Welcome

Hello,

It is my intention to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the hobby of miniature wargaming.  I have been a wargaming for decades, having first played board wargames like Avalon Hill’s classic Tactics oh so many years ago.  Sometime in the 1980s I was introduced to minature wargaming through the local club at the California State University of Northridge.

I have played periods from 450 through Afghanistan in scales from 1/285th through 1/1 scale.  At present however I play primarily skirmish level 28mm games.  While I play mostly historical I am certainly not adverse to a little alternative history, legendary or Science Fiction games.

I hope that you the reader find this blog interesting and informing.

Cheers and Cry Havoc!

Ron Carnegie

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Categories: Wargaming | 1 Comment

Reckoning for Lone Rock, A Pulp Alley Adventure!

Yesterday afternoon found me off enjoying my local convention, guns of August, where I ran a Pulp Alley game of wild West Cowboy Action!  This is the first time I have used Pulp Alley for a cowboy skirmish.

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I decided to use the Crime Spree adventure in the Vice Alley campaign book.  This is of course designed for 1930s gangsters, but one of the greatest aspects of Pulp Alley is how easy it is to do whatever you want with it.  Because I was playing at a convention I decided to allow 6 leagues (and therefore 6 players) rather than the usual maximum of four.  Because I was allowing six players I decided to allow a larger playing area as well.  Pulo alley is usually played out of a 3″x3″ table, but I decided to use a full 6″x4″.

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I can’t really give as much detail as I might like in an AAR.  The number of inexperienced players, the tight quarters of the gaming hall, and the roar of the fans trying so hard to cool the hot air all conspired against me for properly documenting the game.  I often wasn’t really sure what was happening myself.  Another great advantage of these rules is that while they can be difficult to explain, they are very easy to learn.  Very quickly the players were able to help themselves very ably.  This allowed me to prepare for another game I was planning on running directly after this one. Similarly, I had only a small number of photos to use here.  Many of these, most of the non-antiqued ones were taken by one of the players

Similarly, I had only a small number of photos to use here.  Many of these, most of the non-antiqued ones were taken by one of the players

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Again, borrowing from the notion of Vice Alley, all of my leagues were intended to be classed as criminal or vigilante.  The leagues consisted of El Guapo and his banditos, The McBroom gang, Marshall Harris and the Pinkertons, Sheriff Silas and his Posse and of course Preacher Harris and his Evangelical Vigilante Suffragettes.  I had planned a sixth league which of cowboys but I ended up with just the five players, that’s fine.  I think in the environment we were ibn even five was probably too many.

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The plot points consisted of Major Plot point:  An active Bank Robbery

Minor Plot Points: A witness

An assault

A burglary attempt

An informant

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The game was a lot of fun.  Some of my players had no experience with gaming at all let alone with Pulp Alley, and two were children ( though one of those was probably getting close to adulthood).

Categories: Convention, Pulp, pulp alley, Uncategorized, Wild West Skirmish, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

War of the Roses and Sharp Practice 2

So a project that I have been working on for some time now has been a War of the Roses game using Sharp Practice.  The original idea for this comes from Pat’s blog Wargaming With Silver Whistle. The Idea was later added to the Too Fat Lardies’ Summer Special 2013. This excellent article with it’s inspiring photographs and the availability of The Perry Brother’s figures certainly called out to me, and I started to build for it.

So I began to buy figures and build, soon I learned that my local wargame show Guns of August,  intended to have a medieval theme.  The die was cast.  Only one problem, Sharp Practice 2 was released…

Obviously, I could have left matters alone and used the old rules, but I decided to revise the old Of All Base Passions  to version 2.  this I have done with no permissions requested or granted so apologies to all concerned parties.

 

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Yorkist Troops Approaching Greenstead from the east

In a similarly unoriginal fashion, the scenario I ran was also from the Silver Whistle blog.  This is a pretty simple scenario.  Completely equal forces approaching an uncontrolled town and the opposing Lords territories.

