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jcm-wolf1 wrote:
...
But really - skimpy MW books and then cards released to included options that SHOULD have been included in the books in the first place. Really - they had to make a card for portee and transports.
....


I have to agree with this statement. The MW army books become redundant and extraneous as soon as BF admitted they had rules and additions going onto the cards that were not in the books.

I was in the process of putting together an article for WWPD that showed how BF could use the "digital first" model of publication to update the rule books in real time, and how having the app for tablet or phone could be a real asset.

Unfortunately, the card system introducing new rules/units/configs blew that piece to shreds. It would just be a rant against how BF is managing their publications if I continued to write the piece.


Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:52 pm
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In the end you would had many players just complain about BF going yet more digital. Id be OK with it, but some of my grognard brothers would not.


Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:47 pm
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lap1964 wrote:
PrivateSnafu wrote:
This muffler keeps getting more expensive.


Yep the 2 books + cards are about the same cost as North Africa . :shock:

LES


North Africa + Easy Army =$51

Desert Rats + Afrika Core + Cards + Forces (TBD prices, probably another $20+) + another book with US Forces & Forces of War + US Cards + obsoletion of some models (reduction of the value of my models, its arguable I understand) + Midwar rulebook that I may or may not need. It will be more expensive than previous versions. There is no doubt in my mind. Oh yeah new templates, tokens, markers.

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:27 pm
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I've been playing V4 just fine with my V3 templates, tokens, and markers. Books? Cards? Is there really a need to buy these? I was playing V4 MW even before the books were in my LGS thanks to the WWPD articles that gave us everything we needed to throw down. Likewise, I somehow expect that cards will be floating around as well if you opt to use those. Heck have you seen the V4 MW stat sheets posted in the sticky area of this sub forum? Do you really need Forces of War to play MW V4 at all? Honestly list building in it it seems simple enough as it is.

Looks like all I have to use to submit for the US MW Nationals is a simple spreadsheet ( http://www.flamesofwar.com/Default.aspx ... &afv=topic ) . No requirements are listed that indicate that I must have the unit cards on hand. In fact, I could play in July at the US MW Nationals easily enough without spending a single dime more on books, cards, and tools than I already had on MW V3.

I can understand V3 Vets are feeling like they are being "forced" to spend more money to transition into V4, but that perhaps is really more of a self-imposed requirement if you really think about it.


Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:27 pm
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Tom, in your effort to support every aspect of the v4 rampage you are arguing that cards will be «floating arround» (IE, there will be illegal copies in the internet) and so you are not «forced» to use them... that a very lame argument... if BF rose tomorrow its miniature prices by 25%, would you argue thats not a problem because you might still be able to purchase second habd staff on ebay?

You are also justifing that Forces is not needed because the list building has been dumb down... what a falacy... complexity is comming back in the worst possible form with the new card mayhem... that you can foresee it can easily get out of control.

No matter what BF does, some people will defend the move for unknown reasons... but this card afterthought nonsense is a clear sign that BF is changing FOW out of reckognition... therefore its only logical they will alienate most of their player base.


Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:44 pm
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John Paul has posted a comment on BF's thought process behind V4 and the cards:

http://www.flamesofwar.com/Default.aspx ... =1#1456537

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:18 pm
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So the overriding principle according to J-P is:

Quote:
Making the hobby more accessible without loosing [sic] what makes historical gaming what it is was the goal.


For MW the jury is still out in my mind. From a game reboot, jump in with both feet, and get your arms wrapped around the options standpoint, the MW lists hit the mark. The game is certainly accessible.

However, as I haven't seen all of the command cards, and I don't know what additional books / lists are planned. While what is there is "historical" - there are still a lot of gaps which will hopefully be filled...

So it seems as if they've done a lot of the former, but there are a lot of gaps on the latter at this point. How/When/If those gaps are filled is going to decide whether they achieve the stated goal in my mind.

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:25 pm
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John Paul's post is mostly what BF has said before--a lot of generalities. It remains hard for me judge what the complete and finished V4 product will actually look like. As for now, I'm still content to ride the V4 wave and see where it leads, mainly because the new investment needed has been low, but also because I have so much money tied up in those minis.

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:34 pm
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BashOn wrote:
John Paul's post is mostly what BF has said before--a lot of generalities. It remains hard for me judge what the complete and finished V4 product will actually look like. As for now, I'm still content to ride the V4 wave and see where it leads, mainly because the new investment needed has been low, but also because I have so much money tied up in those minis.


