CoC: Taking the Gembloux Gap

Although we don’t usually write about CoC on this website (now there’s a sentence that deserves re-writing!) we do always try to feature the new releases for that system, particularly as many of them can provide ideas for IABSM.

So here’s news of the latest pint-sized campaign for Chain of Command: Taking the Gembloux Gap. Here’s the blurb:

A twenty-eight page PDF, Taking the Gembloux Gap contains an overview of the events of May 1940. as the German panzers rushed across Belgium, to be met by French troops advancing to assist their neighbours as part of ‘Plan D’.  If the German armour can break through at Glembloux, the flank of the entire B.E.F. is turned and the road to the sea lies open.   This campaign focusses on the critical actions of the 15th of May as the French 110e Regiment d’Infanterie attempts to stem the tie of 3 Panzer Division spearheaded by 3 Schützen Regiment.  This campaign is designed to be used with the Blitzkrieg 1940 Handbook.

The campaign is a total of five game tables with the duration running between five and nine games.  Briefings are provided for both sides, along with measurable objectives, period maps, force and support option listings and everything you need to play this campaign through to its conclusion.

Like all of our Pint-Sized campaigns, this PDF is available for the price of a pint in our local pub.  We’re sure that you’ll agree, that is great wargaming value!

Buy it here.

Salute 2019

This Saturday it was off to Salute 2019 at the Excel centre in Docklands.

Salute is one of the cornerstone shows in the UK wargames calendar, and it’s easy to see why.

Firstly, the Excel centre is a great venue: easy access by car, parking right underneath (even if it is £20 for the day), huge amounts of space, and plentiful food and drink outlets. My only complaint would be that sometimes I find the lighting in the hall a bit dim, but that might just be my fading eyesight!

The queue to get in used to be an extreme annoyance - one could wait an hour - but for the last few years its been so under control that, for example, this year I arrived at Excel at 9.50, had a baguette and coffee for breakfast, and then walked straight in to the show without queuing at all. Amazing! The only question is why couldn’t they have organised it like this before!

The show itself was full of traders and demo games. There are loads of blogs carrying loads of reports on the show, so suffice to say that it took me all morning and some of the afternoon to get round everything.

The Lardies were running a stunning game of Chain of Command set in Malaya in 1942, a period near and dear to my heart (Fall of the Liongate and all that). I didn’t play, but enjoyed watching the action.

Also Larding away was Mike Whitaker with his Bloody Omaha game. Now I played this game a few years ago at one of the Evesham games days…and its a cracker. Mike had 486 figures on 144 bases on an 8x6 table on display and managed two complete play-throughs of the scenario. And people say my games are big!

Click on the picture below to see all the photos:

As per usual, I did spend a bit too much money, but it was all on absolute bargains, honest! I bought a bag of fifty brushes for £20, which should keep even an established ‘brushbane’ like me going for a bit; and then I also bought one of the “all you can see for £100” mdf sci-fi industrial set-ups from Troll Trader that I just cannot wait to get built and painted up.

The show was nicely crowded all through the day, except perhaps at lunchtime. I hear a lot of people saying that their mates didn’t go because they couldn’t be bothered, or it wasn’t their thing any more or something rubbish like that. All I can say is that they are wrong: Salute is still a cornerstone show and a must-visit for any wargamer in reach in the UK.

CoC Early War Handbook Available For Pre-Order

Although this site is dedicated to the TFL Company Level games such as IABSM, CDS and Q13, I do like to point out what else is going on in Lardland.

That's why I'm really happy to post that the much-anticipated Early War handbook is now available for the TFL platoon-sized game: Chain of Command.

Having published the IABSM early war books earlier this year, I was also somewhat involved in the production of this work, and can therefore assure you that it is truly epic. Rich has gone back to many first hand sources and original army manuals for the information it is based on.

Here's the marketing blurb:

Advanced Order Deal: This Handbook will, be published on Monday the 17th of September and despatched on that day.  The advanced order deal includes a free PDF edition which will be emailed to you on the release day.

This 124 page handbook provides a comprehensive coverage of the campaign in France and the Low Countries in 1940.  Included is an historical account of the campaign in the West, as well as whole raft of new rules to cover the events of that summer.  New theatre specific rules include Assault boats and river crossings, parachute drops, glider landings, bicycles, horse mounted troops and motorcycles.  We have several new armour classifications for tanks with small turrets, vehicles lacking of radios and unreliable vehicles.  Fancy blowing up a section of the Maginot Line?  Well, you can with our new rules on fortifications and demolitions as well as looking at Francs Tireurs, ‘Shabby Nazi Tricks’ in the form of Brandenburg Commandos, Civilians, Stuka attacks and even the odd drinks cabinet being rolled out to stiffen the stiffest of upper lips.

