Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Platoon Leader FAQ 1.0 and Advanced Optional AI 1.0

Just posted a FAQ for Platoon Leader on BoardGameGeek.  The Advanced Optional AI should be up as soon as the BGG Admin. can get to it (i had to re-up it.)

The Second Expansion, Red Devils is slated for release in mid to late January.

Happy New Year and LGB!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Mark Simonitch

Happy birthday to Mark Simonitch. Mark has been gaming since 1967.  In 1991 he founded Rhino Game Company and published three games: The Legend Begins, Campaign to Stalingrad and Decision in France.  From 1995 to 1997 Mark worked at Avalon Hill and designed Hannibal as well as co-designing Successors.  He has since made his home at GMT.

His handy work can be seen in a number of games including but not limited to:

Thanks for the games Mark!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

And the main attraction this Christmas was an ASL module.  The Tommies got a long needed update with balanced and updated/corrected scenarios plus cardstock maps,  etc.  Already had W.O.A. but am continuing to flesh out my ASL stock.  So hey MMP, bring on Hakkaa Paalle!

This Christmas has proven mostly idle by way of game related operations save hipping the Bro to some Platoon Leader.    Scenario 1 from the base game proved too much for the chap.  After drawing 2 German platoons in the very first sector (poor fella :) and effectively clogging things up, the Americans, after getting chewed up pretty badly, were able to open up a lane on either flank and begin shootn' and scootn'.  He made it to Sector B which was clear meaning one final German platoon was waiting somewhere in the final sector but alas, a roll of the die effectively ended the game before the victory conditions could be met.  So close, yet so far...

The final scene:

All in all a great Christmas.  No snow but I'll get to see the St. Louis Blues play the Dallas Stars tonight and then back to New Orleans tomorrow afternoon but more importantly, back to the Red Devils drawing board!  More on that in the week to come.

Finally, i should be able to post the long awaited Platoon Leader FAQ and the enhanced German AI this week as well so keep an eye on the Platoon Leader link @ BGG and H&S GAMES on Facebook.

That's it for now, cheerio!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from H&S GAMES!

Merry Christmas From H&S GAMES!

A special thanks to all of you who have shown your support and interest in H&S GAMES and helped its first game system Platoon Leader get off the ground.  Cheers and have a great new year!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Hall of Fame Designer Frank Chadwick!

Frank Chadwick is a game designer who co-founded the company GDW Games in 1973. He has said that, "All historical-based games are role-playing games."  He has more than 60 published games to his credit.

1973, A legend is born.

1979 Great game.  I still have it.

1984 I have fond memories of this.


A House Divided and countless others.

Thanks Mr. Chadwick and Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Note: The base game Platoon Leader is required to play Cold Combat and Red Devils.  Check us out on Facebook at:
and BoardGameGeek at:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Companion Guide to Hexes & Soldiers Wargame Podcast Episode 39.0

With 2015 right around the corner, what wargame releases are you anticipating?  Here's a few to get you going.

The long awaited ASL release. (Preordered mine)

This will allegedly make a great game even greater.

Solitaire scrumptiousness

Another Bulge game?  But of course!

Nappys unite!

D-day.  SCS.  Nuff said.  (another i have preordered :)

Remember his Battle for Normandy game?  Here's another.

It may be a banner year for MMP...

Also worth looking for in 2015:
Fields of Fire Vol. 2-GMT
Band of Brothers: Texas Arrows-Worthington games
Beyond The Rhine-MMP
Bear's Claw 1941-Consim Press
Great War Commander
Operation Dauntless-GMT

Looking for a stocking stuffer for your wife or girlfriend? How about this.
(hint: you can read it when she's done :)

Also mentioned (briefly) on the show:

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Red Devils Expansion Progress Report 12-13-14

It may not seem like it, but work on the Red Devils expansion has been moving along at a terrifying pace.  Major chunks of the to-do-list are getting crossed off and its full steam ahead.  That said, here are a few pics of the upcoming Red Devils expansion pack for Platoon Leader! 

An overview of the components.  That which you see here are playtest components only and subject to change, nothing is final. Note the change in strength markers. Suppression and Reaction markers are also now labeled as such.  

A couple scenario cards.  The style introduced in Cold Combat is continued in Red Devils. 

A section of the map.  The fighting that is portrayed within this expansion centers on the bridge proper and its immediate vicinity. 

Zee Germans. 

