Lock’n Load Games released the first game in their new Nations at War Series: White Star Rising. NaW is basically the WW2 version of the their excellent World at War series. White Star Rising covers tactical battles in the European theater through 16 scenarios and features a nice mix of U.S., German, and British forces. The components are top notch although the mounted 11″x17″ map boards seem to be prone to warping. The rulebook and charts are in full color.
The 20-page rulebook covers all of the major aspects of WW2 tactical combat including off-board artillery, smoke, air support, mines, and more. WSR includes a Battlefield Chaos and Fate Point system that adds some random elements to the game.
White Star Rising retains the smooth tactical play of its predecessor yet has just enough subtle modifications to give it a nice WW2 feel. Ranges are reduced, movement is a bit slower and weapons somewhat less deadly. One major criticism made by some was that 60mm+ mortars were far too powerful at killing tanks compared to actual AT guns. When playing a ‘normal’ game we did not find this to be the case but if someone wanted to exploit the full potential of the rules this was probably an accurate critique. LnL responded with an official rule change that says mortars can only disrupt, not reduce, non-open topped armor units. This change will be reflected in an updated PDF version of the rules.
WSR is a great WW2 tactical game and if you liked the World at War series you will certainly like WSR as well. If you enjoy platoon-level tactical WW2 combat games you should check out White Star Rising. The next title in the series, Desert Heat, covers combat in North Africa from 1941-43.