A "Test of Honour" Tester

Always nice to get an invitation to a game, so it was with great pleasure that I joined fellow Lardy Derek Hodge and friends at the South East Scotland Wargames Club last night for a game of Test of Honour.

For those of you not familiar with the game, ToH is a game of samurai skirmish warfare. Each side gets one major league samurai and a number of followers, one figure = one man, and fights it out for a set objective using a simple dice based combat system.

The forces at my command last night

The game comes with a variety of different scenario suggestions included: here we were tasked with taking a number of objectives within an enemy village.

The game began with both sides exchanging some long range missile fire, with my ashigaru bowmen getting a slight advantage over Derek’s musketeers.

The enemy musketeer-wielding ashigaru

Meanwhile, my lead samurai and some ashigaru pikemen were sneaking around the bottom of the village, aiming to take the objective indicated by the counter in the nearest building in the picture above.

I say sneaking, but my lead samurai just ran at the village at top speed, hidden from enemy missilemen by the various buildings. Very quickly, he had clambered into the hut and taken the objective: one down, two to go.

Time was against us (we only had five turns of play to get the matter done) so I decided not to waste any more time and, as the three enemy musketeers were currently unloaded, to charge out of the hut and show them how a real man fights!

Despite being slightly impeded by the terrain, I smashed into the three ashigaru and, with a couple of stabs of my yari or long spear, killed one musketeer and sent the other two reeling backwards in a panic.

At this point the enemy no.2 samurai charged forward and took a mighty swing at me with his sword, but missed as I had gained a characteristic card allowing me a nifty dodge. I stabbed back, and managed a critical hit impale, technically killing him and knocking him to the ground.

I say technically as samurai characters have a dog’s chance like extra life…meaning my enemy was still drawing breath.

Not for long, however, as the initiative came my way again, and I polished him off with another critical hit. The dice were definitely on my side today!

With half their missilemen and one leader down, and two objectives out of three already in my hands, the opposition gave up: withdrawing to cede me total control of the village.

A glorious victory achieved almost solely with one major league samurai character. Excellent stuff and just like the movies!

They sent an army against him. He threw it back in pieces!

A great fun game with a great fun system that I shall definitely play again when I can. My thanks to Derek and friends for a great fun evening. Now back to the Fringe…

Peleliu at The Other Partisan

The other game of I AIn’t Been Shot, Mum at The Other Partisan was another amphibious assault: Tim Whitworth and the Like a Stone Wall Group’s magnificent Pelelie scenario, set in the Pacific with US Marines assaulting a Japanese-held beach.

This game was, in fact, so good that it won the Best Demonstration Game award for the show. Click on the picture below to see loads of excellent pictures of the game:

The Other Partisan

I don’t usually get to The Other Partisan: Newark is normally too far to go on one of the few days off I get each week.

This year, however, I did get to go: mainly because I had promised to drive my daughter’s rollerscate of a car up to Edinburgh for her, and Newark provided a reasonable waypoint on the journey: drive to Newark on the Sunday, do Partisan, stay overnight, then do the rest of the journey on the Monday.

So I did get to go to Partisan, and great fun it was too. Lots of good trade stands, although I didn’t actually buy anything (still far too much in the lead mountain!) and, almost more importantly, a huge number of very impressive demonstration and participation games.

And what a lot of Lard on show too!

In all, I think there were six games featuring Lardy rules: Big Rich was running CoC (more on that later); Mike Whitaker had brought his Omaha game; the Like A Stone Wall chaps were there with their Peleliu game; Matt Slade was also playing CoC, but desert-style; there was a Sharp Practice Ancients variant; and a huge WW2 Normandy CoC game too. That’s six Lard games in all. Here are some pictures:

I even managed to get a battle in as well: I played the Fallschirmjaegers attempting to capture a Dutch windmill in Richard’s afternoon CoC participation game.

After I’d watched the FJs getting beaten in the morning through attempting to use no tactics at all - just trying to overwhelm their Dutch reservist opponents through sheer firepower - I was determined to do better. A bit of the old feint to the right, then pin with the centre and attack on left soon had the Cloggies defeated…although the way my opponent’s young daughter was rolling the dice meant that the path to victory was definitely not all plain sailing. Very nerve-wracking in fact.