I'm a little conflicted. I've still got a mountain of miniatures to paint, but I'd been gearing up (since we're now finally moving into our new house, which finally has a studio for me again) for a major MW push including Germans, Italians, etc. I had a bunch of miniatures staged to build and paint, was just waiting on some of the new plastics to go ahead full steam as I assumed (which my daddy always told me not to do) that we'd be seeing a V4 drop in replacement of North Africa... Which we obviously didn't get, so unfortunately a lot of the miniatures I had staged up are not supported at this point. I'm hoping that they end up being supported at SOME point, but the release sort of hit me like a bucket of cold water and I've been working through the various stages of grief since... I think with MW I may be at depression... :lol: ;)

At this point I'm thinking about simply doubling down on LW and VLW. I'd collected another small mountain of miniatures for a few armies including finally finishing my 512th Schwere Panzerjäger, one or two Berlin armies including a Volkssturm force and a Panzer Division Müncheberg force, and then there's my late 1944 force I wanted to do around the Panzer IV/70 (A) which from a "look how beautiful the miniatures are" standpoint should be awesome... how it plays? Ahhh, who cares. As it will likely be years before BF gets around to revamping those lists, I'm hoping I have some time to build and play them.

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:09 pm
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Soviet Pride wrote:
Tom, in your effort to support every aspect of the v4 rampage .


Jorge, there certainly needs to be a counter voice to the efforts that consistently do nothing but attack every aspect of V4. If you can be 100% negative about V4, why can't somebody not be equally as postive in the focus of their post? I assume we are both interested in actually promoting FoW.

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you are arguing that cards will be «floating arround» (IE, there will be illegal copies in the internet) and so you are not «forced» to use them... that a very lame argument...


It is a mistake to assume I am advocating illlegal copies of anything. I fully adovaote people supporting BF and their LGS as best they can. However, the information is out there. We had 100% everything we needed from the Desert Rats and Africa Korps books long before they were available in my LGS thanks to Mitch's two reviews in WWPD. Homegrown Excel Spreadsheets, commercial products like army builders, etc. have always been available. The "need" to buy books, and now cards, really has always been self imposed. Just look at the top of this forum and you'll find sticky treads right here for V3 Excel army files and now V4 MW PDFs that have all the stats for all the units in Desert Rats and Africa Korps. Such files have always been around and they always will be.

Is that copyright infringement? I don't know. I'll save that for the shithouse lawyers. I just know the such items have been available for the whole time I've been playing FoW and BF does not seem too interested in making a big fuss about them. I think they are smart enough to see there is no point to do so. I know they would prefer that we all buy every single printed product BF publishes, like I have since the day I started playing FoW. But I think they realize they are better off just having people play their game. Nothing sells the game more, than people actually playing it. Trying to clamp down on homegrown army builders etc. really just shuts down people who otherwise might be promoting their game. Even if those homegrown product players never buy a book, they help to get players interested in the game that just might become true fans of the game, like we are, and just might buy a lot of books.

You should note Jon Matthew's comments in his last "On the Road" interview. It was clear that he did not like the idea of players using homegrown/homemade list and cards etc. But he was also clear that he hoped for peer pressure to address what he acknowledged what many players would do. He gave no indication that it was an issue that BF could or should attempt to crack down on. Its just not feasible or advisable for them to do so given how accessible information is and how technology aids in production and dissemination. In the end it would just be a self inflicted gunshot wound, not that BF can't pull those off from time to time! :)

So back to the cards. You can expect to see an Excel spreadsheet or PDF very soon, or maybe even before (Hello... Mitch!) the card decks are in the stores. I mean really, there are just about 35 cards +/-per book. The cards really only have three important bits of data on them; cost, applicability, and effect. So we are talking about a one page PDF or spread sheet that will have 35 rows +/- and three columns that will give a player all that is really needed to use or not use these optional cards. I expect eventually we'll see full army builders on excel or websites, like Easy Army started out as, that will give you this easily captured information. Of course I don't think $5 is a big deal to expand a book, so I'm getting my own hard copies, but if somebody comes up with a free list builder that rolls in card options, I'll be all over that for convenience sake.

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if BF rose tomorrow its miniature prices by 25%, would you argue thats not a problem because you might still be able to purchase second habd staff on ebay?


