CDS AAR: Operation Frontier

Charles Eckart has sent through a nice little Charlie Don't Surf! after action report. 

Here we see the US carrying out a Search & Destroy mission: a company of 173 Brigade infantry reinforced by three ACAV tracks and three M48A3 tanks searches for the newly arrived NVA 95B regiment that is trying to establish a base in South Viet Nam near the Cambodian border.

It is an unusual game, in that the PAVN forces are strong enough to put up a semi-conventional fight combined with guerrilla tactics. 

Click on the pic below to see all:

Salute 2016

Yes, yes, I know: another post-Salute post to join the thousands already floating around the ether!

Well this one is just a quickie, focusing not so  much on the event itself* but on some of the games on show: specifically their terrain.

Terrain isn't really my thing: I'm getting better, but still feel my efforts are weighted towards my figures rather than the earth on which they stand. 

There were three tabletops that I would really, really like to have had the opportunity to get my figures onto:

First up was a terrific Vietnam set-up. Wrong scale, being 28mm, but absolutely lovely:

Then there was the sci-fi Hammers Slammers 15mm sci-fi set up. I was definitely working out whether this one would fit onto my tables at home. It would, by the way, so if the owner ever gets bored of it and needs more space, I will quite happily give it a very good home! 

And finally the sci-fi set-up from Critical Mass Games was great as well: 

Three amazing tables that really inspire.

*Actually I thought Salute was quite good this year.

I had a great journey in: I drove and didn't encounter any of the roadworks that have blighted previous years' journeys...it's almost as if they have finally got that area sorted out road-wise. The £15 for all day parking was a bit steep, but at least the machines were accepting credit cards instead of demanding two fistfuls of coins to satisfy them.

I arrived about 10.15 without a ticket. Walked straight up to the ticket booth and bought one, no queue. Got myself a sandwich and a coffee, ate them, then walked straight in to the show with no delay at all. Another amazing improvement on years gone by.

I thought the show was busier than last year. Still the same horrid floor and dull lighting, but I can put up with them: the eyes soon adjust and there's plenty of places to sit down.

I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of new, teeny-weeny traders as well as the expected big ones. That bodes well for the hobby: lots of new trader blood coming in. I understand that a couple of the massive stands (GW, or a derivative thereof) were collection-only...and that they seemed to be the ones with the queues. In all, however, a good mix, and I was able to find some decal-softener.

Good lunchtime drinks at the Fox with some of the Lardies: some of whom seemed to have led very sheltered lives, but I digress...

I ended up spending far too much money, as per usual, and on a real mix of things. Some Battlefront pre-painted terrain from Team Yankee; some trees; a hill; some of Battlefront's new Pacific-theatre Japanese tanks; some more Israelis; decal-softener; and a few sci-fi bits and pieces. A good haul that will doubtless be on show here at some stage in the future.

One thing I did notice that was different to the last few years: more BO! Maybe because it seemed busier visitors-wise this year, but there were a couple of occasions when I caught a full blast of sweaty wargamer: not very nice and, as I said, unusual compared to previous years. 

In all, a good Salute this year. 

 

CDS AAR: CDS at Call to Arms 2015

Last week, I mentioned Dan Wade's superb blog Wade's World of Wargaming. Well, last year, Dan put on a Vietnam demo game at Call to Arms using Charlie Don't Surf!  and a mash-up of a couple of scenarios from the CDS scenario pack, Surf's Up!

Dan reported on the demo game, and how he later played it through to a conclusion at home, over a series of blog posts which (and I hope he doesn't mind) that I have combined into one glorious battle report.

Click on the pic below to see his superb terrain and figures:

CDS AAR: Tank Only Action

Dan Wade writes a great wargaming blog called Wade's World of Wargaming. There are loads of great posts and great pictures showing off Dan's collection of beautifully painted figures and terrain.

One of Dan's particular interest is Vietnam, so here's a very quick pic-only AAR from the period which I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing here. The game features a bit of tank-only action: click on the pic below to see all...

CDS AAR: Playing the Beanball

Another great Charie Don't Surf  battle report from Penfold, this one using scenario #06: Playing the Beanball from the Surf's Up scenario pack.

Here the Communist forces learn an important lesson about playing as insurgents rather than playing as regulars...

Click on the Surf's Up cover, below, to see all:

 

CDS AAR: The Great Rice Hunt

Here's a battle report for Charlie Don't Surf from 2011, trawled from what looks like a bit of a defunct blog: the Tao of Lard.

