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Gimp2

Operation Zverograd

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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.

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 I don't particularly like Legendary Tactician, it just seems like its going to be a real stick in the mud for the Axis player to get initiave and if the Allies don't bring Joe its the same effect.

As for Combined Shot, that just seems like an attempt to give the SSU 'something different' for a unit ability more than anything.

 

 

 I had looked forward to having my SturmKonig blow the snot out of air units anywhere though before we learned of the reduction from U range against air units rule. llorando.gif

 

 The Commissars seem like they will be pretty neat though.

 

 

 I still wish we had a proper ruling on Scout. sad.gif

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Combine shot - nice skill but not broken

Fighting Spirit - hmmm… well… once per game is good and the moving trigger before getting bonus is good as well but still I'm a bit afraid of this skill.

Legendary Tactician - what the f**k??? Are they nuts or what? Should add 2 dices when rolling the initiative not changing HIT with MISS… i hope the heroes with this skill will be overpriced…

Take Aim - nice but not broken

All the Pilot and Air related skill - we'll see when we play it.

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I just noted thing - Commissars - so they can get special weapon plus join chosen unit giving them extra ASSAULT skill… what the hell???

I think what would be the point cost for single model then…

 

So generally:

 - Sino-Soviets will get good punch with nice mobility

- Allied will get Legendary Tactician to strike first

- Axis will get… Flame Luther :D

 

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daniello_s said:

- Allied will get Legendary Tactician to strike first

Didn't FFG announce that one of the SSU heroes would be a Legendary Tactician?

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Yeah, allies have Joe with BlackOps, soviets will get Yakov Pavlov withe his Legendary Tactician ability.

I don't have anything against the new rules, the only thing I find a bit strange is that, as far as I understand, when you shoot down a carrier chopper who's carrying a tank or a squad, you use the same rules as a normal carrier tank. So the walker being carried would only suffer a single hit, at the most. That sounds a bit soft, considering it's been shot off the sky.

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??! said:

daniello_s said:

 

- Allied will get Legendary Tactician to strike first

 

 

Didn't FFG announce that one of the SSU heroes would be a Legendary Tactician?

Soviets??? Legendary Tacticians???… :D

Well 'the send another wave' is a kind of legendary but… :D

Anyway if SSU get Legendary Tactician Hero then they'll be strike first force - get close but not to close to the enemy with your boys and commissar attached, then win initiative thanks to Legendary Tactician, use commissars Assault skill, jump in front of enenmy and see him praying to roll HIT with Reactive Fire. Otherwise wipe off enemy squad. And so on, so on. No brainer.

 

As for the rules - Hover seems to be kind of out of sense - aircraft with Hover doesn't need to perform compulsory MOVE and therefore can do Sustained Attack. I'm OK with that but why o why, hovering aircraft cannot be targeted from more than 6 spaces?

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Not being an alarmist, but…

LEGENDARY + ADVANCED DEPLOYMENT = DEAD UNIT

It will be tough to counter an air unit that deploys last with advance deployment.  He can plant himself near the biggest  threat, win initiative and blast away.

Please note that we don't know its point cost, stats of AA units, etc. So it's affect on strategy is still unknown.

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Logic tells me that being it's 1947 that the weapon load outs on the choppers does not account for guided systems.  This means that it weapons "should" be less accurate than stationary armaments. I would hope that its abilities to damage ground forces will be relatively weaker than most mechs.

But its all speculation till we see the chopper's card.

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Legendary Tactician has me worried.  FFG shot a significant blank for me with Warfare, so I'm nervous about what they may wind up doing to Tactics.

Legendary Tactician, blowing away both Black Ops and normal initiative odds, and then adding an automatic cover bonus to all friendly units nearby, needs a ridiculous price tag to keep the game in balance.  Initiative won't guarantee a win, but it can be a really significant factor in a close game.

Limiting attacks on aircraft to 6 spaces, when the attack chopper image has canons on it, also has me worried.  I'm not interested in seeing the game devolve into something where one side can shoot the other with impunity.

I'll wait and see, but I am worried.

