Yes, it’s that time again. Days are short, nights are long, there is a chill in the air. Santa’s eleves are working overtime, the reindeer are limbering up and, most important of all, the TooFatLardies Christmas Special has arrived.
As always it is a bumper edition, 128 pages in total, and all are packed with articles, scenarios, game systems and interviews. So, let’s take a look at what is on offer in this festive smorgasbord, this groaning board of Lard.
We kick off with Winter Sports, a trench raid game that is designed to bolt on to Through the Mud and the Blood and give a whole new game, with a scenario genrator to provide you with a variety of missions, a force generator to vary your team, and whole new fun system for getting the drop on your foe. Can you get your men across No-Man’s-Land without raising the alarm? Once the baloon goes up can you achieve your mission before the reaction forces arrive? Much fun to be had on a small 4′ by 4′ board with relatively small numbers of figures making this an ideal game for those new to the period as well as the old hands.
Reach for the Lard is next, where Fat Nick looks at Sailor Malan’s ten rules for fighter pilots and discusses how these, and Boelke’s Diktat formed the starting point in developing the rules. As an introduction to Bag the Hun this is peerless, for the experienced player it is illuminating.
Francs-Tireurs. With the publication of Terrible Sharp Sword for the American Civil War we have been constantly asked if Sharp Practice can be extended to the later wars of the 19thC, and now they can. This supplement addresses gaming small actions in the Franco-Prussian war with Sharp Practice. Don’t be fooled by the name, you can field regular forces for all the main protagonists as well as irregulars. This contains rule amendments, force structures and a veritable Michelin starred plat du jour of scenarios to excite the most discerning palate. Formidable!
Following on we have Robert Avery In the Rubber, which at first glance can be somewhat concerning. However fear not, this refers to a Search and Destroy scenario for Charlie Don’t Surf rather than his leisure time activities. Although there have been runours…
A Hot Press sees Large Nicholas seek volunteers for His Majesty’s Royal Navy, willing or not, with Sharp Practice whilst a Battle for Cloville by Chris Stoesen presents us with a WWII mini-campaign set near St Lô in July 1944. Focussing on one day of action this system sees US forces come up against German Fallschirmjager and fight their way through the boccage to victoty. Using either TW&T or IABSM, can you plan your mission and then take your force on through a series of games to mirror the achievements of the heroes who were there? Can you take Hill 192?
The Roundwood Report. Is the first of a new series of in-depth interviews from well known wit raconteur, some-time TV weather man and full-time Pseudo-celebrity Sidney “Lifter” Roundwood. With the cutting edge of a well-honed scalpel, and the deft touch of the surgeon, Sidney takes interviewing to a new level as he chats to Richard Clarke and Nick Skinner about the furture of Lard.
Gliders on Gran Sasso. Sees Fat Nick attempt to squeeze into a Fiesler Storch and rescue Il Duce with I Ain’t Been Shot Mum. Oh how he wishes he hadn’t eaten all the pies! Will Nick get the lift he needs to save Mussolini? Find out with this “what if” scenario that replicates what so nearly happened.
An Action at Clifton by Jan Spoor presents us with several actions from the ’45 rebellion with Sharp Practice. Will you be for the Stuart King or for German Billy? The choice is yours with this interesting and stimulating piece that provides historical background, force suggetsions and three historical scenarios as well as a campaign option.
Rolling Into Action. Sidney Roundwood takes a long hard look at the best ways to recreate tank actions from 1917 on the tabletop with Mud & Blood. As well as offering a selection of bolt on rules to replicate the very particular issues of that year, Sidney provides us with one historical scenario and one system for devising others that represent that terrible year.
Vogelsmenschen. This piece for Bag the Hun from Nick looks at the combat history of the Tuskagee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group. Providing a brief history of this unique unit he also presents two scenarios. Renegade Woods is next as we head back to Vietnam with an airborne assault from the pen of Robert Avery for Charlie Don’t Surf. A rough, tough fight in a hat LZ, it is up to you to decide whether you can make it smell of victory!
Midnight at the Oasis sees Lawrence of Arabia star in this Mud & Blood scenario from Allan Coleman, before we have A Baptism of Fire with the Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute as they make history at the Battle of New Market. A scenario for They Couldn’t Hit an Elephant from the pen of the good Doctor. And finally Christ Stoesen looks after The Defence of the Vistula Bridgehead, an Eastern Front scenario with options for both TW&T and IABSM.
So, there we have it, a complete festive treat for gamers everywhere, however the good news does not end there. In June 2004 we launched our first Special, and since then we have produced two a year, Summer and Christmas. Way back then, nearly eight years ago, the first special was just £5, and we are very happy to confirm that we have once again held that price in order to make this what must surely be the best value in wargaming.
As evening shadows lengthen and the English summer comes to a bitter end, thoughts on Lard Island turn to the last wargames show of the year as we don our Sou-westers and head for the Belgian coast and the BEST show on the wargaming calandar, Crisis in Antwerp. Having been attending this show for many