Friday, 11 April 2014

Getting set for Salute 2014!

Tomorrow is the Salute 2014 show at Excel in London's Docklands, and I'll be making the trip with the rest of the TooFatLardies crew with our participation game based on the fighting around Le Port on 6th June 1944.

I can't claim any praise regarding the figures and terrain, but as you can see from the photos which follow, I know you'll agree that Rich has done a great job with both.

If you get the chance to drop by and say hello, or join the participation game, that would be great.  We'll be at stand GJ11, hopefully with a large and prominent TooFatLardies banner!

If you can't make the show, I'll hopefully get my photos of the event posted at some point over the weekend.
So whatever your wargaming plans are this weekend, hopefully you can enjoy a slice of Salute here on the Blog wherever you are!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Salute 2014: Passing Le Port

Just a quick note to offer some Blog eye-candy for the participation game that we’re staging at Salute 2014 at the weekend (Saturday, 12 April).

The game focuses on the link-up between 7 Para and Lord Lovat in the small village of Le Port on the 6th of June 1944 that Richard has been patiently researching for many months. The building of the table, figures and terrain has been progressing at a more frantic pace in true, traditional, slightly last-minute Salute fashion.

Not content with adding buildings, Richard has gone beyond the call of duty and added a French pissoir, vegetable patch, collection of newly-harvested potatoes and other sights and sounds of a small French town. I shall be disappointed if I turn up on Saturday morning and he doesn’t have a newly printed French newspaper for the town café. (Hmmm….now maybe there’s something I can contribute…!)

It should be a truly wonderful game to see and play. Richard is a wonderful craftsman and his games always look tremendous and are filled with terrific detail. But, if you want to have a behind the curtain view of the wizard in action, head on over to Lard Island News and click on the following links:

HERE (for the start of the series)


HERE (for the latest in the series).

And, of course, to get the full flavour of the game, head on over to the TooFatLardies game stand on Saturday (at table GJ11) where the game will await your participation!

Monday, 7 April 2014

"A Mere Question of Pluck": Elandslaagte, 21 October 1889

For the next of the recent set of playtests featuring battles of the Second Boer War, Rich chose the ballet of Elandslaagte on 21 October 1889. This action is known for well-coordinated British attacks and skilful deployment of the British infantry under Boer fire.

In another of our strange echoes of Boer War history, the table top game played out very much like the actual battle. British deployment in the game was patient, well-thought through and made full use of natural features, such as the dead ground on the British west flank. Boer deployment, by contrast, was more passive and was hampered by the loss at an early stage of one group of Boer vedettes and some difficult card draws.

Interestingly, our play-test results seem to be shifting slightly as regards the results. Our initial games a few years back, and earlier this year, favoured the Boer, with the British struggling to achieve any sense of order in their deployment, especially in the “beaten zone” of German Mauser fire. In the Elandslaagte game however, the British were more assured in their deployment and patient with the build-up. Does this mean that we, as a club, are getting more comfortable with the challenge of playing British forces? Or is Elandslaagte an easy game for the British, with their wealth of good mounted troops. As we approach re-fights of the “Black Week” and Spion Kop, we should have a better idea of how we’re collectively doing in re-creating British forces’ deployment and fighting methods.

As before, I have added the details of the AARs into the photos below. I find written AARs sometimes a little tricky to follow, so please continue to let me know if you prefer this format (and thank you to those who have given a response on that already).

A few other points…

First, I can strongly recommend the excellent book “From Boer War to Great War” by Dr Spencer Jones which covers the evolution of British tactics through the Boer War and on to the first battles of the First World War. Dr Jones’ book is taken from his PhD thesis, but remains a very clear, concise and well-written examination of the struggles and eventual success of the British army in the 1900 to 1914 period.  A really excellent read.

Second, I apologise for the blog posts here being rather erratic of late, and also my absence in the last couple of painting rounds for Curt’s splendid Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. My Mum has been in hospital for the past four weeks in Yorkshire and this has caused a lot of dislocation in normal family (and wargaming) life with travelling and visiting and what-not. Hope you can bear with me for a while if the posting is more erratic than normal.  And, above all,…get well soon, Mum!

Third, I should be at Salute 2014 in London this coming weekend. It’s certainly one of the highlights of my gaming year and I am greatly looking forward to seeing friends, old and new, and helping out running the TooFatLardies’ game, which will be Chain of Command. I’ll also be dropping by the Bloggers Meet-Up at 1pm, so hope to catch you all there if not before.
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