Archive for category General
Right chaps, we will be updating this thread throughout the day as we work our way through the Phases and Turns. Feel free to add comments and ask questions.
We began the Patrol Phase yesterday with a roll to see our Force Morale and, with this particular scenario, who went first. Rich won that and as a result he gets the first Phase of play in the game itself. As it happens both sides threw 6 for their morale so begin the game brimming with confidence with matching Force Moral levels of 11.
Phase 1. German. The Command Dice are 44431. Not a great combination for me as the Hun. I have only my Platoon commander who can be activates on a 4 and I want him back commanding his O Group off table for now. So only a 3 and 1 to be used. Mindful of my plan to find good dominating positions for my armour I bring on the Puma and, being a wheeled vehicle I get to move that immediately. It advances to the T junction. No 6’s rolled means that the next Phase is British.
Phase 2. British. My Command Dice are 64331. The single 6 means that Rich will get the next Phase. I am keen to push on my armour with infantry ahead of them to protect them from the damned bosche bazooka men. I deploy one section to the T junction just beyond the village and bring on Sherman 1 on the road in the village itself. As it is a tank it just deploys, it doesn’t move in this Phase.
Phase 3. German. Command Dice 66544. Ah, two 6’s means I get the next Phase, the 5 means I add one to my Chain of Command total. But otherwise it is a poxy roll. I am not bringing my platoon commander on for the reasons I have already mentioned. So, I just roll again for my next Phase.
Phase 4. German. Command Dice 54432. That’s better but still too many damned 4’s. My Chain of Command Dice total increased to 2. With the 3 I move my Puma up to the junction by the church and open fire on the British further down the road with my turret MG. Its ineffective but that should be enough to make Skinner think twice about moving them. With the 2 I deploy a squad of infantry into the church. The British infantry are close enough to know they are in there, but the British tank is unaware of their presence.
Phase 5. British. Command Dice 54443. Looks like this 4 thing is catching! I move my Sherman up through the village to support the infantry. I could bring on my Sherman Troop Leader, my Platoon Sergeant or my Lieutenant (I have better command assets available due to a larger force and the fact that all of my officers are not dead in Russia’s cold ground) , but I am wary of showing my hand too early. I am keen for the Germans to commit themselves before I do any more.
Phase 6. German. Command Dice 66411. Two 6’s means the next Phase is mine. I could bring on my Panzerschreck on a 1 but I am keen to keep that up my sleeve for an ambush when my Chain of Command Dice allows. I decide just to roll again.
Phase 7. German. Command Dice. 65321. My Chain of Command total increases to 3. I turn the Puma to present its frontal armour and put it on overwatch. If the British Sherman advances up the road I will get the first shot. My infantry in the church assume a Tactical stance, i.e. taking the bets cover possible. I am confident that the solid Normandy stone makes this a great place to be. I have one panzerfaust with the squad and the church is large enough for me to fire that from without toasting the firer.
Phase 8. British. 66311. I get the next Phase. I bring on my Sherman Troop commander and the 2” mortar which deploys in a small garden in the village.
Phase 9. British 65443. My Troop commander advances his tank rapidly and also activates Sherman 1 to get it to advance cautiously forward. I am concerned about his overwatch. To be honest I am not sure how much of a punch the Pak 38 gun in the Puma has, but I suspect it will be enough to hurt the Sherman. At this stage I am keen to get my tanks on and able to act in concert rather than throwing them away in penny packets, but the close terrain is not helping me.
Phase 10. German. Command Dice 53222. My Chain of Command total increases by 1. I bring on my StuG III. The three 2’s mean that I could activate my infantry squad in the church and deploy the other two squads to the jump-off points. But in doing so I would give the British a huge advantage in knowing exactly where I am, as opposed to simply knowing where I was when their patrols bumped into me before the battle was joined. With the small amount of armour I have I am sure I will be reliant on my infantry panzerfausts to take some of the tank killing duties on, so keeping them hidden and ready for an ambush when the enemy get too close is a better plan. I do nothing else.
Phase 11. British. 66642. The three 6’s mean that this is the last phase in this turn and that I will get the first phase in the next turn. This is good because all tactical and overwatch markers are removed on the turn end. It represents a break in the action. That is great because Rich’s Puma is no longer going to get the drop on me if I head up the road. I do nothing in this Phase.