The Brits, Ta ta!

The troops in action. 

The Stugs (Yay!)

Tentatively the armor looks something like this.  You will have a base number within which you will roll to hit.  If successful, you will then roll 1d6 to determine the extent of the damage.  (As the Brits have no armor, the Stugs will be firing at infantry and buildings.)  When firing at infantry, the number rolled will equal the number of infantry strength points eliminated minus the number 6 the result of which is served up in suppression markers.  So let’s say a tank slams a shell into a hex of infantry within basic cover and gets a 4 on a 1d6.  This means four hits.   After soaking 1 hit for cover, this means a 3 point strength reduction.   As the original number rolled was 4 we subtract this from 6 which means whoever survived the strike will also end up with 2 suppression markers. 

The Brits do get Piats which when fired at a tank results in a fairly standard procedure which if a hit is successful, another die roll is compared to either the front, side, top or rear armor.  This can have varying results based on whether the roll is equal to the armor rating, 1 or 2 greater than the armor rating or 3 and up.    
As already mentioned, overruns as well as off board artillery and more will also be covered within Red Devils.

So there you go.  Hope this wets your appetite and remember, at this point all things are subject to change. Now grab a copy of Platoon Leader and sharpen your skills so you’ll be ready for Red Devils!

Scheduled release: January 2015.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Here's the scoop for those of you keeping score:

Platoon Leader is in its third printing.
Red Devils is slowly taking shape.
And The St. Louis Blues are winning games.

Now then, in order:

Sometimes you need a break and sometimes you need to make a 180 degree turn to get there.  I feel i have effectively accomplished this by engaging in a recent session of Game Of Thrones The Board Game. But wait you say, this has nothing to do with WW2,  what gives? Easy, i'm a long time GOT fan and engaging in something completely unrelated to what you are used to can allow new ideas to breakthrough.  So if you're curious, give it a shot, but make sure you have a ton of people as this is when the game really shines.  (oh yea, i cracked that hermit shell a bit.)

But more importantly, as I fill orders and stuff envelopes it seems Platoon Leader is making a small but noticeable splash.  Sales have been such that i've been able to cover printing and shipping costs (free domestic shipping). Thanks guys for your interest!

 The latest edition of Platoon Leader boasts an improved cover and one minor change.  This change entails support weapons.  Originally, the stats listed on the MG counters had the firepower listed before the range.  This may have promoted an initial but brief bout of confusion and anger as the stats on the infantry counters have the range printed first.  To simplify things, i've switched the stats so that they now coincide with the infantry stats.  (I actually did this just prior to seeing your post Shawn :)  All else remains more or less the same.  

The first expansion Cold Combat has suffered no additional changes.

Red Devils, the second expansion is coming along nicely.  The rules for AFV's are proving a bit challenging and in retrospect, i'm glad i held off on introducing them in the base game as it seems like a game in and of itself.  I always admired the play- a- bit- learn- a- bit approach that the original Squad Leader game introduced and feel there is plenty to tackle in Platoon Leader without becoming mired in armor.  What is more, i had initially intended the Platoon Leader system to focus on infantry alone but finally gave in to that soft spot we all have for tanks.  Granted, the appearance of armor within this upcoming expansion is limited, but it sets the stage for much more interesting things to come. 

Another challenge that has yet again reared its head is that of originality or how to at least develop an AFV combat system that is familiar enough to learn yet unique enough to set it apart from other games.  I suppose its not unlike seeing a cat that looks similar to every other cat on the block and then finding out that it barks. Impossible task?  Not at all.

Perhaps one of the most exciting facets of Red Devils is the counters.  I know i've touched on this briefly in the past but honestly, I can't be happy enough.  The time spent on these things may have lasted longer than intended but in the end i feel its time well spent.  I'm still leaning towards printing them in a size that corresponds to that of the wooden pieces found in a common Scrabble game.  I have actually raided the Scrabble game in the closet and mounted them for playtesting.  Let me just say it looks and works great.  As stacking is minimal in the game, any fear of counter density/hex crowding with Scrabble counters is ill founded.  And don't worry, for those of you who dread mounting counters, or would prefer to leave the Scrabble game alone, the counters you've already mounted for Platoon Leader will still work with Red Devils.

So it goes without saying, the map will more than likely be over sized to facilitate the potential scrabble sized counters.  

