Sunday, 15 June 2014

Operation Market Larden II, a day of lardie games in Evesham.

The second Market Larden games day has now been and gone and much fun was had by all.  Thanks to the Wyvern Wargamers for hosting us all again and thanks to all those who put on games for us to play.  There were some lovely looking games on again this year, with a range of options to cater for almost every taste.  I have added a few pictures from each of the games, more of the Benouville game put on by Ade that I played against Geoff of the demon dice.

Rich points out the finer details of the table
 First up was 28mm Chain of Command "Le Port" put on by Too Fat Lardies Rich Clarke.  British Paras against Germans, it looked and sounded like fun.  The scenery was excellent, even if it is in the wrong scale.  ;-)  There were rumours of an overly aggressive play by the Paras, who charged down the table and pinned the Germans into a quarter in the morning session, but Nathan "Charge, charge and Charge again" Goodyear(aka Stumpy) said this was just rumour mongering from the Germans.
Paras charge into the dastardly huns!
A closer look at the church.

Lovely scenery, with its own pool complex
Next up was a beautiful game of Through the Mud and the Blood by Sidney Roundwood.  The scenery and figures were all eyecatching and I almost wished I had put down to play it just because it looked so pretty.  Pingu played Gaston, the 'ero of Paris.  They held the town but lost the wood apparently, but who cares when it looks so good?

The nasty Huns advance in numbers

French defenders ready themselves

A river, a village, what more is needed?
Third table was "Saving Mrs Ryan", a Sharp Practice game by S. Walker set in the Indian Mutiny.  Yet another lovely looking game with lots of colonial infantry figures facing lots of rebellious native types.  No idea if Mrs Ryan was saved, but I hope she was.

Gallant redcoats advance down the road.

Napoleonics in the Spanish countryside
There was another Sharp Practice game, Napoleonic Peninsular this time, by J Ibbotson.  Again it looked very good and was certainly vocal in its support.  

Marders advance
Now a foray into the more modern era with a game of I 'aint been Nuked Mum by Nick Overland.  Lots of lovely Cold War kit on the table and it seemed to go well.
 Napoleonic naval also appeared, with Kiss Me Hardy run by Nick Skinner.  The ships were beautifully painted and rigged and the kalistra hexon islands looked good with their sandy shorelines.

The calm before the storm.
Loudest game of the day had to go to Omaha Beach I 'aint been Shot Mum by Mike Whittaker.  It seemed to be going well for the Allies as they broke through the wire, DD tank number 4 seemed to lead a charmed life as it shrugged of hits from all and sundry.
The defences are breached

Benouville in 15mm (The One True Scale)
Now we come to the games I played in personally.  In the morning session I was lucky enough to get the Benouville Chain of Command game put on by Ade Deacon.  I had the Germans of 21 Panzer Division, tasked with recapturing the buildings and driving the British Paras back.  My forces were reasonable, with a full platoon well supported by lightly armoured (wafer thin armour) halftracks.  My opponent was Geoff "Demon Dice" Bond, whose cheerful smile covered an unnatural ability to roll 9+ on 2d6 every time he fired a PIAT.
Geoff "Demon Dice" Bond and his patriotic shirt!

Germans advance on the left
The game went well initially, I pushed on with my plan to push up the left and outflank the British.  then a British section ran down the road on the right and, while it stood in the open, I just couldn't resist and attacked it with a 75mm pak halftrack and a full squad.  A couple of rounds firing saw the British wiped out, but at the cost of my junior leader.  Then the sneaky PIAT team used an ambush attack and damaged the halftrack too.  Meanwhile, as I pushed up the left flank with 2 squads and 2 halftracks, I came under sporadic but accurate sniper fire.  Bang, whizz, splat,  dead junior leader again.  It was looking good though, the British were down to 4 force morale and I was still on 6.

More appears on the left
So I advanced, and that bloody PIAT ambushed again and, despite being at extreme range and firing at an obscured target, the 2cm flak halftrack was taken out without firing a shot.  My force morale plummeted to 3 and things were looking bad.

Right flank target draws heavy fire
Then Geoff did it again, ambushing for a third time with his cursed PIAT and killing the previously damaged halftrack, taking my force morale down to 0 and winning the game for the British.  Every shot with the PIAT hit on a roll of 9 or more, every single shot.  Well played Geoff, well played.
The Germans push on through the orchards

The scenario was excellent, really difficult for both sides, but achievable.  Look for it in a future TFL special, I can recommend it, but only if the two players do not know what their opponent has in his force.

Thanks to Ade for all his work in setting the game up, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am now looking at getting the forces needed to put the game on myself.

Right flank adavnce

Another look at the table.

In the afternoon I played Tinstar, put on by Geoff.  His presence had totally knackered my dice rolling by now and I couldn't hit a barn door.  I fired 4 shots with a shotgun, which hits 5 out of 6 times.  I hit once.  Just once.  Nathan didn't do any better as he and Pingu traded misses with their rifles.  Unsurprisingly the evil sheriff managed to get his "witness" to the courthouse, but by then 5 out of 6 bandits were dead so it didn't really matter.  I enjoyed the game though and the changes to the system have improved it.  Keep up the good work Geoff.

And that's it.  After an early start, a drive up punctuated by 50mph average speed cameras and some good games with excellent company, we travelled home.  I have spent most of today recovering, but it was well worth it.  Put me down for next year Ade. 


  1. Great post, Jason, and some cracking photos! It was a great day, wasn't it!

    1. Thanks, it was a cracking day and I am already looking forwards to next years. Your game looked awesome.