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Preview of Lock 'N Load Tactical Digital by Lock 'N Load Publishing  Here we are very lucky to h...

Preview of Lock 'N Load Tactical Digital by Lock 'N Load Publishing Preview of Lock 'N Load Tactical Digital by Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing




Preview of

Lock 'N Load Tactical Digital

by

Lock 'N Load Publishing







 Here we are very lucky to have the best of both worlds, the digital and boardgame, and able to choose which we would rather play at the moment. There is a time for boardgames, even solo, and a time for the computer to lend a helping hand. I have reviewed and liked the tactical series from L'NL and was a little wary of how the digital version would turn out. I have also reviewed some of their 'Nations at War' series of boardgames and really liked them. So I was very pleased to find out that the digital version of them was excellent. I was wary about the Tactical series in digital, because lightning very rarely strikes twice. So, was L'NL able to put it in a bottle and use it for this game series also? The answer is an unequivocal YES! The game plays pretty much exactly as the boardgames do. The AI is also as good as the one in Nations at War Digital. The game will becoming out on Steam very soon. The L'NL Tactical base game comes with four scenarios from their Heroes of Normandy game and two from their Heroes of the Nam game. They are releasing two scenario packs of the aforementioned games with twelve scenarios each when the game launches. The scenario packs will be add-ons that you will have to purchase separately. They are also working on adding the rest of the Tactical series games as other add-ons to the base game. The tentative release date is 4/2, so keep your fingers crossed.

This is the link to L'NL Tactical on their site:

Preview of Nations At War Digital by Lock 'N Load Publishing  The Nations At War boardgames from Lock 'N Loa...

Preview of Nations at War Digital by Lock 'N Load Publishing Preview of Nations at War Digital by Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing




Preview of Nations At War Digital

by

Lock 'N Load Publishing








 The Nations At War boardgames from Lock 'N Load comprise these games and add ons:

Nations At War Starter Kit
Stalin's Triumph
White Star Rising
Desert Heat
Solo Assistant for Nations At War

 These games portray platoon-level combat in the different theaters  of World War II. You will get to command armor, artillery, infantry and air support. From tanks fighting tanks to close infantry assault. If you are inclined to play both digital and boardgames (who isn't?), you should take a look at this series.


 So, I did reviews of two out of the three boardgames that comprise the L'NLs stable of Nations At War games. I found them to be great games that were quick to play, and gave historical results. The rules were meant to allow the player to play the game, and not to pore over page after page of the manual. In this, L'NL succeeded admirably. Now I have been allowed to do a preview of Nations At War Digital edition, and put it through the paces and see if it is as good as its cardboard cousin. So on to the game.







 First, the action is based entirely on the Western Front of WWII. The scenarios and equipment, etc. were taken from the 'White Star Rising' edition of the boardgames. Before we get too deep, please remember that this is a preview and things could and probably will change. I had played a much earlier version of the game, so I have seen it grow and become much more polished. 


 The player can play either the German or American side in the game. This means that you get to play with both Shermans and Panthers, along with most of the other equipment that each army used.

 The AI plays almost like a human opponent. To give you an example; I had four Tigers and the AI has a multitude of Shermans, M18s, M36s, and a few Stuarts. The victory conditions for the German side was that I destroy all of the enemy and exit the western edge of the map. The AI would use the Stuarts in Kamikaze like attacks towards the Tigers. At first glance, this seems a rather foolish move. However, for at least two turns I was forced to deal with the Stuarts and not do anything about the real threats that were enveloping my position. So, even though the tactics seem 'gamey', it is exactly what some players would actually do. The Allied airpower is not to be trifled with either. The ground attacking American planes took out two of my Tigers and a Wirbelwind in the above scenario. I have lost more than I have won playing against the AI.




