My second game at this year’s Operation Market Larden (the Evesham Lardy day) was a rather exciting game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum. The scenario, written and umpired by Mike Whitaker, involved a clash between British and German reconnaissance forces somewhere in Italy in around 1943.
The first game that I played at this year’s Operation Market Larden was a game of Chain of Command set in Malaya 1941 put on in 28mm by Mark Backhouse.
The British, played by Matt Slade and I, were represented by a platoon of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. We were defending: our mission was to prevent any Japanese troops exiting the table on our side: Mark, in the picture above, is standing behind the British baseline. A sub-plot also involved us getting a senior officer to the knocked out ambulance to rescue certain vital supplies.
As mentioned, we had a full platoon of Scottish infantry at our disposal: three sections, a light mortar team and a Boys anti-tank rifle team led by lots of officers. In support, we chose a Lanchester armoured car (mainly because this theatre is about the only place you can use one) and a roadblock, which we used to prevent the Japanese bringing any tanks on from the side road on our right flank.
The Japs, played by Jeff Davis and Ian Gilbraith, had the opposite idea. Their aim was to capture two thirds of the table (horizontally) allowing them to exit troops off the British baseline. They also had a secondary mission: explore the two huts in search of rice supplies.
The Japanese also had a full platoon to field, but their sections were enormous: fourteen strong IIRC. In addition to their three regular rifle sections, they also had a grenade launcher squad with three Mk89 teams. In support, they had a Chi Ha tank: something we were not looking forward to facing.
The Patrol Phase happened quickly, with the Japanese ending up with their Jump Off Points largely on their left side of the table. We had two of our JOPs on that side of the table too, but as we’d had to protect out entire front instead of being able to schwerepunkt along one road, we had another behind the hut on our left hand side of the table.
The Main Game Begins
The dice really fell for the Japanese in the early stages of the game. I’m not quite sure of the mechanic, but something about them rolling lots of 6’s on their Command Dice twice in a row meant that they shot up the battlefield until there was a section in the jungle to our right, the grenade launchers behind the hut just in front of our positions, and another section right in front of us in front of the hut.
The Japanese opened fire, promising huge amounts of devastation on our lead section. Fortunately (me rolling lots and lots of very low dice) the potential for large numbers of deaths was never realised. In fact, our only casualty was a junior officer knocked down…who promptly got back up again. This did, however, cost us two Force Morale points: the officer was obviously deeply unpopular!
Now the dice swung our way, and we had the chance to pour fire into the Japanese squad out in the open: which we did, knocking their strength down by half. At the same time, our Lanchester appeared, and promptly shot up the Japanese squad to the right.
It was all going so well…then this happened:
The Chi Ha took a shot at the Lanchester, hit it, and almost knocked it right back off the table. One more of them and we’d have no Lanchester left, and a dwindling number of Force Morale points.
Our light mortar popped some smoke down on the road between the Chi Ha and our armoured car, which gave us a little time to breathe…but what to do? There were still lots of Japs on the table, albeit half of them were pretty bashed up, but we needed to do something quickly and decisively if we weren’t going to spend the next four years building railways!
There was nothing for it: we would have to go forward and take the fight to the Japanese!
Bursting from the undergrowth, one of our sections rushed across the road to the right shouting strange Scottish epithets as they closed with the enemy. There were more Japanese there than we expected (the figures were hiding in the scenery!) and we lost the first round of close combat. This boded ill, but then Mark reminded us that as we were Scottish, we could ignore a loss by a mere one man, and carry on fighting until we were properly wiped out!
Back in went the Argylls, and in another two rounds of fighting (the Japs weren’t giving up the ghost easily either) we killed every enemy solider except one senior leader, who fled the field not to be seen again until 1966, when he finally emerged from the jungle not knowing the war had ended in ‘45!
The loss of so many of their men was too much for the already battered Japanese to survive. With a Force Morale of zero, they melted away back the way they’d come. Another successful Argyll ambush: time to fall back and do it all again tomorrow!
A cracking game of CoC, and one after which I am actually starting to remember the rules. I don’t think I’m switching from gaming companies in 15mm (IABSM, CDS, Q13) but I shall definitely play CoC again when I can.
Thanks to mark, Matt, Jeff and Ian for making it such a great game. Here are a few more piccies:
Another fantastic Lardy Games Day: this time up in Evesham at Market Larden 7.
There were about forty Lardies present, playing a selection of beautifully terrained and figured games that are easily the equal of any demonstration game seen anywhere else in the world.
