in favor of the Ice Queen at this point with 2/3 search zones in her control.

Bruce tries to fight off the Ice Trolls.

In the end we were lucky as the Bauble was in the last search zone and safe from the Ice Queen, so a victory for us. Chris would run a second follow on game later that I will share a few pictures of at the end of this post with others that I did not play in or GM. I did play in the 3rd linked game as well – more on that game in a bit.

The game ends.

The Battle of Lake Texcoco (Feudal Patrol)

I always look forward to running this game – yes it’s massive but more importantly a lot of fun. Basically there are 5 brigantines loaded with conquistadores and primitive cannon (lombards or falconets) that need to cross the tabletop and shell the other side of the table – where the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan is located. Opposing them are 21 war canoes filled with Aztecs hell-bent on boarding the invaders’ ships and stopping them. VP are awarded for shelling the city, boarding a brigantine, sinking canoes, and for casualties on both sides. The Spanish have to try to navigate the uncharted waters to do this too.

The set up for the game.

The players were excellent!

The start of the game.

The Spanish moved out and avoided collisions with each other or the islands. Only one got stuck on an underwater obstacle (El Gregorio) – resulting in the Aztecs getting a “Burst of Exuberance” which allowed it to be boarded first. Eventually, all of the brigantines would be boarded to greater or lesser extent.


The Spanish held on and were able to get three ships to shell the city.

Tenochtitlan takes its first hit of solid shot from El Marcos.
A photo from Chris Palmer showing me helping to adjudicate a fight.
The battle rages on the lake.

Of course, there was even more boarding!

El Marcos is boarded.

The game was pleasantly and briefly interrupted at this point by the HMGS staff. As it turned out, my game was selected to be honored with a “PELA” award for the time slot. PELA stands for “Pour Encourager Les Autres” which in English translates to “For Encouraging the Others”. These awards are defined by HMGS as going:

“to the games that best embody the positive traits of miniatures gaming, such as well-painted figures, great looking terrain, interesting scenarios, enjoyable rules, good sportsmanship, and an enjoyable time – events that do the most to “encourage others”.”

This was something as a GM that you can really appreciate! I was really honored – and it was nice to get applause from the room and my table too. I think that there were about 30+ games in my time slot – so this was tough to get. The award was a lovely knight figure on a plinth and a voucher for the vendor hall. Thanks HMGS, it has a place of honor at home! Thanks players!

I am awarded a PELA!
The PELA among Spanish casualties (hey, I was still running the game!).

In the end, the Spanish narrowly won the game by a score of 367-316. If the Conquistadores had made one less shot into Tenochtitlan, it would have been only a one shot victory.

As this was my last game to GM, I was able to get most of it picked up (thanks again to the HAWKS for all the help) – and get into playing my last game of the convention.

War to Save Yule – Ambush or Fighting Retreat (Wars of Ozz)

This was the third Ozz linked game run by Buck Surdu. In the second game, the forces of Yule held on to the Bauble of Time. Here, the Ice Queen’s forces are ambushing a convoy of Babbo Natale who is trying to get the Bauble to a safe place. I did not get as many pictures of this game – but I played on the side of the Ice Queen this time. We ended up taking the Bauble (Giant Evil Snowmen charged the convoy and stole it). It was a lot of fun.

My Ice Trolls take a beating from the Toy Soldier cavalry.

I was on the far left flank of the Ice Queen’s forces – and I after the Toy soldier cavalry and the Teddy Bear artillery beat up my Ice Trolls and Krampus, I was able to flank the Teddy Bear battery with Dark Elves. This attack sent them fleeing and the rear middle of the battlefield became congested with forces. Meanwhile, Chris Palmer valiantly pursued the Snowmen with the Toy Soldier cavalry. Luckily for our side, the Snowmen escaped into woods where the cavalry would not move as quickly – with the Bauble. Victory!

My Dark Elves move up the Yule flank.
Snowmen abscond with the captured Bauble!

Other Game Photos

There were of course many other games – and I tried to get some photos of them plus I have included many from Chris Palmer. This is not all of the games at Cold Wars by any means.

For the gamers, please enjoy these here! For the GM’s, kudos on the work you put in on some amazing games, and apologies in advance if I get any descriptions wrong here.

Battle of Hanau, 1813

Dave Wood’s Fate of Battle game in 10mm looked amazing.

The Natives Return to Schlegel’s Ferry

Eric Schlegel had a really cool board for his colonial Chesapeake game of Feudal Patrol.

Let’s Play Combat Patrol – France 1940

Greg Priebe ran a France 1940 scenario for Combat Patrol.

Greg and Buck survey Greg’s set up.

Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD) Playtest

Dave Wood ran a few WOOD games with amazing set ups.

War to Save Yule – River of Ice (Wars of Ozz)

This was the first of the linked Ozz games. This is the one that I did not play in as I was running my Aztec raid game.

Counterattack Near Dubno (Battleground WW2)

Don Hogge’s always popular WW2 games are so cool. This was a 28mm game set on the Eastern Front on June 28th, 1941.

Forest Encounter (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Gravity Front)

Here’s a look at Kevin Fischer’s game set up.

Got Skogskatter (SAGA)

James McWilliams ran a couple of SAGA games.

Pierce’s Hill, Philippines 22 December 1941 (Combat Patrol)

Buck Surdu ran a very cool looking game set during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941. He worked hard to get the 1941 look right – and he nailed it.

Let’s Play Feudal Patrol! – Viking Raid

Greg ran his introductory Feudal Patrol Viking Raid game and had a full table!

Can the Ratlings save their homeland again from the army of the Necromancer? (Wars of Orcs and Dwarves)

Dave Wood ran yet another visually stunning game – and for fun he used my Winkie Cavalry and Infantry in the game, plus my Lesser Apes. The feedback I got was that they acquitted themselves very well while I was off in Mesoamerica!

Game view.
Dave running his huge WOOD game.

Al Capone Comes to Schlegel’s Ferry (Blood & Swash)

Another great use of Eric’s terrain for a 1920’s game.

A truly engaged table deals with smuggling and gangsters in the 1920’s.

Concord to Lexington – Theme

Geoff Graff ran this game of 15mm figures set in my home state in the beginning of the AWI.

Test of Honour – The Last Yamashiro (Test of Honour – Quick Play)

I saw this in the adjoining room to the HAWKS – WOW what a set up! GM was David Hill.

This is a HUGE game!

At the other end of this beauty was a harbor and ships too.

Beautiful set up – nice to see young gamers too.

