Sunday, 15 June 2014

Operation Market Larden 2014 (part 1)

Yesterday, Wyvern Wargamers hosted gentlemen from all across the country for the second iteration of "Operation Market Larden", a celebration of all things Too Fat Lardies. Once again, the day offered a range of quite excellent participation games and the pleasurable company of like-minded fellows.

A relatively early start ensured there was enough time for a good long morning and afternoon session and Ade carefully marshalled/herded the 40-or-so of us into the games that they had signed up for. And what a range of games on offer, there was something for everyone (as long as you like Lard).

I was on hand to roll some dice with the camera in tow to catch the action, though sadly I didn't get photos of every game.

Saving Mrs Ryan - Sharp Practice in the Indian Mutiny - 28mm
(Simon Walker)

A quite exceptional board with beautifully painted miniatures and everyone involved seemed to be having fun, be they the British and their loyal subjects, the rebellious mutineers or local Badmash militia. I was quite jealous I didn't get to play this one!

Benouville - Chain of Command WWII - 15mm
(Ade Deacon, of Wyvern Wargamers)

Which you can read much more about on Ade's blog here. Ade put a phenomenal amount of effort in to properly research the engagement and terrain. Having had the good fortune of play-testing it through ,I can attest to it being great fun to play.

Bloody Omaha - I Aint Been Shot Mum WWII 15mm
(Mike Whitaker of Peterborough Wargames Club)

Huge table and daunting prospect for the Allies - but I hear they were succesful across the two sessions

Sharp Practice in the Peninsular - 28mm 
(J. Ibbotson)

Another lovely setup, with exceptionally painted miniatures and impressive Grand Manner buildings.

For my morning session, I had the pleasure of playing Rich Clarke's own Le Port scenario that he'd built for Salute 2014. Two German and two British players, umpired by Rich himself.

Le Port - Chain of Command WWII - 28mm 
(Richard Clarke)

Town's all quiet

German officer nips out for his morning bread

The scenario had my and Robert's Germans desperately trying to hold off the British paratroopers. Things looked pretty awful when the paras, played with elan, were close to overrunning the German jump-off points before our delayed troops had even trurned up! (for which a comedically bad series of Command rolls was blamed)

Paras make a long flanking maneuver around pastel pink cottage

With Rich's hasty *ahem*revision to the scenario, the Germans trickled onto the table just  in time to shore up their line and blunt the swarming paras' advance. We were able to build a numerical advantage on the German left flank to turn the Paras back.

Numerical advantage on the German left flank

On the right flank, commanded by myself, things were less rosy. With one jump-off taken uncontested, a hastily deployed section found itself pinned in beige-cottage-without-enough-windows by the Para fire support team. With the MG42 down, the remnants of the section cowered in the loft. The paras pushed into the ground floor and the game was up. but who am I to disregard a chance for a glorious but futile charge - three handgranaten down the stairs followed by a bloody assault. The result: merely an honourable end for the Germans, with a lone survivor surrendering to the paras that had survived the blasts. 

Less so on the right...

But the paras were held off for long enough - more German reinforcements pushed on to hold the line, with the Paras unable to sustain the fight. Apparently, we had done quite well to hold the line against such aggressively played paras. 

The battle for Le Port raged on into the afternoon session, with new players picking up a continuation of the scenario as the German counter-attack starts for real. Le Port seemed to be taking quite some damage in the heavy fighting, as evidenced by this dramatically blazing cottage:

I missed photos of:
Tin Star Gunfight (G. Bond)
The Bridge (N. Overland)
Kiss Me Hardy (N. Skinner)

And to sweeten the day, it has become tradition for Wyvern to lay on some Lardies-themed cupcakes - so impressively decorated and tasty to boot! 

Rich Clarke appears entirely disinterested in Ade's cupcakes offerings

As the gaming wound down to a close, the attendees found their way into Evesham for a few beers and a curry - a fine way to end a hard day's gaming. Thanks again to Ade and the rest for putting on such a smashing day. Roll on OML3 next year!

Update: Part 2 now up


  1. Top stuff. Really enjoyed meeting up with you. Tim

  2. That looks like a wonderful day out, particularly taken by that Indian Mutiny board though.

    1. It was most excellent - really classy board

  3. Beautiful pictures, these tables are splendid!

  4. Thanks for that, though I thought there were far better looking tables than mine there! Did I mention I'm looking at expanding the WW Zulu war adaptations to include a bit more 'chrome' and then extend the rules to cover Sudan etc - anyone interested in "Sharp Assegai" next time around?


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