Third Fallschirmjaeger squad at the moment of their victory!

So, all in all, a very good show indeed. Highly recommended.

TFL Painting Challenge

I may be busy, but there’s always time to update the Painting Challenge!

So, in no particular order, this week we have:

  • Neil Hooge with some 15mm Sikh Wars British

  • Travis makes his usual contribution: a lovely Matilda II and a couple of US MG teams

  • There are a plethora of 15mm Soviet anti-tank guns from Matt Slade

  • Some tall ships from Chris Stoesen

  • Carole has a few sci-fi bots for us to admire

  • Mervyn is back in fantasy land: Conan and LOTR

  • More 6mm ACW from Lloyd (much more!)

  • Bits and pieces from Mr Helliwell

  • Some desert aircraft from Mark Luther

  • And last, but by no means least, some 15mm WW2 Americans from Joe

As usual, clicking on a name in the list above will take you straight through to that person’s gallery (opens in a new window).

Here are today’s pictures:

Quiet Time!

Sorry if it all seems a bit quiet on here at the moment (it’s certainly unusual not to have a new post for a week) but I’m busy with the final proofing of the next army booklet for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum: which will be the first of the Blitzkrieg in the East series focusing on the Japanese army of December 1941 to July 1942.

japanese-soldiers-on-the-march.jpg

A slight change in direction for this one, in that the lists will be ordered not, as the Blitzkrieg in the West lists, by parent division but by geographical campaign: so lists for the Japanese in Malaya, in Burma, in the Philippines, in what was known as the Dutch East Indies, the South Seas etc. I hope to follow this with lists for their opposition: the British & Empire armies, the Americans, the Dutch etc.

At the same time, Rich and I are cooking up an offer of some sort to mark the 80th year after the accepted start of WW2 on 1st September 1939 with the invasion of Poland. That sounds like a clumsy statement, but I don’t think it right to use the word “anniversary”, with its celebratory connotations, for the beginning of something that was so terrible. Keep your eyes and ears posted for more on that soon.

Otherwise, I’ll be at The Other Partisan on Sunday, where there will many Lardy games on show, so hope to see you all there.

otherpartisan.jpg

IABSM AAR: A Hasty Defence

John Cooper is preparing to play through “The September War” scenario pack with his beautifully painted 10mm figures.

Here’s a quick warm-up game that he played using the fourth game from the random scenario generator in the IABSM v3 rulebook: “A Hasty Defence”. Click on the pic below to see all:

TFL Painting Challenge: Seven Day Update

Regular visitors will know that I usually update the Challenge on a fortnightly basis, but there have been so many entries lately that I think I’m going to have to move to monitoring things each week.

For example, look at how many people have submitted entries in just this last week gone by: most impressive.

So, in no particular order, today we have:

  • Mark Luther with more little ‘planes, this time for North Africa; and more Soviets in 15mm

  • Mervyn is back in Rohan

  • Intervention may be needed: Carole has gone all Cultist!

  • It’s pikemen and Hussites from Chris Cornwell

  • Joe McGinn has some Tyrolean Jaegers to add to the mix

  • Two vast entries from Matt Slade: 15m Soviets for Bashnya or Bust! and American GIs in 28mm

  • Partisans and post-apocalyptic types from Andy Duffell

  • John Haines submits three vignettes

  • Fantasy and SYW in two scales from Andrew Helliwell

  • More beautifully painted winter war Germans from Travis

  • And last, but by no means least, three townhouses and a handful of Germans from John Emmett

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

Here are today’s pictures:

IABSM AAR: Peleliu Warm-Up

Tim Whitworth and his colleagues from the Like A Stonewall Wargames Group have been preparing the game they are showcasing at The Other Partisan wargames show in a couple of week’s time.

It’s a scenario for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum based on the US Marine assault on Peleliu Airfield in 1944. Click on the pic below to see all:

Second Sumerian Spear Block

Here’s the second of the six spear blocks that I need to field a To The Strongest Sumerian army in the style of my ancients collection.

Once again these are the almost unbelievably detailed 15mm Museum Miniatures figures painted (all except the bronze) with the new GW Contrast paints. I did the whole lot in one weekend, averaging about 45 minutes for 12 figures.

Only another four blocks to go!

More Praesentia

Almost finished the Praesentia now: just a few Trinaries and the drones to go.

