On Wednesday, Rob Beggs, one of the play testers for Last Hundred Yards (LHY), and I had the opportunity to play Mission #2: Flushing Quail. In this mission, the Americans are charged with driving a German outpost from a hill. This outpost consists of (2) Infantry squads broken down into (4) sections and a Forward Observer (FO) for a 80mm mortar section that has been harassing the American Battalion HQ. The American force consisted of a two Infantry platoons led by Lts. Cherry and Murphy and a MG section.
The following is Rob’s account of the action:
“I played my first real game of the LHY the other day with Mike Denson. We decided to try Scenario #2: Flushing Quail, with Mike as the German defender, and me attacking with a couple of American platoons. Mike generously offered to play with no fortifications and no reinforcements, which I quickly agreed to.
The game started off slowly for the Americans as they couldn’t keep the initiative, and early German fire was effective enough to casualty reduce two squads. Here’s a strategy tip: Don’t bunch up your troops along a wood line when your opponent has mortar support; nasty stuff can happen. Eventually, they were able to get close enough to assault the hill and, thanks to some low Time Lapse rolls, still had a chance to win the game. One attack on the American left was successful and eliminated a German section in Close Combat but the Close Combat attack on the right was a disaster with the Americans running away in disorder.
Apparently the attack had failed (at the time the score was 19, and the American player needed 20 or less for a win) but… then fate intervened and gave us an exciting finish. The Americans rolled ‘10’ twice while recovering units and those two heroic units led the charge and quickly rushed the hill again. This time the Close Combat attacks booted all the Germans off the hill and the game was over.
Unfortunately, the Germans didn’t take any casualties during those last Close Combat attacks, and with the score at 19, the American needed to roll a 1 or 2 (one minute) on the Time Lapse Table to get the win. They didn’t, and the final die roll was “6”, (3 minutes) resulting a final score of 22, a draw.
The game took a to while play because we stopped frequently to discuss rules and strategy, but I was able to get a good sense of the quick, streamlined play that LHY delivers. I’m very much looking forward to playing another scenario.”
We both had fun and Rob seemed to pick up the game’s nuances quickly.
The development of LHY is progressing nicely. Our developer, John Alsen, has put together a great team of play testers and we’re beginning to receive a lot of play feedback. Justo Perez, one of the play testers, will soon be posting a video and narrative of an example of play, providing a better feel for the game’s systems. Eric Teoro, another play tester, has recently volunteered to lead the effort in editing and improving the verbiage of the rules. Jim Pyle has done a great job in creating our VASSAL module, and Rick Reinesch has been invaluable as a sounding board for the rules and systems.
We have begun working on a Do Your Own (DYO) Mission generator, which we’re quite excited about. Players will be able to generate missions consisting of forces ranging from a single platoon to a Battalion. Players will have the option for a “Me” counter, allowing a player to put his or her “skin” in the game. Such a player would begin as a Squad Leader leading a specific squad in each mission. After five missions, provided the squad has survived, the player would be promoted to veteran Squad Leader and his or her squad would have better cohesion. If the squad survives another five missions, the player would be promoted to Platoon Leader, with further promotions based on additional successful missions.
In November, we will be demonstrating the game in Austin, Texas at MillenniumCon.
We are very excited about Last Hundred Yards. We believe the game mechanics will offer WWII tactical wargamers something new. With the DYO Mission generator, high re-playability will be even higher. With the “Me” counter, players will be able to craft a personal story, experiencing the game through the eyes of different leadership levels.