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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

@Lagduf: I bought a few Old Glory Miniatures 15mm "Command Decision" tanks.

They're much less expensive than Battlefront, but the model quality isn't as good - heat sink / warp / mold lines are present on all parts and would require a lot of cleanup to reach GW / Battlefront standards.

Quite frankly, you get what you pay for, but 15mm is 15mm, so any models will do.

   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




JohnHwangDD wrote:@Martel: Are the Germans all-conquering in FoW?

Or do they just beat *you* down?

Seriously, you got a lot of hate for them, and it doesn't seem entirely rational.

It's just a game.







What I hate is how many WWII games completely overestimate the strength of Germany, from the divisional level all the way down to the individual trooper. It's just a case of FoW catching 20 years of gaming frustration. If FoW were, say, the 5th game slanted toward Germany I've observed or played, I wouldn't care. But it's about the 50th game I've seen that makes the Germans demi-gods on the battlefield. (And by the way, sells the Soviets short) Move-fire-move? With a tiger? Really?

I don't play FoW, but I watch it being played a lot while I paint. I've looked at their stat tables and their point values as well. I think their idea of making a "fair point system" equals to "all things being even, Germans steamroll." Just look at their demo; its a rare king tiger tank popping Shermans that are being fed single file into its front arc. Seriously? Who wants to be the Americans in this setup?

All in all, though, they laugh all the way to the bank as they sell their German models. All I can do is ineffectively protest their pro-German bias in the game.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Huh?

The FOW starter is 3 Shermans against 2 StuGs - how is that not fair or reasonable?

Those are the most common produced tank and SPG made.

   
Made in us
Prospector with Steamdrill





Berkshires, Massachusetts, USA

Martel732 wrote:
What I hate is how many WWII games completely overestimate the strength of Germany, from the divisional level all the way down to the individual trooper. It's just a case of FoW catching 20 years of gaming frustration.


Maybe you should realize you're just frustrated and rethink your unreasonable stance on things. Being frustrated doesn't help make logical arguments.

Martel732 wrote:If FoW were, say, the 5th game slanted toward Germany I've observed or played, I wouldn't care. But it's about the 50th game I've seen that makes the Germans demi-gods on the battlefield.


Germans aren't demi-gods on the battlefield. I've seen them win and lose, it's a pretty balanced game actually. Our club has played it pretty steadily for three solid years.

Martel732 wrote:(And by the way, sells the Soviets short) Move-fire-move? With a tiger? Really?


In our last club game Russian conscript armor decimated German panzers.

Martel732 wrote:I don't play FoW


Making you nothing more than a casual observer. If you played the game and understood the rules, perhaps you wouldn't be so quick to condemn it.

Martel732 wrote:but I watch it being played a lot while I paint. I've looked at their stat tables and their point values as well. I think their idea of making a "fair point system" equals to "all things being even, Germans steamroll."


Again your statement is a generalization. In three years of gaming and no one has found the Germans to be overpowering in any way. In fact I think the conscript armies like Italy and Russia do a lot better in our games.

Martel732 wrote:Just look at their demo; its a rare king tiger tank popping Shermans that are being fed single file into its front arc. Seriously? Who wants to be the Americans in this setup?


A demo? Does that sum up the game? Is it meant to be a scenario or a demonstration of how the game mechanics work?

Martel732 wrote:All in all, though, they laugh all the way to the bank as they sell their German models. All I can do is ineffectively protest their pro-German bias in the game.


Try a game yourself instead of watching it played. Get over the idea that Germans are "overpowered" you might end up liking it.

Interrogator-Chaplain Severus

"Hige sceal pe heardra, heorte pe cenre, mod sceal pe mare pe ure maegen lytlao"

"Will shall be the sterner, heart the bolder, and spirit the greater as our strength lessens."
-English Proverb 
   
Made in us
Prospector with Steamdrill





Berkshires, Massachusetts, USA

George Spiggott wrote:
Martel732 wrote:Blitzkrieg is a total fabrication. Conquer France in 30 days? I can bike across it in 5... ...For some reason, people want the Germans to be more than they were: outnumbered, outproduced, outstrategized, and outspied.

