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Heroes of the Bitter Harvest by Lock 'n Load Publishing Lock 'n Load Publishing
Heroes of the Bitter Harvest is our new East Front module for the Lock 'n Load Tactical series. LnLT series is known for its fast and furious squad-level tactical combat game. LnLT uses a quick impulse system with immersive graphics to give you a true feeling of being there.

Project story

1 - 2
Play time
2 h
14 +
Heroes of the Bitter Harvest is the latest East Front module in the Lock 'n Load Tactical series by designer and developer Devin Heinle.  Heroes of the Bitter Harvest covers the German 1942 Summer offensive in South Russia, code named Case Blue. The German offensive was to capture the vital Baku oil fields but ended up finding itself at the gates of Stalingrad.  The scenarios depict the vicious and brutal fighting across the steppes and mountains of southern Russia.  German Landser, Mechanized, and Armored formations clash with Soviet Line, Guards, and NKVD Divisions. New vehicles, equipment, and leaders make their appearance.

The Lock 'n Load Tactical system features fluid, impulse-based turns, squad-level, and individual heroics, plus lots of armor and special rules to bring the fight for the southern steppes of Russia to life.  New vehicles and equipment such as the German Pz IV F and G, along with the Marder II and StuG IIIF, join the battlefield. New Soviet forces include the Soviet Tachanka MG wagon, NKVD troops, and the IL2 Sturmovik. We also introduce a new leader type the Incompetent Leader. The scenarios range from the city of Voronezh and through Rostov, as far south as the Caucasus Mountains. Into the footsteps of the Silk Road at Khulkhuta, up and into the outskirts of Stalingrad itself. We also introduce a new leader type the Incompetent Leader.

The scenarios range from the city of Voronezh and through Rostov, as far south as the Caucasus Mountains. Into the footsteps of the Silk Road at Khulkhuta, up and into the outskirts of Stalingrad itself.

The steppes of southern Russia await you!
All images or videos are using prototype game components

Lock ‘n Load Tactical system is a squad-level tactical game using a quick impulse system with great immersive graphics giving you a true feeling of being there. Players maneuver forces to attack or defend objectives defined in each scenario. Game components are represented by counters representing squads, leaders, vehicles, armor units, and support weapons.  

Lock 'n Load Tactical system provides features for special squads, weapon units, and all types of vehicles that are all part of the game system.  Single men such as Leaders, heroes, medics, nurses, and even chaplains can affect your battles by inspiring your men; leading them to feats of heroic bravery and more.  Random events triggered during play can cause events like ambushes, and squad's panic to name a few.  Battles can be so intense that stories can be written about them.  

How does this work

The focus here is essential gameplay, not low-percentage or rare case situations, and, most of all, fun.  Now let’s get familiar with the components used when playing. 

The Map

Every hex has a center dot. The art around the center dot defines the hex terrain.  Line of Sight is traced from the center dot of the firing unit’s hex to the center dot of the target unit’s hex.  All center dots with red denotes either Stone/Heavy Constructed  Buildings.  This allows players to easily differentiate between Stone/Heavy Constructed buildings and Lightly Constructed buildings.
There are three terrain types: open, degrading, and blocking. Why is this important? Terrain types influence the Line of Sight and determine if a hex is spotted. Only units in spotted hexes can be Fired at.  We’ve covered the basics of the Map and the Terrain Effects Chart.   Now let’s review some of the counters.

Units Counters 
Squads, Half-Squads, and Crews are all Multi-Man Counters (MMCs).  Across the bottom of the counter, from left to right, is their Inherent Firepower (IFP), Range and  Movement Factor.  The unit Morale rating is in the blue circle in the upper right corner.   
Squads are represented on 5/6" counters and represent 8–12 men, and are represented by two figures on the counter.  
Weapon Teams are also MMCs, but they are represented on 3/4” counters.  Weapon Teams represent larger weapons, such as Mortars, Heavy Machine Guns, and Anti-Tank Guns (ATGs), and their Crew.
Single-Man Counters are represented on 3/4 counters and are significant individuals who have special abilities and the power to alter the course of a battle.  Leaders, Heroes, Medics, Snipers, and Armor Leaders are all SMCs. Scouts are also SMCs, but they appear infrequently and we won’t cover them here. Certain game modules have unique SMCs such as Advisors, Nurses, Commissars/Political Officers, Chaplains, and Snipers.
Support Weapons are individual weapons that can be used by a Squad, Half-Squad, Crew, or any eligible Single-Man Counter.  
Vehicles and fixed-wing aircraft are on 7/8 counters and represent a single vehicle or aircraft.  