Phase 1. British. 64431. Sherman 1 advances and fires at the Puma. The shot hits the turret but achieves only partial penetration, wounding the commander and shocking the crew. The Sherman Troop Commander in Sherman 2 crossed the hedge to join the infantry on the junction. From here he will get a shot at the Puma in his next activation. I am getting the firepower superiority that I want. That Puma is toast next time!
I bring on my Firefly in the village and, aware that the Germans in the church have at least one panzerfaust I use my 2” mortar to put down smoke to blind them. The round misses and annoyingly lands on the road, blocking my tanks’ line of sight to the Puma.
With a Leader wounded the Germans dice for their Force Morale which drops to 10. It’s a start. At this point I am feeling confident. The Puma being masked by smoke was an unfortunate result, but it will allow me to move my armour up to form a base of fire. My plan now is to do just that and advance with my infantry, blasting out anything which pops up to threaten them.
Phase 2. German. Command Dice 43111. The Puma is recovering from the commander being wounded and is inactive. I move my StuG forward. That’s all for me this time. The Puma has had a lucky escape, but I must admit to being somewhat awed by the amount of British armour. If I lose the StuG I am in big trouble.
Phase 3. British. 43321. The bloody 2” mortar fires smoke again and simply adds to the screen on the road (take that man’s name Sergeant!). Sherman 1 turns right down the lane in an attempt to make space for the other tanks to move up. A couple of decent Phases and I should have a wall of steel facing the Jerry. My Troop commander puts his own tank on overwatch covering up the road, and the Firefly moves up from the village and Sherman 3 arrives in the village.
I am feeling confident and want to put pressure on the Germans at this stage. I deploy Number 2 section into the outskirts of the village. The Bren team is on overwatch in one of the gardens covering the graveyard where I know the Jerries were bumped into by our patrols (the Jump-off point situated there tells me this has been identified as a dangerous area). The rifle team I am advancing tactically through the field. What I want to do is give the Germans too many points of threat for them to be able to react to them all.
Phase 4. German. Command Dice 55542. This is one of those interesting rolls. Points on your Chain of Command tally are normally something you bank for use subsequently rather than get to use immediately. However this roll gives me a Chain of Command total of 6, so that’s a Chain of Command dice I can use. And I do. One option with a Chain of Command dice is to launch an ambush from any position within 12” of a friendly jump-off point which is not within 4” of the enemy infantry. My Panzershreck team immediately deploys into the field and puts a round into Sherman One’s flank armour.
It doesn’t have a prayer. What is more it explodes as the ammunition cooks off, this in turn kills one man in the British section by the road junction and causing a significant amount of Shock on the whole section. As the Phase ends the ambush team slip away ready to be deployed again. This has, of course, reduced my Chain of Command total back to zero, but it was well worth it. How I laughed!
British Force Morale drops to 9.
Phase 5. British. 65421. That has rather upset my initial plan, but I feel that I can still carry on. I move my Troop Commander’s Sherman off to the right.
I want the Firefly on the road and Sherman 3 to take the left flank. I am going to push things along and run the rifle team from Number 2 section across the field. My Bren team is still on overwatch. My hope is that I can get the rifle team up and shut down the German jump-off point in the churchyard. If I can do that then my schwerpunkt will be on that left hand side, I still have Number 3 section available to go that way if the route is opened.
The big day is here. In the red corner is Big Rich, tall debonair, ruggedly handsome. In the blue corner is Fat Nick, a grotesque approximation of humanity, with a face like a squished tomato. Today Richard will be commanding the German forces, Nicholas the British. The general background is that the British seized a small French village on the northern outskirts of Caen yesterday and this morning they are due to press on southwards. However, the Germans, desperate to restore their defensive ring of fortified villages around the city, are launching a localised counter attack.
Let’s take a look at the battlefield.
This is an overview of the table from the British base edge. Here’s a shot of the German end of the table.
The German entry point for their Patrol Markers is the road to the left which comes out at the T-junction by the church.
No here is the British half of the table. Their Patrol Markers enter on the road in the village.
But what of forces? Well, Rich has a full platoon of German infantry, so that’s three squads of ten men which include one MG42. They also have a Panzerschreck team of two men and are led by a Feldwebel. To support these the Germans have one StuG IIIG and one SdKfz 234 “Puma” armoured car.
Nick’s British have one complete platoon of infantry, three ten man rifle sections, each including one Bren, one PIAT team and one 2″ mortar team. To command this force he has one Platoon Sergeant and one Lieutenant. In support is a full Troop of Shermans, three with the 75mm low velocity gun, one being the Sherman Firefly.
