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GrogHeads Reviews Table Battles

Hollandspiele’s new ‘abstract’ wargame hits the table ~

Doug Miller, 25 September 2017

I’m a hardcore grog. I like my games with hexes and chits. Fifty-page rule books don’t scare me, in fact they often appeal to me. I’m a lot more interested in the simulation value of most games than I am their playability. I’m interested in narrative and historical accuracy. I like maps. A lot.

All of which are reasons that I’m something of an odd choice as reviewer for Hollandspiel’s latest, Tom Russell’s Table Battles.

Table Battles bills itself as “a thinky filler, a light dice game that nevertheless will have you scratching your chin and agonizing over your decisions.” Tom himself posted in a Facebook discussion something to the effect that it might not be a wargame. There is no map. There isn’t any movement of pieces.

GrogHeads Reviews: Heroes of the Pacific

Lock’n’Load heads to the PTO!

Doug Miller, 24 October 2105

 

Despite a proliferation of WWII tactical systems in recent years, tactical wargames covering the Pacific Theater tend to be rarer than hen’s teeth. Even the benchmark WWII tactical system, Advanced Squad Leader, isn’t overwhelmed with PTO modules and scenarios. So I was definitely excited to see that LnL Publishing was not only bringing many of their out-of-print Tactical Series games back, but also adding to the series with a dedicated Pacific Theater game.

Heroes of the Pacific focuses on tactical combat between the US Army and Marines and the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). Like other games in the series the core of the game is infantry combat between squads and weapon teams, supported by armored vehicles, various kinds of on- and off-board artillery, and air strikes.

The game uses the familiar Lock n’ Load Tactical Series rules. The rule book has been updated to version 4.0 and includes the additions to support the unique aspects of the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) in-line with the remainder of the rules. Significant rules changes are helpfully highlighted in green throughout the manual to bring experienced players up to speed quickly.

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L’n’L Heroes of the Pacific – First Look!

What’s inside the highly-anticipated new box?  Doug fills us in ~

Doug Miller, 30 September 2015

click images to enlarge

I’ve only ever played enough of the Lock ‘N Load Publishing Tactical Series games to know that I’d really like to play more of them. For too long these games have been too difficult to get except through the aftermarket and buying from other gamers. Having said that, one of my closest gaming-related friendships (Hi Bawb!) came about primarily due to my buying a copy of Heroes of the Blitzkrieg from a fellow Grogheads gamer, so I suppose that’s not all bad.

Much to my delight Lock N’ Load is about to make all of the older games available and has started producing new games. It’s icing on the cake that the first of these Heroes of the Pacific arrived on the scene just as I’ve conceived a rekindled interest in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. Knowing the quality that Lock N’ Load has always been famous for in terms of components, I was really looking forward to getting the game in hand and taking a look. I received a copy of the Premier Support Edition to review. Here’s what I found when I opened the box.

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The box cover art is nicely done and very evocative of the theatre.

 

Campaign: Leipzig – The Two-Sided AAR, part 4

19 March 2014

Cyrano and PanzerDE face off in the age of muskets and sabers, and find themselves on opposite sides of an Eastern German battlefield, in the first of a series of AARs that give you both sides of the action.

As a reminder, we are alternating between Jim (in blue) and Doug (in green)

As always, click images to enlarge

 

The tough part about doing an AAR and playing a game like this is that my aging brain forgets what the hell I was trying to accomplish during the long stretches between turns. I believe this to be a deliberate French tactic as Jim is younger than I am and less likely to forget why he walked into a room, for example.

Fortunately I drew a map early on and have previous entries in this AAR to remind me what group of pixel troops was doing what to whom. As a reminder, my strategy: 

Lowenburg_Plan

 

There are any number of reasons that I was never actually given the command of men in the field — not having enlisted surely among them — but I have to think that a profound lack of patience never looks good on an OCS evaluation sheet.

Campaign: Leipzig – The Two-Sided AAR, part 3

5 February 2014

Cyrano and PanzerDE face off in the age of muskets and sabers, and find themselves on opposite sides of an Eastern German battlefield, in the first of a series of AARs that give you both sides of the action.

As a reminder, we are alternating between Jim (in blue) and Doug (in green)

As always, click images to enlarge

1030 August 19, 1813

Well, if, indeed, there are to be three scraps in this fight for Lowenberg (per Marechal Ney’s original appreciation), the two other scraps had better get a good deal more hotted up

In the north, some may remember, GD Maison had detailed GB Penne to take his First Brigade, 18th Division, V Corps and see if anything couldn’t be done to help their brethren preparing to fight near Plagwitz.
taketheroadsouth8

Between the time this screenshot was taken (turn eight) and the end of turn 10, Penne finally located the Prussians coming from east of Deutmannsdorf and preparing to cross the Deutschbach Stream. These troops at first were cavalry piquets and, as no JTS Napoleonic commander worth his salt(peter) would turn down a chance to shoot at horses with infantry, I had Penne move his men up and form into line. Shortly thereafter, though, they were joined by well north of 1,000 foot in two battalions and, choosing the better part of valor, Penne began a withdrawal back to Maison’s main force.

It’s been an eventful five turns, particularly in and around Siebeneichen.