IABSM AAR: September 2 #58: Jablon

Whilst I'm waiting for the go-ahead to publish my latest scenario pack, The September War, Part II, giving you another thirty early war scenarios covering the invasion of Poland in 1939, here is a battle report from one of the play-test games.

It's late September, and a mixed bag of Polish troops are holed up in the village of Jablon. They want to slip away over the border, but there's a fast-moving column of Soviet tanks and infantry heading towards them. They'll have to hold out until nightfall...

Find out if the Poles held off the Red Army hordes by clicking on the picture, below, and don't forget to keep a tenner of your Christmas money back to buy the pack once it's out!

TooFatLardies Festive Oddcast

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Christmas comes but once a year and this year the Lardies Christmas Oddcast comes from a very special location as the Lardy team meet in front of a live audience to discuss a bulging sack of letters they have had from listeners.

Raise a glass of festive cheer and sit back for an hour and enjoy the Festive Oddcast

For those of you who missed episode three, the Lardies had some technical difficulties with the upload, but you can find it here:  Oddcast Episode Three.

[Click on 'Festive Oddcast' and/or 'Oddcast Episode Three' to hear all]

IABSM AAR: Pestszentimre (easy for you to say!)

Here's another great battle report from Mark Luther. This time the action is in Hungary, 1944, near the town of Pestszentimre: giving Mark a chance to roll out his new Hungarian figures.

Click on the picture, below, to see all:

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Following up on Monday's post about Part 2 of the September War scenario pack, I'm pleased to say that that is now finished. Huzzah! 

Just waiting for Big Rich to sort a few details out, but it should be available at the end of this week...so keep a few of those Xmas Pounds/Dollars etc back for a last minute present for yourself. Should work out at about a tenner (£10 or about $13) for another thirty Poland 1939 scenarios, just under half of which involve the Soviets.


TFL Painting Challenge: Monday Night Update

Again, apologies for lack of posts since Friday. Very busy weekend, especially with the snow: abandoning your car at 8.30 in the morning with a 10-year old in tow is never a good way to start your Sunday...but fortunately everything ended up going more or less to plan.

Another reason why posts have been comparatively rare is that I am just finishing my next scenario pack for IABSM. The September War, Part 2 is on the way, and should be out at the end of this week. It's another 30-odd scenarios for the 1939 German invasion of Poland, meaning that if you were clever and bought Part One, you will now have sixty-four early war scenarios to play through. Definitely enough to justify buying that early war Polish army...

Anyway, back to the painting challenge. Today's submissions, in no particular order are:

  • Stumpy with huge amounts of basing
  • A few more gaps in his gallery have been filled by Mr Luther
  • It's AWI time for Mr Helliwell
  • Matt Slade has gone all LOTR on us, plus a small matter of a demon prince
  • There's a very familiar looking windmill from Chris Stoesen, plus a handful of Roman types
  • Some lovely WW2 Soviets from Mr Duffell
  • Steve Burt has moved from Africa to the wilds of Wild West
  • And last, but most certainly not least, the painting machine that is the Fat Wally (Kev) grinds on, outputting some more lovely SYW figures

As always, clicking on the name above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window).

And I'm sure you'll all be pleased to hear that I've decided to run the Challenge in 2018 as well.

Here are today's pics:

Soviet Mortar Team from Andy Duffell

Soviet Mortar Team from Andy Duffell

Frederick the Great from Kev the Great

Confederates from Stumpy

These two look tres familiar: mounted characters from Matt Slade

These two look tres familiar: mounted characters from Matt Slade

IABSM AAR: Jack & Cabbage!

Sorry about the lack of posts for the last few days: I've been busy with another of Jack's amazing after action reports. This one weighs in with an extraordinary 239 photographs, each of which I've had to individually download and label!

The report is taken from Jack's blog, BlackHawtHet...and you'll be pleased to hear that he and I are working on a better way to transfer the content from there to VL.

Anyway, this time Jack takes Kampfgruppe Klink on a trip to the cabbage fields of Moiste: using the IABSM scenario that I wrote for the TFL 2005 Summer Special "Moiste Cabbage and a Quick Cognac". 

