An introduction to LotF

How soon another month has passed. Crisis 2015 has happened, and what a great day it was for my American War of Independence project. Not only did I manage to pick up Tarleton’s troopers and the two battalions of the 71st Highlanders, my contribution to the great Dutch Miniature Wargamers event coming in august 2016, I also almost managed to bankrupt myself on additional troops and scenery. What use is a budget if you do not even intend to keep it (propaganda purposes? Ed.)? Suffice to say I enjoyed myself thoroughly that day.

With the acquisition of the models comes the obligatory cleaning. Is there no other way for the Perry’s to package their armies than in filter wool? That stuff just will not part with the miniature somehow! Being in the process of converting Games Workshop’s Empire spearmen into Imperial Landsknecht pikemen, the miniatures haven’t been based yet. But they have been unpacked, cleaned of filter wool and flash and are waiting for the first basecoat. As Jasper Leenarts mentioned, weather has been dreadful in the Low Countries lately and given the fact that there were also other obligations, this is as far as I have been able to get.

Speaking of other obligations, Saturday November 21st 2015, Dutch wargamers came together in Zutphen at Karwansaray HQ for the almost bimonthly WgBmS event. That is the WargamesBiertje met Spel (“Wargames Beer & Game”). A tradition now two years in the making, it involves grown men pushing around miniatures, who also do a lot of chatting while playing these games, food and drink are there in abundance and it is all topped off by the now legendary cooking of Christy Beall. Thanks again!

It was here I was introduced to the Land of the Free rules by Joe Krone. Jasper and Patrick consider themselves experts (Hah! Ed) as they had read the rules, Patrick claims he did so twice. Although few things actually stuck… Jurgen and myself had read the rules only once so were complete novices. We managed to play two rounds in the course of three hours which is not that much, but considering the atmosphere described above, one can understand there were other distractions as well. Apart from having to learn the set and having to unlearn other sets. ‘Three moves?’ ‘No, that’s Black Powder!’ ‘Oh, sorry.’ 

In this game, I liked the idea of spending points for firing and reloading as separate activations. That gives the player some tactical choices of whether to advance, fire or defend per battalion and can be lethal if combined with other battalions in your brigade. But it also means one has to keep track of wounds, disorders and stored activation points. This will inevitably mean dragging multiple counters around the field with you. And that, to quote a famous rules writer ‘has a whiff of accountancy’…

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