Author Topic: Old School Tactical  (Read 2387 times)

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Offline Rayfer

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Old School Tactical
« on: July 24, 2020, 09:30:35 AM »
Now that I'm retired I wanted to get back into board wargaming, specifically Advanced Squad Leader which I played extensively 30+ years ago.  But at my more advanced age I'm finding it difficult to enjoy the experience.  It's just way to complex now, or maybe it's just me not wanting to take the time to learn it.  I was researching alternatives that might be less complex and came upon Old School Tactical by Flying Pig Games.  It appears well done and not as complex as ASL.  Anyone here have experience with it?  Is it solitaire friendly?  Other products I might want to check out? Thanks.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 01:00:06 PM »
I have Old School Tactical...in fact...in an oblique brush with baseball fame I got my copy from Curt Schilling (sadly he did not autograph it) who used to sell his gaming stuff from time to time on Ebay...but that is another story.

Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to play OST. But it does seem like "ASL lite". The package is robust and the quality of components is very high. 


Other games you might look at:

-Conflict of Heroes: If squad level tactical is where you want to be, you might also look at the Conflict of Heroes series by Academy games. I have all of the games and enjoy playing it. Very relaxed, easy to learn rules. Game components are top notch. Large thick counters with large print for older folks like me.  Mounted boards. COH is far less complex than ASL, but still fun and dynamic with plenty of meaningful chrome. 50% Vassal Support (not all games have modules)
https://www.academygames.com/collections/conflict-of-heroes-series?page=1
Here are the rules:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5tn0186w6yayobd/AAAvyY3SKGF9DDOR6O4OlOs1a/AtB3%20Living%20Rules%20and%20Game%20Files?dl=0&preview=AtB3+Rulebook+v60+Highlighted.pdf&subfolder_nav_tracking=1

-Combat Commander Series:  This is an excellent WWII squad level card driven system by GMT that has plenty of fans including me. The base games and supplements cover almost all infantry combat in WWII. It has only tepid rules for armored combat...in fact AFVs are mostly missing...so maybe not the best comprehensive system. However gameplay is very dynamic and is a great gaming experience.  Rules are slightly more complex than Conflict of Heroes IMHO. As usual, top notch GMT components. 100% Vassal support
https://www.gmtgames.com/xsearch?searchterm=combat+commander

-Panzer Series: A little more complex, but not nearly to the level of ASL, is GMT's Panzer series. Actually the game is an update to Yaquinto's old Panzer game. As the title suggests, the emphasis is on armor, but the other arms, including artillery, infantry and air to ground are well represented. Armor combat is resolved almost to the level of a good miniatures game (with hit location, and varying armor thickness). I like the game very much, and as an old ASL'er myself, I find myself gravitating towards Panzer. Covers the European Theater pretty well, with North Africa being in the works. The Pacific will probably continue to be missing in action with this series however. The series also extends into the modern era with the "MBT" series of games. Another plus is that compared with ASL, the modules are relatively inexpensive. As with any GMT game, the components are top notch. However boards are not mounted. 100% Vassal support.
https://www.gmtgames.com/xsearch?searchterm=panzer   

-War Storm Series: This series is one level up on the tactical hierarchy. A platoon level game series, I have found it to be fun and fresh. The series is not as developed as some others, but it is slowly growing.  The two publishers are Compass Games and Draco Ideas. I really like the way it portrays leadership at that level. It also represents the Spanish Civil War and France '40 that are refreshing. 100% Vassal Support
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/37037/series-war-storm

-Panzer Grenadier Series: This series is the "Big Kahuna" of the platoon level game systems. I am not a fan because I have some picky issues with the way leadership is portrayed. Having said that, I own and have played many of them. But the series is without a doubt very popular. Also it covers almost every possible corner of conflict in WWII and even spills into WWI and the Korean War. Until recently, little Vassal support.
http://www.avalanchepress.com/line_Panzer.php

-Advanced Tobruk System (ATS): I am a little reluctant to mention ATS, because it is somewhat like ASL, without quite the heavy rule book. I would say that complexity is slightly higher than Panzer. Critical Hit is the publisher, and they are also a presence in the ASL world. There are a ton of modules and stand alone game boxes. The system is based on Avalon Hill's classic Tobruk game. I have and have played several of games and modules. Armor combat is as detailed as in Panzer (maybe even a little more), and I like ATS, just not as much as Panzer. Also, the price of entry is little high IMHO and the components range from just OK to good. Vassal support is tightly controlled by the publisher, making it sometimes hit and miss. 
http://www.criticalhit.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Advanced_Tobruk

« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 01:34:18 PM by ArizonaTank »
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Offline Rayfer

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 01:39:44 PM »
Thanks AT...I appreciate the detailed reply.  :notworthy:  I'm going to check them all out, but from your descriptions I think Conflict of Heroes and Panzer series look the most promising, as well as OST.  These games aren't cheap so I have to pick one and go with it. 

Offline al_infierno

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 01:59:51 PM »
Have you checked out Lock n Load Tactical?  That's a well renowned "ASL lite" system, very cheap entry price for the starter kits.
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
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If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
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I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
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Offline Rayfer

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 02:18:00 PM »
Have you checked out Lock n Load Tactical?  That's a well renowned "ASL lite" system, very cheap entry price for the starter kits.