Game Statistics

What do you get in the box?

The component list includes all basic and stretch goal components 

  • 7 x Geomorphic 12.825" x 8.25" Standard Maps 
  • 7 x Geomorphic 11" x 17" 4K X-Maps 
  • 6 x Counter Sheets with 570+ counters 
  • 20 x 8.5" x 11" Player Aid Cards including 9 Double-Sided Player Aid and 2 Single-Sided Player Aid 
  • 1 x Core Rules Handbook Manual v5.1
  • 1 x Module Rules and Scenario Booklet with 12 Scenarios 
  • 1 x Solitaire Manual
  • 1 x Solitaire Card Deck containing 100+ Tarot Sized Card
  • 1 x Data Card Deck containing 50+ Poker Sized Cards
  • 1 x Skill Card Deck containing 18 Poker Sized Cards
  • 1 x Battle Generator Rulebook
  • 4 x 16mm Dice, 2 Gray, and 2 Red
  • 1 x 3" Reinforced Deep Box

Heroes of the Bitter Harvest is played on a Map, or Maps, comprised of hexes.  Each hex is approximately 50 meters wide.  Most modules use standard geomorphic Maps.   Each module’s Terrain Effects Chart Player-Aid Card contains images and significant details about the different terrain types.
Lock 'n Load Tactical System uses a diverse and extensive list of counters to represent the different units available to the different factions of our games. Each has a set of numbers detailing their use and special abilities. The following graphics represent every kind of unit counter you can encounter in Heroes of the Bitter Harvest:

Core Rules Handbook presents all the main concepts needed to fully enjoy the Lock 'n Load Tactical system.  We have endeavored to include a lot of examples and present everything in a large font so it is easy to read.   In-depth examples of play have been included to show you how the game is played with a multitude of different situations shown.  

The Core Rules Handbook Highlights:
  • How to access Community Resources and your fellow players.
  • How to access an extensive library of Lock 'n Load Tactical system Boot Camp videos, with detailed how-to-play lessons.
  • An extensive and easy-to-use, Color Coded, Table of Contents.
  • “How to use this Manual” section, detailing what you can expect in the game and how easiest to learn it.
  • Full descriptions of all cards, and marker values.
  • Important notes and Significant Rules are highlighted throughout to make them easy to find.
  • Numerous Examples of Play.
  • Detailed Designer Notes sprinkled throughout, explaining why things work the way they do.
  • Exhaustive Index for ease of reference during play.
  • Detailed Glossary to learning terms and abbreviations.  

The Module Rules and Scenario Booklet provides all the historical and themed rules needed to play.  Scenarios now provide setup instructions for solitaire play as well as any solitaire rules.  Everything is present in a large font so it is easy to read.   
The Module Rules and Scenario Booklet contains:

  • Module Specific rules.  
  • National Characteristics.  
  • New Players can find easy-to-play starter scenarios.   
  • Scenario introduction, full orders of battle, setup instructions, special scenario rules, scenario length, and victory conditions, with and full illustration of the required maps.
  • Solitaire Setup.
  • Battler Generator Unit Cost Chart. 
Our Online Library has all of our core rules editions, modules rules, and many other additional LnLT guides and aids.  You will find a very detailed search and receive very quick results times.  

