IABSM AAR: Big Game After Xmas

Here's an after action report for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! from Carole Flint, taken from her blog Hippolyta's Tiny Footsteps . 

Allied forces are pushing eastwards into the Low Countries. German resistance is stronger than expected but patchy in places. Defence in many cases depends on ad hoc formations made up from whatever troops are available to counter the advance of the Allied armour.

Click on the pic below to see all...

TFL Painting Challenge 2018: First Update of the Year

Good to see that so many of you have made such an early start to this year's challenge. Makes me feel slightly guilty about not having visited the painting table for a couple of weeks!

So, in no particular order, we have the first entries of the year from:

  • Andrew Helliwell, with a mixture of pike and medievals
  • A quick Somua APC from Jon Yuengling
  • More pirates, me hearties, from Steve Burt
  • Carole Flint has built a stronghold for Hoardes
  • New participant, Chris Cornwall, starts his challenge career with some terrain and a few random Germans
  • And last, but by no means least, Doug Melville smashes his way into the year with twelve rather lovely 1/56th WW2 vehicles

As always, clicking on the name of the person, above, will take you straight to their gallery, which will open in a new window.

Today's pictures are a few of Doug's APCs...

IABSM AAR: Operation Sealion: Tally Ho!

Here's a battle report from a game I played in last weekend, using the Tally Ho! scenario from the Operation Sealion scenario pack.

The report is not written by me, but by Dave...who had the unfortunate task of referring a game in which I was participating. John and Mark played the Brits trying to re-claim a small corner of the UK for Queen and country; I played the dastardly Hun seeking to expand the Third Reich over England's green and pleasant land.

Click on the pic below to see how it all turned out...

Wyevale Winter Trees Bargain

For those of you who hadn't noticed, many garden centres are selling off their winter model Christmas trees.

I had heard about this wondrously cheap way of acquiring snowy terrain for the wargaming table, but hadn't actually seen the proof of the (presumably Christmas) pudding.

Until now.

The wife of a friend picked up the above Battle of the Bulge, winter wonderland forest for me for a mere £13.50: and that's for sixty-one trees! A bargain, and they look to be good quality as well.

For me, unfortunately, this was a false economy, as I now need to buy myself a snow-scene mat for the top of my gaming table...

TFL Painting Challenge 2018: Open For Business

As the title of this post suggests, the TooFatLardies Painting Challenge 2018 is now open for business!

Old lags who have entered before will know the drill, but those Lardies who want to enter for the first time are advised to read the Introduction & Details page in the TFL Painting Challenge 2018 folder.

But it's really very simple. You paint, base and otherwise get a unit ready for the tabletop. You send a piccy of said unit to me at admin@vislardica.com with:

  • Details of what the unit is: name, category, number of figures (points total if you like)
  • If there's more than one unit in your submission, name of the photo that goes with the unit details is helpful
  • Any other, possibly quizzical comments you might want to make
  • Your name, especially if you use a nom de paint

Once I have your first submission, I'll open a gallery for you. Challenge ends 31/12/18.

Note that last year it got quite, er, challenging to keep on top of things, so although I currently have no intention of doing so, I reserve the right to cap the number of participants.

Finally, we have our first entry of the year already: Matt Slade has sent in a unit of Prussian Jaegers (and bloodhound) that allegedly "finishes off the infantry for my SP Prussians". Well I think we've all heard (or said ourselves!) that before...

Here they are:

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #03: The Invasion of Egypt

Although just being published now, this AAR covers my last game of 2017.

It's the Libyan/Egyptian border in September 1940, and the Italians have finally got their act together and invaded. A huge column snakes its way down the desert strip towards Egypt. In their way are the Coldstream Guards and their supports.

Find out how the Italians did by clicking on the picture, below.

Nice Plug for Compass

Here's a link to a nice post about the Operation Compass scenario pack.

Yarkshire Gamer has been using the pack as the basis for his new campaign. Okay, so he's not using IABSM, but it just goes to confirm that the games in the TFL scenario packs are easily adaptable for other rule sets.

Click here to visit the Yarkshire Gamer blog. 

And completely co-incidentally, I played a Compass scenario myself last week: report will be published here tomorrow morning...


IABSM AAR: Whitaker on Tour!

Last Friday, The Centurions Wargame Group played host to fellow Lardy Mike Whitaker, who volunteered to run a demo game of IABSM. The game was held at The Source Comics and Games in the Twin Cities.

A company of infantry with armor support on each side provided an afternoon of great entertainment. Click on the pic below to see all.

Happy New Year! And 2017 Reviewed.

Happy New Year to everyone, and I hope 2018 is good to you.

Now that I look back on 2017, I can see that my wargaming year has been a very successful one.

Here are a few highlights:

The September War

I've written and published two full IABSM scenario packs this year, both covering the German and Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 in what is known as The September War.

That's over sixty early war scenarios to play, and loads of different scenario mechanics that can be adapted for other periods.

Sales have not been amazing (not like Blenneville or Bashnya), but then how many people have an early war Polish army? It was, anyway, quite a labour of love...and I'm enjoying playing them.

