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"They Couldn't Hit an Elephant" Topic

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2,926 hits since 30 Nov 2008
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Anemaat Inactive Member30 Nov 2008 7:05 a.m. PST

"They Couldn't Hit an Elephant at this distance" were the last words of Federal general John Sedgwick, seconds before he was morally wounded.

Now TCHaE is also a miniatures system from Too Fat Lardies dealing with the ACW. If I am right it will be released this week and I am curious. However there is no additional information?

Therefore I have the folowing questions:
* For which miniatures scale? Is 15mm ok?
* For which base sizes? Which are recommended?
* Which level does it play? Brigade level if I am right!
* How does it compare with Fire & Fury?
* More information about the game system, please? How goes the sequence of play for instance?
* TFL call it a fresh approach. What does this mean?
* How many stands and which types are required for a decent play?

Maybe the designers or playtesters or someone else could provide me with the answers? For some reason I fell attracted to pick this system up.

Dave Gamer Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2008 1:47 p.m. PST

From the posts on the Yahoo! group:

1) Yes, 15mm

2) Didn't say. I believe TCHED is based on their Napolenic rules which use 3 figures per base. The # of figures on a base is irrelevant as losses are taken in stands.

3) 1 base = 100 men, One unit is a regiment (battalion)

4&5&6) If it works like their Napoleonic rules, you pick cards to determine what Brigade moves next. Brigades are given orders and must follow those orders until changed. Units start the game as "blinds" (you put a 6" cardboard rectangle on the table for each brigade plus a couple of "dummies"). There's usually a "tea break" card in the deck which causes the deck to be reshuffled – so some brigades might not move. The Napoleonic rules are for fighting large battles on the tabletop but still representing the battalions on the table.

rmcaras Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2008 2:27 p.m. PST

"morally wounded"…they hurt his feelings?

Anemaat Inactive Member30 Nov 2008 3:12 p.m. PST

What a spelling mistake! Oh boy!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2008 5:25 p.m. PST

"morally wounded"…they hurt his feelings?

Yep. 'Cause they made a liar out of him.
evil grin

nsolomon9930 Nov 2008 6:56 p.m. PST

Hey Anemaat, I love the slip – "morally wounded", that one is gonna get recorded and re-used. Great option on an officer casualty table!! I love it. LOL.

Seriously though, one small correction to Dave Gamer's description – the Tea Break card is from the TFL rules family with origins in the WW2 IABSM rules. Currently in LFS there is no Tea Break card and the deck (bag of marked poker chips for me) is re-shuffled only once all have been drawn.

Of course it may be different for TCHAE but it isn't out yet – my PDF copy is on schedule for the main release on Wednesday.

BrianW30 Nov 2008 8:12 p.m. PST

One addition to what Dave Gamer said, and this is also gleaned from the yahoo list:
The game will be playable at two levels of command. At the lower level a stand is 100 men and the basic unit is a battalion/regiment. At the upper level, a stand is 200 men and the basic unit is a brigade.

Like nsolomon99, I have a PDF pre-ordered for Wednesday. I've been looking forward to this since JR 3 proved to be a disappointment compared to JR2.

vtsaogames30 Nov 2008 9:00 p.m. PST

The game will work with Fire & Fury basing – or pretty much any basing as long as both sides use the same scheme. It is a relative of the TFL rules Le Feu Sacre, so it has card-based activation and hidden movement with blinds.

If you are using regiments as basic units, figure on having a division on each side. If brigades are your basic units figure a corps per side.

The game mixes some IABSM concepts in with LFS. I await my copy in the mail.

Personal logo toofatlardies Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Dec 2008 12:48 a.m. PST

Hi Anematt

Sorry for the delay in replying, we were running a big Games Day yesterday so I missed your post.

I'll answer your questions one at a time.

* For which miniatures scale? Is 15mm ok?

Any that you like, 15m is fine, and the one we use as a norm.

* For which base sizes? Which are recommended?

Any base systems will work, however we use 1" square bases with four 15mm figures, for 28mm we reccomend using 40mm square bases. There are instructions in the rules for using any other basing systems you prefer.

* Which level does it play? Brigade level if I am right!

The rules have two levels, you can fight with the Regiment or the Brigade as the smallest unit. So in the former you'll probably play games with a Division or Corps sized force, with the latter a Corps or Army.

* How does it compare with Fire & Fury?

I'm not sure, I have not played Fire & Fury, however am just the publisher, I'll ask the author, he may well know.

* More information about the game system, please? How goes the sequence of play for instance?

The turn sequence is card driven, so each commander has a card in the game deck and he takes his turn when his card comes up. Depending on his quality he will have a certain number of command points (variable by dice roll) to use in that turn. Easy things take few command points, more complex things take more points.

* TFL call it a fresh approach. What does this mean?

Did we? I can't recall saying that, however I hope it is a fresh approach in that it is not just a rehash of previous ACW rules. As a basic model we have taken our popular Le Feu Sacre rules and developed the system from there. That said there are significant differences from LFS, TCHAE has ranged fire for infantry for example.

