Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi guys,

I wasn't all too sure where to post this, but as it is basically a review of the new ruleset used on one of the ATB Firefights, I figured it would be well suited to end up here.

So yesterday we were finally able to try out the new rules. We used Firefight 2 "The Gap" for it as it is one of our favorite and most played FFs and so we figured it was best suited for us to tell the difference in tactics and feel.

Turn Structure
The changes in the turn structure really shined. It took a moment to get used to them, but once we got the hang of it, the whole game felt a LOT more fluent and real-time as it seemed that at every moment there were things happening simultaneously. Effectively it becomes an "IGO-UGO" style of play, but as it is only one action and the activated unit gets to do quite a few things before it is out of APs it never feels too much like it. We even had instances where a unit was running after another one for a bit, which would never have happened before but made for some interesting options and choices. As most of the time literally both players were doing something near simultaneously there was hardly any felt downtime at all. Even less so than it was with the previous ruleset.
We had a little trouble, figuring out how passing and activating another unit before using up the current units APs would work, but a reread of a few sections cleared those questions easily.

Pass/Stall
The new "Pass" rules make one big change in the feel of the game. Where before you would often wait out an opponent's unit's full activation before doing anything yourself you now would have to pass after each action, giving your opponent the chance to end the turn prematurely.
You also have the option of stalling for 1 AP or CAP, which would mean you do nothing, but the opponent cannot trigger the end of the round with a pass.
To avoid this we ended up pretty much both having an activated unit nearly all of the time.
The change made the game feel a lot more busy. We were surprised how often we would rather stall then pass, occassionally even using CAPs for it.

Hit Markers
Hidden Hit Makers are not an optional rule anymore. They are now incorporated into the standard rules. It was our first game using it and we think it is an interesting change. One timing question came up, but was resolved by an example in the ruleset. For those wondering about it:
If a unit has a hit marker, it is only revealed if a stat is used that the hit marker affects. So if a unit is firing at a hit unit, would the attacker declare CAPs for the roll before knowing the possibly changed DV or after? The example implied that the marker is only revealed after the actual roll and only if it does indeed affect DV, so we ruled that CAPs have to be declared before knowing the nature of the hit marker.

Hidden Units
The new rules for hidden units didn't make too much of a difference. However we wondered about the movement of hidden units. It is now not a full action for one hex regardless of terrain anymore. It is "merely" a +3 AP for moving hidden in cover and a +6 AP for moving hidden in the open. Obviously in most cases this still boils down to only one move per activation which you could also do as an opportunity action, but if you use some caps you could move two hexes.
However, as you would be using the AP track then, the opponent could guess by the number of AP used wether the move was into the open, into light woods hexes or into a building or heavy woods. It does feel kind of weird.
Another thing is, that if a hidden unit is used, it is now flipped in the open. So if you have hidden a previously known unit in one area of the map and another in another area, then the opponent will know, which one just moved.
It gives more information to the opponent, but I personally think that it is still enough of a guessing game to make the changes worthwhile for the gained transparency. This may be different, as an opponent may be considerably changing his tactics when he knows wether the hidden Anti-Tank-Gun was already spent or not.

Machine Guns
With the new rules Machine Guns become even more deadly than they already were.
Where before you had to decide between sacrificing CAPs or an Opportunity Action with a Machine Gun if you wanted to interrupt a unit running across an open field, you can now just activate the unit and use it's own APs. Basically this means that an MG covering an approach will nearly always use it's full volume of Firepower against pesky units running through it's field of fire. This is one of my favorite effects of the rules, as it furthers the use of MGs as a firebase and rifles as maneuvre elements.

Group Fire
One change in the rules affected this specific Firefight in a big way. Supporting Units in a Group Fire must now have the target in regular range and not in long range.
In this FF it means that the "classic" opening of the germans, to have their first action being a huge Group Fire Alpha Strike on the MMG in the Stone house is not easily pulled of anymore. At best you can involve the MGs and even that will involve some maneuvering first which will likely present some juicy stacked targets for the Russian MMG. And as with the new activation rules it will get off at least 2 shots, that is pretty neat. For a mere 2 CAPs it will get of a third shot easily. This can certainly hamper the german game and makes this Alpha Strike kind of tactic that bothered a lot of players considerably less viable as it now runs a big risk of return fire and involves quite an investment in CAPs.

