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Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part XXVII

The Prosciutto still hasn’t spoiled, as part 27 drops on your lap.

As always, click image to enlarge

In Part 26 Benvenuto’s brothers laid claim to his County and Ducal titles and split the di Parma family with a civil war. Robbed of a proper army by jealous, back stabbing vassals Benvenuto had to negotiate with the brothers as opposed to bringing about their destruction, fortunately part of the settlement involved the imprisonment of both brothers. Salerno’s prison held four schemers. In this part, what to do with the schemers, and revenge on an old foe.



Locked in a dungeon it would be hard for Buonconte to escape any plot to kill him. Benvenuto concocts a plan and contacts his supporters

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part Six-and-Twenty

The di Parmas roll on as Oberto’s death rattles the family.  And now…?

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In Part 25 Duke Oberto died in an accident at the Emperor’s Grand Tournament, his son Benvenuto became head of the family but the di Parma lands were split amongst two other brothers. In Part 26 Benvenuto must appease the brothers or seek other diplomatic means to bring them to heel, calm the uneasiness in his vassals and bring stability to the region.




Benvenuto’s first action is to try and imprison Count Chiaffredo of Taranto. He is heading a faction to try and install a bishop within his land as Count of Salerno, and thats Benvenuto’s title. Its a risky move, if it fails and Chiaffredo rebels there will be a war fought Benvenuto can ill afford. In the end it pays off and the traitorous git is thrown into the dungeon




Here we go, the first brother, Buonconte challenges Benvenuto and starts a family civil war.

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part 25

 Two weeks in a row?  You guys are special!

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In Part 24 Matilda of Tuscany declared war on Parma in a bid to reclaim land rightfully held by Oberto. By concentrating his forces and those of his allies from Bohemia on the strongest armies of Tuscany, Oberto whittled down Matilda’s army to a mere guerilla force, and then called in Ceowulf and his Saxon band to mop up, after Radislav of Bulgaria and his men were lost in Parma itself. With victory almost in their grasp Matilda’s allies strike a final blow at Oberto. In this part, death of an innocent, an old crow begs, a viper for hire and the tears of a people.



In the hills of Sospiro the best of Breisgau are thwarted by the Saxon band and the last of Oberto’s men. Mathilda’s lands are left wide open to siege



Meanwhile, on the outskirts of enemy Apulia over one thousand Muslims land on the coast and begin to seige the region of Benevento

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part 24

More di Parmas? Who doesn’t love Prosciutto?

In part 23 Oberto killed the King of Sicily in the War for Apulia and Cantanzaro, took Lecce from the Apulians, and plotted to kill the Duke of Apulia’s wife in order to seat his daughter in the Duchy. In this part, an old enemy returns, an old friend fails and new friends save the day.


CKII-Pic 230

From out of nowhere Matilda of Genoa strikes at the di Parmas. The feud with her had been 30 years dead when Oberto declared independence from her and left her armies dead on the fields of Modena.


CKII-Pic 231

Oberto’s northern armies gather under the banner of Salerno, the white flag with a red slash. They are directed to Genoa where they can merge and gather their commanders.

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part 23

Undercovergeek’s Crusader Kings II AAR is the Energizer Bunny of AARs.

as always, click images to enlarge

In part 22 Oberto groomed an impressive son and heir, Benvenuto, got him a Spanish princess for a wife and set out to declare war on the King of Sicily. In this part, war, daughters, the death of Kings and under handed deeds



The men of Parma set out to attack Cantanzaro. They will have to destroy the rebel army before they can besiege the province. Scouts look South and North, warily scanning the horizon for the King of Sicily’s armies



This is getting out of hand!

The Review of Lock’n’Load: Heroes of Stalingrad

Our own Undercovergeek marches into Stalingrad, and comes out with this review of the action.

Lucky 13 April, 2014

I’m a terrible German officer, but that’s ok, I’m a terrible Russian officer as well.