The background is simple: The Germans have found a ford that gives them access to the French flank, the French dispatch a force under the eponymous Captain Cognac to close the gap. 

Jack seems to have had a cracker of a game (239 pictures!), so click on the photo below to see all:

15mm Sci-Fi Dwarves from Clear Horizon

Some of you may wonder why so much of my own painting recently has been 15mm sci-fi rather than adding to my WW2 collection, the period I play most often.

Truth of the matter is, when I did a little add up on my lead mountain a year or so ago, I discovered that I had thirteen companies (yes, companies i.e. three platoons plus supports or around 100 figures) of different sci-fi figures lurking in the cupboard.

This seemed a bit excessive, even for me, so 2017 has been the year when I reduced that figure.

How am I doing? Well, so far I have painted the Xar, the Hura, the Tah-Sig, filled in the gaps in my Chuhuac, and added three platoons to my Dwarves i.e. have knocked five or so companies off the list.

That only leaves me with the Praesentia (ex Critical Mass), the Astagar (ex Critical Mass), the Foreign Legion (Khurasan), the Martians from AQOTMF (not sure now), the Alien Invasion aliens (Khurasan) plus assorted other platoons to add to my existing armies.

Here's the latest bit of sci-fi goodness to emerge from the painting table: Clear Horizon's hi grav space mercenaries or sci-fi dwarves to the rest of us. 

Nice figures, plenty of character. Very dwarvish, but not very small (they tower above last week's Sons of Thunder from Rebel). And no separate platoon command figure, so I either buy another pack of eight and waste seven, or use a figure from someone else.

TFL Painting Challenge: Easy Like Sunday Morning Update

With under a month to go before the end of this year's challenge, it's good to see the entries flooding in. Remember: the deadline is midnight on 31st December, so it's time to get the last of those units finished.

Today's entries, in no particular order, are:

  • Mr Kay is getting ready for the latest Star Wars movie with some 28mm Imperial Assault figures
  • There's a mass of Confederates, also in 28mm from Joe McGinn
  • Steve Burt sends in his final lot of figures for Darkest Africa, although I think that's what he said last year, and the year before that...
  • The second of today's Steves, Steve Lampon submits some beautifully painted 28mm Napoleonics, although it might have been helpful to let me know how many figures are in each unit rather than relying on me to count their feet/bayonets!
  • It's the return of Fat Wally (Kev), who takes a break from painting figures for other people to produce some 15mm SYW figures for his own collection
  • Mr Hodge has visited Games Workshop. No more to be said.
  • And last, but by no means least, Egg sends in some rather nice looking T-64s in 15mm, having suffered the same varnish disaster as befell me a few months ago.

As always, clicking on the name of the painter in the list above will take you straight to their gallery (opens in a new window).

Today's pictures just give you a taste of the goodness that's been loaded up today: I could have posted every photo. 

28mm Victrix Numidian cavalry from Mr Lampon

15mm Prussian Fusiliers (36th von Munchow) from Fat Wally (Kev)

15mm T-64s from Egg

Finally, I'm just debating whether to run the Challenge next year as well. Who's up for it? Answers to admin@vislardica.com.

IABSM AAR: KG Klink, Game 5, France

Here is our first I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! After Action Report from Jack, taken from his blog BlackHawkHet.

And what an AAR it is: fully 169 photographs with a comprehensive accompanying text. It's taken me a few days just to get it all loaded up on here!

Having been in contact with Jack, I'm pleased to say that the inspiration for the game actually came from VL, and from one of the other battle reports posted here. To be specific, it was from James Tree's Pushing On game, taken from the Operation Martlet scenario pack for CoC.

Click on the pic below to see Jack's epic work... 

TooFatLardies Oddcast, Episode 3

The third in the series of TFL Oddcasts is now available: and this time it's uploaded onto YouTube.


Back from their European Road Trip, the chaps discuss what stimulates the development of a new rule set as well as what's on their workbench and a trip to the Lard Island Library for some suitable reading.

Also featured: Nick fancies a 200lb Beaver, Rich discovers what a quadrilogy is, and Sidney talks about his time on the set of the A-Team.

