Full AAR of Under The Claw
Played a game of Lock N Load Tactical, Heroes of the Falklands. This is my first foray into modern with LNLT and it was very fun. It doesn’t hurt that I rolled over the British and Kev conceded by early turn 5 of 8. I would say that part of the key to winning was getting initiative every turn. I took some chances that wouldn’ve really hurt had he won initiative.
I think I also put him slightly off his plan when I completely took my forces to the right.
Here are the maps from the end of each turn:
Basically waiting for the reinforcing helicopters to come in to give him something else to think about.
The ship moves in and lays waste to the unit on the right hill. Also, the helicopter, Aluetto, shakes the unit in the building.
And then they don’t rally. And again, I win initiative and get a very high shot in the buildings up top and reduce the squad and wound the hero. Kev was done. The sniper did try to take out the helicopter, and I rolled exactly what i needed to avoid damage. This was the second time that happened with a crucial shot.
It’s so different to play “ftf” because there are rules that I forget and also the increased tension of what the other player will do.
I played this 4th scenario, “Carentan”, in the Normandy Campaign of the Lock N Load Tactical Expansion called, “We Stand Alone: Battles of Easy Company”.
If I play the next game via Vassal, I will be sure to make notes after each turn to have better notes for blog posts. I’ve gotten out of the habit. Basically, this post will mainly be pics taken at the end of each turn. I will comment where I recall significant events. Another issue, I played this over 7+ days.
To set the mood, here’s a photo from Britanica, via US Army of Carentan
Interesting to note how much space a squad (10 men) takes up in these streets. I understand this is during a peaceful moment and more relaxed, but still, when looking at boards and thinking about miniatures, I find these shots very informative.
Turn 1: US and Germans are only allowed a few units in turn 1. Germans start on board. US moves on board. Further turns, US brings guys from off board via movement. The Germans get to place their guys in any buildings East of hexrow H during their impulse in the following turns. Pretty cool. It can’t be op fire and can’t be op fired on. So, kind of an ambush. However, you have to enter them on the turn indicated which means they will probably be placed before the US gets too far on board.
You can tell I don’t like the heroes in this campaign. I successfully have killed all 3 heroes I was given to support me during this campaign. They have this neat feature where you can take a hero from battle to battle and grow their skills. Yea, well I seem to put them in too much danger because I think one has survived one game. I killed my last one.
You can see the US is beginning to shake in this one and there is an American unit in a building already. The objective is to take a majority of the buildings (6) to win outright. I also had 15 fate points to work with! Awesome. I used all of them and I would say perhaps half of them worked. Need to to think through better how to use them.
Forgot to take a picture after turn 4. Dead pile on the left. You can see the US is taking some buildings, thanks to a generated hero running building to building. Lots of shaken and also lots of melee. The building at the bottom of the map took a couple of turns to clear out. One melee taking at least two to three turns to complete.
Turn 6 saw the church get cleared out of the MG42 and main leader, as well as the sniper. Now the US had an MG42 to play with. Yes, check out that large melee pile at the bottom of that 4 hex building. It will take two tries.
I could not eliminate that group of paras from the “top” of the 4 hex building. However, I did clear out the units from the bottom. Unfortunately, the US was also cleared out. Both sides rolled high, 10 and 11 if I recall correctly. Melee group below.
I was feeling pretty discouraged as the US player because I felt like I was taking too long on the attack and wasn’t going to make it. But the US did make it.
The campaign so far:
Brecourt Manor Revised German Victory – Campaign Points German 1 U.S. 0
Brecourt Manor Final Episode US Victory – Campaign Points German 1 U.S. 1
The Way to Carentan US Victory – Campaign Points German 1 U.S. 3
Carentan US Victory – Campaign Points German 1 U.S 6
The Battle of Bloody Gulch – Campaign Points (3 points available to US if they win scenario.)
As of game 4 the U.S. has earned a Tactical American Victory: “Allied success in Operation Overlord is very promising.” They can’t get a worse campaign result. Some pressure off. But a Strategic American Victory is in sight. Could mean a big promotion.
