Let’s face it: Some people just have all the luck. The converse is also true. There are some people or some games or some days when you do everything right but fate deals you a crappy hand. This article highlights three circumstances in Lock ‘n Load games when you’ve got to wonder if you’ve been born under a bad sign.
1) Rolling a 1 on “The Ambush”
“The Ambush” skill card allows you to move a hero or a leader right next to an enemy squad and then roll a dice. Based on the result of the roll, you get an extra squad or two, sometimes with a leader and an MG. You can place these new guys right in the enemy’s hex and laugh maniacally as he struggles in melee against enemies who weren’t even on the board at set up! You can also use this card for great effect against an enemy tank without having to make die rolls for morale in close assault. Drawing a “The Ambush” card is a bit like Christmas and Thanksgiving all rolled into one for an LnL player and should be celebrated with joy and aplomb (whatever “aplomb” means).
However, there is always the chance that you’ll spend all that time and careful planning to get your guys in just the right position to pop a “The Ambush” card and end up rolling a “1”, which results in nothing at all. Zip. Zero. Zilch. A Big Donut. Might I also mention that your guys are now sitting adjacent to an enemy hex, fully spotted, and have become a nice lovely target? When this happens, I usually adopt the only tactic possible to salvage the game : I fake a seizure and knock over the board.
2) Drawing the “Friendly Fire” skill card
Nothing beats the joy of getting a “1” on a damage roll then rolling even and getting a hero. More than once, this has saved an entire shaken squad from getting melee’d as the presence of a hero deters the enemy from jumping into the hex and killing everyone in sight.
Heroes can also become an indispensable part of a team when they are created, shifting the balance of a game entirely if used wisely. The “Friendly Fire” card, however, does not help in this matter and the fact that you can pull it after getting a hero causes such a sense of immediate relief followed by immediate disappointment and anger. It’s a bit like getting a huge birthday cake and then finding out that the icing was made from urinal pucks.
The “Friendly Fire” card forces the bearer to make a roll in order to check whether he or she will let loose a stream of fire at the closest friendly force. Now your units are not only shaken but you have a liability on your side.
3) MG jamming in Heroes of the Blitzkrieg
“Ho-ho-ho, now I have a machine gun”. Great news for you unless it’s a WWI-era MG including the Hotchkiss 22/26, Belgian Chaucat, and the German Dreyse 13. The problem is that these babies jam more often than Bob Marley in his heyday. Each time they fire, the opponent and the attacker have to make a roll to check whether they ham and if it does, you’ve lost it until the next rally phase.
|The Chaucat: This weapon is le terrible.|
Needless to say, in a game where firepower is often the key to winning or losing, the loss of even a 1 FP weapon can really screw up your day and leave you with very few options to deal with an opponent in good cover. On the other hand, it does encourage a sort of reckless abandon in the enemy, who may take the risk of running out of cover based on the chance that your machine gun will be a useless piece of metal until the next round.