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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

FoW- Version 4: Late and Early War Special Rules Spoiled!

In this second of three articles on the new Version 4 EW/LW release, I plan to go over the special rules in both books in one shot. Starting with the EW/LW rule book; all national rules are covered along with special rules that cover equipment, weapons and unit abilities. While the “Special Rules Book” serves as a V4 translation of all of the EW/LW intelligence briefings and covers all of the warriors for those two periods of the game. While the Rule Book (RB) is a standalone product, the Special Rule Book (SRB) is not a standalone document, and you will still need the original books for the lists and arsenals that are contained in them. Even at first glance, I felt the SRB was easy to navigate and use, so you should not be confused as to what in the older intelligence books still applies in V4.  Starting with the RB, the special/national rules replace all of the special/national rules in V3. Not all of the rules made it to V4, and some like Mission Tactics are a part of the overall rules of the game and now apply to every nation. Others have been changed to adjust the balance of the game.

Equipment, Weapons and Unit Special Rules
This section of the RB covers a lot of rules that came about in the intelligence briefings over the last few years and are now incorporated into the main rules. Many of them take the exact same rules that existed the arsenal (ex. Turntable), or represent a change in how they are applied (Protected Ammo is not a re-roll and now is a -1 to your remount rating), or a total change in the rule (No-HE now adds a +1 to hit an infantry or gun team).




Perhaps the biggest changes are in the “Abilities” rules below.


As you can see, recce is a totally different animal in V4 and now facilitate the use of the Spearhead rule. Other changes are to Breakthrough Guns which now causes a target to re-roll a save vice not taking and Bunker Busters now have a moving RoF of “0”.

National Special Rules

Perhaps the biggest changes are with the National Special Rules and we will go over the US Rules first.



Huge changes here! The Tank Destroyer rule as we knew it is gone, however the unit now becomes two platoons and gains the ability to Spearhead and to “Shoot and Scoot”. So, in a turn TDs can Blitz from cover, shoot full RoF and then Shoot and Scoot back into cover.  This is not a bad trade off and seems somewhat more realistic.
Another change is in the Stabilizer rule, which gives US tanks the Soviet “Hen and Chicks” rule if they move.
One thing that is a change from the draft we received earlier is the Time on Target rule, which now adds the requirement that the battery diagram from the intelligence briefing must have a staff team. Another change from the draft is that the Jumbo’s Lead the Way rule is now gone.

So how did the German’s fare in V4?


Mission Tactics are now in the rules for everyone, so that is not really gone. I will miss the Kampfgruppe rule, but that was a cheesy rule, and with the new scoring and how reserves are done it’s not really needed anymore. I do like the Schurzen rule, which now prevents getting knocked out by US .50 cal HMGs. The new Stormtrooper rule may be something that a player can really exploit and makes every German unit operate just like US TD’s with their new rules. I will be picking up some rocket launchers for my halftracks with the new Stuka zu Fuss special rule.

Now let’s look at the British forces. In V3 the British had a bunch of rules that favored their artillery, however now that all units get a version of “Mike Target” (re-roll saves on a repeat bombardment); V4 did not help the British much.


Semi-Indirect fire is still around and that world beating and meta busting “Tow Hooks” rule is still around.

Because I do not play Soviets, I cannot tell you in detail what has changed with V4. However, the much complained about “Hen and Chicks” is still around.



As you can see above, V4 did not alter the USSR very much.

So above you can look over all of the special rules that made it into V4. The majority of the rules reflect changes dictated by the mechanics of the game, where rules that gave you a re-roll now is a DRM and redundant rules have been taken out. Overall V4 either eliminates or incorporates about 21 rules we saw in V3, which is a reason why a 109-page rule book is replacing one that was 290 pages long. Such a reduction would lead one to think that the rules have been drastically simplified; yet I do not see any evidence that the game as be become easier to play. Verbose explanations are now clearer, some aspects have been streamlined, and a lot of the fluff has been taken out which is why V4 is so much slimmer.

Special Rules Book
When Battlefront released info on V4 a lot of folks were up in arms that their bookshelf full of intel briefs were now useless, despite being told this was not the case. The purpose of the SRB is to take the special rules, weapons, abilities, and warriors from V3 and bring them into V4. So, since the lists, point levels, and arsenals are still good you will need to keep your books.


The SRB goes book by book and then unit by unit going over each change. An example is that in V3 LW the Canadians got the Woodsman and Assault Troops rules, with every one getting Mission Tactics Woodsman is gone and Assault Troops is no longer a re-roll but a DRM to recover for being pinned or remounting a vehicle.


You will notice that the SRB shaves many of the special rules found in the intelligence briefings. Most of these are because they are redundant or no longer needed because of a change in the core rules.


Even after I looked over the book a few times, focusing on the lists I have played, I do not see any major game shifting changes here. Well maybe that is not true, since Bogging is out of the game, recovery vehicles are no longer used in V4.


Perhaps the neatest thing is how these two books are free! I cannot wait to get my hard copy and playing Version 4!

@MitchWWPD      
MitchWWPD@gmail.com
"Why We Fight" and "On the Road" Podcasts http://wwpd.libsyn.com/podcast

3 comments:

Michael Rumsbums said...

Hen&Chicks is now better than before: Instead of all tanks of the platoon counting as moving for RoF AND the +1 to hit penalty they now only get the to hit penalty. This one is huge.

Also interesting are the changes for EW polish forces: Like staff teams in artillery platoons they lose the HQ Teams of their "companies" worth 70pts without compensation.

And US got gutted. What shall they do against heavy tanks? Flank them with reduced movement distance (detroits finest gone for tactical movement)? Use aircrafts with AT 3? Use artillery with AT 3? Oh well ,they use the bazookas which hit with a -1 penalty...

Sorry, but V4 is crap and not worth playing with the old source books.

Unknown said...

I find your lack of Italy disturbing.... In all seriousness I'm looking forward to the new Italian source book and seeing how they change (if they do) 8 Million Bayonets, or the Legions of Rome rules.

gerwyn walters said...

I just want to find out what they did to my beloved Hungarians. wityh HBG changed I doubt we'll see as many Zrinyi companies

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