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"The Regiment: Rolling Thunder Review" Topic


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Action Log

15 Feb 2013 6:35 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Dirtside board


1,565 hits since 14 Feb 2013
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Feb 2013 10:36 a.m. PST

Let me start by saying this is a review based off reading the product; I haven't played any of the scenarios yet.

What this product provides is:

* a page of fluff
* a page of campaign rules
* a fluff map
* five Dirtside II stat cards (and some Stargrunt II info)
* 12 sequential scenarios, each half a page, with tabletop descriptions but no maps. Eight for Dirtside II; four for Stargrunt II.
* links to where the rules can be downloaded free

The basic idea is that The Regiment has been hired by the Del a'Zhou to deal with their upstart rivals, the Rhineland Republic. Your mission is to cross the border and trash their starport (under construction).

The majority of the Dirtside II missions allow you to earn victory points either by (a) destroying the enemy, or (b) crossing the tabletop and exiting with your forces intact. As the campaign progresses, you get fewer forces (attrition) while the enemy gets a bit more.

The Stargrunt II missions are divided into a pair of "protect our lines of communication" patrols, and a pair of "defend the port while we embark our vehicles" missions.

The forces are specified by points, sometimes with a little guidance ("mercenaries and vehicles"). The Regiment player starts with a 10,000-point armored company (1st scenario), then is whittled down to only 5,500 points (last Dirtside II scenario). The campaign initially gives the Regiment side a substantial edge in points, but that fades as the campaign progresses.

The campaign rules appear to be generic, and refer to situations not in this supplement (i.e., there are no starfights here). The basic idea is that the Regiment player has Logistics points. Every scenario costs him points, but he can earn more by fulfilling victory conditions. In the StarGrunt scenarios, he can spent Logistics points for extra support. Damage for the Regiment player is also tracked from scenario to scenario, and Logistics points can be spent to repair or replace units.

(The campaign rules talk about both players having Logistics points, but that doesn't seem to make sense for this scenario set the victory conditions seem to be written for the Regiment player only, and the Republic does not have "continuing" forces from scenario to scenario.)

Although five vehicle datacards are provided for The Regiment, there is nothing in the scenarios that require you to use these designs. No troop descriptions are given for the Republic, other than mentions in the fluff of "troops" and "mercenaries."

The Regiment data provides for a blower tank, blower APC, blower artillery vehicle, command blower, and infantry support blower/gun jeep. According to the data, the infantry use hoverbikes for transport (no APCs).

One frustration is that though the data is provided for very specific vehicles, the supplement provides no details on where (or if) these exact models are produced by anyone. (Though they do recommend GZG…)

One quibble I have with the campaign system is that there seems to be no reason to reduce the Regiment's point values for each subsequent scenario, if they are also being penalized by accumulating damage. The Regiment player could be in a position where he still has 7,000 points, but the scenario only lets him use 6,000… and I assume that if the scenario allows 7,000 points and the Regiment only has 6,000 points let, that's all they can use.

One problem I see with the scenarios is that they have the same or similar victory conditions, with only the enemy point totals and the terrain changed could get boring, especially with the Regiment player encouraged by the victory conditions to avoid combat and exit the far edge of the tabletop. Another scenario only gives the enemy minefields, obstacles, and offboard artillery (yawn).

One last problem is that the designers provide no guidance regarding table size. Given the nature of the scenarios, the campaign should be much easier for 1:285 scale models on a large table, versus 28mm models on a small table.

mad monkey 1 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2013 12:27 p.m. PST

"The Regiment data provides for a blower tank, blower APC, blower artillery vehicle, command blower, and infantry support blower/gun jeep. According to the data, the infantry use hoverbikes for transport (no APCs)."

Very Hammer's Slammers sounding. GZG and Old Crow for vechiles.

emckinney14 Feb 2013 5:25 p.m. PST

They have a number of products that look interesting, but keep recycling the campaign content in each product without even fixing the obvious spelling errors and such. The speed with which they're coming out with new product makes me doubt that the scenarios are being playtested.

Twilight Samurai Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2013 8:02 p.m. PST

Any links for where this is available?

Found it.
link

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Feb 2013 6:11 p.m. PST

The speed with which they're coming out with new product makes me doubt that the scenarios are being playtested.

Based on the Facebook postings, it looks like the designer can work up a supplement from start to finish in one week. If he's playtesting twelve scenarios, too, that's amazing.

But maybe he has time on his hands… grin

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Feb 2013 6:14 p.m. PST

One other thing:

The campaign rules make reference to two kinds of scenarios: unique (you only play them once) and non-unique (you can repeat them to build up Logistics points).

None of the scenarios in the Regiment series are marked as unique, but given the fluff, most of them must be unique.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian15 Feb 2013 8:10 p.m. PST

One last problem is that the designers provide no guidance regarding table size.

Designer says for 1:300 scale, use 4' x 6'.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Feb 2013 4:43 p.m. PST

(The campaign rules talk about both players having Logistics points, but that doesn't seem to make sense for this scenario set the victory conditions seem to be written for the Regiment player only, and the Republic does not have "continuing" forces from scenario to scenario.)

The designer tells me he does intend for both sides to use the Logistics system.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Feb 2013 6:21 p.m. PST

None of the scenarios in the Regiment series are marked as unique, but given the fluff, most of them must be unique.

According to the designer, "Scenario's 1, 8, 11, 12" are Unique.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Feb 2013 6:15 p.m. PST

The designer tells me he does intend for both sides to use the Logistics system.

Clarification from the designer:

Each scenario for the Republic player he is theoretically using a new force or groups of cooperating forces. There is little cohesion in the Republic military. Keeping track of LP is less of hard and fast reality of combat losses and supplies like the Regiment player but more of the abstract confusion and cohesion of command among the Republic units.

