Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Fat Lardies go to Lebanon, 15mm IDF vs PLO

      Pat hosted a game last weekend of PLO vs IDF using Two Fat Lardies "Rock the Casbah" rules; these are clones of the TWaT and B'Maso rules tailored for use in games reflecting the conflict in the Holy Land. 
     The scenario was straightforward; the IDF needed to get off the other end of the table as fast as was feasible whilst suffering as little casualties as possible. The IDF troops are part of a deep penetration force trying to cut off retreating PLO forces. The PLO force is a scratch force thrown together to delay the IDF as long as they can to allow their compatriots to escape the pincer movement. The PLO have no heavy weapons and only intermittent mortar support, the IDF is an entirely motorised and armored force with helicopter gunship support.

    Here we see the table as veiwed by the IDF players, the narrow road runs between the citrus orchards that are such a common feature of the south of Lebanon, the orchards are divided by high stone walls that are too tall for a man to see over and even pose a significant obstacle to tracked vehicles. Click on the photos for a larger view.

     This is the scene from the PLO perspective, a couple of good choke-points but the lack of heavy weapons means the fight will be up-close and bloody, not a PLO speciality. The IDF has good troops that are well-led and mounted in armored vehicles, they are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. The PLO has five units, four of them assault rifle and RPG armed the last is an LMG. The real crippling factor is the shortage of leaders on the PLO side.

    The PLO placed their dummy blinds so as to make the IDF players expect an immediate ambush from both sides of the road, hoping to make them deploy and move with caution. The real units were marked as hidden and placed further from the road so as to be able to react the the IDF deployment. The two pre-registered aiming points for the mortars were placed on the road to create a "box" with dreams of trapping the IDF between them, little did they know just how sporadic the mortar support would be. As usual, Pat put together a fine looking table. I particularly like the walled compound at the northern end of the table.

     To the surprise and consternation of the PLO team the IDF players promptly spread out from their entry point and deployed using blinds of their own (spotting is difficult for crappy troops like PLO so they faced a situation of being on the defensive but operating blind at the same time). Fortunately for the PLO they rolled well and spotted a Zelda on the road from the RPG team at the far end of the table. Using the tried and true WTF method of reasoning they decided to open fire at extreme range in the hope of hitting the Zelda before it had a chance to open fire. To everyone's shock the round struck home and damaged the Zelda and wounded some of the crew (wounds in Rock the Casbah act as supression or disorder points, they reduce the effectiveness of the unit until they are removed).

looking south at the target of the RPG shot,
note the IDF blinds moving east through the orchards
 and the PLO blinds hunkered down on the near side of the walls

     The random unit movement that is the core of the game now granted the PLO all the dreams they ever wanted and allowed them to fire again at the newly spotted M-60 tank; an even more difficult roll was quickly passed and the tank took minor damage. Much cheering was heard from the PLO camp.

you just know it is going to be "one of those days"

     This to be quickly followed by even more rejoicing as the hidden unit nearest the south end of the table was nearly run over by a Zelda moving as a blind (this vehicle was unable to react as it had used all of it "activation points" rushing to its location) they spotted the moving vehicle at point-blank range easily enough and fired an RPG at it.  As luck would have it the projectile struck the Zelda damaging the top-deck LMGs, stripping the vehicle of its on-board firepower. Happily for the IDF the troops inside escaped unscathed, they promptly dismounted and hammered the PLO squad with small-arms fire.

what price glory?

that price glory!
all but one PLO has fallen

     As the IDF continued moving down the road the stunningly lucky RPG team at the north end of the table decided to stretch the credibility of random probability and take yet another shot at the IDF armor. A new Zelda had taken over the point position and was thus selected as the target. The Zelda crew had saved an activation point to employ their smoke cannisters just in case they were fired upon, this allowed them to "pop smoke" when they saw the RPG team lining up their shot (the rules allow troops to "save" any or all of their activation points to use to interrupt later enemy actions - a sort of overwatch stance). It did them little good as the RPG team rolled a pair of sixes and another shell slammed home against the luckless IDF armor force. This caused but nominal damage. The thoroughly angered IDF forces finally had an opportunity to open fire on the pesky RPG firing squad which was quickly reduced to a lone figure.

