Showing posts from December, 2012

AAR: Texas Hold 'Em - Homebrew Scenario

About a week or so ago, I posted a homebrew scenario I had made using the All Things Zombie maps with the Heroes of the Gap counters.   After lots and lots of playtesting, I think I've finally gotten it to the point where it's balanced out a bit.

Briefly put, the Soviet player gets the Nicaraguan forces from Line of Fire 12 along with the Spetsnaz against the might of a few defenders from the Texas Army National Guard and a group of grim but heavily armed and determined police and civilians.  The scenario takes place during the Soviet invasion of the United States and the Russians are trying to capture the police station and a military command installation in the town of Chaparalle Falls, TX.

As shown on the map below, the two objective hexes are indicated by a black circle while the Nicaraguan approach is signified by the purple arrow and the Spetsnaz landing spots are indicated by the red box at the top of the map.  Note that the Nicaraguans are allowed to enter from any h…

Into The Breach: Unboxing

As per tradition in my household, we opened one Christmas gift on Christmas Eve and I was very happy to unwrap a new copy of "Into the Breach", an expansion for World at War module, "The Untold Stories".  ITB has been out for a while now but that's never stopped me from doing unboxings before.

The box cover is pretty cool and has some very nice artwork by Marc Von Martial.  Into The Breach basically includes lots of American units and the cover reflects that nicely enough as a pair of Abrams tanks creep through the dark woods.  This cover is a pretty substantial departure from the previous WaW module cover art.  The old use of white space and banners is gone, there are no photos on the front of the box, and the art appears hand drawn.  It's a nice change of pace from the old covers and I like it.

After opening it up, we find the counters.  There's one sheet with 176 counters on it, depicting 2 German formations (41 Panzergrenadiers and the 44 Panzergren…

Heroes of the Gap Scenario: Texas Hold 'Em

Below is an LnL scenario based on the upcoming World at War module, "America Conquered", coming at some point in 2013.  I've tweaked and play tested this one countless times over the past while and I think it's ready for consumption at this point so here goes.  As always, any feedback welcome.

Scenario Title:  Texas Hold 'Em

Background:  The meager forces left of the Texas National Guard stationed in Chaparalle Falls, TX, bravely faced the onslaught of Nicaraguan army regulars and Soviet Spetsnaz invading their small town.  The local police and more than a few locals also joined in its defense, trying to keep the Communist Allies from taking over the town hall and the local police station.  For the Nicaraguans and the Soviets, this place was a dot on the map but for the people of Chaparalle Falls, it was their home and they would hold on to it or die in the attempt.

Scenario Length:  7 turns

Map:  Use Map 4 from All Things Zombie  (positioned with the number 4 in upp…

Phase Line Smash: First Impressions

I have just finished playing turn 1 of Phase Line Smash, GDW's solitaire game of the 1991 Gulf War, featuring the US VII Corps.  I'm kind of blown away, to be honest.

Contrary to my first impressions, the game is not overly complex.  Although the rules are certainly dense in some places, they are pretty intuitive and easy to grasp after you play through them a couple of times.  Chadwick and Nilsen were pretty careful about not including too many exceptions or long lists of die modifiers, which means that you don't have to keep referring to the rulebook every time you want to move a counter.  An index certainly would have helped new players a bit but the tables and charts are okay.

The artificial intelligence rules are actually quite smooth once you read them over a couple of times.  The varying postures of each AI-controlled formation make good sense and, in cases where they didn't, I just improvised and it worked fine.  The chit pull mechanic is pretty smooth and alt…

Phase Line Smash: Turn 1 - Tac Air!

Setting up Phase Line Smash took the better part of an evening and I started to get really excited about playing the game.  I'm bound to make some mistakes but here's what I've already learned just from the setup.

1.)  This game is gonna be on your table/floor for a few days so keep it somewhere safe.
2.)  Use the Holding boxes for the Coalition units.  Huge stacks of brigades are difficult to sort through on the map at setup.
3.)  Some of the engineer units for the Coalition forces have only the corps set as the parent unit.  I believe these can be attached to any US division or can be left as corps level units.

Once the game is setup, it looks pretty impressive.

Since I'm new to the game and I have no idea what I'm doing yet, I've decided to just throw myself in here and see how it works.

First up is the weather phase, which is skipped for the first turn in the historical scenario.  It's the afternoon of Feb. 24th, 1991 and the weather is overcast.

Next …

Phase Line Smash: A Brief Look

Twenty years ago, GDW released "Phase Line Smash", an in-depth solitaire treatment of the US VII Corps involvement in the Gulf War during the 100-hour ground invasion.  Frank Chadwick designed a game that lovingly attempted to model part of the ground invasion, including rules for fratricide, weather, a multitude of terrain, breaching operations, and close air support.  The basic rulebook tops out at 53 pages.

David C. Nilsen argues in his detailed historical notes (which are actually more of a book) that the quick and largely painless victory in the desert of February 1991 was far from a foregone conclusion and that only painstaking planning helped to bring the superior technology and training of the Coalition forces to bear in a way that maximized their efficiency in battle and exploited the weaknesses of the Iraqi troops and equipment.  Phase Line Smash invites the solitaire player to take control of the VII Corps (along with the 1st UK Armored Division) and attempt to ac…

Line of Fire 13 Has Arrived!

The latest issue of Line of Fire landed in my mailbox yesterday so I thought I would open it up and check out what this thing looks like in its paper form.

First off, the issue arrived in Japan without a bend, fold or scratch.  I have the plastic baggie that the magazine comes in to thank for that.  

Taking it out of the bag, it looks like a big departure from previous LoF issues.  For one, this thing has a nice thermal bind.  This is quite a step up from previous issues with staple binding.  The thicker cover is also extremely colorful and adds to the nice overall quality of this magazine.

The inside of the magazine still has the same good stuff you've come to expect from LnLP.  Plenty of reviews, scenarios, previews of upcoming games, etc. 

There are lots of nice colorful counters included with the magazine.  These counters are for the Tom Russell-designed "Blood on the Alma" complete game that comes with the magazine.  There are also counters for the Sino-Vietnamese …