It’s a testimony to Lock & Load’s Heroes of Stalingrad that it has been able to teach me that. As my numerous attempts at claiming or defending small patches of land surrounding Stalingrad mounted up, it occurred to me that neither Stalin or Hitler had made the right choice in putting me in charge. Either that or this game has a much more devious AI than I bargained for, or I’m just crap at throwing digital dice.

Pavlov and his team unwisely leave the safety of their house to assault a flamethrower unit

Pavlov and his team unwisely leave the safety of their house to assault a flamethrower unit

Heroes of Stalingrad first appeared on my radar after getting lost in a Matrix Games forum a long time ago. I should be honest at this point and say I have never played a Lock & Load board game, never played Advanced Squad Leader, and never actually played a WWII themed board game at all. But I have played Blood Royale with a tricorn hat on, because I thought it was the same as Napoleons.

However, I was there at Bastogne commanding the Commodore 64’s finest in Battle of the Bulge, I was there on the fields of Gettyburg in North and South, all the way through to the first Combat Mission and up to and including Market Garden, where it’s safe to say that Frost and Urquhart are also probably thinking about removing my commission. When it comes to losing my men of the digital variety, I’m confident in my CV. So when I first saw the screen shots of small, squad based battles in and around the familiar railway yards and factory buildings, and extra immersion created by having my own set of officers and heroes, I was delighted to have found my next set of pixeltruppen to throw hopelessly into the mincer of battle.

For me personally Heroes bears a great amount of responsibility. It is my great hope of board game to PC game crossover.  I see them in there, through their game’s club windows, laughing and joking, throwing their dice and clapping each other on the back with their ‘board game players’ camaraderie, telling stories of great triumphs and tragedies. Then they turn and point at the lonely, sad faced PC wargamer outside who can never know what it feels like to hold the counters, set up the board, smell the cards and feel the rattle of dice, and rub their victim’s face in the agony of a successful ambush. I want all these things dammit, and it’s maybe not fair to expect this of Heroes, but it does not falter under the weight of my expectation.

Heroes of Stalingrad focuses on small, personal skirmishes encountered during the Battle of Stalingrad. The intimate settings necessitate a good deal of finesse in ordering units and squads around that the tactical player will revel in. The map could be a simple village or an important crossroads or other close quarter environment consisting of three or four infantry sections with some leaders and support teams, sometimes backed by tanks or other AFVs Continuity is provided by the persistence of a core of soldiers. These units gain points by surviving campaign scenarios and destroying enemies, points are reinvested in various improvements such as increased range, strength, or leadership , hardening armour, extra offense opportunities and adding a weapon or special skill.

The infamous girl, your success relies on her safety

The infamous girl, your success relies on her safety

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part Van Doos

Geek’s Crusader Kings II AAR is now old enough to drink.

as always, click images to enlarge

In Part 21 Oberto formalised the Duchy of Salerno by taking the fourth province from the Muslims, swept through Sicily to find it undefended and in turmoil and an old foe rose up with a rebel army. In this part, plots, a rightful heir and the di Parma curse.



 It isn’t long before Carla capitulates, realises the error of her ways and sues for peace. When I say peace, I mean the back of a very dark dungeon under Salerno castle



The current Count of Taranto, lovely guy, nothing against him but I don’t think we’re ever going to see eye to eye on religion or culture. He’s got to go.

Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part Twenty-Ace

We hit “blackjack” on UCG’s  long-running Crusader Kings II AAR …

as always, click images to enlarge

In Part 20 Oberto’s cousin and Marshall was unexpectedly given ‘his’ Duchy of Capua, he received many claims on neighbouring provinces, and marched on the Muslims to complete the Duchy of Salerno. In this new part Sicily is found to be falling apart and unhappy subjects rise up.



Oberto’s armies arrive in Taranto to kick out the Muslims. It isn’t much of a match and they’re soon defeated and heading South



Taranto on its own doesn’t give up enough warscore for a victory. Oberto needs to take more Muslim land nearby to bump up the score. Heading South his scouts show the Emperor is already in Sicily, bravely keeping nine Muslims at bay!



Whilst Oberto knocks down the walls of Taranto rebels in Capua decide they’ve had enough and start knocking down its walls.