Yet somehow they made the task they took six weeks to perform in 1940 take six months for the allies to perform in 1944 whilst being, outproduced, outstrategized, and outspied and while the bulk of their forces were fighting on another front.




Well said Mr. Spiggott. I wonder if we'll get an explanation on how blitzkrieg is a fabrication.

No one wants the Germans to be more than they were. They weren't supermen, but in most cases they were at the very least well trained and motivated soldiers. The blitzkrieg was, on the surface, hugely successful and if not for the amazing tenacity of the Russians in 1941-42 (at Stalingrad in particular) perhaps could have delivered a knock-out blow to the Soviet Union that could have changed the course of the war. Luckily for the world they were led by a lunatic who made sure their defeat was inevitable.

Interrogator-Chaplain Severus

"Hige sceal pe heardra, heorte pe cenre, mod sceal pe mare pe ure maegen lytlao"

"Will shall be the sterner, heart the bolder, and spirit the greater as our strength lessens."
-English Proverb 
   
Made in de
[DCM]
The Last Czarnian






The Northwest Territory

It's pretty obvious you haven't played FoW, Martel, even if you hadn't admitted it yourself. Your complaints about Stormtrooper movement are the only ones that are even somewhat valid, and it certainly isn't enough to sink a whole game system. Stormtrooper movement isn't a guaranteed thing, and it doesn't have anything to do with operational speed. It has to do with tactical speed in small units and the ability to redeploy quickly on the battlefield. Yes, it is possible to do a "Stormtrooper Shuffle" but if you rely on that the whole game, chances are you're going to get smoked. It's a nice ability, but if you rely on it, you almost always get wasted, and I know this from actually playing the game.

Germans are hardly overpowered in FoW, especially not compared to the Russians. I'm usually not one to flaunt my wargaming E-Peen on Dakka, but I think my experiences with FoW are relevant here.

Let me start by saying that I'm not the greatest FoW player. I'm probably about average in general, and above average on my good days. I play mostly Germans, and also Russians. In some of the tournaments I've played in, I've had my German Panzergrenadiers utterly annihilated by Soviet armor, and I've been thrashed while playing a German Tiger company. On the other hand, I've also won Best General at a tournament. Oh, but guess what army I was playing the time I won Best General? It was Soviet Infantry, and it was the best I've ever done in a tournament. Surprise!

Yeah, those Germans sure are overpowered though, aren't they?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/03/10 21:34:05


   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






Sheffield, UK

Martel732 wrote:I don't play FoW...

I think we're done here. There's no point in arguing the influence and power of specific game mechanics with someone who doesn't play.

All things being equal British Commandos are the best troops in the game, Germans, even fallschirmjaegers and SS, are merely faster.

Spain in Flames: Flames of War (Spanish Civil War 1936-39) Flames of War: Czechs and Slovaks (WWI & WWII) Sheffield & Rotherham Wargames Club

"I'm cancelling you, I'm cancelling you out of shame like my subscription to White Dwarf." - Mark Corrigan: Peep Show
 
   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




I'm glad they changed the demo to STuGs vs Shermans. The king tiger scenario was absolutely ludicrous and was definitely turning people off at the con I was at. At least, the poor suckers playing Americans.

From the games I have observed, it would be an interesting metagame matchup vs the players you describe. In the games I see, stormtrooper is an overpowering advantage. The Germans rely on it, because it prevents them from being shot back at effectively. I watched them destroy an entire American force and lose nothing. Not one stand. The Americans simply had no good shots throughout the game.

I can also conclusively say from the wins and losses board we have posted in the store that the Germans win approx 80% of the games. This includes games vs American, Soviets and British. I guess its possible that none of the allied players know how to play, but that just sounds unlikely.

I don't know the specific rules, but I know what I see happen when this game is played out. I see Soviet tanks that can't hit anything with troops that run very easily vs Germans that never run and almost never miss. Players dont' seem to be able to buy enough Soviet stuff to overcome these problems.