   Not to be put off by some rag-tag troops firing missiles at them the IDF doggedly mopped up the hidden unit in the orchard and then proceeded down the road. Along the way they revealed the blinds as dummies and thus were freed from the threat of more RPG attacks, or so they thought. As they pressed northward they encountered the two hidden units west of the road, these disclosed their positions by firing the ever-present RPG at the two lead Zeldas, destroying one and damaging another. This caused the crews to dismount and open fire on the PLO squads. The tank joined in and the losses mounted against the PLO. The PLO had finally gotten mortars and had used them to drop smoke at the northern aming point to cover the retreat of the remains of the improbable RPG team and to allow the LMG team to move to the walled compound.

even the tank joined in the hammering of the no-longer hidden PLO

another RPG damages the tank

 the IDF infantry swiftly took revenge

     The PLO ambush teams survived long enough to get a second chance at firing their RPG and this time damaged the tanks main gun. In retribution the IDF infantry team demolished the remaining PLO troops. The PLO mortars ranged in with HE only to find that it had no effect on the tracks, it did manage to hit a few of the IDF grunts to no great effect. One Zelda swept through the now vacant eastern orchard while the others on the road recuperated and rearranged troops into the remaining runners.

the LMG team impotently watches the Zelda sweep the eastern orchard

     With their troop-loads now sorted out the IDF again moved forward only to find that the PLO had brought on new squads, one had snuck into the walled compound (just in time to see the eastern orchard Zelda scoot past and off toward the north) and another hot-footing it in from the south. Pressed from both the north and south and being pounded by mortar rounds the IDF remembered their mission and again began moving northward. The platoon commander leading from atop his APC (there was not enough room to load everyone inside the two remaining APCs so he chose to do the heroic thing and take the position of greatest risk). Fire was exchanged between the PLO in the compound and the passing IDF armor, but the gods of random chance decided to even the odds and the PLO scored no more hits. As the IDF raced northward the helicopter support showed up and took the compound under fire.

Zeldas racing northward to close the pincer

A Cobra gunship takes the compound under fire

     This was another fun game that explored another dimension of the Two Fat Lardies game system. I am interested in playing a WWII skirmish game involving US Marines vs Japanese troops in the island-hopping campaign of the Pacific war. The blinds, hidden movement and random order of movement seem to create the uncontrolled nature of skirmish conflict.

     Thanks again Pat!


  1. yes, this last saturday's game was rather enjoyable, even though all i was really able to do was look cool while giving the plo the finger from atop my 113. damn you useless tank. anyway, that *ahem* "forced" me to buy the rules, along with another set, and i kinda like them. I am currently attempting to effect some approximation of "painting" on my 15mm Germans as SS, and i have some Brits to paint up so we can try ww2. Of course, i would be much farther along had i remembered that the SS has a different squad structure than Heer Grenadiers when i was basecoating them. since between you and Mike we have all the FOW stuff ever, i am going to do mine up for skirmish. I am figuring a sweep and clear action with the British having the ultimate objective of an 88 battery at the far end of the table that is holding up some American armor. thoughts?


  2. oh, and BTW. the TW&T rules are set up for 28mm of since it works for 15mm then there is no reason that 20's wont work if you have some for that pacific idea.


  3. Okay what would the Japs vs good old U.S.A scale be?? 15mm, 28mm or larger. I got a ton of WW2 krauts, brit, russian and Americans in 28mm. Same goes of 20mm.. I found my old Close Quarters game from Yaquntio that I got when we worked at the Squad shop. These rules cover weapon failures and other stuff.


