I am not in love, but I’m open to persuasion. I guess that best sums up my attitude to plastic figures. I can most certainly state that there is nothing about the weight of plastic figures which upsets me, all of my ACW armies have the superb Perry plastics for their rank and file and I’ve been using them for some years now. The bit that does frustrate me is when the contents of a box of infantry look like they are designed by Tamiya for a devoted military modeller, as opposed to a “get the bloody things on the table” approach which better sums up yours truly.
To illustrate this very personal relationship breakdown between plastic figures and me, I recently abandoned a whole Japanese stater army after spending an hour sticking three figures together. Metal, I decided, may be more expensive, but when it came to costing my time it would actually be cheaper, and less likely to cause a heart attack! So, accepting this as the case, why did I buy a box of Warlord US Rangers at Partizan2 the other week? Well, the answer is that I needed some supports which I just couldn’t get in metal, in particular the Engineer teams for mine clearance, obstacle clearance and flamethrower. All of which were available in this box. Or, more to the point, the bits were available.
I decided that the two bangalore torpedoes would be great for the demolition team. Rather than assemble a whole plastic figures, I looked through my spares box to find a couple of suitable metal figures to take the left arms which were attacked to the said explosive charges. I found one from Artizan and one from Crusader who, after a quick snip with a pair of toenail clippers and a zap with a small file, fitted the role perfectly. A third figure in the team is equipped with a carbine, but I also added some of the metal parts from the Rangers box, equipping him with an axe and some other demolition kit on his belt. This is how they ended up.
Next was the mine-clearance team. Here I assembled two kneeling plastic figures, one with a knife for probing the ground, the other removing a sign saying “minen”. The third was a carbine armed metal Crusader figure pointing as if to say “I found one!”. It’s a shame that no mine detector was present, but I am not unhappy with the look of these. They certainly have a “hands on” feel to them.
Next we have the flamethrower team. This was a bit tricky to build, but I went with a complete plastic figure to which I added the metal cast flamethrower. I had a bit of a job working out which were the best parts for this, but the figure is fine when various bits of kit are added. His two mates are metal figures by crusader who I have also given lots of wire cutting tools on their belts. They can double up for that purpose if required.
After that it was two metal figure teams, also from Warlord; the 0.50 cal Browning and another 60mm mortar. These figures are nicely sculpted and well posed. None of the weirdo looks I found with some of their Russians was evident here. I really like them. Warlord also do single figures of the bloke with the ammo boxes. As Chain of Command teams are often five men rather than the very odd wargame standard three men (how did that ever become the standard?!) this is a very welcome optional purchase to beef up teams.
So, the Warlord boxed set proved to be a great purchase as a specific “spares box” for the US forces. Any gaps in their ranks can now be filled with these. Indeed I am about to crew my Utility Cars with them. I got some very reasonably prices Solido models on eBay and have tarted these up with what are largely Tamiya 1:48th clutter. I want to add some more bits in Milliput or Green Stuff, but the plastic figures should work brilliantly. Here’s a snap before I get started on them.
If you’re at Derby next weekend you should see the finished models in our game along with the rest of the 29th Infantry Division figures.
Apologies for some of the shoddy photos, I am adding this early in the morning before heading up to York so they are not great, but hopefully sufficient to show what I’ve been up to. I’ll try to replace them when I can get better light.
After all of the hard work getting my Yanks ready for action, i thought we’d have a bit of a fun game with week at the club, just getting to know their strengths and weaknesses. As a result the scenario was a bit tongue-in-cheek, with both sides having their own objectives which weren’t mutually exclusive.
For the US players, BA, Noddy and Doctor Daz, a small of two platoons backed up by a reduced platoon of three M4 Shermans was tasked with rescuing some comrades who had been incarcerated in the local Gestapo HQ and, according to the local FFI, were being treated in a beastly manner by their evil captors. Their task was to rescue their comrades from the hands of their terrible tormentors.
On the German side Elton and The Traitor McKipper (hot from the campaign trail) were tasked with defending the chateau until a unit of Feld Gendarmerie could arrive to remove highly confidential papers. After that they could withdraw. Just one platoon was available, but they also had a Pak 40, a Marder III and an SdKfz 222 to assist them. Here The Traitor is seen expounding his plan. Elton looks on admiringly as Noddy, right, seems to have heard it all before.