 

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Yorkists crossing the Bridge

 

 

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Lancastrian Forces approaching from the West

 

 

From the start, luck smiled upon the Yorkists.  Both the command cards and the dice luck seemed to smile upon them.  Actually so did the terrain.  There was a walled field that should have been placed a few inches further to the west.  Its location ended up giving the Yorkist forces a real advantage,

 

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Yorkist Archers Take the Field

I should have placed this field with its center equal to the Town’s main entrance.  Doing so would have been fairer.  This error allowed the Yorkist to take the wall and in the following archery duel, they would not have had such an advantage over their enemy.  The Archers in formation began a long range duel with one another, but with the Yorkists in cover and the Lancastrians exposed the former were slowly getting the worst of it.

 

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Yorkist Billmen Make Their Way to the Side Gate

Oddly, neither Lord realized at first that the walled town had gates on the sides.  Upon this epiphany both sent forces towards those weaker entrances.  The bad luck with command cards, and with their dice for movement prevented the Lancastrians from reaching theirs.

 

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Billmen Break Down the Eastern Gate!

Not so the Yorkists.  After just a few turns they broke through the wall and quickly dealt with the weak defense of the townspeople.  Gisborne, the Town’s mayor was still getting his forces together.

 

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The Lancasters   Reconsider Their Targets

 

The Lancaster Archers realize the weak position but also notice that the enemy’s Men of Arms have been approaching the Town’s front gate and are well in short range.  This proves wise, and while little blood is spilled the foot knights find themselves becoming a little shaken.

 

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Grand Melee!

Seeing that the Yorkist knights are close to having excessive shock, the Tudor commander ordered his billmen to close with them.  While the idea had merit, it failed to recognize the differing quality of the troops involved as well as the armor advantage of the knights.  As would be expected by their Noble Liege, the men at arms suffered very little from the scrape. They were forced to withdraw having received some small addition to their shock, but they lost only one man to the Lancastrian loss of 5.  Not only were the forced back by losing the fight by four, but they were now broken as well.  they routed back from whence they came with a tremendous amount of excessive shock.  The problem is this took them right through a group of their archers with enough excessive shock that they two now were broken.  The Lancastrian luck continued to plummet when an enemy arrow pierced the armor or the Lancastrian’s second in command.  He fell dead.  In a frighteningly quick fashion, the Lancastrian force morale total went from 10 to 3.  Lord Oxford was forced to order his men to pull back fearful that otherwise, they would simply rout.  The only good luck he had was when a random event (and perhaps the Yorkist soldiers breaking through the gates) caused Master Gisborne to place himself and the townspeople under the protection of the Lancastrians.

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So, in the end, I had decided to not make use of deployment points but rather to follow the original idea of marching forces into the game.  Partly I reached this decision due to the scenario predating the new rules and partly because I don’t imagine this period to be one of great stealth.  This was an error, however.  Far too long was spent getting the troops into action.  In fact, oddly the fight went march,  march,  march, shoot a little, charge and then suddenly it was over.  I am also not convinced that there may not be a better way to do armor.  Presently it is a saving throw, but as all hits already have a saving throw for cover it seems redundant and the game starts to feel a little like a Warhammer.  More thought may be necessary there.

 

Cheers,

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Convention, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Uncategorized, War of the Roses, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baron Von Schenberg and the Sinister Swamp, a Pulp Alley Adventure!!

Yet another adventure in the Williamsburg Legati’s Perilous Island campaign. A little earlier than expected, i haven’t even finished my zombies yet!  This game was played by Chris with the Rogue Legionnaires, Peter with the Red Shambala and Alex with the Knights of the White Rose.  This part of the campaign follows a less directed narrative as the leagues endeavour to find the clues to bring them to them to the next act.

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This adventure pits the leagues against zombies in the swamp.  Lots of them as it turned out!   Instead of using 1 major and four minor plot points, this scenario places three areas of mysterious remains.  Each turn the players pull fortune cars and use the “x” attribute to set a number of new zombies.  These appear in a three inch radius around the bones.  Similarly that same area is considered an extreme perilous area and any character failing a peril would create a new zombie engaged with them.

Unlike regular plot points, these bone piles didn’t leave when picked up.  Rather a reward card is pulled.  In theory a league could have picked up all five plot points at one pile.  It didn’t happen though.

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The Germans rolled a level 3 brawler for their event, The Russians had a character delayed and the French rolled limited visibility.  The French also brought along a dog with their resources.

The first real action was when Alexandra boldly went forth to get a plot point.  Instead she failed her peril and had a zombie right on her. Ivanna and the dog went to her rescue and the dog was dropped.

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The layout of the jungle left the French in a bad way early on, as they had the furthest to go to get to their closest bone pile and the brush created a channel blocked by zombies.  their leader however is an entirely capable sort, and very quickly the zombies were cleared.

The Germans also were having issues.  They stopped moving forward and slowly began to be overwhelmed by the undead creatures.

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In the end the zombies proved a greater threat than I had expected.  Due to the way we pulled cards, they were originally showing up in pretty large numbers though that slowed down significantly as play went on.  The Zombies wee not very dangerous on their own right, but the weaker characters couldn’t hurt them.  Alex and the Germans were also doomed by very poor dice luck all night long.

Join us next time for  “the Jungle Trail”!!

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Blood Sacrifice, A Pulp Alley Adventure!! — Williamsburg Legati

So last week brought about another installment in our Pulp Alley Perilous Island campaign. Chris and the Rogue legionnaires continued against Peter and the Red Shambala to take themselves closer to finding the whereabouts of Lord Darrow. Peter’s son joined us for the game with the “Knights of the White Rose”. This legion consists of […]

via Blood Sacrifice, A Pulp Alley Adventure!! — Williamsburg Legati

Categories: Pulp, pulp alley, Uncategorized, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A Little Sharp Practice!

As any of you Lardistas out there are well aware Too Fat Lardies has recently released the new and improved version of Sharp Practice.  My copy having arrived last week I have been elected to run my club’s game this week.  With that in mind I thought some practice with the new rules might be in order!

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I am a fan of the old rules and a confirmed Lard Islandaphile, so of course I have been right with the throngs waiting for the new revision.  I have not been disappointed!

The new rules have been simplified and made more efficient.  The original card system has been replaced by a simpler one where cards or chips may be used.  Instead of several different cards being needed to play, now there are only the Leader cards and a hand full of command cards.  These cards fulfill the role of the Grasp the Nettle cards, the Sharp Practice Cards, as  the various National Cards as well.  You simply decide how to use the command cards.  This is a very elegant idea which is also readily expandable and adjustable.  Now I don’t need my War of the Roses Cards, I just need to assign command card costs!

The Blind system has also been replaced by the smoother Deployment system.  Similar to the Jump Off Markers in Chain of Command but with no Patrol Phase to place them.  There are fewer of them in Sharp Practice nor are more needed.  An interesting option is the Movable Deployment Point and its dummy cousin which allows for the same trickery found in the old blind system.

Enough on this though.  It was not my intention to write a review.  I will leave that too others.  This is supposed to be a sort of After Action Report!

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The Little Village of Pollo Del Mar

So, I began by laying out scenery on my friends table.  Like everything at the “Grove” except hospitality, the table is small.  About 3″ x 4″ small.  Sharp Practice recommends a table of at least 4″x 6″ for 28mm games and this table size was going to matter quite a bit.

I have been building my Sharp Practice forces by following the adventures of Richard Fondler as described in another Too Fat Lardies product, The Compleat Fondler.  Because of this I presently have rather large number French Dragoons, a sizable body of Irish serving Spain and of course some Rifles and Light Infantry.  My Voltigeurs are awaiting painting and in many cases assembly on my lead mountain.   Providing British forces would be easy.  I simply followed the base list for a Light Column though 8 of my 60th Rifles marched as a line company with the other light Bobs.

The French forces would be made up of almost entirely of mounted dragoons.  There is no list for this but no matter.  Not very long ago there were no such creatures as Too Fat Lardies Army Lists!  Actually what I did is followed the Support Points guide in the army lists to build a force.  I included two groups of eight dismounted Dragoons because I was concerned about the usefulness of horse in such crowded terrain.  I would have used more but it is all I have!

I used the system provided for in the book to create scenarios.  It is useful enough but I do fear that it might prove a little stale with repetition.  This is a concern, but not a grave one as I think it is an easy enough matter to repair.  I rolled for Escort duty.  Well that settle matters.  I assigned the mission to the French, gave them a Mounted Officer to escort, (because my new mounted civilian isn’t painted yet) and suddenly it made sense that they were mounted.

