TooFatLardies Oddcast, Episode One

Looking to keep abreast of what is happening on Lard Island?  well, here’s a new way to do so with the Lardy Oddcast, a semi-regular show hosted by international wargaming celebrity and well known washing-line Commando, Sidney Roundwood.  This show, recorded in the Lard Island Broadcasting Studios on London’s Drury Lane, focusses on telling us what we can expect in future and talking to the two men behind TooFatLardies, Richard Clarke and Nick Skinner, and asking them to give their view on what Lard means to them.
You can join them here to listen to the show in full:  Lardy Oddcast One
Please do let us have your questions for Richard, Nick and Sidney so that we can answer them in future Oddcasts.
The books mentioned in this show’s Lard Library were as follows:
Richard selected:
The Face of Battle, John Keegan
he also mentioned:
On War by Carl von Clausewitz
Forward into Battle, Paddy Griffiths
Nick selected:
The Sharp End of War, John Ellis
Sidney selected
The Commentaries of War by Blaise de Montluc


22 thoughts on “TooFatLardies Oddcast, Episode One”

  1. Pingback: The media edition | von Peter himself

  2. I normally don’t listen to podcasts, but luckily this is an Oddcast, so I don’t feel quite so compromised. Interesting and absorbing conversation, and could the titles and authors of those inspiring tomes please be posted elsewhere for us to follow up?

  3. Chaps, the third book was “The Commentaries of Blaise de Monluc”, which you can find in “Habsburg-Valois Wars and the French Wars of Religion” (Longman, 1971) as part of the Military Memoirs series. Sorry, I should have given the full title on the Podcast.

  4. Great listen and now I have more books to read or in some cases, re-read.
    Road to Antwerp staring Nick Crosby, Rich Hope and Sydney Lamour. Can’t wait!

  5. Enjoyed the Oddcast, but spent most of it imprisoned searching memories of the 70’s until my present wife came to the rescue with “Man in a Suitcase”.

  6. Pingback: Too Fat Lardies launch ‘The Lardy Oddcast’ – Meeples & Miniatures

  7. Great stuff! Looking forward to hearing more from the Lardies crew and kudos to Sidney Roundwood for keeping the podcast moving and (what must seem like herding cats at times?) the other hosts on track.
    I really appreciated the answer to the question, “What is Lard?” and have a better appreciation of how to evaluate wargames in result.

  8. ChamberlainSkeksil

    A question for the next episode:
    Given what you’ve said here about command experience, the unknown, friction, the narrative and all the good stuff that is lard, what do you think would be a good starting point for an operational level WW2 game (1 base = 1 battalion) with the lard approach?

