Sunday, August 7, 2016

Old School Tactical - First Play

For a variety of reasons, even though I received my copy of Old School Tactical while at Origins, I haven't been able to get it on the table until today.

Playing the "Brandenburgers" scenario in my new gaming room


Brandenburgers using the woods for cover

 It  isn't worth doing an AAR on this game, since I was playing mostly to get used to the mechanics and experiment with how it plays. I made a bunch of dumb moves, from a combination of not realizing they were dumb before I made them and sometimes deliberately trying something to see how it'd play out. As a result, casualties were...excessive.

Another view of the Brandenburgers in their forming up point.
 I have to say that the system is easy to learn and plays very well. I watched a few of the Youtube videos the designer posted and after a quick skim of the rules found that I had a good grasp of the game. I only had to refer to the rules again occasionally, and it was pretty easy to find what I needed.

The aftermath. The Germans won with twice as many VPs as the Soviets, but it was very bloody. Only a single stack of the elite German commandos survive.
If I have any complaints - and this is a minor one - it's with the maps. The maps are absolutely gorgeous, mounted and huge. They are nearly photorealistic and depict a nice range of terrain to fight over. The problem is simply the size. You need a decent sized table to lay out the map, and when you do have it spread out, the various game track markers are inconveniently far away. I dealt with this by downloading and printing out an off-map tracker that made it a lot easier to reach things. For the Western Front OST II now in Kickstarter I hope that the quality of the maps are maintained, but perhaps a more usable map configuration is adopted.

Otherwise all of the components are great. The rules definitely favor using sensible WW2 tactics. Things like wreck markers for vehicles and dropped support weapons add nicely to the game narrative.This is most definitely a fun system that will see a lot of play on my gaming table.