Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lock N Load Heroes of the Blitzkrieg Phoney War AAR

Pre Game
I had started a scenario of Lock N Load Games' Heroes of the Blitzkrieg right after receiving it for Xmas.  However, it had ordnance, tanks, etc.  I was a little overwhelmed, so I put it away and started diving into ASLSK again. Poked my nose back into CC and finally decided to understand how LnL’s squad level game worked.  I would push past all the hurdles I was experiencing.

Author side note:  I’ve put gaming, blogging, youtubing, and painting very much to the side for a while.  See the previous post.   With all that said, I still want a small touch of gaming in my life, so I’m trying to do this with some moderation – which is tough for me .  As you can see from the back and forth on the tactical systems I just wrote in the first paragraph.  I’ve found that it’s been hard to concentrate on rules while reading them.  Not necessarily because of the rules, but because my mind is in a million places.  And I can only give a little bit of time to it, so I get it in chunks.  All that said, I was finding understanding the LnL rules quite a challenge.

Then I found this rewrite on  It reads more like I learn and has helped immensely wrap my head around some of the concepts/exceptions etc.
So I found a scenario with no tanks and no ordnance and a small counter count, Phoney War, near Forbach, No Man’s Land; January, 1940.

History Note from the scenario sheet:
                During the period preceding the German offensive both the French and the Germans kept their positions along the border.  France had invaded the Saar country but retreated after the Polish capitulation.  War was then an affair of recon patrols, brutal ambushes and coup de mains on outposts.  On this day, at dawn, the Germans attempted to eliminate a French advanced base, taking advantage of a thick fog. Unfortunately, French Corps Francs were just returning from a night operation and joined the battle to rescue their comrades. – Olivier Revenu

Also, while I was looking through some of the blogs I follow, I found that Brad at Hexsides and Hand Grenades, back in March of 2012 listed Phoney War in his list of 3 Essential Scenarios from Lock N Load games.  By the way, his AARs are great and I try not to compare myself to him.  If I did, I wouldn’t write any.

I think my intro is going to be longer than the actual AAR.

Pre-Game – Mdl Julien hears of an impending attack, though they can’t see anything for the fog. (LoS limited to 3 hexes.)

Victory Conditions: Germans get 4 points for occupying the two hex house on the west half of the board and another 4 points by having no good order French unit next to the house.  The French get a point for each squad and ½ a point for each ½ squad or SMC (single man counter.)

End of Turn 1

End of Turn 1 (The stacks of Fire and Hit and Run markers are just that – stacks of them, no units are under them.) At the North (top) of the board a German squad is shaken and will remain that way for the rest of the game.  I had no leaders at the North end of the attack.  Not very smart because there’s nothing these guys can do once shaken…except move away from the enemy. The middle group of Germans gets into some rubble to prepare an attack there.

In the South the German hero is wounded as he crosses the open ground. As you can see, the Germans are able to get pretty close in turn 1.

To the Southwest, the French Francs come that direction to reinforce their people.  Though, now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I brought them along this part of the board.  The Germans had already set up this defense in anticipation of them coming on board.  I should’ve taken them on the northern side.  I think the cover of the building and wheat attracted me.

End of Turn 2

Turn 2
Starting in the Southwest side of the board, the France Corps were able to break the Germans in the forest with the MG34 and the ones in the forest hex straight East. The other Germans go to reinforce those hexes.   In the northern forest hex, the GO German squad hopes to get that mg from the shaken squad.  But they’re so scared, they won’t give it up…(you can’t swap weapons with a shaken unit – blast!!!)

Up North, the shaken move back to the forest to stay out of range of the French guns.  The Germans low crawl up to the wall. (Still a little shaky on the spotting for this.)  Oh yeah, the French in the house are all set up on the second floor to help with spotting.

In the middle, the Germans manage to shake the French sitting outside in the foxhole. However, one of the German squads also shakes. The leader moves a little closer in.

To the south, the German MG34 shakes the French in the foxhole to the south of the house.  The hero escapes shooting from the second floor to get next to the Frenchy in his hole.  I smell Melee.  As long as the initiative lands right.

End of Turn 3

Turn 3
Southwest:  The hero rushes into the forest to Melee the GO (good order) squad and the shaken squad.  The hero’s compatriots don’t see what happen; they just hear the shouts and shooting.  The hero survives opp fire and then courageously fights to the death 2 squads.   Further South of this position, his peers aren’t so lucky.  After the more forward squads try to shake the forest dwelling Germans and fail, the Leader and mg equipped squad attempt to advance fire. Instead, they take fire, the squad freaks out (shakes) and remains that way for the rest of the game.  Even the strong Sgt Olivier can’t rally them.

North: The Germans make it over the wall without casualty or incident.  They are extremely luck here.

In the middle, Lt von Martial runs his squad through wire and fire and melees the shaken squad (Actually, they just eliminate shaken units – no rolls necessary.) They are right next to the building.  Mdl Julien makes a mistake and runs the squads and Weapons team downstairs to prepare for the inevitable close assault. I'll explain the mistake in tomorrow's post.

South: Bad news for the German hero.   The French had won initiative, so the shaken squad moved back into the minefield hex.  Edging gingerly through their garden of death.  The hero, unaware of the danger and believing he has them on the run, rushes into the hex succumbing to the minefield. The other units watch in despair as this happens knowing now to avoid that area and inch closer to the building.

Join us tomorrow as we complete Turns 4-7 of Heroes of the Blitzkrieg Phoney War comes to an exciting conclusion! (insert dramatic radio drama music here)


  1. Nice write-up and thanks sincerely for the compliments. The Germans have done remarkably well here for only 3 turns! As for the shaken squads, I, too, am always conflicted about whether to keep a leader back near the setup area to send shaken squads for rally and get them back into the fight or just get all the leaders going with the assault. Your aggressive approach with the Germans seems to have paid off nicely here. I'm looking forward to reading the rest tomorrow!

  2. Nice pictures and narrative. Thanks.

  3. Nice touch Todd, and glad you're getting a little combat action.