  4. I have a ton of 20mm single-based and painted, with vehicles and everything readu to go. I would just need a little guidance as to stats and such and we would be ready to go.....


  5. Stats? John, if you want stats, I have the IABSM Supplement for it. It might take a little conversion, but email me what you need and I can get you what you need.

  6. I need to look into how they assign armor values and troops morale, the Japanese tanks would all probably be the very lowest in armor value and the guns are pretty crappy as well.

    The troops would be very tough on defense, largely willing to die in place but often it seems that their command and control were deficient. I'm not sure how you could model that using this game system.

    Jap small arms were pretty much a full order of magnitude behind their US equivalent so that will take some careful balancing......

  7. Gary, I had completely forgotten about Close Quarters, I played many a game of that back in the day, it is a much finer level of granularity than the Two Fat Lardies systems but fun all the same.

  8. Joe,

    I think you will need to paint a lot of Brits; they dropped like flies in reality and these rules are tough on troops moving in the open (heck, they are tough on troops moving in cover). The blinds system could make it a real pain in the ass for the Brits to use their powerful artillery as the Krauts could keep backing off and going "invisible" and then relocating. Sounds like fun - mostly for the Krauts.

    I will offer to lead the Brits (I am never upset by Brits getting a pasting).

  9. Just dug out the rule " Close Assault". Wow the basic rule is 4 pages. Advanced rule are fifteen to include armor. The forces covered are the Brits, French, Germans, Russian and US. I even have the individual soldier stat sheets for the squads. Each GI has a speed or movement from 3 to 5. Basically a fat guy can only move at a speed of 3 and the super guys at 5. Will try to scan and send them to you.

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  11. OOPS here is move gorund scale is 5yds per hex.
    More info John

    movement would be 15 to 25 yards for a GI.

    Here are to links to copy and paste>

  12. John,
    Just get a breakdown of the orgs from team to platoon and i will bring the rules tomorrow and we can work it out. not too difficult and most is rather generic. CinC issues are just giving them fewer big men really. this allows the Americans the opportunity morale is really just how many wound markers a unit can have before it is forced to withdraw. as far as weapons would go, the way the rules are set up would need a tweak or 2. i guess just make the BAR better. Armor is just a number of dice rolled aginst your opponents number of weapon dice and count the opposed number of successes. we can iron it out tomorrow, takes no time at all. troop quality is a graded system from green through average to elite.

    as for the WW2 senario, i have the battlefront late war British Rifle Company box, which i can paint all of them and we have Shermans and Cromwells and all that other stuff so we should be good. i am thinking brits get the whole box, at an average rating, with some American Shermans coming on at a later turn in support, plus some 4.2 or 25pdr. on the german side, 1 SS platoon sized company remnant (2 or 3 squads), at elite, with some nick nacks like a mortar or HMG or Sniper or somthing plus 1 88, and perhaps a puma or something. can iron that out after i get stuff painted.

    also painting up some B'Maso era Americans as the 82nd Airborne to use as an intervention force. thinking that if i can get them done this week we could play it on saturday if no one else has an plan. this time thinking a paradrop on the airport and forcing the locals out so that they can establish a F.O.B.

    just some ideas, thoughts anyone?


  13. Joe,

    The big problem that I see is that wounds reduce a units effectiveness, the Japs fully expected to die and were little concerned of incoming fire (or at least that is what our guys thought, most of the Japanese troops died so it is hard to get their perspective) I was thinking that perhaps they could just ignore every other wound.......probably best to play a scenario or two with the rules "straight" before we start monkeying around with them. I don't know what the effect of earthworks and pillboxes have on hitting the target, that may be enough all on its own.


    Cool, I can't get onto the websites; something about a server migration (and I thought only birds migrated) I will try back later, I would greatly appreciate a scan of the rules if you can get one.


  14. Great post. Glad to see Rock the Casbah being played.