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Dragoons Entering the Town

The choice of this scenario on such a small table created a problem though.  The scenario allows the escort to deploy and have one to three free turns.  The French rolled three.  Three free turns at the cantor could see the General across the table before the British arrive! I decided to allow the free deploy but not the free moves.

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Dismounted Dragoons Acting as Flankers

So the French Began to move into town.  Dismounted Dragoons on the flanks, the mounted in open column on the road. Every one at the walk.

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The British Column

The British, on the other hand, deployed mostly out of site behind the village church.  One group of 60th acting as a screening force was visible.  Even more so was the smoke of their Baker rifles as they fired upon one of the dismounted groups of the 4th Dragoons.  By luck they wounded the leader who was only status I and not really in a good position with his two groups anyway. This was due to a “firing Random Event” another system greatly improved upon in the new game.

By placing his groups on either side of the road they could not be in  formation and even without the wound the leader needed a command card just to activate both groups.  Now he was level 0 and need to used command cards for any activation.  His command remained inactive until very near the end of the battle.

The French Captain brought  the Dragoons forward and reformed them into an Attack Column,  Charging at the 60th, unaware of the danger waiting just out of view.  This action would prove foolish and reckless.  Light infantry have the ability to evade for 2d6.  Taking this opportunity prevented the Dragoons from bringing their charge home.  Then came a very unlikely event.

One concept kept from the original game is the “Tiffin” card.  the Tiffin brings an immediate end to the turn.  Certain moves with unactivated units then occur.  This is still the case though now the number is limited by remaining unclaimed command cards.  What is different is the “Chapter End”.  When ever the first card drawn of the new turn is again the Tiffin it is Chapter End.  This represents a lull in the action and is very similar to the concept of turn End in Chain of Command.  I am sure however, that it will be easy to teach the concept to beginners than the Chain of Command terminology is.

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Parley 

All I could imagine is that there was some sort of argument, some attempt to get the Officer past the town by diplomacy, but of course it failed.  After some succesful shots by the 60th,  the Light Bobs rushed forth unexpectedly,  and gallantly charged the now stationary horsemen.

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The Charge of the Light Brigade!

The fisticuffs went very badly for the 4th.  The Captain was wounded, both of the Dragoons groups involved received tremendous shock.

One of the tricks one can perform with the command cards is that with four, you can interupt action and give a Leader a bonus Activation.  The British now did this, with the Light Bobs following up their previous assault The leading group broke and raced right through its support causing them to break as well.  The French morale dropped by 50% in this one fight!

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The Dragoons leaving a little less valiantly then they arrived!

The French were not done however.  Their second in command rushed in hoping to buy time while his commander recovered from his stupor.

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Hoping that speed would make the difference, the Lieutenant raced in.  He fought bravely but this time simply due to luck (a great roll by the British and miserable one by the French) they were again defeated and broken…and yet again a French leader was unconscious!

At this point the Dismounted Leader finally got some command cards and began to move back and hold some positions.  The force morale and plummeted and one of the French command cards was pulled from the mix.  The French officers eventually awoke and began to try to deal with the worst shock I have seen in any Too Fat Lardies game all the while while receiving withering fire from their enemy.

And then disaster, for the second time in the fight, the chapter ended.  One of the things that happens at this time is any broken unit that is still broken routs, as well as any officers attached to them.  Four groups and a Leader III and Leader II was more than the French could take.  Honestly their wasn’t enough to fight with any way, but the battle was over.  A force morale score of 0 saw a complete French rout!

So, just for interest sake, I tried a second fight of the exact same scenario and build.  This time I allowed the three free moves the French had originally rolled.  In this game, because of the size of the table, great move rolls by the French and the fortune of the cards, the Officer being escorted was 2″ from the table edge and safety and my Deployment Point was nearly taken before a single British group was deployed.  Obviously on this little table some balance will be necessary.  I also am convinced that I have far to many Dragoon figures for Sharps Practice.

I remain your Humble and Obedient &c.

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