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V4 a dull thud? 
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VAeric wrote:
I have to agree with SP on the current TY and soon to be V4 meta.


Seems like every points based game system I've played over the past 20 years has two constants: 1) there's a meta and 2) it changes.


Sun May 07, 2017 9:40 pm
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Does it always eventually change so that the games require more models?


Sun May 07, 2017 10:03 pm
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One thing that people need to keep in mind thinking about V4 morale rules is that a unit does not get in to bad spirits only when it gets down to its last non-bailed tank/gun team or last two infantry teams. It checks whenever it has no more than those amounts in command.

In the V4 LW tournament I played in last weekend I had an 11 team infantry unit go into to poor spirits when still had more than 50% of its teams active on the table. After the unit lost four teams and the command radius dropped from 8" to 6" which in addition to the losses left only one infantry team in command range of the unit commander. The last stand roll was passed but then I had to give up foxholes to shift teams back into command and that caused the unit then to quickly unravel. In previous games I've seen ATG units loses one out of three gun and go into bad spirits. I've also seen an opponent's Soviet tank unit go into bad spirits with less than 50% tanks destroyed, but a bunch more bailed out and not remounted when the units was in line.

Admittedly on the surface level the command rules are seemingly off, but as I'm playing V4 more and more I'm finding them to be less of an issue than I thought they would be and am on occasion surprised when Bad Spirits is triggered much earlier than I was expecting. The reality is for the vast majority of units in the game the morale outcomes were not drastically different than V2 or V3. The big exception I'm seeing is that in some cases its not possible to go back into Good Spirits and those units end up checking every turn there after. Some units; Soviets, Italians, US, etc. are harder to get to Bad Spirits just based off of lost teams. But pay attention, they might be in Bad Spirits more often than you think as losses mount, command range drops, failed follow me moves, and the owning player is not playing close attention to command distances.

Sure you can just try to bunch up to reduce risk of going into Bad Spirts due to the number of teams in command, but by doing so you then take on more risk to loss from template weapons and often run into issues with your own teams blocking line of sight for other teams in the unit.

What I'm really liking about the V4 morale rules is that is has removed the #1 question I always have to ask and always get asked in the course of a game: "How close is that unit to checking morale?" If I had a dollar for every time I had to watch a Strelkovy player count and recount his teams in a unit to see if it was at less than 50% I'd would have not had to have spent nearly as much on this hobby. That disruption of the game is gone now. I can look at your unit and tell immediately if it's in Bad Spirits or not. I don't have to bother you and you don't have to bother me about that status check as we work out our moves.

I think players who give V4 more than a superficial attempt or two are going to find that the morale rules are not as bothersome as they thought they would be and in some cases work rather well. I also think they'll get better at targeting and inducing Bad Spirits more often than pure losses will otherwise dictate.


Sun May 07, 2017 10:14 pm
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UndergroundWarren wrote:
Does it always eventually change so that the games require more models?


I don't think so. I'm not sure V4 is requiring any more models of us. Most of the "V4 killer list" I've seen proposed here and elsewhere were lists that I and my fiends were able to run under V3. I've not added anything to my EW or LW collections since V4 came out and have no plans to. In MW, my Afrika Korps forces was almost just fine "as is" save the increase in 2.8cm ATGs for which I'm just proxying a Puppchen as a 2.8cm at the moment. I am starting a new 8th Army force as I always wanted a desert opponent for my DAK. That was my choice to make for my WW2 project for this year. I did not feel like I "had to." I am excited to see a whole force to be able to be done in plastic.

The V4 LW tournament I was at last weekend had forces that looked like they were right from a V3 event. I tried to tune (using models I had) my force for V4, but ended up doing rather poorly.


Sun May 07, 2017 10:28 pm
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Not really judging anything based on EW/LW. The devil is in the campaign books.

If bringing multiple companies of light tanks doesn't work in MW, then all is good, but I'm thinking the numbers are up in MW until the meta proves otherwise.

Our TY meta is very light on MBTs at present, which means high model count.


Mon May 08, 2017 3:22 am
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Mark wrote:
Soviet Pride wrote:
An open Beta wont solve anything if the game designer thinks its product dosent have flaws to fix.

Spam and horde tactics were a problem under V3, but this trend have only got bigger with TY and V4 which etiher give you a bonus for huge unit blocks or for spamming big number of costless platoons.

Many people from different places have been saying since the very beggining that the new morale rules are broken and not functional... but BF have ignore such advice because its a powerfull in game mechanics that helps to create bigger forces that require more minis to be purchased.

To sum-up, BF is into the business of selling toys (the more the better) internal game balance is completelly secundary for them.


The game readily puts a BN worth of troops on a platoon scale table. It's clearly to sell more models.


Is this really a concern if we keep the points down and or limit to one formation? I'm not defending the morale rules (or any V4 mechanic for that matter) just saying we do control game size.

