LnL Tactical System: Heroes of Normandy is a complete game in the Lock ‘n Load Tactical Series. From the Airborne invasion, to the fighting on the Bocage’s of France, all the way to Market Garden. In HoN you are in command of infantry squads, specialists (leaders, heroes, & experts), AFVs, Heavy Weapons, and AT/INF guns. This game/series is great for new-to-wargaming fans, and long time grognards.
Rules: LnL:HoN uses the WW2 Tactical (standard) Series Rulebook, inside of HoN’s scenarios are series specific rules and narratives that focus on the system. Overall, the phases in the system are very straight forward at first, until you begin adding the layers of depth into the system: Terrain, obstructions, tactics, and other operations involved in the gameplay which keep you coming back for more. The three Phases in the LnL Tactical WW2 Era Rules at Rally, Operations, and Administrative Phase. Within those phases are provided functions that one could conduct. During the turns you pass back and forth 3 times with the option to pass per turn.
Deeper into the game there are capabilities to heal with medics, place snipers to disrupt assaults or slow enemy advances, weapons systems and mortars to destroy your opponent, Leaders to help move the needle, Heroes can be made with a die roll under stressful situations, and AFVs!
Within each scenario is a narrative that provides Special Scenario Rules to provide variability to the gameplay.
From my experiences with ASL, and even CoH: LnL Tactical provides the best of all worlds if you’re looking for something that can be executed within a 30-60minute window and obtain results/satisfaction one would want to have in a tactical paced game. This is in many ways NOT a simulation, but a fun game that once you’ve attempted various tactics throughout the system you come to realize a few major things:
- Leaders make up the game and the narrative of where and how you want to handle things.
- The rulebook is easy to digest. You’re fighting in the game, not the rulebook.
- There are AFVs
- Infantry units feel like infantry.
(Lock n Load in general) Heroes of Normandy is made with the utmost quality. I am thoroughly impressed with the cardboard, and rules/scenario book and maps. They are solid!
Visually, LnL is appealing. I cannot emphasize that enough – they really modernized tactical games and gave a solid feel and look to it.
Weakness: Very few: (I do like ASLSK/ASL and TCS for tactical games, most people will say CoH is a great game, not a big fan…LnL is up there with ASL and TCS in terms of replay and enjoyment) Here are my weaknesses with LnL Tactical: It took me 4-5 plays to really understand all the rules and gather the depth of the game. I was a bit concerned even after those 4-5 plays that I was still missing some of the minutia that would make the game even better…so I tended to begin reading through as I played which took longer so that I could exhaust whatever it is that I could find.
LnL Tactical is not a Simulation, it uses the WW2 era/errata as a setting/narrative/mechanic for the game. It is a fun game and some of the core mechanics/story are what makes the game a hoot, but if you’re looking for simulation/historical depth, look elsewhere. (I think many are aware of that)
I am keeping LnL Tactical on my list of 2017 games to buy/play/replay. A fun fast paced game that I don’t see going anywhere anytime soon. Look out for AAR’s and videos in the coming weeks.
Thanks to David Heath and LnL Publishing for HoN. A great company!