Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Latewar Soviet costs for FOW: Desperate Measures.

Hey could be a particularly clever bit of Photoshop - who knows? But I've been wanting to make a random comment on FOW for a while, so it's a good excuse! 'Feedback' about LW Soviets, and more broadly the issues posed by all the LW Western allied lists/heavy artillery, has been an ongoing feature of FOW for some time now. Personally, I have a lot of fun with Soviet armour. Much as I have had since starting FOW about a decade ago. Not that I will turn down more of the same for less points. I do think that LW and also the heavy emphasis on 1750pt games and mission selections designed to allow stodgy infantry + arty + armour support lists (or worse, Fort companies) to time out the game has really sapped the fun for me though.

The next local event wants to charge $40 to come play some 1750pt games on a lot of terrain designed to slow the game down. Guess what types of lists and approaches are going to heavily feature? I played against another tank player in 2011 (fun game, I had T-34s, he had Panthers, I lost in the end but we both loved the fluid game) and he was dejectedly commenting to me that his type of list was obviously not wanted at Conquest. Despite one game the next year, I have otherwise had a lot of fun games at that event over the years but I'll definitely be skipping this time. Last year was notable in terms of the points total and terrain - and hey we saw heaps of mobile forces. Not to mention it was themed around a specific battle so the Axis/Allies matchups actually made sense. Good times.

The players/Umpires have always had a lot of control over making FOW fun so here's to more events with a mix of terrain styles and a decent proportion of mobile missions to make the stodgy lists actually fight for it. Kudos for Jeff for designing a cool comp @ Warclouds. I've always liked the local approach to always bring a city-fight and (when Craig brings it) 'breach the fortification line' table to events. Driving all the tanks around the rubble piles and sitting out in the open trying to gap the minefields while desperately seeking to trade fire with the covering AT assets has generally produced some of my most enjoyable games at Conquest. However, there needs to be the range of missions and a lower points total to force more defensive lists to actively seek a result. Because I have definitely noticed list homogeneity around here and the competition structure keeps encouraging this.

What's this got to do with new costs? Well It's made me notice FOW again after being turned off by 1750 pt events. For those that felt Soviet armour was useless before, I don't see the costs above changing much @1750/1780 points. That's a drop from 635pts to 570 (though I understand this includes cup-holders - I wonder if the tank-anoraks will kick up a fuss if ordinary T-34/85 models are used? ;) ). All I've seen is this pic so there may be a more radical rules revision. Still, I think it's a good thing for 1500 point games. You can credibly get the full Tankovy in with four platoons. I don't think it will be more effective than before but the T-34/85 IS the best tank of the war. And we just play this game to have some fun with like minded people and push our favourite WW2 models around, right?

Unless you are a wound up tournament player, and so fixated on winning you need to set an extra set of rules to quell your nagging anxiety that everyone you face is out to cheat you lol. But that's another discussion. One likely best not had. Like any conversation involving the word 'META'. Heh.


  1. Interesting post Jamie- I too am passing this year. Just not inspired by flames at all at present. First time I'll have missed it since the event started.

    Hope they have fun though.

    15o0 pts is still my sweet spot, though I also enjoy smaller sized battles too.

  2. I'm sure they will have fun. It feels like these day 'no one' plays FOW, which I think really means hardly anyone I used to square off against is keen on it anymore. I keep hoping I can get back into it because it was a good 'broad church' that got a decent number of people together.

  3. I agree Jamie. I'm now actually thinking of bringing my Soviets up for a run- haven't had game of FoW since dDy of Days- will consider it :)


    1. Got that email from Lintman last night - the three small kids means I'm not really in the travelling to tournaments groove - but I really like the Valleycon format being offered: 1350pts LW Market Garden Themed Allowed books: Market Garden, Bridge by Bridge. Not completely Axis/Allies but I can see the argument why not and personally I prefer that an event be themed to a battle than lip service like Desert Germans vs Kursk Soviets!

  4. Great thoughts Jamie... fair and honest.
    ww2 isn't going anywhere fast and I do think as a game it still seems to draw the players (although I am a little tired of the game after 10 years but I'll get back into it)
    With so many good games out there now and a competitive market for decent plastics from some of the small players will only add new people to Flames of War and a lot of the other games

    They'll miss you Craig, you always bring a great table of terrain, your enthusiasm and humour has been a boost to many a FOW gamer

  5. Did you guys see Nathan M is offering Bolt Action WW2 for conquest? It will most likely have to be ahistorical action-men but I give BA more of a 'pass' there as everyone is so new. Most of us (ie not Craig who started one week ago and already seems to have two armies :P ) still just have what every random assortment of 28mm took our fancy. Checked my calender but can't go to this one as parents will be in town for weekend.