WWI – Battle of Gnila Lipa (Fall of Eagles WWI)

This set up caught my eye as well – GM David Rollins had a huge table for this battle between the Austrians and the Russians in WWI.

Mars Attacks – Beach Head! (Wings of Glory Tripods and Triplanes)

What a concept – Martians in Tripods taking on Spads and Nieuports in the aftermath of a post-WWI meteor shower! GM was Mike Jacobs.

As I said, this is a big post but I hope that it was enjoyable to look at. Sorry if a game you were or that you ran in was not included – but I’m sure somewhere else there are photos for the world (at least I hope so)!

That’s it for now! Feel free to comment!

My TotalCon 37 wrap up – 5 games of Feudal Patrol in 4 days! Lots of pics too!

This was a fun convention. I promised that I’d share some photos and some descriptions of the 5 games that I ran here at TotalCon 37. The five games were all Feudal PatrolTM  games using my Civilizations Collide supplement. Check out the photos to see what it was all about – and if you played you might just recognize yourself! There are a LOT of photos – hell I ran 5 games!

It’s not easy to both run a game and take pictures. Let me add a caveat – it’s not easy to do both and do justice to the game and to the players’ needs. I was fortunate this time that a lot of the players had experience with Feudal PatrolTM  and were very helpful to the new players. It’s been a week since the end of TotalCon 37 – so without further ado, let me get into the games that I ran.

Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli

This game took place on Thursday the 24th at 1 PM. It pits the Aztecs against the Tlaxcalans before the Spanish Conquest. I have run this game many times – and it has won awards at both HUZZAH! and Fall In in 2022. I had not run it at TotalCon, so I thought it appropriate to do so.

I had 8 players for the game.

Happy gamers ready for battle. The Aztec players are on the right, the Tlaxcalan players are on the left.

The Aztecs assault in the middle faltered due to accurate bow shots of the Tlaxcalans. On the Aztec left, a force of Arrow Knights and Jaguar Warriors took the long way around hoping to flank the defenders. On the Aztec right, a veteran/novice force moved up – reinforces by the elite Shorn Ones – and also took some casualties before making it to the very gates of the Temple and the Tlaxcalan leader Xayacamach.

At this point, the Tlaxcalan leader Xayacamach sortied with his signaler, put himself at personal risk, and engaged the Aztecs. His actions reversed the Aztec elites’ attack. The Tlaxcalans also held off the Aztec veterans who were on their left flank and threatening a food resource. back on the Aztec left, the long march of the Arrow Knights and the Jaguar Warriors reached a critical juncture with a threat to the Tlaxcalan corn supply and the rear of their bowmen. With the middle assault no longer a threat, the Tlaxcalan bows redeployed to face the new threat. Loosing a deadly barrage, they killed the Aztec Warband Leader and scattered the remaining attackers.

The final score was 95-41 in favor of the defending Tlaxcalans.

La Noche Triste – Bloodbath on the Tacuba Causeway

I had 7 players for this game which took place on Friday the 24th in the morning.

The game set up.

The Tlaxcalans on the mainland managed to drive the Shorn Ones away from the causeway entrance. Meanwhile, the Spanish took a long time to get the bridge installed – and by that time the war canoes were hitting them with missile fire from two sides. The rear guard lost a couple of cavalrymen, but managed to perform their role well against a surge of Jaguar Warriors.

The war canoes made an effort to harry the Conquistadores.

After Turn 4 the bridge is automatically installed and the Spanish get a “Burst of Exuberance” move as they try to make it to the mainland! This was an important objective as getting as few as 1 figure to the mainland would negate a 100 VP for the Aztecs.

On the last card of the last turn, the Spanish had one chance to get at least one figure to the mainland – Cortes’ Catholic priest. The priest had 11″ to sprint – and made 14″! (Good thing he had no armor to weigh him down!).

That effectively took away 100 free points for the Aztecs and won the game for the Conquistadores at the last possible moment. The final score was 71-22. Had the Spanish failed, the score would have been 122-71.

The Battle of Lake Texcoco

On Saturday the 25th, I ran two massive games of the Battle of Lake Texcoco, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

Morning Game

The morning game was all mayhem – lots of boarding, canoe ramming, and cannon fire. I had seven players.

Game set up from the Aztec side.
Game set up from the Spanish side.
Close up of El Dolar and the dashboard for this brigantine.

El Dolar ran aground and was swarmed by Aztec boarders. The other vessels continued towards their goal of shelling the Aztec capital (at the end of the mat where the Aztec players were).

El Gregorio, El Marcos, and El Perro de Guerra moved up to the city (well El Gregorio slammed into it at full speed but got lucky on damage). Cannon fire from El Marcos and El Gregorio rocked Tenochtitlan for 50 points apiece.

Fire at the city from El Gregorio!
At the end of the game.

The battle was cinematic to be sure. In the end, the Spanish won 383-269 – with their successful artillery fire gaining the win.

Afternoon Game

I then reset and ran this game again with 8 players – unfortunately with fewer photos.

I brief the gamers for game two (photo by Peter Bostwick).
At the start of the second game.

In this game, there was a lot less boarding by the Aztecs and a lot more ramming of war canoes – sinking a lot of them. As a result, it was a bigger Spanish victory – 391-145. The brigantines El Conquistador, El Perro de Guerra, and El Marcos all hit Tenochtitlan with solid shot for 150 VP.

At the game’s end.

Arofan Gregory took a very nice photograph of El Marcos (thank you sir) and put it on Facebook – and I’ll share it below:

Arofan Gregory’s photo of El Marcos.

The Battle of Centla

This was a very full game – 12 players on Sunday!

The battlefield set up.

The Maya were fighting a delaying action – they needed to keep the Spanish from reaching the city or incapacitate half of them. The Spanish needed to incapacitate half of the Maya or reach the city. The Maya can randomly get reinforcements from the dead pile – making it harder for the Spanish to reach that 50% Maya killed level. The Spanish get no reinforcements.

Meanwhile, Tabscoob’s (the Maya chieftain) leadership held his forces together – but taking on the Spanish directly in melee did not go their way.

In the end the Maya were unlucky with reinforcements and the Spanish were effective in their onslaught – resulting in a historical repeat – a Conquistador win.

I really want to thank all the players and especially Leif Magnuson, Brad Gosselin, and Chris Comeau who went above and beyond. I also want thank the whole staff – its a big convention and takes a lot of work. I want to highlight the work of Steven Parenteau and all his staff. Lastly, a big thanks to the incredibly helpful Bryan Clauss who headed up the miniatures section and who assisted in getting me the right table sizes.

