Just came back from a very enjoyable play test of Landser. I printed out a version of the rules I have reformated and redesigned, also a squad summary sheet. I really am trying to make the flow of the rules the best for ease of use.
I really wanted to test how the Heavy Machine Gun HMG worked and also revert to the original template firing method instead of the burst dice. So Guido and I set up a 6 x 4 tabletop designed around a prepared fire position for a HMG. We set up length ways with the HMG at one end. There was a very open and flat killing ground left in the centre with forrest, fields and other terrain on the edges. To negate these we put lengths barbed wire at the edges to funnel any flank moves back into the centre and eventually into open ground.
Chris took one Vickers HMG with a loader and supported by a spotter defended against one squad of Fallschirmjager.
The attack began with Guido’s Fallschirmjager splitting into three groups with their Light Machine Gun LMG holding the centre as two groups advanced on either flank. We immediately found the squad summary sheets very useful. I really like the rules for spotting in this game as it cuts out the God view and you have to be able to ‘Observe’ a target before you can shoot it and when you are doing some actions, like running, you can’t see anyone until you stop and look again. This tries to mirror the confusion of the battlefield without being too bogged down.
Anyway, once the Vickers opened up and every German on the field knew they were there, it began drawing a large amount of fire. Unfortunately for the German troops the prepared position made it very difficult to engage the HMG at range. They had to get closer! A number of very brave Fallschirmjager attempted to advance across open ground, only to be sent forced to ground. It seemed that a number of the attacking Germans were out to win and ‘Iron Cross’. On closer examination, it would seem that had they coordinated the attacks from both flanks and attacked in force, the outcome may have been forced quicker.
The English HMG gunner took a glancing hit mid way through the battle, only the recover and quickly re-enter the fight. Bad, Unluck or shocking dice from Chris only gave out 3 light wounds to the Germans, even though the template firing rules were working really well. He did manage to stall the Germans for 13 turns before the German LMG finally struck home and put the gunner out of action.
The English spotter briefly thought about taking over, but his moral failed in the face of the German advance on both flanks.
The game took about 2 hours to completed and there was a definite outcome. Using the quick play wound rules, made for a much faster game and now that we understand the mechanics things seem to flow faster.
In summary, the squad sheets worked well, the machine gun template rules seem better than the burst dice format, even though it is easy to hit using the template it isn’t easy to put a figure out of action, especially if you have to divide your fire. Scenarios battles seem to work best, rather than meeting engagements.
Our next game will test another key weapon, perhaps Mortars. I’d also really like to try a Normandy landing scenario and Pete is looking to make a concrete bunker terrain piece. Really going to have to think about the numbers of attackers and defenders, but it will be a lot of fun.
Hello all, sorry about the slow posts but not much happening at the moment. The boys gathered this evening for pizza and a game, it was great because a complete novice to tabletop wargaming came and had a go with us.
4 x 4 table with limited terrain was used, Pete set up the board to replicate something he’d seen in the Warhammer Great War rules. We used a squad of WW1 Australians to do battle with a squad of WW1 Germans, just so we could blood the miniatures we had painted and left sitting on our shelves for so long. Admittedly it is easy to transfer the rule dynamics to most firearm periods and WW1 has basically the same weapons types.
The game pitted two Australian squads against one German. The objective for the Australians was to cross the board and exit on the German edge. The German’s were tasked with holding a fence line for as long as possible. Initially I had expected the game to last for 7 turns, but we were to learn about that. Becca’s and Chris took a squad of Aussies each and Guido took the Germans, Claude just hung around to give advice when required (much to Guido’s annoyance). The game played up to 13 turns with the Germans holding out and breaking one Australian squad in the process.
- Need to record all players actions and results for each turn.
- Need to somehow make this visible on the playing board.
- Extended wound table gets difficult to maintain unless detail results are taken, but if we had a good recording device it may have worked.
