The publicity I gave the Challenge at the weekend seems to have worked nicely: enough entries to warrant an update already, and it's only Thursday. This includes a new entrant, Steven Lampon, showing that it's never to late to join the Challenge!
So, in no particular order, here are today's entries:
Steven Lampon is new to the Challenge, but opens with an impressive 668 point entry featuring some gorgeously painted figures
Talking of Mark Luther and the GA Lardy Day (see last Sunday's post), here's another great after action report from Mark and friends.
This is a 6mm IABSM game played at Giga-bites Café in the Spring of 2017. The starting point for the scenario is the action that took place on the outskirts of Kolonie on the Belgium-Dutch border on the morning of September 14, 1944.
The Allied bridgehead was held by the 5th Coldstream Guards (11 Armoured Division) with C Squadron of the 15/19 Hussars just down the road. The German units coming down the road straight for the canal consisted of 6 Luftwaffe BewahrungsBatalillon zur besondere Verwendung (a Luftwaffe penal unit) and Sturmgeschutze from 2/559 schwere Heeres Panzerjager Abteilung.
With the infantry element of my Tah-Sig force almost complete (only 24 to go!), it's time to start thinking about what armour they will have in support.
Khurasan haven't yet got around to releasing any vehicles for the Tah-Sig (assume my usual complaint about infantry-only sci-fi ranges is repeated here) so it was time to have a look around the web to see what else was available.
Paghgaw IFV: image from the Dark Star Website
I've had my eye on the Dark Star 'Other Factions' range for some time. The tanks are an unusual shape (pizza slices, as my daughter called them) but as they are long and low, I think they suit the Tah-Sig perfectly: matching the idea of them wearing armoured environmental suits as well.
Only problem is that the tanks are only available by mail order from the States, and with each vehicle being $18, the poor old pound still hovering around the $1.30 mark, and with postage and tax on top, they end up being pretty expensive. About £25 each in fact!
Well, my children don't really need to eat at every meal, so I bit the bullet and ordered four: three Garshaw AFVs and one Paghgaw IFV to use as a command vehicle.
Here's my attempt at the Paghhaw:
I decided not to use the suggested chain guns on the front but, as it's a support tank, to use the wider, howitzer-looking gun that comes as an option with each AFV.
The tank also comes with a separate drone which, as you can see, I have modelled floating above the vehicle. That was fairly each to do: a pin drill and a bit of wire was all that was needed.
The unusual paint scheme is a bit of an experiment. It was done old-school style: the tank was sprayed in the dark red colour, then I put masking tape strips where I wanted the stripes to be. Another spray, this time in the green, leave to dry, then peel off the masking tape to get the camo pattern. Then a quick touch up and drybrush to bring out the detail.
To be absolutely honest, I'm not sure I like it! I'm going to paint the other three in grey with red stripes as opposed to green, and see if I like them more. It is certainly eye-catching, so we'll have to see if it grows on me once deployed onto the tabletop proper.
Here's the Garshaw from the Dark Star website. My version to follow in a later post...
As nearly all the content on this site is based on rules from the TooFatLardies, we like to keep you all abreast of what they are up to. One new thing they are doing is a series of "Oddcasts": like podcasts, only Lardier.
Rich, me, Nick at the 2011 Tobruk Games Day at Lard HQ
Here's the announcement from Lard Island News:
"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, focuses 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."
This first Oddcast is a really good discussion of the philosophy behind rulesets such as I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!, Chain of Command, and Sharp Practice, with none of the "well, then I rolled a one, and he rolled a four" tedium that seems to have beset certain other podcasts of late.
Fellow Lardy Mark Luther* has asked me to mention the forthcoming Lardy Day GA taking place 10am to 7pm on 11th November 2017 at the Giga-Bites cafe in Marietta, GA.
There will be three games of Chain of Command: a Winter Storm Russian battle with a train, a Normandy game, and Mark's own Burma '45 game. There will also be two Sharp Practice Pirate games and Mark's French and Indian Wars game. Also, Jim Schmidt (author of the rules) will be doing a Coastal Patrol game.