Additional odds and ends are as such:
Piats, ammo shortages, stugs, vehicle overruns, offboard artillery, fires, and a special Keep Calm chit for the Brits :) all play their part in Red Devils.  

Finally, the supplementary rules which were included in Cold Combat will also be included in Red Devils allowing for a truly intense game.  And of course, upon release, there will be a specially priced bundle option that includes the base game and both expansions.

So what does the future hold for H&S GAMES?  That is wholly up to you. 

Keep gaming and Go Blues!!!


P.S. the sneak pics that were promised haven't been forgotten...stay tuned...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Announcing the 2nd expansion pack for the Platoon Leader game system...

H&S GAMES is proud to announce Red Devils!  This will be the 2nd expansion pack for the Platoon Leader system and is slated for release in Jan. 2015.  Fight for survival in Arnhem circa September, '44 and see if you can change history!  More updates as they are made available.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Episode 1.0 of the Hexes and Soldiers Wargame Podcast has officially reached the 1,000 views mark!   Thanks for the views everyone!

"But what have you done for us lately?"-

I realize i need to dust off ye olde show a bit more often and will do my best to do so.  As for show 39.0 and 40.0 it looks like, in no particular order, alternate WW2 history and games.  Then i hope to land my first interview (just need to procure a mic).  So keep your ears open!

Thanks again, you are the best listeners out there!

As a side note, H&S GAMES has a new page here:


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Platoon Leader 2nd Printing Show n Tell

"Don't blame me i'm the designer."  -Anon.

Seriously though,  i decided to post some visual aid regarding the adjustments and improvements made for the 2nd printing of  Platoon Leader.

First off, i threw in a watermark  to break up the overwhelming monotony of white that previously permeated the rulebook.  Then i further broke up the uninviting text into twin columns.  I also numerically notated headings and paragraphs for ease of reference.

Additionally, in a previous post i had mentioned that i would be taking out the example of play as I had posted an illustrated one on BGG but decided that would be a bad idea.  Instead, i updated and corrected the old version for the 2nd printing.  

This time around, a return to "keep it simple" was the goal.  
The map has been updated to coincide stylistically with the map that is included in Cold Combat.  My intention with the first printing map was to go with a kind of hyperstylized art but in retrospect i think this at least partially impeded playability.  The counter sheet has also been updated and a two sided player aid sheet with graphic color watermark is now included.

Among the new additions are graphic, color examples.  I didn't go hog wild here but did find it beneficial to throw a few in which helps illustrate key points much better.

Finally, I figured an index never hurt anyone either so added that as well.  But again, the most important update is the corrected errata.  You can try as hard as you like but seemingly inevitably there will be something that escapes your proofreading eyes. At least this printing has knocked a fair chunk of errata "out of the park".  

So hopefully this expose sheds some light on the new 2nd printing of Platoon Leader.  I am currently still fine tuning the advanced A.I. for the Germans and hope to have this up as a free file on BGG soon.  Then it looks like a Market Garden expansion where a number of things will make their first appearance within the Platoon Leader system.  

Interested parties can pick up the 2nd printing of Platoon Leader as well as the first expansion Cold Combat now via BGG or EBAY.

Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Platoon Leader 2nd Printing...

Just a quick update regarding the 2nd printing of Platoon Leader:

 I am excited to announce that I have officially sold out of the first printing and have streamlined the rules which will be included in the 2nd printing. I have removed the example of play as there is a much more clear and concise one up on BoardGameGeek and though it portrays the initial phase of the first scenario from Cold Combat! The first expansion for Platoon Leader, it still serves as a fine introduction to the game system. I have also numerically notated each rule headline and paragraph throughout the rule book for ease of reference. Perhaps most importantly, all current errata has been corrected.

 As already stated, the map which is included in the second printing has a much more conventional appearance not unlike the map included in Cold Combat! The current Platoon Leader map pic that is up on BoardGameGeek and EBAY should reflect these changes soon.

 I've been putting the finishing touches on a much more detailed A.I. for the Germans which I intend to release as a free file on BoardGameGeek. The development is proving to be tricky though as the more detailed and structured a systematic decision process becomes, the more mechanical and machine like the Germans become.

 I am also still looking into setting up a singular H&S GAMES site which would be home base for all related game news and topics such that i would no longer need to spread the word over numerous sites.

The second expansion for Platoon Leader is still pretty much up in the air.  I had considered a setting that consisted of locations in and around Germany but may pre-empt that with a Market Garden themed expansion.  Either way, tanks will make their appearance.

 That said, any orders taken from here on out will get you the second printing of Platoon Leader! And i encourage you to bundle with the first expansion Cold Combat! for some generous savings. Finally, as always, you get free shipping within the continental 48. Interested parties may take a look at either BoardGameGeek or Ebay.

Cheers, JMK

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Cold Combat! Play by Play Up...

So i took some time yesterday and played through the first third of the first scenario that comes with Cold Combat! the first expansion pack for Platoon leader.  But that's not all.  I also took pics and notated the moves so i could compose a kind of play by play example.  So far those of you who might be a bit confused or for those of you who have yet to pull the trigger and are simply curious, i encourage you to take a look at either file entry for Platoon Leader or Cold Combat! on boardGameGeek and see for yourself.  As some of you may know, there is also a series of videos regarding a walk through of Platoon Leader on YOUTUBE. Many of you may find these illuminating while others not so much.  This was the first time i had ever presented a "live" video so i found it slightly difficult to focus (mentally that is).  As such, the new Cold Combat! walk through should take precedence over these videos as it is in my opinion more clear and concise.

Check it out here:

or here:

Again, for those of you who are playing Platoon Leader and or Cold Combat! remember to check their entries on BGG regularly for updates etc.

Cold Combat! errata:
It seems the expansion kicked off without a hitch, ok one minor hitch.  The player aid sheet that is included needs a correction.  The Entering New Sectors paragraph, should read:

"Upon entering a new sector, perform chit draw.  If new sector is entered during  allied command phase, finish said command phase before checking.  If Germans are present perform German command phase for newly drawn units then whichever side had the least amount of command actions will be the first to continue in the action phase.  If new sector is entered during allied action phase.  Interrupt said phase immediately and draw chits.  If Germans are present continue with allied action phase then perform German action phase. 


Sunday, November 9, 2014


After a long overdue podcast episode and the official release of Cold Combat! I've decided to relax a bit. Since my old monitor went out recently i've been sitting mesmerized before my new 27 inch monitor, enjoying hockey, and recovering from a root canal but more importantly, i've dusted off an old classic.

Patton's Best is a Solitaire game of tank command. You control your Sherman tank (17 variations) and crew assigned to the 4th Armored Division as you move out of the "Cobra Breakout" following the Normandy invasion. Move into a new territory and deal with what you encounter. You will need to manage your crew's actions, your tank's facing, and attempt to take out enemy forces without losing your tank. Combat system is abstracted to not take place on a map, but rather on a sector grid, with positions and movement abstracted to only change in how they relate to your tank.

Needless to say i have ideas, namely switching the tank for an infantry platoon or squad but figured i should play this thing until it becomes second nature before i go "fiddling" with it.  I found it interesting that there were a number of similarities between this and The Hunters from Consimpress.  I think it's apparent that they drew at least part of their inspiration from Patton's Best and That's not a knock, I commend them.  It is unconventional in that there is no map board such as one would find in your typical wargame.  Instead, you are provided with a kind of overview/area movement map which keeps track of your entry and exit points as well as terrain type.

You are also provided with a battle board which consists of a single, centered hex which extends outward into a number zones that are further divided into three levels of distance.
 Otherwise, you get a slew of charts.  The AI for the Germans is rigid but interesting and as i began playing this i got a feeling i havent gotten in a long time, that childish, giddiness mixed with excitement as my adventure began.
Time is of the essence, literally, as you roll to see how much time passes as various operations are conducted.  What is more, you never know what you might run into as random rolls determine the opposition.

My tank of choice:

After action reports are provided to keep track of your excursions:

Needless to say, much is abstracted and you have to be a bit open minded with a tad of imagination but otherwise, this game is golden.  It is rich in detail, and the amount of time that must have went into design and development has to have been staggering.  So if you've seen Fury and thought, what would that be like?  Well, this may be as close as you'll ever get, or ever want to get.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Does any of the following mean anything to you?






Chapter H notes



No?  How about this:


That's right, it's official.  Hakkaa Pellaae, the long awaited, legendary Finnish module for ASL will be up for pre-order some time around the second week of November.   

If Santa fills his sack with these, i fear for Santa's safety!


Thank you MMP, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Companion Guide to Hexes and Soldiers Wargame Podcast Episode 38.0

Yet to see Fury?  Whacha waitn for?

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.


