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  Mark H. Walker's The Long Road World War II... With a Paranormal Twist by Flying Pig Games  Normally, I will start with some history o...

Mark H. Walker's The Long Road: World War III ... With a Paranormal Twist by Flying Pig Games Mark H. Walker's The Long Road: World War III ... With a Paranormal Twist by Flying Pig Games

Mark H. Walker's The Long Road: World War III ... With a Paranormal Twist by Flying Pig Games

Mark H. Walker's The Long Road: World War III ... With a Paranormal Twist by Flying Pig Games

 Mark H. Walker's The Long Road

World War II... With a Paranormal Twist


Flying Pig Games

 Normally, I will start with some history of the battle or war that the game I am reviewing is about. In this case, World War III never happened at this time. However, we also have some interesting additions to this modern-day warfare tactical game. So, I will let Flying Pig Games take the helm. This is their write up about the game:

"The agents of those powers might be nothing more than a special ops team of mysterious origin sent to assassinate a world leader, nothing more than a militia, ambushing foreigners raping their mother country; nothing other than normal. Then again, they might be other than normal, or—by definition—paranormal.

So that is the twist, a wargame with paranormal elements. Make no mistake, I’ve strived to make this an accessible, yet accurate wargame. Included is everything from advanced sights, multi-spectral smoke, artillery-delivered minefields, to electronic counter measures, anti-tank guided missiles, attack helicopters and the man-portable, air defense systems required to bring them down. You’ll command the weapons of the time; Abrams tanks, T-80 tanks, M60A3, T-64B, and Sheridan tanks. Bradleys, M-113s, BMPs, infantry, spetsnaz, and more.

But of course, war isn’t won by equipment; war is won by soldiers. In The Long Road soldiers’ training and morale is integral to the game, integral to combat resolution. But even more important than the rank-and-file grunts are the heroes. The men and woman who can - turn the tide of battle. We’ve included them too. People like Mike Hudson, Colonel Adrik Aleksandrov Shabalin, tank commander Sergeant Matt Dahl, and Commissar Colonel Elena Petrova. Heroic humans, but humans, nonetheless.

But there is something more. Somethings that are not "humans nonetheless." Demons that summon electrical storms, rendering advanced weaponry nearly useless, Lycan clans that fight with assault rifles, RPDs, and RPGs, as well as the fang and claw of their elders. A witch with an agenda, plus the powerful spells to make it happen, and of course, Katarina Ubirek; an amoral Romanian vampire worth dozens of inexperienced soldiers in combat. You know those things that you have read about, watched in movies, heard about on horror podcasts? Well, in The Long Road they are real.

But not every scenario contains nightmares. Sometimes you’ll fight with/against/in spite of these paranormal beings, yet often your battle will be about nothing more than depleted uranium rounds, reactive armor, maneuver, and massed fires. In fact, we include a separate scenario book in the game titled Long Road Tactics that includes nothing but historical, for lack of a better word, scenarios.

So that is The Long Road; part military horror, part authentic recreation of World War III, but all fun. We hope you enjoy it."

According to the Floating Porcine this was the game that The Long Road was based on. It was from Tiny Battle Publishing.

  So, there you kind of have it. World War III with Vampires, Zombies, Lycans, and Witches. I think Mr. Walker has been watching too much of the Underworld series of movies (although they are very good). Now, Vampires, Lycans and Witches are my kind of people. However, I am not a fan at all of the Zombie movies and its attending craze. Apparently, in my mind I can grasp the idea of the undead sleeping in their coffins to rise every night but cannot grasp walking corpses coming out of their graves to shuffle off to Buffalo. Oh well, let us see what the game comes with:

7 sheets of thick (2mm thick), large (1" square, large) counters.

3 MOUNTED 17” x 22” map geomorphic boards. Not paper, not stiff cardboard, but rather 2mm-thick, wrapped and backed mounted game boards.5 sheets of thick (2mm thick), large (1" square, large) counters.

72 full-color Action Cards in two decks. The game isn't card driven; it's card assisted.

6 Over-sized Monster Champion Cards

Full-color Rules Book

2 Full-color Scenario Books

2 Player Aid Cards.

5 ten-sided dice for resolving combat.

A quarter ton of scenarios. 

"A quarter ton of scenarios". Do yourself a favor and got to Flying Pig Games and read their information about each game. Mr. Walker has a bit of a sense of humor, and it shows in each one.

