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Origins Convention Report – Lock ‘n Load Publishing

Catching up with David & the crew at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 26 June 2017

We’re still working our way through our Origins 2017 reports, even though we’re over a week past the show!

With a staggering release of 30 new or updated titles, Lock ‘n Load Publishing earns this reporter’s “Most Ambitious” prize for Origins 2017.

Due to shipping issues from the printer, David Heath said he had a limited number of each title air shipped to meet expectations for his booth. Even so, response has been strong with approximately 40% of convention stock sold on the first day.

Brand-new to Lock ‘n Load Publishing is the Lock ‘n Load Tactical Solo set,  a card-based tactical rules AI, called AEO, or Artificial Enemy Opponent, allowing a player to enjoy any of the Lock ‘n Load titles in solitaire mode.

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GrogHeads Central Command Origins Events

What’s coming up at Origins this summer? ~

GrogHeads Staff, 8 April 2017

Per GAMA, event registration goes live on 3 May.

What’s on tap this year?  Plenty!

  • Tournaments!  We’ve got afternoon/evening tournaments for Lock’n’Load Tactical, Quartermaster General, Spearpoint 1943, and Twilight Struggle
  • Team / Group events!  In addition to our Command Post Wargaming, we have a pair of Team COIN games back this year, plus big team games of Old School Tactical, Sergeants!, and Crucible of Force (Slaughter in the Snow).
  • Kids!  We’ve got a special wargaming program this year for the kids – yes, KIDS!  We’ve got 4 games that we’ll be running all weekend, in shorter 1-hour sessions.  And for any kid who plays all 4 games at least once each, we’ve got a special Junior General prize.  These games are for kids age 7-14, and they must have an adult come to the table with them.

Which companies are here with us?

  • Griggling Games!  Quartermaster General, and some expansions
  • Flying Pig Games!  Mark’s got 5 (five! fünf! cinco! V!) different games over the course of the weekend with us
  • Enterprise Games!  With their support for our GMT events again this year, we’ve Fields of Despair, Wing Leader Supremacy, some COIN events, C&C Ancients for the kids, and the Twilight Struggle tournament
  • Collins Epic Wargames!  We’re running Spearpoint 1943 events (for the kids, too), but look for Polyversal, also
  • Lost Battalion Games!  The always-awesome Sergeants! games are back, and look for their award-winning tiles, too
  • Proving Ground Games!  Bringing the lead to the battle, with their minis wargaming, and a special movie-monster scenario for the kids
  • Lock’n’Load Games!  Nations at War, LNLT, and tanks for the kids

Over 65 events across 4 days, for all your wargaming goodness.  Plus, show up Wednesday afternoon and see what the staff has on the table just for their own fun 🙂

When you’re looking for our events in the Origins master event grid, they all start with “GrogHeads Presents”.  We did that to make it easier to find when sorting through a giant spreadsheet with over 6000 events, however we stripped it out of the names on our event grid here just to simplify the listings.

Don’t forget that everyone who plays in our events gets a discount with our vendor partners, and gets entered for some great Sunday-morning raffle prizes.  There’s also at least one prize for one of the players at every one of our events.

Note that the kids’ events – as noted above – have a special prize for kids who check out all 4 of the different games, and do not have prizes for each individual event.

Click through for the sortable table of events

GrogHeads Reviews Tank on Tank, Digital Edition

Grogheads gets under the hood with the new digital adaptation of the fast-and-furious Tank on Tank boardgame ~

Chris Paquette, 10 February 2017

Tank on Tank: Digital Edition is Lock ‘n Load Publishing’s computer adaptation of designer Peter Bogdasarian’s Tank on Tank board games covering the East and Western Fronts of World War II. The Digital Edition offers a combined version of both games though each theater can be purchased separately.

Tank on Tank, as described in the game manual, is “a low-complexity, Second War World War armored combat game.” The statement accurately captures the nature and flavor of both the tabletop game and the Digital Edition.

The game offers a simple, clean interface. On the start screen, there is an option to “Fight!”  This jumps you into a randomly generated quick battle if you don’t want to fiddle with choosing a scenario or campaign.

The other game options deal mainly with the volume sound settings. There are no difficulty settings or anything else along those lines to fuss with. As far as I could tell, the “Arch Height” slider is only for adjusting a visual effect with no impact on game play.

tot-pic1

GrogHeads Previews Platoon Command

LNLP’s forthcoming game gets the once-over from our preview crew ~

Jim Owczarski, 09 November 2016

Let’s get this out of the way, shall we?

Lock ‘n Load Publishing’s forthcoming Platoon Command is not an attempt to reboot Up Front.  It is neither Up Front 2.0 nor is it Up Front Lite.  It is not Up Front Redux featuring behind-the-scenes footage of how a scoundrel and his shadow company absconded with more than 300,000 Kickstarter dollars and left a trail of litigation and rage.  Not that I’m bitter, of course.

No, courtesy of a rare bit of wisdom from corporate gameocracy, Up Front, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof, is now available from the Wargame Vault and everyone interested can play this classic for a reasonable sum. Even more gratifying, the going rate for second-hand copies has now plummeted accordingly.  And besides, Platoon Command, though a card-driven game of World War 2 squad-level combat, bears little resemblance to its far more complex, some have even dared to say obtuse, ancestor.

Not. Up. Front.

Not. Up. Front.

Tracer Rounds: Origins Events!

Here’s what’s coming at the GrogHeads Central Command at Origins ~

Several years ago, we approached Origins with a simple idea: bring wargaming back to the convention.  It had been withering on the vine for a while.  The first year I attended as BayonetGames was in 2005.  We were across the aisle from MMP (who said about 4 total words to us the entire show), next to Columbia (where Ferkin said about 4 words to us every other second), and within sight of Avalanche Press, GMT Games, and Matrix Games, with Decision Games, and others, all in the hall as well.  By 2010, there were almost no wargamers left in the building.  There were some folks playing over in the CABS Board Room (after its consolidation with the War Room), but wargaming had evaporated, not out of malice, but out of neglect.  So I called GAMA.  I talked to them and asked what sort of parameters they had for us to operate within if we wanted to try and bring the wargamers back to the show.  And thus the GrogHeads Central Command was born.  We were able to bring some wargaming companies in that hadn’t been there before, as well as bringing back some others.  And now we’re getting ready to launch our third year working with Origins, and here’s what we’ve got in store for you:

  • Enterprise Games, a retailer out of Indiana, will be the official rep/sponsor of our GMT events.  That’s right, for the first time, the Central Command will include official GMT events – we’ve got scheduled events for both COIN series games and Wing Leader, as well as the opportunity for some pick-up games of other titles, like Combat Commander and Command & Colors.
  • Lock ‘n Load Publishing is coming in.  Since the ownership change, they’ve not come back to Origins, until this year.  David is planning on bringing in a (literal) boat-load of new games off the press, and we’ll be running events for LNLT, World at War, and Nations at War.
  • Lost Battalion Games is back!  They’re the only company that’s joined forces with us every year of the GrogHeads Central Command, so we probably ought to get them some t-shirts to celebrate or something.  They’re going to be running some large ‘rolling’ events for both Sergeants – Hell on Wheels! and Rally Round the Flag that’ll permanently occupy a pair of our tables for the entire show.
  • Flying Pig Games is making their Origins debut.  Mark has committed to the show and we’ll be running events for both Night of Man and Old School Tactical.
  • Proving Ground Games is bringing back their Origins Award-winning minis rules, and taking over a table of their own with their snazzy terrain boards for a weekend of minis-based wargaming, both WWII and modern.
  • The ever-enjoyable Command Post Wargaming, wherein you and the rest of the participants get a quick primer on military planning, and then get to develop your own plan for keeping the red horde from rolling over the inter-German border.  And then you get to execute your plan and watch it fall to pieces in the first 10 minutes as you scramble to adjust while the war goes on!  Seriously, though, it’s an exercise in wargaming with a far more realistic approach to planning, intel, and logistics than you get out of any other tabletop experience.  If we get enough participants, we sometimes run this one head-to-head, so bring your friends!
  • For those that want the Command Post Wargaming experience, but are short on time, we also have the more scaled-back Command Post Chess events, where the principles of planning, intel, and execution are very similar, but with a simplified game that everyone already knows – Chess!
  • Because I’m the guy that puts all this together, I also sneak in a few events of my own, so we’re going to make sure that BayonetGames‘ long-discussed-and-eventually-to-be-published game about modern-day war in Ukraine hits the table (Orange Crush) as well as one of BayonetGames’ Warfighter-series games, Asian Thunder.