Here are the rest of the Sentinel and Guardian drones:

Here’s hoping that Ral Partha, the current owners of the range, get around to producing the resin as well as the metal elements of the Praesentia. The infantry are lovely, but are going to be easy meat without some drones to back them up.

Cleaning up the Painting Station!

I am lucky enough to have a permanent painting station set up on a table under a skylight.

It’s round the corner from the rest of the house, so a little haven where I can quietly let all the cares of the ‘real life’ melt away as I slap a bit of paint of some miniatures.

I got back from holiday yesterday, however, and realised that the week away had given me a new perspective on things:

I think it might be time to have a bit of a clean up, so that I can actually use the majority of the table for work-in-progress as opposed to limiting myself to one small area at the front!

TFL Painting Challenge: Huge Post-Holiday Update

Remind me never to go on holiday again: far too many entries to the Painting Challenge to be dealt with quickly!

To start with, however, a couple of gentle requests. First, can we remember to clearly mark or list your entries please: counting legs, or heads, or spear tips to work out how big a unit is can be a real pain. Secondly, can you try and keep image size down to under 1MB please. No problem if you can’t, but just means I can down- and upload things more quickly and in multiples.

Anyhow, on to today’s entries. In no particular order, we have:

  • Travis with a whole series of WW2 figures, including the first of his Winter War Americans

  • Matt Slade with more painting than you can shake a stick at. A host of WW2 desert war Italians and Brits; a mythological Greek kickstarter, some Space Marines…it’s a cornucopia from the painting machine!

  • Mr Luther fills in some of his gaps, and adds more ‘planes and terrain

  • There are also more ‘planes from Steve Burt, along with some Romans

  • Chris Kay sends in a couple of WW2 jeeps, and a couple of very strange post-apocalypse specials

  • There are three 15mm Napoleonic units from Sapper

  • Seven buildings from Mervyn

  • More Germanic types from Joe McGinn

  • Chris Cornwell sends in some medieavals

  • Mr Helliwell is back on the Prussians, or are they Hessians…and are those chaps with them Normans?

  • Ed Bowen makes a welcome return to the Challenge with his first entry of the year

  • There’s another convert to Contrast paints: Fred Blogs and his Indians, and a few other bits and pieces

  • Chris Stoesen serves up two sloops (yes, it is a Victoria Wood reference!)

  • Carole sends in a Papal flag-bearer

  • And last, but by no means least, Mr Plowman has three sci-fi vehicles to display

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

Here are today’s pictures (note that these are only a tiny fraction of everything that’s been sent in, so gallery viewing is highly recommended):

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #11: Bardia 1

Another great battle report resurrected from the archives of the A Wargamer in Cyprus blog.

This time, the scenario is #11 from the Operation Compass scenario pack: the first of the three games focusing on the Australian attack on the Italian-held fortress of Bardia.

Click on the picture below to see all:

New 15mm Middle-East MDF Building Range

If you’ve visited this site before, you’ll know I’m quite a fan of Frank Wang’s mdf buildings, made and shipped from China via www.miniwarfare.com.

Frank has now expanded the range into the middle-east, and is running a 25% off sale to kick start the new releases.

They look pretty good to me:

1-1-1024x768.jpg

The houses are $4-$7, dependent on size. The mosque is $21, with the minaret tower $5. Postage is a flat $15.

I’ll definitely be getting some of these to add to my collection.

IABSM AAR: Benghazi Handicap #01

I do so like it when I stumble across a source of material for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum or one of the other Lardy company-sized games: it does take the pressure off a little…as anyone who runs a blog knows, keeping it fresh and updated is a serious, long-term commitment!

Anyhow, latest discovery is the excellent A Wargamer in Cyprus blog, which contains a plethora of quality wargaming material. I haven’t been able to get hold of the blog’s owner to ask permission (I’m no Tango!), so I hope he doesn’t mind me reproducing some of its content here as part of efforts to support TFL and IABSM etc.

Here’s an AAR taken from the site featuring the German attack at Agheila that formed the first proper German vs Commonwealth encounter in the Western Desert. Just as an aside, I actually have a half-written scenario pack for Sonnenblaum which features this action…and am now feeling all inspired to dig it out and finish it.

Click on the pic below to see all: