I went along to Warfare today: usually the last show of the year for me.
Warfare takes place at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Caversham, Reading, and just about takes over the entire centre for the day. There is a huge trader hall, and then an even bigger hall full of competition and demo games. There's also a smaller hall that houses the Bring & Buy, and the rather noxious squash courts which is where some more competition gamers are caged.
It's one of my favourite shows of the year, mainly because (a) it's close to where I live and (b) it's got a huge trader hall and I can shop to my heart's content. The only downside is that it's usually packed, which means that parking, even in the huge Rivermead car park, can be quite problematic.
So what was this year's show like?
Well my overriding impression was that it was quiet, very quiet. I only got bashed by one backpack (a square FoW carrying case, doubtless holding an SS German army with US Para allies) and hardly saw anyone I knew.
There were also some key traders missing. Peter Pig weren't there, which was annoying as I needed a single pack of figures that I'll now have to mail order; and there wasn't really anywhere to buy Battlefront figures either - just a couple of buckets/racks of old, discount figures.
Chain of Command
As for Lardy games, the guys from Evesham put on an amazing game of Chain of Command based around one of the key battles of the Bulge which, I think, won best demo game.
So a quiet Warfare this year...which meant, at least, that I didn't spend much money!
Another Saturday morning battle with the Benson boys...but what to play?
Well, my usual default here is to have a look at what hasn't been on the table recently (if ever!) so today's game must be Six Day War and must involve the Battlefront ruined fort. Add on some "tail" that's never been on the table, and Bob's your uncle: one quick scenario written!
A column of Israeli recovery vehicles has strayed too close to the front line. As they pass a ruined fort on top of a hill, they spot a force of Egyptian tanks heading towards them.
This report is from the game played on October 15th 2016 at the first ever TFL Llardiff Games Day that took place at Firestorm Games in Cardiff.
The idea of this games day was that gamers not necessarily familiar with TFL products could come and have a go at a variety of different games, getting a taste of Lard and then hopefully coming back for more.
I was tasked with showcasing I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!, and told that I should prepare for a series of different players dipping in and out throughout the day, with my efforts focused on setting up and umpiring one game in the morning and one game in the afternoon.
Hmmm, I thought, multiple players dipping in and out: my favourite - not! No matter: Lard calls and I answer...so I decided to bring to Cardiff one of the larger (if not the largest) games from my Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack: scenario #4C, Holm.
This is a late war game where a battalion of Soviet infantry (and remember IABSM is a company-sized game!) supported by just a few tanks tries to overrun a German force defending a small village on the Kaunas front.
Just about the last of the half-term painting, and the last of the mass of Zvezda vehicles I bought myself for my birthday in August: a couple of Ferdinand tank destroyers.
Reading up about these, I was surprised to learn that they are named after Ferdinand Porsche, the designer and how very KV of the Germans, and how early they went into service: summer 1943, making them mid- rather than late-war monsters. It's the modified version of the Ferdinand, the Elefant, that's more of a later war beast.
There were only 91 of them ever modified from the Tiger I hull, so it seems appropriate to only field two of them, and to only pay a few quid for each model...as I can't see them being used very often.
Nice models, easy to put together, easy to paint. Go Zvezda!
This time it's a four-gun Polish MMG platoon for my force for the 1939 September War.
These are actually a mix of Forged in Battle and Battlefront figures. I happened to have acquired a pack of each, so chose the figures I liked best from both. For example, the FiB MMGs come separately as nice chunky individual weapons, which I like, whereas the Battlefront one come with the tripod and shooter as one piece and the gun barrel as another. The Battlefront faces, however, being more detailed, paint up better, and some of the FiB foot are in very strange poses. A mixture of the best of both is definitely the right solution.
Incidentally, I've painted four MMGs rather than three required for an infantry HMG platoon only so that they can, if necessary, proxy for a typical four-gun cavalry HMG platoon, despite the lack of cavalry Adrienne helmets. I might get around to painting a separate cavalry HMG platoon, but I've already got to find tchanka figures and, if you look closely, the leader in the top right corner of each base is actually wearing an Adrienne cavalry helmet. Hopefully no-one will notice!
And the clocks have gone back in Merrie England, so it's now only 9am instead of what was, until 2am this morning, 10am.
A rather quaint habit we have of moving away from GMT each spring onto British Summer Time: an hour ahead of GMT and giving the farmers more daylight or something. I'm not a fan: disrupts my body clock (set to get up at the same time each day) and always leads to someone being early or late for something by an hour. But then I'm not a farmer...
Anyhoo, moving swiftly on, time (plenty of time) for an update to the 2016 TooFatLardies Painting Challenge. So, in no particular order, we have:
Mr Douglas with three ruined buildings
Mr Slade with some more Arab bowmen
Dave Humm makes a welcome return after a long absence with an assortment of figures
Andrew Helliwell rescues some Romans from the attic
Steve Burt just paints some Romans
Stumpy paints and bases some 15mm and 28mm figures
and last, but by no means least, Carole leaves her garden (probably too dark to weed or something) and pops in a couple of 15mm buildings
Today's pics? Well, first up, we have some Ferdinands from Mr Luther.
Not on the list, above, as they've been claimed for previously, but a pic to fill in one of the gaps in his gallery. Nice!
Here's one of Stumpy's built, painted and based 28mm vehicles: a jalopy of some kind
and finally, here's a 15mm Hovels church from Carole:
Having promised myself I'd concentrate on the Poles, I immediately took a quick break from early WW2, and smashed out a platoon of T-34/85s for my Six Day War UAR/Egyptian army.
I got these via the Battlefront 40% off sale, which I think is still on for the next couple of days, otherwise I would have gone for plastics again...but these are nice models: suitably hefty.
I've painted them the way I painted the other ex-Soviet WW2 kit in my UAR army: just the same as a more modern tank, but then covered in one of the Games Workshop technical washes to give them a real "twenty years old and a tank the Soviets don't want any more" look.
One thing to note: one of the models (the one on the left, furthest from the camera) came with one side of the hull broken off. You can see the left hand track is very visible, and is visible all down the side of the tank.
Now I do love Battlefront vehicles (I have literally hundreds of them, possible even a thousand) but their quality control sucks! Yes, I could have e-mailed in and got almost an immediate replacement but, as I've said before, that's not the point: get it right first time!
I'm still waiting for the gun barrel that was missing from my Polish AT guns: that's been four days and they have missed their slot in the painting queue! That's four Battlefront purchases painted this week, with two needing a replacement part. Not very good, to say the least!
As it happens, this wasn't a problem for me: the tanks were supposed to be battered, and this one is just more battered than most...still not the point, though!
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.