| ||Legions of Steel is the game of futuristic combat between man and machine. Power-suited troopers from Earth enter the twisting corridors of the Machine's underground bunkers and fend off endless hordes of Terminator-style Nightmares and the dreaded Mk 1 Assault Fiends. Grid system used for movement. A game similiar in many respects to Space Hulk.|
|Scale||Figure scale 1:1. No ground or time scale is given.|
|Basing||Individual basing. 20mm x 20mm and up.|
|Contents||19 miniatures, 86 color counters, 2 6-sided dice, 48 map templates, 24 doors with plastic bases, a 52-page rules/scenario book.|
|Designers||Clark Browning, Marco Pecota, and Derrick Villeneuve (firstname.lastname@example.org).|
I've found LoS to be very unbalanced, the Machines always win! Me and my friend have played about a dozen scenarios from the books, swiching sides often, and no matter what, the mechs win.
On the up side, the miniatures are cool, and fairly cheap!
|Greating Srecko (email@example.com)|
My experience is that the UNE wins the most scenarios.
|Gregg Dieckhaus (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
Legions of Steel is an exciting boardgame. The game portrays battles between Space Commandos and their machine opponents. The games' history does a decent job of setting up the background for the game. Here is a short summary:
From an unknown galaxy, the machines came. Their ships wandered among the periphery, and eventually settled into mineral rich planets, where massive building programs commenced. The machine empire grew at a devastating pace, and soon it became apparent that the galaxy must unite to defend against this incursion. Galactic races united and formed the Interstellar League for Mutual Defense against Extragalactics. Eventually, Earth is contacted by the League and are told of their impending doom. The league would not deal with multiple Earth governments, so out of the United Nations grew the U.N.E. or United Nations of Earth. Under the instruction of the alien races, Earth's technology was quickly upgraded. Earth, now an accepted member of the League, and its U.N.E. forces are recognized as some of the most fierce and aggressive fighters in the galaxy. League commanders recognize the machines are fighting a battle of attrition - a battle the League can not win, and decide to make a bold maneuver. They must strike directly at the heart of the machine production facilities. Underground machine facilities prove to be invulnerable to orbital bombardment, and the only way to actually destroy them is to invade, send troops deep into the heart of the planet - destroying production facilities as they go.
Unlike many board games, Legions of Steel is not played on a map that uses hexes, but rather is based upon squares. Underground machine facilities are represented by interlocking terrain grids. These grids can be placed in various formations to provide a multitude of different set ups.
I was first attracted to LOS by its miniatures. The machines - or Nightmares as they are called, look very much like the "exoskeleton" from the Terminator movies. Furthermore, the Assault Fiend is absolutely wicked looking. The boxed game comes with nineteen metal miniatures -- or as Global Games puts it, "over 1 pound of miniatures." Perhaps a better name for the game would have been Legions of Lead! Of the nineteen miniatures, ten of them are Nightmares, one is an Assault Fiend, six Commandos, and two heavy weapons troopers. While the initial outlay for game does seem to be high, when you consider that the average price for a miniature these days is anywhere from $3.00 - $5.00, Legions of Steel is a bargain. For the cost of the miniatures alone, you get the rules and all the terrain.
Inevitably, a game based on a "square" system, that features space commandos (or dare we say marines?) against aliens, must be compared to Space Hulk. I think Legions of Steel is much better than Space Hulk for the following reasons.
Currently all battles from Legions of Steel take place in the machine underground facilities, but Global Games informed me they are working on an outdoor system.
Some details about the game --
[Gregg's comments were originally published in The Tech Factory, Issue #4, and may not be republished or reprinted in any fashion (print or electronic) without their permission.]
|Thomas Russell (bengalt@WPI.EDU)|
Legions of Steel is a big step up from Space Hulk. The main reason for this can be summed up in one word: options. In particular, the wide range of firing options (covering, surpressive, auto, spread, etc.) makes the game a real challenge. It takes a bit of time before new players figure out how to make the most of their firing action. Also, the choices that Leadership points provide add a great deal of tactical complexity to the game.
I enjoy playing the Machines so I'll describe them a bit more. The basic job of the Machine in most games is to prevent the Marines from destroying some objective by destroying them first. The basic Nightmare unit is more than adequate for this task. The deadbolt launchers have a wonderful range advantage over their opponent's standard blaster rifles. This means that you'll generally have better odds of hitting them when they resort to snap fire to try and take you down. The Machine's basic plan is to use the Nightmares to set up commanding firelanes of suppressive fire and then use more specialized units to flush them out. The standard special unit is the Mark I Assault Fiend. This monster is built for the close-in attack so don't let it get clobbered while you try and get it into position.
Recently, we've picked up some more Machine units (which are introduced in the advanced rulebooks). Here's my capsule reviews on them:
In the end, Legions of Steel seems to be a fairly balanced, tactically rich game that has made quite a few converts here. Give it a try.
If you would like to add your opinion to this webpage, use the following form or send email to the editor.
There is also the Legions newsletter.
If you know of other resources for this game, or if you have material you would like to make available to the Net, please let us know.
|21 April 1998||Legions newsletter|
|11 April 1997||reorganized|
|29 November 1996||added link to official website|
|28 November 1996||comments by Greating Srecko|
|19 July 1996||reformatted|
|Comments or corrections?|