To hear it all:



TFL Painting Challenge: Quick Sunday Update

It's been quiet here lately: everyone too busy with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and that last surge of work before Christmas!

Not long to go now before the end of this year's Painting Challenge, so all those of you sitting on completed stuff need to get to actually sending them in. Remember: the deadline is midnight on the 31st December, so only five weeks or so to go!

Here's a quick update. In no particular order, we have:

  • Neil Hooge sends in some Indian Mutiny figures from his sickbed. His advice: never try and paint straight lines when on medication! Get well soon, Neil.
  • Mr Helliwell has been rooting in the garage in a desperate attempt to cut down the size of his lead (or in this case, plastic) mountain. Some ACW figures from him.
  • There's an unusual mix of cave-persons and F&IW settlers from Mr Duffell
  • Joe McGin sends in some lovely Highlanders and a ton of Union infantry
  • And last, but by no means least, Treadhead sends in three baddies, a swarm of 6mm tanks, and a great looking 28mm farm compound. The latter two items came straight off the 3D printer...perhaps giving us a taste of what the future holds for us all

As always, clicking on the name of the person, above, will take you to straight to their gallery (opens in  new window). 

Here are today's pictures:

Treadhead's barn: straight off the 3D printer

Highlanders from Joe McGinn

F&IW Settlers from Mr Duffell

Finally, Mark Luther has also been busy filling in a couple of gaps in his gallery. Here's a shot of some of his Burma '44 collection...

IABSM AAR: Jandrain

Here's a quick and somewhat fuzzily-photographed IABSM microarmour AAR from Mark Luther, this one covering action in France 1940 as the French counteract with Somua tanks.

Click on the pic below to see all:

Mark based the game on another AAR from this site: this one from Brian Cantwell. You can see Brian's version (in 15mm) by clicking on the pic below (opens in a new link).

And now a quick request.

I am running out of battle reports to post up here on Vis Lardica. 

I am getting the occasional report sent direct to me for posting, and many individuals are kind enough to have allowed me re-posting rights to their blog entries, but it is becoming more and more difficult to keep the flow of reports coming.

So here's the request: if you are playing one of the TFL games covered by Vis Lardica*, and don't have a blog of your own or anything like that, take a few pictures of the action, scrawl down a few notes on what happened, or even just captions to the pictures, and send the lot through to me at admin@vislardica.com. Don't worry about format or tidiness or anything like that: I can turn the raw content into a report for you.

That way you have a record of the games that you have played, a record that you can come back to and browse anytime you feel like it. I certainly enjoy reminding myself occasionally of the great tabletop encounters I've enjoyed in the past, and judging by the traffic stats for the site, so do the rest of you!

So don't delay and get scribbling!

*The site covers TFL's company-sized games - I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf! (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (sci-fi) - along with their variants Rock the Casbah (the Arab/Israeli wars of the '70s);  B'Maso (Africa in the 60's) and the various adaptions for Moderns.

Finally, one thing that did catch my eye earlier today...

I was trawling the Internet looking for interesting wargames content to read, and came across a Russian-language site with a battle report on it. A quick Google translate came up with the usual pidgin English, but one sentence particularly caught my eye:

"well, where in the truhistori vargeim without homruli"

It's like reading Chaucer, or listening to Grendel/Grendel's Mother speak in the Ray Winstone Beowulf film, but expresses a sentiment we should all take to heart: is a wargame truly a wargame without home rules!  


Back From Warfare

Back from the Warfare 2017 show, held at the Rivermead sports centre in Caversham near Reading.

I like Warfare. It's a two-day show, and has got plenty of traders, a bring and buy, a fair number of demo games to wonder at, and vast numbers of competition games to raise a quizzical eyebrow at!

I went both days: Saturday in the afternoon and first thing Sunday morning. I'm told Saturday morning was absolutely jam-packed, with the traders doing roaring business, and a three stack high bring-and-buy being emptied almost as soon as the items could be out out., but when I was there on the Saturday, it was just right: enough people for a good buzz, but not enough to have to fight your way through the hazards of backpack hell and wargamer fug. First thing Sunday morning was quite empty, but the halls were filling nicely as I left just after eleven.

