Duane Fields
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Austin
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I’ve only played the US vs Germans, and was wondering if the different countries actually play any differently, or is it just simply differently themed weapons and soldiers? I don’t mean that in a bad way per say, but does playing the French, or UK, or anything else for that matter really play any differently?
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Mike Adams
United States
Norridge
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In Wave 2 DVG added specific Nation skills and themes.
There is a set of these cards for wave 1.
I would assume these might be available to purchase separately after the Wave 2 Kickstarter ships.
 
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David in Sydney (now in Coffs)
Australia
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Weapons does make a difference
as do the hostiles

also SQS and NPS for some nations tend towards a common theme that differs from other nations.

For some nations NPS the absence of specific skill/gear can matter.

eg. Chinese Soldiers lack any NPS with LMG or corpsman/first aid kit to reflect the supply difficulties - however you do get the opportunity for a lot of low RP SQS...

Nationalist skills are added - these are to provide a bit of uniqueness without becoming stereotypical.
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Duane Fields
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Thanks. I’m on the wave 2 KS and trying to talk myself into or out of getting all the Airborne units. UK and Germany. Airborne I’m assuming have their own unique issues?
 
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Robert
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Based on what is available at retail, I didn’t see much difference in how the nations play. So Id say, closer to window dressing. It’s not like other games where the various decks/colours can play quite differently (e.g. Magic the Gathering, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Lord of the Rings). If the KS is ‘fixing’ this, then great.
 
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David in Sydney (now in Coffs)
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Airborne missions start with the landing zone*..
For that there is a special phase step..
if you can survive that** and overcome any other difficulties it plays as normal (sort of whistle )..

* Each of the UK/US/German airborne Expansion has some common and different Landing Zone challenges.. you can either keep them separate or combine them for more variety when landing. devil

**Do not rely on all of the NPS/SQS making it to the assembly point.. or that some important gear might not survive the landing... shake

The aim is to make each Airborne landing different.. yet common with the rest of the rules.
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Vladimir Lehotai
Slovakia
Piešťany
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P.O.G.G. wrote:
Based on what is available at retail, I didn’t see much difference in how the nations play. So Id say, closer to window dressing. It’s not like other games where the various decks/colours can play quite differently (e.g. Magic the Gathering, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Lord of the Rings). If the KS is ‘fixing’ this, then great.


You can see the image on the KS page.
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Tony Holt
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Eau Claire
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I would say that the different Nations DO play significantly different. The different weapons available are most definitely NOT equal from Nation to Nation, and that can have a significant impact on game play. Also, while the Hostiles seem similar from Nation to Nation, what with the same basic titles and all, the devil is in the details, as they say. Polish Hostiles, for instance, almost all seem to have Fearless as a basic Skill, and this very much makes playing against them a different game than against a different Nation.

So, yes, there are similarities, but each Nation has its own "quirks" when it comes to weapons (both starting and "purchase-able"), Skills that come standard, starting XP and so on.

I've played about 35 games with Wave 1, and almost every combination imaginable, and I've never felt like it was the same soldiers vs. the same Hostiles.

Tony
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Dampenon Fabien
France
Paris
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Rookies talk about strategy, Grognards about Logistics
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tpholt wrote:
I would say that the different Nations DO play significantly different. The different weapons available are most definitely NOT equal from Nation to Nation, and that can have a significant impact on game play. Also, while the Hostiles seem similar from Nation to Nation, what with the same basic titles and all, the devil is in the details, as they say. Polish Hostiles, for instance, almost all seem to have Fearless as a basic Skill, and this very much makes playing against them a different game than against a different Nation.

So, yes, there are similarities, but each Nation has its own "quirks" when it comes to weapons (both starting and "purchase-able"), Skills that come standard, starting XP and so on.

I've played about 35 games with Wave 1, and almost every combination imaginable, and I've never felt like it was the same soldiers vs. the same Hostiles.

Tony


I agree. Hostiles are different (I'm still wondering who are the worst) and some Nations soldiers have more choices (US, German and UK in my mind). And British Soldiers and Weapons are damn good !!!
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Peter Ball
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Nr Grantham
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There are subtle differences. The Poles as hostiles are one of the hardest with so many Fearless units. German players tend to be faster with better command. US have the best MG. Russian are hardy but slower.
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David in Sydney (now in Coffs)
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Apart from the individual Hostile cards themselves - the ratio of them in the Hostile deck also differs - that combined make them different to play against..
I probably don't need a Bazooka against WW2 Japanese - but 2 LMGs might be needed... and a Flamethrower and...
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Michael Knarr
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Ok, I will post a more detailed analysis a bit later (give me about a week), but as of now, a quick comparison between US and German troops yields the following results:

As frontline hostiles:

Rifleteams (6) - Same amount in both decks with slight variation (US hit harder, German stay more effective when reduced)

Reinforcing & Lone Soldiers - almost exactly the same, I don't see a point in analyzing these.

US sniper (1) vs German Sniper team (1) - German team stays harder to hit even in close range, American sniper is screened by more forces before you can attack him (explicitly: Ambushers, Flankers, Seasoned, Small Trucks, Flamethrower Team). Why do these troops screen American snipers but the German ones don't is beyond me.

US Machinegun team (1) vs. German Machinegun team (3) - This I really like. Germans are better dug-in (don't lose their cover in close quarters) and you come across way more machinegun teams (as was the case with German squads usually having an MG team attached).