Leif, myself, and Brad

Painting Contest

Finally, like last year, there was a painting contest. This year, I entered my Conquistador cavalry in the unit category – and won! Yay!

That’s it for TotalCon 37!

Going forward, I’ll be bringing “The Battle of Lake Texcoco” and “The Battle of Centla” to HMGS Cold Wars next week, plus “The Surprise Raid on the Spanish Outpost”. At the end of March, at HAVOC, I’ll be bringing “The Battle of Lake Texcoco” and “The Battle of Centla” as well as two “Wars of Ozz” games. I need to submit my games for HUZZAH! in May – and I’ll be doing that shortly.

I hope that you enjoyed this post – it’s been hectic with preparing for these conventions all so closely spaced together – but in the end I was very happy with how TotalCon 37 went – and I hope to repeat this at the other two planned gaming conventions.

2022 Hobby & Blogging Update

2022 was one hell of a busy year. Every year I try to recapture just what the hell I got done hobby-wise – both for miniatures/wargames and golf-wise. Then I try to assess (for my own purposes) what I set out to do at the year’s start and how well I achieved – or failed – to meet those goals. As another year has rolled by, it’s time to take that look in the old mirror. This blog, “Life, Golf, Miniatures & Other Distractions” covers my activities – and I do like to use the blog as an outlet to likeminded folks. So let’s take a retrospective look at 2022 AND a forward look into 2023.

Doing this is an old habit from when I actually worked full-time before retirement. Back then in “the dreaded private sector”, I had sales goals to hit every period – be it yearly, quarterly, thrice annually, or whatever. Of course, there was the inevitable review period where every manager would ask you what “stretch goals” you would “commit to” doing. This was a farce as the sales quotas you were given from corporate were never layups anyways. Plus, you needed to account for the previous year’s performance in any case.

Still, I’ve always set personal goals and found that it’s always good to have a plan and try your best. I also want to be honest with myself and be accountable to my own plans. How well did I do – let’s see…

I set out some goals for myself back last December for 2022. Some were around gaming, some around hobby production, some were around golf, and more.

How did I do versus my 2022 goals?

Paint 150 figures or more.

I did break this one with a strong push in November and December – (see pic below). I managed to finish 202 figures!

My 2022 production. I’ll be adding rebasing figures (mainly for Wars of Orcs and Dwarves games) as a new category in 2023.

Complete the remaining conquistador figures for Civilizations Collide.

I definitely did this! I have a page in my blog that catalogs all things Aztec/Conquistador/Maya/Tlaxcalan here.

Complete the remaining terrain for Civilizations Collide, to include the brigantines.

It was a big effort, but check!

Brigantines in action at the Battle of Lake Texcoco game at HUZZAH.

Complete the remaining Maya figures for Civilizations Collide.

I managed to get these done by November – and they will be on the tabletop soon. This capped 300 figures done for the period since I began.

Complete the scenario booklet for Civilizations Collide.

Not quite done – though I have completed fleshing out and writing 9 scenarios, plus I have 3 mostly completed, and 4 in concept mode. All have or will be used at conventions.

Complete my figures for Wars of Ozz, ok at least 40 of them.

Better late than never! This is now the project that I am into quite deeply. I managed to paint up 93 figures for Wars of Ozz in November and December alone. There is now a page in my blog that catalogs these here.

Paint up a platoon from Wargames Supply Dump for Combat Patrol™ .

Never got to this – but will try again in 2023 (sorry Roger).

Try to get my Nomonhan WaT project off the ground.

I did want to get to this, but not enough time.

Attend and run games at conventions or club nights or both, if possible. This would include TotalCon34, HMGS South Recon, HAVOC, HUZZAH!, Historicon, and BARRAGE .

I will give myself a good grade here. I did not go to BARRAGE due to a golfing tournament conflict, but otherwise I did all of these conventions PLUS HMGS Fall In! in November. Plus I won some awards at three conventions – HUZZAH, HAVOC, and at Fall In. My gaming club, the Mass Pikemen, met a few times – and hopefully will do more in 2023. For 2023, I am going to track my gaming progress as well as my hobby production progress.

The Battle of Lake Texcoco at Fall In!

Get the Mass Pikemen more active once the pandemic diminishes.

Could have been better – will work on in 2023.

Celebrate my wife’s retirement (and mine belatedly) with a nice trip.

Nailed this as I wrote here!

Fun in Florida!

Finish the garage+ and launch that baby successfully.

Well, it’s finished and we do enjoy it – just have not managed to play a wargame in it yet. Otherwise, yes indeed, it’s done!

Post on the blog 48 times or more – and in good quality.

As for the quality – the readers are the judge. However, I fell off a bit and only did 42 posts.

Be a good blog follower.

I hope I was this – but certainly not a measurable statistic!

Have multiple Zoom chats with fellow hobbyists.

Success here – if we got together you know who you are and thanks – great conversations and wonderful camaraderie. I’m always open to more!

Go to a golf school and get my golf handicap down below 18.

Mixed bag here – we did go to a golf school during our Florida trip. My handicap started the year at 20.7, peaked in July at 22.6, and I was able to improve to 18.9 by season’s end.

Play golf (in season) at least twice a week.

I played close to 80 rounds this year – and usually played 3-4 time a week in season – so hell yeah!

Win my flight in the Club Championship.

My biggest miss as I got hurt AND played horribly – coming in dead last.

Be a competitive golfer.

Despite the previous miss in the Club Championship, I did manage a few good showings in other tournaments. I’d say in general I was competitive.

Personal Highs in 2022

  1. The Florida trip and golfing with my wife (she’s getting better)!
  2. Getting the garage DONE.
  3. Getting together with family especially my daughter Ellen and my granddaughter Tabitha.
  4. Finishing all of the figures and terrain for Civilizations Collide!
  5. Continuing to serve my Town (East Brookfield, MA) as the elected Board of Health Chairman during the pandemic.
  6. Participating in multiple gaming conventions and winning awards at: HAVOC (the “Al Award” for the game with the most stunning visual appeal); two awards at HUZZAH (2 best in time slots), and a “Pour Encourager Les Autres” at Fall In.
  7. Getting going on my Wars of Ozz figures!
  8. Getting together with Dave Wood, Buck Surdu, Greg Priebe, Chris Palmer, and Duncan Adams, Eric Schlegel, and all of the other HAWKS in person.
  9. Being on the Committees for the Tour of the Brookfields tournaments and the New England Service Academy golf tournaments,
  10. Having fun Zoom chats.
  11. And again, being with my wife Lynn, every day (seriously, and she won’t likely read this).
Florida golfing.
My “Pour Encourager Les Autres” Award at Fall In.
My last Mesoamerican figures – the Maya!

