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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blood Guts & Glory Reviewed!

At long last, the first proper Western Front Flames of War Version 3 source book is here!  Additionally, Battlefront finally dives in to the Bulge, moving their Late War timeline further forward.  Blood Guts and Glory primarily focuses on Patton's 3rd Army's marauding across the French country side after the Breakout, and the German Feldharnhalle forces thrown together to slow their advance.

As usual the book is chock full of gorgeous new artwork, photographs, maps, and research.  We always mention it, and it always bears repeating- but Battlefront's Graphic design continues to improve with each new book!

There are 8 new lists included in Blood Guts and Glory: 3 American lists, and 5 German lists.  The 3 American lists are a Medium Tank Company, Armored Rifles, and a new Tank Destroyer Company.  The Germans have an FHH Panzerkompanie, FHH Panzersturm Company (armored mechanized forces), and an FHH Panzergrenadierkompanie in addition to a Panzerkompanie and Panzergrenadierkompanie.  The American forces have the option between the Veteran 4th Armored Division, and the Trained 7th Armored, while the German forces are primarily Reluctant Trained.

As mentioned, the Americans have 3 lists to choose from.  The main list we will focus on here is the new Medium Tank company.  Finally new Shermans have reached the front, allowing you to mix and match your company!

  • Your core company for the Medium Tanks is primarily the same.
  • At the beginning of the game you can give all your shermans Duckbills making them all slow tanks but giving them wide tracks.
  • Trained M4 or M4A1 Shermans are reduced to around 65 points each (allowing for rounding)
  • Veteran M4 or M4A1 Shermans are reduced to around 85.
  • You may upgrade any or all Shermans to M4A3 or M4A3 (lates) for +5 and +15 points respectfully (for the Trained options- the vets are roughly the same- +5/+20 I believe).
  • M4A3 Shermans get "Detroit's Finest" giving them 14" movement in Easy Going.
  • M4A3 (late)s get Detroit's Finest as well as Front armor 7, and Protected ammo.
  • You may replace up to 2 tanks in the company HQ and each combat platoon to either M4A1 76, M4A3 76, or M4A3E8.
  • M4A1 76s are +50 for Vets and +40 for trained.  They have the late 76mm gun, giving them AT 13.
  • M4A3 76s are +55 for vets and +45 for trained.  They have the same stats as the M4A3 (late) but with the late 76mm gun.
  • M4A3E8 are + 65 ea for vets and +55 for trained.  They are the same stats as an M4A3 76 but with Wide Tracks and Smooth Ride.  Smooth Ride doesn't incur a +1 penalty on stabiliser shots under 6".
  • You may replace up to 1 tank in the HQ and each combat platoon to an M4A3E2 Jumbo for 60 points (vet) and 50 points (trained).
  • Jumbos are slow tanks with armor 12/8/1.  They are armed with a standard 75mm cannon.
  • "Jumbos Lead the Way" allows Jumbos to take the first hit as if they had the lowest armor.
  • Sherman 105 Assault Guns can be bought in platoons of 3 or 6.  Can get either M4 or M4A3 105s.
  • Stuarts get a price break, being 260 for 5 vets and 200 for 5 trained tanks.
  • Armored Rifles are roughly the same, but may be supported by Sherman platoons with upgraded tanks per above.
  • The tank destroyer list is all Confident Veteran.  The HQ is 2 recon M20s with an optional recovery vehicle.
  • Your entire tank destroyer company must either be equipped with M10s or M18s (but not both).
  • Tank Destroyer Recon platoon is like cav recon (with 1 M8 and 2 jeeps) including dismount options.
  • Tank Destroyer Pioneer platoon: 5 vet pio rifle teams for 115.  Can replace any or all teams with pioneer bazooka teams.  yum.
  • M10s and M18s now have AT 13, and don't cost any more than Turning Tide (although they have lost the 3 carbine teams from the security section, which makes sense)!
  • US Support has options for vet or trained (can choose either or)
  • Can get trained M36 jacksons for 370 for 4.  They are an M10 with AT 14 and Detroit's Finest! boom!
  • You can upgrade M10s to top armor 1 for +5 points each.
  • You can buy paratroopers and paratrooper engineers to support your companies.
  • You can buy "Close Air Support" for your air- works the same as the Schwerepunkt for Germans in Early War.
That about covers the US side of the house!  Clearly there is a LOT to be excited about as American players!    There are also rules for Patton and Abrahams which I am not going to cover here.  Suffice it to say they're very cool heroes and add a lot to the flavor as you'd expect!  This is just the shot in the arm the Americans needed.  I was drooling the entire time I read this!

