So, as you folks may have noticed, the Operation Icarus rules suddenly appeared for download today. Looks like they’re trying to make up for releasing the Operation Hades rules so late by releasing these super early. Unlike with Hades, though, they clipped out the combat scenarios.
Here are my thoughts on the new rules, after a quick read through:
QUONSET HUTS: Not sure why they needed yet another set of rules for buildings, but no real complaints, I guess.
TREES: These look interesting. However, it seems a little odd that only flamethrowers and artillery weapons can destroy trees. It seems like stuff in the new Explosives Weapons category should be able to, as well as Phaser Blast weapons.
MINEFIELDS: Not sure what to think about these. For one thing, it doesn’t say how to set up a minefield. So, I’m guessing that they can only be used in scenarios that specifically indicate where they are.
Also, it doesn’t say anything about Jump units being immune to their effects, which seems kind of weird.
AIR ALERT: Looks cool, but are they going to retrofit previous units with this skill? If not, then any new anti-air units are really going to eclipse the old ones (unless they cost a fortune, points-wise).
CHEAT DEATH: Not sure what to think about this one, either. It’s basically Heroic Attack, but it doesn’t always work, and when it does work, it only protects you from a single attack?
That doesn’t seem that great. However, it seems like Sergeant Victory can use this while piloting a vehicle, which does seem intriguing.
ENGINEER VEHICLE: Wow, they can destroy bunkers! Er, except it explicitly says that there are no bunkers, yet?! I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the rules for bunkers are before getting excited about this ability. Oh, they can clear mines, too, but since it seems like mines will only appear in Icarus scenarios, it doesn’t seem that great in the grand scheme of things.
MAGAZINE RELOAD: Oooo, artillery weapons that don’t have to reload?! Looks like the school of thought which believes that the Konigslother doesn’t have to pause between volleys just got some backup.
RECOVERY VEHICLE: Self repair is always nice and the ability to regain victory points by salvaging defeated vehicles could add an interesting layer of strategy to the game. It also doesn’t look like they’re charging too much for this ability—the Maksim is only 26 points, for example, which is dirt cheap for a medium walker.
DUAL AMMO WEAPONS: This is an ability that seems long overdue, since I’m pretty sure a lot of WW2 heavy weapons could shoot different ammo types. Sounds like the SSU Heavy Mortar team will definitely have this ability, but this seems like another ability that could be retrofitted to older units.
EXPLOSIVES WEAPONS: Wow, they can blow open bunkers! Oh, yeah, there are no bunkers, yet. Still, they can blow up anti-tank traps (should you ever want to do that), and it seems like the ability has been retrofitted on to Demo Charges and Dynamite.
SETUP WEAPONS: As expected, these weapons get a penalty for trying to move and attack the same round. I’m a little confused about how this rule will work in practice, though. The Choppers, for example, have SETUP on their card, but it’s not tied to specific weapon. So, what happens if they, say, attack in close combat with Knife & Grenade? Unlike the Jagdgrenadiere, it seems like all three soldiers have close combat weapons. So, will they roll three dice? But if SETUP applies, do they have to roll half of that? If so, do you round up or round down? So many questions! Looks like a FAQ entry is going to be needed for this one.