Lock ‘N Load Games just released a new house magazine, Line of Fire. What is interesting is that it is a PDF only publication. Unlike Mongoose Publishings’ Signs & Portents online magazine, Rackham’s recently announced electronic conversion of Cry Havoc, the fan produced Firebase, or even Games Workshop’s Black Gobbo, LNL is selling Line of Fire for $16.99. Whether gamers think what they get is worth the money remains to be seen, but it is nice to have some support for LNL’s games. LNL says it hopes to produce the publication quarterly.
Line of Fire issue 1 is a 63 page PDF. It is in full, high-quality color. In fact the PDF is rather large at 70MB because of the higher quality images. This means that the various maps and counters included, not to mention the articles, print very well. The issue has 15 pages of previews on upcoming LNL games; six pages on WW2 tactics including a nice tankers guide for Band of Heroes; 19 pages on modern tactics mostly centering around Vietnam for the original Lock ‘N Load game; and lastly five scenarios, for mostly upcoming games, with maps.
The layout and article content is excellent and the scenarios and included maps and counters are also well done. Whether the magazine is worth the price probably depends on how much you enjoy the various LNL games. Similar to White Dwarf, if you only play certain games then the useful content can be slim. Personally I found the articles on the games I do not play interesting although I think $9.95 would be a more reasonable price, but perhaps Lock ‘N Load Games will adjust the pricing in the future. Perhaps if LNL limited future issues to one, or perhaps two, of their game lines the price could be more justifiable. Overall it is an interesting experiment and we will be curious to see what the future brings.
See our review of Line of Fire #2.