 Another factor that is part of the boardgame, and is a real game changer at times, is Fate Points. Both sides are assigned so many of them at the start of each scenario. I will use L'NL's words to explain them:

"Despite generals, sergeants,riflemen, spreadsheets,tables, and game designer’s best efforts, battles are often won not by the side with the best weapons, most men, or better morale, but by the unforeseen actions of men and women and inexplicable twists
of fate. Fate Points (FPts) in the Nations at War system represent those twists.Fate Points are points that can be used to sway the turn of events and change an unfavorable situation into a favorable
one.
Fate Points are assigned within each scenario to a side and can be used anytime within the game. They cannot be carried over to other scenarios.Fate Points can be thought of as currency and can be used to purchase an event that can change the game. They can be used by the active player or their opponent at anytime.  The defending player ALWAYS has the last chance to use FPts to adjust a unit’s outcome. Fate points that are used to adjust die results may only be used on that players own die results."




 So instead of getting an almost faithful representation of the boardgames, L'NL was able to transpose the boardgames right into the silicon world. This in itself is a major kudo for the game. The AI knows what it has to do to win victories, and is able to follow through and do it. It uses its forces very aggressively, so don't assume it will be passive and better on the defense (as most AIs are). I am very impressed by the game, and really looking forward to L'NLs Tactical Digital series of games that is also coming out soon. Thank you L'NL for allowing me to do this test drive on Nations At War Digital. I almost forgot, this game will be available on Steam at release, as will L'NLs Tactical Digital series.

Lock 'N Load:
https://store.lnlpublishing.com/
Nations At War Digital:
https://store.lnlpublishing.com/series/nations-at-war-series/nations-at-war-digital-for-windows
Nations At War boardgames:
https://store.lnlpublishing.com/series/nations-at-war-series

Robert

Heroes of the Motherland With the add-ons Dark July 43 - X-Maps for Dark July 43 by Lock 'N Load Publishing ...

Heroes of the Motherland with add-ons Dark July 43 - X-Maps for Dark July 43 by Lock 'N Load Publishing Heroes of the Motherland with add-ons Dark July 43  - X-Maps for Dark July 43 by Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing












 An Argosy of wargaming goodness arrived on my porch a while ago. There is just so much that comes with Heroes of the Motherland that I have a real problem figuring where to start, and what to write about. I received not only HOTM, but also two add-ons for it. They are  Dark July 43: The Battles for Prokhorovka Third Edition, and also the X-Maps for Dark July. 



HOTM Counters


 The Eastern Front in World War II is probably the one campaign that has more games, tactical, operational, and strategic than any other. The types of weapons and troops you can use in this game span the depth and breadth of the war. Tanks that were built before the war to King Tigers and JS-2s are present for your gaming pleasure.




HOTM Maps


 LNL's premise for their tactical World War II era games is simple but breathtaking in scope. They have developed a core set of rules that span the years 1930-1959. This core set allows gamers to learn it, and then adds a few extra rules for each game. That means that gamers can game all of the conflicts and campaigns during those years with a single rules set. This has been tried in the past, but to my knowledge only for Ancient and Medieval gaming. The game scale is fifty meters wide to the hex. You play with squads, half-squads, and vehicle crews etc. 



Scenario

 The Core Manual is sixty-six pages long. However, do not be discouraged. It is written in large script and has many pictures and examples throughout. The Module Rules and Scenario Booklet really has only four pages of rules to learn. This is how encompassing the Core Rules are. They are also constantly being updated. The rules are up to version 5.0 now.

 The game comes with:

14 x Color Geomorphic  8.25 x 12.75 Maps.
5 x CounterSheets with over 550+ counters. 
1 x Color Core system manual featuring the latest v4.1 rules.
1 x Color Game Module rules,  Examples of play with 12 scenarios and One Campaign.
3 x 11 x 17 Player Aid Cards.
2 8 x 11 Player Aid Cards.
1 x Heavy Duty box.
 


