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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fighting First Command Cards Review Part 1

The American Mid War Command Cards are Here.  Because of the number of cards we have broken this review into two articles.  The Fighting First book has drawn a great deal of attention due to the variety of units as well as the improved options over the current Mid War books.  The Command Cards are sure to do the same.  Unfortunately, we can not cover every single card in the new release.  We hope to give an overview and a general feel of the cards.

The Command Cards can have a serious impact on your list.  The ability to hold in secret an ability or action that your opponent does not know you have can in itself be a game changer.  The community seems to be of a mixed opinion on the cards as a whole.

In Version 3 many people claimed that it was unfair that some units got special rules for free. It seemed unfair for play balance.  The cards seem to rectify this by allowing a degree of customization.  However, the question becomes how many cards, or points worth of cards, should be allowed in a game.  At this point I do not have the answer.
The American Fighting First book has a variety of formations and units to choose from.  By themselves the overall impression I have of them is that they are not overpowered and have some severe disadvantages.  Combinations of cards will have a major impact on Force development.  The cards can overcome many of the short falls of the Fighting First units as you will see in our reviews.

Three points seem pretty expensive for this ability until you realize that this card may very well save your thirty-two point unit from any return fire.  This in combination with other cards can make tank destroyers much more reliable and survivable.
This card is perfect when you can not figure out how to spend that extra point to fill out  your army and you have already used the single point card options.  I wish you could hold the card until when you wanted to use it or when the enemy actually gets air support.  The card is deceivingly limiting.  The enemy automatically fail their air support role.  This card would be a better buy if it did not have that limitation.  Considering the number of self defense AA machine guns in a normal American force this card is not a priority.
Every game, every time take this card.  This is a must buy and I love the flavor it adds.  In every game someone walks away saying "If I had just not rolled that one I would have won the game"  This is your opportunity for redemption and it adds an element of fun to the game.  I would like to see a card that allows you to make your opponent re-roll one die.
Although it would not be a priority buy for me, this card is a good buy.  Imagine a Tiger tank hits your Formation Commander.  Play the card and you auto pass.  This could change things dramatically for you.  I like it.
The nice part of this card is that you can play this card after you secure a building.  It could make it almost impossible to displace you.  This is a very situational card.  What if there are no buildings?  However if there are and you have an ARP in a building.  Imagine a Battlefront Church sitting on an objective and you get to play this card.  That would just be ugly.
So this card can be useful, but in the economy of the game 4 points is a lot for this ability.  I will have to rely on wheat fields and woods.  Limiting this card to being Halted is right, but with that limitation you should receive a discount on this card.  I have found that many cards in the American Command Card deck seem to suffer from being too expensive to be found regularly in a list.
If you are playing tanks or Tank Destroyers I would always buy this card, especially the Tank Destroyers.  This can be the difference of victory or defeat considering many American armor units will have four or five vehicles in them. This card will be great for use with armor when you have multiple bailed tanks to get back in.  It is also handy if you fail those tests and rather than take the chance on a Last Stand check you play this card.
I am all in favor of taking calculated risks during games.  However, bringing this card and using it requires more courage than I have.  I would never, ever bring this card.  The fact is that I have the mentality that if I ever played this card I would be unable to roll anything except a "one". The dice gods would not be able to overlook a situation like this and force a bad roll.  
I feel that a lot of players out there will not be able to resist this card though.  If you are spending the points for air, this will give the opportunity to get it in with a last ditch effort.  

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