Saturday, June 20, 2009

Troops, Weapons and Tactics

For a while now Nuts! from Two Hour Wargames has been my rules of choice when it comes to platoon level skirmish games, and they still are. But what I'm finding is that the scale of the games keep growing and growing as I paint more of my slowly diminishing lead mountain. Nuts! plays nice and fast with around a platoon a side but can get very dice heavy with more squads, especially of there is a situation where a lot of units converge. I know there are option rules that allow for insight tests to be made at a group level but an all or none pass feels a little awkward compared to how well the smaller games flow. So I think Nuts! is best suited for the smaller games, maybe a platoon and a couple support options each.

For the really big games I have I Ain't Been Shot Mum (IABSM) which is a company level game but can be used for smaller engagements with no changes to the rules. The effect of this is roughly the same as the streamlined Nuts! system. Combat is over quickly and the action feels very stop-start, IABSM really needs a few figures on the table to flow well.

The answer, I'm hopeful, comes in the form of Too Fat Lardie's Troops, Weapons and Tactics (TW&T).

TW&T originated from the IABSM ruleset and even refers to itself as "Son of IABSM". The rules are similar and anyone who has played IABSM will feel right at home with TW&T. The structure of the game is pretty much the same:
  • Card based activation system.
  • Initiative dice are used to perform actions such as spotting or shooting.
  • Command and control is implemented by the use of "big men".

Where the two systems differ actually can make a big difference to how you play the game. The biggest change I can see is that in TW&T a unit can only move if ordered to do so by a big man. Units using their unit initiative dice can only spot, take cover or fire. That is fantastic, I can see this causing players to really think their tactics through. Yeah sure you can just put the Lieutenant with a couple fire teams and send them off down the table but you had better look after him or you could find your troops hunkered down waiting for orders.

The rest of the rules look similar to what I've seen in the IABSM rulebook but I'm sure Rich and the guys at Lard Island have a few surprise nuances thrown in there that I haven't seen yet. At £10 it's one of the more expensive rulesets from the Lardies but it's worth every penny... I mean cent.

Like most (all?) of the Too Fat Lardies games TW&T uses a card based activation system. I've mentioned before in discussions about Bag the Hun that I hated the idea but loved the implementation. What can make or break the game though is the cards themselves. To keep the game going nice and smoothly you either need to memorise the rulebook or put the rules on the cards (or at least have page references on the cards).

I had a lot of fun making the cards for Bag the Hun so I'm taking my time with these ones and I'm trying to make something that is functional yet has that wow factor. So far I'm very happy with the results. I'll post the complete set here once I've got them all finished.


  1. Hi i'm french. I'm very interested in this game, but What about the cards you made for this game ? Are they available ? thanks....

  2. They're available now, I've just posted them. Sorry they're not a complete set but I've uploaded the Published document I've used to create them so you should be able to fill any gaps you need filling.


  3. ok, i just downloaded your carts ! they are very nice !
    Now i must buy this rule !

    thank you very much !!!!!!!!!! :)

  4. I don't own Publisher. Any chance you might fix the German sniper card and also do Axis Big Men?