The demo game that really caught my eye was a huge 28mm ACW game from Earlswood Wargames Club covering one bit of Gettysburg (Lee's right hook):

There were several other big battles elsewhere in the hall, including a nice ECW game, a couple of big Ancients games, and even Team Yankee played, as far as I could see, in 15mm on Saturday and microarmour on Sunday.

I didn't spend too much money: and that mainly on undercoat and a few bits of scenery. Unusually for me, however, I did buy something from the bring and buy: five 15mm late war Panzer IVs which I got for only £26. They're only averagely painted, and a bit over-washed, but five camo-ed tanks for about what you'd pay in the raw is well worth it...especially as they will serve as a second platoon on the rare occasions that I need more than five Panzer IVs.


All in all, a couple of good visits to a great show.

TFL Painting Challenge: Pre-Warfare Update

Bit of a choice this morning between writing my shopping list for Warfare or updating the painting challenge...but duty won out, so here we go:

In no particular order, today's update includes:

  • Sapper with some more lovely 28mm figures: this time ECW cavalry
  • New entrant David Scott lands with a bang as he submits a whole company of 15mm British airborne troops together with a load of other Late War Brits as well. If his experience with painting British Paras was the same as mine, he can now be found in the corner of the room mumbling "Dennison smocks, Dennison smocks"!
  • There's some more Soviets from Andy Duffell and some much earlier Frenchies as well
  • Mr Helliwell also mixes his periods: some WW2 Germans and a few WoR command figures
  • Mervyn sends in the Maiden Guard for his ancient Indians, with the young ladies in question finished just in time to hit the tabletop tonight
  • A huge offering from Lloyd Bowler this week: the Hat finishes some more small ships, and then going mad on his Latins with three 28mm Roman units
  • Chris Stoesen equips some of his boats with crew
  • Mr Burt pops in some more Darkest Africa figures.
  • And last, but my no means least, Carole Flint joins Steve with some British infantry and French freebooters for the Congo.

As always, clicking on the name of the person, above, will take you to straight to their gallery (opens in  new window). Well worth a browse, as there are some lovely paint jobs to be seen.

And talking of lovely paint jobs, here are today's pictures:

Praetorians from the Hat

Sapper's ECW Cavalry

45mm Soviet AT Gun from Andy Duffell

IABSM AAR: Operation Martlet #02: Pushing On

Fellow Lardy James Tree has been converting the scenarios in the Chain of Command Operation Martlet pint-sized campaign pack to I Ain't Been Shot, Mum, and posting the results on the IABSM Facebook page.

Here's the report from the second scenario in the pack: troops from the British 49th Infantry Division push on against some rather battered opponents from the German 12th SS Panzer Grenadiers.

See how they get on by clicking on the picture, below.

Best of all, James makes it easy for you to play the scenario yourself. Please do...and send your own AARs in to admin@vislardica.com.

More Not-Squats in 15mm

I'm still waiting for my twenty-two Polish 7TP tanks to arrive, so still picking at bits of the lead mountain to pass the time.

Today's offering is a couple of units that have been waiting for paint for some time. First up is the last of the Thrainites (space dwarves) from Khurasan: a squad of light mortar teams. Nice models that paint up well, but they are a slightly different size to the rest of the Thrainite figures. Not enough to stand out too much, but enough that I noticed!

Next up are more space dwarves, but this time from Rebel Miniatures. These are the two packs they have in their Sons of Thunder range: a basic infantry platoon, and then a smaller pack with some command figures and heavier weapons.

I mixed the two packs together and achieved three eight-dwarf squads, each with two Light Support Weapons, and a couple of Big Men. I even have five left over to man some kind of support weapon.

Now these figures are properly, dwarvishly small. Whereas Khurasan's Thrainites are easily approaching the normal height for a 15mm figure (and their command figure is more like 20mm), the Rebel Sons of Thunder are each only about a centimetre tall, if that. Seeing them in their sabot bases as in the photo, above, reminded me of playing with 10mm figures...but maybe that's exactly what space dwarves should look like. The clue is in the name!

Anyway, nice looking figures, just a shame the range isn't bigger.

