So, we have the rules for Operation Zverograd, and I'm feeling nervous. Part of it is due to the disappointment I found in Warfare, but we're getting some things I'm not liking the look of with Zverograd.
People had major complaints about Black Ops giving the Allies a 64/36% chance to win initiative over the Axis, and now Zverograd gives us Legendary Tactician, where Legendary Tactician wins initiative over Black Ops 77/23% and against normal initiative 87/13% of the time. I don't want to think about a force with both Black Ops and Legendary Tactician, so hopefully the Allies don't get any heroes with it.
We saw the aircraft rules before, and I still don't like the complete line of sight and limited range of 6 for firing at aircraft. While not all AA weapons in Tactics were capable of shooting down a B-17, there are some that would be able to, and presumably none of the aircraft for Tactics are going to be flying that high, anyway. It also adds the problem of vehicles not being restricted range for shooting at ground targets, but ground targets having a severe handicap for larger games with so few units capable of AA fire. Aircarft firing at each other will also be odd, as they'll be firing at aircraft, and so be restricted to the same limited range.
When we're dealing with helicopters, especially, it's silly to say they can see evey inch of the battlefield, and that they can't fly close to the Earth to screen their approach with terrain. If a regular plane is flying high enough to effectively see every spot on thebattlefield well enough to eliminate all dead zones, they're flying high enough the only way they'll affect the battlefield is by dropping bombs that would only hit moving targets by sheer dumb luck. I really don't expect to see B-17's on the Tactics battlefield, because high altitude bombers are not capable of doing tactical precision work.
Advanced deployment destroys the balance of some of the published scenarios that earlier new units threatened significantly. People have had fun running in local leagues that used the published campaigns for competitive games, but that can't work when new units break the balance.
I'm curious to see what skills the commissars bring to the table. A squad of characters will be interesting so long as they don't layer too many special abilities into them.
The Pilot: Skills and Ace Pilot give some interesting ways of dealing with heroes in walkers, as they can have good utility in a walker, but not fielded separately where they might unbalance a unit.
Air Superiority sounds fun, except I don't like its interaction with the limited range for ground based AA fire. It could easily pave the way to having effectively required units to offset air asset capabilities that should have been offset by ground based AA fire.
Combine Shot I don't like. While the rules structure makes two attacks better than one, extending the range is simply adding a special rule for no reason but to have a special rule. Two weapons firing tigether will never extend the range of either weapon, so it becomes a silly rule when there's no reason for it. Thinking about it, so long as it is limited to flamethrowers, it could have some justification that could work. Firing both flamethrowers limits the pressure the vehicles can put behind the fuel, and hence the range. If only one weapon is fired, the added pressure allows the vehicle to fire further. That would give a logical reason for the rule, rather than having a rule that makes no sense.
Fighting Spirit is still a very dangerous proposition, though it's good to see it limited to once per game. Even with that, however, it should come with a very hefty point cost for the heroes that have it.
Take Aim could be very nice, or very broken, depending on the hero that has it. Working as your own observer for a sniper would be very cool. Someone like Lara with the same ability would be very broken without a ridiculous point cost.
Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out with Zverograd. I have some trepidation after the Warfare fiasco, and there are certainly things I'm likely to house rule (ex: ground AA fire), but I'll wait to see. Warfare didn't ruin Tactics for me.