basically "lock 'n load: band of heroes" is a tactical wargame played on hex maps (with different terrain and buildings), focusing on the actions of us airborne forces in normandy. each player commands different units like squads, individual people, vehicles and weapons - represented by little counters, which also show the values of firepower, movement, range and morale of the respective unit.
there are a lot of scenarios coming with the game, describing the units involved, the victory conditions and also special events that occur during the gameplay and which mustn't be read before. each game turn then consists of three phases - rally phase, operations phase and administrative phase. in the rally phase you have certain attempts (dice rolls depending on the morale of the unit and the presence of leaders) to rally your shaken units. then follows the main part of gameplay, the impulse triggered operations phase in which each player alternately activates all units in a hex or building level to either move or fire, then passing on to the other player doing the same. you have to check LOS and spot the unit you want to attack before you are able to fire, then combat is resolved by comparing dice rolls using some modifiers. in the last phase, the administrative phase, you just clean up the map of irrelevant markers.
the game plays quite fluently as by using a impulse based system both players are integrated into gameplay nearly at the same time. you have to invest some time to get familiar with the rules, but it's worth it as once you've gotten into the mechanics they are not too complicated. i also think that the game does a great job in "simulating" circumstances and chaos of war by certain dice rolls.
if you are interested in the genre i think that lock 'n load is a great choice.
if you are done with the scenarios of "band of heroes" there is a nice expansion called "swift and bold" with 12 new missions adding british paratroopers and a lot of new units like gliders, ATGs, flak guns, panzers and many more. this should keep you busy for a while...
Mark H. Walker's Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes brings the awarding winning tactical combat system to the hedgerows of Normandy. Lock ‘n Load is the game system that features "more game and less guff." Don’t waste hours with convoluted rulebooks cobbled together in the name of realism. Dive right in and play with Lock ‘n Load’s rapid fire impulse system and immersive graphics. Although a squad-based game, single men also make a difference - Leaders, heroes, medics, and even chaplains inspire their men; leading them to feats of heroic bravery. Random events triggered during play add to the "you -are-there" feeling. Ambushes spring unannounced, squads panic in unforeseen circumstances, and unexpected air support saves the day. It’s all here, in a game that plays much like a good military adventure novel.
A Charles S. Roberts award winner, International Gamers Awards Game of the Year, and voted by Game Magazine as one of the top five conflict simulations.
Swift and Bold expands the forces, battles, and options available in Lock ‘n Load: Band of Heroes with the addition of the British paratroopers. The expansion includes twelve new scenarios spanning the D-Day drops and Operation Market Garden. There are 85 new counters, 12 missions, and rules covering Piats, gliders, the British 2" mortar, and much more. The new counters are a blast. The British Piat, Vickers MG, 2 Pounder ATG, Horsa glider, Cromwell, Firefly, and Bren all make an appearance. On the other hand the Germans add the deadly, yet unreliable Panther G, 20mm Flak guns, the Panzer MKIV, and new squads.
1-2 players, 60 min
author: mark h. walker
publisher: lock 'n load publishing, llc
category: wargame (world war II), hex maps
lock 'n load - band of heroes @ boardgamegeek.com
lock 'n load - swift and bold @ boardgamegeek.com
buy the game online @ lock 'n load online store or cosimshop.de