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Subject: Late to the firefight rss

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Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes » Forums » Reviews
Late to the firefight
I showed up late to this game. I spent a lot of time thinking about buying it, and one of the biggest drawbacks was just the lack of players, and the rules just didnt seem to flow well for me. I didn't know anyone who knew or played this game. I finally got it, and I have to say I love this system.

The theme of the game feels really exciting. The scenario's even before they start make you start wondering, how can I use this terrain to get me where I want to go. The units are well picked for the game, the artwork is extremely nice, and the maps are just plain awesome. At first I was sort of disappointed how small the maps were, but have come to appreciate the fact it can fit on a pretty small area. This game feels like a zoomed in mini movie. I've heard this term described about Combat Commander, another great game but this one is all you. In CCP, you have to make the best decisions with the cards you get, in LnL BOH you have to decide what you want to do, but be careful and don't exhaust yourself. In this game it's I go, you go so if you have to remember if you perform an action those troops unable to react unless they are protected somehow.

One of the biggest adjustments for me was the rulebook. It looked like a lot of info, and there is, but the basic game is amazingly simple. Generally speaking infantry type units fire attacks is as follows...

If defender hasn't moved you have to spot him. Roll a die, if you fail you go to op fire mode and wait for him to move.

If the unit is visible...
Attacker Roll 1 d6 add your Firepower, add/subtract modifiers
Defender Roll a D6, and add your cover, and the difference is added to the damage check.

The damage check is a separate roll plus the difference of your rolls plus modifiers(DFT).

What the heck is a DFT?
These are the questions you ask about the conditions of the firefight. Was target running across the field? Are you riding in a jeep and firing? Are any degrading shrubs in the way? Is the target adjacent?

Ordnance weapons roll against a table on the back of each unit, but have a similar mechanic. So you are like thats it? Yes, sort of ...

So why does the game look so hard? There are so many ways to react that it adds complexity. Units that dont fire or move have to be spotted before they can be hit. That's pretty cool. You can hope on a tank or a jeep. You can button up tanks. You can crawl. You can hit a tank in the hull or the turret. You can try and lay smoke... Spotting and being spotted can be key in some scenarios. You have to decide if its worth moving that unit early in the turn or waiting for your opponent to do something. Remember passing is an option, so you can let your opponent exhaust himself and then go in for the kill. If he can't react you have the advantage. Everyone learns this lesson the first time this happens to you in this sort of game.

Take a look at one of the player aides and you will the options. This is where the game can get overwhelming if you try and learn everything in the first game, and believe me you will forget about some things you can do, until you have someone pull a trick on you. And some of the terms Mark uses for the game are so different from other games, personally I had a hard time adjusting. Even looking at the terrain chart for movement there is a T,O,R, and Leg. Now if you look it up in the rulebook you will see T is tracked. This overwhelmed me at first but I downloaded the player aid on the geek and it cleared it up. A legend on the player aide for the non-oldschoolers would have been a big help. Another thing that threw me was SMC and MMC units, which now is easy now that I know they are Single Man Counters and Multiman counters but when I first started it threw me for a loop.

The beauty of this game is in the options, and the fact that you control the actions that you take. Each decision is yours, and the die rolls are suspenseful. I like that in a game. So if you roll a difference of 6 in an attack, you feel pretty good about doing some damage to the opponent, but until the second roll you never know.

Here are some things in this game that have surprised and entertained me, just so you can get an idea of what I am talking about.

You can ride on a tank
You can Fire a tanks main gun, and possibly 2 more machine guns
You can pickup weapons dropped by the enemy when they are destroyed. Always a good time when a german unit drops an MG42 in the middle of a field and everyone running to go get it.
Rolling a 1 on a damage check could lead to a hero being entered into the game
Some buildings have multiple stories.
Medics and Chaplains can be included in some scenarios

The only bad things I didn't like about the game were the rules being in black and white, and the player aides werent that great but I did find some great ones on BGG.

The game is fun, and each turn feels like a game to me. So many options to choose from during your turn it can really slow down your first game because you start wondering "Can I do this?" And from what I understand this is what ASL players love about ASL.

For me, Band of Heroes is a great fit. I enjoy the theme, the game play, and I am having fun learning more about the game. The other games in the series have the same core mechanics so switching from Vietnam to Band of Heroes really isnt a big deal. I highly recommend the game and hopefully will be making some more videos soon with examples of play to help people see the game in action which is so much better than reading a rulebook.

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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Very well appreciation! If you get into tank fight later, you will be excited even more!laugh
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