HOTM Campaign


 The sequence of play is:

Rally Phase
Operations Phase
Fire Combat
Movement
Laying Smoke
Melee Combat
Administrative Phase


 I really like this system for tactical gaming. That does not mean that I do not own and like others. You can ask my wife. I think it is a losing proposition to compare games against each other. Much like a parent, you can find good and bad traits in your children, or a game's rules and mechanics. We are Wargamers, so we buy Wargames, many, many Wargames. Back to HOTM, the rules have been worked on to be streamlined and as easy to understand as possible. The setup of the rules and scenarios are done in a sequence to make it easier on the gamer to learn.

 The components that come with any Lock 'N Load game are some of the best on the market. The counters are extremely well done, and for those who cannot play without it, they come already clipped. Almost all of them fall out of the sprues with nothing extra stuck to them, or the need for cleaning them up. The maps are once again well done. They are on thick paper stock. Some people prefer mounted maps, but I can play on either surface without giving it a second thought. 









 The Dark July module adds in the seminal fight between the SS divisions and the Russian forces rushing forward to make sure that operation Zitadelle is a German defeat. The module is a bit misnamed because there is also a scenario about the Battle for Ponryi on the northern flank of Zitadelle. So this means you can see how effective Ferdinands really were. There are only two pages of rules that come with Dark July, and some are optional. This is what Dark July comes with:

1 x 34 x 22 Color Map.
2 x Color Geomorphic 12.75 x 8.25 Maps.
1 x Counter Sheet with over 80+ counters.
1 x Color Module rules, Examples of play with 6 Scenarios.
1 x 8 x 11 Player Aid Cards.


                              

                                  Dark July Counters


 The X-Maps add-ons that Lock 'N Load sells are worth every penny. The maps are the same as the ones that come with the module, for example Dark July. The difference is that the hexes are much larger. The standard maps in Dark July are 8.25" X 12.75". The X-Maps come in at 11" X 17".
So you get the same maps, but are able to play with less clutter, which is always a good thing. So if you do buy any of the main game's modules I suggest that you do invest in the X-Maps for it. The X-Maps for Dark July contain:

One Color Two Part 51 x 33 Map.Two Color 11 x 17 Maps.

One 11 x 17 Player Aid Card.






 Great system, great components (besides the lack of mounted maps, which again I could care less about), if you have any interest in the theater I think it is time and money well spent investing in HOTM. Thank you Lock 'N Load for letting me review all of this gaming goodness.

X-Maps Size

Robert

Nations At War Compendium by Lock 'N Load Publishing   The Nations at War Compendium is exactly that. It is a r...

Nations At War Compendium by Lock 'N Load Publishing Nations At War Compendium by Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing


by





 The Nations at War Compendium is exactly that. It is a repackaged volume of all of the Nations at War scenarios from the Lock 'N Load Line of Fire Magazine, Airborne, and Operation Cobra expansions. This is a list of what you get with the package:

Four Double Sided Seasonal Maps
Two Counter Sheets With Over 175 Counters
One Color Module Booklet
Thirty-one Scenarios
Three Campaigns Totaling An Additional Thirteen Scenarios











 

 This is the list of some of the scenarios:

Escape At Dunkirk
Jubilee - Dieppe Raid
Barce Libya
Juno Beach D-Day
Carentan
Point 213 - Michael Wittmann at Villers-Bocage
Operation Goodwood

The three campaigns are:

Normandy
Arnhem
Operation Cobra









 The compendium says that you need both White Star Rising Second Edition and Desert Heat Second Edition. They are required for the scenarios in it. However, I have checked through the scenarios and with what you receive with White Star Second Edition and the counters and maps from the compendium, it seems that you can play most with just them. There are a few that Desert Heat Second Edition are essential for. The new maps and counters also mean that a player's imagination can run even wilder with homemade scenarios.










 These add on scenarios and campaigns for the Nations at War games are well worth the cost. You get a lot of bang for the buck (sorry had to). As you can see, one of the scenarios allows you to try and recreate Michael Wittmann's mayhem at Villers-Bocage or play the English and try to stop him. The aforementioned scenario, along with the two Operation Goodwood scenarios, are my favorites of the ones I have played. The compendium just adds to the depth and breadth of the Nations at War games.