I asked if he had special rules for scenario 1, where the Republic player only has sensors and offboard artillery:

count the sensors as the requesting artillery spotters, Regular 2 since it is the monitoring station that is calling in the strikes.

I asked about unit quality and leadership ratings:

Regiment should be Veteran quality with variable leadership. Republic should be regular or green with variable leadership

I asked about infantry in the Regiment:

A Regimental Infantry Platoon is comprised of: 4 x Man command element, 3 x 6 man squads / Jeep, 1 x Heavy weapons Squad of 3 x Jeeps.

Each man in an infantry platoon is mounted on a one man hover bike. They fight as dragoons rather than dedicated cavalry. This means they ride until thy meet resistance then dismount to fight.

The jeeps carry the heavy weapons for the dragoons.

A Regimental Cavalry Troop is comprised of: a Tank platoon of 4 x Panzers, 2 ACAV platoons of 4 x vehicles each and one supporting infantry platoon. It also has a command blower and 2 x ACAV escorts as a command element.

I asked for clarification on "3 x 6 man squads / Jeep":

5 man rifle team (cavalry) and one gun jeep vehicle using the data card in the Rolling Thunder pdf

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian23 Feb 2013 9:34 p.m. PST

Although five vehicle datacards are provided for The Regiment, there is nothing in the scenarios that require you to use these designs.

I'm wrong – according to what the designer has said on Wargame Vault, the Republic player is limited to using the vehicle designs provided.

I also got more info on scenario 1:

Artillery spotters in scenario 1 are the Republic Sensors and count as a size 1 vehicle which is destroyed if it takes any damage.

And when I said…

…the supplement provides no details on where (or if) these exact models are produced by anyone.

The author has in mind the Old Crow models, which are currently unavailable… but he seems to think that equivalent models can easily be found. I know that GZG has several Slammers models, but I don't know if they match what the scenario calls for.

According to the designer, "Scenario's 1, 8, 11, 12" are Unique.

Wait, he's changed his mind – now, they're all Unique.

Read more about my interactions with the designer here: TMP link

emckinney23 Feb 2013 11:29 p.m. PST

He has a new Regiment book out … link

Odds that he fixed anything?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Feb 2013 4:18 p.m. PST

No, that came out before I started asking him questions… grin

Failure16 Inactive Member25 Feb 2013 10:17 a.m. PST

Initially I wanted to give the designer the benefit of the doubt. There was an earlier question on TMP regarding the usefulness of any of the Art of War products and I tried to be magnanimous about it…though by the end of the post I was feeling less so.

All of the recent data that has come to light soured me further and further and now I hear about this. It is quite one thing to make a homage to a milieu composed/written by others and quite another to simply profit by it.

Since "The Regiment" is really just a pastiche of Drake's Hammer's Slammers, the continued inclusion of Slammerverse data and units (such as the Thunderbolt Division) is kind of turning my stomach since it is now entering into infringement without the proper research done from the source material. Hell, if AoW wanted to include the Slammers in DSII, he could have used Jon Tuffley's "Slamming the Dirt" supplement available for free on-line…

Instead, he appears to use the same set-up of initial pages that have little or no bearing to the rest of the work, with little thought given to background material (which is why I made my initial buys--that I am not sorry for buying since they were sight-unseen and caveat emptor surely applies in my world in that case). I love to collect scenarios and background material, but the works I have gotten from Wargame Vault have provided very little of that indeed. Of course, the vast capsule description present on that site's "Roughneck" supplement shows there is at least a little more data present in this that was not in "Thunder", though I wonder if that description is the soel extent of it (in which case I don't need to buy the supplement, nor would I any way at this point).

Disclaimer: I do not have access to the "Roughneck Country" supplement so can only guess that the Thunderbolts approximate the outfit found in The Warrior (and further brought to life in John Treadaway & company's wondrous rule-set). Judging from "Rolling Thunder", however, I doubt it, though I'd happily be proven incorrect.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2013 12:34 p.m. PST

Guess I'll review Roughneck Country next (I bought it first, then went back and bought Rolling Thunder when I found I needed the Regiment stats).

Failure16 Inactive Member25 Feb 2013 1:47 p.m. PST

Please. I look forward to it.

Tangential question--I have seen some of the art in the various 'supplements' in other palces. Did the author get permission to use it, or is it all 'free source'? That is a serious question, by the by, not an attempt to ignite a flame war against AoW (who is evidently capable of doing such a thing all by his lonesome).

emckinney26 Feb 2013 1:58 p.m. PST

Failure16, where else have you seen the art?

Failure16 Inactive Member26 Feb 2013 2:45 p.m. PST

Well, at least the first two pictures from the front of "Rolling Thunder" can be found here: concepttanks.blogspot.com

Both the cover image and the one on the second page (the quad articulated-track MBT astride the hill) are from Concepttanks (~February 2011 according to my quick run-through with help from Google): link

Now, I don't know if those wonderful art images on that website are open-source, but even if they are one would imagine that they would like Mr. Parmer to give them due credit (they are by Ben Whootten, so we can probably assume Parmer did not make it himself). I imagine the rest of the art is similarly taken from other sources and/or artists…and there are no attributions on the last page of "Rolling Thunder".

emckinney28 Feb 2013 2:43 p.m. PST

Ben Wootten confirms that the art was used without his permission.

Personal logo MrHarold Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2013 12:02 p.m. PST

Ben Wootten confirms that the art was used without his permission.

That seriously calls into question where all the other really cool art came from.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Mar 2013 5:30 p.m. PST

I've posted the review of Roughneck Country – TMP link

The review also contains some analysis of the campaign system, which causes me to question how well the Logistics Points system works.

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