2018:  Blitzkrieg

Also, although there's still plenty still to do, I'm well into my next project: producing the early war theatre booklet for IABSM.

Here I'm concentrating very much on the Battle for France (and Belgium and the Nederlands), as the Polish lists are already done and available for free elsewhere on this site.

More news in the new year, but the section on the French army is already about 70 pages long!


A good year as regards painting, with three full sci-fi armies completed: the Xar, the Hura and the Tah-Sig. 

On top of that, I've really fleshed out my Poles, and chewed through a couple of units that have been sitting in the lead mountain for far too long.


I didn't quite hit last year's points score in the Painting Challenge, but am within Ame's Ace of equaling it. In fact, it's fair to say that if I'd finished the half-completed unit currently in prime position on the table I'd be ahead...but then I'm writing this rather than doing that!   


Much to my surprise, and with everything going on in my life apart from gaming, I've actually had more games this year than I have  for any year for some time.

Still a small score (19 battles) compared to a club weekly gamer, but then I have a long commute, don't belong to a club, have a demanding family and do a lot of sport as well. 

I've also written up every game except one for this site, so feel that I have been spreading the IABSM Lard as much as possible.

My thanks (and apologies if I was an a**e!) to all my opponents. Better luck next time!

Vis Lardica

Finally, just a quick note on the fortunes of this website itself.

Traffic is up year on year across all the metrics used to measure websites. That's Uniques (number of visitors), Page Views, Dwell Time etc.

For those interested, in 2017 there were about 61,500 page views from about 14,000 unique visitors (i.e. if you visit in Feb and Nov, you still only count as one unique). On average, just over 1,000 people visit the site twice each month, looking at 2.5 pages per visit.

Which is not bad going.

Key to more traffic is links on other sites, so if you do run your own blog, and enjoy Vis Lardica, please include a link in your list of recommended blogs. Let me know you've done so, and I'll plug your site on here in return.

It might be slightly more complicated to do so because I'm on Squarespace not Blogger or one of the other free hosting sites (yes, it costs me money to keep a site of this size going!) but do please try. It will help spread the Lard even further.

So, all in all, a very good year. Let's hope 2018 is even better!

Happy New Year

Robert Avery

TFL Painting Challenge: Last Minute Entries

Three entries sneaking in just before the deadline...

  • John Haines with some AWI militia cavalry
  • John de Terre Neuve with some scenery and small-scale tanks
  • The Hat bangs another twenty-four twenty-eights into his pot...and gets so excited he forgets to tell me what they are (don't worry, I guessed!)

And here they all are:

Militia Cavalry

Militia Cavalry

Monte Cassino in 20mm

Anonymous Hellenics from the Hat

TFL Painting Challenge: Enormous 31st December Update

And the last minute entries come pouring in, including a couple of "here's my entire output for the year in one go" submissions.

In no particular order, we have:

  • The name's Bond, Geoff Bond, with everything in one go, and a whole load of WW2 kit dating back to OML
  • A huge 'lots of terrain' entry from Koen, surely enough for him to win his littel side-contest with Thomas and Owen
  • Doug Melville sends in large amounts of all sorts of things
  • Regular Andy Helliwell has what must be his final entry of the year: more 15mm pike and shotte types
  • Another everything in one go entry, this time from Jim Catchpole: bronze, bugs and I can't find another "b" for his colonials
  • Andy Duffell sends in some more Soviets
  • And last but my no means least, four more post-apocalyptic cars from Mr Hodge

As always, clicking on the name of the person in the list, above, will cause their gallery to open in a new window.

There's still time to get those last minute entries in.

Here are today's pictures:

WW2 German Vehicles from Koen

More WW2 German Vehciles, this time from Doug Melville

ECW in 15mm from Andy Helliwell

TFL Painting Challenge: End Of The Year Rush Begins!

We're approaching the climax of the 2017 TFL Painting Challenge, and the entries are coming in thick and fast!

Here's a quick batch to keep on top of things:

  • Steven Lampon sends in some more of his superb Ancients. Just drop me a line with your address and when you're going to out, Steve...
  • Sapper squeezes in a last entry before the new year: some pike and shotte foot, and mounted Arabs
  • No painting, but plenty of basing from Lloyd Bowler. Don't envy you that one!
  • More 6mm Space Marines from Treadhead
  • John Haines with a mixed bag of Napoleonics and ninjas!
  • And last, but by no means least, Owen pops in his first, and presumably last, entry of the year with loads of WW2 desert troops.

As always, clicking on the name of the person. above, will take you straight to their gallery, and a quick reminder that there's still plenty of time to get your final entries in for this year. Come on! Finish off that last unit that's been sitting on the corner of the painting table for ages!

Today's pictures are below:

More rather lovely Numidians from Mr Lampon

A crazy amount of re-basing from the Hat


Finally, next year's challenge will begin in January...but no holding over figures 'til then: if they're done, then they're 2017 and send them in now!

IABSM AAR: The Dukla Pass (Poland 1939)

On 8th September 1939, German Gebirgsjaegers moving along the Carpathian mountain range bumped into a unit of Polish Border Protection Corps mountain troops near the Dukla Pass. After a short battle, the Poles withdrew, leaving the pass open for the Gebirgsjaeger to continue their advance.