Robert

White Star Rising Nations At War Second Edition by Lock 'N Load   "Macht Schluss mit dem Krieg, ihr...

White Star Rising Nations At War Second Edition by Lock 'N Load White Star Rising Nations At War Second Edition by Lock 'N Load

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing

White Star Rising


Nations At War Second Edition


by


Lock 'N Load 





 "Macht Schluss mit dem Krieg, ihr idioten" (End the War, or Make Peace, you idiots). This was said by Field Marshal von Rundstedt to lacKeitel, sometime after the Normandy invasion. This is the second game of the 'Nations At War' series by Lock 'N Load that I have reviewed (the first was 'Stalin's Triumph'). This game takes us to Western Europe and the battles range from the landings in Normandy to the end of the war.  The name is a bit of a misnomer because it also includes counters and scenarios for the British troops who fought during the same campaign. I liked the game system in the first game, so let us see how it translates to this side of the continent.



One Counter Sheet


 The counters, as usual from Lock 'N Load, are wonderfully done and come pre-clipped. They are a bit busy for their size, although the use of different colors should help all but the color blind. The four double-sided maps are not mounted, but are still well done. The rulebook and the Module Rules and Scenario book are done in full color with large print. The various Players' Aids are also well done and visually appealing. So let us look at what you get with the game:


Four Double Sided Seasonal Maps.

Four Counter Sheets with Over 350+ Counters.

One Color Module Booklet

Twenty-One Scenarios

One Core Game System v2.0 Manual

Two Unit Cost Sheets 11” x 17”

Four Player-Aid Cards 8.5” x 11”

 
Two D6 Dice


Maps



 The sequence of play is:

Operations phase: Players alternate pulling a marker from an opaque container. These can be Formation, Administration, Chaos, or End Turn markers.

Formation Impulse; If a Formation is activated this is the sequence:

 1. Unit Formation Marker removal

 2. Check Command Status

 3. Perform Rallies

 4. Perform Fire Missions: Mortar/Artillery

 5. Perform Operations: Movement, Assault, etc.
 



Players' Aids


 The meat of this chit pull system is the 'end turn' chits. There are always two, sometimes three, of these in the mix of the other chits. Once the second end turn chit is pulled, the game turn is over; do not pass go or collect $200 etc. So, the players have no way of knowing if all or any of their units will be able to do anything this turn. It is possible to pull the end turn chits one after the other as the first two chit pulls. In time limited, or scenarios where one side has a lot of terrain to cover, this means that one turn has just been lost. Another nice touch is the addition of a 'Chaos Chit' to the chit mix in some scenarios. Once the Chaos Chit is pulled, two six-sided die are rolled. Then you consult the Chaos Table to find out what event or result has been rolled. This is a nice way of adding even more fog of war into the game. The game also includes the use of 'Fate Points' by each player. Each scenario lists how many Fate Points each side has to use. As the rules state, " Fate Points can be thought of as currency and can be used to purchase an event that can change the game". These can be used from re-rolling one dice to being able to remove an 'Ops Complete Marker' from a unit. There are not many rules that apply only to this module. Most of the rules used are just the normal Second Edition Core Rules. This module only rules include:


 Bridge Demolition
 British Cruiser Tanks Extra Movement
 British Headquarters
 American tank Gyro Stabilizers
 American White Phosphorus Rounds (Willy Pete)
 German SS Fanatics
 German Mobile Assault 


 The Core Rules also deal with rules for these and more:

 Close Air Support
 Anti-Aircraft Units
 Mines and Mine Removal
 Leaders



Counters

                                Closer Counter View


  