I'd not see that as a problem at all. BF has got to do what it thinks it has to do. They always have to consider market forces and competitors. If BF provides quality products at a reasonable price people will buy their stuff. We have options, and some darn good ones too. BF has to keep its offerings competitive.

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You are also justifing that Forces is not needed because the list building has been dumb down... what a falacy... complexity is comming back in the worst possible form with the new card mayhem... that you can foresee it can easily get out of control.


Seriously. Forces has always been a luxury. It has never really been "needed" though BF tried to make it so buy adding "Digital Exclusives." Honesty, I think cards are a bit easier to work around than digital only lists for a TO.

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No matter what BF does, some people will defend the move for unknown reasons... .


I'll give you a reason. Maybe some folks just find V4 to be an enjoyable game despite your efforts to try to convince us all otherwise and are happy to promote it.

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but this card afterthought nonsense is a clear sign that BF is changing FOW out of reckognition... therefore its only logical they will alienate most of their player base.


The problem with that position is that we cannot be sure cards were purely an afterthought and you are just making a big assumption that cards will alienate most of the FoW player base. Its not the only logical outcome because it may be completely wrong. Sure, some players are being very negative and rather extreme in their attempts, that for practical purposes, seem like a campaign to sabotage V4. But great...more power to them.

I have said many times, I'm happy to see people continue with V3. You've see no criticism, ill will, or even mild disappointment from me towards any who find V3 works better for them and their group. I've also respected those that, because of V4, have decided to just stop playing FoW. That saddens me, especially when that has been the decision of some good friends that I have made during my FoW travels. Though sad, I respect and honor that decision and wish them well. In the end though I'm left wondering if burnout from V3 would not have caused some to fade away anyway like was almost my case. I lost a lot of good gaming friends in FoW long before V4 kicked up any dust, so its hard for me to tell if some folks might just be looking for a reason to move on from FoW anyway.

Its not my intent to try to stop any of that. I have tired to offer a counter point of view when it appears that views expressed are limited in perspective or unnecessarily overhyped and yes..I'd like to promote FoW as I always have.. and as I see it right now FoW means V4 to me. I will continue to encourage people to take a second look at V4 before cutting ties with FoW. I'd like to see people give V4 a good rigorous try, but if it's not for them in the end I'm OK with that. I hope they are OK with V4 working for me and my gaming spheres.

Look Jorge, its clear we many never see eye to eye on V4. But I expect you are doing what feel you must in the best interest in a game we both clearly love and want to see succeed. We are like Republicans and Democrats here in the US where both parties want the US to thrive, but just can't agree best on how to make that happen. You seem to think it would be better to roll back the clock to V3 and make V4 never happen. You have been clear that your concern is that V4 is splitting the community. It sure seems to be doing that on the interwbs, but as best I can tell people in my area are getting much more engaged FoW now due to V4. The major groups to the north, east and south of my group whose events we use to routinely attend are moving along happily with V4 and now we are looking to travel to events again in my group.

What I am seeing in the cyberword and my local real world are very different. There is no splitting in my region that I can see. It's all V4. I've tried V4. I've played it a dozen times and I think its worth promoting and at least giving a chance. V3 was on life support in my group. We are now seeing new player interest. That may or may not have happened under V3, but I could just see us trying to sell FoW as a game system to a new player here saying "yes...we love playing these rules but the game company is so messed up and the new edition completely a bomb." I'm not so sure that's a system I'd want to hitch my wagon too if I was a new player. Especially when the new edition of that system has a much bigger focus on new players, but the local vets are telling me not to go there. Makes me think I'd just skip that whole game system altogether.

I think V4 has some potential to build the player base in ways that V3 was never going to do. So after getting over some of my initial issues and early misperceptions with V4 I'm finding I'm truly liking FoW again and its now back at the top of my game list. So yeah, I'll be positive and I'll promote the game system to the best of my ability. I don't owe BF or anybody anything. I just want to expand our local FoW player base while having fun playing a decent FoW game. V4 is my best COA to achieve that. If your best COA is to stick with V3 in you local group and rant incessantly about everything else in V4...OK. I think your attempts to sway people away from V4 might be futile and may actually be more damaging to FoW as a whole than you imagine V4 itself to be. But hey, do what you got to do to feel good about yourself. I'll support the expression of your opinion no matter how off it seems to me. I will however question it and I will counter it and as long as V4 keeps working for me, my group, my region. I'll be glad to remind you that the foretold gloom and doom has not manifested. And I'll be genuinely happy to hear about how well sticking with V3 is working for you and your group. I truly hope that COA helps expand your gaming group like V4 is helping ours.