Recognising that today is going to be somewhat frantic we played through the Patrol Phase of the game yesterday while setting up. You can see the results below.
Here you can see that the British have two of their jump off points near the T-Junction in the centre of the table, whilst the third is just out of shot in the outskirts of the village. A bit of a photographic error there, and I am sure there will be more today.
The Germans are more concentrated, with the Church forming the centre of their positions, with a second jump off point on the graveyard and the third on the road just the other side of the road junction. So, with that phase complete we’re all ready to get cracking.
So, what’s the plan today? Well, Nick and I are going to be “Hot bedding” on the computer here, putting in our thoughts and photos as the game progresses. We won’t have time to pose all the pictures beautifully, but hopefully what we can do is give you a taste for the way the game plays out. What we can also do is answer any of your questions as we play through the game. So feel free to shout if you want to ask anything.
Right. Time for a fry up before the carnage commences!
Its the one you’ve been waiting for and asking for and finally we have got into the studio and produced the first part of the Dux Britanniarum series. In Part One we look at what you get, the rule book, the maps, the cards. We discuss the historical background to the period and look at getting our characters ready for the game.
We’re already in the studio filming Part Two, so hopefully not long to wait for that.
You can find the video here:
The past seven months have seen Lard Island frantic with some pseudo military modelling since we began playtesting Chain of Command. As well as getting to paint a whole raft of new armies I have been testing out all sorts of AFVs with our forces. Now, as we get to the final stages of playtesting we are introducing ever larger forces in order to try to push the boundaries and see how far the rules can go. As a result the current modelling projects are a whole platoons worth of SdKfz 251 for my Panzer Grenadier force and a Troop of Shermans for my British.
The backbone of my tank forces to date have been the now discontinued die-cast Corgi 1:50th vehicles. I know that 1:56th seems to be the accepted scale for 28mm WWII gamers, but the robustness of the Corgi tanks and the fact that most 28mm figures are actually 30mm, plus the addition of a base means that the figures tend to come in at around 32mm, making them 5’3” in height, not far off the 5’6” average of that time. Anyway, a slightly larger tank gives it a degree of gravitas when it appears on the table. So, Corgi it has been.
On the other hand, the lighter AFVs, such as Bren carriers and halftracks, in my collection have always been the Bolt Action 1:56th scale models, primarily because my old chum Simon Bargery who set up Bolt Action originally gave me a pile of them.
So, here we have the Panzer Grenadier transport. Three normal 250/1 troop carriers and the platoon leader’s vehicle with the anti-tank gun, the SdKfz 251/10.
Simon had found a pile of spares in his garage which he kindly sent along when he knew Chain of Command was coming along. Unfortunately there were no metal parts so I had some bits to make up from plasticard, such as the machine gun shield, and I blagged some machine guns off my old pal Richard Ansell who had some masters around from an old WWII project he had been involved in sculpting. The 37mm anti-tank gun is actually a 28mm Soviet AT gun produced by Plastic Soldier Company. Being plastic it is ideal for a conversion job. In the end I covered it with camo netting from Antenocitis Workshop and sprinkled some tea leaves on it to provide some foliage cover. It seemed appropriate for Normandy which is where most of my games are set.
I purchased some Tamiya 1:48th packs (as mentioned here before) which included general baggage. By far the best pack is the oil drums and jerry can set which has a good selection of general stowage. The German infantry pack has lots of bits and pieces which work nicely, such as headphones as well as more standard weapons, bags, helmets and water bottles. You can see plenty of these on the outside of the halftracks. I added straps made from Green Stuff to finish it off.
Once I got everything stuck together I under coated in black and then painted on Vellejo Middlestone as a base colour. This was then washed with black ink in the usual “magic wash” formula. Once that dried out I semi-dry brushed with Middlestone with about 15% white added. With that completed I air brushed on a blotchy camouflage pattern. The green was a mix of Reflective Green and German Dark Green, the brown a mix of Mahogany Sand and Chocolate Brown.
This weekend I intend to do all of the detailing. However the wife assures me I shall be needed in the garden. I suspect some compromise can be reached.
Next is the Troop of Shermans. Three of these are the Corgi 75mm gun versions. I got these on EBay for a decent price. The Free French ones tend to go for cheaper prices for some reason, and as I am going to paint them I don’t care much what markings they have. The fourth tank is the Firefly VC. This is a Tamiya kit in 1:48th. I saw it recommended on Angus Konstam’s site at http://www.edinburghwargames.com
It is a lovely model, fitting pretty much perfectly with the Corgi models, but what a palaver to put it together. Six hours of plastic glue and tiny parts is not my idea of fun. But it is done and it i really the only way to complete the troop. Again I finished the models off with the 1:48th scale clobber. The British Infantry pack from Tamiya has much less in the way of general bric-a-brac but it adds some extra colour and I sculpted some sandbags from Green Stuff.