Keeping up the work to see if I can convert this in a way that makes it a fun game. Sorry for the shaky cam.
Played the Lock N Load Tactical scenario from Heroes of Normandy, Saving Brigadier Hill against a fellow YouTuber, Devin, The Original Grognard. I’ve played him in ATS before and posted them on my YT channel. He’s a relaxed guy who is fun to chat with and frankly, I think he knew the rules better than I. We were lucky to be joined by Stephane who’s played since the Matrix days and was super helpful as we messed a lot of the smaller rules.
LnLT is pretty easy, but like most tactical games there are these nuances that are easy to miss in the rules and forget. I need to write these things down when they come up so I can collect all the odd ball rules into one place.
Anyway, the 3 hour video is below, but I’ll summarize it by saying…SPOILER ALERT…the British Paras won, but only because Devin conceded at the end of Turn 6. He didn’t see much chance to win. I think he was right and it was super tight, but personal morale checks can get you. I know I’ve succumbed to them before.
I played the game out to see how it did. Basically, the Brits won because a second Hero was spawned and was able to move to within 3 hexes of the objective. The Germans successfully cleared out the final building, but only after two seperate stacks took up all the opp fire which allowed the monster stack (now reduced) to enter into melee. Again, both sides were able to wipe out the other in melee. (Happened twice in the game.)
Great time and I’m really liking my choice to dive into LnLT. I was tempted this week with an incredible offer for a copy of ASL’s For King and Country, but I relented and resisted the siren call. I need to stay focused. One thing I need to remember, my tactics aren’t sound and general game smarts aren’t natural. So it’s nice to be able to play a game out and to see those consequences and be able to more easily evaluate and change. Some of the other systems are so deep that I’m never sure if it’s my misunderstanding of the rules or poor tactics.
Oh man, this is one of those cases where I just typed up several hundred words and hit some key that erased it all and then couldn’t figure out how to get it back…dang.
Basically trying to figure out how to convert to minis using the data that David and LNLT provided as an example on some of their cards on Facebook.
Caveat – I tend to be very literal when making these kinds of conversions. Take that into account when reading this.
I think the measurements are too small for 6mm. 3″ movement is too short. It would equate to a board being about 6-7″ wide if you look at how long it would take a squad to move across the typical LNLT board – 9 hexes wide, 4 hexes a turn, so three turns. So I could round up to 9″ wide board. 3 turns to make it across.
But this doesn’t quite play out when then add tanks.
10 hex movement (10T) means it can cross the board in less than a complete turn. So 9″ actually too long because with a 7″ movement it would take two turns in miniature land.
All this to say, my first plan is to try to make each hex equal 2″ thus making a typical board 18″x30″ (9 hexes by 15 hexes). This seems like it will make the typical stand of approx 1″ x 1″ look good, give room for the scenery and be a nice size to work with. Right now I’m leaning to doubling the movement and shooting ranges shown on the counters. So an infantry could move 8″ in a turn and the tank above could move 20″.
One challenge with tanks, they can’t go in a straight line the length of a typical map because they have to spend a Movement point to turn in the hex. I’m not going to worry about that yet.
There are a few other challenges to consider while converting:
- How to model and identify different squad types. Colors, uniforms, labels. (I’ve thought through this a bit already on labelling.)
- Marking status – shaken (puff ball?), spotted, etc
- How to show a half squad – model or mark the base?
- Modelling SW like Molotovs and satchel charges – mini or marker on base?
- Leaders – how to model and what is their leadership range – thinking 2″. Typically they can order units one hex away – so would that be 2″ or 4″? How to track their morale since they’re all different. There aren’t that many leaders and heroes in a box, but at 6mm it’s tough to model them and see them.
- Leaders – how to rally – must be touching or half the leadership range?
- Leaders and Heroes – how to show wounds and their special abilities.
- Best way to model that someone is on the 2nd floor, or higher.
- Hills could be a challenge to get right.
Again, this is me interpreting this literally. Perhaps I need to think of this as a different vision how to use the rules and the scenarios have to be loosely converted. Hmmm.