US Flamethrower Team (1) vs. German Flamethrower (1) - inverse relationship to snipers - German more dangerous (Fearless and potentially 3 wounds), US harder to take out.

US Flankers (2) vs. German Stragglers (3) - This is where it starts to get a bit more interesting. Both start in your rearmost spot (that's where you don't want enemies to be usually!), but the US have to stay there, suggesting a more rigid command structure with less initiative for individual squad leaders. Germans take two more hits to take out, but dish out less damage, which I'd attribute to the flankers being instructed to catch you in the crossfire whereas the Germans only happen to bump into you, not knowing they are potentially flanking you.

US ambushers (2) vs. German Ambushers (4) - US ambush is harder to avoid (2XP cost) and they hit a lot harder. German Ambushers are more frequent, showcasing the nature of German "Bewegungskrieg".

US trucks (4) vs. German trucks (2) - Ok, here we see the massive numbers advantage of the US troops. Trucks spawn further troops so fighting the US there will be more opportunities to harass enemy supply lines (by destroying the trucks), but also possibly more enemy reinforcements.

US officer (1) vs. German officer (2) - More german officers, but only slightly, as the German hostile deck is also bigger. The US officer can call in more troops (Machineguns, large trucks and half-tracks), which I am not sure about what to make of it. Maybe again superior numbers, more reinforcements for the US.

US seasoned (1) vs. German Sturmtruppen (2) - not much difference here. US range is better, Germans have again more hits to take before being wiped.

US M3 Half track (1) vs. German SdKfz 251/1 (1) - Differences here are negligible (+1 Penetration and XP value for US).

US M8 (1) vs. German SdKfz 222 (1) - exactly identical snore

...Then it gets a bit more interesting again, for the Germans at least. On US side, we only have left Dug-In troops, which are not that spectacular.

Germans have 0 cost Grenadiers that are a pain, there's 4 Recruits that screen everyone else. I guess that would model more of the late war stages, where most of the troops in Germany are either hardened veterans or badly trained units like the "Volkssturm".
There's 2 screening forces that protect AFVs, which I'd think of as mechanized infantry that can keep up with tanks advancing, because as far as I know no nation at that time let their tanks go without screening forces usually (correct me if I'm wrong). So I guess Germany had more mechanized infantry than the US (which is a myth I believe). And then there's more AFVs for the Germans: Armed Jeeps (yep, that's a jeep, ok). And one of each SdKfz 251/1 and a PzIV, disabled. I like how this models the Germans being on the retreat and having to leave behind disabled vehicles from time to time as well as possibly the Allied air superiority taking its toll on the supplies needed to maintain tank armies and randomly damaging targets of opportunity.

I hope this helps for everyone to make their own mind up about whether the nations are just reskins. My conclusion so far is that there is subtle differences that will make your play experiences different depending on what nation you fight, but I'm not exactly keen on getting the other nations that I skipped so far. I'm not d'accord with all of the design decisions, I guess my two biggest hang-ups are:

1. the XP values of enemies and all their implications: it's very simplified and easy to use but leads to these weird results (like US officers calling in Trucks as reinforcements and teams of Ambushers and some trucks screening US sniper teams...).

2. the problem of time: I think a system of different enemy deck preparation depending on the year would have made much sense. Example: The numerous German "Green" Troops suggest a late war stage, but on the other hand most German troops can take more casualties which looks like the early Blitzkrieg superiority of numbers. A system like in Sherman Leader (the tank cup preparations to be precise) could make it so that in early years, you get the big numbered troops, intact Panzers and so on, and in the end of the war it's more Lone Soldiers, confused stragglers, hardened veterans, uut-of-supply tanks and inexperienced troops. I guess houseruling this should be possible.

On the player side on the other hand I think that the national skills will be very exciting and much needed to differentiate the nationalities, but that is a posting for another day .

What's your take on this?

EDIT: I just found my US screening forces in the wrong card pile, and armored jeeps. Please ignore my rant about only the Germans having screening forces, as this was my mistake :-).
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Robert
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I like your idea no. 2!! That and/or scenario packs (mini campaigns) might have kept this game on the shelf for me. Who wouldn’t want to buy a “Battle of the Bulge” mini-campaign, that features set rewards as you progress through mission after mission and that awards bragging rights if your squad manages to get through the entire series of missions.

Things that like take a tremendous amount of development time though.
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Michael Knarr
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About the mini-campaigns: Wave 2 seems to offer something along those lines with campaign sheets that look very much like the ones we know from Hornet/Phantom Leader. I guess combining this with the normal campaign rules could get you some pretty memorable stories.
Ardennes isn't among the campaigns unfortunately, but we do get Operation Market Garden for the ETO.

I guess trimming the enemy decks will be something we'll have to take into our own hands. I'm not sure what its impact will be on reinforcement rules (it might drastically change how likely different locations are to be reinforced), but for the Pacific theater, I'm moderately well-read and eager to go read some more, so I'll try to post my house rules on the geek as soon as wave 2 arrives (from the top of my head I guess possibilities would be removing japanese tanks from some island campaigns, taking out Banzai charge enemies after Saipan, I'd have to do a lot more reading before I'd dare suggesting more things ).
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Robert
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Encouraging. Sounds like they are doing some real development. Worth taking a look at.
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Colin MacMillan
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Wellington
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... and grenades, David, always carry grenades.

Colin
(New Zealand sauron)
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