At the end of the day V4 happened. Its here, some have adopted it, some have stayed with V3, and some have quit FoW altogether. Good bless all of them. I think V4 has the best potential for the long term health of FoW. I could be wrong, but I prefer to error on the side of the positive vice the negative at this point.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:07 am
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You really do need the new books to play midwar. That's going to be at least $60 after the US Forces are released. You don't need Forces of War but to make an apples to apples comparison when you add it up it will be more than V2/3. Let's be real here most all of us want to build lists that have some chance of winning so we need to see the other lists to know what we are up against. At a bare minimum you will need one book that you plan to use and a bunch of Forces of War access.

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Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:57 am
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Tom the problem its that you cannot put yourself on a position were you deny other the possibility of criticising any aspect of BF commercial policy since you can always use "secundary markets" to bippass them or quit the game altogether since no one its enforcing it to play it. This "optional argument" its a fallacy since the boundaries of the debate are precisely what BF offers the gamers to play with.

When you add the "option argument" with the "fun argument" you deny the possibility of a rational argument because you reduce everything to a matter of taste or rather of faith. You are the one stating I will never play a game of V4 again... I might do it, but if BF continues to push the game away and alienating me with nonsense as the command cards It will be harder to do it.

The problem, precisely is that the community is being split by the way BF is promoting the V4 rampage... and there was absolutely no reason for this to happen. As you say "At the end of the day V4 happened. Its here, some have adopted it, some have stayed with V3, and some have quit FoW altogether", for you this might not be a problem since in your local area people are moving towards V4 (and you dont care about those than dont) but in Spain most or the people are actually quitting FOW because of the careless decisions of BF and now those that want to continue playing V3 have to fight for the same gamming space with those promoting V4 (yep those two games are in direct competition to each other... because of the way BF has done the new version, not because of any players choice).

So I will continue, to evaluate BF decisions for what they are... if they do something actually new and valuable (not chopping already existing features -like the tiger ace abilities or portees- into a card pack) I will praise them for doing so.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:05 am
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Soviet Pride wrote:
Tom the problem its that you cannot put yourself on a position were you deny other the possibility of criticising any aspect of BF commercial policy since you can always use "secundary markets" to bippass them or quit the game altogether since no one its enforcing it to play it.


Jorge, criticize away to your heart's content. My point was veteran V3 players can try out and play V4 with really no expenditure. Perceived cost really does not have to be an issue unless a veteran player lets it be if indeed cost of books and cards is honestly a significant issue for that veteran player not even trying V4.

Quote:
This "optional argument" its a fallacy since the boundaries of the debate are precisely what BF offers the gamers to play with.


I'm not so sure that you get to set boundaries in how people approach and look at V4.

Quote:
When you add the "option argument" with the "fun argument" you deny the possibility of a rational argument because you reduce everything to a matter of taste or rather of faith.


I think the most important thing in a game is how fun it is. V4 is working out well in that respect for me and anyplace I could drive to in a few hours and game. Have you not stated that V4 is "unfun" for you? Have you not gone on and on about how this aspect or that aspect of V4 will make games that you find horrible? Apparently fun is very important factor for you as well.

Quote:
You are the one stating I will never play a game of V4 again... I might do it, but if BF continues to push the game away and alienating me with nonsense as the command cards It will be harder to do it.


Brother, you are the one who told us that you and your group are sticking with V3. I have no problem with that. Your decision to play or not play V4 is entirely your decision. Take accountability for your own actions and decisions. BF is not trying to push you away. I am not trying to push you away. You are making that decision. You are making the decisions that Command Cards are "nonsensical" while others have made the decisions that Command Cards are kind of cool option to play with from time to time.

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The problem, precisely is that the community is being split by the way BF is promoting the V4 rampage...


Its not a "rampage." As best as I can tell its working. Even below you say there are players playing V4 in Madrid.

Quote:
and there was absolutely no reason for this to happen.


No reason that you can see. Probably because all you see is 100% negative and your ability to look at the situation holistically and objectively might possibly be impaired. I wonder if you are you "Butt hurt" over playtesting? I've been there myself and understand if that's the case. But yet your name and your group's name adorn Desert Rats and Africa Korps. If you were so disgusted with V4 and the new army books did you request to have your name not placed on those publications? Did you accept rewards for that playtesting? Are you withdrawing your group from future FoW playtesting?

