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V4 a dull thud? 
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Gothmog wrote:
For many that I know that have quit the game, it isn't just the changes to the rules over the years, but BFs crappy communications, shitty attitude, and belittling of their customers adding to the mix. How many more snotty Phil posts do we need, broken rules/lists that were identified in play-testing, and then the inevitable blame the messenger responses until we get tired of it. The communications and attitude towards their customer problems have been there for quite some time, and they have never been able or willing to fix it. Combine that with what I see to be a wrong turn game-wise and I understand why many want nothing to do with V4.


Exactly, there's a lot more to your quitting than just V4 alone. I totally agree with all your statements and support your reaction/decision to them. BF has to earn your business. They are not.

Gothmog wrote:
I think that market is ready for a good competitor that can release a good casual and tournament game.


I'm ready for it. Have not seen it yet. But don't be surprised if it has "cards" in it given gaming trends these days.

Gothmog wrote:
And yes Tom, my perspective is very different than yours since I'm pretty much only a tournament player.


Nothing wrong with that Bill.

Most of us have been deliberately ramping back our tournament participation for years, last time I was at Historicon there was quite a contingent of top players optioning out of the Nationals despite the fact that they were are Historicon. I believe you were one of them as I seem to recall being in an I-95 Big table FoW Bulge scenario game with you, Allen, Rhia, and others (this was a few summers back) while Nationals were going on elsewhere. I had long since switched my gaming focus away from tournaments to scenario and campaigns as you know. And that was not very far into V3 when that happened. Actually I'm sure I was already running campaigns online in V2. Funny thing for me is that V4 & TY have me interested more in tournament participation now. So go figure.

So I'll miss you at game tables in Historicon etc. But I'm quite OK with your decisions and the decisions of others. You don't like V4 and have a lot of preexisting BF baggage. You are more than justified on the prior alone to quit FoW at this point. Who knows, it might be me next year. But for now, I'm having fun and think I have a lot to look forward to even though it will be with a smaller circle of friends. We'll see how long that lasts but there's no reason for me not to enjoy it and not share my enjoyment until then.


Wed May 17, 2017 3:33 pm
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I believe where BF lost the plot (aside from communication and IT issues which have always been bad) was when they failed with the Ranger program (actually, I could point out lots of other key problems, but here me out). Here was an idea to use the player base, mostly tournament players, to be ambassadors and recruiters for the game. Instead of focusing them on building groups at the stores or clubs where they already hung out, they tried to get them to add more stores. It was doomed.

It also meant that BF lost yet another connection to the tournament players having chased most of them off from play testing. The studio guys simply have no respect for competitive gamers. They would just as soon not have any around. Of course, the problem with that is that all the negatives they think they get from tournament types show up any way while your game struggles because there isn't enough energy outside of the competitive tournament scene to grow the community. Sure, there are plenty of game companies selling non competitive miniature games, but how many sell like BF was selling in the height of V2/ early V3?

Every FoW knock off makes them money, but mostly because of the appetite of the FoW players. These guys seem to want to sell the sauce without taking care of the meat. Now, they see the core asset failing, and they think they will get the results like they did with Vietnam and Team Yankee by making MW into a new, compact game with limited tournament appeal. All the sales without the wise acres pointing out the exploits and imbalances and ruining the fun for the guys who just want a casual game. (For how short sighted this is, just look at how that tournament scene turned Vietnam and AIW into short term heroes that disappeared).

All the biggest games maintain and promote tournaments. Magic, X-Wing, and Warmahordes are focused on tournaments. Even GW is coming around to try to grow again. At the same time, BF is headed the other direction, and it seems the reason is that the guys in the studio just can't manage to balance their campaign books and manage errata.


Wed May 17, 2017 3:54 pm
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Yep. It would be GREAT to see a better tournament worthy 15mm Company'ish level WW2 emerge be that FoW "done right" or some other company's rules. I'll be on the lookout for it. I just don't see it materializing anytime soon. So in the interim I'm getting what FUN I can from V4 and actually having a good time with it. I like it, I'll play it, no issues. Others can drop FoW, wait out to V5, switch scales, switch systems or whatever!

The only other currently sustained WW2 Tournament scene out there I see is Bolt Action. V2 seems to be doing well for BA. Lots of positive vibes on their forums, great consistent podcast, plenty of WWPD articles on BA being posted. BA WWPD is kicking FoW WWPDs butt at the moment. So if its "all about tournaments" check that scene out. Even though it's played mostly in a different scale it may provide for many what FoW is not.

I also really like Star Wars Armada for which I'm pretty much solely a tournament player in. Not WW2, but its a good tourney fix for me.


Wed May 17, 2017 4:23 pm
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KWEL-Terrain wrote:
Mark wrote:
Traffic's down considerably here too. What, there's like 8 of us now? :D


Nope, nine, maybe more, I'm just usually a lurker :-)


10. Lurkers count too!


Wed May 17, 2017 5:37 pm
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Gothmog wrote:
The interesting bit for me is that until BF started screwing around and releasing all of the unbalanced lists with V3, I typically spent several grand a year on their models. My armies were always solely BF product, and I typically painted 2-4 completely new armies a year. I've actually re-purchased and painted US Sherman-based armies 3 times in my BF playing career. I've wanted prettier models as I became a better painter. I'm not alone in the tournament crowd. Most of the grognards and the guys that I now know in the UK did or do the same.

BFs continued screw-ups, V4 being just the most recent IMO are what have made play fewer games of FoW and have made me look for new something new. It never had anything to do with the core rules. My friends dropping from the game due to the above has a far greater impact since I always saw them at events. The high water mark for FoW from a tournament perspective in the US was 2012. They've had decreasing numbers at big events, and fewer big events ever since.


A lot of this resonates with me. My painting skills have improved dramatically from when I first started the game, and I was coming from competition level 1/35th stuff. I enjoy tournaments, but I was always the "historical" gamer. I wanted to come to the tournament with an army that looked great and had a very solid history behind it. That means I typically didn't win tournaments because I wasn't chasing the meta (though my Black Brigade cleaned house...), but I "always looked good losing." And yeah, I'm the guy who was looking to rebuild his 653 schwere panzerjager abteilung army from scratch because I can do the painting more justice today. I've got multiple copies of the Tiger (P) miniature sitting ready to convert and a load of Elefants ready to go.

A lot of the tournament issues and balance issues later in V3 didn't really impact me as much because I wasn't focused on ensuring that I had the best army for a tournament. Sure, some of the American special rules once stacked got annoying from time to time, but not enough to completely spoil the game for me. So honestly I was looking forward to V4. My toe wasn't even pointed toward the door. I'd just finally gotten all of the miniatures together for an Italian Fucilieri army for Sicily. I was looking forward to digging out the Dianas I needed to paint and dive in heads first for MW. I was heavily invested in miniatures and now that we've moved into the new house finally had my studio set up for massive paint nights... Here's a little of my stash... and it doesn't include the stuff that I've started on but haven't finished painting...

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Then came the cold water... the lists are sharply limited. I simply can't legally build in V4 the MW armies I want to build without massive use of proxies, which I always rate up there with kissing your own sister. So now I'm in wait and see mode. I really like some of the new plastic miniatures - the new Panzer IV's are a vast improvement over the old ones, but I always like having some of the oddballs in my army, and they're just not supported at this point. I'm hoping that changes, but until then what was a lot of enthusiasm on my part has waned - and rapidly. Which is sad because I've spent a lot of money on FoW, and I've spent a lot of time writing and helping produce FoW products - so my level of personal investment was high.

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Wed May 17, 2017 5:46 pm
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UndergroundWarren wrote:
I believe where BF lost the plot (aside from communication and IT issues which have always been bad) was when they failed with the Ranger program (actually, I could point out lots of other key problems, but here me out). Here was an idea to use the player base, mostly tournament players, to be ambassadors and recruiters for the game. Instead of focusing them on building groups at the stores or clubs where they already hung out, they tried to get them to add more stores. It was doomed.


The Ranger program may have been run differently in different areas. We made great use of it to support events at our normal LGSs and as well as new ones. I preferred doing the new stores myself because the distances were always further and the rewards then better.

All it took to run an event at our normal LGS was that store making a request. It seemed to work very well.... for a while. The problem was who was "managing" the Ranger program for our Region. The BF regional sales reps were not up to the task in many cases and that was compounded by personnel turnover. I think the program needed higher level BF management involvement, but it was sluffed off on the lowest level BF USA employees who were not always the most organized/professional and/or most responsive folks I've ever tried to coordinate with. For some period we did not have a regional sales rep and they guy that had try do our region had his own and was clearly overwhelmed.

The program eventually fizzled out through its infrastructure is still in place. That's just a clear sign that BF management did not think it was important. The special BF Ranger forum still exists, but it's not used by anybody but people who still think they are Rangers asking questions that get no BF response. There was zero effort/interest by BF reenergize the Ranger program for V4.


Wed May 17, 2017 5:52 pm
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Iron-Tom wrote:

All it took to run an event at our normal LGS was that store making a request. It seemed to work very well.... for a while. The problem was who was "managing" the Ranger program for our Region. The BF regional sales reps were not up to the task in many cases and that was compounded by personnel turnover. I think the program needed higher level BF management involvement, but it was sluffed off on the lowest level BF USA employees who were not always the most organized/professional and/or most responsive folks I've ever tried to coordinate with. For some period we did not have a regional sales rep and they guy that had try do our region had his own and was clearly overwhelmed.

The program eventually fizzled out through its infrastructure is still in place. That's just a clear sign that BF management did not think it was important. The special BF Ranger forum still exists, but it's not used by anybody but people who still think they are Rangers asking questions that get no BF response. There was zero effort/interest by BF reenergize the Ranger program for V4.


Yeah, as one of the runners of this program in the Northeast it was a frustrating experience. I helped teach people to play, didn't mind giving of my time, or miles on my car, but I didn't have a lot of communication from BF. They also wanted us to help plug Spartacus at one point. I wasn't signing up to be a pressganger for all BF products for free, this was the moment it went from being a fun part time thing to being an unpaid employee. I was trying to help build a community for the FOW game, and get new players in. Others experiences may have been different, but they asked for more and more and provided little in the way of communication or coordination. Its too bad it fell apart. If they had someone managing it, that may not have happened.


Wed May 17, 2017 6:08 pm
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fingolfen wrote:

Then came the cold water... the lists are sharply limited. I simply can't legally build in V4 the MW armies I want to build without massive use of proxies, which I always rate up there with kissing your own sister. So now I'm in wait and see mode. I really like some of the new plastic miniatures - the new Panzer IV's are a vast improvement over the old ones, but I always like having some of the oddballs in my army, and they're just not supported at this point. I'm hoping that changes, but until then what was a lot of enthusiasm on my part has waned - and rapidly. Which is sad because I've spent a lot of money on FoW, and I've spent a lot of time writing and helping produce FoW products - so my level of personal investment was high.


Some of our local guys are continuing with a Tunisia Campaign. Running V4 w/ V3 MW list just as well as EW/LW with V4. I'd attend a V4 event that used V3 MW books if someone were to host it.


Wed May 17, 2017 7:23 pm
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Iron-Tom wrote:
Irrefutable points Allen, but maybe BF is not as interested in comparing V4 launch to V3 launch as in comparing V4 Launch to last year of V3.


I hope to god this is not the case. If so, then there is a serious issue with business analytics and decision making systems at BF.

You look at year over year sales when you have the same model / make / variant of a thingy. Let me explain further:

I release V1. First year, I do $500k. Year 2, I do $550k. Year 3, I do $605. Basic 10% increase year over year, but it is a new game and getting some traction.

I release V2. Year 4 (Year 1 for V2), I do 1.5m$ Year 5, I do 1.5m. Year 6, I do $1.5m. I get a great bump at initial release, then sales are flat. Not bad, especially when it is a 300% increase from the last time I released a new version.

I release V3. Year 7 (Year 1 for V3), I do $1.5m. Year 8, I do $1.1m. Year 9, I do $900k. I stay flat with the release, but then sales slow. This is worrisome.

I release V4. Now... say I do $1m. I am up over 10% from previous year. I can't speak for anyone else, but based on my day job I am not celebrating these numbers. I am worried that my first year bump is 33% less than V2 and is 23% less than V3.

Now all that above is made up. I get it. But when I release V4, my measure is not PY sales with V3. I may be interested in seeing those numbers, but more relevant to me and more relevant to the longevity of my game is the fact that I am underperforming every other release I have done. This would send off alarms everywhere.

Let's keep on this roll and if there are still people reading this post, well...

BF says that V4 was their biggest release ever. Ok... take that with a grain of salt. What models or kit was sold when the V2 to V3 change happened? Anyone? Nada. Bulge sales were related to the Bulge, not to V3. But here with V4, they can really only compare the launch to... wait for it... maybe Vietnam? Maybe Great War? Maybe Tanks? Maybe Dust? And if that is indeed the measure, that heck yeah they should have out performed! And if you want to compare it to TY, remember that BF purposefully had a low run rate because they were worried about being stuck with stuff like Great War and Vietnam.

Finally, all this is mental exercise because we do not see the details. All I can point to as a case study is a conversation I had with senior BF leadership about PSC. It was BF's belief that PSC made a strategic mistake by releasing Shermans and T-34s. BF thought they would be better off selling obscure stuff. I did not hide my disbelief and abject disagreement with that view. Of course you release Shermans and T-34s! Everyone needs them!

BF leadership has not yet changed and the same people are still making decisions...

Sorry for the long post.

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Wed May 17, 2017 7:31 pm
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Iron-Tom wrote:
fingolfen wrote:

Then came the cold water... the lists are sharply limited. I simply can't legally build in V4 the MW armies I want to build without massive use of proxies, which I always rate up there with kissing your own sister. So now I'm in wait and see mode. I really like some of the new plastic miniatures - the new Panzer IV's are a vast improvement over the old ones, but I always like having some of the oddballs in my army, and they're just not supported at this point. I'm hoping that changes, but until then what was a lot of enthusiasm on my part has waned - and rapidly. Which is sad because I've spent a lot of money on FoW, and I've spent a lot of time writing and helping produce FoW products - so my level of personal investment was high.


Some of our local guys are continuing with a Tunisia Campaign. Running V4 w/ V3 MW list just as well as EW/LW with V4. I'd attend a V4 event that used V3 MW books if someone were to host it.


You know, for existing forces to pull them back out and get them back on the table, I'd be completely behind that. I just can't justify buying or painting new figures until I know that BF has a model to support them long term.

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Wed May 17, 2017 7:42 pm
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webgriffin wrote:
BF says that V4 was their biggest release ever. Ok... take that with a grain of salt. What models or kit was sold when the V2 to V3 change happened? Anyone? Nada. Bulge sales were related to the Bulge, not to V3. But here with V4, they can really only compare the launch to... wait for it... maybe Vietnam? Maybe Great War? Maybe Tanks? Maybe Dust? And if that is indeed the measure, that heck yeah they should have out performed! And if you want to compare it to TY, remember that BF purposefully had a low run rate because they were worried about being stuck with stuff like Great War and Vietnam.

Finally, all this is mental exercise because we do not see the details. All I can point to as a case study is a conversation I had with senior BF leadership about PSC. It was BF's belief that PSC made a strategic mistake by releasing Shermans and T-34s. BF thought they would be better off selling obscure stuff. I did not hide my disbelief and abject disagreement with that view. Of course you release Shermans and T-34s! Everyone needs them!

BF leadership has not yet changed and the same people are still making decisions...

Sorry for the long post.


V4 was the "biggest release ever" for Dungeons and Dragons too... sold out of the first print run and had to get a second run printed up before the release date... and that edition quickly turned into a disaster for them...

You point about BF missing the boat on early plastics is also well taken, but "group think" and "confirmation bias" can run rampant even in large organizations, BF is a fairly tight knit group with only a couple of decisions makers...

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Wed May 17, 2017 7:49 pm
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Though admittedly I am adding an 8th Army unit to my collection at the moment. I really, really, really don't need to buy another 15mm model to play FoW in all of its existing forms ever. I have two WW1 forces, can run dozens different lists from all major nations for EW/MW/LW, I have US, PAVN, and ARVN for Vietnam, IDF for AIW, and now TY with Soviets and US. If BF ever gets around to the mentioned Angola TY spinoff, my T-55s are ready to run as Cubans in some brush country action.

I have a ton of 15mm post 1900 stuff and have dived in deep in many areas that are not even supported by tournaments nor do I really want to see all of them have a tournament system. I just like having a more or less common rules system to work in for all of them. BF is getting at that, less than perfectly, but working at it. We can all say a lot about the success/failure of the V4 WW2 tournament scene, business decisions, but for the most part...I'm not sure I have a lot of room to complain.


Wed May 17, 2017 9:14 pm
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Iron-Tom wrote:
I just like having a more or less common rules system to work in for all of them. BF is getting at that, less than perfectly, but working at it. We can all say a lot about the success/failure of the V4 WW2 tournament scene, business decisions, but for the most part...I'm not sure I have a lot of room to complain.

Check me if I am wrong, but didn't we have that with V3? What V3 didn't have was Team Yankee - that was a different set of rules.

So, does that mean we will have V4 cover Great War all the way through FoW, Vietnam, AIW and TY? Interesting if so, but that has not been stated by BF at all.

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Wed May 17, 2017 9:56 pm
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I don't know. It will be a long time coming more likely V5.

But yes you are right about V3 covering all of that save TY, now V4 seems to be taking TY approaches back to the other periods.


Wed May 17, 2017 10:08 pm
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webgriffin wrote:
So, does that mean we will have V4 cover Great War all the way through FoW, Vietnam, AIW and TY? Interesting if so, but that has not been stated by BF at all.


BF said on the forum that V4 will cover GW and WWII, and TY rules will expand to Vietnam and AIW, IIRC.

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Wed May 17, 2017 10:22 pm
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So I found out I need to go into work on Saturday and had to cancel running demos of V4 at a local store. And I'm not bummed about it at all. I think I'm going to go read my Battlegroup: Kursk book again to get actually excited about WW2 gaming.

Straw that broke the camels back: Soft grey plastic like Privateer Press uses for Warmachine. Same stuff that Mantic called "restic" in the past. FoW Infantry are going to be made out of it going forward.

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Fri May 19, 2017 7:52 am
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I am much in Iron Tom's camp - I'm having a great time with V4. I have been to two LW V4 Tournaments in the past couple of weeks and I am headed down to Iron Tom's MW Tournament in Louisville this weekend. The interesting thing is that my next two tournaments, EW Nats and the North American Team Championship (NATC)s are V3 and I am now not as enthusiastic to go back to V3. I got the lists for the NATC and my morale kind of sunk a bit when I saw all the Arty Parks and Max/Min Lists. I've been having a blast with V4 and really like the look and feel of it. Sure there are problems and definitely the roll out has been slow and mis-handled but I am enjoying the games much more than I had recently with V3. Much of this I hope will work itself out in the coming months.

The two recent LW tournaments have brought out some well balanced lists and the challenge of the 60/40% really has changed list building. Iron Tom just sent out the MW Lists for the tournament this weekend and, even with the limited choices, I was pleased to see 12 absolutely unique lists (5 British and 7 German). All of them look to have strengths and weaknesses and it will be good to see how they match up.

Locally, we have added new players and started an escalation league. Player numbers at the various stores have increased. Able Kompanie is moving ahead with a full range of V4 (and TANKS and Team Yankee) Tournaments and Events at Gen Con this year.

So, far from a dull thud for me!

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Fri May 19, 2017 3:19 pm
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I pretty much stopped playing FoW for 2 yrs. TY brought me back in. I am done with v3.

My major complaint with BF at the moment is that V4 and TY are close, but not exactaly, the same rule set. Just close enough to cause problems if you go back and forth between the two rule sets.


Sat May 20, 2017 4:53 pm
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I am enjoying Flames of War for the first time in a long time. I like dragging out the Desert Rats, just wish I hadn't sold all my Grants 7 years ago. Looking forward to an Operation Torch book and hope it is coming out soon.

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Sat May 20, 2017 11:49 pm
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USChris wrote:
I am much in Iron Tom's camp - I'm having a great time with V4. I have been to two LW V4 Tournaments in the past couple of weeks and I am headed down to Iron Tom's MW Tournament in Louisville this weekend. The interesting thing is that my next two tournaments, EW Nats and the North American Team Championship (NATC)s are V3 and I am now not as enthusiastic to go back to V3. I got the lists for the NATC and my morale kind of sunk a bit when I saw all the Arty Parks and Max/Min Lists.

But, Chris, it's sort of an unfair comparison, since the ETC/NATC format promotes copycat rosters and extreme lists. And, still, v3 was well balanced enough that one could win without playing that sort of game (as your team proved!). In contrast, the v4 adaptation for EW/LW has things that are more broken than anything in v3.

I fully sympathise with the desire to shake things up and break from the same lists, but I think that v4 will soon settle on a much more limited and unbalanced metagame. Maybe thus far the tournament have gone well because these problems have not been fully exploited and players with good instinct are still making the difference. But I'm afraid it may soon degenerate into a blind game of chance and firepower (and that's not even counting "refinements" such as the cards).

Anyway, I hope you are right and tournaments continue to work (and, admittedly, as someone who had early access to v4 I'm not coming at it with such a "fresh" perspective). Personally, I really am sorry that this year I had to miss all of the last v3 tournaments.


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I'm glad that I took the time to read through all seven pages of this thread. Initially, I was very excited with the release of v4, but after playing a few games of it with a couple of opponents we lost that enthusiasm. Two things got to us. The movement increases were game changing, The stacking mods to shooting in night fights made my buddy, Mike's Japanese, practically impossible to stop and then couple that with the morale changes and we opted to keep v3 for our local games.

This decision was reinforced with the release of the cards. I lost my mind when I saw that... Luckily, not on the forum! LOL! The release of the cards did bring about some further discussions with my buddies and I, but overall we decided that we'd still keep v3.

Two things then happened.

I read Iron-Tom's note here about the finer points of morale in v4 and I watched some 40K videos from Miniwargaming.com on YouTube.

Tom - thanks for sharing that observation. The switch to shooter allocated hits in v4 now makes more sense and I like the synergy between those two game mechanics. Watching the 40K games with their use of cards showed me an example of how they will probably function in v4. I think that I can live with that, given that their use is optional. I'm an old Grongnard,having been playing FoW since v1. I've started groups for GWs games and FoW over the years and understand that games are often played differently by different people. As much as I might be annoyed with these changes, I also find myself intrigued enough to give them a go again.

These days I am primarily a solo gamer anyway, so I'll play whatever the Boys want and then check out the v4 on my own. I appreciate the more moderate discussions of this touchy subject. Thanks.

Randy


Sun May 28, 2017 4:05 pm
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