Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Steel Lard 2022

On Saturday fifty-odd wargamers (fifty odd wargamers?) gathered at Patriot Games in Sheffield for the third annual Steel Lard gaming day. We had twelve games in total from across the Too Fat Lardies catalogue. In no particular order:

Sidney Roundwood provided the smallest game with his The Lost Sword of Lord Akiyama. On a table only eighteen inches square, this game used Sid's own When the Last Sword is Drawn - a Lardy-style Samurai skirmish system. As usual with Sid's games, the presentation was excellent:

Thick as a Brick was Jeremy Short's game. Run using an adapted version of Dux Britanniarum, it featured Robin Hood, the Sherrif of Lardingham, Friar Tuck, and the minstrel  Jethro Tull. Jamie really enjoyed this game in the morning and I believe Friar Tuck was sent to meet his maker.

John Savage can always be relied upon to produce a good-looking and immersive game. This time it was The Sands of Shah Wadi Wadi, a Mahdist Revolt-themed game using the Sharp Practice rules with some adaptations to cope with repeating rifles and later-nineteenth-century tactics.

Also run using Sharp Practice was my own A Spy in the Suburbs the development of which you'll have seen documented here over recent months.  That this was the first running of the game with the intended Russian figures was due to the heroics of Richard Phillips, who got off his sickbed to drive them over the Peak District from Staffordshire. Richard, if you were a Hordes of the Things element you'd have a combat factor of +5 and would always count as mounted.

It was a tremendous pleasure to run the game with such enthusiastic players.

In two run-throughs, the French spy was captured by the Russians on the first occasion and managed to escape to the Prussian lines in the second game.

On the next door table I also "ran" A Bridge Too Far Up River, a Woebetides Sharp Practice scenario that had previously seen the light of day at Virtual Lard in July 2020. 

Originally Richard Clarke had been scheduled to run a Chain of Command game but recent health concerns led to him withdrawing. We decided to take advantage of Richard Phillips being semi-available (he and I were going to work together on the Riga game) and have him run a Woebetides Sharp Practice scenario of his own devising.

Unfortunately as we know, Richard P went the way of Richard C when he contracted a nasty gastro-bug from his grandchildren. Fortunately I'd already printed off the player briefings for the old scenario and put enough terrain in the car just in case.

Great honour is due to the allocated players who demonstrated good humour in running their own game as I was inevitably focussed on the more complex Riga game.

Jim Catchpole and Simon Mann in particular seemed to relish the opportunity to get to grips with learning Sharp Practice. Thanks guys!

If Sid's game was the smallest in the venue, Ken (Yarkshire Gamer) Reilly's game was definitely the biggest. Using the less-well-known If the Lord Spares Us First World War set, Ken ran the battle of Um At Tubul from the Mesopotamian campaign. This was a single game run throughout the day and seemed very popular with those involved.

Also in a Middle East setting was Graeme Atkinson's A Box Near Tobruk. This used Chain of Command rules and lovely terrain to simulate an Italian attack on a defensive position near that beleaguered North African city. 

Graeme's expert modelling captured the dry desert so well that it was like watching an episode of SAS: Rogue Heroes. I expected to hear the strains of AC/DC at any moment!

Meanwhile, back in the temperate north, Ken Welsh ran Mission to Croquette - another Sharp Practice game, this time set during the French and Indian Wars. 

I believe this may have been Ken's first time running a game at an event. If so he did a great job!

Alex Sotheran ran Up the Arras: Bloody April 1917. As the name suggests this was a First World War scenario, in this case using the Algy Pulls It Off variant of the Bag The Hun aerial dogfighting rules. 

Unfortunately unphotographed was Tom Davis's Havana Take Your Island. In my defence this game didn't actually involve anything to photograph. Set during the Seven Years War, this was a Kriegspiel - effectively a role-playing game - about British efforts to capture the island of Cuba from the Spanish. Tom spent most of the afternoon running about between multiple tables where different national command teams were based. I've had some really positive feedback on this one.

There were two more games that I'm afraid I didn't get pictures of as they were only run during the morning session and had been put away by the time I finished in Riga.

Charley Walker ran Red Hot Frigate Action off Le Coup de Cheveux, 1795. This was a Kiss Me Hardy game with Charley's really nice French Revolutionary War ships.

Finally, Mike Wilkins ran The Eagle Has Larded - a Chain Of Command game based roughly on the old TV series Allo Allo. Again, I didn't get to see this much but it was great that Mike stepped into the mix late on to allow some of the other games masters to spend some of the day playing rather than refereeing.

As a new venue for Steel Lard, Patriot Games was very well received. The gaming space is pretty much ideal, the in-house café is excellent, and the staff were uniformly terrific. Only the presence of on-site parking could have improved things and as we didn't have that at the previous venue we didn't miss it too much.

In the evening we enjoyed the traditional beer and curry. This may be the subject of work to improve next year's offer but it looks like I may be organising the event again in 2023!


Tales from Shed HQ said...

Always count as mounted eh? Sounds painful 🤣 Sorry I missed it but already planning for 2023. Great to see all the other tables, always superb tables at a Lardy event 👍

Steve J. said...

A fine bunch of games on show for sure and it seems everyone enjoyed themselves, which is of course the most important thing:).

Counterpane said...

The games were pretty much all lovely looking. Some talented people in the Lardie community.