I don't think the Soviets have beaten Germans in the league at my store yet. I'd have to look again, but I'm pretty sure there were no German crosses in any of the Soviet players' victory tracks. I would be interesting to see some of the people who have had success with the Soviets play some of the players I talk to in the league at my store. Even they admit the Germans are broken. That's why they use them.

Overall, it seems that the British and American forces are pretty close to what they should be, but the Germans are way strong and the Soviets are pitifully weak. At least that's our metagame.

As for Blitzkrieg, both Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk and The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II are both books that outline the Blitzkrieg fallacy quite well. Blitzkrieg never really existed, people were just acclamated to WWI type static battles; see Maginot Failure, erm Line. The Germans were no more dynamic than Grant's Union army. Both armies' primary transport vehicle was horse, after all.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






Sheffield, UK

Martel732 wrote:From the games I have observed, it would be an interesting metagame matchup vs the players you describe. In the games I see, stormtrooper is an overpowering advantage. The Germans rely on it, because it prevents them from being shot back at effectively. I watched them destroy an entire American force and lose nothing. Not one stand. The Americans simply had no good shots throughout the game.

The American force in FoW is also based upon manouver they move and shoot better than any other army in FoW which leads me to suspect...
Martel732 wrote:Germans win approx 80% of the games. This includes games vs American, Soviets and British. I guess its possible that none of the allied players know how to play, but that just sounds unlikely.

...that it is very likely the player.

Martel732 wrote:I don't know the specific rules, but I know what I see happen when this game is played out. I see Soviet tanks that can't hit anything with troops that run very easily vs Germans that never run and almost never miss. Players dont' seem to be able to buy enough Soviet stuff to overcome these problems.

There is no 'to hit' skill in FoW the German 'avoid hits' skill is (usually) only one point higher than the Soviet one. I still don't see why this can't be attributed to player skill, luck or even a little 'rubber rulering', perhaps they should swap armies.

Spain in Flames: Flames of War (Spanish Civil War 1936-39) Flames of War: Czechs and Slovaks (WWI & WWII) Sheffield & Rotherham Wargames Club

"I'm cancelling you, I'm cancelling you out of shame like my subscription to White Dwarf." - Mark Corrigan: Peep Show
 
   
Made in us
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Houston, TX

Yes, the results you describe Martel seem very atypical. If anything, the Soviets are more than a match for the Germans (they can even field captured German armor). Heck, Soviet Armor forces can hit the field as fearless - the highest morale rating available in game- and trained! They can also hit the field with a ton of tank models!

I would agree that the "Stormtrooper" rule poorly reflects any actual historical movement tactics (move and shoot panzers? Yeah, right!) but it is a workable game mechanic. The Americans have a comparable mechanic for their armor and their vehicles are very fast. British infantry matches or surpasses German in mid-war, though not so much the armor. Italians are surprisingly strong, but fairly random thanks to "8 Million Bayonets".

As to Blitzkrieg being a fabrication, I would beg to differ. While it was certainly a retrospective term applied by the media, what it encompassed was very real. While others had worked on the concept of an armored spearhead (notably the British, French and Soviets), this was largely stifled by military conservatives and the tank was relegated to infantry support in all but the German army. In 1939, the Wehrmacht was the only army in the world to have fully developed the fully supported armored division.

The methodology relied on a focused attack utilizing local superiority (using combined arms) to gain an armor breakthrough. Subsequently, the armored group would press the assault without waiting to stabilize its flanks. Concentric encirclement served to maximize oppositional loss. The strategy worked well in Western Europe where the shock value and delayed Allied communication model played into German plans. Additionally, the relatively short distance meant that outpacing infantry and artillery support (often horse drawn) wasn't a major issue. Contrast this with the assault on the SU where the fast breakthroughs lead to problems as the lines stretched over vast distances.

