Lost Patrol is a 2-player board game about a group of Space Marine Scouts, lost on a jungle Death World. One player takes the Scouts and the other the Lurkers.
The game was published by Games Workshop and a limited run was released in 2000.
Scout Sniper Rules
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I have always wondered about the origins of the “Lurkers” and their role in the Warhammer 40K Universe. How did you envisage them? And, would you care to elaborate?
The lurkers were based on the old horror movie principle that things are usually scarier if you don’t show them clearly. Having them as barely seen teeth and glowing eyes allows everyone to imagine them as scary in a way that would be far less effective if they were models. I’m sure that they’d be tempted to do models if they ever re-released the game, but I’d personally leave them as counters. In “reality” I always imagined them something like the mirror demons in the Solomon Kane film – emerging from the forest in a flash to grab a victim and disappear again.
They have no impact on the wider 40K universe, being simply an example of the delightful fauna that inhabits Death Worlds😉
Thank you – and much appreciated!
damn, I never even knew this game exsisted!
Good luck finding a copy
Over at “BoardGameGeek” there is now an entry for a new edition of Lost Patrol by Games Workshop which supposedly has a release date of 17th June 2016. Are you aware of this second edition? Or, is it news to you as well?
News to me. Interesting news though.
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WHich are the box dimensions?
Can’t recall offhand, and I’ve not got a box with me to check. From memory, I’d say that the old box was about 30cm square. No idea about the new one.
Thanks a lot!
Hi Jake you get a chance to pick up the new version of Lost Patrol yet? My initial thoughts are it’s very very hard maybe too hard. I’m thinking it’s more fun (still very hard) if the scouts get double or even triple the number of dice for shooting and assault results. Have also been wondering if limiting the number of genestealers that can appear a turn (or the number that can appear on a tile) might make the game more tactical for the Nid player.
When you get a chance would be great to know your thoughts. It’s certainly not the same game you designed though it shares a lot of the same DNA.
Picked up a copy today. Haven’t had a chance to open it yet though
Played 20 games yesterday as Nids, won every game, not even close.
Played 20 games today as Scouts, got the Drop Pod out twice but couldn’t win.
LP was always intended to be hard for the scouts (it was set on a Death World after all). However, I’d expect at least some SM wins out of that many tries.
I have finally got myself a copy of the new edition, and will take a proper look at that next week. I was going to look at it this weekend, but I left it in the office by mistake. Doh!
Not having played it, I can’t say whether the rules changes have made it easier or harder for the scouts. If GW had let me make the changes I wanted to for a new edition it would have been a bit easier. Sadly that didn’t happen. I do have some house rules from the first version though, and will see how many of them still work.
Did you have fun?
Generally people seem to be having fun with it at the local LGS, though general consensus is it’s probably a bit too hard for the Scouts straight out the box. So house rules are being tried. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it when you get a chance.
What house rules are people trying? Sounds interesting
Been trying giving scouts more dice for shooting and assaults, double the amount (2 for shooting and assaults, and 4 for shooting the heavy bolter), or triple the amount (3 for shooting and assaults and 6 for the heavy bolter). For shooting each 6 is a kill so you can kill more than one stealer with a shot if you get lucky. In assaults you pick the highest role and work out the results from there.
I like this system as you can do the following:
Triple number of dice = ‘easy’ mode. (Still not that easy!)
Double number = medium mode.
Rules as written = hard mode (pretty much impossible!)
This is a neat system as you can adapt the rules to your audience. E.g. On Monday I played with some teenage boys we started with medium mode, which they found too hard so then they tried easy mode. It’s just a nice way of setting the difficulty and challenge you want.
Other simple modifications to make the game easier if desired are:
1. Remove the -1 in assaults if a scout is alone. I like this as it means a lone scout can survive if alone and fighting 3 genestealers, though his chances are still slim.
2. Don’t let genestealers enter on the drop ship tile.
Thanks Joel. I’ll need to read the new rules to see what changes they’ve made. My original intention was to make the SM player feel outclassed, and as that’s Space Marines it implies a very nasty bad guy indeed. All rather weakened by sticking stealers in, I’m afraid.
Yes the lurkers as an unknown foe are a lot more terrifying. Genestealers are really only a threat to scouts due to their weight of numbers. On the bonus side we now have rules to play Lost Patrol with lurkers and with genestealers.
On a side note, the second edition Tyranid Codex had a great piece of fluff about a Catachan Patrol being picked off one by one by a lictor. As a kid I used to read it over and over again as I loved the story so much. I’ve always wanted to recreate the scenario as a game. I’m starting to think Lost Patrol tiles/style of rules might be the answer. Whatever the game is it needs to provide the conundrum of if we stick together we are safer, from the unknown enemy but it will take us longer/we might not achieve our goal.
You ever had any ideas for a hunter style game, where one side is being picked off one by one and they have no idea where the enemy will strike next?
That was the original LP. The lurkers are a sort of amorphous representation of an unseen threat which could be a single very fast creature, or several smaller ones.
Yeah true! If GW really had to replace the lurkers, lictors might have been a better choice than genestealers.
I think the difference with the lictor game I have in mind, rather than the lurkers is I wouldn’t want the hunted to know where the hunter will strike next. Where as putting the lurker counters down means they know where the trouble is brewing.
Of course that brings in a lot of potentially overly complex secret movement rules, which are often messy. So the lurker counters are a rather elegant compromise in my eyes.
Thanks for the complement
Hidden movement is usually a compromise as it’s tricky (and often requires extra components and/or a referee) to do well.
As a purely abstract mechanical experiment I’m currently playing with some new rules to resolve hidden movement in board games. You’ll see if it works as I’ll put it in something
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