Thursday, February 16, 2017

Legions of Steel -> Playing a Game all the Way Through V3

Its winter herein New England, time to play some games.  This time I decided to pull out my old set of Legions of Steel.  I bought this way back in the 90s when we played a lot of SpaceHulk.  LoS was pitched back then as a more tactical form of SpaceHulk, turns out it is.  Its a very different game than SH, the aliens shoot back and there are a LOT more tactical options.

After we played it a bit we all decided that while we thought it was a good game it just wasn't as much fun as SH.  SH just seemed to have more desperate, last-minute actions which either cost you the game or barely saved the mission.

So, were we right back then?  It is time to find out; Playing a game all the way throughV3: Legions of Steel.

Mission 1: Quarterback Sneak
The UNE marines (deploy room A) need to deliver a bomb to one of the rooms marked with a B.  Full section marines (8), one machine horde (11).

Marines deploy in room A.  Comparing this starter mission with SH we see that it is a much larger map, with many more Machine options than the Stealers had in SH.

Instead of the 28mm figs I pained up some 15mm figs.  I never actually painted the 28mm figs (they are still around in a spares box), back in the day they were rare as hen's teeth, so it was hard to buy extra.

This is one section UNE Marines: Sgt, Cpl, 4 regs, 2 hvy weapons
One Machine horde: One Nightmare, 10 drones

The board, all set up with marines deployed.  No machines at the start

Marines, number 3 is carrying the bomb

One of the big differences with SH, and one of the pain points too.  The Marines have all these chits for grenades and leadership.  Means much more 'housekeeping' every turn

And the biggest difference vs SH.  It is an I go -You Go, but it is modified by an initiative roll to determine who is the first player each turn.  This leads to many instances where a side will have back-to-back activations.  This forces the players into a more cautious approach with much more overwatch/covering than SH.

In this case the Machines gets to go first, Drones run onto the board.  Yup, run, SH has one speed, Los has two: walk and run

Marines advance, note the 'covering' chits.  Here's another big difference vs SH.  If a fig moves, but does not fire it automatically is on covering fire, essentially an overwatch equal to the RoF of their weapon.  this helps with the potential double activations of initiative.

Marines get eh next initiative, the Sgt and Cpl hand out leadership points, just like SH, however, a Marine can only use a max Leadership per their rank, Marine 0+1, Cpl 1+1, Sgt 2.

Marines hustle forwards blowing doors away

Machines advance to block the Marines, the red marker is a 'suppression' chit (overwatch just like SH)

Machines gain initiative and launch a flank

The Nightmare arrives with drones - at this point all the Machines are on the board.  This was one of the reasons we ended up going back to SH, the Machines almost never have a unlimited supply of drones, they, like the Marines, have relatively few troops to move over quite large boards.

And, Mmmm, beer, this one is a good one

Marines are caught out in the corridor

Aim...   ...Fire!  (Oh yes, in this game the baddies fire back...)

Splat!  Machines gun down a heavy weapon Marine.  The Sgt behind him is covering...

BANG! BANG!  Machine is slagged

Machines rush to exploit the position

Over on the flank Marines advance laying down cover with a ForceWall Grenade (mobile force-field), the marine misses the throw and it bounced before it went off.  Heavy weapon Marine is covering

On the other flank the Corporal lobs a K-pulse

And whiffs

The remaining Marines advance and lay down suppressive fire

It looks like the Machines are pinned down, maybe?

Machine turn, a Drone lobs a Nachtmacher (essentially a fancy smoke grenade, and yes, the Machines have grenades too)

It does no good as the covering heavy weapon guns it down as it advances

The other drone rushes forwards

But falls to a similar fate.  At this point its Marines 3: Machine 1

A Drone advances to bust the suppresion

KaSplat!  not so well it seems

The Nightmare opens the door and pours napalmX onto the Marine, cooking him instantly

The suppression on the other corridor is less effective

The Machines take down another Marine

its getting a bit tense...

The Machines gain initiative and advance.  The Nightmare misses!  That is one lucky Marine

Another miss!  Things may turn round for the Marines

Spreading the remaining Leadership point

Heavy weapons Marine lines up the shot

BRAAAP!, one Kill (Nightmare takes 2!)

A Marine miss

Forcewall to provide cover

This has to work...

Full auto spray (doubles RoF) gains one Kill.  Yeah! the Nightmare is down.  The Machines are in big trouble now

Hung out to dry, the Marine that took down the Nightmare is looking very vunerable

The Machines oblige by missing  (as a note, lines of sight and movements are more tightly enforced in LoS vs SH)

Board is looking more clustered now

Machines win initiative
Machines advance, taking down the lone Marine.  Machines are forced to move around the Forcewall (its faster)

DOH!  Totally forgot to shoot at the weapons Marine...

Marines gain initiative and close in on the Drones

Weapons Marine takes out two Drones (spread fire!).  And at this point I remembered to place the unused grenades of the killed Marines back on the board so that they could be picked up.  See lots of housekeeping

The Drones get the initiative, a Drone fires on the weapons Marine

The Marine uses Leadership to step aside before the shot

The Drone advances to a better position

The bomb-carrier is doing an end-run around

The weapons-Marine takes down the drone

One left!

Marine grab grenades (the Fired markers)

Weapons-marine lines up the shot


Machines all KO'd

The bomb-carrier delivers the bomb to a target room.  Total victory for the UNE!
(Though, this may not have been the case had I remembered to fire that Drone)

So, the verdict: yes, its fun, but it is a lot more work than SpaceHulk.  The Machines really need to keep the Nightmare in the game longer.  Also, for an introductory scenario there is a lot going on, with many tactical choices and weapons to worry about.  Perhaps the 'Cleanse and Burn' SH route is easier as a first game.

Now as the UNE pours into the Machine stronghold, onto Mission 2

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