That was the background to scenario #39: The Dukla Pass, taken from my just-published scenario booklet, The September War, Part 2: another thirty of so scenarios for IABSM covering the German invasion of Poland in September 1939.

The game would involve both sides wrestling for control of two objectives, with victory going to side that controlled both objectives on any appearance of the Tea Break card.

Click on the picture below to see who triumphed in the two games we had, and why one of them ended in a Steward's Inquiry!

TFL Painting Challenge: Friday Update

As the end of the year approaches, it's time for everyone to start sending in their last entries of the year...so here's the latest batch.

In no particular order, we have:

  • David Scott with some US engineers and infantry
  • More Dark Ages types from Mervyn: allegedly his last entry of the year
  • Derek "Rockatansky" Hodge is out in the Badlands
  • A huge entry from John de Terre Neuve: some lovely WW2 desert 6mm kit
  • Mr Helliwell is, as ever, still painting furiously: ACW and TYW from him.
  • Egg is still on the moderns: always makes me break the 10th Commandment!
  • Steve Burt has donned an eye patch an stuck the inflatable parrot to his shoulder: arrrr, Pyrates!
  • And last, but by no means least, Ed Bowen has some Shock counters and Deployment points for SP AWI

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

Today's pre-Christmas pics are:

JDTN's huge WW2 desert entry

Including this rather lovely town

Modern goodness from Egg

SP AWI Deployment Point from Ed Bowen

Typical vehicles from Musselburgh.

Time for me to get back to the painting table myself. Last year I managed 1,219 points. This year I'm on 1,204 points, with a unit of twenty-four 15mm infantry undercoated and ready to be painted. If I can finish them before the end of the year, that's me just over last year's score. All hail the Painting Challenge!

Plenty of time to get the last of your entries in: the Challenge doesn't close until midnight on the 31st!

TooFatLardies Xmas Special Now Available


Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a large helping of Lard and this year's Christmas Special delivers it by the chimney-full.  At 135 pages in length, here’s a look at the contents:

  • Lion de Mer:  A French force invades Sussex in 1805.  A campaign for Sharp Practice
  • Allies Peu Fiable:  A France 1940 scenario for Chain of Command
  • Taking Off Into Aerial Gaming:  An introduction to the joys of reaching for the sky with Bag the Hun
  • War Hawk:  USAAF take on the Luftwaffe above the North African desert
  • Lost in Musique:  The natives are revolting!  They certainly are with this award winning scenario for Sharp Practice
  • An Affair at Gazala:  An IABSM scenario set amid the sands of North Africa
  • Battle Rifles:  Len Tracey returns with a look at representing different weapons in Chain of Command
  • Escape:  A new adventure for Richard Fondler and Sharp Practice
  • Hearts of Oak:  Ideas for a campaign ladder for Kiss Me Hardy
  • The Road to Bremen.  A Late War Chain of Command campaign.  To Bremen by Kangaroo
  • The Spanish Main: Rum, Piracy and Nautical Fun.  A guide to Pirates with Sharp Practice from the pen of Chris Stoesen
  • Government Reprisal:  A pirate scenario for Sharp Practice
  • The Encounter at Guarena River:  A Scenario for General d’Armee by Anibal Invictus
  • Sidney Roundwood’s Big Day Out:  Released from his high security mental institution,  Sidney enjoys a day out as he races for the Don with a game of Big CoC
  • Fine Tuning IABSM:  Mike Whitaker gets out his tuning fork as he adds some more detail to troop quality
  • Cutting Out:  Another Pirate Scenario for Sharp Practice
  • Za Rodinhu:  An Eastern Front Scenario for Bag the Hun
  • A Cruel Necessity:  Sharp Practice in the English Civil War
  • The Great Raid, Parts 1 & @.  A Double your money for Pirates with Sharp Practice
  • The Roundwood Report

Click here to buy the Christmas Special

The September War Part II Now Available

I'm sure you'll all be glad to hear that the second part of the Poland 1939 scenario pack is now available for purchase.

Written by Robert Avery and Alexander Kawczynski, The September War, Part II is the second scenario pack for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! covering the German invasion of Poland 1939. It provides another thirty scenarios for the theatre.

Divided into six mini-campaigns, the pack begins with four mini-campaigns based on specific German units: Panzerdivision Kempf, the 1st GebirgsjaegerDivision, the 4th Panzer Division, and the 1st Kavallerie Brigade. Then there are two mini-campaigns based on the Soviet invasion of Poland: the Belorussian Front and the Ukrainian Front. Finally there are two stand-alone battles: Westerplatte and the Hel Peninsula.

As always, there are attacks, counter-attacks, encounter battles, and desperate defences, all containing a whole host of useful scenario mechanics that can be re-used elsewhere.

No need for any preparation: each scenario contains a brief background history, maps, a full game briefing, and a full briefing for each player. Simply print out the pages you need, make up the deck from the list of cards required, unpack your figures and dice, set up the table and away you go!

To see a list of scenarios, click here.

To see a sample scenario briefing, click here.

To buy the pack, click here.

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!