Saturday, April 29, 2017

Could get a little Hott in Southern Maine in May

My annual trek south to a wargaming convention isn't just about the convention. Its also a chance to visit with co-host Rob Dean  (, have some extended chats, some planning sessions and hopefully play a face to face game or two to supplement our occasional  remote games  using either Hangout or Skype. As it happens Rob and sons have been building and playing with some 1/72nd HOTT armies mounted on 60mm wide bases for some time now. Since the rules don't really care what you put on a HOTT base as long as its representative, the 1/72nd figures let your units look slightly more like, well, units. OK so 6 or 8 figures instead of 3 or 4 doesn't sound like much but it works for me.

Since I had a motley crew of painted 1/72 figures, mostly Celtic and fictional Viking types in need of a reason to exist, and since 1/72nd figures are easy to transport and its not hard to find a corner to play HOTT in, I decided to base up a HOTT army and challenge Rob (and Norman,, if he's coming this year.) to a game at Huzzah.
The Cauldron of Rebirth, and a Horde of born again warriors.
Note the glazed stares, the rigid poses and the rising dead warrior.
I was trying to think of what to do with the single wounded Airfix Briton, make him a Sneaker perhaps, playing dead until the enemy passes then rising to try some dastardly attack? Seemed like a lot to put on one lone wounded guy. I moved on to other things and happened to stand a bunch of the Airfix axemen alongside some Orion Vikings and was suddenly struck by the stunned look and wooden movement as they all lofted some weapon and waddled forward, all shieldless and unarmoured. Couldn't help but think "Zombies" !  That made me think again of the wounded guy sitting there, looking like he was about to get back up! Ok, sounded like a Horde stand to me. But what brought them back?

In College I read a Yearling series fantasy tale called the Black Cauldren, I forget the details but the idea has stayed with me. I was already assembling a Cleric team to use up some viking women with dagger and drinking horn and some of the non-combatant Britons and was wondering what to do with an excess Viking chief in Bearskin headdress with sword and arm raised to the sky. Well, I had a vague memory of having a Cauldron somewhere.....and there we were. A Priest supported by acolytes of some sort, a pagan standard bearer, some kneeling guardsmen, and a cauldron with a warrior just emerging from its murky depths.
1 Cleric (3 AP), 1 Horde (1 AP)

Wild barbarian cavalry, tribesmen and archers
The next lot were easy. For nostalgia's sake I had painted up some Ancient Briton's when Hat re-released them. The originals had been included in the earliest Valdurian armies until I went Minifig.
I rebased one stand of Italeri cavalry and here we have the Hillmen allies.
1 Rider, 1 Warband, 1 Shooter (6 AP)
Meg the Mighty, and his little friends too.
I didn't want to go with a straight human army but didn't have much to choose from in 1/72nd. The Revel Saxons included copies of various Elastolin figures such as form my current Gathering of Hosts armies. It amused me to take one of the 40's who is chopping downwards and mount him as a Giant backed by a few normal humans from the same range of Elastolin poses.  (hmm must remember to give him a dark wash and touch up the metal)

Another section of those Orion Vikings were copied from Marx vikings, both the 54mm soft plastic ones and the painted hard plastic ones issued in 60mm as Warriors of the World and in 25mm in the Knights and Vikings set I had (best Christmas present EVER). A couple of archers and running spearmen, copies of my old favourites, backed by an Elastolin copy and voila, Shooters!  
Giant (4AP), Shooter (2AP)


There were several good Chieftain poses in the Orion Viking box but I've always had a soft spot for the Vercingatorix like Airfix "guy".  I had made an armoured viking standard bearer when I painted these guys some 15 years ago so it was just a matter of adding 6 more armoured vikings and I had a General and his Hearthguard. After trying to sort the rest, I gave up, reversed course, and did as thorough a mix of Marx and Elastolin copies and original Revel and Orion figures as I could to make 3 more stands of infantry. They look a little wild so I probably ought to call them Warband, but....... I wanted to use the Airfix guys as the lighter, faster, woods fighting guys and these for the main shieldwall battle line, rather like my earliest Valdurian army. So Blades? or Warband? or both?  Deferred Decision but it would probably be best if they were all the same in any given game.
4 Blades or Warbands (8 AP)

Total: 11 stands, 24 AP


  1. Love these figures/units! I always envisioned doing something like this way back in my D&D days.

    Best Regards,


  2. Wonderful figures, love this impressive Cauldron of Rebirth...

    1. Thanks, no painting involved (recently I mean), all assembled quickly from the back of the cupboard so I am doubly happy at how it turned out.

  3. Ah ! those old Airfix figures taken me back ! , like the cauldron and the re-birth idea , Tony

    1. Somewhere in the back of our collective, cultural minds there are cauldrons and resurrection...

  4. Zombie Vikings - what's not to like! The cartoon film 'The Black Cauldron' was one of my son's favourites when he was a few years younger.

    1. I only discovered recently that there was such a film. Obviously the book took some kind of hold though I was a young adult rather than a kid when I read it.

  5. Greta post Ross. HOTTs was always a great standby for Joseph's and my gaming when I got to Halifax. The caudron is a great idea.

    1. Rob, this really got its start 6 years ago on your kitchen table....

  6. That's all looking great! The cauldron and the giant are both amazing ideas. Depending on how my painting goes, you may be facing off against the other classic Airfix army, the Sherriff/Robin Hood team.

  7. Nice use of some classic plastic figures.