Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Review of Flames of War Version 3

I have not received the hardcover copy of Version 3 but BF had announced the various changes to the game system.
Firstly, my article is more a personal observation rather than a "rules lawyer" rant.
Secondly, I just felt to interpret the changes compared to Version 2.
I feel that some rules are timely and based on players’ feedback but some are more likely the “flavor” change. All in all, it’s a good to have Version 3 onboard!
I have skipped over some of the rules revision since it does not have a large impact compared to Version 2.
So here it goes…

Warriors and Independent Teams (page 13)
Guess some players had been stringing their independent teams as speed bumps to onrushing enemy. It will be interesting to see FOW segregating the various HQ elements as warriors and independent teams in future sourcebooks.

Movement Distance (pages 36, 40, 41, 62)
A more realistic approach with regards to most light vehicles being faster on the road compared to other vehicles. Come on….my BMW Zundapp motorcycle is MUCH FASTER than your Stuart light tank!

Moving At the Double (pages 50, 91)
Even though the ruling is amended in good faith, I do wonder if it becomes a bottleneck in a game. Example:
Player A : I will more this and this and this and….(Russian Strelkovy Company moving) on double move. (15-18 bases moved)
(Comes shooting phase…)
Player A: Err….I can’t actually recall which of them moved at the double..?!

Moving Through Gaps (page 42)
A good revision. It does stop that lumbering Kingtiger trying to tiptoe its way past the Panzer Luchs …We do had players who tried squeezing past their own models to contest objectives.

Recovery Vehicles (page 45)
I have read in FOW forums, this will be a force changer to most tank companies. Current practice is to use the recovery vehicles as an extra vehicle in a platoon thus increasing its platoon count related to morale checks. I guess now a Bergepanther does not instill the same respect when it joined a Panther platoon in Version 3. : P

Transports and Passengers (pages 46 to 48)
This rule had some people in the FOW forums nicknaming the rule as the “Clown Car Rule” or the “Rhino Rule” if you had experienced Warhammer 40K. The basis on these comments was the fact on the large number of infantry that are able to board that single transport model.
And the fact that their transports has now stealth capabilities as per the Brought Forward rule after Sent to the Rear. The transports can now magically appear 4”/10cm away from their assigned squads to be boarded. So, it stands to reason some players will try to abuse this rule to burst out of that thick foliage and gun for the objectives or targets inside their transports.

Overloaded (page 61)
As a player who used to play Hetzers and PIV/70, I rejoiced with this change. Now, instead of rolling 1 or 2 in Difficult Going terrain, now I just have to watch out for that 1 when I roll the dice. Is it better? I guess the Law of Probability is better with this change unless Lady Luck is upset with me.

Shooting Over Infantry (page 80)
It is a positive change since it is logical that a vehicles and gun teams to be able to shoot over infantry stands.

Gone to Ground Gun Saves (pages 99, 134)
Now it is a better proposition to bring up those infantry guns in support as well as those HMGs. But this will induce more Russian players to drag those 45mm guns around as well…which make most tank armies leery to assault them.

No Saves from Big Guns (pages 100)
I wonder if anybody decided to bring in more Brumbars and JSU/ISU 122/152 in their army with this revision. Common grouse in FOW forums on why tank armies had difficulties to dig out dug-in infantry… this should be the answer. Breakthrough Guns!

Destroyed Armoured Vehicles (page 103)
A major revision from version 2. No longer a “smoke pot”.

Snipers (page 110)
Another significant revision. This will improve the effectiveness of the sniper. May actually worth its 50 points since they removed and appear on a 4+ elsewhere. Snipe and Scoot!

Air Observation Posts (page 139)
No more the ALL-SEEING EYE in the sky. That should satisfy most Allied detractors who had been cursing the AOP rule for the very reason of its limitless vision.

Anti-aircraft Range (page 182)
Additional 8” to AA range. Woopee.

Flying Tanks (page 183)
Rejoice! No more pesky firepower tests when firing against sturmoviks and HS129s.

Demolition Carriers (pages 233)
With this new rule, it spelt the end of big bombardment template associated with goliaths and bogwards. So the value of playing Pioneers maybe limited without these demolition c

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