These have just been undercoated in black ready for painting. I will show you how these progress over the weekend.
A pal of mine in the US is looking to paint some of his British Shermans this weekend and asked if I could show mine step by step. So I will.
Here’s the very simple first step. I have taken the black undercoated tank and painted it all over with Vallejo Russian Uniform. It’s a lovel colour for many things, Russian Uniforms not being one of them. Here I just slap this on with no real attention or care.
Next I let that dry and then apply the magic wash. This is an imprecise recipe, but I use about a tablespoon of Klear floor polish (the new murky looking stuff as opposed to the old clear stuff which we can’t get any more). I add a tiny dot of washing up liquid and then about a quarter of a pint of water. I actually don’t add the ink to this, rather I mix the ink, about two thirds black and one third brown and apply that to the top of the tank neat. I then use a large brush loaded with the wash mix to spread that over all of the AFV, adding more neat ink if I feel it isn’t finding the right low points. Again this is unscientific, just a Henry Cooper “Splash it all over” approach. Make sure you are wearing old clothes, this can really ruin shirts. Believe me, I know this to be true.
Now I shall let this dry. So, we shall have Update Two tomorrow.
Having let the ink dry overnight my next job is to dry-brush a slightly lightened base colour onto the tank. I use a large flat headed brush for this and keep the amount of paint on the brush to a near minimum. I then brush down vertically from the top in a downwards motion to catch any natural highlights. The exceptions here are the tank deck which I do in two halves, rather like the bones on a fish. working out from the “Spine” to the edges, and the running gear which I brush horizontally to catch the raised areas. This is not a great picture, in fact its bloody awful, but I hope you can see that it leaves the tank with a streaky finish, rather like a car which has been badly washed or that has got dirty and then rained on.
Next I take a large pointed brush with a decent point, but not too small. I am going to highlight all of the edges on the tank with the base colour plus more white paint. So this is all the rivets I can find, the edges or hatches, the edges of welded panels, basically anyting where there is a line I will paint along it. You can see the effect here on the Firefly.
This produces quite a dramatic effect, but fear not, it will tone down as we continue. The next phase is to use a watered down red ink to use as a base coat for areas of rust. I actually tone down the red ink a bit with some black as you don’t want it too bright. Remember a little is a lot with this; this is merely the undercoat. I focus on natural areas of moisture, such as the engine grill on the rear decking and areas where rust may occur, such as welding lines and rivets.
Next I dry brush this over to get some weathering. I( use a Vallejo Khaki first which I use chiefly around the running gear and lower body to intimate some dried mud, next I use Vallejo Stone Grey which I use from the top down to suggest dust. These two coats tone down the edge highlighting we did earlier. I neglected to take a photo of this, but the effect is actually so subtle that you’d probably not see it anyway.
Next we begin on the stowage. Here I use a Chocolate Brown as a base for most of the stuff on the tank. There are some exceptions. Jerry cans and tin helmets are the same colour as the tank so they are already complete (remember to do a bit of highlighting on these).
Once that is done I add the base colours for the stowage. Sandbags, kit bags and rolled up sheeting tends to get done in whatever neutral colours I have to hand. I base these on the colour of the kit use by the specific nation but I certainly don’t get too precise over this. Metal is painted in Steel, it’s a bit bright but then we are looking at a small object and lightening the colours gives me the visual effect I want.
Wood handles get painted in Vallejo Beige Brown and then highlighted in the same colour with white added. A few touches of highlight are quite enough. Have a good drink the night before then just hold the brush near the woodwork. Your trembling hand will do the rest!
Now this is done apply the same ink wash I mentioned earlier to all the stowage but NOT the spades, sledgehammers or other stuff which is on the deck. Once that is dry we can move on to Update Three.
Damn. The wife is back from shopping. There endeth my fun for the morning!
UPDATE THREE (AND FINAL!)
Hurrah, the wife had to go to the opticians!
Okay, now we have a dry ink wash we detail up in precisely the same way as we would with figures, adding highlights to our kit bags and stuff like strapping to rolled groundsheets and similar.
I highlight up the sandbags as well using several mixes of Khaki and Stone Grey to get the look I want.
