Too Fat Lardies

The British Advance

Due to the various demands of the Holiday season, and a housing emergency, Dave Wilson and I found ourselves as the only members of the Williamsburg Legati meeting a couple of weeks ago.  We took the opportunity to play a game of Chain of Command.


I set up a table imagining that the battle was somewhere around the area of British Paratrooper activity at Normandy.  Mostly because I am preparing to run the Von Luck Pint Sized Campaign by Too Fat Lardies.  We rolled randomly for scenario and got Scenario Number Five: the Flank Attack.

Dave was attacking with the Paratroopers and I was holding the farm at the upper right corner.  This scenario give the attacker the ability to bring his patrol markers from two different sides at the same time.  Very disconcerting if you are the defender.  I tried to do too much with mine, trying to defend both fronts and soon found that I could hardly maneuver them.  I have often said that Chain of Command can be won or lost in the patrol pase.  In this game I lost that very way.  In fact Dave could have wrapped around me even, so badly had I played my patrols, but he elected that in light have having an enjoyable game he would not.  Thanks Dave.


Dave’s Paras started advancing on the farmhouse just down the road from mine and was first to notice that the layout of the buildings left most of their windows facing away form the action.  Only the house in the middle of the board really had a useful vantage point, and it was right alongside of one of Dave’s jump off markers.  The Section shown above made little progress up the table.


The Germans had the same problem however so most of my deployments were into the cover of the hedges.  My jump off markers were also all cramped together, all three being in the area of this one photo!  Also visible in this shot just under the tree is my poorly chosen support option.  The PAK 38 is aimed at the only useful house on the board, which was the center of much of the Para Activity.   I chose the PAK 38 because I like the model and don’t usually even remember to bring it, but in this case I knew I wasn’t going to be opposed by any armor.  If I knew the German equipment better I would have brought the ie IG 38 infantry gun.  This model doesn’t get used much either, costs less support points and would have been far more useful in taking out troops concealed in stone houses.


Surprisingly, I took few pics of the British forces.  Dave started to bring forces on to my right, trying to flank me so I ordered a section to secure the stone barn across the street from my position.  This was a good idea, but I did it too late.   Further more, when they started to receive fire from the enemy I pulled them back.  This was a fatal error.  I did have to go into the open to get around to the entrance of the barn, and do so under fire.  I don’t doubt that I would have received some fire, but had I laid down covering fire with the MG42 and taken the risk I suspect I would have survived most of it.  Instead I got shot down in the street.  Punished for my indecision and lack of aggressiveness.


Meanwhile my first section and ATG were taking so0me serious cross fire, and doing very little damage in return.  I eventually had to pull the ATG back while the crew recovered their bottle.


Part of why I had to withdraw the PAK 38 were the two snipers the Para had deployed.  We haven’t used snipers much, due to some disappointment with them early on, but the PARA platoon fields two normally.  In this occasion they were very useful.

In the end we had to call the game because it had got quite late.  My force was still in pretty good shape but I had squandered so many opportunities early on and by not being more aggressive when I should have I allowed myself to get boxed into my corner.  I hope I have learned my lesson.


Until next time, cheers,





Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati, World War II | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Taking the Crossroads


After his success at the church, Lt Ryer was ordered to secure the crossroads to Le Mesnil.  The first two sections slowly worked their way up to the position, finding their enemy holding the position.


Cleary visible, the Paras found a German halftrack holding the road, its crewing manning the machine gun.018


Ryers quickly ordered the mortar team to deploy and start laying smoke! Soon some cover was provided from Gerry’s machine gun, but a new surprise makes itself known.


A PAK 40, just in front of their positions lets loose into the Paras! The HE round explodes amongst Sgt Fulton’s section wounding their commander.  Fulton applied his bandage, and ordered the men forward, assaulting the Anti Tank gun.


Their assault took this position killing all of the German gun crew rather handily, but then another threat made itself known by way of a medium machine gun in the farmhouse window. More work for the mortar team.



At this point, the only section of German infantry present began to disembark from the halftrack. Lt Ryers ordered the piat team and the support section forward.



It is a hit!  With this Ryers ordered his men forward!




Fulton’s section successfully charged the Germans in the house from the rear, securing the house.


Meanwhile, the advance on the left saw Platoon Sargeant Giles lightly wounded.  Nonetheless, the attack was a success and the position was taken.  Casualties on both assaults were very heavy, however.  Some 50% of the sections involved were lost as casualties.031

In aftermath, I again rolled very badly for the Germans.  They could easily have outnumbered me as they had enough blinds for more than a platoon.  Even the one section they had present was really me fudging the rules.  I rolled the halftrack but decided to allow it to have a full section onboard.

Anyway, until next time,


Categories: Chain of Command, Platoon Forward, Too Fat Lardies, World War II | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

On to Victory!

I have decided to play a solo campaign of Chain of Command using Joseph Legan’s wonderful book Platoon Forward available at Too Fat Lardies

download (1)

For anyone not aware, this useful supplement generates random scenarios, provides support for them and makes it all a bit more interesting by adding a narrative campaign element.