    1. It’s not something I have ever considered. The largest games we have played have used Divisions as the basic elements, but that was for a Great war map game where we refought large Army level actions on period maps. On the tabletop, the highest level game I have considered was for Brigade actions where the manoeuvre elements was the Company.
      The key role is that commanders are involved in considering detail up to two levels down. So, in Chain of Command you run a platoon and are interested in what your sections and your Fire Teams are doing, In IAMSM where you are running a company, it is platoons and sections, individual fire teams merge into the background at that level. Using that rule, if a battalion is your smallest element then the gamer should be commanding a Division.
      That is a nice level to be gaming at as the Division is a nice self-contained formation with it’s infantry Brigades, its artillery and then other attached support arms such as Engineers and possibly armour. However, as a Divisional commander you are also responsible for talking to one level above, so you can draw on assets from your Corps. In terms of designing a game you need to look at how comms work between your infantry Brigades (your orders will be issued to these, the battalions are then deployed as playing pieces to best achieve those orders) and how you allocate your Divisional troops to support their operations. Also, you need to consider comms upwards. How likely are you to be able to call on their assets. In a planned offensive that should be very likely. If the enemy are attacking you then it may well be that Corps has deployed those assets elsewhere.
      Issues such as once orders are issued, how long does it realistically take to implement those is key to developing a game which provides the relevant command experience. How quickly and how efficiently does information flow bot up and down the comms chain?
      Issues such as supply are very important in a game at this level. If your tank battalion attacks, how long can it remain in combat until it needs to replen? Where have you establish supply points to allow this to happen? How long does that process take. All of this will allow you to realistically allow a battalion to fight and rest as historically appropriate.
      Equally, you will need to factor in the issues of human endurance. Operations will need to be planned with a jump-off point, phase lines which allow unit to achieve a limited objective within the scope of their ability before other battalions pass through them and take up the fight. So, for example, if your attack calls for an advance of six miles, you may well decide that one battalion in X brigade will attack with tank support against phase line yellow which is a village two miles away. Once they achieve that, a second battalion will pass through them and push on to phase line brown. This will allow battalion A to rest, reorganise and replen ammo in order to be available to commit to battle after Z hours. How long this takes can only be ascertained from using historical precedents, comparing different operations, considering what supply arrangements had been made and the factoring this into your rules. What you cannot expect is to attack with battalion A and storm all the way through what would n reality be several phases on an operation. You must recognise and reflect the limits of human endurance.
      We have, on reflection, done a number of map exercises to represent operations of this nature and getting your timings right is absolutely key. Setting off your first battalion at the right time is pretty easy, but you then need to estimate how long battalion A will take to clear phase line yellow so you can launch battalion B to be in their jump-off position and pass through battalion A at the right moment. If you send them forward too early they can become embroiled in the fight for Yellow, send them in too late and the enemy will have a chance to recover from the initial attack and that makes the attack on Phase line brown much harder.
      Anyway, those are general points, but hopefully of interest.

  9. Face of Battle has been one of my favorites for a long time. It matured me as a wargamer. It made me think of what is really happening to these little men and chits – what they represent.

  10. ChamberlainSkeksil

    Awesome! I submitted a question for the podcast and got an essay. Thank you so much! I do appreciate the time spent.
    It was very much of interest. Probably the most illuminating thing about your reply was it caused a realization of how much I don’t know that I don’t know about the command experience at that level. I’ve just begun to read various memoirs, reports and accounts at the division and higher levels.
    “The key role is that commanders are involved in considering detail up to two levels down”
    I picked a battalion as the example unit just because I’ve been reading enough instances that talked about the importance of a particular battalion in the overall success of the operation, but that would have been a matter for the brigade commander. Just because a battalion can be important (and it’s achievements recognized after the fact) it doesn’t mean anyone in command of the operation has anything to do with their deployment. I’m starting to see where I need to rethink things. It could be that I want to actually do a divisional game rather than an operational one.
    “Supply … comms chains … human exhaustion … timing … jump off”
    I’ve started a document to take notes in as I continue my reading. I’m organizing each entry along those lines so I won’t miss what a given divisional commander says about timing in some off hand comment.
    The other area I need to pay attention to is reconnaissance.
    And the same issue of timing/phases seems to also be really important for retreating.
    It seems to me that at the divisional level, the combat resolution mechanics can be very simple as the meat of the game will be command experience dealing with the issues you outlined.

  11. Okay, this has to be the second podcast )oddcast) I’ve actually sat and listen to ever. Well not really sitting, but painting up some British Airborne for CoC. Don’t let it out, as this is a mega surprise to the buds here in Tucson…Looking to use them for the Von Luck campaign. Anyways, my BIG question for Big Rich, is you mentioned buying some die-cast trucks from eBay. I pretty sure which ones you’re talking about, but I have strike-out several times trying to buy a few (3 or 4), for my Soviet forces. I would like to as what did you type into eBay to get your trucks?. I would like to touch a bit of your luck to get a few myself.. Second question is for Mr Sidney – as your painting up some figures for the Pirate ers, will you be putting anything out in a Special or campaign booklet to cover this period or the type? Thanks guys, great show.

  12. Pingback: Fact & Fiction in Scenario Design – The Raft

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