TooFatLardies Games Day in Vienna

It’s no secret that TooFatLardies are my favourite rules publisher. Fortunately, there are a couple of like-minded individuals around. Last Friday, a bunch of us got together to play and present TFL games. The idea was to showcase the rules and induce people who have never before played a Lardy game to give it a try.

We had four games prepared: Dux Britanniarum, Sharp Practice 2, Kiss me Hardy! and Chain of Command.

As we’ve written a short report for Lard Island News (which will be published shortly), I’m not going to repeat myself but refer the reader to this blog. Sigur has also written a very fine report on the Battle Brush Studios blog – head over there for more information!

I just want to thank everyone involved: Those who prepared and presented games, those who played and those who watched and contributed to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I’m especially happy that I had the opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

Certainly an event to be repeated!

Here are some impressions from the games:

Sharp Practice (hosted by me)

Dux Britanniarum (hosted by Sigur and Virago)

Kiss me Hardy! (hosted by Annatar)

Chain of Command (hosted by Sigur and Shlominus, with a scenario by Slowik)

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On the Painting Table

I’ve been pretty industrious painting-wise during the last weeks. After finishing the Confederate cavalry, I’ve decided that I also want a force of white Union troops. I got figures in marching pose for a change and have now finished three groups of those. I’ve got a couple more coming up, this time in shooting and loading poses so they can also be used as skirmishers.

The last issue of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy contains a fun looking mini campaign for Sharp Practice featuring the Louisiana Tigers, the most famous (and one of the few) Southern Zouave regiments. I wanted to paint Zouaves for a while and this seemed as good an excuse as any. Fortunately, the scenario specifies only one group of skirmishers as the Tiger Rifles, the company that wore the characteristic uniform with striped trousers. I was a bit apprehensive about doing the stripes, but I think they worked out ok.

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And now for something completely different: rats! My recent game of Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes gave me the spontaneous idea to make a small fantasy warband. I like rats and I’ve always wanted to have Skaven, so I got a couple of figures very cheaply second-hand. Virago has promised me to give me some more.

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This is actually my first attempt at 28mm Games Workshop figures. I’m not totally convinced, as they contain too many frills and furbelows for my taste. Still, second-hand GW figures are arguably the cheapest option of getting 28mm fantasy figures and they will work fine enough. I hope that I can wangle some plainer rats off Virago.

Finally, I’m making more sabot bases for the 15mm ACW figures. They are made of magnetic foil on thin sheets of brass – looks ok, is very handy for moving groups in formation and allows easy removal of casualties.

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Daunenfein’s Downfall – An ASOBH AAR

Last week I was down at the club again. While Virago and Annatar continued their Sharp Practice saga, Sigur and I had a game of Advanced Songs of Blades and Heroes. I was familiar with the basic concepts, as I’ve played Flashing Steel, which is based on the Songs of Blades and Heroes engine, quite often. However, I haven’t had a game in a while and never played the new version.

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There are a couple of small changes in the new version and one big innovation, namely reactions. If you fail one activation roll, your opponent may now react by trying to activate one of his or her figures for one action. If you fail two rolls, the opponent may either make two reactions or take over and start a new turn. I was curious how that would play out – I feared that it might drag out the game a bit or might make it a bit convoluted, distracting from the simple elegance of the rules.

We played on a 6’x4′ table using Sigur’s game mat, which he got from DeepCut Studios. He also brought along his splendidly painted buildings, most of them from Ziterdes, and his stunning figures. The whole set up look extremely nice!

I took the human faction, led by noble Count Daunenfein on his fine steed. His brave companions were Smirre, another mounted guy with a bald pate and a humongous hammer, as well as a slightly crazed inventor with an arquebus. They also had some lackeys, two guys with greatswords and three with spears. The sinister Dark Elves confronting them were led by a Sorceress. Their party consisted of a witch, an assassin, a harpy, two elves with crossbows and three Raiders with hand weapons.

We played with the secret mission generator and each of us drew a paper slip with an objective. My aim was to get at least half of my people across the table.

While Sigur concentrated his guys in the middle, I had a more extended line, with Smirre on my left flank, my leader and the harquebusier in the middle and some foot soldiers on the right.

The sorceress charged into the town square and threw over a table to get cover. My harquebusier also ran forward, ducking from cover to cover to get into a position to shoot. As my right flank lackeys were showing little interest in confronting a horde of shrieking Dark Elves, my leader rode over and made them get a move on.

early game leader driving on
Move, you lazy bastards!

I realised that a mounted leader is a very useful thing to have, what with him giving a +1 on activations within long range!

The harquebusier finally stepped out and shot. He was as surprised as anyone when one of the crossbow Elves fell down dead. Excited, he fumbled to reload while I rushed forward a lackey to cover him. In vain – before he could get off another shot, he was cut down by the ghastly Witch Elf and an Elf waving a flag. A melee started to develop in the town square, with two of my lackeys pitted against the assassin, the witch and a Raider.