Gaming with Buck and Dave.
Two old USMA 1984 roommates (Dave Wood and some out of shape guy).

Personal Lows for 2021

  1. Losing Caesar. Still hurts but that’s life.
  2. Sinus surgery – though that’s a long-term plus (I hope).
Caesar and Lynn.
Sinus surgery aftermath day 1. I’m getting much better than this now!

My goals for 2023

Well, its time to set my goals for 2023.

  1. Paint 250 figures or more.
  2. Complete a brigade of Winkies for Wars of Ozz.
  3. Complete a brigade of Land of Harvest creatures for Wars of Ozz.
  4. Run and play more games – track them too.
  5. Attend and run games at conventions or club nights or both, if possible. This would include TotalCon37, HAVOC, HMGS Cold Wars, HUZZAH!, BARRAGE (possibly if golf allows), and Fall In.
  6. Complete the scenario booklet for Civilizations Collide.
  7. Complete my terrain for Wars of Ozz, games.
  8. Paint up a platoon from Wargames Supply Dump for Combat Patrol™ .
  9. Try to get my Nomonhan WaT project off the ground. Note I said “try”.
  10. Get the Mass Pikemen more active.
  11. Have another nice trip to Florida.
  12. Post on the blog 48 times or more – make them of good quality.
  13. Be a good blog follower – still a goal but one that I cannot measure!
  14. Have multiple Zoom chats with fellow hobbyists.
  15. Go to a golf school and get my golf handicap down below 18. This time.
  16. Update my golf tournament progress on my blog – either as posts or a page or both.
  17. Play golf (in season) at least twice a week.
  18. Win my flight in the Championship.
  19. Be a competitive golfer.

As far as my figure total for Wars of Ozz, here is my progress so far on that:

My progress – white are completed, yellow started, and red not started yet. 257 figures planned in total – that is unless I buy more…

Again, thanks to all who make the time to read this blog and comment on my madness – Happy 2023 and what do you think?

My Fall In! 2022 Roundup

I was fortunate to attend the HMGS Fall In®  gaming convention last weekend (November 3-6, 2022) in Lancaster, PA. The Maryland-based Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers (H.A.W.K.’s) were kind enough to adopt me (a Massachusetts-based Mass Pikeman) and invited me to be a game master in their dedicated gaming room at Fall In!. They are a great group of folks and I am very grateful for their hospitality! Lancaster is a 6-hour drive for me – but the trip was well worth it.

There were close to 400 games – or more too many to count – at the convention. The event was amazing and very well-run for sure. I played in two games, and ran 4 of my own. As this situation begs for visual inputs, I will have A LOT of photos and a couple of video links to share.

Click on the photos for a better view.

Thanks to Chris Palmer for some of these photos below as well. I hope that you find these enjoyable.

Thursday Night, Marines versus Japanese, a Combat Patrol™ Game

After I set up my first game on Thursday night (for Friday morning), Eric Schlegel of the H.A.W.K.’s ran a pick up  Combat Patrol™ game Thursday night. It involved US Marines storming a Japanese island. I played on the Japanese side and the USMC overwhelmed the defenders and won. It was a fun quick game. Here’s a couple of photos:

Friday Morning, “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game

After a good night’s sleep, I arrived early to set up my Feudal Patrol™ game of “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”. It’s a pre-Spanish Conquest fight between the Aztecs and their neighbors the Tlaxcalans. The Aztecs attempt to conduct a raid of a Tlaxcalan village to gain captives for slavery and blood sacrifice, and the Tlaxcalans fight back!

The game went very well – as you will see below. The Aztecs made a valiant assault across open terrain into a hail of Tlaxcalan arrows – and went into melee. The Tlaxcalans were ready and gave as good as they got. In the end, they Aztecs eked out a minor victory 34-27. The casualties were separated only by 3 figures out of 18 total on both sides. Both sides were totally excited about their prospects and the battle. Here’s a gallery of photos from that game:

Near the end of the game, an official of the convention briefly interrupted the game – and to my surprise awarded me a PELA award (my first ever) for the time slot. PELA stands for “Pour Encourager Les Autres” which in English translates to “For Encouraging the Others”. These awards are defined by HMGS as going:

“to the games that best embody the positive traits of miniatures gaming, such as well-painted figures, great looking terrain, interesting scenarios, enjoyable rules, good sportsmanship, and an enjoyable time – events that do the most to “encourage others”.”

I was really shocked and honored – and as a cherry on the sundae I got a rousing applause from the players too. There were about 30 games in my time slot – so not a lay up to be chosen by any means. The award was a lovely Samurai figure on a plinth and a voucher for the vendor hall.

Yes, I’m happy! And honored!
My award!

After picking up the morning game, I and Greg Priebe walked around the event before preparing for our evening game that we had collaborated on. Here is a gallery of just some of what was there- some truly amazing stuff.

This Japanese tabletop was amazing.
This NYC gangster game was shockingly beautiful. It was electrified – lights everywhere, the steamer had a horn going, WOW. WOW. WOW!!!

I mentioned Dave Wood above – my West Point roommate – always good to see my good friend, my brother from another mother…

Me and Dave, USMA 1984

Greg and I then set up our game, Vikings vs. Aztecs!!!

Friday Evening, “Vikings vs. Aztecs!!!”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game

Greg Priebe and I had worked out this scenario over the phone and Zoom.

Obviously this is not a historical recreation, but a “what if”. Greg had brought the Viking figures and I of course brought the Aztecs – and we co-GM’ed the game.

The game went well. The Aztecs, led by Acamapichtli, needed to prevent the Vikings, led by Carl the Jarl and Brunhilde the Shieldmaiden, from raiding and looting various structures – and of course casualties counted as well for both sides. In the end, the Aztecs majorly triumphed – partly due to the Vikings having probably the WORST luck of the draw in any wargame that I have seen in 20 years. That’s not to detract from the Aztec play – which focused on defense and won the day. However, I did not tally a score. Here’s a gallery:

Mayhem in Tenochtitlan!

It was a fun game nonetheless and the players on both sides displayed excellent camaraderie. Greg also gave me a bunch of Viking sprues so that I could have my own Vikings too. I do have some old school metal ones, but I will (someday), assemble and paint these up to run this game again. I just need to help out the Vikings!

We then cleaned up and I then set up most of my next day’s afternoon and evening games – as I planned on playing in Chris Palmer’s Ozz game on Saturday morning.

