Sunday, 23 September 2012

Toofatlardies on facebook

What I forgot to say just now is that you can now connect with Toofatlardies on facebook. Just search on facebook for Toofatlardies and you should find us - or try this link .

And don't forget that you can also keep up with the latest news from Lard Island on the very popular Lard Island Blog (which is updated much more often that this one!) as well as following Richard on Twitter @Toofatlardies

Never a day need go by that you don't get some dose of Lard.

It's been a while

Oh yes, it's certainly been a while. Over the last year or so our efforts at Lard island have been focussed on bring out a number of new rule sets, with the consequence that there has been far too little time for playing Bag The Hun. I'm really hopeful that with the dust now settling over the very well received Dux Britanniarum that we will be able to find time to take to the skies once more.

And it's time we did.

That's not to say that BTH has been completely neglected. We have been able to keep a constant presence in Toofatlardies specials - and hopefully anyone wanting to game without hexes can take advantage of the hexless options for BTH that were suggested in the 2012 Summer Special.

And I think too that there are some nice new toys out there which it would be nice to take a look at. SO as the autumn rain splashes down on the roof of the Lard Island gazebo, I find myself hoping that the onset of darker, shorter evenings will bring out more time to scramble a few missions of BTH.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


The current edition of BATTLEGAMES magazine
( includes a well constructed piece by Tim Beresford on BTH2 which covers a review of the rules and two scenarios for the Battle of Britain. As the c lassical conflict that inspired BTH this is a great choice and I enjoyed the possibilities that Tim's scenarios provided - especially his inclusion of some 'flaming onions'.

This edition of the magazine also includes two obituaries to Paddy Griffith (one by my fellow Lardy Richard Clarke). Paddy was an inspiration to many wargamers of my generation, and I was lucky enough to help Paddy out, acting as Air Umpire in the three Duxford Kreigsspiels that Paddy ran during 2009/2010. These were great fun and gave me a chance to meet and work with the great man himself. It was a delight to see him in action - and somewhat of an eye opener! As chance would have it, this edition of Battlegames also offers a write up of the last one of these Duxford games, Weseruberung (The Invasion of Norway in 1940), that we played in May of this year*.

If you don't already subscribe to Henry Hyde's gem of a magazine then now is the perfect time to make amends.

*at the time of his death Paddy was working on an invasion of Malta game. This game will go ahead as planned at Duxford in October,as a tribute to Paddy. Places on the game are still available (book via Duxford).

Monday, 6 September 2010

Nothing beats the real thing

Anyone seen Johnny?

Playing with 1/600th scale toys is one thing, but a day out at the Duxford's Battle of Britain Airshow to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain proves that you cannot beat the real thing.

I knew I was in for a good day when I got out of the car and found myself standing next to Johnny Danger himself. Yep, there was a fellow climbing out of a Ford Fiesta kitted out head to toe in the blue uniform, flying hat, flying boots and even squadron leader rank insignia to boot. As I found out later there were lots of renactors on site, staging Ops Briefings, sitting around in deck chairs, drinking tea and chatting up WAAFs with the same aplomb as was attempted seventy years ago.

There were plenty of other attractions too. My son headed straight for the Parachute Regiment Jump tower where he was kitted out by a moustachioed scouser (are there any other types?) and proceded to calmly step off a boody great tower in a fashion that John Frost would be proud off. I decided against it, opting instead to try an even more tricky manoeuvre at the Bacon Butty stall next door.

The Airfix tent provided great amusement, not only were they selling models hand over fist, but eager boys and their dads could sit at paste tables and make them on the the spot. What really made me laugh was the overpowering aroma of polystyrene cement and had anyone lit up a smoke inside that tent I am sure the whole airfield would have gone sky high!

The show was opened in some style by the Red Arrows, though sadly they were a man down after one of their fellows pulled out with engine problems, but the remaining eight put on a show tha had my son hooked from the moment they turned on their red, white and blue smoke. We also say some stunning displays of aerobatics from 1930's biplanes, Belgian Air Force F16 and even an RAF Eurofighter Typhoon, which nearly blew my eardrums out. Stunning though it was, I have to say I was rather concerned at such high speed and powerful aircraft attempting twists, turns and rolls so close to the ground.

Noisy Bastard

But the highlight was still to come. First, europes only flying B17, the Sally B, swooned us with some graceful circuits (after the F16 I was amazed at how quite and graceful the Fortress appeared) and she was followed by the heartwarming sight of the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - a Lancaster in company with a Hurricane and Spitfire in close formation. I have seen this trio before and they always tug my heartstrings. Soon after, a Bf109 Bouchon (one of those used in the Battle of Britain film) took to the skies to be pursued by a finger four of Hurricanes. Now I am no girlie, but I have to confess that the sight of that finger four as it flew across the airfield put a tear in my eye. It was an evocative moment, made more so for me I think because the Hurricanes were all in a similar paint scheme, making it plausible that what you were looking at was a genuine section formation going into action (one of the Hurricanes taking part was a real BoB veteran). The loops, rolls circuits and skills that those five aircraft showed us truly demonstrated the grace and power of these veteran machines.