Meanwhile, the Sorceress had hidden behind a stone wall. A wild charge by one of my spearmen was thwarted by the harpy, who faithfully defended her mistress.

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The harpy deals with the spearman.

Now Smirre decided to even the odds and attack the Sorceress from behind. However, the wily wizard did see him in time and sent a sleeping spell. Smirre promptly started to snore!

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Smirre sleeps.

This was bad and thwarted my carefully laid out plans. I had moved two of my lackeys around the house to my right and brought them into position to slip around Sigur’s flank.

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Lackeys sneaking through backyards.

Having drawn most of Sigur’s guys into a melee in the town square, I wanted to rush my two mounted men over to the other side of the table. And now one of them was sleeping!

The only way to wake someone up is to move into contact. As Smirre was quite isolated on my left, I had to move my leader over. Grudgingly, he trotted in Smirre’s direction, hacking at the harpy on the way.

midgame wakey
Rise and shine, I brought coffee!

However, another shock was to follow: Suddenly, the assassin grabbed a chest lying around in the town square and started to head back. Count Daunenfein didn’t know what was in there, but he was going to make damned certain the dirty Elves didn’t get their grubby fingers on it!

The cards were now on the table: I knew Sigur’s objective and he had guessed mine. The whole battle started to move to the Northern table edge. The Elves had two stragglers, which rushed over to stop my sneaky flank lackeys.

While my guys in the town square tried to stop the assassin carrying away the chest, the Count had managed to wake up Smirre. Both heroes spurred their horses and rode around the melee to help out the lackeys trying to cross the table.

Their charge shocked the Elf rearguard. One Raider was cut down, but then the Sorceress rushed forward and tried to send Smirre back to the land of dreams. This time the bleary-eyed warrior resisted – no one makes better coffee than Count Daunenfein! Angrily, the Sorceress resorted to throwing a fireball, which knocked Daunenfein from his horse. Fortunately, he fell lightly, so he could remount. Meanwhile, Smirre cut down the second Raider. But now a new danger lurked: The assassin had managed to break free from the melee and was getting close to the table edge. Recklessly, the remounted Count charged him.

The assassin, however, quickly sidestepped and tripped the horse, causing Daunenfein to fall down again. Smelling coffee, from the sky above the harpy shot down and gave the poor Count a good kick. The noble heroe was out cold. When his lackeys saw this scene, horror struck them and they ran away. Even brave Smirre took to his heels! One single lackey stood with grim resolution, prepared to sell his life dearly. The game, however, was over…

Victory for Sigur and his Dark Elves!

What a fantastic game! It was dramatic and exciting, with some unexpected twists and really dynamic action which moved from the town square to the table edge. The reaction mechanics is great, it doesn’t slow down the game too much and makes the other player constantly involved.

The only thing that surprised me was the length of the game: We played for more than three hours, which is much longer than what I am used to with Flashing Steel (and longer than the Sharp Practice game on the other table!). The reason for this might have been that we had larger forces – with FS, we normally play with six figures per side and this time, we had eight respectively nine per player. But the main reason, I think, was the size of the table: SOBH is geared towards a 3’x3′ table and using a larger table means a lot more maneuvering. Don’t get me wrong, there was not a minute I was bored during this game and I really liked how the action moved from one part of the table to another. However, for a quick game, it may be better to use a smaller table or at least to designate an area of the large table as the playing field.

This game reminded me again of how great a system SOBH is! I really hope we’ll have another game soon.

Sigur has also written a great AAR, which gives a bit more background information on the warring heroes and which can be found at Skirmish Wargaming. He also kindly let me use some of his photos.

On the Painting Table

It’s rather hot and painting is going slow. But I’ve got a nice working space, even though it’s not a permanent set up – I put everything away after each session.

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I’m still working on ACW stuff. I’ve prepared a group of Confederate infantry, a mixture of leftovers from Peter Pig and Essex.

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I’m almost finished with the Confederate cavalry. On the second tray, you can see the last batch of horses undercoated and waiting to be painted. The figures to the right are two survivors from Zombicide. I rather enjoy the game and fancied having a go at the figures. They are plastic and I’m not entirely happy with the style, but they paint up easier than I would have thought. Maybe I’ll continue and do all of them. I can’t, however, see myself painting the 65 zombies included in the game!

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The two dogs are from Peter Pig and are for a scenario. I also made some other things for scenarios for Sharp Practice. First, a jetty:

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Second, a Hale rocket launcher. This is one of the more peculiar weapons of the American Civil War. It was used by the Union on several occasions, although it was considered to by quite inaccurate. “[T]he missiles from the rocket-stands on our right, while they did no damage, served to frighten the enemy’s artillery horses,” writes an officer of the 54th Massachusetts. It had some advantages, such as its portability and that it could be mounted on flat boats, as it had no recoil.

Anyway, it was used in an action I want to game and Sharp Practice contains rules for rockets, so here’s my quick attempt to make one: