Thursday, 18 February 2016

Living on the Frontline

Noticed this game and had to get it. It's connected to the excellent Winter of '79 blog: It's a skirmish game themed on a break down in civil order in the early days of Thatcher's Britain or thereabouts. It looked fun and I was looking forward to playing it.

It seems to be mainly about trained infantry from various imaginary factions coming to blows, but will work as well with more civilian-looking militias. I have enough of those sorts of revolting figures to stand up to the establishment, but will be getting some British Army types to try to re-impose some order on the ungrateful socialists.

The game's mostly about infantry but covers tanks and helicopters. It's based on dice type, and all the modifiers affect the dice you'll be rolling. Eg, if your militia guy is d6 to shoot, and he gets +1 modifier, then he'll roll a d8, instead. If his target is d8 to defend, but is +1 coz he's keeping his head down, say, then he'll roll a d10. If the shoot dice rolls higher than the defend dice then the target is hit.

The initiative system is card driven, and similar to Bolt Action in that you just draw one to see who moves next. But, the number of cards you shuffle into the deck is based on the quality of your troops and not their quantity.

I understand a supplement dealing more with the setting will be available in a couple of months.

I decided to use my TWITCH guys as an establishment force of Trained soldiers. I imagine the Young Conservatives Emergency Privatisation Force modelled their uniforms on the 7TV show they'd watched as even younger Conservatives at the beginning of the decade.

I grabbed this random bunch of figures to act as the Militia level force of shady revolutionaries.

We randomly generated the Frontal Assault scenario with the YCs as attackers and decided they wanted to take some factory buildings that needed to be privatised (right kids!). So, the defenders set up across their half the board. Usually, the attacker would have significantly more figures than the defenders in this scenario, but with the YCs being better quality (trained vs militia) the numbers on the ground were even. I exchanged three attackers for Landrovers, also. And to make things even harder for me, as can randomly happen with these scenarios, one of the Landrovers got lost on the way to the battle and wouldn't turn up until 15 minutes of game time had passed.

Game time has to be kept track of in this game, with scenarios usually having a time limit, and latecomers arriving to a schedule. After every run through of the initiative deck, you just roll a dice to see how much time has elapsed (last player chooses which dice).

So, with not much idea how the game might play out, and not too worried about taking casualties, I decided to run the YCs straight down the main road where I knew the Trotskyist rebels would be waiting for them. I had an hour to grab two of the three objectives that the lefties had placed down that end of the board.

The first hail of gunfire brought the second Landrover to a halt...

...and everyone piled out. This was pretty stupid and dangerous and I could have been decimated at this point, but luckily the initiative joker turned up at just the right time, resetting the initiative deck and meaning I would have a chance to move my men out of danger.

They ducked behind the parked cars and exchanged fire with the dirty hippies.

Another stroke of luck, my first hit of the game ended up wounding the rebel leader and taking him out of the game.

And the YCs killed a couple more of the rebels. They were still surrounded, though, and heavily outnumbered.

Finally, with nineteen minutes on the clock, the third YC vehicle arrived on the board.

I should have shot this guy from point blank range, where I would have had an advantage (my troops were the better shot), but I wanted to try the close combat rules. As it happens, he got a bit of luck and managed to take out both of my guys, and then he started shooting my other guys in the back.

So my guys were gradually being whittled down, and only managing to take out the odd enemy.

When the reinforcements finally showed up. They ploughed straight through the factory fence...

...and debussed,

Things were just starting to look a bit brighter for me, when annoying Dave who had already flukily taken out two of my guys, then shot my leader in the back, killing him. That's politics, I guess.

All in all, it was a fun game. I think I've probably been spoiled for character and individuality in my games with 7TV, and its ilk. All these troops felt pretty much the same, differentiated only by their weapon. The game felt like it came out of the wargames side of skirmishing, rather than the RPG side. But I am still looking forward to making a dedicated force and working out some background for it. I'm also looking forward to the next LotFL supplement.


  1. Great game report- thanks for putting some detail in on the mechanics too.



  2. Well written and a generally lovely game. I'll have to give LOTFL a look. It sounds like a quite decent and relatively quick game: a bit faster and lighter than StarGrunt II and perhaps a bit meatier tactically than One-Hour Wargames. Not a bad place to be. Thank you much for the review.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, it's pretty fast-moving. It's probably a two hour game once you get used to it. The sort of pace I enjoy.

  3. Many thanks for the AAR, very nicely done and it looks like you enjoyed yourself, which is the aim of the rules and setting.

    I've just submitted the second amended draft of the A View From The Disunited Kingdom supplement, so it may be out fairly soon!


    Wayne Bollands

    1. Excellent, looking forward to that. And more games of LotFL

  4. What excellent looking factions. Nice report dude!