While Poland was called a Blitzkrieg assault, it was actually pretty standard Vernichtungsgedanke. Armor was supporting infantry, not used as an independent force and the Germans relied on pockets and encirclement, etc. in a traditional way. Fall Gelb/Rot was identifiable as a blitzkrieg operation. German armor quickly advanced after breakthrough, to the point of worrying high command! France fell in 2 months vs. the 4 years of fighting in WW1 despite superior Allied numbers and, often, equipment. One could argue that it was just the application of new technologies and techniques to Vernichtungsgedanke, but I would argue that that ignores the reality of what Blitzkrieg really was- an evolution. Vernichtungsgedanke 2.0 (or 3.0 or even 12.0!), if you will. It is also important to remember that Blitzkrieg largely applies to an armor dependent strategy (effective use of other firepower centered strategy was key to the success of both sides, IE Russian artillery, American and British airpower, etc.) and was not the sole reason for German success, indeed over reliance on its use in inappropriate places proved disastrous! Leningrad and Moscow leap to mind. And, of course, the Allies learned from the Blitzkrieg strategy and adapted, developing effective countermeasures.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2009/03/11 18:55:57


-James
 
   
Made in us
Locked in the Tower of Amareo




I think its tough to model a game on the small scale where an army like the Germans started off so hot and then got rolled up like chumps. As I said, I would give them more slack, but I'm so tired of games that give the Germans extra-spiffy goodies.

I guess I'm also disappointed because I was considering getting some Americans, but automatic rifles and their artillery rules just seem lackluster compared to the German special rules.

Also, while American tanks are fast, they are not really fast enough to be in line with reality. There were cases were the hand-cranked Tigers literally could not traverse fast enough to hit a Sherman.

I will reexamine this if I get extra hours this summer at my job.
   
Made in de
[DCM]
The Last Czarnian






The Northwest Territory

Martel732 wrote:I guess I'm also disappointed because I was considering getting some Americans, but automatic rifles and their artillery rules just seem lackluster compared to the German special rules.


LOL, what? Americans have some of the best artillery in the game. Time on Target is brutal, and the fact that basically every American command team can be an artillery observer means you should always be able to call down a strike. It's almost not even worth it to try to pick off U.S. observer teams, because platoon command teams can call in strikes too.


Also, while American tanks are fast, they are not really fast enough to be in line with reality. There were cases were the hand-cranked Tigers literally could not traverse fast enough to hit a Sherman.


Tigers have a rule to represent this, called "Slow Traverse." It makes it more difficult to hit targets that are behind their front arc.

   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

If you read some serious historical analysis of fighting power in WW2 you will find that man for man the Germans were about twice the value of Americans.

This was nothing to do with their genes, weapons, rations or ideology. It was owing to factors such as command organisation, the training system, combat experience, the replacement system, and the treatment of leave and casualties.

Of course the US army had to be built up quickly from a small base, and did not enter the war until late 1942 and had less time to learn.

Similar comparisons can be made with the Soviets and British. The Soviets had a poor quality officer corps thanks to the pre-war purges, and a poor quality NCO corps. The British had a good quality officer and NCO corps but they had deficiencies in their tactical and operational thinking.

This isn't a glorification or denigration of any nationality involved in WW2.

Petition to stop ratification of EU Article 13 on Internet Copyright

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in ie
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!




Kildare, Ireland

Kilkrazy wrote:If you read some serious historical analysis of fighting power in WW2 you will find that man for man the Germans were about twice the value of Americans.



Actually, recent academic work has kinda put that in doubt. Recent work, particuarly on the differing replacement system has called into doubt the effectiveness of the German system and argued that the US system, on the whole, worked better.

Im still on the fence to be honest as to which was more effective.

 Strombones wrote:
Battlegroup - Because its tits.
 
   
Made in us
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Houston, TX

The quality of German infantry also varied highly by time and location. German infantry had the advantage of veterans from the Mediterranean campaigns and early France/Belgium/Polish invasions. These early and mid-war infantry were very effective and would easily surpass the early untrained American infantry. However, as the war wore on, the Germans lost huge amounts of skilled infantry on the eastern front and increasingly relied on under trained and conscripted forces. Meanwhile, American infantry now benefited from combat experience and specialist units like the Rangers and airborne divisions had proven very successful. By comparison, the volks divisions defending Berlin or the Eastern European SS conscript divisions often compared poorly to even Soviet line infantry which was poorly trained and equipped.

