|Briefing for the second mission of the German campaign|
I learned to play wargames on the old Avalon Hill classics like Tactics II and Squad Leader. I stopped playing board games twenty years ago because I could never find an opponent. The draw of LnL: Heroes of Stalingrad and Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear (aside from them both having gratuitous colons in their titles) is that both games are computer versions of excellent board game titles. While I've never played either as a board game I'm aware of the reputation. There are times that I want something other than the 3D fidelity of a sophisticated simulation and want the ease of play of a good board game.
I'm in a mood these days for smaller, platoon to company sized actions. Combat Mission, as good as it is, can take several hours to play even a small scenario. Maybe it's time to give LnL:HoS and CoH:AtB another try?
|My infantry, led by the redoubtable Leutnant Wurtz advance into the southern edge of Kalach supported by armor.|
|Southern Kalach appears to be strongly held by the Soviets. Fortunately my squads have plenty of MG34s and an MG42 to lay down a base of fire while I maneuver the rest of my troops for close assaults.|
|It probably wasn't a good plan for Lt. Smirnoff to try and cross the road in front of that Stug. My troops are pressing the Russians and rooting them out of the south end of the town.|
|Hopefully some artillery will take out that AT gun. If not, moving anywhere on the left side of the map will be impossible, for my armor at least.|
At various times during combat, either side may generate "heroes," individual soldiers with some special trait or ability that can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your troops. I've heard complaints that heroes are generated too frequently in some scenarios, but as I was playing this particular mission neither side generated a single one. Overall, heroes are more or less like special ability cards in CoH or similar games.
|A Soviet Victory, at least according to the victory conditions...|
I probably shouldn't complain; in my younger days I was a master at understanding scenario victory conditions and employing tactics to exploit the letter of the rules regarding them. I won more than one game by using "gamey" tactics that wouldn't fly at all in the real world. In more recent years I've grown more used to and interested in games that reward tactically realistic play. I really can't praise LnL:HoS on the one hand for having a very definite board game feel and then complain when the game's victory condition mechanic is old school as well!
I've definitely changed my opinion about this game. Despite some niggles about a few things, I'm really finding playing it enjoyable. It's quick and fun with a definite Ost Front atmosphere. I'm looking forward to restarting my campaign at Normal difficulty and leading Leutnant Wurtz and his men to destiny at Stalingrad.
Tomorrow: Some Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear and a run through of Chris' new EFCO Platoons scenario for Command Ops.