I had a very good OML7: got to the hotel in time to have a full breakfast, an excellent game of Chain of Command set in Malaya, then lunch, then an equally excellent game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum set in Italy, then a few drinks before the usual curry, and then more drinks. Polish that off with another full breakfast this morning, a good trip home, and the perfect day’s gaming has occurred!
I’ll do separate reports on the two games I played in myself, but here are photos of most of the games on show (I think I missed the Bag the Hun game off my picture taking for some reason):
Colossal thanks to Ade Deacon for organising everything as efficiently as ever.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the successful assault on Pegasus Bridge by glider infantry of the 2nd Battalion, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, British 6th Airborne Division, commanded by Major John Howard. The successful taking of the bridges played an important role in limiting the effectiveness of a German counter-attack in the days and weeks following the Normandy invasion.
The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO) is putting on an exhibition to celebrate the anniversary, and it looks as if a few of us might be able to run a demo game of IABSM one weekend at the museum to help bring the event to life for the general public.
All the running for this is being done by friend Dave, so all I had to do recently was to take part in a playtest of the game to be run. Click on the picture below to see all…
This Saturday just gone saw the inaugural Clotted Lard games day at the Devon Wargames Group. At what will hopefully be an annual event, large numbers of fellow Lardies gathered for a fun-packed day of gaming.
One of the games on show was a superb 10mm game of Charlie Don't Surf! put on by DaveJ. Click on the picture below to see a quick AAR from Carojon, accompanied by more photos of what looks like a most impressive game:
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 email@example.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
My chosen scenario for Operation Market Larden 2017 (the TFL games day held in Evesham each year) was scenario #06 from the Poland 1939 supplement, The September War: Wegierska Gorka.
Taking place between 2nd and 3rd September 1939, the battle for Węgierską Górką, or the “Hungarian Height”, took place near the Polish-Slovak border and was fought between Polish mountain troops and German infantry. The Polish position included a number of anti-tank bunkers overlooking the valley below, and was therefore of significant strategic importance.
Here are the two AARs from the day: one game in the morning, one game in the afternoon. Click on the pic for all. My thanks to Noddy, Ty, Bob and Vlad for making it a great day's gaming.
Sorry for the lack of posts recently: been working and training and going out-ing hard over the last week or so, so have had neither the time nor the energy to update properly.
Anyhoo, leaving that aside, yesterday was the annual Operation Market Larden games day organised by Ade Deacon and the other Wyvern wargamers.
For me, this involved an hour's sorting and packing the car on Friday night, then leaving the house at 6.30 on Saturday to get up to Evesham to get everything set up for the two games of IABSM that I was due to run.
As usual, it was a brilliant and well-run day of gaming followed by a delicious curry and plenty of drinking. My thanks to all the Lardies who attended and made it such a good day (and evening!) and especially to Ade and the other organisers.
I'll write up the two games that I ran later this week, but in the meantime here's some pictures from the day unashamedly "borrowed" from the TFL Facebook page:
The man himself: Mr Deacon and the famed Lardy cupcakes
Amazing looking Napoleonic naval game
Sid, Noddy and Ty
Chain of Command: the calm before the storm
Sharp Practice...on Mars
It's me! Just starting the morning's IABSM session.
This report is from the game played on October 15th 2016 at the first ever TFL Llardiff Games Day that took place at Firestorm Games in Cardiff.
The idea of this games day was that gamers not necessarily familiar with TFL products could come and have a go at a variety of different games, getting a taste of Lard and then hopefully coming back for more.
I was tasked with showcasing I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!, and told that I should prepare for a series of different players dipping in and out throughout the day, with my efforts focused on setting up and umpiring one game in the morning and one game in the afternoon.
Hmmm, I thought, multiple players dipping in and out: my favourite - not! No matter: Lard calls and I answer...so I decided to bring to Cardiff one of the larger (if not the largest) games from my Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack: scenario #4C, Holm.
This is a late war game where a battalion of Soviet infantry (and remember IABSM is a company-sized game!) supported by just a few tanks tries to overrun a German force defending a small village on the Kaunas front.
I'm now back from the TFL showcase at Firestorm Games in Llardiff: and an excellent day's gaming it was too.
First, a quick word about Firestorm itself. This is a huge gaming centre in the Penarth area of Cardiff. It consists of three areas.