Bf109 Bouchon in 'Battle of Britain' Film colours (Yellow 10)

A stately fly by of RAF Hawks from No19 Squadron in a 'missing man' formation marked the start of a very well observed one minute silence from Duxford's biggest ever crowd (they had to close the gates with many still outside) and was followed by what the organisers had saved as their crowning moment: The 'scrambled' take off and fly by of sixteen Spitfires.

Dakka Dakka Dakka

This Spitfire fly past and display of sheer elegance and power was a truly breathtaking event that even awed my wife into silence. The sight and sound of those amazing aircraft will stay with me for a long time. I have seen plenty of Spits before, but never in this number. Watching them peel off for their individual runs across the display line was a delight. My kids, even the girls who had been playing cards ten minutes before, were spellbound by the beauty of their aerobatics, and for ten minutes the airfield was buzzed by Spits coming in for low passes from all angles. Never mind the X-Factor, if you ever wanted to see something truly spectular, this was it.
Stirring Stuff
There were many variants on display, including a SeaFire and a few dual canopy spits used for flying experiences, but the overall effect was phenomenal (have I said that enough?). Some people on the ground started to applaud, but that was bearly audible above the purr of the engines as the aircraft flew by.

Finally, and a full four and a half hours after the arrival of the Red Arrows to open the show, the finale was provided by the impressive Alpha jets of the Patrouille de France, resplendent in their red, white and blue, and we all went home happy, having had a great family day out for £50.

This was the Imperial War Museum's flagship event marking the events of that Spitfire Summer of 1940, and it did not disappoint. True to it's billing the show provided a fantastic day out, with trade shows and activities galore for all the family (but interestingly - no wargaming presence). Duxford looked superb, and seldom could there have been a more satisfying display of aerial entertainment or a more fitting tribute by the many, to The Few.I sank a few bottles in the mess that night as a kind of private tribute.

Mon Dieu! C'est la Patrouille de France

So well done to the guys at Duxford for organising such a fantastic event. I have stuck some images with this post, but the truth is that my skills in photographing even the slowest moving of aircraft serves testament to the fact that I would never, ever, have made it as an Air Gunner.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Lardy TV

Well done to Rich "Kriegs-Spielberg" Clarke on the tutorial videos for 'Sharp Practice' rules that now been loaded up to You Tube. In the three short films Big Rich and the debonair Sir Sidney Roundwood demonstrate the key mechanisms in this increasingly popular rule set. Just go to or head off to youtube and search on toofatlardies.

A similar film on Bag The Hun is already in the pipeline and casting begins soon.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Battle of Britain Week

The BBC is running a short series of what I assume are five reports on the Battle of Britain. The first is about four minutes long and can be heard online at

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Lard Island News

The latest updates to Lard Island News includes an interview with yours truly on BTH2. Read it at

Saturday, 13 February 2010

BTH2 is now available.

With the print version of BTH2 due for released on 22nd Feb Big Rich is now taking advance orders for BTH2 on The 78 page perfect bound hardcopy will set you back a competitive £15 with PDF at £9.

Rich is alo offering etched plastic 'bogeys' for just £5 a bag.

Get an independent initial view of the rules from Timbo here:

Dakka Dakka Dakka

Monday, 25 January 2010

New Cover Image

Thought you might like to see the new cover image for BTH, a style that will be familiar to those who spent their pocket money on Commando comic books.
Dakka Dakka Dakka

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Modelling Malan's First Rule

One of the changes we made late in the day in BTH2 relates to firing...gone are bursts of various seconds duration. Instead we have four options when firing. These are scientifically titled "Squirt", "Short Burst" "Burst" and "Long Burst", phrases that meant something to those whose whose actions we recreate. Longer bursts may make a hit more likely, but they can be wasteful on ammo (and are impossible at some angles of deflection anyway).

We settled on this reclassification as we felt it a little unrealistic that players always know exactly how much ammo they have remaining. By using these generic terms we were able to stop players becoming accountants rather than pilots. Instead, we use a cumulative totalling of the number of 1's thrown when firing to dictate when the ammo runs out. Thereby, once the fight gets going, you are never quite sure when the sound of guns pumping will be replaced by the dreaded out-of-ammo 'click' (although you will know when you are getting low). We found this added atmosphere to the game and gave players more to think about, making them more inclined to fire in shorter bursts.

This is in keeping with Sailor Malan's first rule of aerial combat:

"Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 seconds and only when your sights are definitely 'ON'"