Online Library Highlights:

  • Manual PDFs can be printed directly from our library to your home computer.
  • Manuals PDFs can be downloaded and saved on your home computer, iPad, or Ebook reader.  
  • Personal bookmarks can be added for custom and quick reference. 
  • You can also view our Bootcamp Training Videos when available.
  • Click here to view the LnLT Bookcase.  can also view our Bootcamp Training Videos when available.
The Data Cards is a deck of cards detailing each unit included in the game with all stats and any specific rules associated with each unit for ease of reference.  These Data Cards were designed as reference cards you can keep by the map or in your hand: each shows an enlargement of one combat unit counter, and also lists any special functions of that unit, with rules references for them as well. We also include a blank space for players to include their own measurements for use during miniature tabletop play.  There is one card for each unit type in the game.  
The LnLT RPG system allows you to play a leader as yourself from one scenario to another via a game scenario, campaign or using the Battle Generator.  You can play one leader for each side with a friend as well.  Your leadership and morale ratings can improve, and decrease based on your performance per scenario outcome. 
The new Dedicated Solitaire Module for Heroes of the Bitter Harvest expands your solitaire options and replayabillty.  Dedicated solitaire setups are included for all scenarios.  Players can play either side solitaire.  Each scenario now includes a solitaire section for special instructions including options for Action Events and Battlefield Fate cards.  The new Action Event cards provide battle specific features adding more flavor to your battles.  The solitaire commander cards now have different levels of offensive and defensive styles of solitaire play.  The Solitaire system will progress through impulses and turns until one side achieves final Victory.  
LnLT Battle Generator system allows players to mix and match forces from different games and even different eras. A Player can use either the Pre-defined Point Base Unit Costs to generate random battles.  The Battle Generator, based on the mission type defines the number of purchase points to select their forces.   Allowing you to get into the action fast and allowing the battlse to be very flexible. 

What is Lock 'n Load Tactical

To play Lock and Load Tactical, you and your opponent will select a scenario from the Module Rules and Scenario Booklet, which will instruct how to set up your map board and where your starting forces will be placed. When the game is set up, you are ready for play.

The game round starts with a Rally Phase. Shaken units can be rallied, and Half-Squads can be combined. Additionally, if there are no enemy units in a hex, eligible Good Order (GO) units can pick up dropped/abandoned Support Weapons (SWs) or swap SWs with other eligible GO units. Also, Initiative will be determined, letting you know who will start the next phase. Once the Rally Phase has been completed, the Operations Phase will begin. Starting with the player that won the Initiative, the players will alternate impulses. In an impulse, a single unit or one hex and all the units in it can be activated to fire, move, low crawl, or any other unit-eligible action. When activating a Leader, units not only in the Leader’s hex but also in all hexes adjacent to the Leader’s hex can be activated.
Players will alternate Impulses, activating units or passing until both sides have exhausted all their units conducting one action in the Operations phase or do not wish to activate any more units. Then the game moves onto the Administration Phase. 

In the Administrative Phase, players clean the Map of irrelevant markers, including Fired, Fire for Effect, Moved, Assault Move, Low Crawl, Ops Complete, Smoke 2, Starshell, and Spotted markers. Smoke 1 markers are flipped to Smoke 2 markers. Fire 1 markers are checked to see if they go out or grow to Fire 2, then check to see if any Fire spreads from hex to hex.
This ends a single game turn.
Players will consult the scenario to check to see if the game ends by playing the listed number of turns in the scenarios or, in certain scenarios, certain conditions are fulfilled to end the game. Once the game ends, or certain conditions are fulfilled as defined by the scenario, check the victory conditions of the scenario to determine who is victorious!


Online Integration

Lock 'n Load Tactical is available on many platforms. We provide a digital edition on Steam that can be played on either Mac or Windows computer systems. Players can play multiplayer online, or against the challenging AI. The digital edition includes many Battlepack DLC's, from other conflicts. Heroes of the Bitter Harvest is already available for play.  