Saturday Morning, “Wars of Ozz: Attack on the Emerald City”, a Wars of Ozz Game

When I had visited Florida and Buck Surdu (as described here) I played a Wars of Ozz game at Recon. Buck’s Wars of Ozz rules and figures are available from Sally4th in the UK here, and in the US at a dedicated Old Glory Ozz site here.

As I have factions (Munchkins, Winkies, Greater and Lesser Pumpkinheads), I wanted to play another game to make sure that I understood the rules since it had been a while. Chris Palmer ran his outstanding scenario of “Attack on the Emerald City“. This involved Nomes (yes, Nomes), burrowing underneath the walls of the Emerald City and undermining its defenses/taking out a wall section. Meanwhile, Winkies, Giant Bears, and Skeletons are assisting the Nomes by attacking from outside the walls. Quadlings and Tin Men inside attempt to defend, while Munchkins defend outside.

In the game I was outside the walls with a medium battery of Munchkin artillery, two infantry regiments (Tik-Tok and Landwehr), and a small Munchkin cavalry regiment. I sent the cavalry to disrupt the Nomes coming after my teammates rears (that sounds wrong but you get it), and succeeded so that they could face the oncoming Winkies and skeletons and not get hit on two sides. This was successful but the cavalry was badly weakened and did not reform until the last turn of the game. My artillery ended up in a counter-battery duel with a couple of Winkie batteries – and was wiped out. Meanwhile, my two infantry regiments held their respective grounds and heavily damaged two attacking Winkie regiments AND wiped out a regiment of Giant Bears. Then, my cavalry reformed and drove off the Nomes on my side. So, victory! Here’s a couple of galleries:

This was an EXCELLENT game and motivates me to hurry up and get to my Ozz figures. Of key note, Chris Palmer deservedly won a PELA for this game the day before! Congrats Chris!

A PELA for Chris!!

As I had set up my afternoon game, after lunch it was time for:

Saturday Afternoon, “The Battle of Lake Texcoco”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game

I planned to run two of this scenario back-to-back. I had FULL tables for each iteration – and I’ll share each in turn. Greg Priebe was a BIG help at both games – thanks Greg!

The scenario is best summarized below:

In the first game, the Conquistadores sailed towards the Aztec war canoe fleet. The Conquistadores needed to fire their falconets and lombards into Tenochtitlan for Victory Points, while the Aztecs got their big points by boarding the brigantines. VP’s were also awarded to both sides for inflicting casualties. Some of the brigantines raised full sails – notably El Dólar (The Buck after Buck Surdu) & El Gregorio (The Greg after Greg Priebe). The other three brigantines are named El Perro de Guerra (The War Dog), & El Conquistador (The Conquistador of course), and El Marcos (named after, well, me). All made it towards Tenochtitlan but the Aztecs were able to board them all and disrupt them sufficiently. El Dólar ended up hitting an underwater obstacle at full speed and settled to the mud bottom, allowing the Aztecs to swarm over it. It’s cannon was unable to bear on the city, and no other ship managed a shot into the city. The Aztecs won a minor victory as no shot hit the capital – but killed a LOT of Aztecs. But the game ended with a score of 226-207 in favor of the Aztecs. Here’s a gallery of that game:

The game was a success, and I reset it for:

Saturday Evening, “The Battle of Lake Texcoco”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game

After resetting from the afternoon, the play recommenced with a different yet FULL slate of gamers. In this game the Spanish were more cautious, and that let the Aztecs close on them sooner. Unlike the first game, the Conquistadors did get one shot off at Tenochtitlan from El Gregorio – but it missed! The final score was 290-172 in favor of the Aztecs. It did not help the Spanish that an arquebus misfired/exploded and killed that arquebusier, another arquebusier, and Alvarado (a key leader). It was nice to have several HAWKS in the game – especially Greg and Chris and Geoff. Here’s a gallery of round 2:

Both games were well-received and I really appreciate the help in cleaning up from Chris Palmer, Greg Priebe, and Dave Wood as it was after midnight!

Videos links showing Fall In! 2022 and some of these games

There have been two videos on YouTube that I think are worth seeing if you want more shots of the Fall In! 2022 convention.

The first is by Walt O’Hara called “Fall IN! 2022 at sub light speed“. Click here you will see this video with some nice overall shots of many other games plus some amusing commentary. Chris Palmer’s Wars of Ozz: Attack on the Emerald City shows up at 1:52. Our Vikings vs. Aztecs!!!” game show up at 2:09. His PELA comment was a joke of course- though I did win for my Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli as discussed.

The second is from Little Wars TV, called “Fall In” 2022 Show Recap”. It is very well done and you can see a few seconds of me and my Lake Texcoco game at 10:50. Click here to see that video.

Thanks so much to the folks that ran the convention – it was outstanding. Special thanks again to the H.A.W.K.’s for bringing me in and making me feel welcome and a part of the group. Of course, to all who played in my games, please know how much I appreciated sharing my game with you.

Lastly, and as a side note, you may remember that I won a PELA. As part of that award, in addition to the miniature I got this:

So, I took my $12 voucher for my PELA and on Sunday morning after packing up hit the vendor hall. I decided to get some dice etc., and then saw a steel conquistador’s helmet. It called to me. Now it’s mine!

After a long drive home – I showed my wife. Somehow she was not very pleased! Oh well, sorry honey…still love ya…

Thanks for looking and to my regular followers I hope to post more figures soon as golf season has basically wound down.

3 Aztec Feudal Patrol Games Coming to Fall In 2022

I will be running 4 Feudal Patrol™ games at the HMGS Fall In® gaming convention next week in Lancaster, PA. In 2022, I have been running Aztec/Mesoamerica/Spanish Conquest themed games at multiple gaming conventions – and they all have been well-received. I am really looking forward to running these games at Fall In® in the H.A.W.K.’s room – and I hope to see some of you there.

So, you ask, what are you running Mark, and when? Well, I aim to please – so let me answer that!

Friday, November 4th from 9 AM to 1 PM, Paradise Room

I will be running my “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”. It’s a pre-Spanish Conquest fight between the Aztecs and their neighbors the Tlaxcalans. The Aztecs attempt to conduct a raid of a Tlaxcalan village to gain captives for slavery and blood sacrifice, and the Tlaxcalans will fight back!

Friday, November 4th from 7 PM to 11 PM, Paradise Room

Later that day, I will be teaming up with Greg Priebe of the H.A.W.K.’s to run a “what if” scenario. Let’s say a Viking raiding party got lost and while trying to get to Greenland and wound up in Tenochtitlan. Never to pass up the opportunity for looting and pillaging, they decide to make the best of it, but the Aztecs have other plans.  I think this will be a LOT of fun. Greg wrote the rules for the Feudal Patrol™ Vikings supplement – and we will use my Aztec supplement rules as well (Civilizations Collide). featuring a 1200’s Viking raid on the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan!