Quote:
As you say "At the end of the day V4 happened. Its here, some have adopted it, some have stayed with V3, and some have quit FoW altogether", for you this might not be a problem since in your local area people are moving towards V4 (and you dont care about those than dont)


Don't make the assumption that I don't care. I do indeed care about the splitting FoW community around the world. But now that V4 is here, I think getting what we can out of V4 is more healthy for the FoW community than dragging our heals and trying to convince others to ditch V4 and stay with V3. The boat has sailed Jorge, stay on the docks if you wish. It's your decision. Take personal accountability for that decision.


Quote:
but in Spain most or the people are actually quitting FOW because of the careless decisions of BF and now those that want to continue playing V3 have to fight for the same gamming space with those promoting V4 (yep those two games are in direct competition to each other... because of the way BF has done the new version, not because of any players choice).


Its your decision to fight for gaming space your local V4 players rather than join them. You are just as much a factor of splitting your local community as they or BF are. If solidarity of the FoW community is your number one concern, there is something that you and your group can do about it.

Quote:
So I will continue, to evaluate BF decisions for what they are...


So far your "evaluations" look mostly gamer nerd rage. I'm sure you think that you are just purely laying out logical undeniable truth that you only provide for the betterment of the FoW community. But you really look to me like you are on a vendetta to try to make sure nobody tries, let alone enjoys, V4. Is that really what you want? That's the message that seems to be coming through.

You want to look at this situation logically I presume. What is the logic in your strategy, what are your goals and how do you think you will get there?

Is your goal really to turn the world wide gaming community back to V3? It seems like that's the only thing that will make you happy. How realistic is that goal? How will you best make that happen? Do you think the 100% negative V4 attack campaign you have embarked on is actually helping to promote solidarity in the FoW community? You have clearly stated that your biggest issue is division of the community. Do your efforts work against that outcome or add to it? I recommend you go back and reread your posts here and on the BF forums over the last few months and ask yourself how effective they are in helping to realize your goals.

V4 is here. It will be the mainstay for FoW for quite awhile. Sooner or later you'll come to grips with that fact. You'll then have to make a decision to quit the FoW community, retreat into your own enclave of V3, or be apart of larger FoW community and get the most that you can out of V4. If you elect either the first two options, that's fine and there are perfectly logical reason why you could make those decisions. But it will be your decision that ultimately you will be solely accountable for.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:46 pm
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Tom, please stop doing psicoanalisis on my perceive intent, it makes no sense to center everything on ad hominem arguments... for instance I try not to focus on the "fun argument" because its something difficult to debate over personal tastes... if I have given my opinion on such topic is because you an other asked, not because I consider it important.

I hold all accountability for my personal decision to stick to V3, but Its BF marketing decision to market V4 as a Rampage (IE:to go through an area making a lot of noise and causing damage) knowing that it would alienate many existing players what created this situation, not my "negativity" which you seem so keen to point out instead of my actual arguments.

Even if you like the V4 rules you cant deny there are some blatant fails in the way V4 have been introduced:

-EW/LW adaptation ussing old points for new rules and throwing any game balance through the window.
-FOW now have two different rulebooks with similar but not equal rules depending of wether you are playin EW, LW or MW.
-The release of Desert Rats and Africa corps with barebones content.
-The cards patchs re-introduce items that should have been on the initial army books, add unnecesary complexity in the worst possible manner, and open the way to further chopping of the game context.

You pretend that my approach is 100% negative, but that is certainly not true... if BF has given us a decent MW setting for V4 that expands the gamming options we already have I would probably be playing V4 in that era. Hey the easyarmy guy did a streling work updating forces to V4 stats in a very sort time, and I havent complain about it... thats a hard work that gives players a better service and needs recognition (off course the BF marketing have not done any promotion of such work since it dosent fit there new direction of chopping context for the sake of cashing in).

And BTW I have never said that people shouldnt play or enjoy V4, I just want the community to be critical about the new releases... not following everyone of BF marketing decision just because "V4 is here to stay".

Costumer should demand a better product not conform right away with what ever the companies offer them.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:28 pm
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Books vs Cards

I'm disappointed in BF's decision to produced both half-arsed books for MW (1 per army) AND a command deck. Perhaps I'm missing what is in the Afrika Korp or Desert Rats books that couldn't be included in the deck of command cards with additional units and options?

