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Lock 'n Load Tactical: Heroes of the Falklands» Forums » Reviews

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Charles Hazelton
United Kingdom
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Last night myself and my buddy Dave gave the Lock and Load system and by association the Heros of the Falklands Game a 1st go.

We played the Dawns Early light scenario and swapped sides:

- Dave won both games

- We got lots of rules wrong but both felt that the game ran smoother and smoother the more turns we ran through it.

- We both had moments of glory and really enjoyed it.

- Heros were very fun and although powerful did not seem to unrealistic.

- The game play out in a very cinematic way.

- The Dawns Early Light scenario can play out in so many different ways I can definately see me playing this again.

- The Argentines notibly got horribly masacered in the street of Stanley on my 1st attempt.

Intitial impressions pros / cons:

Pros:
- The game plays out in a way that feels both cinematic and believeable.

- The impulse system and moral system make for a very tactical game.

- The spotting system also adds to the game making it very important who does what and when.

- Opportunity fire is awesome.

- The rules for Snipers and the Scenario / National rules also really added to the game.

- The scenarios look great and really suit the theme.

- I could almost hear the gun fire and see the explosions.


Cons:

- The rules are almost overwelming and it seems when the rules could be similar they arn't meaning a entirely different process has to be learned for quite similiar actions.

- The maps could be backed on card and there should be more of them and more detail on them....it seems wrong to have government house be just 4 genertic building counters and a Corvette be three peices you place together. I imagine people would have paid the $5 / £5 more to push the quality that bit higher.

- The core rule book is very wordy but also contains loads of abbreveations making the rules hard to learn. The rules summaries are good....I feel the summary charts become how the game is learned as the rule book is difficult to navigate and reference even with the numbering. The summary charts however are still full of abbreveations so again can be hard to navigate.

- The SAS don't have there own counters and have what feels like lazy rules......considering the Argentine get there own commando counters this saddened me.

- There are soooooo many modifiers it makes my head spin. When I have to -2 then - another 1 then divide 3 by 2 and round up and then roll another check and add the difference between two numbers then consult a chart......as a new palyert my head spins more and I think could I not roll a d12 + / - and single number and then counsult a chart.....would that not give the same result and be easier????


Conculsion:

Despite the above comments I really enjoyed this game and feel very strongly that once I have the rules down I will be able to play this more smoothly and also teach others the game without too much difficulty.

The game is highly tactical and you definately feel like you are playing chess with your opponent.

The theme is strong and as the action unfolds you feel like you are a commander up against it in the Falklands trying to fight a desperate battle.

The rules are hard to digest and it seems could be cleaned up signficantly however they also make for a fantastic game.

A system where one battle effected another would have also been good.

Further thought:

I'd love to see this system expanded to building a mercenary force, gaining experience and equipment and carrying out missions in hotzones around the world.
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Jeff Lewis
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charliemachina wrote:


Cons:

- The rules are almost overwelming and it seems when the rules could be similar they arn't meaning a entirely different process has to be learned for quite similiar actions.

- The maps could be backed on card and there should be more of them and more detail on them....it seems wrong to have government house be just 4 genertic building counters and a Corvette be three peices you place together. I imagine people would have paid the $5 / £5 more to push the quality that bit higher.

- The core rule book is very wordy but also contains loads of abbreveations making the rules hard to learn. The rules summaries are good....I feel the summary charts become how the game is learned as the rule book is difficult to navigate and reference even with the numbering. The summary charts however are still full of abbreveations so again can be hard to navigate.

- The SAS don't have there own counters and have what feels like lazy rules......considering the Argentine get there own commando counters this saddened me.

- There are soooooo many modifiers it makes my head spin. When I have to -2 then - another 1 then divide 3 by 2 and round up and then roll another check and add the difference between two numbers then consult a chart......as a new palyert my head spins more and I think could I not roll a d12 + / - and single number and then counsult a chart.....would that not give the same result and be easier????