Where we put the red/rust coloured ink on earlier I now add some Vallejo red leather in tiny streaks. If I want some paintwork damage I paint a dab of white and then inside that a smaller dab of gunmetal with a touch of black before a small dot of steel for exposed metal.
And that’s it. I replace the Corgi tracks (I take these off before I paint) and give a final dry brush of Khaki over these and the lower parts of the tanks. All I need to do now is decide on what unit these chaps are from so I can get the right decals from Dom’s Decals whose 1/56th range will be perfect. You can find Dom here: http://www.domsdecals.co.uk/.
As always with wargaming models I am inclined to over-emphasise things like highlights so that the finished model really stands out on the tabletop. There is no real skill involved in painting this sort of stuff, just a bit of patience and a few techniques which you pick up over the years.
UPDATE FOUR (I know, I lied!)
I really do enjoy the German late war camo schemes. All of my German armour is from 2 Panzer Division so it can fight against my Brits in Normandy and Skinner’s Yanks in the Bulge. All in all a productive weekend.
And it’s a whopper. Over 130 pages brimming over with Lard. We did a count-up and there are twenty scenarios, seven articles on rule amendments and variations and three discussion pieces, including a look at the concepts behind out forthcoming Chain of Command rules. So plenty to get your teeth into.
So, what is a Lardy Special? Well, there are two a year; one in the Summer normally published in the first couple of weeks of June (we are a week early this year), and one at Christmas published (believe it or not!) in the first week or two of December. We published the first one ever back in Summer of 2004, so next summer will be our tenth anniversary.
Back in those days we had just published our fourth set of rules, Le Fue Sacre which sat along side I Ain’t Been Shot Mum, Kiss Me Hardy and Bag the Hun. We were inundated with gamers asking us for scenarios and support material. The quickest way to try to please everyone was to produce an e-magazine format product which could provide for a wide range of interests. It was hugely popular, largely I think because we didn’t just write scenarios but we also added a real leavening of additional rule ideas. The type of stuff that you just cannot fit into a set of rules. Unusual units represented, more obscure campaigns covered, and all with a good dollop of historical background in the mix.
And that highlights one of the key differences between a Lardy Special and a hobby magazine. With no adverts as such we don’t have to focus on short pieces of just a few pages, we can go into real detail. For example in this Special we have 21 pages covering the first day of the Irish Guards Battlegroup on Operation Garden. This looks in some detail at the German defences, uses period maps to illustrate this and the Allied plans and then presents a ten scenario linked campaign to represent the fighting on that day. All with the lead elements of XXX Corps racing against the clock to reach Eindhoven and the US 101st Airborne forces. It’s the type of piece that is too large for a magazine, but we can go into that extra degree of detail in the Special format.
So, let us take a look in detail at what is on offer this time.
Page 4 Highway to Hell. A mini-campaign for the Irish Guards Battlegroup on Day 1 of Operation Garden featuring ten linked battles as you fight your way up to corridor towards Eindhoven
Page 25 Beware the Tides of March. Phil Hendry presents a Romans against Britons scenario for Augustus to Aurelian
Page 29 The KMH Squadron Builder. Fat Nick shows us how to generate naval squadrons for Kiss Me Hardy games
Page 35 The Green Fields Beyond. British infantry tactics for the open warfare of 1918. An overview and three scenarios
Page 49 If You go Down to the Woods Today. Mike Whitaker seekis realistic terrain for Dux Britanniarum
Page 56 Of All Base Passions. Pat Smith presents his rule amendments for Sharp Practice in the Wars of the Roses
Page 62 Escape to Cock Lane. As scenario from the War of the Roses first battle in St Albans
Page 66 Bloody Greenstead 1477. Pat presents his epic War of the Roses scenario for Sharp Practice
Page 69 CAS in CSD. Brian Weathersby gives us an insight into airpower in Vietnam to add some punch to our Charlie Don’t Surf Games.
Page 81 Lard & the Blogosphere. Former Milk Tray delivery man Sidney Roundwood gives us the low down on his blogging days.
Page 84 Conflict on Kovnat. Inter-Galatic warrior Robert Avery presents a scenario for some hot action on Planet Kovnat for Quadrant 13.
Page 91 Double Dux. Regular Man-of-Lard Chris Stoesen gives us some tips for multi-player gaming with Dux Britanniarum.
Page 98 How to Protect Your Kibbutz. Tag team Jon Yuengling and Mark Kinsey present their thoughts on gaming the Yom Kippur War of 1973 with IABSM.