Biggest of all is the truly massive section on Army lists.  Here we wanted to provide a really comprehensive guide to the period and in doing so we went right back to the book, or more specifically the manuals that the armies of the period issued to their troops.  The French Tableau d’Effectifs de Guerre, the German KsTN lists, the Dutch Handboek vor den Soldat and Officier series and many others issued throughout the 1930s and up to 1940.  These manuals tell us not just how troops were organised, but how their training prepared them for war and their doctrines.  This has allowed us to produce not just Army Lists but introduce national characteristics which make each nation unique in the way they fight.

Belgium

Line Infantry
Reserve infantry
Infantry scouts
Chasseur Ardennais
Frontier Cyclists
Motorised Cavalry
Motorcycle Cavalry

The Netherlands

Line Infantry
Reserve Infantry
Mounted Cavalry
Border Infantry
Bicycle troops
Motorcycle troops
Airfield Defence forces
Marines

France

First Line Infantry
Reserve Infantry
Chasseurs
Groupe Franc
Reconnaissance Motorcycle Fusiliers
Reconnaissance Cavalry
Motorised Infantry
Dragon Portes
Mounted Cavalry
Chasseur Portes
Colonial Troops
Mountain Troops
Ski Scouts
Light DIvision Infantry
Groupe Franc Motorise de Cavalerie

British

1939 Regulation Platoon
1940 Regulation Platoon
Motor Infantry
Motorcycle infantry
Line of Communication troops
Searchlight Troops

Germany

1st Wave infantry
2nd Wave infantry
3rd Wave infantry
5th Wave infantry
7th Wave Infantry
Static infantry
Pioneers
Motorised Infantry
Motorcycle Reconnaissance
Schutzen Type 1
Schutzen Type 2
SS Totenkopf
SS Verfungs and Leibstandarte
SS Motorcycle platoon
SS Aufklarungs motorcycle platoon
Fallschirmjager Type 1
Fallschirmjager Type 2
Luftlande Glider platoon
Gebirgsjager

Italy

Infantry
Blackshirt troops
Alpini

Alongside these lists we have nearly fifty support option lists giving support choices for a huge number of unit types, so if you have a motorcycle reconnaissance platoon you can select support from the different divisions which fielded that unit type.  All in all, the gamer can choose an incredible range of interesting and varied troops types and then  choose supports from friendly forces and allies for forces of almost limitless variety.  But that’s not all.  Each nation has a full Arsenal list for weapons and AFVs as well as comprehensive notes to cover their support options.

Finally, we have five new scenarios types, Going with a Bang, Strike from Above, Swift to Support, Hasty Defence and Blitzkrieg to bring the 1940 campaigns to life.  All in all, a huge addition to your Chain of Command library in both hard copy and PDF.

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.

IABSM AAR: Operation Martlet Game

Martlet-Cover-Web.jpg

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...

Lardy Day GA

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 mhluther76@gmail.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

CoC: 'Citadel, the Breakthrough' Pint-Sized Campaign Released

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!

You can order and download your copy by clicking here. 

New CoC Pint-Sized Campaign: Bloody Bucket

Although this site tends to cocentrate on the company-sized games from the TooFatLardies (IABSM, CDS, Q13), we do like to promote new releases for their other systems.

Here, then, is the latest pint-sized campaign for Chain of Command:  Bloody Bucket. Here's the blurb:

"This Pint Sized Campaign for Chain of Command is the first covering the battle of the Bulge.  The action here covers the initial German attack against the US 28th Infantry Division as the 26th Volksgrenadier Division attempt to clear the ground between the Our and Clerf Rivers in preparation for Panzer Lehr’s advance on Bastogne.  What followed was three days of epic action which destroyed the German chances of victory.

Six battlefields provide a campaign which sees the Germans attacking and infiltrating to isolate the US defenders, initially with infantry but soon with armoured support while a gallant band of men fight on to the end.

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 break through and open the route to the Meuse and Antwerp, or will you make an heroic stand and halt Hitler’s lunatic vision of victory in the West?

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."

Click here or on the picture of the front cover to buy "Bloody Bucket".

