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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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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The Curse of the Abaia!! A Pulp Alley Adventure. — Williamsburg Legati

This week found the Williamsburg Legati returned from their month long hiatus as well as completing another episode of the Perilous Island campaign. Having discovered the blind sailor in Soerabaja, apparently the only survivor of Lord Darrow’s expedition, Red Shamabala and the Legio Patra Nostra temporarily put aside their animosity and take passage on board […]

via The Curse of the Abaia!! A Pulp Alley Adventure. — Williamsburg Legati

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Kellogg’s Pirate! Sharp Practice in Williamsburg

Last weekend brought the opportunity to play another Sharp Practice game at one of my local conventions, Williamsburg Muster.

Williamsburg Muster is a small but growing local convention which in concert with Guns of August provides the Pennisula with some much needed Wargaming activity.   These conventions are both run annually by the Hampton Roads Wargamers.

 

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Kellogg’s Pirate was lifted rather liberally from Too Fat Lardies excellent product THE COMPLEAT FONDLER.  This is a scenario where the hero finds himself aided (or perhaps hindered) by the Royal Navy while attempting to rescue Portuguese civilians taken into slavery by Barbary Pirates.  In an attempt to weaken the Anglo-Portugeuse Alliance, the wily French have provided these pirates with British Redcoats, an obvious attempt to confuse the poor people of Portugal!

Changes I made from the scenario as written?  The scenario called for 80 redcoated figures to use as pirates.  Lacking that number, my pirates were represented by a mixture of Darkest Africa Baluchi, Spanish Irlanda, and smattering of French Dragoons as well as the redcoats.  The location was also changed.  The site is supposed to be a North African port, due to a lack of proper buildings I decided to place it on a small, unnamed Portuguese Island, allowing me to build the town from my Mediterranean buildings.  Lastly, I changed all the names.  too Fat Lardies leans towards humorous but often off colour names which I feared might offend some of the more puritan Americans I am like to find at a convention.  Oh, my rifles are also 60th American rather than the 95th.  That fact that I am an American is partly the reason for this last change but it isn’t the only one.  I find the 95th  overdone thanks to the success of Bernard Cornwell and the 60th is so odd.  They serve in the British Army, they are called the Royal Americans but they are made up mostly of Germans!

The 60th moves forward

The 60th moves forward

The pirates were played by Mark and his son Armand, until the younger one was distracted by his new Imperial Assault game.  The British were Malcolm and Alfred.  As it fell out all of the players are friends of mine and Mark and Al have played some of my other Sharp Practice games.

The fight began with the rifles landed on the beach right on the flank of a group of pirates on patrol.  Shots were fired and the alarm was raised!  Sargent Hoffman, one of the British Bigmen, was seriously wounded by the first Pirate volley!

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The riflemen spent most of the fight in firing upon the house of Pirate leader, the notorious Qadar A’sad.  The house was defended by the pirate and his bodyguard and remained so throughout the fight.

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Finding no luck on their frontal assault of the Pirates home, the rifles began to move to the flank.

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Not satisfied simply firing from the firing steps of their fort, the pirates began to send sorties out after the surrounded riflemen.  This made a great deal of sense as the small fort was quickly becoming chaotic and overfull as the hung over pirates continued to wake up and flood the courtyard.  While nothing very dramatic was happening the rifles were gathering shock quickly.

Lt Porter Arrives!

Lt Porter Arrives!

On the third blank card Lt Porter arrived with a landing party of sailors.  By this time the riflemen were pulling back.  One group and lost its bottle and ran back into one of the warehouses by the beach.  The pirates had also, by poorly designed firing ports apparently, managed to set fire to their fort.  Upon the arrival of the sailors, the pirates forced the burning wall down.

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the pirates took advantage of the collapsed wall to charge forth into the sailors.  Though out numbered the sailors fought well and pushed the pirates back, their victory would be short lived however….

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Soon pirates began to flow out of the fort, completely overwhelming  the sailors on the flank.  Lt Porter himself was seriously wounded and no doubt fell prisoner to these diabolical pirates!

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Sensing their opportunity had passed the riflemen raced back to the boats to return to the ship.  They would have to row themselves as in the end very few of the sailors survived!  No slaves would be rescued this day…..

All in all the game was enjoyable and everyone had a good time, well except perhaps the Portuguese civilians.

Until next time, cheers,

Ron

 

 

Categories: Convention, Napoleonic Wars, Sharp Practice, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Muster | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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