Platoon Forward us designed for World War two but is easily altered for other periods.  I originally used it for a Very British Civil War campaign!  It is meant to easily be used with any tactical level World War Two game.  Some things are not perfectly fitted to Chain of Command, but a little flexibility and creativity will solve these little issues.

Since I have the figures and support for it, I have decided to set my campaign in the Vacaville area of Normandy in June of 1944. My Platoon is a part of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

My platoon 5th Platoon of C Company is commanded by Lt Jimmy Ryers. He is a cautious and yet cocky 23 year old hoping for recognition and promotion.   His platoon Sargeant, Archie Giles is a very sensible and even-tempered former clerk.   Greg Fulton a jovial 30 year old, more comfortable with art than warfare has the first section.  The second is led by 28 year old Trent Carpenter.  Patriotic and naively reckless.  Before the war, he was a mechanic.  The support section is commanded by the Hedonistic and cultured Quebecois, Harris LeBlanc.

5th Platoon’s first assignment after landing in France was to take a German observation post in a country church. The position was believed to be lightly defended so apt. Keefe ordered Lt Ryeres forward with his 5th Platoon.


The German position was in an old stone church surrounded by a churchyard and its low wall.   Ryers ordered his first two sections to advance forward along the hedgerows.  The Headquarters sniper took a position within the hedge and waited for a shot.



He didn’t have to wait long.  The distinctive sound of a German MG42 soon destroyed the solitude of the quiet June night.


Lt Ryers quickly deployed his 2″ mortar team who ably provided smoke to aid the advance.007

Under the cover of the smoke, Sgt Fulton’s section started to receive fire from a German squad holding the church.  They dived for the cover of the hedge by the Sargeant was wounded.


Ryers ordered Fulton’s Bren team to quiet the fire from the church,  Soon with the help of the sniper they had reduced the German fire.  Ryers order the two sections to move forward and the assaulted the church rather handily.

All in all a successful first mission.  Rolled pretty badly for the German blinds, which did make for a easy fight than it might have been.  Some challenges I am facing as I do this, the table I am using is smaller than the usual 6×4 which makes for a less effective patrol phase, I might just use the entrances Legan suggests on the scenario cards and there are no spotting rules in Chain of Command which is how the blind system in Platoon Forward usually works.  I simply rolled for my blinds as I was hoping to activate them.  The blinds are rated as probably infantry, probably support, and probably vehicle.  I would roll the command dice for the Germans and this if I would roll for the blind I hoped to activate, if it came up empty I just rolled the next one of that type.  Not sure that was the best answer.

Until next time,


Categories: Chain of Command, Maple Leaf Campaign, Platoon Forward, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, World War II | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Slept Here

Some time ago I posted a review here, of some of the fine building kits I had purchased from Charlie Foxtrot Models.  For those of you unfamiliar with Charlie Foxtrot, they are a British company that produces several ranges of some very nice MDF kits.  Shortly after posting it, imagine my surprise to receive an email from Colin, owner of the company.

He asked me what games and genres I played, and if I had any ideas for further ranged or buildings he could provide.  I think that is some pretty impressive customer service, to reach out in such fashion to known loyal customers.

The truth is however, I didn’t know how I could help him.  The only thing that seemed obvious to me was American Colonial.  My job gives me a certain advantage there.  Charlie Foxtrot, however, is a British company as I mentioned.  I didn’t think there would be much interest in the American War for Independence over there. As to American interest, well there is certainly some here, but MDF can be pricey to ship.  I was afraid to suggest that Colin invest in hopes of American customers.  I have no idea how many of us purchase from him.  (I still don’t by the bye).  There, I let the matter drop.



Me at Work…


Several months later came the new edition of Sharp Practice from Too Fat Lardies.  Like many others, I was swept up into the excitement.  Sharp Practice 2 makes it very clear that it is not intended just for the Napoleonic period, but rather for the Age of Muskets in general. I found myself drawn to the American revolution, a period I have most avoided as a gamer.  I also noticed a surprising interest in the period of the Too Fat Lardies list.  Maybe interest was greater in Britain than I thought.

I also noticed a dearth of good buildings for the period.  There are a handful of Very nice (and pricey) Grand Manner buildings, but most offerings far too modern, more suited to the American Civil War, or they are log cabins!  I know you Brits think we were completely rustic, but by the time of the war, most of the seaboard was pretty settled.  Log cabins are great for Guildford Courthouse or Kings Mountain, not so great for Yorktown or Boston. Maybe the interest would be there.

Enough of all that.  This is supposed to be a review of the first of Charlie Foxtrot’s New World range, not me bragging about my involvement which was really very minute.  All I did was send photos of buildings I thought would be good choices.  Two of those were the Richard Charleton House and the Grissel Hay house.

Both of these are original 18th-century houses still sitting on their original foundations and footprints.  Colin took these to inspire his “Tidewater Home”.

