White Star Rising introduces Lock ‘n Load Publishing’s Nations at War (NAW) game system. Based on the popular World at War, NAW depicts platoon level combat in World War II. Here you’ll find everything you're looking for in a platoon-level game -armor, artillery, infantry that serves as more than cannon fodder, command and control, air support, amphibious landings, and desperate close assaults that leave the victor in possession of the ground and the defeated in headlong retreat, all in eight pages of rules. That’s two less than the World at War system. Two sheets (approximate 200 total) .75" counters.
White Star Rising, which focuses on the fighting between the Americans and Germans, includes two counter sheets replete with the vehicles, men, and weapons of both the American and German armies that fought in France, Belgium, and Germany in 1944-45. You’ll fight battles at Omaha Beach, in the Lorraine, on the outskirts of Belgium, and in Germany itself. There are 16 scenarios, played out on four 11” x 17” geomorphic maps with ¾” (.75”) counters. That’s right, no more squinting to make out that tank platoon’s range; these counters are BIG. It’s all included in an attractive, bookcase-sized box. See About the Game , below, for more details. The game ships in a box with the following components:
Four professionally-drawn, printed, and MOUNTED 11" x 17" geomorphic maps.
2 players' aid cards
A 20-page rule, scenario, and chart book.
Desobry's Last Stand
December 1944, Noville Belgium. Major Desobry had been ordered to hold the Germans at Noville, a small village several miles outside of Bastogne. The major, 500 men, and assorted remnants of a tank destroyer platoon, Combat Command A, and a battalion of Screaming Eagles face an entire German division.
June, 1944, Normandy. The Americans storm ashore at Omaha Beach. In what would be the fiercest battle of the Normandy landings, the Americans struggle for hours against determined German defenders firing well-sighted machine guns and heavy ordnance firing from heavily-protected bunkers.,
The Bridge at Remagen
The Ludendorf Bridge was captured on March 7, 1945 by elements of the American 9th Armored Division. This scenario depicts the battle for control of the bridge.
The Battle for Strass
Located south of the larger town of Gey, and hugging the edge of the Hurtgen Forest, Strass was suppoed to be lightly defended. The men of the 330th Infantry Regiment would find out otherwise. Through assault and counter assault over a ten day period their regiment suffered 50% casualties. This scenario focuses on 11 December, 1944. The second day of the battle.
June, 1944, Vierville, France. The men of the 101st Airborne Division failed to secure Vierville on D-Day. On June 7th it would be their turn to try again. By now they had some support in te form of a platoon of Stuart light tanks. The Germas, however, had some support of their own. It would be a long day for both armies.
The Battle of Mairy
On the night of September 7th, 1944, Panzer Brigade 106 attacked the flank of the 90th Infantry Division. The ensuing battles were fought in several towns including Avril, Landres, and Mercy. In the end the men, Shermans, M-10s, and 57mm AT guns of the 90th had all but destroyed the Panthers and Grenediers on Panzer Brigade 106.
About the Game
Units represent platoons of vehicles, such as M-10 Wolverines, M4A3E8 Easy Eight Shermans, and German Panthers, Tigers, and Mark IVs. Of course White Star Rising isn’t all about tanks. There’s plenty of infantry; paratroopers, line doggies, Fallschirmjager, and Volksgrenadiers. In the same vein as the World at War system, the infantry are capable of moving fast and hitting hard. White Star Rising also includes support weapons, such as heavy machine guns, flamethrowers, and satchel charges that infantry platoons can use to lethal effect.
The system throws typical turn-based gaming out the window. The platoons are grouped into formations (usually battalions and kampgruppe) and lead by a headquarters. Each unit of the formation must be within range of the HQ to activate with its formation. Although individual units might activate, and recon units can double their range from the HQ, but you’ll want to keep those formations together. The formations are activated by chit draw, and better-trained, better-led units can activate more than once in a turn, moving, shooting, and fighting in each activation. On the flip side of a coin, there is no guarantee that a formation will activate even once. The cup into which the formation chits are placed is seeded with end turn chits. When the second end turn chit is drawn the turn ends. Doesn’t matter if a single formations has activated; the turn is over. It keeps you on your toes.
Combat. We love this combat system. When attacking each platoon rolls a number of dice equal to its firepower. Every die that equals or exceeds the “to hit” number (right superscript) hits the target. The target then rolls the number of die equal to its armor factor plus terrain advantages. Each die that equals or exceeds its armor factor negates a hit. The first hit disrupts a unit, second reduces it, the third eliminates it.
Units may also close assault, entering the opponent’s hex to either deal a death blow or force him (or her) out of valuable terrain. Same procedure, but both units use their close assault value. The side that takes the most hits must retreat from the hex. Infantry is VERY good at this, especially against armor without its own infantry support.
Game includes rules for thin-skinned vehicles, support weapons (actual counters that represent heavy machine guns, flamethrowers, and satchel charges that add to an infantry platoon’s capabilities), air-support, bunkers, wire, artillery, mines, overruns opportunity fire, line of sight rules that have been streamlined since their inception in World at War, transporting infantry, and all in eight pages of rules.