It's a couple of reports from 2011 covering The Great Rice Hunt: the first scenario from the Surf's Up scenario book. Click on the pic below to see all:

Incidentally, I would just like to add that it's worth noting that blogs are hard work to maintain. Even if 'real life' doesn't get in the way, it's hard to keep posting day after day or even week after week or month after month.

That's one of the reasons for this site: it's become an archive of writings about the TooFatLardies' company-level rules from all over the place, and that to such an extent that more and more people are sending me their AARs direct.

I do always try and contact people before copying their material here...but so many blogs have no way of directly contacting the owner anywhere on view, and I don't want to ask via a comment for all to see: just too embarrassing. So I hope in this instance the blog owner doesn't mind me resurrecting his content in this way. My contact details are on the left if needed.  

French Indochina AAR: Ambush in Tonkin

A bit of a change this time: an AAR from the Stipsicz Hussars with an encounter set in French Indochina in 1951.

The game uses IABSM rather than CDS, perhaps appropriate given the period, and features a huge 6m table. A French column begins the game at either end, and heads towards a Point d'Appui in the middle. Needless to say, neither column nor PA escapes the attention of the Vietminh.

Click on the pic below to see all.

CDS: Vietnamese Villagers

A short time ago, I posted pictures of the sampans that I'd painted from the Battlefront NVA Local Resistance boxed set.

I bought the box really to get the sampans, but they came with twelve Vietnamese villager figures that I thought I might as well paint up as well.

These are actually really nice figures: they have a certain animation that not only makes them a pleasure to paint but that look good on the tabletop too. One teeny-weeny word of caution: they are quite delicately built, these Vietnamese types, so the figures can be bent at the ankle very easily. It's not a problem, I hasten to add, but they are slightly less robust than a standard Battlefront mannikin, and I'd hate anyone to break one accidentally.

Here they are:

I really like the chaps in the paddy field (on the left, up to their ankles); the cahps holding the bundles of vegetation up front, centre; and the two women carrying babies/small children.

A nice set that will certainly help 'dress' the battlefield...or represent VC in disguise of course.

Sampans from Battlefront

For Christmas last year I bought the "Local Resistance" set from Battlefront's Brown River range.

This is a set comprising six sampans (three motorised, three not) and twelve suspicious looking Vietnamese peasant-types.

The sampans looked really good out of the box, and have painted up very nicely indeed. For those interested, the boats were undercoated in black, then dry-brushed with a dark brown and then a light, drab brown. The awnings were dry-brushed in a drab yellow colour, and then very lightly dry-brushed in sand yellow. I then painted the 'drivers' in nice, bright colours (I checked via Google that Vietnamese people wear these colours!) as a contrast.

I'll do the villagers next, but they look good with their undercoats on, so high hopes for them as well.

Here's a close-up of one of the sampans, and then a group shot of all six:

Army Lists for the 1967 Six Day War

It was the Battlefront 40% sale on their Fate of A Nation range that triggered my interest in the Six Day War: with the need to know which and how many of their figures and vehicles to buy leading me to put together army lists for the four participants: the Israelis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians.

Do feel free to comment on the accuracy of the lists, designed to be used with Charlie Don't Surf!, as the Lardy rules closest to the conflict. My research has been mostly book and Internet based, and I'm sure there are those with better knowledge than I out there reading this!

You can find the lists on the special Six Day War page in the CDS section of this website, or click on the image below to go there direct:

 Giles cartoon used courtesy of express newspapers

Giles cartoon used courtesy of express newspapers

Sarissa Precision Ltd: Buildings for the Far East

I've never been big into terrain.

I am never going to make any (far too much like hard, and messy, work) and in the past it's always seemed like a waste of money that could be spent on more soldiers. 

That, however, was before I got my wargaming room back after its sabbatical as a kids playroom, and before I moved this website to Squarespace. I'm having more games now, and the photos are easier to process and upload, and my existing terrain...well, it just isn't up to scratch any more.

Wooden huts for the Eastern Front from 4ground

I have had very good experiences with 4Ground's range of wooden huts for the Eastern Front, so I thought I'd see if I could get some more of that sort of thing, but this time for the Far East. 

A quick search of the web, and I found Sarissa Precision Ltd: a UK company that do a nice little range of laser-cut wood buildings just like 4Ground's.

They have six different village huts in their Far East range, so I bought one of each, and have spent the last few days putting them together: I love the smell of laser-cut wood in the mornings!

Once built, however, I felt they were slightly lacking something. Not in the models themselves, I hasten to add, they were lovely, just that the setting demanded something more.

So I have been very brave, and I have pimped them up!