CoC: Storming the Citadel

Although this site is mostly dedicated to the TFL company-sized games (IABSM, CDS, Q13) I like to publicise what else is going on at Lard Island. It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce the publication of the latest pint-sized campaign for Chain of Command, the platoon-sized WW2 game.

Here's what the TFL website says about Storming the Citadel:

"This Pint Sized Campaign for Chain of Command is the first covering the attack of PanzerGrenadier Division Grossdeutschland at Kursk.  The action here covers the build up to the attack, with actions in no-man’s-land as the Germans attempt to seize observation posts and clear minefields, followed by the first day of this epic battle as the Germans storm through the Soviet outpost line and the first line of defences.

"Six battlefields provide a campaign up to ten games long, by which point you’ll have a clear winner and be set up for the next campaign in the series which is already being prepared and follows Grossdeutschland into the second line of Russian defences and attempting to break into open ground beyond.

"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 breach the Russian defences and seize the initiative in the East, or will you defeat the fascist invaders and restore the safety of the motherland.

"Twenty-seven 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."

You can buy Storming the Citadel for the pint-sized cost of £3.80 by clicking here.

New Scenario Pack for Chain of Command

Chris Stoesen, author of the Campaign for Greece, Call this a Ruddy Picnic (East Africa), and In the Name of Roma scenario packs for IABSM, has just published a new supplement for Chain of Command.

For those interested, here are the details:

"The Campaign for Kharkov contains two pint sized campaigns. One covers the advance of the German 57th Infantry Division and the other the German 101st Light Division. The attack came in October of 1941. This city would be the site of three major battles for the city. The interesting aspect of the October 1941 battle is in the nature of the troops involved. The Soviets had superiority in armor. The Germans advanced with only a single STUG battalion in support of the 57th ID. The Soviets fielded the T34 as well as several improvised armored vehicles such as the KhTZ-16. While not a success on the battlefield, it demonstrated the Soviet inventiveness under the extreme pressure of the blitzkrieg.

"There are twelve total scenarios in the campaign. Full force lists are available for both German Divisions and the Soviet troops present. Maps are based on aerial reconnaissance photographs taken by German troops in September 1941.

"The scenarios are availible from my blog at $6.00 US. PayPal the money to cstoesen@corecard.com and I will email you the PDF. Or you can order them from Wargames Vault for an instant download for $7.00 US.

Note that a Kindle and a hard copy will be available on Amazon within the next couple of days. Stay tuned."

Click to go to Wargames Vault

Click to go to Chris' blog
 

TFL Sale: Chain of Command at 15% Off

Although Chain of Command (CoC) isn't usually featured on Vis Lardica - this site being devoted to TFL's company-sized games, and CoC being a skirmish-level, platoon-sized game - it's nice to be able to let you know that the Lardies are having a bit of a sale and offering CoC at 15% off:

New Chain of Command Markers Available

News that the Lardies have released a new set of markers for Chain of Command. I'll let Rich tell all...

"Two of the things  we are regularly asked for are a set of Patrol Markers and a set of Jump-Off Points for smaller figures such as 20mm or 15mm.  We thought it would be a great idea to kill two birds with one stone and, in partnership with our chums at Warbases, we have produced sets of eight markers for both the Axis and Allied forces.  Each set contains four robust MDF Patrol Markers with either the Allied star or German Baltic Cross.  The four Patrol Markers are 5cm diameter circles and four smaller jump off points are 3cm diameter.  Both are in 3mm MDF laser cut and etched for each painting.

"Here’s what they look like “naked”.

"I decided to slap a bit of paint on my own sets.  I went with a black undercoat for both before applying Vallejo Russian Uniform Green to the Allied ones and Middlestone to the Axis ones.  I then added some camouflage to the German one before detailing the Allied Star in white and the Baltic Cross in black.  The German one then got a yellow rim to make it stand out on the table.  On reflection, I think I might do the Baltic Cross in white and maybe replace the yellow with a bright red.  Early War Panzer grey would be a nice look too.  Part of the fun is deciding how you like yours!

"The best news is that both the Axis and Allied sets are now available on the web site for just £3 each.  Now, there’s a stocking present for you!"

You can buy the Allied marker set by clicking here.

You can buy true Axis marker set by clicking here.

Chain of Command: Another Pint-Sized Campaign Released

Yesterday saw the release of another pint-sized campaign scenario book for Chain of Command: The Scottish Corridor.