Page 105 The Roundwood Report. Sidney talks to Fat Nick about the world of the “fifth Lardy”.
Page 111 Hotter than a Snake’s Ass. Nuno Pereira looks at weather from Da Nang to the Delta and how it can affect our games in Vietnam.
Page 117 Your Dirty Rat 2. Dirty Rat Fat Nick builds up to the crescendo of his puply gangster game planned for the Christmas Special with part two of his force collection tales
Page 123 Who Pulled his Chain? Big Rich talks Chain of Command as he explains some of the thinking behind the new concepts you can look forward to in the summer
Page 129 Bagging the Bismarck. The Fat Lad presents the “ultimate war in the Atlantic scenario for Bag the Hun. Can you bag this nautical Hun?
So, there we have it. 133 pages of wargaming fun and all for £6 for the save saving PDF edition. We hope you enjoy it.
Some years ago I had some really excellent 28mm scale buildings made for me which were designed to serve as first or second world war scenery depending on the game to be played. Of course over time I lost the details of the chap who undertook the commission for me, a fact I was bemoaning on the Lardy Yahoo Group. It was then pointed out to me that “other manufacturers are available” and that Rapier Miniatures had just started producing commissioned buildings for all sorts of periods under the name of HACME. So, I gave them a try.
My first purchase was a French Estaminet and linked cottage and external pissoir. These arrived promptly and could be seen at Salute where they were generally admired. So pleased was I with the result that I ordered two more buildings. Both semi-detached, the first being two shops, the other a pair of cottages.
I should stress here that I specifically wanted plain vanilla in the build. I like to finish off and paint my buildings myself simply so that they fit in perfectly with the rest of my collection. So HACME very kindly put these together with a light white undercoat to act as a key for my work to adhere to.
The two buildings in their “naked” state are here:
And very nice they are too. The roof is detachable and the first floor can be removed so that I can out troops on both the ground floor and first floor. That’s 1st and 2nd floors for our pardners across the pond. I specifically wanted access to the buildings as I HATE to see figures lined up next to a building to signify they are inside, so for me this type of construction is PERFECT!
The next thing I will always do with buildings like these is to paint them with a weak PVA and filler mix. This gets a more rustic look and it also strengthens the structure so if Fat Nick sits on it we have half a chance of it not being utterly destroyed! The filler I am using here is Polyfiller, I use any old stuff I have in the shed, frankly I can never tell the difference. I mist about 1 part polyfiller with two parts PVA glue (get it cheap at builders merchants) and one part water. I then slap this all over with a large brush and let it dry.
Once that is dry I use a black undercoat from a car parts place round the corner. Big cans of paint at a very cheap price. Most certainly do not waste good quality Humbrol of similar on this type of job!
Once that is dry I really use a heavy dry brushing technique to do the main masonry. So here I wanted a creamy Normandy stone, so I used Burnt Umber and Khahi mixed as the base colour before dry brushing on Khaki, Khaki and Stone Grey mix. Stone Grey and then finally a very light coat of white. Dead simple.
After that I add some detail such as the shop signs, shutters, doors etc. A simple three colour system for all these (dark, lighter, highlight) and we’re nearly complete.
Then just the final detailing to do. I really love the look of the French gable end adverts (as anyone who has seen the cover of IABSM will know). I look at the internet to get ideas, but this time I went political with a “Big Brother” style Marshal Petain painted on and a few period posters and road signs added.
And that’s it. A couple of hours work and the really nice HACME buildings fit straight in with my growing Normandy collection. I am really looking to get the look of St Mere Eglise or Carentan and I think we are getting there.
So, that’s a big thumbs up from HACME at Rapier Miniatures. You can find them at http://www.rapierminiatures.co.uk/page/Range/HACME.html and see some of the buildings they have done.
He tells us that “Wyvern Wargamers would like to invite you (yes YOU!) down to our upcoming event at Wyvern Wargamers (Evesham) on 8th June from 0900-1800 at the Bishampton Village Hall. They have got Richard Clarke of TooFatLardies coming for the day to be on hand, answer rules queries, run demos of Chain of Command and generally be “pushing the Lard”. Also the ultimate “Man of the Midlands” Neil Shuck of Meeples & Miniatures will be joining us.
We’ve got enough kit between us to be running AT LEAST one table each of games of IABSM3 (15mm WW2), IABNM (as yet unpublished Cold War rules), Sharpe Practice (28mm Napoleonic – maybe including our Zulu/French Indian variants too?), Mud & Blood (WW1 28mm), Terrible Sharp Sword (ACW 28mm), Tin Star (as yet unpublished Cowboy skirmish 28mm) & Dux Britanniarum (Dark Ages 28mm).