Hi Charles,

Glad you enjoyed playing Heroes of the Falklands, and I appreciate your feedback. I just want to touch base on your "cons" as we are always trying to improve, and give you some explanations as to why things are the way they are.

We've done a lot to edit, condense and amplify the rules. We are on version 4.1. It's an ongoing process. All of the blue text are major clarifications. I think you'll find with more plays that the game will become very intuitive. Like most things military, we do use a lot of acronyms, and all are prefaced in their first use and there's also a glossary at the back. Again, with use, these become internalized. We have examples of play at the back of the core rules and downloadable walkthroughs on our Web site.

We used to have mounted maps but made the decision to go to heavy cardstock maps due to complaints of warping across our entire line of games; and we can print cardstock maps in-house. This saves our customers money. I've heard from many fans that they've easily mounted their maps on their own; others use plexiglass. Using cardstock also allows us to make our new big X-maps, which have been a hit with fans b/c of all the extra space within each hex.

Heroes of the Falklands used to be an expansion game called Ring of Hills that required a WW2 base game, Band of Heroes, to play. Needing a WW2 base game to play a modern expansion was bonkers. Thus we made it into a complete game. In doing so, we had to make some decisions. The corvette Guerrico was one of those. In Ring of Hills it was one whole counter. For all of our new LnLT games we've created a new counter die (not something you roll) for our countersheets, and it didn't make any sense to make an entire die for one counter in one game, for a counter that doesn't even move. Yes, the Guerrico does not move. Because of that, we decided to divide it in to three 5/8" counters. It has all the necessary information required on it and is fully serviceable. (We also have a downloadable pdf of a whole Guerrico in the resource section of our Web site.) If it moved, we most certainly would have made it a complete counter.

As for Government House being made of Building counters, that's how it was designed in Ring of Hills, and that's what made sense with the maps and counters in the available mix at the time.

The SAS played an important historical role in the Falklands War. They were not in any of the 12 original scenarios in Ring of Hills. The SBS, however, are in one scenario I designed for Line of Fire magazine, for which I didn't have specific counters. Sometimes you have to make due with what you have. I used Royal Marines and gave them extra abilities via Special Scenario Rule, a viable solution. And we added this scenario to Heroes of the Falklands, to give gamers an extra scenario to play. So your "con" about the SAS is unfounded as they are not in the game.

Of all the modifiers . . . again, the more you play the less you will be overwhelmed by this. We've included the numerous player-aid cards to help. After you've played a few scenarios they will become internalized, I promise you.

Things to look forward to: I will be designing a Falklands scenario pack at some point.

Create a believable story-line for your mercenary force idea and we'll see what we can do.

Best regards,
Jeff
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Charles Hazelton
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Fair enough.

I am definately enjoying the game and I am willing to give the rules time to sink in.

Apologies when I refered to the SAS I mean't the scenario for the SBS.

I would love to see a scenario pack for the Falklands and I would love if you could include the raid on pebble island.

I love to see new counters for the Scots guards, SAS and the SBS as well as counters for a Marine sniper etc to prevent proxying.

The idea for the Mercenary force would be based arond a leader character that can advance their stats with experience. The unit they are building would play solo scenarios draw from a deck of scenario cards. Sucessfully completing scenarios would award resources that could be exchanged for new equipment or units or to improve units you already have.

The narrative would come from each initiall leader forming the mercenary band drawing a background card (similiar to the hero abilities) and the missions themsleves telling a story.

Your battle generator system already provides alot of the basis for determining what units / upgrades would cost.

The scenario cards could also have a risk / reward pay off, the harder you make a scenario the more interesting the reward.

You'd need rules for determining longterm wounds / damage to equipment / characters / units.

Cheers for the feedback

Charlie

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Jeff Lewis
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charliemachina wrote:


The idea for the Mercenary force would be based arond a leader character that can advance their stats with experience. The unit they are building would play solo scenarios draw from a deck of scenario cards. Sucessfully completing scenarios would award resources that could be exchanged for new equipment or units or to improve units you already have.