This supplement focuses on a German counter-attack on the salient held by 15 Scottish Division on the Odon river in the latter stages of the war. As ever, it is available for £3.60: the price of a pint in Richard's local.

Here's the blurb from the TooFatLardies website:

"The Scottish Corridor is the fifth Pint-Sized Campaign for Chain of Command, designed to be played using the campaign handbook, At the Sharp End.  

"Twenty nine pages long, The Scottish Corridor follows the established Pint-Sized Campaign format, with an overview of the forces involved on both sides, their deployment shown on period maps and the course of the campaign described in detail before going on to present a mini-campaign covering the initial German counter-attack against the narrow corridor projecting down to the Odon river and Hill 112.  A mixed force of two Kampfgruppe attack in the hope of isolating the British spearhead and restoring the line.    

"The campaign is a total of six game tables with the duration running between six and eleven games.  Briefings are provided for both sides, along with measurable objectives, period maps, force and support option listings and everything you need to play this campaign through to its conclusion.  

"Like all of our Pint-Sized campaigns, this is available for the price of a pint in our local pub.  We're sure that you'll agree, that is great wargaming value!"

You can buy The Scottish Corridor from here.
 

CoC: Operation Martlet Scenario Pack Released

Although we don't really do Chain of Command (or CoC, as it's known) on Vis Lardica, I've played the game a handful of times and always had a great deal of fun.

I'm pleased, therefore, to post about the latest TFL "pint-sized campaign" scenario pack for CoC, Operation Martlet, released today.

From the TFL website:

"Operation Martlet is the fourth of our Pint-Sized campaigns for Chain of Command, designed to be played using the campaign handbook At the Sharp End.  

"Twenty eight pages long, Operation Martlet follows the established Pint-Sized Campaign format, with an overview of the forces involed on both sides, their deployment shown on period maps and the course of the campaign described in detail before going on to present a mini-campaign covering this combined arms operation launched by the British 49th Division immediateloy prior to Operation Epsom to seize the Rauray Spur from the defenders from 12 SS Hitlerjugend.    

"The campaign is a total of six game tables with the duration running between six and eleven games.  Briefings are provided for both sides, along with measurable objectives, period maps, force and support option listings and everything you need to play this campaign through to its conclusion.  

"Like all of our Pint-Sized campaigns, this is available for the price of a pint in our local pub [Editor's Note:  £3.60 at time of posting].  We're sure that you'll agree, that is great wargaming value!"   

Click here to go straight to the TFL shop and buy Operation Martlet.
 

 

TFL: The Chain of Command Challenge

I don't often post about the TFL WW2 platoon-level game Chain of Command as this site is really reserved for TFL's company-level games.

I do, however. enjoy a nice game of CoC every now and again, so am happy to help Rich promote the "Chain of Command Challenge": a 20%-off offer on the rules, whatever the format.

Here's what Rich said on Lard Island News:

The Chain of Command Challenge

It’s not often we’ll be so direct as to ask “Do you prefer CoC, or the alternative?” but a very comprehensive review of Chain of Command and one of the alternative rule sets out there aimed at platoon level actions has certainly got people talking.  You can read Trailape’s comments on his blog here: http://trailape.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/so-youre-platoon-commander-comparing.html

Now, we’re not making any claim for Chain of Command to be the biggest, best or anything else, but we do know that we all have a huge range of rule sets to choose between and often it takes a bit of a poke with a sharp stick to get us to jump in and try something new.  So, we thought that now would be a great time for us to launch the Chain of Command Challenge to encourage those gamers who’d been thinking about giving Chain of Command a try but who hadn’t quite got round to it yet.  For the remainder of September we are slashing 20% off the price of the rules in hard copy, PDF or tablet-friendly format making Chain of Command fantastic value and this the ideal time to make that jump and give them a whirl.

Of course, as Hans is telling us, we mustn’t forget that Chain of Command benefits from all sorts of nice free to download support products like the notes of bigger battles which can be found here: Big Chain of Command

But there’s much, much more than that.  We are rolling out free Army lists which will eventually cover the whole of WWII as well as producing a range of scenario and campaign supplements to make your gaming even more fun.  Why not check out Lard Island News and search for  Chain of Command Free Downloads to see the whole range of what is already available, or even try one of our Pint-Sized Campaigns, a whole campaign for the price of a pint of beer!

To take part in the Chain of Command Challenge you can find the rules at this great introductory price on our web site here:  Chain of Command Products. And just to make things a bit more fun, we’d love to see your reports on your blogs, Facebook or Twitter feeds (hashtag #spreadthelard ), on the TooFatLardies Forum or Yahoo Group, or simply post your comments in a reply to this post.  Why not take the Chain of Command Challenge today?