The first is a very well stocked shop that is absolutely ideal for stocking up on all those bits and pieces that are a pain to order online: tape measures, brushes, paints, spray cans etc. It also has a good selection of miniatures, board games and lots of card games and the like. Well worth a visit for this alone.
This gives you some idea of the size of the Battlefields area
Second is a small cafe, a medium sized bar and a large lounge-type area where important things like eating and drinking and chatting can take place. I had a very nice club sandwich from the cafe that totally made up for the fact that they were out of coffee!
Third, and perhaps most importantly, is the Battlefields area: a huge space that has to have at least 40 wargames tables in it. Apparently, on a non-function day, you can just book a table, pay a small amount (it's run like a social club, so you can pay for a day's membership - which IIRC is something like £3.50 - or do it quarterly for - again IIRC - about £17). They have loads of terrain that you can borrow to use for free, and the tables are nice and big and solid and very, very functional.
In all, I heartily recommend Firestorm as a venue and, as such, it was ideal for our Llardiff TFL showcase.
We had various games on offer. I ran I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! in the morning (a huge battalion-sized game of which more in a later post) and there were all day games of Sharp Practice 2 and Chain of Command as well.
Mr Clarke's game of Sharp Practice 2
The main game of CoC was particularly impressive: an amazing battlefield that I wish I had a good photo of...but the one I took came out all blurred.
The day's gaming was followed by an evening's drinking with the obligatory curry (fictional in Richard's case) which was also great fun.
I shall be making a note in my diary to attend next year.
A quick reminder that tomorrow is Llardiff: a TooFatLardies games day taking place at Firestorm Games in Cardiff.
Here are the details:
"On October the 15th one of the UK’s most respected gaming companies; Too Fat Lardies will be visiting the South Wales Gaming Center at Firestorm Games to host a series of participation games showcasing some of their most popular rules.
"There will be 5 games on offer with each one being played twice starting around 10.30 am and 2.30 pm, the games on offer are :-
1) Sharp Practice – covering the black powder era this is a large skirmish game is ideally suited for 15mm to 28mm figures with forces of around 50 figures. There are 2 games on offer that people can play
a. Viva Ras Begus, Head Lardy Rich Clarke will be hosting his award winning game set in the Horn of Africa in 1840
b. Martian Practice, Matt and Ralph from the Forest of Dean club will be running their brand new (also award winning) Sharp Practice game set on Mars during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
2) Chain of Command – this highly respected WWII game allows players to take on the role of a platoon commander and is perfect for players with existing WWII armies looking for a new challenge, again we have 2 games on offer
a. 1940 invasion of France, local gamers Geoff and Steve Bond will have a game set in France during the German offensive
b. 1944 North West Europe, Nick Skinner will show you how to play Big Chain of Command with multiple platoons after the break out of Normandy
action from the last market larden games day
3) I Ain’t Been Shot Mum – the original Lardy game and now in its 3rd edition, this WWII game is company level and perfect for 15mm gamers, Robert Avery will be on hand to guide you through combat in Russia during Operation Bagratian
"Entry to this event is completely free, all you need to do is turn up, speak to one of the Too Fat Lardies crew and we’ll get you playing on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in learning more about the games but don’t want to play a whole game, then just turn up during the day and one of us will take you through the rules and answer any questions you have.
"Finally, this event has been arranged to take place on the Autumn Bring and Buy day at Firestorm games so you might be able to pick up a bargain as well as play some of the best games out there
The first battle report from the games of IABSM that I ran at this year's Operation Market Larden games day in Evesham.
For those not familiar with the event, some thirty Lardies gather deep in the heart of tractor country for a day of superb gaming followed by a curry and the usual mild drinking session! My thanks, as always, to Ade for organising the event so well.
Back to the action.
My morning game featured scenario 3D from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack: a small German force holds the village of Zhena during Operation Bagration. The Soviets are attacking in large numbers, but reinforcements are on the way. Will the vital road junction be held?
Long time Lardy Thomas Nissvik (you can see his gallery in the 2015 Painting Challenge, and several AARs in the appropriate sections) has posted this piece of news on the TFL Forum:
My buddy Daniel asked me to post this. I will be participating as an Umpire, but Daniel is running the event.
"I plan to hold a big game event next year. The event will be a four day event, probably a Thursday to Sunday thing. It will be based on the 101. Airborne sector during Market Garden and the fighting around Hell's Highway. Rules will be IABSM (I Ain't Been Shot Mum) with a good amount of some local "house rules". Knowing the rules is not necessary as all tables will have umpires. It will be for friends so it is not some commercial event or open to the public.
