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New Preview up showing Platoon examples


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#1 felkor

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:35 AM

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=3175

I like the way they have this set up.  This will be my first miniatures game, so I have nothing to compare it too, but it looks like a cool way to put restrictions on your army while still providing plenty of flexibility.



#2 GrumpyBatman

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:29 AM

 The platoon style seems pretty common in miniature games these days. I just hope for lots of options to customize them. 



#3 felkor

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

It looks to me like the platoon upgrades will offer quite a bit of customization.  Although I guess it will depend how many of them there are and what they all do.



#4 X7XsnowmanX7X

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:50 PM

 I'm curious to know that if you are limited to choosing a unit from each section only once or can I add multiple units of the same name to that platoon equal to the platoons unit limit? 

 

For example, section 1 reads:

 

Combat Ranger

Assault Ranger

Ranger Weapon Squad

Heavy Ranger Attack Squad

 

Out of these choices, am i limited to only choosing one unit once, or could i potentially have my entire section 1 dedicated to  Assault rangers or a mix of say 2 Combat Rangers and 2 Heavy Ranger attack squads?

I don't believe the answer to this question was revealed in the preview, but it is probably my most urgent question.



#5 Koredar

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:55 PM

 Here's the way I understand it:

 

Platoon A

Command Section - SSU Command Squad

Section 1 - SSU Battle Squad

Section 2 - SSU Battle Squad

Section 3 - SSU Rifle Squad

 

If my assumption is correct you can take any of the options for that slot (SSU Battle Squad, SSU Close Combat Squad, SSU Rifle Squad), thus you can have 3 Combat Rangers, or 2 Combat Rangers and 1 Heavy Rangers, or 1 Combat Rangers and 2 Heavy Rangers, etc., but you cannot have 4, because you must have a Command Section (Hero or Command Squad) for the platoon in question.

Hope my educated guess was helpful! ^_^

 

 



#6 felkor

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:15 AM

Yeah, I agree with Koredar

There is only one unit per section, so you just pick one.

It looks to me like there is a lot of flexibility but you won't be able to min/max your army.

What I also like is that it looks like with the original core set and the command squads, you have enough for a platoon right there.  Good to see you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars before you can field an army in the game.



#7 X7XsnowmanX7X

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

Ahhh, I see.  That makes much better sense.  Thanks man.  So, each platoon would likely consist of at least 5 units, plus how ever much support you are allowed correct?



#8 felkor

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:15 AM

The impression I get is that it's still point based.  So you might play 150 points, or 200 points, or whatever.  And depdning on the number of points that could change the number of units.  Only the 2 units are mandatory, and the rest are optional.  One could, presumably, deside to bring in a heavy walker and then you might only have points left for the command section and the first section, and nothing else.

It does seem like, unless you can field multiple platoons, that your army would be limited to around 7-8 units max.  But there may be other ways to expand it that aren't revealed yet.

Also, with the exception of having a hero with the leader skill instead of the command squad, I don't see anything in here about fielding heroes.  Not sure if you can just attach them to a section or if there rae other rules in play about how you field them.



#9 Gimp

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:02 AM

I worry about a couple of things.

I don't mind using a TO&E to build a force, but I do worry about how well the TO&E options are created.  Without knowing how the forces are actually designed, it's hard to evaluate how well the TO&E will function.

I'm not fond of mandatory troop choices.  While Warfare is being designed to use for larger battles as I understand it, I don't like being forced to take specific command elements.  Units don't always have that option for combat missions, but Warfare is now forcing it for every game.  While it doesn't specify it has to be the expense of a command squad, we don't know how many leaders will have the Leader ability.

The addition of constant offboard artillery is something I really don't like.  It makes no sense for someone wanting to recreate some of the missions from Tactics for Warfare, where units are underground where offboard artillery couldn't reach, and adds that issue for any new missions.

I also dislike constant offboard support because armies have had to go without artillery support frequently thorughout history, but automatic access denies that as a game option without forcing the Allies to give up something that should be reflected in their point structure.  If a scenario precludes offboard artillery for the Allies, does the Axis have some special ability they can logically give up in the same way to maintain balance?  If the Axis also have the same option, which would make sense tactically, it should have been set up as a purchasable option rather than a constant part of the force.

I don't want to see Warfare trying to be WW240K for force structure or special options like artillery for some armies when all WW2 armies used them.

I'm starting to worry about where Warfare has gone, as it's looking far less appealing right now.



#10 felkor

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:15 AM

As far as off-board artillery support goes, it only works 1/3 of the time, and marks the command squad as taken a "reaction', so it is not free, only works occasionally, and it only comes with a certain type of platoon.  So I don't see it being a constant thing.

That said, I would doubt it would work underground, and one could certainly make it unavailable as part of any scenario if you want as part of the scenario rules.

And while I doubt it, it's possible that there are platoon options without the command section.  But I suppose the idea is that no matter what kind of engagement you're in, *somebody's* in charge.