The German lists are Reluctant Trained and Auto Attack.  Talk about a break from the norm!  A lot of people are down on this before having tried it, but I think a horde of attacking panthers are pretty damn scary!  There are 5 available lists: FHH Panzers, FHH Panzersturm, FHH Panzergrenadiers, Panzerkompanie, and Panzergrenadiers.

  • No Recon, No Artillery available to any of the lists (With the exception for some infantry guns, mortars, and a mortar unit that can buy Stuka Zu Fus)
  • The FHH Panzers are comprised of Panther Gs and Panzer IV 70s.
  • Panther Gs run roughly 130 ea in units of 3.
  • Panzer IV/70 (A) run around 90 while the (V) is about 100 also in units of 3.
  • Plentiful AAA is available.   The FHH Panzers get Mobelwagons for 35ish points ea in batteries of up to 4.
  • Volksgrenadiers available as a support option.  160 for 5 Panzerfaust Assault Rifle Teams, and 2 Panzerfaust MG teams.
  • The FHH Panzersturmkompanie are assault rifle panzerfaust mechanized troops.  190 for 7 guys and 4 halftracks.
  • Decent support available for the panzersturm including halftrack mortars, cannons, and a mounted heavy platoon.
  • Can get 2 platoons of 251/21 (triple 15mm) drilling.  Each platoon is either 3 or 6 halftracks.  These guys are ROF 6, AT 4, FP 5+.  They come in around 30 points ea.
  • The FHH Mortar platoon is made of 12cm mortars with the option to add 2 Stuka Zu Fuss.
  • FHH Panzergrenadiers have mostly the same org as the Panzersturm but the troops are MG Panzerfausts and clock in at 165 per platoon.
  • None of the FHH Companies can get Panzer IVs or Stugs.  All armor support is panthers and Panzer IV/70s.
  • The Panzerkompanie is made up of Panzer IV J and Panther Gs.  2 HQ tanks + 3 platoons of 4 tanks ea.
  • Panzer IV J are 60 points each and are "slow traverse".  
  • The Panzerkompanie may take 2 platoons of 3 Stug G.  195 for 3.
  • AAA for the panzerkompanie can be either Mobelwagons or Wirbelwind.
  • Support options for the Panzerkompanie: 2x Stug Platoons, AAA, 2 infantry platoon options.  Very light on combined arms here- all about the swarm baby.
  • The Panzergrenadierkompanie is all trucked.  Panzerfaust MG teams at 150/platoon.
  • They have a bit more support- AT Guns (Pak 40s or Pak 38s), Tank Hunters (2x Marder III M), heavy platoon, mortars, infantry guns (4x Pak 50s!), AAA, etc
The German lists are very straightforward.  Their force org charts appear to be very historical, and fairly limited.  But everything is so inexpensive, you can really build up a horde of stuff!  I love the idea of really good equipment being used by abysmal troops.  Looks like a ton of fun!

The book also contains a very fun Tank Aces campaign which is similar to Infantry Aces, and actually seems like it'd be more fun since it plays very quickly.  I'd imagine you could get 3 games in a night no problem.  We will talk more about Tank Aces on the podcast shortly so stay tuned!

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