RogerBW's Blog

Too Fat Lardies' Christmas Special 2013 13 February 2014

I'm a recent convert to Too Fat Lardies (in spite of one of their regular contributors being a chap I knew at school), so the only game of theirs I've played so far is Chain of Command. I am hugely impressed with it; at a glance it seems very random, but as I played it I came to realise that I was having to make the same hard decisions as a commander on the scene.

Anyway, since that is the only Lard system I play (doubtless this will change), most of the Christmas Special isn't directly useful to me. So what is? (Ignoring "it might be useful later" or "ooh, that's interesting", at least for now...)

  • A Village In Normandy, a description of the attack on Tailleville shortly after D-Day. Mostly consists of description of action and excerpts from Allied tactical manuals, but there's a Chain of Command scenario here too. It looks interesting, and more importantly it emphasises how much even the designers are happy to change the rules in a good cause (for example the patrol phase isn't used).

  • Chain of Command EspaƱa brings the Spanish Civil War to the wargames table. I don't know much about the period except for the war in the air (where the German "volunteers" developed, then brought back, a number of very bad habits that infected the Luftwaffe in WWII... a story for another time). This article doesn't tell me much about the background (fair enough, we have Wikipedia), but gives a decent introduction to the fighting units; further actual army lists are freely available for download. Will I use it? Maybe. It's certainly an interesting look at a mildly obscure period. (Yes, you can put George Orwell on the table.)

  • Scenario Seven: Attack and Counter-Attack is an extra generic scenario, representing a defender counterattacking to try to regain lost ground while the main attack is still in progress. It's actually symmetrical, which surprised me slightly. There's the potential for quite a lot of support assets, and the main objective is to hold an objective near the enemy's table edge. Worth a ponder.

  • Carros Blindados, Autoametrelladoras & Tizanos is an exhaustive-feeling examination of the light armoured vehicles of the Spanish Civil War, with CoC stats. I know nothing about this. So I'm glad to have it... I guess?

  • Hens, Chicks & Spanish Drivers extends the above, talking about the woeful state of armoured vehicles: really it's armoured cars and trucks rather than anything more serious most of the time, and even if you do get a real tank the chances are the commander doesn't really know what he's doing.

  • Random Events in Chain of Command replaces the existing (very random but quite rare) random events table from the rules with one that's just as rare but extremely random. Smoke drifts or disperses, vehicles break down, random artillery barrages fall, anti-tank weapons turn out to have run out of ammunition.

  • One Dark Night is another CoC scenario, with a small German landing party attempting to pick up a pair of German agents, while the Home Guard tries to fight them off. (I have never seen Dad's Army so I may be missing the appeal of Home Guard battles.)

  • Hell & Heroism gives three more CoC scenarios, set in 1940 during the French retreat from Belgium. They're a bit vehicle-heavy compared with the standard ones, but these could be regarded as pre-selected reinforcements. As with A Village in Normandy, the Patrol Phase is modified or removed to give a more constrained setup than usual.

Worth it? For a whole six quid? I should think so. And then there's all the other stuff for systems I don't use. Yet...

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