Contact Mark on email@example.com for details: the day is free, so definitely worth a visit.
*author of many of the spectacular 6mm IABSM battle reports that can be found elsewhere on this site
More 28mm Japanese from John Haines, with a few explorers and monsters in 15mm on top
Mr Luther has been painting hard for the 20mm Sharp Practice French and Indian Wars game he is running at the forthcoming Lardy Day GA: 11th November, 10am-7pm, free of charge, Giga-Bites, Marietta, GA
And here's an example of the first type of blog that I was talking about in yesterday's post: the moribund blog.
We all go through phases when we're more or less active online, but this blog hasn't been active since 2014, and the AAR I've lifted from it was written as a post in 2007.
Now without wanting to pick on this blogger specifically, you've got to ask the question of how long will it be before the blog and all its lovely content disappear forever: lost in time...like tears, in rain.
Fortunately, unlike poor Root-beer (as Max Headroom used to call him) Vis Lardica rides to the rescue, giving the AAR a new lease of life. Until, of course, VL disappears!
So, click on the pic to see how Randy Stoda got on in his first game of IABSM, all the way back in 2007...
Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that in addition to posting after action reports from all the company-sized games from the TooFatLardies being played now, I like to trawl the Internet and re-publish reports from games played way back when.
It makes this site the official, unofficial archive for IABSM, CDS and Q13 and their variants, and also often means that content on blogs that are now moribund is preserved (well, at least until I pop my wargaming clogs!) and content on live blogs that is so old that it has just about disappeared from view is given a new lease of life.
Here's an example of the latter: a one-off IABSM battle report dating back to 2010 from the Scattergun Gamer blog which I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing here. Only three pics, but good ones: I especially love the water-tower and marines.
Slowly working my way through the rest of the TahSig: 15mm sci-fi from Khurasan.
One of the problems of playing sci-fi games is a lack of familiarity with the units involved...even if it's only because I don't play often enough.
I mean, I can spot a Denison smock at a distance and work out I'm probably looking at WW2 British Paras (I'm talking figures here, not real life!), and then know a bit about their OBs and capabilities, but have to think a bit before being able to do the same for any of the sixteen or so 15mm sci-fi armies I have.
I've therefore decided to make life easy for me with the Tah-Sig. Each platoon will have different coloured armour: first platoon in red, second in green, and company HQ to be decided. Then each section has a different coloured tail-fin and top-knob on their armour. Simples!
So here are the first two squads from platoon two: green armour rather than red, and with red and yellow squad markers.
One squad and the platoon HQ to go, add a few more for the company HQ, and that's all the infantry finished for the moment.
Here's another IABSM AAR from Burt Minorrot's excellent Spanish-language blog Los Partidas de Burt...which I've always translated as Burt's Stuff but the wife, who speaks more languages than a half-elven bard, tells me actually translates as Burt's Games.
Anyhow, hopefully my translation of Burt's words is slightly better than usual, as the Memsahib helped with the really difficult bits i.e. those bits that Google Translate mangled beyond all recognition.
Another amazing Rock the Casbah AAR from the archive of Anton Ryzbak's excellent blog Anton's Wargame Blog, this one dating back to 2013.
The scenario is an Israeli penetration into a PLO controlled area in Lebanon. Each side had specific, and potentially asymmetric, objectives as well as very different forces and capabilities...which made for a very interesting game.
This AAR is so big that it originally appeared as three separate posts on Anton's blog. You'll be pleased to hear that I've combined everything into one enormous report that is absolutely definitely well worth a look.
Regular visitors will know that the Hura range from Clear Horizons suffers from the all-too-common "infantry only" syndrome: a nice range of infantry, a single type of infantry support weapon...and that's it. No heavier support weapons, no armour: no vehicles at all.