The book is a nice reference, full of fluff... but it lacks army units. It has just the basic units. Those same cards will come with the models (Crusaders/Honeys/Grants, etc.)

But, if we want to run Australians or New Zealanders? Buy the cards! Want to have your guns portee option? Buy the cards.

Every unit and force diagram in the book could be included in the box of cards. That would make the book redundant.

I know the grognards need their books, but, the books are incomplete for MW, when we start adding the cards. Old North Africa book had every option we wanted or needed to field a force. Current methodology breaks that set of lists out between a book, who's army specific data is available piecemeal via purchasing the models -- and hopefully -- in specific card packs.

I'd like BF to chose one way of disseminating the info, and make it complete. Otherwise, I'll wait on the "army" cards to come out (probably cost about 12$ US vs $20 for the book). Add in the command cards, and I'll be up to speed.

Even though I'm old enough to be a grognard, ;) I'm not spending money on books anymore if the data is going to be incomplete. I'll just wait on the cards.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:50 pm
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As BF needs to make FoW easy for new players to pickup the rule set and play, v4 does that. Without new blood, it dies.

The command cards keep the main rule book thin for the new players and adding the cards gives the fluff that some of us older players want.

BUT !

I go not want to see flames going the way of SL going to ASL, which an updated v3 was looking to become.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:41 pm
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Ed, (apart from the fact that ASL has a thrilling, active and big community), I think that between getting crushed by the weight of detail and special rules and reducing MW Germans to just three bare bones lists there is a lot of middle ground.

Anyway those that praise V4 for its alleged simplicity and "clean up" format should be the more concerned by the unnecessary complexity and potential mess that card packs are going to bring back into the game.


Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:59 pm
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At the end of the day it is abundantly clear that at this point Battlefront believes it needs to fundamentally change the business model, scope, and presentation of Flames of War for it to remain a viable from an economic standpoint. The initial results that they've achieved with their MW release, which taking their word for it has been an unparalleled success, reinforce their decision. This is the studio's life and livelihood so I don't begrudge their having to make the hard economic decisions. My fear - and I mean fear, more on that in a bit - is that they they misjudged the market long term and will alienate more buyers than they make up in new players. Of course, if they substantially reduce their cost structure in the process to where their margins improve regardless, that may still work out.

I've worked with the studio on several projects and genuinely like the team and want them to do well. From where I sit they have dream jobs, and I'll freely admit that I've sat in more than one meeting at work and envied them from time to time! So when I say I "fear" they're doing the wrong thing, I mean it. It isn't just that "my game" is changing - it's that it may go away and guys like Phil, Evan, and Wayne would have to seek other employment rather than continuing to bring the world Flames of War.

So far their market intelligence seems to have been far better than mine, which is good because I only represent a small portion of the buying public. However, I've seen other industry leading gaming systems make similar decisions in the past - Dungeons and Dragons V4, Age of Sigmar, etc. - and it cost them their market position. Remember, Dungeons and Dragons V4 sold out its initial print release as well and they had to go back and make a second print before the official release date. Like V4 FoW, it was designed to be a full reboot and more accessible to new players, and a lot of new players loved it... just not enough to prevent Pathfinder (essentially V3.5 "fixed") from taking over as the #1 pencil and paper RPG as veterans defected in droves.

While V3 is and remains an awesome game, there were several issues that began to creep into the rules. Nothing that impacted my enjoyment of the game, but enough that impacted several players and caused them to drift away impacting sales. Add to that some high profile issues which had to hit the studio's bottom line (the premium terrain issues, issues with some of the initial plastic models where they sent out replacement parts, the whole Dust partnership fiasco, constant stock issues before they moved to the new factory, then of course, the new factory), and it's clear that revenue trends were probably not what the studio needed them to be, so SOMETHING had to change.

As to any one particular person's enjoyment of Flames of War, honestly I think that is going to depend entirely on what drew you to Flames of War in the first place and what you want to get out of Flames of War...

If you want the breadth and scope of WW2, with full options for most if not all available kit and formations - V4 MW simply ain't it at this point. The "build" cards in the command deck may help that, but until I get my grubby paws on them, I can't make that call. EW and LW still have that scope for the time being, but their balance suffers under the new rules.

If you want an easily accessible afternoon of playing WW2 with reasonably balanced forces - V4 MW will do that for you... probably better than V3 would at this point. The rules are more streamlined, the pace is faster, and there aren't so many options in the lists that it makes sense to try an min/max.