A pic from the Lardy D-Day Games Day showing British Paras in action around Ranville
My thought is to do this some time in August (when most people have vacation) in the a place which is only ten minutes by car from Arlanda airport and about forty minutes from Stockholm central by train. The idea is to rent a community house. It has a pentry so it will be possible to make food. I am still inquiring with the people responsible and will visit the house in September. I will ask all participants for a modest entry fee to cover the rental expense for the house (which will be fairly low).
It will be played over several large tables with the Son bridge in the south and Uden in the north. Each player will command a force or battle group either consisting of elements of the 101. Airborne, XXX Corps or the German forces. Each force might be equalling a reinforced company or so. I also have plans of having people being commanders of the whole Airborne force, XXX Corps and so on, responsible for coordination, allocating resources, reserves and supplies and communication as well as some higher level support units (especially when it comes to the XXX Corps).
The idea is not to cover the whole Market Garden operation so the Nijmegen, Arnhem, Eelst/Driel sector will not be covered. Some tables will be connected to each other making it possible to send troops directly over to the next while others while require some "extra move points" or "deductions".
I plan to use my friends Koen, Jocke, Laffe and Thomas as umpires. Myself also being one but more on a coordination level. Perhaps they will also have some force responsibility depending on how many will join. All of us will obviously do our best to bring forth the necessary terrain and so on.
I would like to ask you if you would be interested in joining this. Perhaps you also know some people who would be interested in joining as player participants or as umpires, full or part time?"
So, anyone interested?
Those of you who haven't been to a Lardy games day before should visit the AAR section of this website and see the reports from previous events. They are at the bottom of the right-hand column of AARs.
It would be great if this happened, so if you do fancy a trip to Sweden next year for a big game of IABSM, let Thomas know by replying to his post on the forum here or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As per my post, below, I ran the morning game of IABSM at the recent Market Larden event.
I couldn't, however, do the afternoon game, as I was down to play Fighting Season: the new ultramodern variant for Chain of Command.
Step forward Geoff Bond, who kindly agreed to step into the breech and run the afternoon IABSM session using my figures and scenario. This was especially brave of Geoff as, by his own admission, he was a bit rusty re the rules, only having played once this year. Lucky the scenario was a small one, eh?
Click here, or on the photo below, to see a quick report on the action.
PS Probably best to draw a veil over my performance playing the British in Fighting Season...but the Taliban really shouldn't have shot my medic!
Apparently, when told that I had off-table support in the form of a 50mm sniper; a 50mm HMG and Javelin missiles, I said: "Haven't you got anything bigger?".
As Rich said afterwards: "Two dead, including a female medic; one platoon scarred for life; an ordnance bill topping half a million quid...all in exchange for sixteen dead Taliban and about fifty civilian casualties. I'm not sure Robert made a smooth transition from playing eastern front WW2 to modern day peace keeping in Afghanistan!"
June 2015 saw the annual Market Larden event in Evesham. Around fifty Lardies travelled deep into the heart of tractor country to play a variety of TooFatLardies' games. I was originally due to attend just as a player but, when one GM dropped out, stepped in to run the morning game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!
As I didn't have time to prepare something new, I delved into my library of scenario packs and decided to play one of the games from the Bashnya or Bust! book i.e. late war, eastern front.
Click here or on the picture below to see the battle report from the game. My thanks to Ralph, Noddy and Jamie for being excellent players, and to Ade for organising the day.
The Christmas holidays mean I have more time to finish re-loading all the content onto the new VL website.
I'm still working my way through the IABSM AARs, and great fun it is too. I have done all the scenario pack AARs, and the one-off game AARs, and am now working my way through the TFL Games Day AARs.
I have just finished uploading all the reports from the 2006 Malaya Games Day: a colossal battle involving over a battalion of infantry on either side at 1:1 scale, with the Japanese trying to force their way through the Lardak position, held by British Indian troops.
I was lucky enough to be able to make Operation Market Larden 2 this weekend: a day of Lardy wargaming organised by the Wyvern Wargamers.
This was an excellent day's gaming at which I played Chain of Command for the first time in the morning (my apologies to my opponents for the slightly flukey at-the-last-moment victory!) and Mike Whitaker's brilliant rendition of the Bloody Omaha scenario from the Where The Hell Have You Been, Boys? D-Day scenario pack in the afternoon.
There will be a proper AAR posted shortly but, for the moment, here is a sample shot of the afternoon game.
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.