Combat between 'regular' forces

 So, before we get into the mechanics etc. of the game. Let us look at the components. 

 The maps are muted in color. You might think that this might make them boring to look at. That is not the case at all. The colors match perfectly with Armageddon being fought, especially with the likes of Lycans and Vampires added to the mix. The three maps give the player a good amount of different terrain to fight on, with the added fact that more than a few scenarios only use one map. The counters are the usual Flying Pig Counters, which is to say, they are extremely large, thick, and come with excellent artwork. Their size makes that incredibly easy to read. Even though there is a good amount of information on them they do not look 'busy'. You might be tempted to use the counters to steady a table leg because they are so thick. The counters also come pre-rounded and are desperate to remove themselves from their sprues. There are two decks of thirty-six Action Cards. The first deck is used when only fighting with 'normal' units. The other deck is used for the Actions of the paranormal units. Both decks' artwork again shows Flying Pig Games attention to detail and wonderful choice of color and scenes. There are also six oversized cards that show the abilities and attributes of the paranormal Champions. The Player Aids are made of hard stock and in full color. One is single-sided and has the Sequence of Play and the Turn Record Track on it. The other one has the different tables used on one side and the terrain chart on the other.

 The Rule Book is thirty-nine pages in length. It is in full color and the type is large. The actual rules take up twenty-nine pages. Then there is a look at the individual Action Cards. Next up is a three-and-a-half-page Sequence of Play and Rules. On the back page is the index. These are always helpful. The Campaign Book is the main part of the game. It has eighteen scenarios that take you through the story. Naturally, each of them can also be played separately. If you are not in the mood for the paranormal, the Tactics Book will be right up your alley. This is eighteen pages long. It comes with a total of ten scenarios. Six of these are the US versus the Soviets. There are also two scenarios that use the East German troops. The last two scenarios are meant for solo play. The first one contains zombies, but the second is you commanding Soviet forces against US forces.

 Everything that comes in the box is produced to the high standards of all of the Flying Pig Games I have ever played.

The US forces go against the Lycans

 This is the Sequence of Play:


  Both players roll 1d10. High roll wins the initiative. In the

  case of a tie during any rolls or rerolls the rolling stops

  and the player who DID NOT have the initiative the

  previous turn is given the initiative. Unless the first turn

  initiative is delineated in the scenario, reroll all first turn

  ties. Either player may reroll the number of times

  allowed by the Focus marker in the Initiative box (see



  During the scenario setup, draw the designated number

  of Action Cards from the draw pile after both sides have

  set up their forces. During this phase on subsequent

  turns, each player draws the scenario-designated

  number of cards from the pile. The player with initiative

  draws all his cards first. Cards may be played when

  appropriate, but no more than two cards may be played

  per player, per turn (exception Winds of War 1.6.1).


  Both sides may attempt to rally disrupted Combatants by

  rolling 1d10 for each Combatant and comparing it to the

  Combatant’s morale. If the number is less than or equal

  to the Combatant’s morale, it rallies. The Soviets have a

  morale of 3. The Americans, Lycan Clan, and Vampire

  Coven have a morale of 4. Zombies have a morale of 2.

  Other forces’ morale will be identified when introduced.

  The play of Action Cards may alter the die roll. The

  player with the initiative rallies his or her Combatants

  first. Combatants in cover (i.e. would receive a favorable FRT

  shift from any incoming fire originating from an enemy

  Combatant) and/or Combatants not in the Line of Sight

  of an enemy Combatant, or within the LOS of an enemy

  Combatant, but not within at least long range of said

  Combatant and not adjacent to or in the hex with (it

  happens with Zombies) an undisrupted enemy

  Combatant, add 1 to their morale. That’s 1 total, not 1

  per instance.

  The above bonus only occurs DURING THE RALLY PHASE,

  not when attempting to negate a hit in the Fire Phase. In

  the Fire Phase, targets receive shifts on the Fire Results

  Table to reflect the cover that they have.

  Zombies never Disrupt, so they don’t need to rally.

  Helicopters automatically rally.


  Players ALTERNATE attacks as per the rules for Fire

  Combat (4.0). The player with the initiative executes the

  first attack. When neither player wishes to execute any

  further attacks, the phase ends. Mark firing Combatants

  with a Fired marker unless utilizing Gun and Run (4.1.1).