And here’s how the Patrol Phase ended.
Above and below, the Yanks advance.
The 60mm mortar deploys to bring down fire on the Jerries on the Chateau roof.
A jeep discovers that the road is blocked.
The Germans deploy to defend the crossroads.
Fiddling on the roof.
“Marching fire!” The words of General Patton ringing in their ears, the Yanks advance whilst bringing down fire on their evil foes.
The tanks are here! BA’s armour puts down terrible fire into the chateau…
…and Noddy’s boys rush forward, the prisoners in the cellars can be heard calling to their rescuers…
In his enthusiasm BA was shelling the chateau with three Shermans lined up. The German defenders rushed down from the roof when the building became unstable but were still on the first floor when the whole structure collapsed, killing them and the US prisoners in the cellar. At that very moment the Feld Gendarmerie drew up in their truck, only to see the precious papers buried under tons of rubble. In one moment both sides lost the game, their victory conditions unachievable. How we laughed.
What was amusing was that both sides pretty much ignore their briefing and we looking to get a “win” in the traditional sense. The Germans were, obviously, on a hiding to nothing with far fewer troops and supports (and persistent calls of “it’s no fair” from The Traitor would have brought a tear to a glass eye), but then they didn’t need to try to defeat the Yanks; just hold them up for most of the game! Meanwhile the US players seemed to have forgotten that their mates were in the chateau and were shelling it for all they were worth.
As it was, honours were even and a fun game was had by all. We certainly learnt that the Yanks are an aggressive force with their marching fire option, and the Garand re-rolling any 1′s is a significant advantage in a firefight. The 60mm mortar may not have smoke but it packs a bigger punch than the British 2″ mortar and is, I reckon, a great support option when you’re up against the very “shooty” Jerries. Personally I believe that deploying scouts and then shelling any opposition discovered with the mortars is the best way to go with these boys. Now we’re looking forward to the 29th to start campaigning on the road to Carentan.
Having spent a lot of summer holidays in Normandy, it is impossible to not feel some kind of affection for the 29th Infantry Division, “The Blue and Gray” as the road from Omaha beach to Carentan and on down to St Lo is littered with plaques marked with their yin yang style badge showing the blue and the grey heritage of the Confederate and United States armies. This affection can only be strengthened when one discovers that some of the units in the division can trace their lineage back to the Stonewall Brigade. For a wargamer, what is there not to like? It is natural then, with a good knowledge of the ground and an interest in this unit, that my first “Pint-sized Campaign” for Chain of Command is going to follow this unit as it drives inland from Omaha beach.
Of course the first task in such a campaign is determining both what forces to use and what supports to make available. After some reading I determined to use the standard US infantry platoon of forty men; three squads of 12 men with an HQ of a Lieutenant, a Staff Sergeant and a bazooka team. For 29 Let’s Go you’ll need a standard platoon of infantry looking like this:
Of course, if you fancy playing larger games with the free Big Chain of Command notes, you’ll probably need a second platoon too. Mine looks like this:
I painted a second platoon as I was going to need an additional squad as a support option, so while doing that I thought I may as well go the whole hog and do a second platoon.
My other support options are very much influenced by checking TO&Es for the period, but equally reading first hand accounts of the actions and replicating what support is mentioned in them. Thus far I have painted up the following:
A couple of additional BARs and two snipers. Accounts tell how the 29th were keen on adding additional firepower with two BARs per squad where possible. They also refer to snipers taking out German MG positions, so we’ll have rules for that in the supplement.
The 60mm mortar is always a popular support option for the yanks as they really need a firepower boost where they can get one. The same goes for the 0.30 cal Brownings below.
I’ve also provided a Forward Observer team…
…and a 57mm anti-tank gun.
I need to get some Engineering options sorted as these were certainly available and with plenty of fun toys. I need to find who makes such creatures. Currently I am converting a figure to be a medic and I have some Shermans and jeeps already available. My only really large addition for the future will be the Greyhound M* armoured car.
So there we have it. The 29th are ready to go all over again!
The French maison bourgeoise is a thing of beauty which, to me, epitomises the sparkle of the Second Empire. Most English-French dictionaries describe them as “imposing town houses” or similar, but that fails to truly sum up what are in fact the small aspirational semi-chateaux of the nouveau riche who profited from the “Carnival Empire”. It is well worth searching with the term on-line to see what French estate agents have to offer. These provided me with the best painting guide I could have hoped for. Above is a fine example.
Work on this model was, essentially, to be a plain and simple paint job. However, before I began I did do a bit of prep which, to my mind, makes the model come to life. Firstly I washed the whole building in a watered down PVA mix. This binds the whole thing together to make a more solid structure, but it also protects any weak spots on the model such as, in this case, the beautiful but slightly delicate cardboard shutters and ornate carvings above the first floor windows (that’s 2nd floor for any cowboys reading). I then carefully added some tile grout to the PVA and water mix and applied this to hide some of the most obvious joins which one gets with MDF buildings. This served to add some texture to the walls as well and, once dry, I used a sharp point to re-etch some of the brick and blockwork detail. Anyway, here’s how it turned out.
A couple of points. One gentleman contacted me yesterday to ask why I was so critical of MDF buildings. I am not. That said, I do feel that with any model it is possible to take the original off the peg model and adjust it to provide something which has a more tailor-made feel. In the case of the radar station that adjustments were significant; with the maison bourgeoise they were very minor. However, in both cases it resulted in a model which I am more happy with.
The addition of the Warbases tiled roof in this case really does make a visual difference and it also strengthens the model no end. The tile grout, applied in a minimalist manner, adds a nice textured finish to the model. The one aspect of MDF buildings (per se) which I am not a fan of is the fact that European buildings in stone and brick do have a very strong and rough texture which perfectly flat MDF does not. By making a small adjustment I am creating a look which better conforms to what I want. This is not a criticism of the original models, but merely an adaptation to suit my own very personal requirements. In fact, I can most strongly and heartily recommend both of these models, they are absolutely first class, whether you use them straight out of the pack or, as I have, add a few embellishments.
Having knocked up a maison bourgeoise and a radar station over the past couple of days, I set myself the task of getting these painted over the weekend. As I’d mentioned, I wasn’t sure how to decorate the radar station base and was considering using a set of nylons to create the mesh of the dish. Well, I tried the latter and it was an unmitigated disaster. The net result was a couple of hours spent cleaning nylon and glue off the model. What fun on a Saturday morning…
In the end I nipped to my local car parts shop and grabbed some wire mesh which you use for doing bodywork repairs to cars. Those readers with long memories will recall that Ace model builder Ian Weekely used this stuff for leaded light windows. To fit this I needed to cut it into three pieces and superglue it in place thus:
There is a small amount of buggering about involved with a job like this, but you can bend the mesh into shape and then cut where the bend is, so in that respect it is easier than it looks. However, there is an aspect of “it fits where it touches” to this, but ultimately it’s a bit of wargaming terrain and not an entry into Scale Models of Radar Stations magazine. I find myself more than capable of living with a degree of imperfection.
What sharp-eyed bunnies will notice is that I used the car mesh to add to the areas which the MDP model has etched on as metal walkways. I had the mesh so I thought I may as well use it and a couple of off-cuts did the job. I think it adds a bit to the model but it isn’t entirely necessary.
After that I was looking for some additional bric-a-brac for the base. I did think about using one of the jump-off markers, they do make very nice terrain pieces in their own right, but I found some of the Tamiya 1:48th oil drums and a jerry can in the spares box so they server the purpose. Additionally I found some coffee stirrers which I snipped to the same length and arranges as a pile of timber. A couple of slightly thicker bits of balsa wood served as the bits this pile of sawn timer was resting on. All very simple stuff. I should add here that a liberal application of PVA on things like the complete wood pile glue it all together very solidly and provide a good base for painting.
I’m pretty pleased with the end result. I has a suitable lived-in look. I normally spend a lot of time on signage and that sort of stuff to bring the model to life, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered yesterday, so I may revisit that soon. Or maybe not.
More later on the maison bourgeoise. Off to walk the dog now.
