Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Have Been to...

I was off in Toronto (aka, TO, Tdot, the centre of the universe etc) for a conference this week.  I had an afternoon free and had planned to make my way downtown to Fort York, a place I had never been before.  Well unfortunately the weather did not cooperate - with humidity the temperature was well over 40c and there were both heat and smog warnings.  Past experience has taught me that an 18th century military fort offers little shelter from the sun (in fact they tend to act like solar ovens) and Fort York lies next to the Gardiner Expressway a very busy inner city artery.  Therefore I stuck down town and had an entertaining couple of hours poking through game, book and record stores.  Next time in TO...

On the flight back, I had a window seat on the correct side and a clear sky giving me a wonderful overhead view of Mackinac Island.  This was the site of 2 British victories during the War of 1812.  The first came early in the war - so early that the invaders arrived before the American garrison knew that a war was on!  The second saw the British garrison chase off an American expedition to recapture the strategic island.  The view from above clearly showed just how important the island is, located where Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior meet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

History Quiz

An interesting quiz on the War of 1812 at

Warning, even for a Canadian this is a tough one (I got 8/11).

Monday, June 18, 2012

A 200th Anniversary

So yes it was 200 years ago today that James Madison declared war on Great Britain to kick off the War of 1812.  Therefore, the Ministry of Truth (aka the CBC) has some good stuff on "the Current" today.  Different nations remember the war differently (or not at all) and historians debate who won and what long term consequences followed the war.  Me I just look up at the flag flying from my place of work and see that it's a Maple Leaf instead of the Stripes and Stars.

Part of the problem of course is that there were really a series of very different wars.  There was a mainly wilderness campaign fought in the old Northwest.  There was a game of invasion, raid and counter raid across the Niagara, Lake Ontario, St Lawrence frontier which saw a number of open field battles as well as sieges and amphibious landings all fought by a mix of regulars, militia and irregulars on both sides.  There was the Atlantic Campaign which saw raids by British Peninsula Veterans and Marines against local American forces.  And there was a a Naval war in which the RN won, despite  the USN winning a number of single ship victories.

As for me, I will focus on the Niagara, Lake Ontario and St Lawrence campaigns, painting figures for 1813.  And yes the uniforms changed every year!

Between garden work (delayed badly by rain), concerts, final exams and convocations I've also had some time at the painting table.  So far the count is:

British - 49th Foot (24 figures, painted and based with colour), Glengarry Light Infantry (8 figures painted and based, no colour)
American - 13th and 16th Infantry (each 16 strong, painted with colors but yet to be based)

Pictures to follow soon (I hope).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is Proud to Be

Accessible to the sausages fingered among us

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You know you're a Wargamer When

The Arts& Life section of you morning paper has a lead article on a historical documentary, and your first reaction is "they didn't get the Belgic shako in Upper Canada until 1814"!

Regina Leader Post

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Using the Internet to Connect with Gamers...2km away

Last night I played 4 games of Strange Aeons with Curt of Analogue Hobbies.  It turns out that Curt (who's blog I've been following) lives 2km due west of me (as Google map drives it).  Who knew.

A comment I made on the Fawcett Avenue Consripts blog led to contact with one of Curt's regular gaming foes Stefan (who couldn't join us last night) who is also a faculty member at UofR.  Small world!

Anyway it was a fun night with Curt and his bud Stacy.  It's really good to connect with local gamers into historical minis - even if we did play with HP Lovecraftian themed scenarios!  The greyscale paint scheme Curt uses is really effective for the setting.  Strange Aeons gives a quick, fun somewhat goofy (and I mean that as a complement) game.  We played two scenarios twice (i.e. we flipped sides after each game) and the end score was Stacy 3: Peter 1 with Curt acting as GM.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June Is Always a Busy Month

Ok, I checked my calendar for the coming few days. From Thursday to Monday my daughter has 3 rehearsals, 3 concerts and a recital. There are 3 instruments, 5 locations, 4 groups and 3 different styles of music.  Good thing we only have one kid!

Plus I've got a long list of gardening todos this weekend.