  First one side, and then the other player moves all their

  Eligible Combatants that they wish to move. The player

  with the initiative determines who will move first. Note

  that unlike the Fire Phase, the players do not alternate

  moving Combatants. One side moves ALL its Combatants

  and then the other side moves ALL of its Combatants.

  Mark moved Combatants with a Moved marker unless

  using Overwatch (4.1.2). Opportunity Fire may be

  conducted by Eligible Combatants during the movement

  phase. Mark Combatants that Opportunity Fire with a

  Fired marker.


  Non-disrupted adjacent Combatants that are not marked

  Fired may initiate Close Assault. Players alternate

  declaring and resolving Close Assaults. A Combatant may

  only conduct one Close Assault per phase, but may be

  the target of numerous Close Assaults. The player with

  the initiative declares and resolves the first Close


  Note that Lycan (actual werewolves “L”), Vampires

  (actual vampires “V”), and Zombies attack from the

  same hex as their target is located. Specific Abilities may

  alter these rules.


  In this, EXACT order:

 1. Remove Out of Ammunition Markers on

  undisrupted units without a Moved or Fired

  Marker on them (4.2).

 2. Remove all Fired, Moved, Blast, Overwatch, Run

  and Gun, and Electronic Counter Measure (ECM)


 3. Remove Smoke 1 markers (8.1.5).

 4. Flip Smoke 2 markers to Smoke 1 (8.1.5).

 5. Determine refugees’ status and movement.

  (12.0), create Armed Mobs.

 6. Consolidate Zombies (12.1).


  Place, flip, move, do nothing, and remove Aid and Focus

  markers as designated in the rules (3.0).


  Advance the turn marker to the next turn."


 The game rules are based on Mr. Walker's Platoon Commander Games. The story is based on two books that he has written:

Dark War: Revelation

Dark War: Retribution

 The Campaign Booklet follows his characters from the books as they face this new world.

 I love hex and counter board games. I also love role playing games. Most of the time they both have warfare in them. An RPG does not just have a battle(s) as the primary mover of the game. There is a story to be told. In this hex and counter game there is also a story to be told. So, I was a little bit reluctant to dip my toe in these waters. It was like having the worst part of your meal touching the best part on the same plate. It is just not done. My foray back into wargaming during the last several years has introduced me to all of the newfangled ideas that designers put into wargames. Most of them have been different ways to play a wargame as in card-driven, AI bots, and a host of others. The Long Road is definitely a real mix of both the genres.  Once I started to look at the monsters as just different weapons or soldiers, the game clicked for me. Of course, even if you do not take the leap of faith that I did you can still play The Long Road as a straight up tactical wargame. Just like its older siblings in the Platoon Commander series it plays extremely well. All of the newer weaponry that was available during the 1980s is here for you to play with. 

Here are a few of the Champions

 The Champions are very strong, but they are not as strong as say Dracula in the movies. The designer has given them the right amount of power. Without having the correct Action Card Lycans cannot just attack a tank. If, however, you use the 'Ferocity' card then they can wreak havoc on even an armored vehicle. They can use the Action Card 'Panic' to disrupt their enemies. Zombies are a bit of a dull bunch. Fear and panic do not enter their failed brain cells or as Mr. Walker writes "They are too stupid to care." Naturally they have a chance to turn troops that they have bitten.

 Some of the normal weaponry/ordinance Action Cards are:



Artillery Barrage

For the Motherland

Double Time



 If you have played Platoon Commander Deluxe Kursk from Flying Pig Games, then you already know most of how it plays. To represent the new nature of the conflict compared to World War II many parts have been added. Tanks being able to move and shoot at the same time, Helicopters, and Civilians are among some other things that rules have been added for. If you are a connoisseur of Flying Pig Games, then the choice has already been made in your mind. Even if you are looking for a straight up World War III matchup then this is your game. I cannot recommend this game highly enough. It is deep enough for thinking and easy enough for just fun.  How many other games have B-52 strikes in them? 

 There is also an expansion for the game called 'Fatherland' which gives you West German units of the Bundeswehr to command. It comes with a new map, counters, and six new scenarios. I will be doing a review of it shortly.


Flying Pig Games:

Flying Pig Games

Mark H. Walker's The Long Road: World War III... With a Paranormal Twist:

The Long Road | Flying Pig Games

This is the website on Amazon for Mark H. Walker Books: Mark H. Walker: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle