Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Future of War Commanding?

Jonas and I tried out the new Future War Commander with some epic models. The game was meant as a test to see if it was a good rules system for the genre.

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Each force was about 2000 points. All of the orks save 10 grots, 2 boar riders and 3 buggies are present in this photo. Quite obviously 2000 pts does not look a whole lot Epic. The marines had only 20 stands/units in total.

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I tried to approach the "scenario objective" - the hill in the middle, where some civilians where about to be rescued. Another thing became apparent - the orks need loads of leaders. Not just 3 and a CO. As such the ork force was two times during the game faced with a turn where noone did anything.

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The marines quickly seize the hill and the orks look on wondering "wotz up?".

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A "command blunder" makes the Orks head straight for the marines.. A land raider proved to be almost impossible to take out - and so did a terminator stand. Loading up against one vehicle at a time is the way to take out things. This is fun, but also where things become less suited for lots of miniatures: You declare target for EACH single model/stand and work it out. Say you want to shoot with 10 orks at 4 marines. You want to kill as many as you can... so you can't just roll them all at once against marine stand 1, because that would lead to "wasted hits". So first you roll 3 dice for ork stand 1... count the hits.. Marine stand 1 takes saves... Marine stand one rolls for suppression. If the marine stand is knocked out the ork player could proceed to Marine stand 2. If not - he would take ork stand 2.. check range ... roll to hit... marine rolls saves.. rolls suppression.. check if it's knocked out. Oh well - I think it's quite obvious that this process is timeconsuming.
A solution could be to mount more on larger stands. Say 10 infantry for marines and 15/20 for orks. But those stands (I picture Flames of War style bases) wouldn't work for any other game than FWC then.

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The orks face a horrendous defeat. One turn takes them way over their breaking point as the marine player keeps making his command rolls.
Conclusion after this one game: FWC might be fun for "epic skirmish" - but it'll never do for a "mass conflict" 40k-style with loads of inf fighting and loads of guns supporting. I think the solution may be to take the best elements from each game (FWC and Epic Armageddon) and amalgate them.

The command system could for instance easily be implemented in some way in EA. Presently the EA game does not have a lot of comand and control emphasis. The "blunder" thing is funny too. I love games where you are never in "total control" of your forces - especially in high level conflicts where you lead lots of troops.
There are things that FWC do better than EA... but there is certainly things EA do better than FWC.. At least in my opinion.


  1. As I understand it, the whole warmastersystem is pretty much made for max 8-10ish units. Also it emulates fog of war, and that the units are huge and consists of lots and lots of people, many more than the specific models, so not a 1 model = 1 warrior sorta ratio.
    So the conclusion that it is not suited for 40k-style games is not so supprising? An amalgation of several game-features sound like an awesome idea.

    Cool single standing trees on spændeskiver.

  2. Ýes I find it very súrprising considering how the game has been sold.

    It's not a major thing really - we've already switches focus as the game is great with 15mm! :)