Chain of Command Terrain: A Lard/Warbases Joint Venture

Exciting news for all 28mm 20thC/modern gamers: the TooFatLardies and Warbases have got together to produce a new range of laser cut terrain pieces. Here's the news item from Lard Island News:


Part of the joy of wargaming is the opportunity to, albeit briefly, suspend our disbelief and see ourselves as Napoleon or Wellington, commanding vast armies, or Sidney Jary at the head of 18 platoon. For me, a big part in creating the environment which encourages that immersion in the narrative of our games is getting a table that not only is pretty, but also looks right. In so many cases it is the small detail which makes a big difference. In all of the games we have run around the shows, it has been stuff like telegraph poles and (believe it or not!) cabbages growing in the garden which have received the most comments. Interestingly, it is small detail like this which I have so often found myself having to scratch build, with varying degress of success if I am honest, as most terrain companies tend to focus on the big stuff, like buildings, bridges and walls, rather than the minutiae. Well, that’s all about to change.

Before Christmas I had a long discussion with my old chum Martin up at Warbases and floated the idea of starting a range of terrain for Chain of Command. To my mind it is the skirmish or platoon level game which really comes to life when you add some extra detail, and I wanted us to work together to start producing the type of items which I really wanted to see in my games. As always, Martin came up trumps, as my dodgy sketches and vague ideas were turned into something practical and VERY pretty. The great news is that we will have the first two packs available at Salute. These are as follows:

Pack One includes the following:

  • Lean to Greenhouse
  • Potting shed, including work bench
  • Chicken coop with two cast metal chickens
  • Cold frame
  • Compost bin

Pack One

As you can see below, the lean to greenhouse will fit neatly onto any flat walled building

Pack Two contains the following:

  • Free standing Greenhouse
  • Dog kennel with cast metal doggy (optional “woofs” to be provided by customer)
  • Garden bench
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Wood store

PACK TWO

All of the models are in laser cut MDF and, where shown they have suitably embossed paper to cover the roofs and serve as tar paper or roof felt as used in the early 20th century. Even better is the news that each of the packs will be retailing at just £16 each, great value for models which will really transform your wargames table. We hope to have these available on the web site immediately after Salute, although I reckon these will be a sell-out at the show!


These look great! Now all I need is for them to be produced in 15mm as well!

Old Hickory Released for Chain of Command

Old Hickory, released today, is the third of the Pint-Sized campaigns for Chain of Command, designed to be played using the campaign handbook At the Sharp End.

 Thirty pages long, Old Hickory contains an overview of US operations in Normandy and beyond from Operation Cobra to the German counter attack at Mortain, Operation Luttich.  It goes on to present a mini-campaign covering the defence of L'Abbaye Blanche, a key position to the North of Mortain where the US 30th Division stood firm against 2nd SS Das Reich, and Der Fuhrer regiment in particular.   

The campaign is a total of six game tables with the duration running between three and eight games.  Briefings are provided for both sides, along with measurable objectives, period maps, force and support option listings and everything you need to play this campaign through to its conclusion. 

Now available at only £3.60 (the price of a pint!) at www.toofatlardies.co.uk.

Hopefully the next special will contain a conversion for IABSM as the Christmas Special 2014 did for the first Pint-Sized Campaign for Chain of Command29! Let's go!
 

Just Published: Kampfgruppe von Luck for Chain of Command

Just a quick note: the TooFatLardies have just published the second of their pint-sized campaigns for the WW2 platoon-level game Chain of Command.

Here's what they say about them:

"Kampfgruppe von Luck is the second of our Pint-Sized campaigns for Chain of Command, designed to be played using the campaign handbook At the Sharp End.  

"Thirty pages long, Kampfgruppe von Luck contains an overview of the British airbrorne landings and the response of 21 Panzer Division on D-Day before then going on to present a mini-campaign covering the first counter-attack by Kampfgruppe von Luck, striking for the bridges on the Orne.   

"The campaign is a total of five game tables with the duration running between five and eight games.  Briefings are provided for both sides, along with measurable objectives, period maps, force and support option listings and everything you need to play this campaign through to its conclusion.  

"Like all of our Pint-Sized campaigns, this is available for the price of a pint in our local pub.  We're sure that you'll agree, that is great wargaming value!"