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I agree, Yacov should be terribly expensive, since he even has an acid thrower. I was under the impression that it was Nikolai who would be the Legendary Tactician, he looks more the part with his pointing stance and just a puny pistol.

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Gimp said:

Legendary Tactician has me worried.  FFG shot a significant blank for me with Warfare, so I'm nervous about what they may wind up doing to Tactics.

Legendary Tactician, blowing away both Black Ops and normal initiative odds, and then adding an automatic cover bonus to all friendly units nearby, needs a ridiculous price tag to keep the game in balance.  Initiative won't guarantee a win, but it can be a really significant factor in a close game.

Limiting attacks on aircraft to 6 spaces, when the attack chopper image has canons on it, also has me worried.  I'm not interested in seeing the game devolve into something where one side can shoot the other with impunity.

I'll wait and see, but I am worried.

My only logical guess is that SSU infantry lacks range.  If this is the case then LT has to be close to them during an assault, leaving him exposed to sniper fire.  Although, in a defensive position it can be a very tough turtle.

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thejughead said:

Gimp said:

 

Legendary Tactician has me worried.  FFG shot a significant blank for me with Warfare, so I'm nervous about what they may wind up doing to Tactics.

Legendary Tactician, blowing away both Black Ops and normal initiative odds, and then adding an automatic cover bonus to all friendly units nearby, needs a ridiculous price tag to keep the game in balance.  Initiative won't guarantee a win, but it can be a really significant factor in a close game.

Limiting attacks on aircraft to 6 spaces, when the attack chopper image has canons on it, also has me worried.  I'm not interested in seeing the game devolve into something where one side can shoot the other with impunity.

I'll wait and see, but I am worried.

 

 

My only logical guess is that SSU infantry lacks range.  If this is the case then LT has to be close to them during an assault, leaving him exposed to sniper fire.  Although, in a defensive position it can be a very tough turtle.

Bear in mind that thanks to the Commissars and their Assault skill the range won't be a problem for SSU troops.

Also as Gimp said - chopper with Hover skill should be able to be shot with any range as he is not flying to fast as other aircrafts.

As for Yakov - he should cost around 50-60 points to be a balanced Hero. And the only sniper solution for this fella would be Angela but still she needs a lot of luck to Hit him 4 times in the row without Sustained Attack.

Generally I'm hoping that FFG won't shoot his foot with new Skills or SSU in general.

 

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thejughead said:

Gimp said:

 

Legendary Tactician has me worried.  FFG shot a significant blank for me with Warfare, so I'm nervous about what they may wind up doing to Tactics.

Legendary Tactician, blowing away both Black Ops and normal initiative odds, and then adding an automatic cover bonus to all friendly units nearby, needs a ridiculous price tag to keep the game in balance.  Initiative won't guarantee a win, but it can be a really significant factor in a close game.

Limiting attacks on aircraft to 6 spaces, when the attack chopper image has canons on it, also has me worried.  I'm not interested in seeing the game devolve into something where one side can shoot the other with impunity.

I'll wait and see, but I am worried.

 

 

My only logical guess is that SSU infantry lacks range.  If this is the case then LT has to be close to them during an assault, leaving him exposed to sniper fire.  Although, in a defensive position it can be a very tough turtle.

But they've already shown us SSU five man units with multiple sniper rifles in them.  A five man unit that roams the battlefield with sniper rifles and improved cover wherever they go is not going to require the hero to get close to have the cover boost be important, and having an 87% chance to win initiative against any army that doesn't have Bazooka Joe, and 77% against him, is a huge advantage.

With the assault chopper being shown with canon, unless they've given them a very limited range for no reason, choppers could stay on the SSU deployment line and hit targets anywhere on the battlefield while not being at risk to enemy units until they close to within 6 spaces.  Without worrying about terrain, and having blocking troops available, closing to six spaces could be rather difficult.

Limiting anti-aircraft range to six spaces is one of the bigger issues I have with Zverograd.  It makes no sense to say a weapon that can shoot down aircraft miles above the battlefield can't shoot down an aircraft flying low.  They tried low level bombing raids in WW2, and found out the German AA defenses were quite capable of tracking aircraft at treetop levels flying faster than any helicopter around today.