One of the first things you notice about this kit is it is large.  Far more pieces than most CFM I have (Only my Georgian House is larger).  Lots and lots of pieces.  Many of these are designed to combat the biggest failing of MDF which is it’s inherent flatness.  Colin has used many clever tricks to bring out the 3-dimensional nature of the prototype.  the columns and the portico, the window sills, and may favorite, the dentil work under the eave and the pediment.  This might very well have been neglected by a different manufacturer.


Dentil Moulding on the upper floor

Of course, the footprint of the building is impressive as well.  Colin told me he saw the house as a focal point of a table and it certainly could be on the 6X4 I am used to.


I apologize for my Napoleonic miniatures, my Queen’s Rangers aren’t ready yet!

The house is 25 x 14cms or almost 10 x 6 inches and stands about 6 1/2 inches tall to the peak of the roof.  As is typical of any CFM structure, the building comes apart into its separate floors so figures can be placed inside.


Construction of the kit is easy, with only a few parts being fiddly.  Even the porch steps went together easily which hasn’t been my experience with most mdf kits!  The parts that appeared fiddly were the little pieces to build the tops and bottoms of the inner columns.  The instructions even mentioned to be careful cutting them out and my kit had extras.  Actually however they came out rather easy.


The porch takes a bit of fiddling to get it all right, in fact, I see in this picture that the top of one of the columns needs work.  Care needs to be taken to keep those little squares, well squared, and to keep the columns at the right height (they can sink into the porch foundation).  The shutters are all separate pieces so they can be attached open or closed or perhaps in poor repair, and one set of the doors is seperated so they can be modeled ajar.


This is a very useful kit.  While the prototype buildings are urban, there is nothing to distinguish it from several country houses all through the Colonial American South, or for that matter even into the mid-Atlantic.  Suitable for more developed areas in the FIW and obviously for the AWI, but also the ACW. These two witnessed both the Revolution and the Civil War. (or I suppose anything more modern in the Eastern United States as well).  It is probably also worth mentioning that the Hay house served for a time as a boarding house and the Charleton as a Tavern, so they can serve as more commercial establishments as well.  The second in the line which has already been released is a kitchen, and several other out buildings are planned which can really bring this house to life and turn it into a believable home.  A beautiful model, I am sure I will by another one or two to add to my village.

I also feel I should mention, even more so since I referenced the high price of shipping in the beginning of this article, that Charlie Foxtrot now offers service with a new courier.  This courier works with the United Postal Service for a delivery that is easy, convenient, and less expensive that it can be.  Good show!

Now to finish painting the house and shutters!

more later!


Categories: American Revolution, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Review, Sharp Practice, Terrain, Too Fat Lardies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Christmas Loot!

Well, another Christmas has come and gone and we have done very well here at Cry Havoc!

I will begin with the required post.  For the last few years,l I have participated in the Secret Santa program organized by Catherine and Ian over at THE BLOG WITH NO NAME.  this is a lot of fun.  The way it works is a number of us wargaming bloggers share are information and post ideas of things we would like for about 15 GBP.  Catherine assigns us people in some unknown magical fashion and we secretly send our little packages to our assigned target.

My gift just arrived today, a little late.  I only mention this because one, my odd sense of humor finds it intriguing that these little guys were cast in England, sent off to Germany and then finally here to the United States!  They have yet to see battle but they are already well traveled.

Secondly, I have been informed that they were sent late due to a family illness at Christmas.  I wanted to share my hopes and wishes for the best of all health to you, whoever are.  I know some of the blogging community have been greatly challenged with illness this Christmas Season, and whether serious or slight I hope that you and yours are doing as well as you might.

What did I get?  20170105_231238

Two packs of fine Perry Brothers miniatures.  One Queen’s Rangers Command and one Queen’s Rangers Light Infantry.  these are destined to be the start of my new project, focussing on Benedict Arnold’ invasion of Virginia in 1781.  the Queen’s Rangers will my  Main Force for this Sharp Practice campaign using Dawns and Departures.  Thank for sending me these and thanks to Cath and Ian for continuing this Yule tradition!

I also received a number of things from Charlie Foxtrot Models.  The huge Georgian mansion, a porch house, the stone barn I have so long wanted and his pig sty.  I also received the driveway, pond and entrance gate to match the Georgian house.  More on these will appear here later.  These are mostly to be used for Chain of Command but I am sure some of them will find themselves serving double duty.

From Sally 4th, for my 7TV THE BEAT game, I have some new photorealistic row houses a Pub and Corner Store.  These are really nice and I am slowly seeing the Greendock take shape.

I am still awaiting my Blood and Plunder Kickstarter, which should arrive any day.  I know they are being fulfilled and look forward to getting mine with great anticipation.  Lastly, I have some more stuff from Colin at Charlie Foxtrot on its way, most notably his new Tidewater House that I linked to in my last post.  That is a project that I have been involved with and am very chuffed to see it come to fruition.  More on that here later as well.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!



Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Crooked dice, Secret Santa, Sharp Practice, Terrain, The Beat, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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