Fury marks the first time a genuine Tiger I tank has been used in the production of a WWII film. Fury features "Tiger 131" from the UK's Bovington Tank Museum, the only fully functioning Tiger tank in the world.

Shia LaBeouf reportedly pulled out his own tooth and did not shower during filming.
All outfits and weapons in the film were real and acquired from museums around the world.
The cast underwent a rigorous month long course of boot camp, in which the final test was manning a real tank during a combat exercise. Despite being considerably older than his cast mates, Brad Pitt made sure that he participated in all of the physical training alongside the other actors.
Fury is about the U.S. 2nd Armored division. The 2nd Armored is also known as "Hell on Wheels".
Two brands of cigarettes are used in this movie, Lucky Strike and Camel. If someone was required to be seen smoking during a scene, they could either choose a herbal version or a real cigarette with the filter removed. The herbal cigarettes burnt away after approx 1 minute. The cigar being smoked by the Infantry Battalion Doctor during surgery is a genuine Cuban, as were all other cigars.
It has been reported that Shia LaBoeuf became a Christian while filming 'Fury'. LaBoeuf's actual words were, "I found God during Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f___ing bulls__t way - in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page, but [...] it's a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control." He commented that talking with Brad Pitt, who grew up in a conservative Christian home but rejected Christianity, and with David Ayers, the Christian director of 'Fury', helped crystallise his thinking.
The Main Shermans used in Fury were : Fury M4A2 76mm HVSS from Bovington Tank Museum, M4A2 75mm VVSS from Tay Restorations, M4A2 76mm HVSS from Jeep Sud Est, M4A4 75MM VVSS from Adrian Barrell, M4A1 76mm VVSS. 
Brad Pitt's and Jon Berthal's haircuts in the film weren't formal haircuts for soldiers in the World War II-era. But, tampered looks like theirs were popular among soldiers with a lot of combat experience, who most likely did it themselves. 
The Assault Rifle carried by Brad Pitt is a German made Sturmgewehr 44 also known as a StG 44.
At age 50, Brad Pitt is much older than the average noncommissioned officer in WWII, who would likely be in his early to mid 20s. Considering his age, choice of sidearm, and long service record mentioned in the film, it's entirely possible that his character is also a WWI veteran.
Writer and director David Ayer had the actors fight each other on set before shooting scenes to tighten their bond. 
The musical piece played by Norman on the piano and sung by Emma is called,"Virgin Slumber Song."
Actually, the term "86" to denote something broken goes back way before WW2 with a number of possible sources, including US Navy designation codes and electrical-circuit coding from a locked-out (that is inoperable) circuit, said to be "86".
In one scene you can clearly see Shia LaBeouf smoking an American Spirit cigarette due to its distinct logo printed on the paper.
This is not the first time Jon Bernthal has played a character in a WWII setting. He portrayed Marine Sergeant Manny Rodriguez in the award-winning HBO miniseries "The Pacific".
This is the second WWII movie Brad Pitt has been in. The other is Inglorious Basterds
Wardaddy's pistol is a Smith & Wesson M1917, issued primarily in WWI to supplement the standard issue Colt M1911, which was in short supply. They were also issued on a limited basis to second-line and non-deployed troops during WWII. 
Despite this film being about Nazi oppression, the producers used security men with Rottweiler dogs to intimidate members of the public into not taking photographs of filming from perfectly legal public footpaths.
In a opening scene, a superior says he thought he'd never see Wardaddy alive again. He responds "The devil watches over his own" perhaps a reference to one of Pitt's past movies "The devil's own"
The cut Bible has on his face is real. Shia Labeouf self inflicted it each time it was necessary to add another layer of realism to his performance.
When asking Norman where he is from on his acquaintance with the Fury crew, Norman attempts to say Pittsburgh, but is stopped short by Travis. Logan Lerman was previously in "Perks of Being a Wallflower," filmed in Pittsburgh. 


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Despite the dramatic ending, in recognition of armored servicemen it should be mentioned that the ordnance battalion attached to the 2nd armored division would have had "fury" cleaned, painted inside, patched, repaired, and reissued in about 48 hours. 

ASL for Sophomores

What you need:


What you want:

 What you should consider:


Note: no maps are included with Best of Friends 
3rd Party Candy:

Finally, if you still haven't taken a gander at Platoon leader or Cold Combat! the first expansion pack for Platoon Leader, feel free to do so and let me know what you think...