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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WWPD Sneak Peek: The Great War Pt II - Army Lists

The Great War takes the core Flames Of War game, and modifies it to better represent the fighting of 1918. In part II of our sneak peek into The Great War, we will dive more seriously into the two army lists and the rules that make them work.

One aspect to the army lists that is used frequently on both sides is the entire platoon being command teams, and utilizing the multi-part platoons setup. This is frequently seen with mortars and field guns. This allows you to spread out your gun coverage, and effectively give each "squad" a mortar closeby. It could also result in some very high platoon counts, although most of the platoons using this setup are also very expensive.

We're only going to briefly cover the tanks today, and will go more indepth in them in a later article. Don't get me wrong - this is NOT a tank game, but the tanks have A LOT of special rules that make them act so different than in WW2, we decided to devote a whole article to them.

The Germans only have one army-wide special rule - Infantrie Vor! This rule is exactly the same as Stormtroopers in FoW WW2, so German players rejoice, although it only applies to infantry and guns, not tanks.

Let's start with the Company HQ. It is similar to WW2 Strelk in that it's chock full of additional teams you can buy to attach out. You get base CiC and 2iC pistol teams, which may be upgraded to SMG teams at additional cost. In addition, you can take up to three flamethrower teams (only RoF 2 here!), three anti-tank rifle teams (infantry team, not a gun), two Granatenwefer mortar teams, and one sniper team. The anti-tank rifle teams shoot at AT4, so they will be able to pack some punch to the Armor 1 of the tanks.

Next up you have the option of three Infanterie Platoons. You either get seven guys (1 pistol, 5 rifle, 1 MG) or nine guys (1 pistol, 6 rifle, 2 MG), with the option to replace the pistol with an SMG and one rifle team with a Rifle Grenade team (RoF 2 and FP 4+).

You can take up to three HMG platoons. The HMG platoons are very expensive, as they have your usual infantry-shredding goodness you'd expect, but also the ability to fire bombardments (a la British in WW2), and also have an AT rating of 3, to reflect the early armor-piercing ammunition. 24 shots of AT3 will put a hurting on Armor 1 tanks!

Trench Gun platoon either Minewerfer Platoon or Anti-Tank Gun platoon. The Minenwefer Platoon contains three 7.6cm mortars (FP 2+!), which are all command teams as well and use the multi-part platoons rule. The Anti-Tank Gun platoon yields two 3.7cm Tak guns, which like the mortars, are both command stands and use the multiple platoon rules. The guns have an AT of 5, so very lethal to Armor 1 tanks, although they have no HE, so won't help much against infantry!

Germans have access to up to two Panzer Platoons. Each one may have 1, 2, or 3 tanks, and you can pick either A7Vs or Captured Mk4s. It's worth nothing that the German tanks are always Confident Trained, even if you're playing the Veteran army list. Each tank is also a command tank with the multi-part platoons setup.

The Stoss Platoons. What many German players are going to be drooling over. These boys are fairly pricey, and are always Fearless Veterans. So the basic buy is 6 pistol teams and a MG team. You can add an additional pair of pistol and MG teams, and also add a flamethrower. The command pistol can be swapped for a SMG. All of the pistol and SMG teams are Tank Assault 3. The platoon also has series of "Stosstactik" rules (I love that term!) - they always hit on a 2+ in assaults, they have Mission Tactics (same as WW2), and if you are attacking and have at least one Stoss Platoon deployed, all of your Stoss AND Infanterie Platoons may make a spearhead move! Last, but not least, having a Stoss Platoon gives you "Always Attacks", unless you also have an Artillery Battery (in which case you gain "Always Defends".)

Whew. That's a lot for them Stoss boys. Exciting, eh? Well we still have a few more German bits to cover...

The Trench Gun support option lets you take one or two 7.62cm Krupp Infantry Guns, once again each being a command team with the multiple platoons setup. These have the same AT rating of the Anti-Tank Guns, but have HE and firepower 3+ at the expensive of shorter range.

The last German support box brings us to the artillery - you can take either an Artillery Battery or an Artillery
Detachment. The guns are the same - 7.7cm FK98 field guns (standard 75mm gun stats). The Battery gives a platoon of either two or four, plus a command team. There are no observers or staff teams here! If you take the Battery, you gain "Always Defends", even if you have tanks or Stoss. The Artillery Detachment consists of one or two of the guns, each as a command team with the multi-part platoon setup. Being two separate squads, this allows you to strategically place them for AT purposes at the expense of losing bombardment capability. The Detachment does NOT force you to defend.

The British have two army-wide special rules. They have British Bulldog, which is the same carry-over from FoW WW2. Their infantry also have Trench Fighters, which gives their rifle and pistol teams a +1 to hit bonus in assaults. So, veteran will hit on a 2+, and trained will hit on a 3+.

The British HQ is pretty boring in comparison to all the German options - you have your CiC and 2iC pistol teams, and can add one sniper.

The British list then opens up with four basic Rifle Platoon options. You can either take five guys (1 pistol, 2 rifle, 1 rifle grenade, 1 MG) or nine guys (1 pistol, 4 rifle, 2 rifle grenade, 2 MG). You have no additional options here, but the basic platoon already has a lot more diversity than the respective German platoon.

The British get one box that is only a HMG platoon - four HMGs. They may fire bombardments as well, but are only the standard AT2 direct.

The next option can be either an additional HMG Platoon or a Trench Mortar Platoon. You can take up to four 3" Stokes mortars, all command teams with the multi-part platoon setup.

Like the Germans, the British can take two tank selectors. You can have a mix of one to four MK4 tanks (male and female), or one to five Mark A Whippet tanks. Unlike the Germans, the the British tanks retain their companies ratings, so you can have Confident Veteran tanks here. Again, taking tanks will give you "Always Attacks" as long as you don't take a Field Battery, Royal Artillery.

Under support, you can take two additional Rifle Platoons following the same setup as above.

The British have similar artillery options to the Germans, but they can choose to take both if they wish. The Field Battery, Royal Artillery can be either three or six OQF 18 pdrs (still no observer or staff teams), and gives the company "Always Defends". It's worth nothing that this gun gets a bombardment firepower of 5+ instead of 6+, since it's a heavier shell than the Germans used. They can also take a Royal Artillery Detachment, which is just one or two of the guns as command teams using multiple platoons setup.

And that's it for now! Be sure to tune in later this week as we cover the tanks, era-specific rules, and scenarios in more depth!

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