- with Greg
So, Flames of War version 4 has been out for a couple of weeks now and if you've visited the Behind Enemy Lines YouTube channel, you'll have seen that Dan and I managed to get a LW game filmed and uploaded for you to have a gander at. If not, well here it is:
We're definitely going to get some mroe games under out belts especially with the tournament scene here in New Zealand already starting to embrace V4. So, what are my initial thoughts on V4...
1. It's definitely faster in playing. Despite having new movement orders and other changes, the game itself actually moves faster than it did previously in my opinion. Once you come to grips with how the changes themselves fit into what you're doing on a tactical level, they actually add another level of strategy to the game.
2. It's still Flames of War! Yep, believe it or not, it still plays like Flames of War just with a couple of bolted on extras to enhance what was already a great gaming experience.
3. It is NOT dumbed down; far from it in fact. As mentioned in point 2, the addition of the new movement orders actually add another strategic level to the game which you need to consider. Should you risk a Blitz move with your Trained troops knowing that if you succeed you could be in close range and still have full ROF...but if you fail, it's going to be harder for you to shoot your enemy.
4. Formation morale seems more realistic to me. I'm not 100% sure how to explain this one effectively but with the new order of operations allowing you to attempt to remount tanks before you check to see if they're in "Good Spirits" is a more logical order in which to do things. The higher level of casualties required to even consider making a test removes the emphasis on die rolls to break troops and puts it back on you and your opponent to make sure enough damage is dealt to ensure they're not coming back.
5. Hit allocation by the shooter is a no brainer! You choose the most likely strategic targets (front ranks or bazookas or whatever) for the option you're looking at and your opponent can see if, in the heat of battle, you were good enough.
6. Artillery and Air are more in line with their historical use. Using Artillery to move infantry from foxholes instead of killing tanks just makes sense. Aircraft being a finite resource is also a fantastic change. It means you have to be selective in what you target rather than being blase and going after whatever you can.
Final Thought: There was a lot of trepidation surrounding the changes that were being presented in V4. I hope that now players have had an opportunity to get stuck in and use the new rules "in anger" they've had some of their fears allayed. At it's core, it really is still the same game you know and love just with some of the ballast that was slowing us down removed.
I think we'll be looking at a couple more LW games as well as some EW action to round out the new V4 for these periods. From there, we're then gonna branch into some MW fun and games using the new full V4 ruleset, so keep an eye out for those!