Now whether that's because the range hasn't proved popular and it's not worth expanding or some other reason, it has still left me with a couple of platoons of unsupported infantry...something which I got around by assigning to the Hura Brigade Games' Xarledi grav tanks from their Yenpalo range.
Very nice looking grav tanks, but still only one vehicle type...that is until now, when Brigade have added a support variant.
As you can see, the Xarledi Support Tank shares the same 'body' as its AFV brothers, but has a short, fatter gun.
I must confess I'm little underwhelmed. Lovely models, don't get me wrong, and always keen to have a variant or two...but they could have made its 'support' weaponry a bit more different. Perhaps more mortar-like, or Stalin-organ-esq. Basically something other than just a shorter, stubbier gun!
Funny, isn't it, how I'm quite happy to be happy with an early Panzer IV and an F2 as contemporaries whose main difference is barrel-length (hush, rivet counters: just pipe down, you know what I mean), but unhappy when you've got effectively the same thing in a sci-fi setting.
As Rich would say: too much space-pixie dust!
Anyway, as always from Brigade, lovely models, and good back up for the Hura.
I'm gradually working through my two Tah-Sig platoons...particularly as I need to get the infantry finished before my Darkest Star AFVs arrive to provide their support. Fresh off the workbench is a another section of grunts, and two particle cannon teams i.e. floating squad light support weapons.
I particularly like the LSW teams: the two front bases in the pic, above, as I like the way the weapons are portrayed as outlined below.
Each two-man team consists of a gunner and a loader. Although it's not very clear in the photo, the standing loader in the nearest team has a couple of football-sized objects on a rack on his back, but the lying-down loader has one football-sized object on the ground close to his gunner's weapon, and one 'deflated' football-sized object strapped to the rack on his back. It's now obvious to me that the football-sized objects are some kind of magazine or powerpack for the gunner's gun. Neat!
Anyway, the Tah-Sig come from Khurasan, and I'm looking forward to getting them onto the tabletop when all finished.
Although this site concentrates on the company-sized games from the TooFatLardies, I like to keep you all abreast of their other activity. Today, for example, saw the release of the Citadel, the Breakthrough pint-sized campaign for Chain of Command.
In Rich's own words:
"This Pint Sized Campaign for Chain of Command is the second covering the decisive battle of Kursk in 1943. The action here covers the attack of the Grossdeutschland Division on the Soviet Second Defensive Line. This key action will either see the Germans breakthrough and head onwards for Kursk, or be stopped by the Soviets; whoever wins will seize the initiative in the East for the rest of the year and possibly change the course of the war.
"Six battlefields provide a campaign which sees the Germans attacking and the Soviets but with the Russians counter-attacking to buy time. This campaign can be fought as a stand-alone series of games or can be played as a continuation from the first Kursk Pint Size Campaign, Storming the Citadel.
"This classic Pint Sized Campaign is designed to be run using the campaign rules in At the Sharp End and with Chain of Command rules. Can you seize the initiative and put the Soviets on the back foot while you build up your defences or can you keep up the momentum of the attacks in the East as you drive relentlessly towards Berlin?
"Thirty-two pages long, this Pint Sized campaign provides the background history to the campaign with situation maps. Uses period maps to show the location of the actions and then provides a complete campaign with forces for both sides, support options for players to select from and full victory conditions for all six battles and the campaign as a whole."
At time of publishing, Citadel was on sale for only £3.80: actually less than the price of a pint in some of the places I go!
Pleased to say that enough entries have come in to make a mid-week round-up a bit of a necessity: saves me being flooded at the weekend!
All the regulars are smashing their entries in, but it would nice to see some of the less frequent contributors picking up their brushes, paints and cameras as well. As I've said before, Christmas and the end of this year's Challenge will be on us before you know it, and that lead mountain won't paint itself!
Anyhow, in no particular order, here's this week's update:
Another of Joe Patchen's excellent battle reports for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum.
Here the action moves to Yugoslavia, 1943, where a band of partisans is looking to make its escape through a village occupied by Germans.
Click on the picture below to see all...
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.