Those three consideration give control of the flow of battle to the SSU unless they are played very poorly.  Not a guarantee for a win, but controlling the flow of battle is what good commanders strive for, and the SSU appears to be getting a huge helping hand for it.

Now I hear another piece of silliness due to looking to be different. 

There is a reason armies don't carry acid sprayers, but are happy to carry flamethrowers.  Flamethrowers can be dangerous if they get hit by enemy fire, but not to the degree you see in games or movies.  A hit can cause pressure problems or a fuel leak, but most rounds won't ignite the fuel.  An acid sprayer will always be a problem for the troops carrying it, as the contents will automatically be dangerous if there is a leak.  

Add to that the problem of acid taking time to take effect, it not being functional unless you get hit by sufficient quantities because it works by chemical reaction that neutralizes it, and it's a really poor weapon to try and use on a battlefield.  VK might be able to create a catalyst that makes the acid work faster, though that would make it much harder to carry, and it still would require a lot of acid to breech a light vehicle's armor.

Flamethorwers work because they generate heat, can ignite flammables, and consume the available oxygen.  Infantry have to worry about all three.  Vehicles have to worry about the first and third mostly, though an engine hit or fuel through a vision slit will make the second no fun.

An acid sprayer would need to generate a huge quantity of acid to burn through an inch of armor plate, and I expect most of the walkers are carrying more than that.  All of that acid would have to be concentrated in one place, but acid would be flowing off of a vehicle instead of sticking to one spot because it is a liquid.  It would also be coming in a spray, instead of a set applicator, which would diffuse its capabilities.  You'd then have to worry about the time it would take to burn through, and whether it got lucky and found something it could damage once it got through the armor that mattered. 

Acid works through quantity, while flames work through their qualities.

An acid sprayer on the battlefield would be good for removing paint, but it would be a really stupid thing to try and use as a weapon.  If the other forces decided to go the Zimmerit route, they could field vehicles with paint that contained compounds to neutralize acid, and uniforms impregnated with the same compounds, to make an acid sprayer laughable on the battlefield.

VK might be able to make acids work faster, though nothing has indicated that, but acids work on very predictable chemical reactions that can be neutralized.  Baking soda could stop an acid attack.  Any compound with the right chemical components could be immune (biggest example: any flouride).

Please, FFG, keep Tactics fun, and not stupid.

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Gimp said:

But they've already shown us SSU five man units with multiple sniper rifles in them.  A five man unit that roams the battlefield with sniper rifles and improved cover wherever they go is not going to require the hero to get close to have the cover boost be important, and having an 87% chance to win initiative against any army that doesn't have Bazooka Joe, and 77% against him, is a huge advantage.

With the assault chopper being shown with canon, unless they've given them a very limited range for no reason, choppers could stay on the SSU deployment line and hit targets anywhere on the battlefield while not being at risk to enemy units until they close to within 6 spaces.  Without worrying about terrain, and having blocking troops available, closing to six spaces could be rather difficult.

As mentioned above, we don't know that the rifle squad has improved cover. Just because they have sniper rifles, it doesn't mean they're just like the Crack Shots. For one, they don't seem to have a spotter, which is really the BIG boost of the spec ops snipers.

As for the whole issue around air units and the 6 range limit, I am absolutely sure they won't give any aircraft a weapon with a range greater than 6. Just because the attack chopper has a cannon, it doesn't mean it has Unlimited range.

I also find your rant about the sulfur throwers a bit odd. Sure, they are not a practical weapon for warfare. But then again, neither are mechanized claws, tanks on legs, gorillas with power gloves, lasers, phasers and little rockets to accelerate your punch.

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As someone who works around acids everyday, I have to agree they may not be the most effective anti-tank weapon, but judging from the behavior of 'outsiders' at our shop, the fear of getting sprayed in the face with acid would have some psychological value against infantry. 