Rich’ll be demoing Chain of Command (WW2 Platoon+ 28mm) whioch due for release this summer; we’ll have two participation tables covering that.
We’ll be encouraging everyone to bring their own kit too where able. We are pre-arranging games if possible once numbers are ascertained. Our plan is to try and get in one game in the morning, switch opponents/periods and play a second game after lunch. So a Lard packed day of gaming fun.
When we’re all done, we’ll head back into town, see those who need to their accommodations and reconvene for beer and curry with the “Lord of the Lard” himself. We’re looking at just £5 per head so great value too! If you fancy attending then please contact Lard Entertainments Officer for the Midlands, Adrian, at email@example.com and let him know.”
Interesting stuff, and three of us a re heading up from Lard Island for what is going to be a really great day of gaming in the heart of England. I hope we can see some of you joining us there.
That’s New York State to us!
I had a very nice email yesterday from my old chum Jon Davenport, resident of New York State and all round good egg. Jon and his group have been preparing their Dux Britanniarum armies and terrain for some time now, including some rather spiffing buildings by their resident builder in miniature, Howard Whitehouse. So, how did it go? Let the Annales Novo Eboracum tell all!
“It is the year of Our Lord 425. The Legions have left us and, although they have been gone less than the short span of a man’s life, a scourge has swept the land. From East to West, like the snows of winter, the Saxons have come. Any day we expect them in Pandemoniun.
The Saxons will come to plunder our village, Pandemonium, which lies at the ford on the old Roman road from the East and is the site of the Shrine of Saint Tibulus and repository of the Holy Stone of Clonrichert. The church of Saint Tibulus and its parish are tended by our gentle priest, Father Maynard, who serves God and his Bishop, the living saint, Sanctimonious, whose villa lies a short distance west of the village. Sanctimonious is reputed to have a horde of the gold dedicated to the shrine by the poor pilgrims who come to pray to Saint Tibulus on the Stone of Clonrichert to relieve their suffering from the endemic plague of halitosis to which Tibulus died a martyr.
Some say that the Saxon chieftain, Hectic, has heard tell of this meagre horde and, with the coming spring, perhaps today, will come to claim it. Hectic and his henchmen, Heretic and Septic, though well-born, lead a desperate band of Germanic thugs who will spare no one in their pursuit of plunder. All have prodigious appetites for the good things of life – Heretic is a great lustful beast and Septic has a liver of iron. These men seek not only gold but repute in their mead halls, slaves and livestock. No woman, sheep or pig is safe from the predations of these monsters particularly Heretic and Hectic’s champion, Pubic.
There are few to defend the shrine, the men are away with King Caractacus, Y Mae ei Merched a Basiwyd Gan [Whose Ladies had just passed by], with his main army to the north. The village and shrine fall in the bailiwick of the king’s lieutenant, Superfluous, Last of the Romans. Superfluous was born far to the east of Pandemonium, the son of King Cirrhosis, whose lands were lost to the encroaching Saxons, invited here by the fool Vortigen, when Superfluous was a mere boy, fifteen years since – the year the Legions left us – dispossessed, the last of his line. Superfluous came West where he swore allegiance to Caractacus and eternal enmity to the Saxons. At the court of King Caractacus with the gentle teaching and guidance of Sanctimonious he has become the man he is. Even more dedicated to Sanctimonious and the new religion is Rictus the Devout, Caractacus’s son and Superfluous’s boyhood playmate, who is now his right arm. They are joined by the massive warrior Crapulus on whom many hopes rest and the Champion Acrimonius.
Our only hope rests that the headman of our simple village, Roger the Shrubber, can alert Superfluous’s forces as soon as we know the Saxons approach.”
So wrote the bard and so, as predicted, came the Saxons. [It was one of our all too infrequent Friday evening game nights in my basement and I took the opportunity to introduce Dux to the group – Dennis, Tom, Roger and Howard. Dennis was Superfluous (most apposite as it turned out); Tom was Rictus, assisted by Crapulus; Howard was Hectic and Roger was Heretic.]
The Saxons came in the early hours after dawn while the good people of Pandemonium were gathering for their weekly market, Brother Maynard was leading an early service and Roger the Shrubber was working on his shrubbery. Inexplicably, the Saxons milled around the ford trying decide on their best approach to the village. [The Saxons rolled a 1 and so only got one free move towards the village.]
