Version 4 is here. I was able to attend the Beasts of War Boot camp for FOW Version 4 and it was an incredible experience. I would go back for any other game I am interested, just to hang out and have a good time. I met a lot of great people that I would love to game with anytime.
Overall, my impression of V4 is favorable. I do like the Team Yankee rule set and this is a blend of both and much more refined than Team Yankee. Having said that I am worried about the Soviet horde and the missing units from V4 Mid War.
My son and I played a game tonight. I pushed a mob of Crusaders thinking they would be destroyed as a distraction while my Grants firmed up the other flank. Surprising my Crusaders lived and destroyed all German resisting securing the objective on Turn 3.
One of the biggest game changes is morale.
- Radius to unit commander and formation commander are more restrictive for rerolling tests.
- Small units such as 2 or 3 units can be the focus of fire to have the player roll last man standing. It was a common tactic at the Boot camp to target the 2 section of 88mm or 17 pdr guns. Once down to one gun, that unit has to roll every turn for last man standing plus probably getting hit by artillery.
- Small formations can be weak. Case in point will be taking a second formation with three units including the HQ. Take out the HQ and one platoon and they are gone. For the primary formation. Take out the enough units to only have one combat unit left it doesn’t matter how many support platoons are available.
- I have to admit I like the new ability to range in anywhere you can see. I question the +1 to range in even it one unit is in area cover although I would be targeting the mob standing outside the area terrain.
- The reroll repeat bombardments for infantry and gun teams will make artillery more lethal.
- Although, it cannot destroy top armor 2 tanks any longer, Artillery can still kill top armor 1 tanks. The probability has been significantly decreased.
- I haven’t tried mortars yet, but the +4 FP will make them a great cheap asset.
- Rocket Artillery doesn’t seem to have the first range in attempt reroll.
- Rocket launchers now are forced to use the different template sizes.
- Smoke screens once a game, make it an important decision
- The ability to hit on +7 or +8 is a nice touch. I have killed two tanks on a +7 and had one of my tanks killed on a +8. I still think FOW should be D10.
- The attacker choosing the target that is hit changes the dynamics. The defender can try and change the target over 8 inches with a +3 roll. Important for saving HMG or specific tank types in a mixed platoon.
- The new movement abilities add a nice flair to the game and increase the speed of when action occurs. I pushed my crusaders right to the objective on the first turn expecting to be destroyed. It just so happened that the German player was rolling really bad tonight and I survived. I survived so well, that I destroyed any potential unit that could contest the objective and won in the 3rd turn.
- The removal of the extra dice thrown for at the double has made it so players will take more movement risks
- The German ability to Blitz and then Shoot and Scoot feels so much better than just Stormtrooper
- Cross Checks make difficult terrain much more difficult!!! Imagine that. The standard tank cross check is +3. Wide tracks reduce it by 1.
- With cross checks there are no more infinite bog downs. I have had tanks bogged down for entire games.
I haven’t had a game where I had to assault yet or use aircraft. Once I have had a couple games under my belt, I will update this post.