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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

FOW V4 Afrika Korps Command Cards

The long-awaited command cards for Version 4's Mid-War desert armies have finally arrived. Below is a recap of the command cards for the German Afrika Korps force.

If you'd like to see the full rules for using the cards, there is two-page pdf available here. This piece will discuss the appropriate rules for each type of card in the appropriate section.

Basic rules for using the command cards include two methods of deciding how to use the cards in your forces. Both depend on agreement between players. Chose either free use of the cards when building the force (up to the points for each force), subject to the limits for each type of card. Or, agree on a certain point value total that each player may add to their force.

Cards may be used multiple times in a single force, except for Warrior cards, and any cards with the Limited designation. Those may only be used once per force. A force may also include only one warrior card. Cards are also restricted by nationality of the force (German cards only apply to German forces and units) and by unit type.

Many players on the forum have pointed out that the two books (so far) for force building in the V4 Mid-War period were rather thin, and didn't include many options players were accustomed to, such as Warriors. This set of cards provides two warriors for players to chose from: Rommel and Rettemeier.

Rommel's old abilities of Fingertip Feeling and Rommel at Point are gone. Instead, the new card, at 6 points, grants an additional two inches of command leadership distance to unit leaders. Rommel adds a victory point to your opponent's totals if you lose the game. If you win the game, you gain an additional victory point by fielding Rommel.

Rettemeier stays very similar to his old abilities in the North Africa book. Under V4 rules, he allows tank unit leaders (within six inches and line of sight of him) to make their Shoot and Scoot roles on a 2+. In addition, Rettemeier may reroll one failed to hit roll from his own tank team each turn.

Commander Buffs
Several cards can be used to enhance your force commander's abilities on the battlefield. These range in cost from one to four points.

For 1 point:
Cut Them Down allows the formation commander to re-roll failed to hits during defensive fire. Marksman: if the enemy uses mistaken target to switch hits from this Commander, they suffer a +1 penalty to do soPinpoint Accuracy: this card grants them a skill of 2+ for ranging in their own artillery bombardments.

For 2 points:
Charmed Life: discard this card allows the Commander to auto pass an Armor or Infantry save. Precise Gunner allows the Commander to re-roll one firepower test each shooting step. Trench Fighter grants your Commander the ability to hit on 2+ in assaults.

For 3 points:
Ferocious Valour grants your Commander an extra die when rolling to hit in assaults.

For 4 points:
Hidden in Plain Sight grants your HQ unit concealment when they are halted. Elite Crew grants the Commander's Pz III tank a ROF 3 when Halted with either the short 5 cm or long 7.5 gun. Clever Tactics allows your HQ unit to pass Movement Orders on a 2+.

Formation Build
Build cards come in two flavors. One type is for giving units additional abilities or options. The other type expands on the limited formations available in the two (so far) Mid-War V4 force books.

Formation Build Cards such as Armoured Car Company and Pioneer Company. The Armoured Car card allows you to dive into the support platoons in the Afrika Korps book and create an Armoured Car force. While the card shows zero for its point cost, you'll still need to pay the points for the Formation HQ and each individual unit in the Force.

The Pioneer Company card upgrades for one point an infantry force into pioneers. This gives them the ability to cross minefield areas on a 2+. Also, infantry and guns teams in that force dig in on a 2+. This is not a limited card, so it can be used multiple times in one formation.

Units and Buffs
The cards allow some extra units to be added, and special abilities or buffs to be added to existing units. Most of the cards are only one or two points to add to your force.

If you're playing a German force, but wish you could field some British guns, these cards are what you need. You'll have the option to convert your 10.5 cm battery to a British 25 pounder battery at no additional cost. The same holds true for converting your 5cm Anti-Tank guns (PaK 38s for us old-timers) into British 6 pounder AT guns.

In addition, there is a sneaky card, Captured Tank card that allows a German Player to take over control of an enemy tank captured in an assault. An adjacent infantry team is removed, and the German player gets to use their enemy's captured tank as a one-tank unit for the remainder of the game.

It's also possible to buff units with the cards. You can add Softskin Transports to a unit for 1 point.  Forward Scouts (2 points) adds Scout special ability to a unit. Roll Over Them (4 points) allows the unit to counteract on 3+.  Dead-eye (2 points) allows one stand in the platoon may re-roll one failed to-hit roll each turn. Blitzkrieg (2 points one turn only) allows units within eight inches of formation commander to pass Blitz movement orders on 2+.

Tiger Ace skills!
They're back. If you've been missing your Tiger Ace skills, you need look no farther. All but one of these cards cost 3 or 4 points. Clever Hans allows Tigers in a unit to pass cross checks on a 2+. Deadly Gunner allows a Tiger unit leader to reroll one firepower test per turn. Rapid Fire (8 points), gives the Tiger unit leader a ROF of 3 with its 8.8 gun when halted. Schnell allows the Tiger unit to pass Blitz orders on a 2+.

Buffs, luck, tactics, and equipment
The final type of card category is loosely categorized as buffs. This includes a one-use card that allows the player to re-roll a die in the game and use the second roll (Pure Luck). If you're missing your Panzer-Knackers add this card for 2 points, then discard it at the appropriate time to give infantry and guns in that unit knackers until the end of that turn. Panzer-Knackers is not a limited card, so can be added to multiple units. Pure Luck (1 point) can be discarded to allow a re-roll of any single die. Every Shot Counts (3 points) grants a PZ III or IV unit leader a re-roll of a single to-hit die in each shooting step.

Several interesting buffs in this category include Brandenburgers (1 point) which allows the German player to cancel the first Air Support roll by their opponent. With Diversionary Tactics (1 point) the German player may also reposition one of their opponent's Ranged In markers at the start of the game (after deployment) by up to six inches  Dummy Minefield (5 points) allows you to reposition a minefield after deployment, or (if the mission doesn't include minefields) deploy a minefield before objectives are placed. Fortify the Building (2 points) allows the player to designate a building as fortified, granting infantry teams inside of it a 2+ save.

Troy is a freelance writer, author, and editor living in West Los Angeles on America's west coast. When he's not writing or editing he's usually either painting little toy soldiers, playing miniature wargames, or giving historical walking tours on the Santa Monica pier.


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