But I agree that perhaps this is too restraining from a historical perspective - I'm a board gamer more than a historical simulator or miniatures game player, so these kind of rules / restrictions are fascinating t ome and don't bother me at all.



#11 Gimp

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:05 AM

When I say the off board supprt is free, I mean there is no specific point cost for it, which means for game balance, the cost is subsumed in the cost of the other units.  Free is perhaps a misnomer, as I mean it has no assigned cost, but for game balance, it has to have a cost somewhere.

With the cost included in the cost of the force's units, when you have a scenario where logically the off board support cannot be used (ex: the underground missions from Operation Blue Thunder ported to Warfare), the Allies are paying for something they do not have access to, whether it is functional 1/3rd of the time or not.  If the Axis do not have an exact match to limit them, there is an imbalance.  If there is an exact match, why not give it a unit cost and let players decide if they want offboard suppport or not?  As I noted, there have been lots of missions where offboard support was either not available, or not allowed because of other considerations (ex: unacceptable collateral damage possibilities, artillery not available, etc). 

I don't have issue with wanting someone to be in charge, though there have been many missions historically when it was one of the squad leaders that was expected to handle C&C.  I don't like seeing the freedom of Tactics being limited by a force structure that has significant problems.

The noted force structure limits walkers, but also specifies specific classes of walkers.  That means new units, including any allied flyers, have to be checked against every platoon structure to add special rules to allow or disallow their use.  If they want to limit vehicles, I would rather see a generic limit (ex: one vehicle per two squads), and then add specific restrictions by vehicle, rather than give specific allowances, and then have to check and add special rules to allow each new vehicle type.

It adds concerns for players who want to field different unit types.  Tactics allows a free mix, but this notes nothing about how other units types might get fielded with the listed options.  Lots of battles have been won by ad hoc forces, so I don't like worrying that Warfare might not allow that.

The rules as written are not written very well when you consider such things, which is part of my worry over where Warfare has gone.



#12 felkor

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:21 AM

I believe these kind of restrictions are in place to stop min/maxing - i.e., someone fielding a dozen observer squads to take advantage of the benefit that comes with extra activations, which gives an advantage that comes across as gamey.

If it were me writing Dust Warfare rules, I would probably have something like these platoons, but then I would also allow ad hoc armies - the cost of having ad hoc though would be to not get any special abilities that a platoon gets.  So you could do what you want, but fitting into a predefined structure gives you special advantages.  This way it would discourage people from creating the min/max armies while still providing full flexibility for someone who really felt they needed it.

As someone who is new to miniatures games and will be playing this with friends who aren't hard-core gamers (like my wife), I also like the platoon idea, as it will give extra guidance for them to put together an army, as sometimes they will freeze up with all the options and army building can take a really long time.

When I said the artillery action wasn't free, I was just meaning that it often would not get used because it takes in-game resources to implement it.  Do I really want to use an action for such a risky play if there's something I can do with my squad that's a sure thing?

Also, we have only seen one platoon - we don't know how many there are, and how much freedom one would have.

Anyway, I'm not really disagreeing with your concerns - I can understand why you would hold them - I'm just saying that your concerns are not shared by myself, who is looking to get something else out of the game.

My personal biggest concern would be overall complexity of the game - I see that this is page 88.  This is a big rulebook, at least for someone coming from a boardgaming background.  I hope that it will be easy to introduce someone new to the game and have us playing quickly and having fun with our first game.



#13 Gimp

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

As I noted, I don't mind setting up platoon structures, because they can make creating a force easier.  Those platoon structures, however, should be a tool to help, rather than hinder, and should actually make sense instead of simply being foolish lists to try and look impressive.  Warfare is not historical WW2, so I don't expect platoon structures to match actual WW2 unit structures.  Staying close would be a good idea, however, as it would make for logical and functional structures.  Limiting observer and sniper units to mitigate people playing the rules for an activation edge should be far less of a problem for Warfare because it does not use alternating activation.

Limiting snipers overall could be an issue, because I know several people who like to play with the Soviet concept of sniper battalions, which using a general limit on snipers would disallow.  I don't have a majoe issue with limiting support units (especially if alternatives like sniper battalions are also allowable), but the limits should make sense, and preferably be applicable without needing major rules additions for new unit types.  Codex Creep to offset that could easily kill DUST locally, and in other areas from things I've been told.

I have a pet peeve reading their sneak peek release, simply because I am both a military historian and an ex-artilleryman. 

They give their Allied offboard artillery the use of the 220mm Long Tom.  That irks me, because the Long Tom was a 155mm gun developed before the US entered WW2, and that served for decades after.  It was the gun used to develop the current series of self-propelled 155mm howitzers.  It's a fine gun, but it deserves to be treated with some respect as a piece of military history.