As a result, the Romano-British troops were alerted and sprang to the defence of the village. [The Britons rolled a 6 and do came on half way along one side with every likelihood of being able to cut off the Saxons advance before it had even crossed the ford. Therefore I offered the Britons the option of bringing on some of their troops at the opposite end of the Roman road – they took the option which, frankly, turned out badly.]
Rictus with the cream of the Romano-British force [the Elite and Warriors] sprang to the fight; Superfluous, with the levy and the archers, not so much.
By this time, the Saxons had got themselves organised [Roger and Howard very quickly got the hang of the cards and, by keeping their force concentrated, were able to move quickly towards Tom’s Britons] and lunged, en masse, towards the approaching British quality troops. The sheep fled and the ladies of the village ran towards the dubious safety of Sanctimonious’s villa.
Seeing the oncoming rush of the Saxons, Rictus [Tom], formed his troops into a shieldwall to face the onslaught.
Superfluous wended his gentle way towards the villa. Like a crashing wave the Saxons tore towards Rictus’s force, baying for British blood. They sought the shieldwall’s flanks seeking to shake the brave British defenders. Knowing that retreat was useless, Rictus took the only sensible action and charged into the Saxon mass before him. [Tom knew he was flanked by a group of Saxon warriors; half a d6 backward wheel wasn’t going to protect him and a Saxon carpe diem card would leave him completely lost.]
Initially, the Britons did well, killing several Saxons and driving back two of the three Saxon groups they faced but numbers were against them and eventually this told, especially as the flanking Saxon warriors were able to charge into the rear of the Britons as they surged forward. The Britons smashed two Saxon groups but all three of their groups eventually “misplaced their amphorae” and withdrew.
All the while, Superfluous [Dennis] made his slow way with the levy toward the village and it was at this point we had to end the evening with all the British elite and warriors lost and two Saxon warrior groups reduced to three and two men respectively – they could not have fought but could have searched the villa and church for treasure. Quite how the levy would have held up will have to wait for next time. The Saxons particularly were very good at using their nobles to coordinate their groups into a winning position.
All told, everyone had a great time and went home happy – even Tom who had had his forces decimated and Dennis who had ponced about and been awarded the Order of the Chicken – shades of “Brave Sir Robin.” The game played magnificently and, as Howard observed, “everything that happened made perfect sense” and you can’t really say better than that for a set of wargames rules.
Altogether a fantastic game and we’re all looking forward to the next run out.
All the figures were Gripping Beast, painted by me, with Little Big Man shield transfers; the houses are 4Ground and the villa and church were scratch built by Howard who, I am sure, for a small fee could knock something similar up for anyone.
Thanks to Jon for his super report. As a small footnote I received another email from Dennis who took the role of Superfluous who said “Apparently my skill doesn’t include rolling dice. If the rules require high rolls, I’ll roll low, if low is needed, I roll high. As we discovered last night, even a braced shield wall can’t save you if you consistently roll 1′s against when you opponent rolls 6′s! Thanks for coming up with these rules, they are very enjoyable.”
Dennis, I am sure we call sympathise with you there!
So, happy Duxers all round. I must say that I am very jealous of Howard’s building skills which have made such a contribution to giving Jon’s table the feel of a pastoral sub-Roman scene; ideal for the Saxons to seek rich pickings!
Saturday June the 22nd is fast approaching and the Lard Bus is heading for Musselburgh on the outskirts of Edinburgh for a day of TooFatLardies games. Our Scottish Entertainments Officer, Wee Derek, is now requesting confirmation from those attending as we need to get sorting out the names, the games and the schedule.
Musselburgh Rugby Club will be the venue, providing a number of gaming tables and a bar throughout the day. Gaming should be starting around 10am and finishing at 6pm when visitors can wend their weary way home (high road and low road options available) or join us for a few beverages and a curry to round off the day.
Full details may be found here: http://dereksweetoys.com/?page_id=1493 along with Derek’s contact details. We hope to see you there!
Ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes on the Lard Tour? Well, wait no more because now, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can join Rich, Nick and their very own pet celebrity, Sidney Roundwood, on their day out at the Salute show in London. Simply listen to all the thrills, spills, and general whinging on our special edition podcast: TooFatLardies – The Salute Podcast 2013 , and you’ll feel as though you were there with us (word of warning, the link may take a little time to download).
Best enjoyed with lashings of ginger beer.
Rich & Nick