Friday, 23 December 2011

"Passchendaele: the Bitter Victory" in the TooFatLardies Christmas Special 2011

A little bit of a blatant plug in this post, but I hope you’ll forgive me. For anyone wanting to know a little more about how my local wargames club went about wargaming Third Ypres and Passchendaele, I’ve written a couple of long-ish articles on the subject for the TooFatLardies Christmas Special 2011 which is published today by my good mates Richard Clarke and Nick Skinner.

The first article, “Passchendaele: the Bitter Victory” starts with looking at some of the challenges in attempting to recreate Third Ypres and Passchendaele through wargaming. I then try and cover the key themes of the campaign, including the evolution of small-unit tactics, the dominance of artillery, military technological developments which influenced the fighting and the critical factors of terrain and weather. The first article ends with the suggested “house rules” we have been working on for our games of “Through the Mud and the Blood” set in Third Ypres.

The second article, “In The Salient”, provides three scenarios. The first, "Gegenangriff", covers a German “spoiling attack” on hastily assembled British positions in late September 1917. The second, “Virtutis Gloria Merces”, follows the attack on Reutel village on 4 October 1917 in which Captain Clement Robertson of the Tank Corps was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The third scenario, “A spot where only Devils can reign” recreates the Canadian attack on Vine Cottage to the north-west of Passchendaele village on 6 November 1917.

The other contents of the TooFatLardies Christmas Special 2011 are as follows:

The sinking of the Konigsberg. A classic scenario for Bag the Hun

On Patrol. A complete pre-game patrol system for I Ain't Been Shot Mum

A Brief Affair by Charles Eckart of Colorado. Australian troops attack a German held Pacific Island in 1914 with Mud & Blood

An A to Z of Umpiring. Nick Skinner runs through the dos and don'ts of running games.

One off Battles for Let Feu Sacre. Kev Lowth of Hampshire rolls up some scenarios for a quick game

Green Hill Moonshine. Chris Stoesen of Georgia presents this fun scenario for Terrible Sharp Sword.

Deadly Pairs. A Bag the Hun scenario for Normandy 1944.

Passchendaele: the Bitter Victory … errr … as mentioned above

In the Salient. Three Scenarios for gaming Passchendaele with "Through the Mud and the Blood".

6mm LOVES IABSM. Mark Luther of Atlanta tells us why he believes 6mm to be the perfect scale for IABSM

Across the Nemen. Mark puts his money where his mouth is with this great Barbarossa scenario.

Messing Around with Boats. Brian Wethersby of Texas presents his thoughts on rating ships for Kiss Me Hardy.

Operation Charnwood. Capturing Caen. Richard Clarke’s background to this remarkably little gamed operation.

A Fresh & Highly Trained Instrument A complete Operation Charnwood mini-campaign for I Ain't Been Shot Mum.

The Capture of Akhalkalak Fortress: Chris Stoesen presents this scenario for Sharp Practice set on the borders of Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

Tom Ballou of Massachusetts gives us some alternative sniper rules for IABSM.

Bridge over the River Urk. Robert Avery of No Fixed Abode heads to the Eastern Front with a Partisan scenario for IABSM.

“The Roundwood Report”. Some more interrogation of Richard Clarke about some of the TooFatLardies’ products by some bloke who has a Blog

Get Fondler. With news of his brother’s death at the hands of a criminal gang, Richard Fondler heads for Gateshead in this gritty Sharp Practice scenario. Avoid tall buildings!

May Madness. Nick Skinner is Tail End Charlie with this scenario for Bag the Hun above the Dunkirk perimeter in 1940. Tally Ho!

I hope you’ll agree that’s a fairly chunky amount of information for the cover price of £6. Although I’m clearly not an impartial judge of TooFatLardies’ publications, I do think it’s good value and since not a penny, cent or euro of the proceeds are heading to Roundwood Towers, I feel I can honestly and with a good conscience tell you to go and buy a copy!

Observant followers of the Blog may realise there's an overlap with the mini-campaign we played at the start of December. There is, but fear not. I hope to have the Campaign Diaries on this Blog at some point over the Christmas and New Year period, together with some other loose ends I've been meaning to finish off.


  1. I will pick up a copy at some point and congrats in getting your fantastic campaign in print!
    Looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful stuff both in figures and written.


  2. Plug away my good fellow!! It sounds like an excellent read!!!!

  3. Just got mine yesterday, spending this 24 reading it. One of the best Specials ever in my view. Merry Xmas Sidney and the rest

  4. I will take the plunge and buy this xmas special.Great blog and very insperational, look forward to seeing more in 2012.

  5. Thanks everyone. I always feel pretty nervous about recommending things, especially if I’m anything to do with them! So, thanks for the very kind comments.

    @Christopher – Thanks very much Christopher. Much more to come in both regards!

    @Ray – that’s very kind, mate! Thanks very much

    @Captain Richard – and the very same to you, Sir!

    @Anibal – Thank you Benito. It turned out very differently from how I’d intended it, as you’ll see. I just hope you like it.

    @SilverWhistle – That’s really great, thank you. More of the 2012 plans tom come in a later post next week, but thanks very much for dropping by. You’re always very welcome!


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