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Subject: It's going to be a cold year. rss

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The play's the thing ...
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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Nuklear Winter ’68 is a new wargame from Lock ‘n’ Load designed by Petre Tutunea. It is set in an alternate universe and is billed as a wasteland survival game. The components are up to Lock ‘n’ Loads high standards, with colourful glossy counters and mounted map. A small warning, if you have a thing against brown you may struggle as the map is brown, the box is brown and the rulebook is brown.

In this alternate world the bomb plot against Hitler succeeds and Himmler becomes Furher. He increases spending on nuclear research and the program speeds up development of nuclear weapons. In 1945 the Eastern Front is a stalemate and word reaches Germany that the Allies are planning to drop nuclear bombs to speed up the end of the war. In 1946 the Western Allies land in France, but are completely pushed back by increased German forces which prompts President Truman to decide to bomb Germany into submission, the first atom bomb is dropped on Frankfurt. Himmler decides to retaliate and bombs London and Paris with nuclear V-2 rockets. The US responds by dropping nuclear bombs on Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf. Germany collapses and becomes a nuclear wasteland. In 1947 the Allies are unable to control the flood of refugees fleeing Germany and decide to build a wall around the ‘nuclear zone’ by early 1948. 1952 sees the first organised attempt to break out of the nuclear zone. Strange reports come back from the soldiers that the enemy fighters took multiple direct hits before dying. In the morning all dead bodies had disappeared. NATO is formed to combat the growing threat from within the nuclear zone. NATO is made up of the US, all the Western European countries and Russia.

In 1968 Himmler and the remnants of the Third Reich military emerge from hidden bunkers deep beneath German soil. Determined to rebuild the Holy Roman Empire, Himmler finds himself facing the strange creatures that now inhabit the nuclear zone. NATO intelligence learns of the German emergence and sends a US-Russian task force to investigate. This is where the game kicks off.

Nuklear Winter ’68 is not a difficult game to play, and it shares many mechanics with other Lock ‘n’ Load games. So if you’re familiar with them you’re set. There are no spotting rules, so you don’t have to reacquire targets, and fire combat is simply line of sight. If you can see it and it’s in range you can shoot at it. There are rules for command, infantry weapons attached to squads, tanks, APVs, airplanes, helicopters and offboard artillery. Players activate their sides by drawing activation markers from a cup, though no side is allowed to have more than two activations in a row.

The heart of this game though is the scenarios. There are 15 of them and they are in chronological order and played one after the other fill you in on what happened after the Germans emerge from their bunkers. They can also be linked into 3 separate campaigns, one for each of the factions, NATO, Drittes Reich and the Black Hand, the strange inhabitants of the nuclear zone. Some of the scenarios feature all three factions for 3 player mayhem. The game also solos well as there is no hidden information and the random activation keeps things tense.

Overall this is a great alt-history wargame. The large number of scenarios means there is a lot to get through, and the scenarios are quite re-playable as you try and develop tactics for the different sides, who do play differently. That’s enough from me I have to get back to the zone, word has reached HQ that the Black Hand are making another push ...
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A.T. Selvaggio
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Webster
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Could not agree with you more on this. Nice review. I usually like my wargames straight up historical, but this is an exception to that rule for the reasons you listed - fun, thematic, quick playing, accessible, replayable and solos well. Kudos to the designer and LnL.
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Robert Hawkins
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Great review...you just solidified my "need" for this game.
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Tanks Alot
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go2 Youtube Historical Gaming
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Goshawk wrote:
Great review...you just solidified my "need" for this game.
Thats the best thing I have heard all day. :)
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Petre Tutunea
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charlescab wrote:
Goshawk wrote:
Great review...you just solidified my "need" for this game.
Thats the best thing I have heard all day.
LOL! People "losing" their pants, having their "needs" solidified... what next? laugh
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Matt Jolly
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Pete,

Thanks for a good snappy review that has reassured me I have got a good game. Also congrats on being (I think) the first reviewer!

I agree with all you have written. In addition I like the way that the C2 system for the three sides means that they each seem to have a somewhat different character in play.

I have only one minor quibble with the game. You have pointed out that:


petegs wrote:
A small warning, if you have a thing against brown you may struggle as the map is brown, the box is brown and the rulebook is brown.
I would add that this creates a game of very low visual contrast. My aging eyes find the rulebook (black text on brown) hard to read in standard room lighting, and it took me a while to realise that the Reich and NATO forces were actually a different colour. I am sure that this is a consequence of me getting old, but I am not ashamed to say that my eyesight needs all the help it can get!

Cheers,

Matt

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The play's the thing ...
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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Thanks for the kind words Matt. I see how the black text would be hard to read on the brown paper.

I was thinking off my wife when I wrote that statement who doesn't normally comment on my games but looked at what I was playing and said, "Wow that's brown."
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