While DUST is running an alternate history, using the name of an actual weapon developed before the shift from real history is tacky.  It is like calling the P-51 Mustang the Corsair, or switching the names of the Tiger and Panther tanks.  It reeks of someone who wanted to try and add some historical 'validity' to their units, but couldn't be bothered to actually see what the names they were using actually belonged to.  Tacky is the best I can use to describe the situation.

Flames of War succeeded in turning me off completely when they came out with rules for the 'most decorated soldiers of WW2' and didn't bother to mention Audie Murphy.  If you're going to use historical terms and concepts for a pseudo-historical game, at least try to get them right.

As for the length of the rules, they may well not be a major issue.  Depending on the number and size of pictures and examples, and how they present different units, I've seen rule books go over 100 pages with less than 20 of actual, functional rules concepts.  I've seen others that went over 200 pages with lots of meat to the rules, but were also fairly easy to work with once you started playing with them.

I hope Warfare will be an interesting and fun alternative to playing Tactics.  I'm just worrying about whether it will be worth as I see and hear more about it.  Fortunately, Tactics is easy to learn and play, and should hopefully remain a viable game even if Warfare falls flat.



#14 jkrax

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 03:39 PM

Gimp said:

 

They give their Allied offboard artillery the use of the 220mm Long Tom.  That irks me, because the Long Tom was a 155mm gun developed before the US entered WW2, and that served for decades after.  It was the gun used to develop the current series of self-propelled 155mm howitzers.  It's a fine gun, but it deserves to be treated with some respect as a piece of military history.

 

With all due respect, if you want a historically-accurate game, you can always play Flames of War or Rapidfire or wathever. 

 

This preview, as I see it, is cool but I think somewhat incomplete. I think armies will be made selecting em from several "pages". The page we see now is COMBAT PLATOON, but I think there may be a page for I dont know, Air Forces, Amphibian Assault, Mechanized Platoon, etc; and every page will give you different options and restrictions on how to assemble your forces. And every kind of army will hace an inherent power, just like the Combat Platoon has the Fire for Effect Special Order.

 

Anyway thats what I think. I believe this game will really rock.



#15 Gimp

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:47 PM

If I want a historically accurate game, there is no way I would come anywhere near Flames of War.  It's historical accuracy is pathetic.

As I noted, I take issue with using the name of a real weapon for something completely different than what it was.  That isn't just a desirte for historical accuracy.  That's a desire to treat historical icons with some level of respect.  Not everyone recognizes the Long Tom, but why insult the memory of the weapon for those that do?

I would be just as disappointed if they decided the P-51 should be called the Corsair, or the Me109 the Spitfire.

I would be equally frustrated if they swapped the names of the Tiger and Panther.

I wouldn't like it if they called the Axis anti-tank rocket the Bazooka, and the Allied option the Panzerschreck.

I'd be unimpressed if they decided Rommel was instead an incompetent Austrian Corporal with dillusions of grandeur but a magnetic personality.

If they are going to use historical names, they should use the historical item the name is for.  Using names they've heard without consideration of what those names are about is idiocy.

If they wind up giving each platoon type some different special ability, with little concern for how platoons should be constructed for functional use by players of both casual and competitive interest levels, I know I'll be passing on Warfare.

If I wanted special rules just for the sake of special rules, with little concern for logical structure or functional game play, I could go play 40K or FoW.

I want a good game for DUST that can appeal to both the sci-fi and historical elements DUST addresses as a setting.  Special rules that make objective based scenarios difficult to balance will destroy a lot of that capability that has already been given to us with Tactics.  Special rules for some units that apply capabilities most units from all armies would have available to a limited set of options does not help game balance or believability.

Stealing historical names and applying them to other things simply so the name is used does not raise my hopes on the level of effort actually applied to Warfare.

I want Warfare to rock, but what I'm seeing is not giving me reason for excitement.



#16 JigBakerSugar

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

 Complaint noted. Move on.



#17 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:09 AM

I odnt know why we are even griping about anything. We have seen one page. One lousy page. For all we know you are allowed to build a force without taking a platoon formation, but in doing so you dont get the special tactic or even price breaks (maybe each build-platoon style will have different costs for differennt units?).



#18 felkor

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:28 AM

No griping here - I'm more excited about this game than ever now that I've seen some actual details about it come out.



#19 reptilebro1

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:47 AM

I am hoping there will be a list for an armored Platoon. Which would equate to character walkers or not yet seen Hero Pilots.



#20 Pooflinger76

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:05 AM

yes! they really need to have armoured platoons also. this first platoon example is very infantry oriented as its probably meant to be the basic  combat unit.  I would like to see a platoon of pounders or ludwigs too though, maybe they can get support infantry like panzergrenadiers.

I too am not sure about the platoon either having to have a command squad or hero. I have only one command squad and some of the heroes are abit silly.

I really like the off board. artillery option. i really kind of think thats how they should have handled aircraft too at a game this scale.






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