We’ve got over 50 wargaming events spread across 5 days, including some drop-in game times and a stray seminar here and there.  There’s something for everyone, so come join us this summer at Origins.  Detailed day-by-day schedule breakdowns are below –

GrogHeads Reviews Tank on Tank West Front

TANKS!  Oooga oooga.  GUNNER-SABOT-WARGAME!  Rumbarumbarumba.  Schwooooosh.  BOOM! ~

Brant Guillory, 19 December 2015

click images to enlarge

Tank on Tank is LNLP’s re-release of their older WWII tactical combat game.  Unlike the LNL Tactical system, this one focuses on – wait for it – TANKS!

Counters are individual fighting vehicles, with additional infantry platoons running around.  The West Front box (this review) has Panzer IVs, Priests, Pershings, and Panthers.  There’s also playing pieces that pon’t part with “P”, like Shermans and Stukas, Wolverines and Armored Infantry.  The maps are 50m hexes, and include a “winter” map on the backside of each of the standard maps.

Inside the Box

Production values are the usual LNLP high-quality, with a standard 1” deep box, individually-cut pieces (no corner clipping!), and vibrant colors and graphics.  The play aids are useful without being obtrusive, and the rules are simple, concise, and compact.  Although the production value is excellent, the West Front box seems a tad sparse for $34.99.  For only an extra $5, the East Front box certainly packs more into the same size box – twice the counters and three times the maps.  You can see the comparison in our previous unboxing article here.

The comparatively sparse West Front box has 1 countersheet, 2 double-sided maps, and the rulebook and player aid card. And dice (pictured).

The comparatively sparse West Front box has 1 countersheet, 2 double-sided maps, and the rulebook and player aid card. And dice (pictured).

Heroes of Normandy – First Look!

LNLP’s latest release in the newly-renamed Lock’n’Load Tactical System landed on our doorstep. ~

Michael Eckenfels, 10 December 2015

Disclaimer: I am the co-host of the GrogCast, the podcast for GrogHeads.com. As of this writing, our podcast is sponsored by Lock ‘n Load Publishing, the producer of this game. I just wanted that said up front before I dive in. This game truly does look excellent, and that’s my gamer/writer side talking, and is not influenced at all by LnL’s sponsorship of our little podcast. Now, on with the article.

Unboxing articles are kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand, I get to open this brand new game that usually has just come off the production line and get to be one of the first to lay eyes on physical components. On the other hand, I have no idea what I’m looking at, so I cannot speak to the components; your guess is indeed as good as mine in some cases. Still, it’s pretty cool to take a look at these things.

This game, Heroes of Normandy, is a game in LnL’s Tactical System, and simulates the battles in France in 1944 following the D-Day landings. I have had experience with LnL’s product during Mark Walker’s reign as leader, but that was many years ago. I’ve also not been much of a tactical gamer ever, having cracked my skull against a metaphorical wall whilst playing Squad Leader solo back in the late 80s…that entire experience somewhat soured my outlook and I almost immediately immersed myself in grand strategic games (both PC and board) after that. However, over the last many years, this has slowly but surely been changing.

When GH told me I’d be getting this game for an unboxing, I immediately took to BGG and other sites to find out as much as I could about it…and saw that truly there’s very little out there. (By the time this is published, likely that will have changed. For now, though…yeah, not much.) Looking at the pictures on LnL’s website and those they posted to BGG and elsewhere, as well as checking out the price tag – $89.99 as of now – it was pretty obvious this is a monster game.

Click images to enlarge

HoN-Unbox-001

 

When the box arrived, it was heavy. I mean, HEAVY. It felt like a brick was in the box. So when I opened it and found a thin box inside…I was somewhat mystified.

GrogHeads Holiday Buying Guide 2015

 

Do people claim you’re hard to shop for? Just point this to this list, and hope they get the hint! Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of games on the list, but first, some fun stuff ~

 

 

TANK!

hbg-tankHey, we’re not that far removed from TANKSgiving, so why not an M1 tank? It’s 1:16 scale, can get up to 60 feet from your remote, and for some reason has actual headlights. Cruise the back yard, chase the dog, and assault the annoying neighbors.

And if the modern M1 isn’t your thing, you can go back to WWII and bust out a Jagdpanther, too.

 

DRONE!

Keep tabs on your tank with a drone sporting an onboard computer that lets you fly manually, or programmed and on autopilot. It can orbit, fly over, or hover, without you touching a remote.  Just don’t ask what it costs – remember, you’re not supposed to pay for it!