Monday, 31 October 2011

Vietnam First Blood

At last! After several months of delay, we gathered in our local club to play a first test game of the TooFatLardies Vietnam rules Charly Don't Surf. And what a fantastic game it was! As a test field, we chose the first scbeario of the companion book Surf's Up, in which a US infantry company must take and control a farm village, to deprive the Charlies from its daily rice supply.... but of course, the village is infested of Cong enemies.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Stalingrad Part V: The Workers Militia Courage

After missing the foruth game of our campaign, I could attend the fifth game, played on a Friday evening two weeks ago,  although I was totally exhausted after a full working week (and not just me, but the rest of the gang too). To remind readers and blog followers, we prepared this year a campaign around the last German effort to conquer Stalingrad in October 1942. Although it was supposed to be played through the summer, the fact is that it has extended well beyond our estimates and it's now clearly heading into winter...or as one member of the TooFatLardies Yahoo Group told me a few days ago "funny how history repeats itself"... and I cannot agree more!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Wargames rules and the new technologies

Sorry for the lack of activity lately. Work, trips and family are sometimes a lethal combination to maintain the blog alive. I have a good pipeline of posts pending including a very impressive Zulu War AAR, a new game of our Stalingrad campaign and our first blood experience with the Vietnam era rules Charlie Don't Surf. I hopefully progress with this over the next days

But the great news are that the very much anticipated new version of I Ain't Been Shot Mum is out for sale since Monday this week. I have the opportunity to read them quietly on Monday, as I had a long-haul trip to the States, and I can only say the Señor Clarke has excelled himself this time. The lay-out is superb and the new game mechanisms included (some of them widely tested in previous rules sets like Charlie Don't Surf, TWT or Sharp Practice) do really look good. This is not a simple revamp of the previous version written 10 years ago, but a complete new set of rules.

The other great piece of news is that Señores Clarke and Skinner (IABSM co-writers) had decided to embrace the new technologies and  have launched the first (at least to my knowledge) Ipad-based wargame rules version. I was not sure what to expect from this, but our Italian(-American?) Lardie friend Victor Cina (also one of my favourite bloggers) came to the rescue, posting this interesting video in Youtube today.

Are we reaching a new an inflection point in the wargames rule world? And is TFLsetting a trend here: a high-quality, affordable, and friendly-user product? Only time will tell, but in the meantime I advise you to both watch Victor's video and give a try to IABSM: perfect wargames happines is only 12 British pounds away in Ipad or pdf... can't find a better price/risk product combination around. 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Chuikov at Stalingrad: heroe or villain?

As some of you may know, since July I'm  playing an spectacular IIWW Stalingrad skirmish campaign with a group of club mates. A key source of personal information for the battle has been  Beevor's well-known and popular Stalingrad book which recreates the Soviet commanders as almost sadistic, forcing troops to make frontal attacks at the German machine guns, sometimes with their bare hands, as not enough rifles were available all the time... and "backed" by detachments of the NKVD who shot in the spot those who refuse to committ these suicidal attack.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Trench Raiders in the workbench

I decided to reduce my pile of lead figures and painted this week a group of British trench raiders that I bought from Renegade Miniatures last Spring. The minis are not as good as those produced by Great War Miniatures, but have some peronal character and I think they will look great when placed on the table.

Monday, 3 October 2011

I Ain't Been Shot Mum 3.0 about to land

It's not a secret that I'm a loyal fan of Rich Clarke's TooFatLardies rules sets ( only have to check the name of this blog...). But I'm specially excited with the news of the incoming arrival of IABSM 3.0, the new version of its company-sized WWII rules. A recent post in the TFL Blog and Sidney Roundwood's personal blog gives a good picture about the philosophy behind these rules and also (for the initiated) the changes coming in this updated release.

There's going to be a special edition in hardback, but as traditionally in the TFL factory you'll have the possibility of acquiring a not at all expensive copy in pdf. I can only say for those unfamiliar with TFL rules, try this one there's very little (economic) downside and a huge game experience upside.

Cross fingers, but next week we likely see the new baby finally born

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The End - Hitler's Germany 1944-45

Last night I finished reading Ian Kershaw's last work, "The End: Hitler's Germany 1944-45" and I can say that this will be an essential piece in my history library. A couple of warnings here: first, "The End"  is NOT a military history book, but a HISTORY book; and second, it is also a QUEST of the author to understand how and why Hitler's Germany still fought for over a year since D-Day landings and the victorious Soviet battles in the East in mid-1944, despite an overwhelming evidence that the war was lost.

With over 200 pages of back notes and bibliography, Ian Kershaw shows that he has digged deep in the question, having not merely copied-and-pasted previous published works of other authors but have started from scratch using the hard evidence and facts available in the existing contemporary documents.