Saturday, November 5th from 2 PM to 6 PM, Paradise Room


Saturday, November 5th from 7 PM to 11 PM, Paradise Room

On Saturday, I will be running a Feudal Patrol™ naval game – this time the epic Battle of Lake Texcoco.

TWICE! Once in the afternoon and once in the evening. After I ran this at HUZZAH! in Maine – I knew it was a hit.

The history is this – back in the summer of 1521 Cortes had a problem. To seize control of the Aztec island capital of Tenochtitlan, he realized that he needed to control the surrounding waters of Lake Texcoco (where Mexico City is now – the lake is long-gone).  This meant building a fleet.  Cortes had his troops build small brigantines in sections. These prefabricated pieces were then carried by his Tlaxcalan allies to the shore of Lake Texcoco, where they were assembled, and made ready for combat on the lake.  While simultaneously he sent land-based conquistadores to attack Tenochtitlan’s causeways, Cortes launched his brigantines to attack Tenochtitlan. 

In his way were hundreds of Aztecs canoes waiting to swarm over the Spanish. This is the basis of this game.

So, you will have two chances to jump in on this game!

To my regular readers – YES I have been neglecting this blog – more a case of a lot hitting my schedule (mostly golf) – and I will be catching up with some of the miniatures that I have painted up and some games that I have run going forward. In the meantime, I am looking forward to reconnecting with you al soon – and I appreciate those who kindly checked in on me to see if I had assumed room temperature yet.

Thankfully, I have not – I think not yet anyways…

Aztec Eagle Knights, Ral Partha 42-303, circa 1986

The first figures that I got to paint came from a triad of companies – Ral Partha, Minifig, and Grenadier – back in the 1980’s. There were others too – but Ral Partha was my favorite company, as I was mainly into buying, painting (and casting) 25mm fantasy figures in those days. I left the hobby in the late 1980’s, and subsequently came out of my hobby time machine in early 2015 with the Nightmare Legion. To my surprise, I found that Ral Partha – and many others – were gone or subsumed into other entities. For example the Ral Partha lines now can be found at now Iron Wind Metals. Also, for many manufacturers, metal figures were being replaced by – dare I say it – PLASTIC. Oh, the horror.

Anyways, I discovered that there were still a good many metal options available and I have stayed mostly with metal figures. One of the lots that I bought on eBay around 2016 was a bunch of unopened and opened Ral Partha Aztec figure blisters. I sorted them and put them away. Then in 2019 Buck Surdu asked for collaboration on supplements for his new rules set called Feudal PatrolTM  . I jumped in, and now most of you know it resulted in my writing my supplement called Civilizations Collide in late 2019/early 2020. It’s free to download at that link (and you should!).

I then started painting figures and terrain for the period in April of 2020. Now, after two years, having painted and assembled 254 figures (109 Aztecs, 113 Conquistadores, 32 Tlaxcalans), 21 war canoes, 5 brigantines, a TON of terrain, and written 55+ blog posts (you can see the list of posts here), I felt I was ready to move on to my 34 Maya figures and finish up. After a whirlwind of preparation for gaming at HAVOC! 2022 and HUZZAH! 2022, I thought that I was prepared to move on to my 34 Maya figures…

Or was I…

I had painted or given away all of my original eBay lot score – all except 12 remaining Aztec Eagle Warriors. They were metal (of course) Ral Partha figures – so 25mm not 28mm, in two blisters (one opened and one not). The SKU designation for them is #42-303 “Aztec Eagle Knights”, circa 1986, sculpted by R. Kerr. From their storage location I heard them desperately cry out – “don’t leave us behind – it’s already been 36 years since we were cast! You need us to join your Aztecs!”. Funny, they cried out in English and not Nahuatl…

So, being somewhat of a completionist (insert sarcastic comment here), I decided to finish the LAST of my Aztecs. Besides, this would bring me to an even 300 figures of all types for the period (once the 34 remaining Maya were done) and that seemed to me to be an auspicious number to round out the project.

The 2 blister packs. One of the opened figures was partially painted and needed to be stripped.
Curiously, this was in the unopened blister pack – I had never seen this before – and I wonder – where is #13 now?

Historical Background

Aztec Eagle Warriors were, along with the Jaguar Warriors and the Shorn Ones, at the apex of the Aztec warrior classes. They would be armed with melee weapons, in particular the macuahuitl obsidian-edged club/sword, the tepoztopilli (obsidian-bladed thrusting spears)and the cuauhololli (round-headed club).  To be a member of any of these classes required that one had captured many quality enemies for sacrifice on the Altar of Huitzilopochtli. Indeed, while they battled almost incessantly, the status and rewards were great for them. Here is a good summary of the history of the Eagle Warriors.

Painting and Assembly Plan

I had previously assembled and painted 6 Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK (documented in this post). I numbered those EA01-EA06. These will be EA07-18. As I have 17 Jaguar Warriors that seems good. Similar to the previous Eagle Warrior project, I found that the#42-303 Ral Partha Eagle Knight tepoztopilli were way too soft and bendy. While the macuahuitl were small and bendable, I found that both five of those and three of the cuauhololli that would work.

I replaced four of the shafts of the tepoztopilli with leftover North Star shafts I had cut for my Conquistador pikemen. I drilled out the ends and used green stuff to bind them together. The other challenge were the limited poses. In each blister of 6 there are just TWO poses – one with a left arm forward and one with a right arm forward. (FYI these two are still available from Iron Wind Metals less any shields or weapons here). At least mine have weapons and shields!

The two poses.

As before, my plan was to reorient each of their arms into different poses, and to give each one a different weapon that was also oriented slightly differently. I would also give them a variety of colors for their suits (tlahuiztli), using red, light green, dark green, and light brown. Add to that I would use different shield patterns and different feather colors for authenticity and ease of tabletop play.

And yes, I had a painting plan matrix in writing!

Assembly, Modifications, and Painting

My first task was to redo the tepoztopilli (thrusting spears).

The stripped one and the rest now washed (I always wash metal before painting) and ready for pose adjustment and priming.

Using pliers, I carefully and slowly reoriented the arms as best as I could to turn 2 poses into 12 – or close enough to it. Then, I repaired any flattened spots by stippling with an Exacto knife point.