The narrative would come from each initiall leader forming the mercenary band drawing a background card (similiar to the hero abilities) and the missions themsleves telling a story.

Your battle generator system already provides alot of the basis for determining what units / upgrades would cost.

The scenario cards could also have a risk / reward pay off, the harder you make a scenario the more interesting the reward.

You'd need rules for determining longterm wounds / damage to equipment / characters / units.

Cheers for the feedback

Charlie



That's interesting, and would take things in a different direction. Do they have to be mercenaries or can you build out of regular military structure in to an ad-hoc unit? This would be easier to implement as it would not require new counter art and could be worked up as a campaign. There's something similar in Noville, as your personal Hero gets better as he progresses.
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Charles Hazelton
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I thought mercenaries as a mercenary army can be whatever you want it to be.

But you could draw on the unit from the other games....etc Royal Marines who become mercenaries would have the abilities of royal marines........Delta force mercenaries would have their abilities.

You could add some original units to to spice it up and boost the theme.

Cheers

Charlie

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Jeff Lewis
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I prefer to design historically based scenarios and modules (a what-if based on these here and there too). The whole mercenary force thing would need it's own storyline and world. Perhaps in the fake WW3.
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Charles Hazelton
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Yeah I did think it would fit in well with the WW3 timeline Lock and Load has then you are free to do whatever you want with it and it could be an army composed of straglers etc.

I played Dawns Early Light again this time with my Dad.

We fought each other to a draw.

You were definately correct each time I play it it makes more sense.

Really enjoyed it again. Learned how to carry out Melee a bit more exactly.

The Amphibios got mauled going through the edge of Stanley then the Argentine Marines came on and slaughtered the Royal Marines in Stanley, took Moody Brook and were hosing the Government House with machine gun fire when the game ran out of time.

Next the Devil goes to Georgia.
 
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Charles Hazelton
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The Devil Goes Down To Georgia

Me vs Nick

This scenario saw the British holding back and initially having some good sucess at putting hits onto the Argentine Marines.

The Argentine Marines broke one flank then the Helecopters just came in and smashed the remaining British positions with only the forward deployment of a sniper slowing the Argentine advance.

The Corvette could not make much of an impact as the British were securely behind hills and out of line of sight.

Interestingly Nick struggled to get to grips with the mechanics of the game. Unlike my Dad and Dave he seemed unable to initially just do what made sense and worried to much about the mechanics. Once he just did what he tought soldiers would do the game flowed better and he defeated the British quickly.

Pinned

Me VS DAVE

We played this twice swapping sides.

I as the Argentines cut the British to peices as they advanced even managing to spare impulses to put more fire into units that were already shaken. No one got their airsupport in and Dave didn't get off his artillery barrage. It was an absolutely solid victory.

I think we wern't paying enough attention and missed doubles for Argentine FLASH and the air strikes.

The second game saw me as the British blow the heart out of the Argentine position with the 1st impulse and follow up with strong forward movements from all British units. The Argentines were rapidly overun. I left support weapons behind inorder to advance quickly and ended up struggling to match the Argentine melee counter attack with what little they had left. I ended up lousing 4 squads and 2 leaders in an under supported two round melee and although the Argentines lost units to the points they gained swung the game in their favour. The low quality Argentine reinforcements prevented the British evening the score playing goal keeper to stop all the units getting off the board.

The end score was around 14 vs 8 to the Argentines.

Dave has some terrible rolls in both scenarios.

I learned some important lessons about overcommitting to Melee and massing firepower.

The Pucarra come on and achieved nothing in the second scenario.

The artillery rules are awesome.

PINNED is a great scenario from both sides.

As before I am now some 6 games in and still very much learning the game. As before it is a glorious game and I could really see the battle unfolding in my minds eye.

Dave had a frustrating game both times but we concluded that any dice based system can suffer from lobsided rolls.

Dave said that he didn't feel like a winner at all in the second scenario but I pointed out if hardly any troops broke through Darwin hill then hardly any troops would be avalible to push on to goose green and push through Bocca House. It all felt very real.
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