One of the stretch goals we hope to unlock is a free steam key for the Lock 'n Load Tactical Digital Core game.    
LnLT Digital On Steam: https://bit.ly/2JC2HoU

For those who enjoy playing their board games live online via the internet, we provide two methods. The first method is via Tabletop Simulator which is available on Steam.  Many of our other LnLT modules are already available for TTS. Ownership of Tabletop Simulator is required. Heroes of the Bitter Harvest will also be released on TTS once it is available.  

LnLT Tabletop Simulator TTS Modules: https://bit.ly/TTS-LnLP-List

The second method is via VASSAL which is available online.  Many of our other LnLT modules are already available on VASSAL.  VASSAL is available for free.  Heroes of the Bitter Harvest will also be released on VASSAL  once it is available.  

LnLT Vassal Modules:  

What do you get for pledging

Where would a Crowdfunding be without Stretch Goals? Well, we’ve got a TON of great content already designed, developed, and ready to go to the printers and with your help, it can all be unlocked. Every backer at the $80 level and up will receive ALL unlocked Stretch Goals as part of their pledge, at no additional charge. All stretch goal content unlocked in this project will be available for purchase separately after the game hits retail but by backing today, you get all of this extra content as part of your pledge! If we can unlock these stretch goals, we may even be able to add some surprises as the project progresses.  Remember, all Stretch Goals are already designed and ready for the printer, so there will be no delays for additional design or development. Help us to bring extra value to your Heroes of the Bitter Harvest experience by unlocking these goals!

Stretch goals ( - / - unlocked)



What is an Add On Expansion compared to a Stretch Goal?  A Stretch Goal is an item that we unlock during the Kickstarter campaign based on how well the campaign progresses.   An Add On Expansion is an additional product that you can purchase and add to your Kickstarter pledge.  

Risks and challenges

First and foremost, this game is ready for the printer….NOW, including our Stretch Goals. Our production team has decades of experience and success in the gaming industry. We are leveraging that long experience and have worked diligently to prepare this project and minimize the risk involved by trying to give you all that we believe you want in a Crowdfunding Project: a game that is ready to print. We have completed all design, development, play-testing, artwork, graphics, and printer prototypes IN ADVANCE. Our project will immediately be sent for printing upon successful funding of this project. That will limit the risk of an extensive period awaiting fulfillment to our contributors.

Estimated Delivery

Upon successful funding of this crowdfunding campaign we estimate delivery starting December of 2022. This is subject to change due to world events or other unforeseen acts.  Everything for this project is ready to go and we are planning on a full prototype within 60 days.

Refunds and cancellation

During the crowdfunding campaign, you can freely modify or cancel the order. Gamefound only collects your payment at the end of a successfully funded campaign.

We consider all sales as final once the campaign has been completed.


Shipping will be charged during your post-Crowdfunding campaign survey on which you will fill in your shipping address. Our pledge manager will use your shipping address to calculate and charge you for shipping your reward.  Shipping prices will be based upon approximately 7.0 - 8.0 pounds based on our estimated product weight and stretch goals.

We will be using Custom/Region-Friendly shipping for areas listed below.  We do not anticipate any additional fees such as customs, clearance, taxes, or other fees associated with receiving your package in those Regions.  If you’re outside of these regions, you may need to pay such fees listed above or other local fees.

We do not ship to Brazil, Russia, or the Ukraine.  We also cannot ship to areas in a state of conflict or emergency.

Following is a list of estimates for shipping our products from our US warehouse and not from friendly custom regions.   We cannot ship to PO Boxes due to the weight of this product.

VAT - In compliance with the EU and UK laws, VAT will be collected via our pledge manager for EU and UK backers. VAT is not included in the shipping cost and will be a separate line item from our pledge manager.

Listed below are the estimated shipping costs and these may vary, depending on how many stretch goals are unlocked and shipping rates.

  • United States: $20 - $25 and Alaska, Hawaii, & Puerto Rico $30 - $35
  • Canada: $30 - $35
  • United Kingdom: $25 - $30
  • European Union: $25 - $35
  • Rest of Europe: $40 - $45
  • Asia: $35 - $65
  • Australia and New Zealand: $40 - $60
  • Rest of the World: $65 - $75