Ever messed with acid?  Something like sulfuric or phosphoric, if it gets on your skin, it starts out itchy, then burns.  In a cut or your eyes?  It stings a bit.  Nitric acid though, is nasty stuff.  Open a drum and you can see the fumes coming out of it.  Get a good whiff and you might just puke.  If someone told me to go fight someone, and said ''By the way, the have a gun that shoots acid,'' I'd be a little worried, cause I knew I'd be dealing with some crazy MFers.

/or something.

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I sort feel like I am going to get beat up for saying this, but I think I get the range limit of 6 with AA. After all we are dealing with a very limited playing area 3'x4', and it would be much fun to move a chopper only to have it swotted out of the sky.If, and I will admitt this is a big if, the choppers have the same range limit then ballance is held.

 

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The rest we can chalk up to giveing the SSU it's owne flavor.  Their is a delicate ballance between giveing a force it's owne flavor, and makeing it into what we used to call the flavor of the month. Meaning the newest army had all the latest greatest toys and if you wanted to win you had to buy it!

This is great for the manufacturer, but not for the players. This is my ultimate concern. I saw this happen with 40k, and I got off that treadmill. Now enjoy Dust far more than I ever did 40k, and I hope that the game stays about playability and fun. Not about just makeing a buck.

I comepleatly agree with Gimp that Dust Warfare was a huge disappiontment. Lets hope that this is not the shape of things to come! If so I'm oooout!

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I think most of the "concerns" of gimp are rather an exaggeration, except the Legendary Tactical ability which seem really be absurd if the hero is not worth at least 40 points or more.

 

-6 Range of AA: thats absolutely no prob, especially if you consider that we are playing on a small mat, and the gunship of the SSU has only a range of 4!

-Acid sprayer is too unrealistic? Come on, thats a game with Totenmeisters, armored apes and zombies.

-team of 5 snipers? Only a prob for me if they are too cheap.

 

 

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The concerns are not exagerations.  Some are questions, and some are concerns over how realistic they want to continue to make Tactics. 

Some people don't care about realism when they play with toy soldiers, but there are many others that do.  Even science fiction (or fantasy, for that matter) should follow logical considerations.

The sniper squad doesn't need to match sniper teams to get a benefit.  Legendary Tactician gives any unit with or adjacent to the hero a cover boost.  Even light cover is worthwhile for snipers moving for better shots.  If they match sniper teams for cover, the sniper squad would get ridiculous fast.

If the chopper with the canon has a limited range, that mitigates the balance issue, but we don't know what is actually coming out.  Unlimited range from the air against a six space range on the ground would be huge, as even a 3x3 grid can have a maximum range of 15 on the diagonal.  If the range is limited, it's rather silly, as one of the advantages of air power is its long range strike capability.  Limiting AA guns that shoot down planes at 30,000' to a six space range is stupid.  Read some WW2 history about low level bombing raids for examples on why.

They would have done far better allowing choppers to use terrain like real choppers do, and let them fly at specified levels like the levels of a building.  Choppers don't fly high in combat areas, especially not when delivering troops.

Totenmeister, armored apes, and zombies still follow a logical consideration.  They are sci-fi in a believable form.  They act like functional elements based on their fluff.  How does acid suddenly become capable of things acid can't do?

Acid sprayers simply to make the SSU different then flamethrower units is like making a rule that normal troops can fly: there is no rational explanation on why it works differently than acid would in real life.  Is it playable?  Yes.  Is it stupid?  Yes.  That doesn't even mean it can't be fun, but it moves Tactics further from Sci-Fi and into ridiculous fantasy.  Simulationists prefer inherent logical structure that makes sense in a game.  Acid sprayers don't, for the reasons I noted and others. 

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Gimp said:

How does acid suddenly become capable of things acid can't do?

 

Acid is capable of killing people and disabling machinery. As far as I know, that's what the sulfur throwers will be capable of doing in Dust Tactics. Just because we haven't found a way to use acid as an effective offensive weapon, it doesn't mean the pararel Dust universe haven't either. We haven't found a way to use lasers as effective offensive weapons, but the Dust guys have.

You might not like the idea of sulfur weapons, and that's totally fine. I didn't like the inclusion of the apes initially. But I think at this point it's unfair to say a simple sulfur thrower is the one thing that throws Dust into the realm of ridiculous fantasy.

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