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Sword and Fire: Manila – Pre-Order
For King and Country – Status: Shipping with extra copies in stock ready for a happy home.
We have now shipped all of our pre-orders so you should already have it or the postman should be rounding the corner in your neighborhood as we speak. We have a few more copies at discounted pricing if you still haven’t gotten yours.
Status: Delayed 🙁
MMP could not give me a time for the counter sheet reprint that is holding them up so we wait patiently but you can still pre-order here!
RAACO Status: Arrived 🙂
We have gotten our shipment in from across the pond and after filling backorders we still have 8 Handyboxes left so grab ’em before they’re all gone.
Hatten In Flames Review:
First a disclaimer, I am not a CG kind of guy. My brain doesn’t work well with the planning and purchasing part of it. I envy those that are able to process this kind of information but that just isn’t me. I have tried playing Red Barricades, Tarawa, Kampgruppe Peiper, etc. but it usually all falls apart between the first two scenarios. Then I discovered the CG’s of Lone Canuck Publishing. No more trying to manage 6 companies of infantry and three modules of OBA all at once. George managed to bring CG’s down to a moderate size scenario’s scale, commonly one company and a platoon of tanks or so per side. Well this became my portal to test the waters again. Then MMP released Andrew Rogers’ Hatten In Flames. I fell in love with it at once. I am now playing my third and fourth campaign games and I would like to share my thoughts.
Although this is a CG, I feel that Andrew made a lot of design decisions to streamline the rules so that it was not overly complex. Examples of this include an almost flat map with almost all buildings being ground floor only. Fixed SAN and ELR at 3 and 3 for both sides with automatic correction at the end of a scenario. Limit of purchases of a unit to once per Campaign Game (so just cross the unit off the purchase roster once you have bought it). No depletion rolls so everyone starts at full strength. No Night, No Cellars, No Air Support, No beach landing in the snow with bicycles dropping by parachute.
SSR for Hatten are very manageable with most being exclusions (Bore Sighting, Kindling, etc). that are already commonplace in most scenarios but Ground Snow is in effect although this doesn’t do much other than prohibit road rate.
The Battlefield is absolutely stunning. There is something about a winter map that actually makes me want to put on a sweater. The town comprises a T shaped cluster of stone buildings that include a few churches and a synagogue. A raised railway extends the length of the map and there is a lot of open flanking areas to each side, dotted with orchards, each potentially hiding a Bazooka team , MG nest, or M18 Tank Destroyer. Note that the red dots were added by me for VC explanation purposes and are not on the original map.
The OOB has a lot to choose from for both sides. The Germans have some truly fantastic units including Assault Engineers, 548 squads galore, 3 x 9-2 leaders, Flame Hetzers, Panthers, PzJgIV(L)’s, Mortar Halftracks, etc. Don’t forget that it is 1945 and each German has a pocket full of Panzerfausts with a range of 3. The Americans begin with crappy squads that over time battle harden between scenarios into an elite force. 32 tanks and tank destroyers, more mortars than you can count and some devastating artillery.
The Objective of the CG is for the German to finish the 5 campaign dates dominating 6 of the 9 victory areas (see red dots on map above). So a quick look at the map tells us that it is impossible to win without slugging it through the town center and tidying up at least one of the flanks. This gives the Americans a huge advantage in the late game for a counterattack along one of the sides. With poor cover for the defending Germans the Americans can bring down 150 OBA, a dozen mortar tubes and double digit Shermans to make this quaint countryside resemble the Somme.
The Strategy that I have used for the Germans (I have only played the German side so far) has been to purchase heavy on the Battalion I companies getting in early on the 9-2 Leadership and oodles of 548 squads. I like the PzJGIV’s too as their armor sits at a 14. I try to grab the Synagogue, Eglise St. Michel, and the crossroads for the scenario win with a group in reserve offboard that can take the cemetery if I fail in one of the other three objectives. I don’t want to grab the cemetery to early as I may need it later for a scenario win and it has minor tactical importance at first. I am not big on pushing towards the train station as there is a lot of open ground to cover and once in, there are limited rout options available to get out if I need to. As the American player, I think it is imperative to not set up too far forward on the first day. You are very brittle with a 6 morale and you will be up against 24 FP stacks at every turn. The German will also have many halftracks that can BU and skoot in behind you to cut off rout paths. Defend in depth, give up territory to conserve your force and slow him down with artillery and HIP units (once he finds one, he will think they are everywhere). Remember you only have to prevent the Germans from dominating 4 areas to win.
Balance as of the time of this writing is 10-8 or ROAR in favor of the Germans so it does appear to be quite even.
An Alsatian Hellscape: The Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen — The Military Historian (squarespace.com)
It is the American Rally Phase of the final Player Turn of the game. Under normal circumstances, any decent human being would concede as the American Player and go grab a beer downstairs to drown his sorrows. But these are not normal times. These are the finals of ASLOK 2094, Being run by the great grandchildren of Brett and Wild Bill. In order to win, the American player must control Building N4. To add insult to injury, the designer of the scenario, Pete Shelling’s great grand-daughter made the SSR that all US MMC that wish to Move must Move as a stack if they start the MPh in the same Location. What should the American do to ensure the greatest (yet slim) chance of victory? Note that the US 10-3 is wounded. Building N4 is currently German controlled
Contest #94 Solution:
Okay, so this puzzle is a little more nuanced.
Building J4: I give up any hopes of capturing building J4 as the 4-4-7 would have to fail 3 Morale Checks to make the building capturable as he sits on a stairwell (yes, you had to do some research for this contest and pull out board 1). Routing upstairs including by voluntary Break would deny control to the Americans.
Building L6: G4 squad drops the HMG, moves to H4-I5-J5(Bypass)-K6. Advances into L6 during the APh.
Building M5: Move Sherman M6 (1), sM in hex K4 (2), L5(3), L4(10), K4 Bypasss (12). If Sherman was destroyed by CCRF then 2-3-7 to hex J3 (this will prohibit the Italian Squad from firing into L5 as he will either be marked Final Fire for shooting at the 2-3-7 or will not be allowed to fire at L5 because there is a closer enemy unit. Now pick up the 3-3-7 as riders in D5, move D6, E7, F7, G7, H6, I6, J6, K6, L5, M6, Stop in M6, disembark, and Advance into M5 for the win in the APh.
In The Pipeline:
The long awaited re-release of Hollow Legions is expected in 2021 along with the new Winter Offensive. I still don’t have details on either but I will get them up as soon as I know a little more.
Le Franc Tireur:
Something huge which I can neither confirm nor the deny the existence of.
Lone Canuck Publishing
The Steel Works – Coming February, 2021.