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      I want to point out I have held off from the L'N'L Tactical series for a long long time due to the fact I class myself as an in-depth wargamer, I.E I like lots of detail in my games (ASL, Assault, The Next War etc to name a few), and I thought that the L'N'L Tac series just would not work for me, How wrong I was/am.

      I took the very small plunge the last few days and purchased for a mere £6.99 the latest L'N'L Tac series starter kit, yes I know you can print n play for free, but I thought 'what the hell' and ordered it. So for what it is worth here is my Humble opinion and angle on this series.

      Wow, for a very small amount of cash you get a lot of game, 2 maps, both the same but in different hex sizes, they look very nice and colorful and are very well executed, both lay flat easily and are very well made. A sheet of counters with more than enough system markers and 2 lots of belligerents to fight with (German Whermacht Versus US Airborne & US army Versus NVA & VC) so you do not just get a WW2 starter kit, but also a Vietnam era starter kit! this as far as I am concerned is just great and awesome value for money, the counters are a little over 1/2 inch which is as far as I know smaller than the proper core games of 5/8 and 7/9 of an inch so although smaller than the real deal they more than give a good impression of what you will get with a box set, also I do like the fact that L'N'L are making all their counters now with rounded corners, so much nicer.

      the set is rounded off with a very nice rulebook that weighs in at 56 pages, the rules themselves are very well represented and written, and to my mind are pitched at the right level, it is clear the L'N'L Tac is not ASL, but nor does it pretend to be, it is a Tactical war game designed to be fast and easy to learn, and fun, and the rules reflect this in style and ease of reading.

      a game turn is 3 phases long, Rally, Operations & Admin phase, players roll off to see who has the initiative that turn (unless dictated in an SSR) and play commences with each side taking it in turns to activate a unit or stack of units or if activated by a leader with a leadership Modifier of 1 his hex of units and all those adjacent if that sides player wishes, sides may pass if they wish and both sides manoeuvre along in this manner with units moving, low crawling, assault moving, spotting, firing and generally trying to gain the upper hand until the scenario ends, Units cannot be fired at unless spotted, and a unit cannot be spotted unless they perform a task that will spot them such as moving, or firing or indeed if the enemy uses a unit to attempt to spot them. Units can move in 'Low crawl' at 1 hex and thus avoid becoming automatically spotted.

      Once spotted a unit or a stack may be engaged, this is a simple task of comparing attack and defence values and then adding a set of dice rolls, these, in turn, can be modified my leaders and terrain, and an end number difference is arrived at, if the attackers total is higher then possible damage may be done, a further DR then determines what the damage is and results are applied, these can be No Effect,Shaken, wounded (SMC only, Casualties (a full multi-man counter is reduced to a shaken half squad, a half squad is eliminated), or Eliminated. all this is very easy to grasp. To this is added snipers, support weapons and such like, that will aid your cardboard warriors in achieving their victory conditions.

      Now during a game there are a few little twists that add flavour to the game, namely the event markers, these are placed as per an SSR on the scenario if there are indeed any in the scenario, these are marked as either LOS activated of Occupation activated, and are lettered, so for example it may say place 'Event marker A in hex H7 LOS side up' it will then state in an SSR what happens when one or maybe both sides come into LOS of event marker A in a small paragraph, it may be one side receives reinforcements or some such, or if an occupation marker it maybe a booby trap! you can make up your own thus adding your own little twist to the scenario narrative. This really makes it feel that you are taking part in a film or story-driven action, and to my mind adds a nice little touch.

      Lock 'n Load Publishing has as far as I am concerned hit the mark with an inexpensive product that shows off L'N'L Tactical perfectly, as said I held off for a long time. The system may not be for everyone, but at less than £7 I found it to be a very cheap way of finding out if it was for me or no, especially when you look at other companies out there, the ASL starter kits are of a similar ilk but ASL is a completely different rabbit hole to fall into. verdict? Yes, L'N'L Tac is for me, and I will be ordering Heroes of the Motherland along with Dark Day July & Heroes of the Nam very soon.

      All the best

      Perry Pender (from BGG)
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