So 1942, maybe German infantry is twice as effective as American infantry but by '44, no way. Hell. the 2nd, 99th, and 38th at the second Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge) did a hell of a job keeping the Germans out despite lack of AT, broken supply lines, lack of winter gear, German surprise and frozen forest all around them. They fought and died like elite, but were just riflemen. Even the green 106th didn't stop fighting until completely encircled.

On a small scale, the Americans were better equipped with small arms (SA rifles v. bolt action), while the Germans had better incorporated support (MG and light mortars). On the wider scale, Kampfgruppe wasn't very different from battle groups and it really boiled down to individual leadership and support advantages (including intel, which the Allies consistently trumped the Axis on- even if they later ignored it...). As the Allies gained the seas and skies, they had an increasing advantage. Add in the problems with German supplies, and any incremental differences in infantry skill are largely meaningless. Even significant armor difference were a non issue when compared to available support (air, artillery, etc.) and production levels.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2009/04/20 17:33:02


-James
 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





Threadcromancy.

My club started playing Late War Normandy as our jumping-off point into Flames of War, so I can only speak to Late War European front...but Germans are not overpowered in the Festung Europa (and therefore ostensibly Fortress Europe) books. They're always outnumbered, their gear doesn't seem to be THAT much better than the Allies', and they really have to play smart because they cannot absorb too many casualties.

I've never played any other WW II rulesets...I think some friends of mine play something called "Command Decision?" but I haven't looked into it.

What I like about FoW is that it delivers the sort of wargaming experience I would expect it to deliver. When I starting playing 40, I eventually got very frustrated in that it didn't seem conducive to the sort of "historical" military thinking I was doing. Armor didn't necessarily do what armor does, i.e. you didn't need to be that afraid of tanks. There wasn't much artillery or suppression fire in the game. It was more about special rules and uber units and wiping entire enemy armies off the table. I never did that well at 40K.

FoW plays like I would expect it to play. You need proper combined-arms tactics in order to win. You usually have no arbitrary turn limit in play so that you may take your time and be methodical. It's easier to pin your enemy. Armor is properly scary by and large.
Things just..work the way I would expect them to work...and I don't think I've lost a game yet, though had many satisfactory Draws.

I cannot speak to how hardcore historical the ruleset is, but we have quite a few WW II history enthusiasts in our group and no one's issued a single complaint about the rules yet...I am suspecting that you have to be a serious historian, maybe, to find the historical problems with the rules? If you're "just a gamer" with a moderate level of interest in WW II history then FoW fits the bill.

If you really wanted to get entirely "authentic" with a ruleset, can anyone who has played such a ruleset speak to the complexity of said ruleset? Can you be accurate without being really, really complicated? Intuitively I would think not, but then we're now also into all sorts of subjective questions around what "complicated" means.


All I know is that the FoW rulebooks are excellent. I've never had a problem with figuring out how to solve a rules question, and never had to go onto the FoW website to get an answer to a rules query. That latter point is huge for me.

I also think FoW is pretty cheap comparatively-speaking. I certainly didn't feel the sting in my wallet starting up FoW nearly as much as I felt 40K.

Painting FoW is also easy. The minis are so small that you almost don't have to be quite so precise to get good results.

I feel that the historical aspect of FoW comes through mostly in the painting. Picking the right camo schemes, little details like shoulder board piping colors, attempting to build armies which are historically accurate (I'm working on a 2. Panzer Division, Panzergrenadier-Regiment 304, Panzergrenadier-Bataillon I, 1st Kompanie army which is almost dead-on) all involve what are for me rather detailed amounts of historical research if I want to get it right.

The game can take a long time, but I prefer slower, more methodical games where you have plenty of time to shift to a flank, reinforce your positions, slowly whittle down an enemy and have to set up assaults very carefully. They ultimately wind up feeling more "strategic" for my tastes, which is what I am looking for in any tabletop wargame.


The final positive of FoW - a crapton of people seem to play it. I would have no problem picking up a game of Flames of War in any area where wargames have a large presence. I feel very confident in that, and this question of availability and variety of opponents weighs very heavily into my decisions to start up a tabletop wargame or not.

"Success is moving from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Cliff Bleszinski

http://www.punchingsnakes.com 
   
 
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