First I've added a toupee of wool roving (whatever that is!) bought from the local Hobbeycraft to their roofs. This was quite difficult: it involved smearing white glue over the roofs, then carefully snipping off and sticking down layers of wool cording so they look a bit like some kind of vegetation. Don't ask me what sort of vegetation: just enjoy the look!

It didn't turn out just how I wanted it too.

Building One: Planked Style Village House - Low

Apparently you're supposed to be able to comb this stuff, and I had envisioned a sort of green thatch effect...whereas what I have achieved is more Boris Johnson! But I like it, and I think it will look good on the tabletop amongst the plastic palm trees and lichen.

Next, I thought that the empty holes for every door and window (on some of the huts: others have a wooden lattice effect) looked a bit odd.

Building Two: Small Village House

So back to Hobbeycraft and the purchase of a roll of hemp trimming. From this I have made crude blinds/curtains which actually round things off nicely. Flocked bases and the odd shutter finish things off: at least until I can buy some little pots and other household detritus with which to decorate the bases.

So a little bit of work to make them look super, but highly, highly recommended. Oh, and they cost £52.50 for the six, with only £2.50 p&p.

Here are the other four:

Building Three: Woven Palm Style Village House - Low

Building Five: Planked Style Village House

Building Four: Woven Palm Style Village House

Building Six: Small Village House - Low

A Small Village Somewhere In The Far East

CDS AAR: The Horror, The Horror!

Something we haven't had for quite a while: a Charlie Don't Surf! after action report.

This one comes from the excellent A Wargaming Gallimaufry blog (click on the name to go there) where you'll also find AARs for Chain of Command  and other, non-Lardy games.

The scenario pitches a Free World aid station coming under attack from NVA while an under-strength company is on their way to relieve it.  The aid station has the advantage of a Platoon of special forces but were likely to face a heavy assault before the relief force could get there. Click on the picture, below, to see the full report.

Q13 and CDS Army Galleries Reloaded

I have taken a rest from uploading all the IABSM After Action Reports in order to load up the galleries of my figure collections for both Charlie Don't Surf and Quadrant 13. You can navigate to them using the Navigation Bar, above, or by clicking here for the CDS galleries or here for the Q13 galleries.

Doing this has thrown up a couple of things to action:

1. I need to go back and properly 'fill in' my Q13 sci-fi armies. I have too many that have a few core units completed but lack either command figures, especially overall Company commanders; Specialists; and support units, especially aircraft and AA assets. 

This is, I think, mostly due to figure availability - how many 15mm sci-fi ranges include more than one command figure and any AA assets - but is also down to my tendency to get distracted by the opportunity to start new, shiny sci-fi armies rather than complete the ones I have. Not something that happens with my WW2 armies...so maybe it's a sci-fi thing!

2. I need to take better pictures. This new, Squarespace website is really good at displaying pictures, it's one of the reasons I chose it: the only problem being that the pictures therefore need to be of a better quality in order to do the site justice.

What this also means is that I need to find a way of taking pictures that are consistent with each other (i.e. all have the same background etc.) even if they are consistent only at army level rather than for my collection as a whole. This leads on to (3)...

3. I need to set up a permanent photography station somewhere in the man-cave. The galleries where I have photographed a whole army in one go, and added nothing to it since then, look good...but what most consist of is a core of units photographed in one go, then a whole series of individually photographed units against a variety of backgrounds added as they are painted.

This means a place with good, natural lighting; a permanent background screen; markings for where the figures need to go for the right focus etc. As always, I know the theory, and can get the detail from several useful bogs and web articles about photographing figures, but don't have the time to actually do what I need to do!

So that's a few things thrown up by re-loading just the CDS and Q13 galleries, but some of you might be asking why I have with the galleries anyway: lots of war gamers don't bother.

Well, there are several reasons for the galleries.

One is that I like looking at pictures of my figures: and I make no apologies for that. Obviously if the house was on fire I'd save my children before my figures...but don't ask me where the wife fits in to the list!

That was a joke, my dear, just in case you're reading this.

The second is that the galleries are a good way of seeing what I've got. I have about 15,000 15mm figures, all catalogued, but the galleries are a quick short cut to see what units I have and what's missing. If I can't remember if I have SdKfz 221s or 222s; or whether the ones I have are painted for early war, late war or for the desert, then the galleries are a quick way of looking. 

Finally, it's good to look at my figures and compare them to those painted by the experts (Piers Brand, War Painter etc). Mine aren't up to that standard, but seeing what they produce (both photography and the painting itself) inspires me to improve what I do...and if you aren't improving, you're dying!

R