* How many stands and which types are required for a decent play?

Well, an average units (be that regiment or Brigade) would be four or five bases in size, so expand that up from there for whatever size battle you fancy running.

Hope that helps.



Anemaat Inactive Member01 Dec 2008 2:03 a.m. PST

That'll do, Richard. Thanks for your answers. It sounds like a decent system to me. I'm thinking about picking it up, after painting my last 100 figures.

I regard your game as a real 2-player system, since there will be downtime for the others, when one at the time is moving.

Personal logo toofatlardies Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Dec 2008 2:47 a.m. PST


My pleasure.

The rules are designed to play quickly, each scale ten minute turn should, with a couple of games under your belt, take no more than ten minutes of real time, so there will be less down time than many "IGOUGO" rule systems.

We certainly play with half a dozen or more players without problem.



TheRugdoctor2003 Inactive Member01 Dec 2008 2:29 p.m. PST

"How does it compare to Fire and Fury?"

I would say "They Couldn't Hit an Elephant" complements F&F- so you should own both :-)

TCHAE at the regimental level allows you to focus more on the individuality of each regiment (training, character, armament, leaders). For both regimental and brigade level there is a strong focus on command and control, plus battlefield friction. There is more scope for plans to go wrong, and for you to mitigate that by judicious use of your commanders.

A similarity with F&F is the fast play of the combat mechanisms. And I should mention that TCHAE were developed with figures based as for F&F.

Hope that helps,

Shootmenow Inactive Member06 Dec 2008 12:04 p.m. PST

Anyone played these rules yet and prepared to write a report on how they play please? I'm tempted but I haven't played any of the TFL rules and if they are really different i'd like to read a bit more about them in action if possible.

NoLongerAMember Inactive Member08 Dec 2008 2:44 p.m. PST

I have the rules and while I haven't dine a full on battle I have played some small actions to get to grips with them.

They are rules that benefit a commander with a plan, just reacting will soon find you out of command Pips and praying.

The rules seem to play fast, but I am used to the TFL card and blinds system, so it might take a game or two to get used to it.

Most fun in the game is the fact that card driven system adds a degree of chaos to the game, so while you need a strong plan, it can all be out of your hands at times.

mollinary05 Jan 2009 4:54 a.m. PST

I got these rules over Christmas, and confess I was confused by the card driven element. As no cards were provided with the rules I was left wondering about how many cards should be in the deck, exactly what should they say, exactly how they work. This may come from a lack of familiarity with other TFL games, but is anyone else in the same boat?


TheRugdoctor2003 Inactive Member07 Jan 2009 7:04 a.m. PST

Hi Mollinary,
assuming you are playing a division per side, you will need a card for each Divisional general, each brigade general, and each artillery commander (if the batteries are organised that way). You also need Union Blinds and Confederate Blinds cards. If, say, the Union force has a Bold or Gifted commander, its adds a "Union Bold/Gifted Commander" card in the deck. If, say, the Conferderate force has an Inspirational commander, its adds a "Confederate Inspirational Commander" to the deck. If either side has a Political or Cautious commander, the Poltical/Cautious card is added. And you also need the Coffee! card.

Players tend to either make cards themselves, improvise by sticking names onto playing cards, or use poker chips with names stuck on.

Card driven systems can take a little while to adjust to, but IMHO it is well worth the effort.


Thomas Nissvik12 Jan 2009 4:28 a.m. PST

Sample cards as well as Errata is now in the Files section of the TFL yahoo group, in the catalogue named Elephant.
YOu have to join to get access, but if you're playing TFL games you probably want to be a member anyway.

JJS00114 Jan 2009 12:12 a.m. PST

I'm very keen to try this set out in 15mm. Approximately how many bases aside (infantry, cav and arty) is required for an evening's game? I currently have both sides based for HFG and have about 30 elements of infantry excl cav and arty aside. Would this be enough for an evening game or would I need to paint more?

Thomas Nissvik14 Jan 2009 3:07 a.m. PST

JJ, are you a member of the TFL yahoo group? That is the fastest way to get answers, otherwise you have to wait until Rich checks TMP.

pessa0022 Jan 2009 7:25 p.m. PST

HI all, I posted this question on th Lardies forum but have had no joy as of yet.. I am in the the process of putting a 28mm army together for these ACW rules. Even though I have read the FAQ I am still a little confused about the basing for 25/28mm artillery.

A 15mm base is and inch x an inch. A 28mm base is nearly twice as wide at 40mm x 40mm, yet the FAQ and rules state that the artillery base size is fine and remains the same for both scales? (1 inch per 2 guns). This seems odd to me from a consistency point of view. If I am just being thick that's fine, I'm just wondering why?

And also if any play testing was done in 25mm or if it was only done in 15? Not trying to poke holes, but more to
know if my group need to 'forge their own legend' when working out how best to play TCHAE in28mm.

Cheers all.

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