Calvin’s Commentaries: Legions of Steel: Operation Anvil
In general terms, I like everything about them, from the neat minis to the limited number of miniatures to acquire, to the generally quick play, to the limited space required. It all works for me, to the point through the years I have acquired mini skirmish game starter boxes that past gluing together, have never gotten to the table – but life is young as they say, so I live in hopes they will one day.
And now there is a new game glittering on the horizon that has my eye: Legions of Steel: Operation Anvil.
LoS has a long history to be sure. It was first out there in 1992, faded away as many games do, and is now rising from the miniature forges once more. That automatically gives LoS something of a vintage feel.
The new version is coming from RayBox Games, which is Canadian and for me, that is always a bonus.
But, the question lingered, how did LoS get its start, and why a relaunch nearly 30-years later?
So I fired an email to Marco Pecota – Chief Designer and Creative Director with RayBox Games looking for some answers.
Pecota replied with an explanation of the origin of the game.
“Back in 1990 I was at a gaming convention in London, ON. At this point my friends and I had already started designing our first gaming product, a scenario book for Battlelords of the 23rd Century,” he explained. “We met Tom Frank who ran a Space Hulk (SH) game that we participated in. We really loved it and based on our experience decided to create a game using miniatures and gridded map tiles. We wanted it to have more tactical depth than SH and within the next year or so we launched Legions of Steel.”
And now a rebirth.
“LoS has been out of print now for nearly 25-years,” said Pecota. “Now I am rebooting it. The idea is to create a boxed set game with everything you need to play in one box for under $100 (USD) as well as provide new and updated miniatures, map boards, and playing pieces.
“The rules are solid and have been played thousands of times so there will be little change there.”
For me being a Canadian skirmish game has my interest, but what does Pecota see as unique to LoS?
“Some of the aspects that make it unique is that we have everything in one boxed set at a reasonable price,” offered Pecota. “The miniatures and a majority of components are being manufactured in Canada.
As always I was curious how long the development of the game took?
“The development time was from between 1991-1992,” recalled Pecota. “Since being out-of-print I started to re-develop it last year so the new development has been 18 months.”
Not surprisingly LoS is something of an effort of passion.
“I love designing games and overall do not find it particularly difficult but I would say that there is a lot of difficulty getting the forces and scenarios to be balanced,” said Pecota.
So what in the mind of the designer is the best element of the game? “The best element is its fast-paced playstyle,” said Pecota. “It is a deadly game, mostly one hit one kill. A lot of action takes place in a short amount of time.”
Of course with mini skirmish games, everybody loves factions, so what is in LoS that Pecota thinks players will like?
“Well, we start with two factions, the ‘humans’ and the ‘machines’,” he said, a nod to the basic jump in a play nature of LoS.
“I am developing the mix but for the humans, you have highly trained Commando Troopers in PBA with a Sergeant and leadership abilities.
For the machines, you get some very cool front-line robots called the G12 Nightmares and the incredibly deadly and touch Mark VII Assault Fiend.
“In the Kickstarter, you can also immediately expand your forces with the Human Recce Tropers (Scouts) and for the Machines, there are the tough G3 Predators and the C1 Succubot Command and Control Robot.”
Of course, the real lure of skirmish games is always what comes next.
“We already have the first expansion available right in the KS with additional figures and solo rules,” said Pecota.
“There is the expansion of the advanced rules with additional figures and weapons.
“Then there will be two alien faction expansions, a campaign expansion, and a tabletop expansion.
“All the way along we will be releasing heroes starting with seven heroes in the Kickstarter. We will also create a co-op game and expansions for that. “
It all sounds intriguing to me, but yes I am something of an easy sell in this case.
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