Heroes of Normandie game day

This Saturday The Sentry Box hosted a Heroes of Normandie game day. Over the course of the day we managed to get three full games in and chatted to a few people about the game.

The first game was played was with the Slaughterhouse (5) scenario from the box. In it, German and American forces are attempting to take control of a small house which is initially held by the Americans. Bryan and James played the scenario while I chatted with folks about the game system and checked out the rules when questions were raised. As much as I like the system, the rulebook is really poorly organized. Happily once you have the rules figured out you don’t need to refer to the rulebook any further since everything you need is on the unit tokens.

The first game quickly devolved into a mad clash for the house as James threw his Germans at the building as Bryan attempted to flank them and cut off the attacks. Grenades flew from both sides but some wildly poor rolls as well as quickly played random event cards meant that most of the grenade attacks were without effect. In the end the Americans wore the Germans down and the house remained in American hands to give them the win.

The second game was a DIY battle with myself against Bryan. Initially he wanted to use the British units I had but I don’t have enough to play a 250pt force with them. Rather than buy multiple platoons he switched to US Rangers instead. I played the SS Panzergrenadiers. This is a bit odd since in “real” WWII strategy or tabletop games I won’t play them. It feels wrong to me as if it is glamorizing them. In HoN it is a different matter as they are obviously meant to be cartoon caricatures and not to be taken seriously. They are also an almost entirely motorised formation which is rare in the game. I took a force with a Stummel, two halftrack and two Fire and MG teams. Bryan had an enormous number of Rangers which he placed into terrain camouflaged.

The scenario was Attack/Defence and Bryan placed the German objective about as far back as possible and then set up the terrain so I was attacking across a barren field before I got into the terrain… which he was already in. Unhappily for Bryan he didn’t guard the objective and so while he managed to destroy on halftrack I was able to run the other down the far side of the map and decamp next to the objective. Most of his forces were on the other side of the table and not able to get back in time to stop me from claiming the objective and winning the game. I lost both my halftracks but it was a minor cost to win the game.

I would have really liked to have some smoke to drop to cover my troops but those templates are only available in the army packs. Which is as good an excuse as any to buy one :-)

The final game was another DIY scenario pitting the Americans, in the form of a rifle platoon, against a German Panzer platoon with two Panther tanks and some SS Panzergrenadiers. Sadly the Americans only had a Greyhound, Sherman and a single Bazooka team to take on the tanks. The Bazooka team was taken out early, the Greyhound was useless even with rear shots at the Panthers and Sherman was Suppressed and had a track shot out making it immobile. The game was called early after a panther took out the US leader dropping the America team down to a single order per turn.

Slaughterhouse (5), which was the first scenario we played, is from later on in the scenario book and it was a lot more interesting than some of the introductory scenarios we have played previously. The two DIY scenarios were pretty one-sided affairs but for different reasons. In my game against Bryan, he could have made the game a lot more difficult if he had placed some troops around the objective instead of leaving it unprotected. In the last match, the tanks just turned out to be too tough a nut to crack and the Sherman didn’t help by rolling 1s for attacks against the Panther’s read armour on two separate occasions.

Despite the lopsided games, I actually preferred the DIY system. It let you build your own force, set out the map and just have a quick, fun game with little prep time involved. I am looking forward to trying a 500pt game with two or more platoons and perhaps some heroes.

The game was quite popular with the people playing it as well as those who were watching and I suspect that we could have easily made two or three sales of the game on the spot. Certainly there was enough interest that I will be running another event in the future and perhaps trying to put on a large battle with the D-Day scenario pack.

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