The Eagle Knights with their weapons affixed. I ended up using green stuff to affix the weapons to the ones armed with tepoztopilli (thrusting spears). I made three of them left-handed warriors. In the rear are my Tin Soldier UK Eagle Warriors – watching the new additions/recruits in progress. They look like a conga line, and I wanted more variety of poses with the Ral Partha ones.

Then it was on to priming and applying a dark wash.

A close up of the wash-over-prime effect.

Then I base coated the figures – using several contrast paints.

Then I dry brushed and washed each painted figure to achieve the color variations. Additionally, I painted (well, inked) the feathers on each helmet differently so no two are alike. Then I added gloss varnish to the feathers so that later when matted down the colors will “pop” a bit more. It also helps protect the inks I used here.

Then it was on to adding the initial flocking before returning to work on the shields.

Initial flocking before pigments added. After the two pigments set, I dry brush the bases with three colors.

The shields here are quite difficult to paint up with patterns. The surfaces are not smooth, and of course they are tiny. Below are the patterns I gave them under a gloss varnish – again to protect the colors.

The shields – painted and all glossy here.

Then it was time to mount them to the figures, add a matte varnish, and then add some grass.

Give us each a shield please!
It was hot out so I took these outside to speed the curing of the matte varnish.
All done and ready for play – and eye candy!

As promised…eye candy – note the color variations here and different poses.

Eye Candy













Group Shots

The four Eagle Knights armed with tepoztopilli.
Three were armed with cuauhololli.
The final 5 are armed with macuahuitl.
Here is a size comparison with a Tin Soldier UK Eagle Warrior. It will work ok on the tabletop!
All of the Ral Partha Eagle Knights together on my Things From the Basement Aztec Temple Sacrificial Altar!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and the photos – I tried playing around with my new iPhone and lighting – I’m not 100% sure I’ve got it down yet. I painted these in between a LOT of golf, so I’m happy that they are done. If you have any feedback, I’d love to read it in the comments section.

My Aztec figures now count up at 121:

I still can’t believe I painted all these…

As a second FYI, these Ral Partha figures are still available from IWM – here is the link. (Only again now they come without shields or weapons). I am sure that the lead content is no longer there too.

The Aztecs are DONE! On to the MAYA!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.


  1. Kneadatite (green stuff)
  2. Shafts from North Star Military Figures 100mm wire spears (leftover from building Conquistador Pikemen)
  3. Gorilla Glue
  4. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  5. Gorilla Glue Gel
  6. Poster tack
  7. North Star Military Figures 100mm wire spears
  8. Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
  9. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  10. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  11. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  12. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-white”
  13. Vallejo Mecha Color “Black”
  14. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  15. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”
  16. Battlefront “Skin Shade”
  17. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  18. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Dark Angels Green”
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Horde”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Creed Camo”
  21. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  22. Americana “Kelly Green”
  23. Vallejo Model Color “White”
  24. Americana “Apple Green”
  25. Vallejo Game Color “Bloody Red”
  26. Citadel “Carroburg Crimson” (wash)
  27. Secret Weapon Washes “Fallout” (wash)
  28. Secret Weapon Washes “Green” (wash/ink)
  29. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyandan Yellow”
  30. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  31. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aggaros Dunes”
  32. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  33. Vallejo Model Color “Burnt Umber”
  34. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  35. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  36. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  37. Vallejo Game Ink “Yellow”
  38. Citadel “Gehenna’s Gold”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  40. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  41. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  42. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  43. Citadel “Cryptek Armourshade Gloss” (shade)
  44. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  45. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  46. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
  47. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
  48. Secret Weapon Washes “Just Red” (wash/ink)
  49. Vallejo Model Color “Black Green”
  50. Secret Weapon Washes “Yellow Snow” (wash/ink)
  51. Vallejo Game Ink “Green”
  52. Vallejo Game Ink “Red”
  53. Vallejo Game Ink “Blue”
  54. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  55. E6000 epoxy
  56. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  57. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  58. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  59. Army Painter “Brown Battleground” (flocking)
  60. Vallejo Model Color “English Uniform”
  61. Army Painter “Mid Brown” (shade)
  62. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  63. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  64. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

My HUZZAH! 2022 Recap

HUZZAH! 2022 was held in South Portland Maine from Thursday May 12th to Sunday May 15th. This would mark the first time that this great convention ran since the beginning of the pandemic.

I had previously attended HUZZAH! as only a gamer in 2019 and blogged about it here. I was impressed with the games there and as well with the Maine Historical Wargamers Association (MHWA) that runs it. I was determined that I would run some games there in 2020….

That became 2021…

And that became 2022 – which was the return of HUZZAH! By this time I had a LOT of games that I had build for Mesoamerica and the Spanish Conquest. There were 8 four-hour game slots available at the convention – one on Thursday evening, three on Friday and Saturday, and one on Sunday morning. Of course – I had just ran 4 four-hour games at HAVOC in Massachusetts in April. So, I thought, why not push myself and run 6 Feudal PatrolTM   games in four days? Hell, it would be fun my using my supplement for Civilizations Collide for so many games to a brand new audience.

That’s 6 out of the 8 available four-hour slots! That’s 24 hours of GM’ing in about 60 hours…not counting set up and take down. Well, I gave it a shot, and while as I write this it’s late June, I thought I’d share some pics with you folks as it was a BLAST! I’ll take each game in turn.

Besides, you all DID ask for game pics – buckle up, there’s a bunch here!

Thursday Evening, “Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt”

The first game scenario that I ran was “Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt”. This involves the Spanish trying to escape Tenochtitlan on June 28, 1520. For those who have not seen my HAVOC posts on the scenario – here is the game briefing:

While Cortes was away confronting Narvaez at the Battle of Cempoala, some of his troops under the command of Pedro de Alvarado had remained in Tenochtitlan. Cortes had previously bloodlessly seized Montezuma as his prisoner/puppet, so he felt relatively secure to make the trek to Cempoala.  This was not the case with Alvarado. He feared that the Aztecs were planning to surprise his troops and massacre them; thus, he decided to strike first.  At the Feast of Toxcatl (an annual Aztec religious festival), hundreds of the political and military elite of the Aztec Empire were participating in the “Serpent Dance” – and were unarmed. Alvarado took the chance and attacked all of those celebrating with no quarter. Most were murdered and some were captured. The warriors killed by Alvarado and his men were among the best in the Aztec Empire. Still, the Spanish and their Tlaxcalan allies were far outnumbered in Tenochtitlan, and they now faced an entire city that was rising up against them. Cortes returned from the Battle of Cempoala. His forces were reinforced by the men and equipment of Narvaez who had defected to Cortes’ banner. He was able to enter Tenochtitlan with his men, and soon learned of the general uprising. As a goodwill gesture, yet a strategic mistake, he released Montezuma’s brother, Cuitlahuac – who had been captured by Alvarado at the massacre. Cuitlahuac almost immediately became the leader of the Aztecs, effectively becoming the new Emperor – and Montezuma’s replacement. The siege of the Spanish began in earnest.  The Spanish had occupied the Palace of Axayacatl, were without water, and were coming under increasing attack. The Aztecs even tried to burn the palace down around the Spanish, but were stopped with artillery, crossbow, and arquebusier fire.  Cortes tried to use Montezuma one last time – to see if the Aztecs surrounding them would stand down. Montezuma was brought out at the Palace of Axayacatl try to get the attackers to stop their assault. Montezuma’s exhortations not only failed to sway the crowd of enraged Aztecs, but he was hit in the head by a rock from an Aztec sling. That wound would incapacitate him. Shortly afterwards, he died. The cause of his death was the slung stone or perhaps he was murdered later by the Spanish as he lay unconscious – the truth is forever lost to history. In the end, Cortes realized that he had no safe escape route to the causeways. In any such attempt, his troops would be vulnerable to a massive volume of missile fire. Cortes ordered his men to tear out any lumber available from the palace to build a number of war wagons.  These would serve as similar devices to the Hussite war wagons of the 15th Century, but would be moved by humans, not horses. Cortes hoped that they would hopefully provide cover for his own missile troops from withering Aztec missile fire – and therefore help his forces make it to the causeways. With these war wagons, Cortes launched an escape attempt that he hoped would be able to punch through the Aztecs and escape to the causeways – and then onto the safety of the mainland and the his Tlaxcalan allies. 

In the game. the Spanish broke through the Aztecs, though at significant cost. The Aztec commander was taken out by the Tlaxcalans (Conquistador allies). This was effective at reducing the Aztecs command and control, allowing Cortes to live for another day…again. Below are some game pics with a few descriptions.

The Aztec players make their moves
As the Aztecs surround the Spanish War Wagons, they find the Spanish full of fight.
One of the Spanish war wagons (on the left here) breaks, but the fight to escape continues on the right.
The Aztecs surround the broken war wagon.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the tabletop, the Tlaxcalans take out the overall Aztec leader (Cuitlahuac), greatly diminishing the Aztecs command and control.

Friday Morning, “Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost”

On Friday Morning, I had a full table for my “Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost” scenario. I also ran this game at HAVOC and at TOTALCON 2022. Here is the game briefing:

Near harvest time, a Tlaxcalan village is being raided by the Aztecs, seeking to take wealth, food, and prisoners.  The Aztecs know the majority of the Tlaxcalan troops are with the Conquistadores elsewhere, and expect an easy task.  Unbeknownst to the Aztecs, there are some Spanish troops at this town who will help to defend it.  This is a generic scenario based on Aztecs launching a surprise raid Veracruz or a Tlaxcalan Village serving as a supply base for Cortes.

It was a lot of fun and I was honored that the game won the Best in Time slot award which was nice. It was a pretty exciting game with a few twists and turns. In the end, it was an overwhelming Spanish victory (64-6) as the Conquistadores and their Tlaxcalan allies held off the raiding Aztecs.

The game starts.
The Spanish deploy awaiting the Aztec assault,
The Aztecs attempt to hit both Spanish flanks.
One Aztec Element moved around the muddy field, while another got a bit bogged down.
Another Aztec Element advanced up the middle – using the cornfield as concealment.
Surprise! The Spanish had a falconet as reinforcement.
A Spanish war dog valiantly defends his incapacitated master, stunning an attacking Aztec.
Mid-game, the MWHA came by and honored me with the “Best in Time Slot” award for this game! Yeah, I was happy!
The Aztec attack begins to falter.
Conquistador arquebusier volleys hold back the Aztecs, allowing them time to consolidate their defense.
The falconet’s langridge (similar to grape shot) disperses an Aztec charge, though one of the crew is incapacitated.
The defending conquistadores and Tlaxcalans begin to pick off the disorganized Aztecs.
The Aztecs’ attack slows and begins to be pushed back.
Victory for the defenders!

Friday Night, “La Noche Triste – Bloodbath on the Tacuba Causeway”.

This game was on Friday night, and is one of my favorites. It has war canoes, cavalry, and desperation! I had another full table for the game of “La Noche Triste – Bloodbath on the Tacuba Causeway”. I also ran this game at HAVOC. Here is the game briefing:

The struggle for the high ground of Temple of Yopico had been a fleeting success for Cortes.  Importantly, the Spanish had not succeeded in the most important task at hand – allowing Cortes and his troops to escape Tenochtitlan and reach the safety of Tlaxcalan allies on the mainland .  While the Spanish did temporarily seize the high ground of the temple, their war wagons were now destroyed, their supplies of food and water were gone, and they found themselves again trapped in the Palace of Axayacatl surrounded by thousands of angry Aztecs.  Times were even more desperate.  For those trapped in the city, one last try would either succeed or fail.  Either way, a Spanish failure meant either death on the battlefield or on the Altar of Huitzilopochtli.  Success might still mean death on the battlefield.  Cortes knew that the Aztecs had removed multiple spans over the canals on the causeways, which effectively meant that he would have to bridge those gaps to get to the mainland.  Cortes’ men stripped beams from the palace, and had constructed pieces to make temporary haulable bridge pieces.  No matter which causeway the Spanish took –  they faced a dire situation.  Cortes decided to try to make a night escape attempt with all of his forces – and head for the Tacuba Causeway – which was the shortest way out of the city.  He left at midnight, and under the cover of darkness, made headway undetected – for a while.  The Aztecs finally detected the Spanish movements, and raised an alarm.  War canoes, manned by Aztec warriors, surrounded Cortes’ troops on both sides of the Tacuba Causeway, and he faced enemies to his front and his rear.  Cortes’ men and his Tlaxcalan allies had taken with them as much looted treasure as possible, as well as prisoners (sons and daughters of the now-late Montezuma).  The Aztecs are hell-bent on stopping their escape.  A Tlaxcalan warband will try to help clear the way to the Spanish from the mainland.

The Spanish fought valiantly but this time Cortes was not successful. The Spanish managed to bridge the causeway gap but the Aztecs would not yield and their war canoes were effective.

Here are some battle shots:

The game set up and awaiting players.
The Spanish successfully bridge the gap and get “a burst of exuberance” – but the Aztecs were determined.
War canoes deploy against the Spanish on the causeway.
Eagle Warriors pursue the fleeing Spanish, while slingers pelt them mercilessly from the canoes.