Chain of Command at MOAB 2013 – Our Ambassador Reports
As part of the on-going process of spreading the word of the Lard we are now rolling out our Lard Ambassador programme to bring a bit of gaming fun to the parts of the globe that were previously unaccessible. Very soon we hope you’ll be seeing Lard Ambassadors at games near you. At the head of the queue was our very first Ambassadorial assignment for the Lardy Diplomatic Corps, Australian Ben Fiene representing us at Mother of All Battles 2013, a three day convention run by the Southern Battle Gamers just outside Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.
Well, the diplomatic bag is just in, and here’s the full report from Ben on what sounds like a cracking show.
We here in upside-downland might have fantastic beaches, lovely weather, even some half-decent beers. What we don’t have is the variety and number of wargames shows of the UK or the States. That being said, we do have a couple of great little events, and last weekend, I packed up all of my Chain of Command goods and chattels and headed south from the Central Coast of NSW to the MOAB show, located in the lovely Sylvania Heights south of Sydney, to fly the Lard flag.
MOAB is the largest show in the Greater Sydney area, and despite it coinciding with Sydney’s international fleet review, it was a bustling hive of activity. The show is put on by the very friendly guys at Southern Battle Gamers, and runs over the three days of the October long weekend. Traders were well represented, although I must say I was sorry that Nic from Eureka couldn’t make it, I was very keen to pick up some of the excellent War of French Revolution figures. Tournaments were well represented with SAGA, Bolt Action, Impetus and X-Wing joining a raft of GW events.
I was given a lovely spot on the main floor, surrounded by some really good looking demo and participation games (shout out to the superb little Muskets and Tomahawks game and the very interesting looking Gladiator game). There was quite a bit of buzz about the rules, and before I had even done setting up the first players, Sven and Mike, were rearing to go.
I’d set up the table representing an area to the east of the Orne river, with a main road across the board, bocage at one end, and a large walled chateau dominating the other. Detritus from the D-Day airborne landings in the form of a crashed Horsa glider, shellholes and a wooded area provided some cover, but the centre of the board was largely open.
We kicked off with Mike taking a German panzergrenadier platoon and choosing and Adjudant and a 5cm mortar for support. Sven took regular British infantry, with a forward observation officer as his support. The patrol phase generated a lot of interest, with quite a few ‘off-duty’ Bolt Action tourney players dropping by to check it out. With the jump off markers deployed, the battle developed quickly. Mike’s squads struggled to get moving, instead bogging down in the hedgeline and trying to overwhelm Sven’s defenders with their substantial weight of fire alone. Some good shooting by the British Bren team in the Chateau took a heavy toll on the right hand Jerry section, and Mike’s efforts to outflank the defence by moving through the woodland to the south was ha;ted by a barrage of 3” mortar fire, and then annihilated by defensive fire from a British section. Both players seemed to really enjoyed the way in which the rules bring historical plausibility but in the form of a fun and fast moving game.
With little rest for the wicked, we were straight into another game. This time Doug from Cincinnati took command of a regular German infantry platoon with a sniper, adjudant, and an additional panzerschreck team in support. He faced off against Chris, who took a British infantry platoon with a Staghound armoured car in support.
The terrain, scenario and starting positions remained the same, but the patrol phase saw this time the Germans grabbing the chateau and the British firmly ensconced in the woodland to the south of the road. As with the previous one, this game was fast and furious. A lack of 1s in the command dice hampered Chris’ plans to get the 2” mortar deployed and so slowed down his attack. A tentative advance by the Staghound turned into a hasty retreat after the Jerry sniper took a shot at the commander.
The turning point of this game was a close assault by a British section supported by the platoon sergeant. The Brits burst through the bocage, where they were subjected to a deluge of spandau fire. Next activation they charged into close combat, but Doug used the Chain of Command dice to interrupt and fire another lethal MG barrage into the Brits. The somewhat decimated British section closed, and in the ensuing melée it was wiped out to a man. However, in the confused fight the Brits took down with them a German team, along with one of the German junior leaders AND the German senior leader. German morale plummeted, and although the forces were relatively equal Doug’s lack of command dice really hampered any efforts to react to British attacks. Chris soon had his Staghound, 2” mortar and the remaining two sections firing-and-manoeuvring towards the chateau. Eventually the German force morale crumbled and they retreated from the table.
Both players seemed very impressed in the way that the game modelled the loss of leadership in the loss of command dice. Doug’s still potent force was left helpless to react to the British after the loss of vital commanders.
As the adage goes, time flies when you’re having fun and by now it was almost 3pm. This left me just enough time to grab a bite and to have a look around at some of the goodies on display. I picked up a B-wing and a TIE interceptor for X-Wing, and some more SAGA goodies.
So on the whole, it was a really enjoyable day. Beside the players, there were a lot of people stopping for a chat, and asking where they could get hold of the rules. Unfortunately none of the traders had the rules in stock, although several did carry TooFatLardies products. For any Aussies reading this, I do know that War and Peace have a load of Chain of Command sets in stock now.
For those of you thinking of becoming a TFL ambassador and putting on a participation game, I’d highly recommend the experience. For me it was a great way to mix and meet a load of friendly and interesting people, while playing a superb set of rules.
So, many thanks to Ben for his report and great photos of the day, not to mention his sterling efforts in showing off the rules to the gaming public down under. It was a real shame that the slow boat to Oz with the rules on docked just days after the show, but great to know that gamers down-under can now get hold of the rules from War & Peace Games.