In preparation for 29 Let’s Go! I’m amassing what additional bits of terrain I need. It’s always remarkable that no matter how many toy buildings we amass, we always need more! This time our research had brought to our attention a radar station to the East of Isigny-sur-Mer which we were going to need to represent in one scenario. This is, of course, something of an oddity, but fortunately Sarissa Precision make precisely one such model in laser cut MDF, so we snapped it up. Here’s what it looks like in the pack:
Good looking eh? And, we can confirm, it was very easy to put together. The only addition I made to the basic kit in the initial stages was to use a couple of off-cuts from the windows to add as signs on or near the doors (a sort of Nazi Health & Safety notice) and to add a hand rail. This latter addition was simply a paperclip bent thus:
…and a couple of hose drilled, a dab of superglue and Bob’s your Auntie’s live-in-lover.
A handy rail after a night out on the vin rouge in Isigny. So, the completed model looked like this:
All rather dinky, but it wasn’t quite like the Wurzburg model I was looking for, which was the one at the top of the page. As we can see, the MDF model is on some rather clever turntable which is flush with the ground. The real Wurzburg is set atop a big hexagonal lump of concrete and is about five foot in the air. Obviously this is where we reach the practical limits of what MDF can do. Fortunately, this is precisely where the magic of high density polystyrene comes to our rescue.
I decided that I was going to scrap the round MDF base and go for more of an Atlantic Wall concrete look. I first measured up a piece of blue polystyrene 2″ square and marked on how I was going to “hexagonise” it.
I carefully cared this out, use the base of the MDF model to draw on the circle which needed to be removed in order to house the underside of the radar unit. I then chucked this in the bin as it was far too small, started again with a 3″ square piece which came out rather better. It also allowed me to carve in some concrete steps with a craft knife. Easy stuff this.
A small detail I know, but my viewing of Atlantic Wall concrete emplacements has obliged me to come to the conclusion that whilst the Herr Doktor Engineers of the Third Reich were men of precision, the French contractor with his Ukrainian labourers was not so precise. Once can see precisely where wonky shuttering has been used in many places and this was a bit of detail I wanted to add. Fortunately my modelling skills approximate those of a disinterested French peasant with his Ukrainian mate, and I was able to come up with this:
I then lightly sanded this down to remove the harshest edges before moving on to add a screw through the polystyrene base which would hold the radar unit in place whilst still allowing it to swivel (if I did ever find the need to swivel my radar unit…). I drilled a pilot hole through the MDF to achieve this…
And then added a screw to make sure it all worked. For those who’ve never seen a picture of a screw in a piece of blue polystyrene, this one’s for you!
How good was that?
Now I painted the concrete base with a mix of tile grout and PVA. Quite a runny mix as I didn’t want to hide the detail, just roughen it up to look more like concrete. As you can see below, I did not add the gloop to the hole where the base of the radar would fit as I didn’t want spoil the tight fit.
With that done, I reinserted the screw and glued the whole thing into position on the MDF base I had cut to size. The screw does a basic job, a two year old could probably tear the radar from the base, but fortunately my days of consorting with two year olds are long gone, so I should be safe.
I also added a set of steps made from artists mounting board. My original plan was to have this unattached so that the radar station could rotate, but frankly it was too difficult and I did realise that this was not a REAL radar station so rotating it wasn’t really necessary. So I stuck the steps in place. I now wish that I’d glued the top section to the concrete base rather than using the screw, but we live and learn…
As you can see, I gave the concrete another wash of gloop to marry the model to the base. Pat G, a good pal of Lard and supremely talented techno-whizz, has sent me some dragons teeth that he’d made on his 3D printer so I added them to the base for a bit of local colour. I think I’m going to have a look through my spares box to find some additional bits and bobs to breathe some life into the scene. I’m also considering using a pair of my wife/daughters’ old stockings to make the fine wire mesh which was part of the radar dish. That could potentially lead to disaster, so we’ll see how that turns out when I paint the finished model.
We’ve been busy here on Lard Island, primarily finalising the layout for young Chris Stoesen’s Eastern Front Great War supplement for Mud & Blood, but in snatched moments of free time I’ve also been prepping for the first “Pint Sized Campaign” supplement for Chain of Command I’m writing called “29, Let’s Go!”. It’s a quote many fans of WWII will recognise as it relates to the 29th Infantry Division who landed on D-Day and fought their way into the heart of the Reich. The campaign I have been working on focusses on their opening up the road from Omaha Beach to Carentan in the days immediately after D-Day and covering a geographical patch I know very well from countless visits to Normandy and the Isigny area in particular.
