|Firing positions! Ivan on the way!|
Between work and racing to finish a final few entries in Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (which has concluded now, even if winter itself hasn't - be sure to check out all of the amazing work here) I have been slacking at blogging of late, but will try and catch up a bit. Up first, a belated battle report of a test game for "Team Yankee", the new cold-war-gone-hot rules from Battlefront.
|NATO dupes in position...little do they suspect...|
Conscript Curt was in town a few weeks ago for a visit, and together with Byron we took my newly painted "Team Yankee" models out for a spin. The scenario was extremely basic, and I apologize, as I only have a fuzzy recollection on the points used (would have been about 60 or 70 per side, tops, based on what I have painted).
|"The Plan" - WARPAC advances from the lower right, while NATO awaits on the top left|
|Curt give an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the Soviet advance - he's a big fan of the Hinds|
I thought the game would be quick. But oh man, I underestimated that. We played TWO games, and each one lasted two turns!! I had read about that experience online from other folks playing their initial games, and wow, it's really something. The game is murderous, which is in many ways a fair reflection of the (thankfully fictional) conflict it is looking to simulate.
|Soviet T-72s encounter from fire from M1s|
|Hind makes a kill...|
|More Hind carnage...|
|Comrade Curt is loving the Hinds - he poses here near the smoking wrecks of Byron's M1 platoon...|
In our second run through, we stowed the over-powerful Hinds to see how it would play. In this iteration, the M1s managed to knock out a lot more Soviet stuff (many T-72s and BMP-2s were full of holes), but the mass of tanks still overwhelmed the M1s - and again, it took two, or maybe three turns at most. Wow!
|T-72s open fire!|
|Soviet battalion commander plays it safe...meanwhile, the motor rifles move out (behind the forest)|
So for now, no more "Team Yankee" (or at least, no more with helicopters) until I get some AAA stuff painted for both sides, especially the US. The Hinds are total murder - and I think that's fine, they bloody should be! But some M163s will be needed for the US players to have much chance in the game. The US Cobra helos were a lot less scary, we found, so we could probably play without Soviet AAA stuff, but still, it would be nice for the players to have it a bit balanced.
|M1s engage - they made short work of the BMP2s...|
My take on the rules? Well, maybe I'm just crusty and getting older, but I still find Battlefront is excessively fond of fiddly little special rules. A top level skim of their rules is always reasonably straightforward, but when you sit down and start to play, your head hurts with every little exception you can attempt. This is particularly pronounced with the "orders" for movement Battlefront has introduced, which are different from their prior "Flames of War" game. I want to recognize and compliment Battlefront for trying something different, but in the end it keeps making my head hurt. "I moved, but I count as stationary, but, but, but, etc" AAARGH! Enough with the damn special rules! And get off my lawn! Grumble, grumble etc.
|Cobras try to help...|
Another weakness is the "IGOUGO" aspect - generally I'm okay with that approach, it's simple, easy to remember, but in some situations, it kinda mucks the game up, particularly games as murderous as "Team Yankee". I think an alternating activation would be much more enjoyable.
|"Maybe we'll be safe here from the Hinds..."|
|Motor rifle carnage|
|Tough night for NATO|