No, I haven't but I added it to my list.  Thanks.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 06:04:15 PM »
Iíve been playing LnLT since 2005. Great series and none other has the breadth of eras to play, from early WWII to late WWII East and West fronts, North Africa, Pacific, Vietnam, hypothetical WWIII, Falklands, Russians in Afghanistan, Mogadishu, Libya and coming soon Grenada.
Easy to learn, especially with the version 5 rules. You can even learn to play for free, download the rules and then play he starter kits on VASSAL or Tabletop Simulator, or Tabletopia... all for free. Very easy to play solo and thereís a solo system that works for any of the games.

OST is the new kid and is a great system as well. Currently East front, West Front and Pacific. Very easy to learn and solo friendly. I have all the East and West front stuff, expansions and all, and it is very fun to play.

Canít go wrong with either series really.

 

Offline Ubercat

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 08:47:35 PM »
I'm pretty sure that Conflict of Heroes has a solo upgrade of some sort. I seem to recall being told all about it at the Academy Games counter at WBC last summer. I just don't recall any details.
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2020, 09:21:45 PM »
I'm pretty sure that Conflict of Heroes has a solo upgrade of some sort. I seem to recall being told all about it at the Academy Games counter at WBC last summer. I just don't recall any details.

Th Conflict of Heroes Solo, which the LnLT Solo is based off of, only works with scenarios that were created specifically for the the solo bot.

Offline Rayfer

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2020, 10:04:47 AM »
Thanks for the great advice.  I ordered the LnL Tactics Starter Kit that lets me check out the game for only $14.99.    Ps. Barthheart....how does LnL Nations at War differ from Tactical?  Thanks.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2020, 10:40:21 AM »
Thanks for the great advice.  I ordered the LnL Tactics Starter Kit that lets me check out the game for only $14.99.    Ps. Barthheart....how does LnL Nations at War differ from Tactical?  Thanks.

Nations at War is platoon level, each counter is 3-5 tanks or 20-30 men. Hexes represent 250 m. Tactical is squad level, each counter is a single vehicle or 8-12 men. Hexes are about 50 m.

NaW plays very differently. It has a chit draw system for entire formations to move and sometimes a formation doesnít get to move in a turn. LnLT is impulse based where I move a unit or single stack and then you move , back and forth until everyone has acted.

NaW was derived from their WWIII platoon level game World at War, now World at War 85. I think the system works much better in the modern setting than WWII.


Offline Rayfer

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2020, 11:41:02 AM »
Thanks for the great advice.  I ordered the LnL Tactics Starter Kit that lets me check out the game for only $14.99.    Ps. Barthheart....how does LnL Nations at War differ from Tactical?  Thanks.

Nations at War is platoon level, each counter is 3-5 tanks or 20-30 men. Hexes represent 250 m. Tactical is squad level, each counter is a single vehicle or 8-12 men. Hexes are about 50 m.

NaW plays very differently. It has a chit draw system for entire formations to move and sometimes a formation doesnít get to move in a turn. LnLT is impulse based where I move a unit or single stack and then you move , back and forth until everyone has acted.

NaW was derived from their WWIII platoon level game World at War, now World at War 85. I think the system works much better in the modern setting than WWII.

Thanks....I made the right choice between the two.

Offline GibbyG

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2020, 04:09:18 PM »
Another alternative are the ASL Starter Kits.  Same basic system without the bells and whistles.

Offline demjansk1942

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2021, 03:31:01 AM »
I know the topic is old, however, I like the solitaire games by Greg Smith and David Thompson, all solitaire.

Playing Pavlovs House and itís fun.  Getting Castle Itter soon and then Postmnen Uniforms


Offline rustyshackleford

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2021, 01:06:04 PM »
I own Conflict of Heroes, Lock n Load, ALL of the Combat Commander games, Fighting Formations and a few other tactical systems. Obviously I am a huge fan of tactical warfare.

While all of those are great games in their own right, the ONE game I will never stop playing is the Band of Brother series. It handles suppression beautifully and you actually have to use Find 'em Fix 'em Flank 'em tactics used in WW2 otherwise you WILL suffer huge casualties.

It also seamlessly works with armor. Here's a review of the 1st game in the series from a few years ago - it has been updated, check out "Ghost Panzer 2nd edition" or any of the remastered editions.


Offline GJK

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Re: Old School Tactical
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2021, 04:49:09 PM »
If you're strictly playing solo, ASL is *not* a good choice (but it can't be beat for face to face play IMO).  There is always VASSAL/VASL if looking to get back into ASL; there's lots of guys very willing to help teach/refresh on there.  And as a former ASL player, you likely recall that you can make ASL as complex as you like: there's 100's of infantry only scenarios where you read 20 pages of Ch. A and a couple of paragraphs on the terrain used on the board(s) in Ch. B and you're good to go.  Routing and the Defensive Fire Principles are the two toughest topics in an infantry only scenario but not impossible at all to work through (and there's lots of good online resources that will answer any questions).

Just thought I'd chime in as I browse back around.  :)
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