Ian purchased Sharp Practice 2 at Colours last week and Mike swiftly borrowed them on Monday. I had to pop round to his a couple of times this week to borrow some magazines and return them so had the perfect excuses to get a couple of games in whilst I was doing it.
Obviously mistakes were made and the games didn’t flow very well at first but by the end of the second game things were flowing very well indeed. It is one of the things that I really love about Lardies rules, once you get the activation rules you can get cracking along with the game. The nice and straightforward shooting and melee mechanisms are also easily learnt so that after a few moves you can cut down the amount of referring to the charts in the rules. On the downside, again typical for TFL rules, if you are looking for confirmation about something in the rules sometimes it can be a bit hard to track down exactly where it is in the rules, and a comprehensive QRS with the rules would help immensely. Having said that though the Lardy ones have done it again, just like after playing Chain of Command I’d be more than happy to have another go at these, indeed Mike reckons that this version has been influenced in somewhat by CoC (which is obviously no bad thing!). We played both a Napoleonic and early ACW game and both played very well using the same rules whilst seeming right for both periods. The games have a lovely flow to them and are fun to play too, also once you get a few games under your belt and start to use the more nuanced elements of the system I think that they will be even better.
It looks as if I finally have the justification for getting those lovely 25mm Perry Confederation of the Rhine figures now, indeed I can’t see a reason not to! Curse you Lardies, curse you for doing it again!!!
Whilst I was getting my arse handed to me on one table, Des and Ian were trying out IABSM in 6mm. By all accounts it worked really well and will be pursued further in the near future. Figures were from Des’ and Ian’s collections – Des was the Canadians and Ian the Jerries. I left before the end of the evening so don’t know the outcome but it was in the balance when I left with the Cannucks looking like they were just gaining the upper hand.
Trees are from the same place in China where Des got the ones used in the big ACW game a while back and looked great, mat is from Hotmatz and, again, looked great for this scale. And, yes there are decals on those Shermans!
One of the things that I love about Chain of Command is that it makes you think. Hard. Games can be tense affairs, as they should be when you are up the sharp end of a conflict. That’s why one small slip in concentration or a stupid move can completely banjax your whole day. Last night’s game was an excellent example of this happening and sadly it happened to me. Arse.
Mike and I decided to roll for what type of scenario we were going to play after the terrain had been laid out and we got the ‘Outflanked’ one which we hadn’t done before. The table did lend itself to the scenario very well with the building tucked away in one quarter it was obvious where the defender was going to be. We rolled for attacker/defender with Mike’s Brits doing the defending. The patrol phase was over quite quickly with Mike aggressively pushing forwards towards the road to get all his markers pinned early to prevent me being able to take advantage of my extra patrol markers. Nicely done Mr Evans! Placing the JOP’s was a bit of a trial as there were some tight angles going on and we also ended up with the crazy event of us both having JOP’s in the same wood very close to each other!
We both rolled 9 for force morale and then I rolled a paltry 5 for support points. Mike gained an extra point due to his ‘Rupert’ only having a pistol so he had a whopping 3 points. I decided to go with something a bit different for the Jerries and went for a Pre-Game Barrage and a Sniper – I had wanted to go for the Recon Team in Sdkfz250 but had forgotten it! Mike went for a surprise too and took a Dingo.
I kicked things off by getting a squad on table to take the JOP near to my own in the wood. The plan was to then deploy the other two and the sniper to engage and pin the Brits around the house whilst this section made its way round the flank. I managed to get to the JOP with no problem and as the Pre-Game Barrage was doing its thing well and Mike was having trouble getting anything on I stuck the second section on in the field and moved up towards the road hoping to maybe take advantage of the incoming artillery to sneak across the road and take either the JOP in the wood, or at least get it under overwatch before Mike could get much of his force on the table. This could also threaten his JOP by the hedge in front of the house.
Mike managed to get one section on and put them at the junction to thwart that idea he also had rolled a double 6 (this would become a theme of the evening) and managed with his next roll to unleash the Dingo. This promptly took advantage of the other double 6 that he rolled and advanced on my lads in the wood and took them under fire killing their JL and hence preventing me from having a go with their Panzerfaust. I decided that I’d best get the last of my sections on so that I could try and outnumber his lads by the junction and duly deployed them on the table. This is where I lost the battle. For some idiotic reason I place the rifle team outside of the field and the other side of the hedge IN THE OPEN.
Mike duly managed to get another section on to the table and deploying along the road unleashed on the team fannying about in the open piling on the hits, causing a wound to their JL a casualty and piling on the shock. Things weren’t helped by his 2″ mortars chipping in with some well placed HE rounds and chuck in the double 6’s that he was rolling the hurt just kept coming. Meanwhile I had deployed the ‘schreck team to tackle the Dingo and they worked their way through the wood whilst the SL also deployed to help out over there too.