   There is really not much more to say: The 'Nations At War' series from Lock 'N Load is a well done and thought out game. You really get the best of both worlds in these games, meaning that you are really playing a tactical game without all of the minutiae that come with tactical games. Not that there is something wrong with tactical games, just sometimes I know I am not in the mood for that many rules etc. There were some incidences when the second editions came out with problems with the printing, rules, and some counters. I did find a paragraph in the rulebook about 'Line of Sight' that still needs to be fixed. The spacing in it is non-existent for the most part. From what I have read, Lock 'N Load was quick about sending out new counters etc., and did their best to make things right. The rulebook that came with the game was version 2.0. On Lock 'N Load's website they have posted  a version 2.2. I will put a link at the bottom of the review. As I mentioned, I liked the first game I reviewed, 'Stalin's Triumph', a lot. This game is no different. I can easily recommend it to anyone who has a hankering to play a platoon size late World War II Western Front game. One of my favorite scenarios is 'The Hill of Death'. This is about the fight for Hill 112 in Normandy. Look for my forthcoming reviews of 'Heroes of The Motherland' and the 'Nations At War Compendium'.


 White Star Rising Second Edition Vassal Module:
https://forums.lnlpublishing.com/resources/white-star-rising-2nd-edition-vassal-module.237/

 White Star Rising Second Edition Clarifications & Corrections Version 2.2:
https://forums.lnlpublishing.com/resources/white-star-rising-2nd-edition-clarifications-corrections.234/

 Nations At War Core Rules Version 2.0 Clarifications And Corrections:
https://forums.lnlpublishing.com/resources/nations-at-war-core-rules-v2-0-clarifications-and-corrections.232/

 Nations At War Core Rules Second Edition:
 https://store.lnlpublishing.com/nations-at-war-core-rules-v2-0
 There is also a link to download them on the page.

 This is a link to my 'Stalin's Triumph' review:
 http://www.awargamersneedfulthings.co.uk/2018/05/stalins-triumph-nations-at-war-game.html


Robert

Stalin's Triumph Nations At War by Lock 'N Load Publishing  Stalin's triumph is a platoon level game, a...

Stalin's Triumph A Nations At War game from Lock 'N Load Publishing Stalin's Triumph A Nations At War game from Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing



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 Stalin's triumph is a platoon level game, and it is part of Lock 'N Load Publishing's 'Nations At War' series. Stalin's Triumph is about the battle of Kursk on the Eastern Front in July 1943. For those familiar with the battle, the names Ponryi and Prokhorovka are well known. The game has scenarios from both sides of the Kursk cauldron dealing with the attacks of the German Army Group South and Army Group Center. This is good because some games center on the part of the battle that took place in the south and give only lip service to the  violent clash in the north. It also gives the player a chance to use Ferdinand tank destroyers (these were named after Dr. Porsche). Besides those you get a plethora of armored vehicles to command. Tigers, Panthers, and Panzer IVs are here along with T-34s, Churchills, and the SU-152 (the beast slayer). The German player can also use FlammPanzer (flamethrower tanks) and Goliath remote controlled demolition vehicles. Air support, which played such a crucial role, is also in the mix. The game includes 'Fate Points' and battlefield chaos to represent the 'friction' of the battlefield.




 The game comes with:

Stalin's triumph: Module And Scenarios Booklet
Nations At War: Second Edition Core Rules 
Five Counter Sheets
Six 11" X 17" Geomorphic Maps
Fifteen Scenarios
Three Scenario Campaign On The German Division Das Reich
Two Six Sided Die
A German And Soviet Unit Point Cost Sheet: to design your own       scenarios
Terrain Effects Chart
Rule Summary Sheet
Chaos Table Sheet
Player Aid Sheet
Online you can also find these aids:                                                   
  A Free Vassal Module
  Stalin's Triumph: Clarifications And Corrections Volume 2.2
  Nations At War: Clarifications And Corrections Volume 2.2
  Nations At War: Compendium Volume 1
  (I will have some links at the bottom of the review)





 The counters are your typical Lock 'N Load ones, meaning that they are well done and pop from the sprues with minimal effort and cleaning up. They might be a little on the 'busy' side with all of the information included on them. The coloring of the German counters is a bit foreboding and adds a nice touch. The maps are functional with easy to distinguish terrain. They can be mixed and matched to make plenty of different terrain sets which can only add to the life of the game. The scale of the game is roughly 150 meters to each hex. The Platoons are approximately 40-60 men, 3-5 tanks, and 3-5 gun teams. Each turn is meant to be anywhere from 5-15 minutes of real time.