Part of the fun has been putting together my US forces, but my thoughts have also turned to Normandy terrain and getting some nice buildings together to represent that very beautiful part of the world. After my recent positive East Prussian experiences with MDF buildings (see my brewery project in an earlier set of posts) I took the plunge with a company I’d not used before, Sarissa Precision, a Derbyshire based company whose web site tells me their models are “Part of the game, not of the table”. Whatever that might mean.
The model I chose is marketed as a chateau. I’d really suggest it is a maison bourgeoise, but my missus thought it was a Mairie when I showed her, so really it’ll do for any substantial building in France. The model is supplied unpainted in 2mm MDF with some cardboard parts. I shan’t bore you with pictures of a fat bloke sticking the model together, but suffice to say that the kit is assembled in four sections, as we can see here.
Fairly obviously, we have the ground floor. first floor, attic and then a roof platform to top it all off. The front and rear steps are somewhat fiddly to put together, the rest is very simple. I would recommend having some decent elastic bands to hand to hold the various sections in place while they dry as the chances of the model going a bit wonky without them is pretty high, and if that happens the various floors wont fit at all well.
I should point out that the roof was, as with the East Prussian brewery in fact, the weakest part of the model. Somehow MDF roofs really don’t work for me, so here I have tiled this one with the superb laser cut roof tiles from Warbases. I used two designs to add some variety, with a seam of different tiles running around the roof at one point, something I think adds some additional interest. I also used paper as lead flashing on the ridges and above the dormer windows. I feel very strongly that adding the new tiles and the flashing goes a long way to strengthening the basic model and making it more robust due to the healthy application of a dollop of PVA glue to hold it all in place.
In the above pictures I’ve put a couple of Artizan figures and a staff car so you can get a feel for scale. Below you can see how the stairs at the front and back compare.
I have to say that for twenty-five quid, which is what I paid for this model on E-Bay, this is a cracking addition. It is a really imposing structure which could be a Dutch hotel near Arnhem (for readers of the latest Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine), a large Mairie or Hotel de Ville in Normandy or anything in between. I must commend Sarrissa for their eye for detail, my only concern is how long the beautiful but delicate balustrade on the steps, front and rear, is going to last with the usual bashing that wargames buildings get in my house, other than that it is a superb model at a very fair price.
Its been a year since Chain of Command was published and what an exciting 12 months it’s been. We’ve certainly had a great time playing our games as well as getting forces assembled for the Spanish Civil war and modern variants. Of course, Chain of Command is a “platoon plus” sized game and like all games of that size there are a limited number of models on the table, and that limits how many people can play, and that has led to many of you asking us “Can it get any bigger?”. Well, you’ll be glad to know it can. And it just has!
Our notes for playing large games of Chain and Command are simple and easy to add. They allow you to field one platoon per player for some really large games, and as they are so simple we’ve given them a simple name: Big Chain of Command. They are a no-frills set notes which, in truth, leave the main game rules are pretty much unchanged. We just have a few tweaks to the Force Morale in order to reflect the various platoons reacting to what is going on with friendly forces on the same table.
For the most part Big Chain of Command is really just notes to be read before the game. They show you how to rate your armoured platoons – tanks have always been support options in the past, you can now field whole platoons of them – and how to run through the patrol phase and game set up for the bigger version of the rules. The great news is that as the turn sequence in Chain of Command is not reliant on drawing chits, cards or dice, the system doesn’t slow down with multiple players and the core rules remain exactly the same throughout, so no great learning curve to embark on with Big Chain of Command!
To make things easy, we have added a number of pages to show how the various nations organised their armoured platoons so that you can follow historical precedent or just form an ad hoc “kampfgruppe” from the vehicles in your collection. However you enjoy your games, you’ll find that Big Chain of Command allows you to play these great rules in a more sociable big game atmosphere. You can download the Big Chain of Command notes for free here: Big Chain of Command
With the release of Operation Winter Storm for Chain of Command, Lard Island News thought it would be a good idea to have a rigorous look at Editor Monty, just to make sure! So, we invited him to our studio for a good probe.
Lard Island News: So, Monty, why are you called Monty? This surely wasn’t the name you were born with?
