Thursday, 9 June 2011

Too Fat Lardies Summer Special

I was really looking forward to the Toofatlardies Summer Special this year and I'm not disappointed. Not only does it feature an Eastern Front scenario for Bag the Hun and a whole riverine warfare supplement for Charlie Don't Surf, it also has a set of WW2 coastal warfare rules aptly titled Coastal Patrol.

This is a project that I've always wanted to dive into having played countless solo games of MTB, the old TTG card based ruleset, in my mis-spent youth. I've also enjoyed several games using Action Stations! at the club  over the last few years. However, despite a good stockpile of my own 1/600 scale models from Skytrex, PT Dockyard and good old Airfix, somehow I've never got round to starting my own set up.

One day I'll get my act together but, in the meantime, I've been reading through the rules and thinking about how they work. On the plus side, they use the established blind system as a very effective means of repilacating concealment reminding me of Bag The Hun but also Bulldogs Away!, which has a neat mechanism for radar detection.

The rules also emphasize the role of command decisions really well, through an initiative and order system based on a die roll at the start of each turn, modified by experience. This is  something which I think is missing from a lot of naval rules and would add a great roleplay element to the game. If you have read around the subject you'll recognise the significance of an indivudual commander's decision making based on a combination of skill, experience and luck, something that most rules seem to ignore.

There's also a clear and simple system for firing, which gives the option of individual fire or full broadsides, together with a comprehensive and realistic damage table to reflect the specific impact of enemy hits on the hull, superstructure, bridge and so on. There's also a very original random events chart to add some additional confusion to the already fairly chaotic proceedings.

I think they look like a very promising set of rules especially as they are bundled with the Summer Special which, at a measly fiver, is superb value for money and full of excellent material for a shedload of TFL rules.  

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