  This is the turn sequence:

Operations phase: Players alternate pulling a marker from an opaque container. These can be Formation, Administration, Chaos, or End Turn markers.
Formation Impulse; If a Formation is activated this is the sequence:
 1. Unit Formation Marker removal
 2. Check Command Status
 3. Perform Rallies
 4. Perform Fire Missions: Mortar/Artillery
 5. Perform Operations: Movement, Assault, etc.





 The game includes the following actions that the player can do:
   Mine Removal/Placement
   Assault
   Opportunity Fire
   Ranged fire
   Fire Smoke
   Battlefield Chaos Rules
   Fate points: These are used to be able to reroll die throws or raise    or lower die throws etc.

These are additional rules:
   Anti-Aircraft units
   Close Air Support
   Support Weapon Placement
   Leaders




 One interesting rule addition is the ability of your forces to use 'overwatch'. This is something that is missing in a lot of games, especially as it was and still is a common practice in war. 




  So it comes down to why buy into Lock 'N Load's 'Nations At War' games? One reason is that they are actually listening to players and are constantly updating and revising the rule system (not just on these but all of their games). The physical quality of their components are some of the best on the market. It would have been nice to have mounted maps, but that would have added a large sum to the actual cost and also to the shipping. A mounted map is a nice touch, but what I usually do with games without them is to put a sheet of plexiglass on top to stop any movement. It also acts as the map's protector. Many of us learned this trick when we were Padawans. The rules come in at thirty-five pages, but the printing is extra large and is in color. So it is easy to read and understand with old Grog eyes. I know we are not getting old, just aging like fine whiskey. The standard set of rules also makes it so you can pretty much hop from one game in the series to the next without the time consuming learning or teaching. As others have mentioned, the 'chit pull' system for operations is a great way to keep the fog of war going and to help make these games very solitaire friendly. In this day and age a way to play solitaire is almost a mandate in any game. 'On your game table' longevity is enhanced by the fact that the game has rules for anyone to create their own scenarios.
 



 The game series has more of a randomness to its 'chit pull' than a lot of other games. In this series it is possible for a turn to end before you can pull a chit to activate some or one of your units. Most games vary the time when you can activate all of your forces on one side, but you can usually activate all of them during a turn. Not so in this game. You may really need that tank platoon to attack that bridge, but instead it just sits there for a turn. It may seem maddening in a game, but just read almost any book about any battles and you will see the same thing in history. You can, if you have the 'Fate Points' to spend, use two of them to be able to put the marker that you just drew back into the cup and choose again.

 I like the game and look forward to playing others in the series. Tactical games are an odd lot. Players either buy into the designer's choices to try and represent space and especially time. I think the game mechanics in this game work and work well. Apparently in the first counters that were made, there was an error on the SS Tiger counters. This was fixed very quickly and the copy of the game I have all is good.




Robert

Heroes of North Africa by   Lock 'N Load Publishing  This is the largest game in the Lock 'N Load tact...

Heroes of North Africa by Lock 'N Load Publishing Heroes of North Africa by Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Lock 'N Load Publishing



by









 This is the largest game in the Lock 'N Load tactical series yet. It is about the desert war from 1940-1943: North Africa WW II Rommel, Cruewell, Montgomery, O'Connor, Graziana, and Gariboldi plus lots and lots of sand. For your gaming pleasure LNL has brought you the forces of Italy, Germany, Britain, France, and the US. Let us go through a checklist of what comes with the game.






 Large box -  check, seems like the holidays
Counters large and easy to read -  check
Large easy to read colorful manuals - check, LNL standard fare
Mounted maps - Nope, none here; these are paper maps, but there
   is a ton of them and they are well made





 The game comes with the following manuals and player's aids:

LNL Tactical World War II Era 1930-1959 Core Rules Manual 
  Version 4.1
Heroes of North Africa: Module Rules and Scenarios
Heroes of North Africa: Rules Reference Card
Heroes of North Africa: Player-Aid Card
Heroes of North Africa: Skill Reference Card
Heroes of North Africa :Sequence of Play, and on the other side  
  Weapons, Ammo, and Targets
The Turn Record Track also has some information on it.






  Most of the scenarios are ones in which the English are fighting the Italians. The game comes with twenty scenarios, but your imagination and history can come up with many more. There are three I saw that had Germans and Italians fighting as allies. There are even a few with US troops fighting Vichy French troops. Most of the scenarios only use one map piece, but there are a few that use two. There is only one scenario where three map pieces are used. There are actually six 8.25 X 12.75 single sided maps, and six double sided 8.25 X 12.75 maps. The hex size is fifty meters across. This is tactical warfare up close and personal. There is not much room, if any, to maneuver, and sweeping encirclements are not happening. 







 There are six sheets of 700 plus counters. The counters come in three sizes. The largest is for vehicles, including tanks, and the next size down is for artillery pieces. The troops and markers are the smallest and most numerous of the counters. Unfortunately, the counters are a mixed bag as far as getting them off the sprues. On two of the counter sheets, the counters popped out like they had been buttered. One of the sheets was tough to get them out without damage, and then they had cardboard flanges stuck to their middles. The other sheets were average as far as undoing the counters. 






 This is a link to the turn sequence aid:

http://forums.lnlpublishing.com/resources/lnlt-rule-sequence-guide.101/

  This is a link to the World War II Core Rules:

http://forums.lnlpublishing.com/resources/lnlt-world-war-ii-era-core-rules-final.94/

 The rules are what you would expect from a detailed tactical simulation. It even has rules to simulate the Italians' lack of supply and sometimes indifferent training. This is not a knock against the Italian armed forces in WW II. It was unfortunately the truth for them. Some of their forces were elite troops that you will have your hands full with, and all fought to the best of their ability. No matter how under-gunned and under-armored the Italian tanks were, they continually were in the thick of the North African fighting. The Italian army was very well equipped to fight a war in 1936. However, by 1940 and later most of their equipment was outdated. The amount of scenarios will show how much fighting the Italian Army was involved with.




 



 This is my first foray into the LNL 'Heroes' series of tactical games. It seems like LNL is trying to supplant a game which shall not be mentioned as our 'go to' tactical wargame (don't you hate buzz words?). As mentioned, these core rules are for tactical gaming for the years 1930-1959. LNL has a plethora of games issued and forthcoming in this series. 





 The Italians are brittle, as they should be. The British are stolid, and the US troops are green. The German troops and equipment are better than most, at least in the early years, unless an armadillo of a British Matilda crawls slowly into view. With the core rules and separate modules rules, on the outset it looks like a player would be overwhelmed. With the player's aids and the turn sequence clearly delineated it helps to ease the player's learning curve. I have to thank LNL for printing everything  in large easy to read type. The play examples are well thought out and also help you learn the ropes. The line of sight rules are a bit lengthy and are probably the hardest part of the game rules to get right. The game does not have many votes, but its 8.44 rating on BGG I think is spot on. With the small area of play the battlefield Carnage adds up fast. Very few games now give you this much gaming in one box: Panzer IIIs and IVs, Crusaders, Valentines, and early Shermans along with French Renault 35s and of course a lot of the Italian tanks to name just a few of the pieces. The map pieces along with all of the counters for bunkers etc. give the player the ability to play out any scenario, historical or not. 

 Below is a setup for the scenario 'Mon Cheri I'. Italian armor is trying to break through dug in Free French forces.







 This is a link to a print and play mod that adds units and more to Heroes of North Africa:

 http://forums.lnlpublishing.com/resources/heroes-of-north-africa-desert-raiders-print-and-play-mod.226/


Robert
PixelPLaybox.co.uk