The Afrika Korps was first deployed top North Africa in early 1941 after the British success in Operation Compass. Predominantly made up of Panzer units of the 5th Light Division and 15 Panzer Division, the list we have chosen here to best represent this force is a Schutzen platoon with appropriate support options. This is a firepower-heavy unit, ideal for taking the wind out of the sails of a British attack. This list is for the early Desert War period, Rommel’s campaign in Cyrenaica, up to the end of 1941.
The list can be downloaded here: German DAK Support List 1941
In fact Lard Island is already awash with Picts, Scotti and Irish raiding and nicking everything in sight. Fortunately they are only 28mm tall and we’re not having to nail down the furniture! Furniture? Yes, apparently so. I was reading an excellent book on the warfare of these warlike peoples and it quoted Gildas as complaining that the raiders were so hungry for loot that in a raid on his monastery they not only took his servants as slaves, but they also took the furniture from their dwelling! The ultimate Dark Age trip to Ikea possibly?
Anyway, we’ll be doing some previews of The Raiders supplement pretty soon, we’re just sending off the artwork for the card decks and getting the supplement formatted. For us the artwork has been key here. Part of the joy of the project has been the opportunity to research a period shrouded in mystery and, we hope, shed some light on those times. So, as a bit of a low-res sneak preview to get you in the mood for whipping out your coracle and heading off in search of a new coffee table here’s a look at the two main maps which will be part of the supplement.
This list covers the early part of the war in the North African desert and is suitable for the period from 1940 through to late 1941 covering the Italian attempts to invade Egypt in late 1940, the British and Commonwealth counter-attack of Operation Compass and then the German involvement with Unternehmen Sonnenblume and the British offensives of Operation Brevity and Battleaxe.
You can download the list here: British North Africa 40-41
Eirc mac Aonghas, Erc the Damned, cursed by the Bishop of the Britons in Caer Ligualid, was a man who lived for war and the honour it brought, not to mention the livestock. A Lord of the Cenel oNengusta he traces his line from Noah, through the sons of Mil who came from Iberia to take Erin from the children of Danu. Twenty-four years old, he is a solid man of no great height, but with the constitution of an Ox. He is free to fight and raid against the Picts, the Britons and the Irish, although his family ties to the people of Ulaid are strong. However, he owes fealty to the High King of the Scotti in Dun Athad, the sixty-four year old Comgall. With him are his nobles, Finn Dabi, Conall and Fergus mac Brec and his champion Dungal.
The introduction of three new nations to the Dux Britanniarum world looms large, as the Picts, the Scotti and the Irish are about to join in the fun of post-Roman Britain. In addition to being new nations, they will also introduce some new troop types which will add some real variety to the mix and see forces which fight in their very own fashion to suit their strengths. Let’s take a look in more detail at Eirc’s force of Scotti.
At the heart of the force are three six man Groups of Raiders. These are very fast moving and heard hitting troops who are tough to kill, but their morale can be quite brittle if they get involved in a lengthy fight. They are happiest when raiding and are looking for quick victories rather than slogging matches with well-equipped opponents.
Next we have two groups of four skirmishers. These are just like the skirmishers we’ve seen in Dux Britanniarum before, but the BIG difference is that they are commanded. The can be rallied and controlled by a Noble, as we see here. These are absolutely key troops for the Scotti as it is their job to harass the enemy and disorganise them before other troops move in for the kill.
Here we see the missile troops, slingers, and skirmish cavalry. Like the skirmishers above these are there to harass the enemy. However, there is one interesting option. The Scotti Lord may opt for himself and his champion to be chariot mounted in the game. Doing this brings the skirmish cavalry up to Raider cavalry status which allows them the option of skirmishing or melee combat.
One of the nice things about fielding this Army in Dux Britanniarum is that it can also double as an Irish Army. At the start of our period the Irish and Scotti field the same armies. As they progress they will have very different reinforcements and skills become available, gradually diverging and forming their own national character, but as a base force you do indeed get two for the price of one.
The mat you can see here is one I have just got from Monty’s Mats and will be featured in some upcoming game reports. All I will say for now is that it is FANTASTIC and much recommended. I’ll be doing a full review very soon, but don’t hesitate to check them out here: http://www.montyswargamingworld.co.uk/monty-s-mats.html
January 17th to 19th saw the HMGS Midsouth branch host their annual Siege of Augusta Convention at the DoubleTree Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Lard Ambassador Mark Luther was there with one of his stunning Sharp Practice games. Mark sends us this report:
Siege of Augusta is our largest local wargames convention and once again attendance was up. Apparently 320 gamers were present this year. We were able to fly the Lardy banner which made us instantly spottable to those gamers interested in the rules, and we had nothing but positive comments from gamers interested in chatting about Lard. We had lots of comments and questions about Chain of Command and the range of other Lardy rules we had on display.
Our game stint was at 8pm on the Saturday evening and we ran the battle of Kettle Creek scenario with Sharp Practice. This was the largest engagement of the Revolutionary Wars in Georgia, so it was certainly topical. And we had a great time. The players really enjoyed the rules and the shock and morale system in particular got high marks. A fun evening of gaming was enjoyed and Siege of Augusta is certainly a convention we would look to participate in again. Thanks to all on the committee who worked so hard to make the event such a success.
Our thanks to Mark for this hard work. I have said this before, but Mark’s terrain concerns me in that I cannot come anywhere close to the degree of beauty which imbues all of his battlefields with. I am sure that, Dorien Gray-like, he must have a plain old table in his attic which looks just like mine!
Watch out for the Lard Ambassadors at your local convention or show!
Any jolly swagman camped by a billabong at CanCon in the Australian Capital Territory last weekend won’t have failed to notice our Lard Ambassadors hoisting their banners and boarding Australia’s biggest wargames event. We hear yesterday how the Sydney Ambassadors got on in their report, and today is the turn of the Berwick Wargames Association who travelled from just outside Melbourne in Victoria. Berwick Ambassador to Lard Peter Rossetti tells us all:
At Australia’s largest games convention, Cancon, in January 2014, the Berwick Wargames Association launched its post colonial African campaign. Ten players from across Eastern Australia had built 28mm forces and terrain in preparation for what is Australia’s premier wargaming weekend.
After testing various popular rule sets we chose the excellent TooFatLardies WWII platoon level rules, Chain of Command to fight the table battles. Chain of Command are designed for WWII, but with some simple additions the rules were an great success. We also created a simple campaign system to link table games, and then just let the players take their characters and faction on a journey.
We set the games in the fictitious Democratic Republic of Zumbanda, a nation located somewhere in central Africa. The DRZ is a failing state on the verge of civil war, with significant natural resources, unfriendly neighbours, powerful competing foreign interests, and a diverse and fractured population. The players over the three days of the convention took on the roles of such diverse groups as the current President, President Gerald N’Zogbia, and Government Forces of DRZ, Free Zumbanda, a popularly based reformist movement, the Brothers of Rhodrica, the remnants of Colonial rule, and . Federated Independent African Socialist Christian Organisation, FIASCO – under their charismatic “nutcase” Warlord.
Over the three days of Cancon players lead their factions through various scenarios. Many players had never played Chain of Command, but the rules proved they are easily learnt and the outcome of actions are usually determined by using real tactics.
“Shooting Terrs” – Crossing the Border
“Leaving on a Jet Plan” – Zumbanda Airport
“Rare Earth” – The Mine
“The voice of freedom and democracy” – Radio Zumbanda
“You must pay” – VIP Rescue
“Loaves and Fishes” – Delivering aid to the refugee camp of Little Joy
“Going Downtown” – Fun in the capital, Joyville
“The Palace” – The culmination with a massive game, all players meeting on one large table and in one big game. Chain of Command proved themselves more than able to handle purely armoured commands and multiple players.
So, how did it go? It was a resounding success, with a whole three days of fun and frantic scenarios, ending in a suitable crowd-drawer. We had a great response to Chain of Command. Many gamers were aware of the rules and wanted to see them in action and have a go. The fact that the traders had sold out of Chain of Command completely by the end of the weekend tells you all you need to know about how well the rules were received!
You can read all about the campaign in more detail on our web site at:
Our thanks to Peter and the gang from Berwick for all of their hard work. Sounds like a fun day was had by all. In our increasingly global hobby we have Lard Ambassadors planning games all over the globe, so watch out for the Lard banner being hoisted at a show near you!
For some reason I want to talk like a pirate. Aaahhaaaaa!
Last weekend saw Canberra host Australia’s biggest wargames event, Cancon, and Chain of Command was well represented with not one but two sets of Lardy Ambassadors displaying the game. Here is the first report from Sydney Ambassadors Neil Milne and Shane Hill who flew the Lardy banner on Day Three of the event.
January the 27th saw two Aussie ‘Lard Ambassadors’ attend the third day of the biggest gaming convention in Australia, Cancon. We travelled nearly 300kms south to Canberra from Sydney to show off the Lardies’ WWII platoon level rules, Chain of Command.
We set up a small French village ‘le Petite Nerf’ and ran a small scenario using three weakened German sections and two under-strength US Para Platoons. We were able to run two game during the day with the enjoying the game mechanics and showing a good deal of interest in the rules. It turns out after that by mid afternoon there was not a Chain of Command rulebook to found anywhere amongst the retailers attending the convention. In the end we had to let people know that the rules were also available as a download from the TFL website. Rumours are that resupplies are on there way to Oz as we speak!
While one of us was demonstrating the game to those playing the other was more often than not seen talking with other gamers with a keen interest in the game. There were a few that had not heard of the rules and were showing a lot of interest in the game as they watched the game take place, there were some who had heard of the rules but had not seen them in action and again they showed a keen interest in the game, there were even some that had already purchased the rules but needed to see a game in action to get a good feel for the rules.
On the next table to us a gaming group from Melbourne had put together a very nice looking table showing Chain of Command’s versatility as they ran a participation game using a Modern theme – but I will let them tell you more about that game! [We’ll have a report on that tomorrow, Ed]
On the way home we discussed our thoughts on the day, coming to the conclusion that the day had been a complete success. We were able to talk to many Australian gamers who wanted to chat about the rules as well as demonstrate there great qualities on the tabletop. A complete sell-out of the rules among the traders present must surely be an indication of just how well these rules are being received.
Our thanks to Neil and Shane for their hard work. Later this week we’ll hear from the Berwick Ambassadors with their modern Africa game using Chain of Command.
With the release of Chain of Command: At the Sharp End, the campaign handbook for our popular WWII platoon level rules, we’ve been asked to give a taste for what they are all about. In a nutshell, At the Sharp End is designed to allow the gamer to enjoy the fun of campaigning with the minimum of effort. The handbook provides both a guide to constructing your campaigns along with rules for then running it.
There are three campaign types, the simplest being the No Map Campaign which can be played immediately with pretty much no preparation and in any theatre of war the gamer wishes. Secondly, the Simple Map Campaign allows for a more detailed background, but can be set up with around half-an hour’s preparation. Finally the Full Map Campaign allows the gamer to add more detail by researching his own period of historical interest and using the template provided. The template is a universal one for any campaign in WWII and beyond, and with very little work would fit with any platoon sized game system.
The rules include all the detail you’d expect for managing your campaign, movement, casualties, reinforcements and replacements, along with awards for gallantry and even escaping from POW camps!
What is more, the campaign system allows you to create your key characters, finding out their background where they come from and what they were doing in civvy street, before following their careers through your campaign. The system also looks at the platoon as it progresses, tracking the men’s morale, the CO’s opinion and the outlook of your platoon commander, all of which will influence how well your men fight in battle and what support is available for them on their missions. Part of every platoon leader’s challenge is to keep his men safe and happy, whilst also achieving victories which endear him to the Colonel.
Chain of Command: At the Sharp End provides games with real challenge added and link them together to form an on-going campaign which really puts you at the sharp end.
It’s available now for just £6 in PDF format for the full 48 page handbook at www.toofatlardies.co.uk
Having been bounced in game 5 of the campaign the initiative now lay with the beastly Hun and, always ready to kick a man when he’s down, the rotter took advantage of the opportunity to launch a significant counter-attack.
I set up the terrain as you can see below. This isn’t the precise location where Game 4 was played, but it is a nearby route through the same rocky passes.
As the attackers the Germans rolled 8 for support, a good roll, and whilst that allowed me List 5 support (4 plus an extra one as my Colonel is still looking after me) I took the decision to fall back and not contest this battlefield. With the lack of terrain in the open desert, and having seen how badly a fighting withdrawal can go in a desert setting I left the battlefield uncontested and withdrew, falling back on the old German main defensive position around Sheik al Fak. I am now wishing that I had consolidated on that position once I first captured it as it would now present a solid strongpoint which Jerry may baulk at. But I hadn’t. In my desire to keep the enemy wrong footed I had pushed on.
Of course the Germans now have a decision to make as well. The position at Sheik al Fak is a strong one and if they attack it and suffer heavy casualties it could weaken them to the point where I then drive right over the top of them and seize the Oasis at Kharmal. However, if he were to take Sheik al Fak in style it may well spell the end of my campaign in that we have both had our only replacements for this campaign and every man lost now will be irreplaceable. My failure in Game 5 has presented both of us with some interesting choices to make. As it stands the initiative is with the Germans so I will just have to wait and see what he does.