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Subject: New review for an old game rss

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Rob Bradley
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INTRODUCTION:
I was surprised to see that this classic has yet to be reviewed here on BGG. Even though it's been out of print for a while, I’m here to see that it gets done.

Legions of Steel is a game of tactical miniature combat, where two players face off against one another. One side plays UNE commandos and the other side plays the Legions of Steel. The Commandos are earth's last great hope of stemming the tide of the encroaching machine hoard.

Missions are played out on a pre-arranged grid of connected tiles that fit together to form a series of corridors and rooms where the engagements take place.

The CONTENTS:
Well, there are two editions and each come with different components. I will go into these in detail so if you find a copy on EBAY or used somewhere you know what you are getting. The first edition of Legions of Steel comes in a box, with a color picture of an Assault Fiend in a doorway. The box itself is black, and is sometimes referred to as "the black box edition", as opposed to the second "blue box edition."
The black box contains a rulebook, 48 cardboard floor tiles, 1 plate of color counters, and 19 lead miniatures. There are 2 UNE Commando Sgt., 4 UNE Commandos 2 UNE heavy weapon figures, 10 Legions of Steel G-1 Nightmare figures, and 1 Legion Assault Fiend. All the figures are 28mm scale.

The UNE figures are in body armor. The Nightmares are techno-skeletons with guns for hands, reminiscent of the Terminator frame from the movies. The Assault Fiend is a demonic looking machine with heavy haunches, tentacles, and a trident. It is quite a bit larger than the other figures, standing about 1 1/2 inches tall and overflowing its 1" square base.

Very important note: The First edition “Black Box” was released in two versions. The one containing miniatures said “Over one pound of METAL” on the box and one that contained no miniatures and was called “UNLEADED”. It is important that if you are buying a used copy, you know which one you are getting.

The second Edition is an updated version of the same game and has very few changes to the game but the included miniatures are different and many the scenarios are new. The rule book also added unit point values so you could build your own forces to do battle and it introduced new models you could buy as supplements to vary your play experience. The 21 miniatures included in the second edition are 2 UNE Commandos, 1 Heavy Weapon Commando, 1 Commando Sgt. 4 RECCE Commandos, 1 Heavy Assault Trooper, 4 G1 Nightmares, 2 G3 Predators, 4 G4 Gremlins, 1 C1 Succubot, & 1 Mark 1 Assault Fiend. I’m pretty sure it contained the same tiles and markers as the first edition but I’m not positive (it has been 10 years).

The GAMEPLAY:
If you’ve read anything about this game you’ve probably heard it compared to Space Hulk. I won’t do that here. LoS has an initiative combat system where at the beginning of each turn the players roll a d6 to determine who moves first that turn. The active player gets to activate each of his figures in turn and move and fire. Once a figure has been activated and its turn finished, a marker is place next to that figure to indicate its state. If the figure fired, a fired counter is placed next to it. If it didn’t fire, it gets a counter such as a 0, -1, or -2 fire modifier marker indicating it still has a fire action that can be used during the opponents turn. The 0, -1, -2, are placed depending on the figure being stationary, walking, or running.

Firing at an opponent is accomplished through one die roll. The roll is modified by the range, and the opponent’s amour modifier. If the roll is successful, the target is killed, or in some cases, wounded, but in the base game, only the Mark 1 Assault Fiend has more than one wound.

There are options for suppressing areas, kneeling so the figure behind has line of sight, and many other nice touches that add to the tactical decision process. One of these nice touches is leadership, which is basically, a point that a sgt. or some other leader type unit, can assign another figure at the beginning of the turn that can be used for extra movement or to increase the to hit number.

The tactical decisions in this game are immense, there is huge amounts of player interaction, and jockeying for tactical advantage as one player holds a key corridor, and the his opponent then moves to flank. (here is a little sidenote, feel free to skip this.

The two sides are balanced, although not perfectly. The sides have widely varying weapons and each side has a very interesting type of grenade. The G1 Nightmares have a nightmacher grenade, which causes a 3x3 square area to go completely dark blocking line of sight. The UNE side has at its disposal Forcewall grenades that through up a semi-permanent barrier blocking off a square.

CONCLUSION:
I have yet to find a tactical miniatures game or any game for that matter that has the strategic and tactical depth as LoS. It pains me that a game this great is long out of print and will likely never see the light of day again. I would highly recommend that if you see this game anywhere for a reasonable price pick it up.

POSTSCRIPT:
I have decided to add an editorial to the end of my reviews, read it, don’t read it, I don’t care; But it will be my little soapbox to rant.

It is funny that people applaud Euros for the amount of “player interaction”, like it is something new. Try this game on for size, you can’t get more interactive than shooting at your opponent if you ask me. Wargames, and miniature game as are interactive as hell an dif you are looking for interaction, put the Euro back on the shelf and pull out something Old School like this, whet your palette, and enjoy.




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Mike Gingold
United States
Goodyear
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Great review. I agree that this game offers a lot of tactical decisions and player interaction. I think this game is the best in its genre. My friends and I still pull it out every couple of months and play.
 
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Rob Bradley
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Mikeg99 wrote:
Great review. I agree that this game offers a lot of tactical decisions and player interaction. I think this game is the best in its genre. My friends and I still pull it out every couple of months and play.


I wish I had time to play this more often. At least I always play in th ebig Sat. night game at GenCon every year.
 
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Steve R Bullock
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Palm Coast
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I bought this game on EBAY a few years ago and never played it- I got a bit turned off when I opened the box and found no figures- just cardboard standups. The UNLEADED version I guess. Anyway, I boxed it all up and set it aside, forgotten until I saw this review. I think I will go out to the garage and see if I can find it in one of my plastic storage boxes.

And I agree- you don't get much more interactive than your opponent trying to kill you!
 
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Rob Bradley
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Quote:
I bought this game on EBAY a few years ago and never played it- I got a bit turned off when I opened the box and found no figures- just cardboard standups. The UNLEADED version I guess. Anyway, I boxed it all up and set it aside, forgotten until I saw this review. I think I will go out to the garage and see if I can find it in one of my plastic storage boxes.


That's how I started, no figs! but I just used 40K marines and bought a pack of the G1 Nightmares, until I could afford more LoS figs. Actually there is a site here: http://www.io.com/~mlangsdo/RPGs/LOS/index.html that has links to conversion rules for 40K and aliens and colonial marines.

Quote:
I got the black boxed leaded edition. Never played it nor read the rules - maybe I should give it a go.


When I first heard of LoS, I bought a used version (w/o figs) just for the tiles so I could use them for Space Hulk, but after reading reading the rules, I had to play it and I found it to be very rich.

In one of my favorite game experiences, my opponent had the names of the Commandos painted on their bases, and he'd refer to each of his figs, by name. It was a blast b/c it increased the moreal dilemna when he choice to sacrifice a guy to hold a corridor or some other high risk venture. It added a little role playing-esque feel, kinda like playing with your army men when you were a kid.
 
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marcelo collar
Brazil
Novo Hamburgo
Rio Grande do Sul
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This game is great.
I'm from Brazil, so we don't se many games released here.
LoS was released here after Marco Pecotas' death I guess, in the black box, non-metal version.
It was my first strategy game ever. And still one of my favorites. The grenades really add to the experience.
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Rob Bradley
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marcelocollar wrote:
This game is great.


IMHO this game has always been underappriciated.
 
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