- Game is played best with just a squad per side, but this might change if we have proper records and know the rules better.
- The HMG and GPMG are basically the same thing in the system and should just go under one name.
- Grenades are fun!
- Gotta keep track of turns. Perhaps there is a need for another turn measuring template or something.
- Rules layout is extremely important.
I question the LMG burst method and may return to trying the original template method.
We’re getting a hang of the rules now and changes or modifications are being identified. Need to keep playing them on a regular basis and print out and new draft version for everyone to have a look at and use in a game.
I am really enjoying trying to develop these rules and really appreciate the input of the boys during the games.
Back to the rules!
Check out Becca’s view of the game at the following link:
Jonsey, Guido and I got together today for a quick reacquainting with the rules. Jonsey had never played them and Guido had, but not for some time. So after being distracted by Jake and his little mate with a quick game of ‘Dawn of War’, we got down to a game.
Two sides, squads of ten, Germans v’s French. At first we stumbled through them, relearning the mechanics of the game, but after a couple turns we got into the swing of them. The biggest challenge seemed to centre around record keeping, what each squad member was doing at any part of the turn sequence. A couple times Joney’s French took shots when they should not have been eligible to do so, but we’ll put that down to a learning curve.
Suggestions to help keep record included templates, markers or cards where each action per turn could be noted (Team Sheets). The French ended up losing this first battle, but much was learnt about the game system.
For me, the biggest lesson was in the setting out of the rules. Were they easy enough to follow? Can I find the relevant rule quick enough? Is there a need for quick reference cards? Another thing that is lacking in the ruleset that I currently have, is sufficient Army Lists. I have since emailed Nick and asked if he has anymore rules or revisions or both that he can forward to me electronically, to save me trying to figure something out myself.
All-in-all, I had a good time and am happy with the progression so far. I know there is still a lot of thinking and work to do, but I am enjoying it!
World War 2 has held a fascination with me ever since I was a little boy playing with Airfix 1/32nd scale plastics in the backyard of our home. I wish I could go back to that backyard because I’m sure there would by lots of little soldiers still keeping a vigil from prepared positions that I never found again. I think World War 2 was the last war with clearly defined ‘Good guys’ and ‘Bad guys’. It could also be the influence of the never ceasing Hollywood matinee movies featuring John Wayne, Audie Murphy and Richard Burton.
I still remember sitting and staring wide-eyed and gob smacked the first time I saw The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far and The Battle of the Bulge. Classics that I highly recommend you put down this book and quickly sod off down to your local Tescos and grab a copy of. What boy would want to dream of being at Pegasus Bridge, Carentan or Bastogne.
So it seems that I was destined to venture into the wonderful world of tabletop wargames. Now a veteran of many gaming rules systems in almost every historical period known to man and then some, having painted hundreds of miniatures (15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 28mm etc…) and dreamt about sculpting some, I’ve taken the easier option (For me at least) and decided to turn my hand to a rules system. So, endeavouring not to jump before I can crawl, I turned my thoughts to reinvigorating an old set of rules instead of starting from scratch.
I found a set of rules on the old Icon Miniatures website called Landser quite a while ago now, they were fast squad level skirmish rules that I really enjoyed. The thing I liked about them the most was the rules for ‘observation’, this took some of the ‘God view’ out of the game which is something I really enjoyed. To my dismay I discovered that there was only a limited army list available and only one version with no updates.
Having enjoyed playing the game and with the desire to design and release a rules set myself, I began the hunt for the originator of the system. Many thanks must go to Olaf from Mainly 28’s who helped me put all the pieces together and I finally made the connection that Nick Eyre the writer of the rules, is the Nick Eyre of North Star Miniatures.
Nick agreed to let me develop up the rules because he wasn’t doing anything with them at the time. So with the help of my gaming buddies and assistance from Nick and Olaf, I’ve started the journey that will hopefully end in a revamped rules release sometime in the New Year.