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Mon May 08, 2017 4:11 am
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Iron-Tom wrote:
I think players who give V4 more than a superficial attempt or two are going to find that the morale rules are not as bothersome as they thought they would be and in some cases work rather well. I also think they'll get better at targeting and inducing Bad Spirits more often than pure losses will otherwise dictate.


Based on my v4 experience so far, I agree Tom. I was generally positive about v4 except for the morale rules, but after playing it I'm much more ok with the morale rules than I thought I would be, mainly due to the same points you made regarding command and large platoons.

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Mon May 08, 2017 5:07 am
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PrivateSnafu wrote:
Mark wrote:
Soviet Pride wrote:
An open Beta wont solve anything if the game designer thinks its product dosent have flaws to fix.

Spam and horde tactics were a problem under V3, but this trend have only got bigger with TY and V4 which etiher give you a bonus for huge unit blocks or for spamming big number of costless platoons.

Many people from different places have been saying since the very beggining that the new morale rules are broken and not functional... but BF have ignore such advice because its a powerfull in game mechanics that helps to create bigger forces that require more minis to be purchased.

To sum-up, BF is into the business of selling toys (the more the better) internal game balance is completelly secundary for them.


The game readily puts a BN worth of troops on a platoon scale table. It's clearly to sell more models.


Is this really a concern if we keep the points down and or limit to one formation? I'm not defending the morale rules (or any V4 mechanic for that matter) just saying we do control game size.


While I agree that we control the points, I would also argue that BF makes point "suggestions" that can end up becoming standard. In v1, we were already pushing the envelop for troops on the table with 1500, but by late v3 it was readily apparent that 1750 was the de facto standard. This point level was suggested by BF. Without thoughtful consideration, many players just play this point level and more as they assume BF thinks the game works at that point level. Having played games from 1000 points to 2000, I think the game works better with less points. It's supposedly a company level game, but as I have pointed out, it's often a BN worth of troops on a platoon scale table which turns the game into a dice rolling game of attrition that leads to abuse.


Mon May 08, 2017 4:21 pm
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I agree that points levels (force size) is a huge issue. Smaller levels has almost always generated more enjoyable FoW game play for me. My favorite FoW tournament to date was a 1000 point "Infantry Aces" tournament. Probably the best implementation of the game I have ever been involved with. I recall the V2 design notes stating that FoW was designed to be played with 1500 points on a 4x6 table in a couple of hours. We (us and BF) far too often have exceeded that design focus.

It is interesting to note along the lines of this discussion that BF USA scaled back the 100pt MW US Nationals to 75 points for Historicon. That's something I approve of and would like to see applied to the TY US Nationals as well.


Mon May 08, 2017 5:26 pm
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UndergroundWarren wrote:
Not really judging anything based on EW/LW. The devil is in the campaign books.

If bringing multiple companies of light tanks doesn't work in MW, then all is good, but I'm thinking the numbers are up in MW until the meta proves otherwise. .


I'm sure that multiple formations of light British Tank companies is going to be a thing in MW. I expect those formations to win often and that they would be a good force for a new player to start with. Though I expect to them to win a lot, I don't expect them to win big often. They will bleed points in every game and I'm expecting the top placers on the podium will be running forces that they can win with while not giving up so many VPs due to highly fragile units that are quite easy to but into Bad Spirits.

UndergroundWarren wrote:
Our TY meta is very light on MBTs at present, which means high model count.


I'm not sure my group has a meta yet for TY. Apparently my TY Soviet Force based on 21 T-72s is not the best option from much of what I've read on line. I just bought the tanks at a LGS big sale without much regard for force design efficiency. I'll still be running them tough.


Mon May 08, 2017 5:36 pm
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Tom -

Shocking that someone would play a list that they want to enjoy! ; - )

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Mon May 08, 2017 5:47 pm
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I really enjoy light tank and armored car lists. (How many guys have played Belgian armored cars out there?).

I don't enjoy the whole parking lot scene.

Now what?

Besides that, most players enjoy a competitive game and being able to buy new models and fiddle with their forces. When a meta gets out of whack, it's not more fun.


Mon May 08, 2017 7:30 pm
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UndergroundWarren wrote:
I really enjoy light tank and armored car lists. (How many guys have played Belgian armored cars out there?).

I don't enjoy the whole parking lot scene.

Now what?

Besides that, most players enjoy a competitive game and being able to buy new models and fiddle with their forces. When a meta gets out of whack, it's not more fun.


I am giving Battlegroup a try. Read the rules and starting to try it out on my own. Playing in a few weeks with our group (all pretty much out on v4) to see if it can replace FoW for a company level game. So there's a whole new: 1) buy some new (use some extra old ones) models and add some individually (tandem) based figures; and 2) new meta (new game!). The game is points based, so I imagine after playing it a while we can come up with a competition playbook if we want.


Mon May 08, 2017 9:17 pm
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Regarding the "parking lot syndrome" we've tried a house rule of 1" minimum space between units not in assault and it seems to work well and make the visuals a bit better.

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Mon May 08, 2017 10:42 pm
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PhaseStar wrote:
Regarding the "parking lot syndrome" we've tried a house rule of 1" minimum space between units not in assault and it seems to work well and make the visuals a bit better.


Personally I don't have a problem with hub to hub vehicles. Sometimes its needed. Unless you play true scale, you will alway have the illusion of space and vehicle. It's not the visuals I am concerned with but rather actual gameplay. Generally the problem arises when you have too many toys on the table that creates the illusion you are playing at a smaller scale then you truly are playing. My solution to the problem would be less toys on the table, a bigger table, or a smaller scale for FoW/TY. Unfortunately in it's current form, FoW rewards spam lists, which seems counter to intuition.


Mon May 08, 2017 11:55 pm
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Mark wrote:

I am giving Battlegroup a try. Read the rules and starting to try it out on my own. Playing in a few weeks with our group (all pretty much out on v4) to see if it can replace FoW for a company level game. So there's a whole new: 1) buy some new (use some extra old ones) models and add some individually (tandem) based figures; and 2) new meta (new game!). The game is points based, so I imagine after playing it a while we can come up with a competition playbook if we want.


Battlegroup is a great game system. I really like it for historical scenarios and have had great fun with it. I don't though have high expectations that it will become a great tournament/competition focused system. If it had that potential, I feel we've might of seen it emerge by now. But maybe your group can break the code on that!


Tue May 09, 2017 12:51 am
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Iron-Tom wrote:
I don't though have high expectations that it will become a great tournament/competition focused system. If it had that potential, I feel we've might of seen it emerge by now. But maybe your group can break the code on that!


Ditto, but I'd be willing to give it a try!

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Tue May 09, 2017 3:09 pm
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piperider361 wrote:
Iron-Tom wrote:
I don't though have high expectations that it will become a great tournament/competition focused system. If it had that potential, I feel we've might of seen it emerge by now. But maybe your group can break the code on that!


Ditto, but I'd be willing to give it a try!


I will keep this in mind as we start up trying it out.


Tue May 09, 2017 4:02 pm
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Locally it's been a dull thud. Attendance at local events for V4 demos and games has been very poor. But so were V3 events. Flames of War in general has faded to a few people playing at home for quite some time. Team Yankee seems more popular at the moment, but even that seems to be about a couple of people playing at home and then occasionally posting on social media about it. At clubs, stores and conventions? There's very little.

There was some excitement but the way the rules for a given theatre are sold in drips and drabs really threw a wet blanket on things. I know lots of people are dismissive of the cards and also dismissive of those who don't like the cards, but I can't argue with a comparison of the previous version North Afrika book and V4 army rules be spread among so many individual products. And I write that as someone who is a brand new customer to BF with the launch of V4. I have never played any previous version of Flames of War. I can just see what's there and not there when I thumb through books.

I can actually pin point the exact moment my enthusiasm went away. It was when I saw this:

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Shouldn't this be in the book under the entry for the unit?

I'm still running demos at a local store but I'm not sure about where things are going to go from here. I feel like I'm not doing anyone any good by recommending they get into a game where the army books are so incomplete. To the point that you need to buy another product just to have the stats for trucks to move your infantry or guns around.

The saving grace for me is that the miniatures are immune to rules stupidity. They're WW2 miniatures. So I can use whatever WW2 rules I want. So that means V4 rules + North Africa book + conversion book. Or Battlegroup. Or whatever else I feel like.


Tue May 16, 2017 1:54 am
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And there you have it...

Cards are going to be required. Do not continue with the whole "they are optional" BS. If you want transports, buy the card. Would you get the card if you bought the model(s)?

I know someone else mentioned this too, but what about Forces? If I buy the book list to build my army, what then do I do when I buy the cards? Will BF require me to have the actual cards at their tournaments? Will they blow a gasket with people who copied the cards or made their own or just have the stats?

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Tue May 16, 2017 1:46 pm
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What happens if BF's future releases cards and books are bundled together and sold as a single product?


Tue May 16, 2017 2:08 pm
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Then why not just have everything in a book instead of having extraneous pieces of paper floating around.


Tue May 16, 2017 2:13 pm
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Good question, but maybe they are not extraneous pieces of paper to the game designers POV. Maybe they see it as an important design evolution?


Tue May 16, 2017 2:23 pm
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not buying it, both figuratively and literally.


Tue May 16, 2017 2:25 pm
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I'm pretty sure it's the reverse. Under the new paradigm, the trucks are extraneous to the game. They were "streamlined" out.

The cards are for grognards who still want to use old stuff that they took out of the game to appeal to new players.


Tue May 16, 2017 2:30 pm
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