Hopefully the next Special will contain a conversion guide for IABSM!

You can order KvL by clicking here.

The Eagle Has Landed...I Think!

I went over to Lard HQ last night for the final game of the year, billed as a Chain of Command re-fight of the climactic battle from the film The Eagle Has Landed.

For those of you who have missed out on this cinematic masterpiece, Michael Caine leads a bunch of Fallschirmjaegers on a mission to assassinate Winston Churchill as he visits a small village in rural England. All is going well for the Fall-ies, who are disguised  as Polish Paratroopers, until one of their number saves a local girl from going under the wheel of a water mill but is killed in the process, with his paratrooper uniform being ripped to reveal his German uniform underneath. Now discovered, Caine's men fight a battle to hold the village against an assault by nearby-based American troops whilst Caine himself (Steiner IIRC) goes off to kill Churchill.

The game, therefore, featured me leading three squads of US infantry supported by a Staghound armoured car into the village to firstly find out what was going on; secondly to identify any disguised Germans; and, thirdly, if any were found, to kill them!

The Germans, meanwhile, who were already occupying the village, had some convoluted mission requirements that seemed to involve tracking down a local woman who was actually one of their spies in order to be told where the secret tunnel was that led to the mansion house where Winnie was staying. I say convoluted because everything for the Germans seemed to get more and more confusing as the game went on: surely nothing to do with the immense amount of champagne that Mr Clarke, who was allegedly running the game, consumed as the evening went on.

After my last Lard HQ Chain of Command debacle (which no-one seemed to have forgotten unfortunately) I was determined to redeem myself. Rather than following the course of action from the film (where the Yanks charge into the village and get shot to bits before retreating for a more cautious second approach), we arrived at the edge of the village and cautiously moved forward towards the first house in order to try and find out what was going on.

There (well in the outside privy to be exact) we met a section of British infantry who confirmed that the Germans did indeed have men in the village, disguised as Polish paratroopers. That was all they could tell us...hardly surprising as they turned out to be more Germans on a mission to stop the main German mission for political infighting reasons.

Confused? Not as much as we were when Rich revealed that he'd brought the wrong box of figures with him so we would have to be portrayed using German figures. So we have Germans using British Paratrooper figures pretending to be Polish; more Germans using British infantry figures pretending to be British, and being played by a Scotsman; and Americans using German figures pretending to be...oh, no, sorry: actually being Americans!

Anyway, having sussed out what was going on, the Americans went forward cautiously: one squad hanging back as a base of support, one moving towards the church, and one moving up to the Whippet Inn (also somewhat confusingly portrayed by a German beer hall).

The squad advancing towards the church took fire from the steeple and lost a man, but our return fire was incredibly accurate and wiped out the German Bren team that were doing the shooting. The squad then started cautiously moving into the church itself. Meanwhile the Staghound moved into a position near the first house from where it could cover the village main street with its .50 cal.

The other two squads then leapfrogged forward until one was in the inn providing a base of support whilst the other was pressed against the back wall of the first house in the village, covering both the main street and the gardens to the rear.

Stalemate then ensued until the Germans realised that firstly all we had to do was keep them occupied until the end of the game and secondly that they needed to get back into the church to find the woman to find the secret passage to find the Churchill...you get the picture.

As false-Polish paras hit the high street, heading for the church, we opened up with everything we had: the Staghound's .50 cal, chewing up scenery as the two squads covering the high street actually did the damage. The first German squad was effectively rendered hors d combat (no, no French on the table...at least I don't think so...but at this stage, a bottle and half in, who knew) but another moved up and threw grenades into the church in an attempt to clear it.

This was not as effective as it should have been (one dead American), and the Germans soon suffered as a hail of grenades and small arms fire came right back at them. That squad was soon pinned and then wiped out as well.

The game then drew to a close. We occupied the church and commanded the main route through the town; the Germans needed to control both in order to fulfil their mission, but were now down two full squads against our losses of four men (three killed by a demented local high on home brew).

All in all, a great game of Chain of Command, if somewhat chaotic. I was quite rightly accused of taking the game far too seriously (it was the Lardy Christmas game, after all) and have no excuse except to say that after last time I had no choice lest my reputation be damaged beyond repair!

My thanks to Rich, Nick, Panda, Trevor, Dougray McScot, Al, Noddy, Mark, Harpers, Panda, Elton etc for a most entertaining evening, with mince pies and booze thrown in for good measure. Just make sure you save me an After Eight when the packet is eventually opened!