Scenario Review: Line of Fire 13 – “Hot in the City”

I’ve just played Mark Mitchell’s scenario, “Hot in the City” from the new Line of Fire 13 and it was pretty great.  The scenario uses the Day of Heroes map and the Heroes of the Gap counters to showcase a battle between the Americans and Soviets in a small Libyan city just after a sandstorm passes through town.

There’s a semi-random setup in the scenario, which is great for replayability and it’s really exciting as both sides scramble for prime real estate on the Day of Heroes map, the entirety of which is available for play.  To add to the tension, each side has a Mobile Reserve Force consisting of some armor and an additional squad.  These forces might come on at any time during the game so there’s a lot of tension here.
The battle gets deadly very quickly, especially with the addition of tanks and the paltry terrain values on the map.  The lighter construction buildings only offer a defensive value of 1 while the rubble hexes offer the most defensive value at 3.  With a scenario full of modern weapons and armor, you can imagine that it’s not long before casualties are stacking up on both sides.  In the scenario I played, the game stopped two turns short of the turn limit due to the massive losses incurred by the Soviets.  
Soviet Political Officer gets taught a lesson
 in “Hot in the City”
Here are a few highlights of the game I played.  
-The Soviet side rolled a 12 on a fight or die rally attempt while sitting adjacent to an American M1 Abrams.  I’ve been playing HotG pretty regularly since it came out and this was the first time it happened.  Anyway, the shaken squad rebelled and killed the political officer.  I felt immense pride in that little squad that decided it wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore…Unfortunately, it was eliminated in melee shortly thereafter.

-The Soviet Mobile Reserve Force entered the map and started mopping up the lone American squads left and right.  Any units that were isolated were quickly destroyed as they took cover in cardboard huts while a T-80 tank fired on them point blank.  No less than 3 US squads were eliminated in this fashion.

-An American squad managed to capture an RPG-16 during melee in a previous turn and as a BMP rolled up to the door to fire at it on the subsequent turn, the US side rolled a “2” to hit, and ended up killing it.  I always love it when squads use enemy weapons to great effect on their opponent.  It’s hilarious and impressive to see.

-A Soviet squad actually managed to shake up an M1 Abrams tank with close range small arms fire, which I’ve never really seen before.  The Abrams kept failing its morale checks in the next three turns and it reversed uselessly back to the edge of the map.  It was quite impressive and it’s something that really only happens on these kinds of maps where the fighting is in cramped streets.  I guess this event highlights the up close and personal nature of the scenario due to the map.

A look at the end result as Turn 6 came to a close.  Carnage and shaken units everywhere.
Anyway, my overall opinion is that this is a terrific scenario.  It breathes some new life into the Day of Heroes map and it focuses on a region other than Central Europe so it offers something different for the 1985 WWIII LnL universe.  You also have to adjust your tactics quite a bit to take into account the very short range combat and the deadly weaponry versus meager defensive terrain on the map.  Both sides have to think about where their opponent will enter the map with their armor and plan accordingly.  Finally, the scenario is very well balanced and the handful of matches I have played see-sawed back and forth until one side finally crumbled completely.

Kudos to Mark Mitchell for doing a great job and I look forward to playing this scenario again and writing a full report on it.


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