Monty: Quite right. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective, my real name is Richard. That can be confusing when the large man of Lard is also called that. As I run a small wargaming business Called Monty’s Wargaming World as well as being Lardy Richard’s helper, so it made sense to find a less confusing handle. Monty stuck. A nom de guerre if you like.
Lard Island News: So, you must be excited about having your first supplement published. Operation Winter Storm looks like great fun. Tell us first about Chain of Command and your experiences with the rules. What do you like about them?
Monty:: First of all because it is probably the best rule set I have ever played and it has some very stiff competition in earning that title. For me, history is key. I find the accounts of veterans inspirational and I want my games to chime with those accounts. Of course, you can never replicate what it was really like for them, but you can create a very plausible representation and that is what Chain of Command and Lardie games in general achieve. Secondly, I want the challenge to come from the decisions I have to make not trying to understand and apply the rules! Again, Chain of Command scores here. I have had new players grasp the basic mechanics in half an hour but I have never yet had a game where I did not find myself challenged to a very great extent. It’s the focus on the men, leadership and friction that really create these challenges and I’m really taken by the way they put you in the boots of a platoon commander and avoid trying to have you playing as company commander, platoon commander and section commander all at the same time. This focus is also a key element for me. I could go on and on and on about this. It really does fit the bill for what I want from a game.
The other reason was my role as a Lard Ambassador. I am keen to help spread the Lard because it has revolutionised my gaming for the better and I’d like others to at least have the chance to experience the same. I was keen therefore to run shows at games and for these to be participation games and Chain of Command works very well in that respect. I was also keen to ring the changes as I went through the year. The show circuit up here in Scotland is well supported, but I was keen for people coming to different shows to see different games. I was inspired by the RAF Leuchars’ Club’s Band of Brothers series of games last year and I wanted to try to do the same thing; following a story through over the year. Hence the need for a number of connected Chain of Command scenarios.
Lard Island News: So Monty, what’s the general background to the supplement?
Monty: Stalingrad and the death of 6th Army. But we’re not looking at the pocket itself, rather the focus is on the attempt to break through and open an escape route for the encircled forces. I found this very interesting – it is a German offensive with Panzers galore and with a real feel of the ‘old days’ in that respect. But the Soviet side is also key. Gone are the armies of Barbarrossa and we are really starting to see the rebirth of the Red Army and its transformation into the force that would drive all the way to Berlin. We’re not there yet and so we have the Germans on the wane and the Soviets on the rise, creating a very nice balance. We see a range of Soviet forces engaged and an awareness on the Soviet part of what was going on, the risks they faced and what they needed to do about that. Of course, overall the plan failed in that the Stalingrad garrison was not rescued, but the operation itself was a success – achieving the objective it was set. Bizarrely, it was also a Soviet success as they achieved their objective of stopping the Germans where they wanted.
Lard Island News: What sort of games can we expect to find?
Monty: All sorts! We have partisans, cavalry, rifle and SMG platoons. We have day and night engagements – formal attacks, hasty attacks, desperate defences, flank attacks, link up operations, meeting engagement, a coup de main. There are some all infantry actions, some are all armour and some are a mix – including armour on one side and infantry on the other. Hopefully, there is a good mix and something for everyone.
Lard Island News: Aren’t battles on the steppes a bit…flat?
Monty: NO! Or at least, not at this level. In the context of a divisional level game, there is, perhaps, some truth to that statement. But not at platoon level. No ground is flat (unless man made), all ground has folds and dips and these are key to an infantryman it’s also true of the desert. You really don’t need that much of a dip to get into cover when the bullets are flying! Some of these dips and rises are quite pronounced – we encounter depressions and ranges of hills. There are also Balkas – wadis in other parts of the world – some of them quite minor and some major. And then some ground is rougher than other areas. We also have the man made effect, villages, farms, orchards, pastures for grazing – the list goes on. So no, not flat and not just a wide open space.
Lard Island News: So, with Winter Storm released, do you have more stuff planned for us?
Monty: Yes and no! Talking to Rich, I taken by the concept of the ‘pint sized’ campaign. The size of Winter Storm was largely a result of needing quite a few connected games for the show circuit, but I think splitting it into Chapters has helped and I think these shorter campaigns are the way to go. I have already written one (British Paras v Panzer Grenadiers on D Day) and a second is well under way (US infantry against SS Panzer Grenadiers during the Mortain counter attack). The first is with Rich for him to work his magic in turning my drivels into something slick, smart, coherent and comprehensible. I couldn’t say when that will be ready. The second will be finished, as far as my initial bit goes, this month. I have loads more ideas as well and hope to be able to keep Rich supplied with a steady flow of interesting campaigns. In terms of the bigger ones, I do have an aspiration to tackle Stalingrad itself, but I now feel that might be better as a series of smaller supplements rather than one big whopper!
Lard Island News; Tell us more about this “Pint Sized Campaigns” idea.
Monty: Gosh, well, I’m not the man to really ask, that’s Richard’s domain. However, we have discussed this and in essence the idea is to provide some short, interesting campaigns for Chain of Command with maybe five or six battles which really capture the flavour of a campaign and produce them really cheaply. In fact, for the price of a pint of beer. I think the idea of picking up something for a few quid which can keep your gaming group happy for six weeks is a fantastic idea. Hard not to be inspired by that concept, and its very much a key trait of Lard. Good value gaming.
Lard Island News: So Pint Sized Campaigns aside, is there anything esle from your pen we should be looking for?
Monty: I have been working on a number of Army Lists for Rich; Eastern Front to fill the gap between Barbarossa and the Late War lists and these should come out over the coming months. I’ve also looked at the Far East Late War, specifically Burma, following on from my Chindit list and scenario in the last Summer Special.
And I’m also working on a number of rule projects. Some of you may be aware of “Play Up, Play Up and Play the Game”, my big battle colonial set which is firmly into the play testing phase, although that’s not going as quickly as I would have liked. I’m also hopeful of getting another set out for playtesting soon, but I’ll say no more on that for now.
Lard Island News: Well thanks for joining us Editor Monty. We wish you the best of luck with your forthcoming projects.
We are very pleased to announce that Operation Winter Storm, a scenario supplement for Chain of Command, is now available. Twenty-two scenarios from the pen of Richard Morrill cover the attempts by 6 Panzer division to first stabilise the line and then drive north to relieve the Sixth Army trapped in Stalingrad.
Presented in four distinct chapters, Winter Storm covers a whole range of formal attacks, hasty attacks, desperate defensive battles, flank attacks, link up operations, meeting engagement, and even a coup de main. Five separate army lists cover both regular and irregular forces with both infantry and tank actions present for these hugely popular rules. Let’s look at the contents.
Chapter One Return to the East
The 04:30 to Kotelnikovo
Kotelnikovo Station, 27th November 1942
The Defence of Pokhlebin, 5th December 1942
The Road to Majorski, 5th December 1942
Encirclement of Pokhlebin, 6th December 1942
House by House. Pokhlebin, 6th December 1942
Chapter Two Winter Storm Begins
Breakthrough at Gremjachi, 12th December 1942
Verkhne-Yablochny, 12th December 1942
First Blood – Verkhniy-Kumskiy, 13th December 1942
Hold the Line – Verkhniy-Kumskiy, 13th December 1942
Strike Three – Verkhniy-Kumskiy, 13th December 1942
The Bear Counters – Verkhniy-Kumskiy, 13th December 1942
A Desperate Defence – Verkhniy-Kumskiy, 13th December 1942
The Final Act – Verkhniy-Kumskiy, 13th December 1942
Chapter Three The Bear Fights Back
Breaching the Perimiter – The Saliyevskiy Bridgehead, 14th December
A Tank Hunt – The Saliyevskiy Bridgehead, 14th December 1942
Holding the High Ground, 17th December 1942
A Night Attack, 17th December 1942
Chapter Four A Final Dash
Bridge over the Mushkova, 19th December 1942
Expanding the Mushkova Bridgehead, 19th December 1942
Defending the Bridgehead, 21st December 1942
Counter Attack at Mushkova, 23rd December 1942
The PDF supplement is designed to be printer friendly, with just the map for each game being in full colour and with just three sheets needed for each game: two briefing documents and one set of game notes. What is more the twenty-two scenarios are just £7 so you won’t find better value in wargaming.
You can find Operation Winter Storm at www.toofatlardies.co.uk