I managed to roll a triple 6 ending the turn and knocked 2 off of Mike’s FM from capturing the JOP I held, the other bonus to the turn ending was to get my JL with the section that was takin a mullering back in working order so he could now start to try and rally off some shock. However Mike wasn’t finished with the double 6’s and he piled even more hurt on ramping up the shock until the section was pinned whilst chipping away at their strength with the odd casualty. I also about this time played a CoC dice and moved my JOP on the road forwards so that my sniper could deploy on the humpback to take the British section giving my lads hell under fire – unfortunately he had picked his rifle up at a fair and he was more danger to passing birds that the great target rich environment he had in front of him and failed to hit anything all game!
Over in the wood an attempt to take out the Dingo with a ‘faust failed and when the arriving ‘schreck team survived an attempt to take them out (just about as the loader copped it) Mike decided it was time to move on and went for the JOP that I had moved forwards on the road to deploy my sniper. Unfortunately for him his demonic dice rolling luck ran out and he only managed to move forwards a few inches and revenge was meted out by the surviving member of the ‘schreck team.
This was about it though as the poor lads out in the open finally became pinned and Mike decided to get stuck in, advancing with both the section at the junction and the section on the road. Mike’s advance with one of his sections left them tantalisingly close to my section in the field but they just couldn’t do anything (I was hamstrung at this point by rolling some quite awful command dice – 4’s, 2’s and 5’s predominating which just wasn’t helping at all). They instead won the day by charging the by now broken section that had been suffering all game and the completely one-sided close combat saw the remainder wiped out and to add insult to injury he managed to take a JOP to boot.
I decided to call it a day then and there as there was no point continuing with what I had left and my FM had fallen like a stone – down to 4. I was angry about this game if I’m honest, by stupidly deploying that team in the open I was asking for trouble and Mike responded well – he was helped by a fantastic run of double 6’s as well – but if they had been in cover it would have been a completely different story. My fault completely but a valuable lesson learnt. Thanks go to Mike for the game, his aggressive patrol phase was blindingly played and the Dingo was an inspired choice so hats off to him. Next time things will have to be different…..
First of all, apologies for not getting on the blog for a while. I’ve been having a bit of a rough time lately a combination of some weird side affects from my medication and being a bit depressed too which has meant that all painting production stopped for the past few weeks (although some of this was due to it being too hot to paint). Also the Warlords have been on their summer break as the club closes for the month of August hence no games to write up!
Anyway, on Saturday Des, Ian, Daren and I met up early at Paddington and made the trip to Newbury racecourse to attend Colours. We arrived and promptly split up as we started to move around the traders, I immediately stopped at H&R’s stall and had a nice chat with Andy – glad to see and hear that he is very much on the mend – whilst picking up a few bits for my Alt-History Polish chaps. It also was a good to hear what Andy had planned for future releases and what was doable in the way of ordering bits for ‘kit-bashing’ if needed. I also got to see their AIFV/YPR-765’s in the flesh which will be needed for my next force and also a project that Daren and I are talking about for a Salute in the near future.
I didn’t have anything else much to get from my list – some decals for 20mm German armour and some black primer so spent the next hour having a look at what was on offer and convincing myself that I didn’t need any of the goodies that were tempting me! I’m particularly taking to you Pendraken’s 1866 range – next year I think for that project. The only other things that I bought were a couple of books from the bring and buy: Blandford’s ‘World Uniforms and Battles 1815-50’ by Philip Haythornwaite & Michael Chappell and ‘Napoleon’s Campaigns in Miniature’ by Bruce Quarrie for the princely sum of £5 for the pair. This was perhaps the best purchase I’ve made for a while as both books were a very important part of my early wargaming life and it was at least £20 cheaper than what they would have cost downstairs at the 2nd hand book stalls!
Unfortunately I had forgotten to juice up my phone before I left so wasn’t able to take many pictures of the games and the few I did take were not very good so sorry none to post but there are a good many on other blogs out already and they are probably better quality than mine would be anyway.
The ones that did particularly appeal to me were the Winter War game by the Loughton lads, although I had seen it before it was at Salute and I didn’t get to have a proper look or get to talk to the guys responsible so that was nice. It was good to chat with Dave Brown about his new ACW rules and also to ask him about the planned General d’Armee rules in the pipeline – his game looked nice too but I had to turn down his kind offer of having a bash with a command as time was against it. The fantastic WW1 Mesopotamia game and the Crush the Kaiser ‘Viva Zapata’ games were also belters with fantastic figures and awesome terrain pieces, unfortunately I didn’t get to chat with any of the guys putting them on and wish I had as the games were very intriguing. I also liked the ‘Axis and Allies’ inspired Normandy game and would have had a go if I could have got near it which showed what a good game it was as they were busy every time I went past.
We thought that the venue was nice – what is it with wargames shows and racecourses? – and I’d definitely be back again next year. One thing I did realise when we were chatting whilst sampling the top-notch pies on offer was that the old maxim of picking things up at a show ‘saves you on the postage’ is actually a right old bunch of yarbles. Once you factor in cost of travel, entrance, food and drink plus any ‘ooh shiny’ purchases that might be made you definitely don’t make any saving at all! So why bother going? Apart from getting to take part in or see some great games I reckon it is that getting together with your mates and having a good old nerd out can’t be beat can it, can it?