So honestly I can see where Tom is coming from - it's like one of your favorite old toys is brand new again ready to be re-discovered. I can also see where Jorge is coming from - it's like your favorite old toy has been broken an no longer works the way it is supposed to. Honestly I'm somewhere in the middle at this point.

Regardless, the next year is going to be critical for the future of the Flames of War gaming system. I hope Battlefront is able to find a way to chart a middle course that brings in the required new blood while holding on to (or bringing back) as much of the old guard as possible. Right now they appear to be hedging their bets. EW and LW are being left alone with an updated V4 rule book, while MW undergoes the full reboot - though it appears much of the revenue is designed to come from the MW product. I really hope it works, because I've seen what happens when it doesn't, and it isn't pretty. Of course if they'd done nothing, the end result would have been equally bad, and when faced with a choice like that I always believe you have to keep swinging...

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Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:28 pm
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I like my spreadsheet with the V4 MW units on it as well as the special rules they have. I bought the digital Afrika Korps and Desert Rats books and that's where I got the information from as I don't have a unit card for everything in the book yet but I do already have the models, and I don't intend to buy any others just to get unit cards.

The spreadsheet format also allows me to copy/paste a, at most, two sided piece of paper with everything on it for a particular list that I need for unit stats and rules, team capabilities, etc., so I can play a game without needing an extra table for a bunch of freakin' unit cards and chits and such like you do for X wing or something.

I'm not selling anything, people who want to use the stuff Tom posted are welcome to, those that don't well no sweat by me, V4 life goes on as far as I'm concerned.

Clay


Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:32 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:59 am
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Location: Salem, OR
I'd like to weigh in on the subject of the new army books.

My initial response was disappointment in the lack of variety in the lists, though I hadn't played in the desert in Vol 3 (The Open Fire box represents my only non-German/Soviet forces). One infantry and one armor list? WTF! And so few options!

But after careful consideration I can see the point. The older army books could be overwhelming for a new player. Want to play tanks? Which of 4 or 5 lists to choose? Infantry? Same thing. Then there were the Mech lists. Too much! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the wealth of choices...now. When I first started out, however, there were just too many choices. It took a long time and many games before I found what made me comfortable. I stuck it out because I'm stubborn and had many years of gaming experience to fall back on. If V4 had been what I started out in it would have been a lot less traumatic!

And with all those nifty lists, how many actually hit the table? Except in special events or historical scenarios, not that many. Each book had 2 or 3 lists that actually saw action on a regular basis (some even less), and some that only a devoted masochist would field. It was nice to have all these extra lists to play around with, but they really weren't vital to the game.

Maybe it's all my years playing Warhammer & 40K, but I'm not that upset at the prospect of the books I've bought no longer being as relevant to the current game. The historical background and painting guides are still valuable, so I'm not likely to head to Goodwill just yet. At least it's not "Buy a whole new set of books every few years and toss the old ones"!

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Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:24 pm
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If the army books are a bit daunting then what game systems are you coming from?


Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:55 am
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Mark wrote:
If the army books are a bit daunting then what game systems are you coming from?


Maybe you missed the part about new gamers? I've been playing wargames since 1970, so I can't give you an exhaustive list. I was just looking at it from the new gamer's point of view. It's not that the lists themselves were so daunting, it was the sheer number of them. Without a guide you could get lost figuring out what to take. While most of us had an experienced guide, this is not a universal state of affairs.

If you look at, say, Grey Wolf from the point of view of someone who has never played any war game, let alone FoW, I think you may get my point.

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There was something fishy about the butler. I think he was a Pisces, probably working for scale.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:40 am
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:45 pm
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fingolfen wrote:
At the end of the day it is abundantly clear that at this point Battlefront believes it needs to fundamentally change the business model, scope, and presentation of Flames of War for it to remain a viable from an economic standpoint. The initial results that they've achieved with their MW release, which taking their word for it has been an unparalleled success, reinforce their decision. This is the studio's life and livelihood so I don't begrudge their having to make the hard economic decisions. My fear - and I mean fear, more on that in a bit - is that they they misjudged the market long term and will alienate more buyers than they make up in new players. Of course, if they substantially reduce their cost structure in the process to where their margins improve regardless, that may still work out.

I've worked with the studio on several projects and genuinely like the team and want them to do well. From where I sit they have dream jobs, and I'll freely admit that I've sat in more than one meeting at work and envied them from time to time! So when I say I "fear" they're doing the wrong thing, I mean it. It isn't just that "my game" is changing - it's that it may go away and guys like Phil, Evan, and Wayne would have to seek other employment rather than continuing to bring the world Flames of War.

So far their market intelligence seems to have been far better than mine, which is good because I only represent a small portion of the buying public. However, I've seen other industry leading gaming systems make similar decisions in the past - Dungeons and Dragons V4, Age of Sigmar, etc. - and it cost them their market position. Remember, Dungeons and Dragons V4 sold out its initial print release as well and they had to go back and make a second print before the official release date. Like V4 FoW, it was designed to be a full reboot and more accessible to new players, and a lot of new players loved it... just not enough to prevent Pathfinder (essentially V3.5 "fixed") from taking over as the #1 pencil and paper RPG as veterans defected in droves.

While V3 is and remains an awesome game, there were several issues that began to creep into the rules. Nothing that impacted my enjoyment of the game, but enough that impacted several players and caused them to drift away impacting sales. Add to that some high profile issues which had to hit the studio's bottom line (the premium terrain issues, issues with some of the initial plastic models where they sent out replacement parts, the whole Dust partnership fiasco, constant stock issues before they moved to the new factory, then of course, the new factory), and it's clear that revenue trends were probably not what the studio needed them to be, so SOMETHING had to change.

As to any one particular person's enjoyment of Flames of War, honestly I think that is going to depend entirely on what drew you to Flames of War in the first place and what you want to get out of Flames of War...

If you want the breadth and scope of WW2, with full options for most if not all available kit and formations - V4 MW simply ain't it at this point. The "build" cards in the command deck may help that, but until I get my grubby paws on them, I can't make that call. EW and LW still have that scope for the time being, but their balance suffers under the new rules.

If you want an easily accessible afternoon of playing WW2 with reasonably balanced forces - V4 MW will do that for you... probably better than V3 would at this point. The rules are more streamlined, the pace is faster, and there aren't so many options in the lists that it makes sense to try an min/max.

So honestly I can see where Tom is coming from - it's like one of your favorite old toys is brand new again ready to be re-discovered. I can also see where Jorge is coming from - it's like your favorite old toy has been broken an no longer works the way it is supposed to. Honestly I'm somewhere in the middle at this point.

Regardless, the next year is going to be critical for the future of the Flames of War gaming system. I hope Battlefront is able to find a way to chart a middle course that brings in the required new blood while holding on to (or bringing back) as much of the old guard as possible. Right now they appear to be hedging their bets. EW and LW are being left alone with an updated V4 rule book, while MW undergoes the full reboot - though it appears much of the revenue is designed to come from the MW product. I really hope it works, because I've seen what happens when it doesn't, and it isn't pretty. Of course if they'd done nothing, the end result would have been equally bad, and when faced with a choice like that I always believe you have to keep swinging...


Great post Mike. A much needed balanced perspective that I reflected on much today.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:48 am
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Starik wrote:
Mark wrote:
If the army books are a bit daunting then what game systems are you coming from?


Maybe you missed the part about new gamers? I've been playing wargames since 1970, so I can't give you an exhaustive list. I was just looking at it from the new gamer's point of view. It's not that the lists themselves were so daunting, it was the sheer number of them. Without a guide you could get lost figuring out what to take. While most of us had an experienced guide, this is not a universal state of affairs.

If you look at, say, Grey Wolf from the point of view of someone who has never played any war game, let alone FoW, I think you may get my point.


Right. You were not the target of my question. I have introduced the game to many new players at hmgs conventions. But I have yet to meet this new gamer that buys FoW without a play group in hand. In fact, does anyone buy historical miniatures in this fashion at all ? Hence my question.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:50 am
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:04 pm
Posts: 529
I can say that BF has definitely marketed Team Yankee in WWII towards someone else, it isn't geared to me at all. I've played several MW V4 games and while I didn't hate it, it leaves much to be desired. Now the command cards, think this is the straw for me. I found myself boxing up my 4' of FoW Books today and packed them away. My gaming table and miniatures are next. I think for the first time in ten years I'll be taking an extended break from the game.

Don't get me wrong, I wish BF and anyone who enjoys V4 all the best.

I have enjoyed some BA lately and will likely focus my historical war gaming in this direction for the time being.


Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:46 am
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