Rock the Casbah AAR: Slow But Steady

A quick AAR from Anton Ryzbak's blog Anton's Wargame Blog. This report concerns an Israeli advance to clear a Palestinian held town, and uses the Rock the Casbah supplement for IABSM and TWAT.

Click on the pic below to see all (note that the cameraman was obviously under fire for most of the game, so some of the pics are a little fuzzy).

Hercules CLEM from GZG

Whilst I'm waiting for my company of 7TP tanks to arrive (well, I've actually ordered twenty-two of the things so that I can field a full jw company and a mixed jw/dw company!) I've been pottering around working on those odds and sods that always inhabit the outskirts of the painting table/lead mountain.

One such potter had me come across a couple of Hercules CLEM (Construction, Logistics & Engineering Mecha) from the great Ground Zero Games range.

These are large construction walkers that come in three varieties: A, B and C:

  • A: a general purpose mecha with hands
  • B: a loader much like the exo-skeleton worn by Ripley to fight the alient queen at the end of Aliens
  • C:  a site clearance version with chainsaw, flamer, and gripping hands options

The pictures on the GZG site (and the models I'd seen on their stand at shows) looked great, so all I had to do now was to build them.

Unlike a lot of mecha models, the GZG set come with one part per section of the body and limbs. So a leg consists of a toe, a heel, a shin, a thigh that connects to the hip piece. This allows you to pose and animate the mecha in a thousand different ways...but is, if I might say so, quite difficult to build. Emptying the little plastic bag that one mecha comes in literally gives you a pile of very similar one centimetre by one centimetre by one centimetre chunks of metal.

Worse, try as I might, I couldn't find any instructions on the GZG website. Only the helpful comment that "some modelling skills and experience of metal kit building are advised"! Well, as my East London friends would say, I should cocoa!

Yes, they are quite tricky to build...requiring superglue, accelerator spray (well, I use PVA glue as my accelerator!) and quite a lot of patience. That said, when I was working out how they went together (lots of reference to the pictures of the completed mecha on the GZG website required) I did manage to build one up to the hips and get it to stand up straight without using any glue, so when they do go together, they go together well.

Now that they are finished, however, I am very happy with them, very happy indeed. The pictures show the B and C variants with a Battlefront 15mm WW2 US infantryman as a size comparison.

As you can see, I painted mine in construction yellow with a brown wash and light dry-brush of GW's rust-colour from their Dry range. I then added warning patches on several of the flat panels. The windscreen I painted dark green, then scuffed with white. A couple of other bits of detail (lights and the spotlight) and done.

Site clearance

In all, I'm very happy with them. Tough to build, but they look good, and are ideal either for dressing a sci-fi battlefield or giving some of my militia/miners a bit of unexpected oomph!

TooFatLardies Oddcast, Episode Two


The second TFL Oddcast is now available for download.

This time, the terrible trio of Big Rich, Nick and Sid took the advantage of a long drive to Crisis in Antwerp to discuss their hopes for the show and, the big issue of the oddcast, their experiences walking battlefields and how that relates to their wargaming.

Click here to download the Oddcast.

Flashback to the TFL trip to Crisis in 2011. Here our brave boys are actually at Les Attaques in Calais, featured as one of the scenarios in the IABSM 'Defence of Calais' scenario pack

Flashback to the TFL trip to Crisis in 2011. Here our brave boys are actually at Les Attaques in Calais, featured as one of the scenarios in the IABSM 'Defence of Calais' scenario pack

IABSM AAR: Operation Martlet Game


In addition to publishing the company-sized WW2 game  I Ain't Been Shot, Mum, the TooFatLardies also publish the very popular platoon-sized WW2 game Chain of Command.

In addition to the rules, TFL also publish a series of "pint-sized campaigns": scenario booklets for CoC that cover very specific actions over the course of 6-8 games priced, as the name suggests, at the price of a pint of beer.

One such booklet covers Operation Martlet:  the combined arms operation launched by the British 49th Division immediately prior to Operation Epsom to seize the Rauray Spur from the defenders from 12 SS Hitlerjugend.

The pint-sized campaigns can be fairly easily translated for use with IABSM, and this is what James Tree has done for his latest AAR, lifted from the TFL Facebook page.

Click on the picture below to see how he got on...