Minor Problems
So far all moments of "this feels weird" or ambiguities we thought were present were easily resolved by a rereading of the relevant rules. Sometimes the specific clarification is not where we thought it would be, but was still in a logical place. For instance we weren't sure whether you could activate another fresh unit while your current activated unit still had APs. Reading only the Activation Rules and the Pass rules seemed to imply that you first had to do a Pass action to get rid of the unused AP. This felt very wrong, as it allowed the opponent to either get the chance to end the round or to do quite a few actions due to the current unit stalling. However reading on to another section about the AP then clarified that you could at any time choose to flip a unit to the spent side, forfeiting the remaining AP and that this did not constitute an action.

Conclusion
We are both really happy with the changes of the rules. They make the game a lot more fluent and involved. Also the effets on gameplay for Fire-Groups and MGs remove some of the more "gamey-seeming" options from the game and making it feel more realistic in the use of the units.
Also we have come over fewer instances of hard to resolve rules questions. Sometimes it took a bit more looking around, but it certainly took a lot less discussion about the possible intent of the rule as it was all very clearly set out in the rules.


-edits for spelling-
36 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tobias Moos
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sounds interesting. i especially like the improved effectivity of the machineguns.

without even having the new ruleset i think i will be able to implement these changes in my games. it sounds like uwe and his crew did an awesome job again with simplifying.

one quick question: do you mark somehow the active unit? or just keep in mind which unit is currently active?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
scud wrote:


one quick question: do you mark somehow the active unit? or just keep in mind which unit is currently active?


You just keep it in mind, but considering that there is only one on each side and turns literally alternate in matters of moments most of the time it is not really a problem.


I was asked by Geekmail to clarify a bit about the new Pass/Stall Rules.

Basically the game is changed to alternating actions instead of alternating states of being the active player who gets to use an activated unit.

This means that whenever your opponent has taken an action, you immediately have the following options

a) take one of the myriad of actions available to you, be it with an activated unit, Commandactions with other units, playing cards or whatever.
b) take a "Pass" Action wich means not doing anything. If you do this while you currently have an active unit that unit automatically forfeits it's remaining APs and is spent.
c) take a "Stall" Action which means not doing anything. Stalling means that you spend either an AP from your currently active unit or a CAP to effectively do nothing.

If your opponent chose b) for his latest action and then you also choose b) then the round immediately ends. Same goes vice Versa. Basically whenever both sides take a pass action back to back, the round ends

The rules only feel a little weird if you are used to the old system and it's active player status. Otherwise the rules on it are very clear and easy to grasp.

The effect it had on our game was that I was considerably more likely to actually do things as the defender instead of just passing until the attacker had spent most of his active units.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Christoph's experience with the new rules is the same that I have had.

I have created a list of the rules changes that Storms of Steel introduces. Once I've verified everything with Uwe and cleaned them up a bit, they'll be posted on the Academy Games website and on BGG.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Wehrenberg
United States
Unspecified
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Huh? Wha...? New Rules?

What new rules are you referring to? They have a new rule set?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael
Germany
Ulm
Ba-Wü
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If I have an active unit A with remaining APs, may I activate a second unit B as a reaction to the opposite players doing something, so I would have 2 active units at the same time?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chairman7w wrote:
Huh? Wha...? New Rules?

What new rules are you referring to? They have a new rule set?


Uwe has sent out the new SoS Rules that will also be the next version of the AtB Rules to a number of volunteers and asked to share the feedback on it on BGG. So that new Ruleset is what I am talking about here.

brauerle wrote:
If I have an active unit A with remaining APs, may I activate a second unit B as a reaction to the opposite players doing something, so I would have 2 active units at the same time?


No. You can only ever have one active unit at a time.
However if you want to activate another fresh unit B you can just flip the current unit A to it's spent side forfeiting it's remaining AP. This is pretty much a free part of the action that activates Unit B.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Wehrenberg
United States
Unspecified
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Aaaahhh, cool!! Thanks Christoph for clarifying that!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
uwe eickert
United States
Fremont
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Edward,
Send me your email address at ueickert@gmail.com and I will send you the link for the rules and summary sheets. This goes for anyone who wants to read them.
Uwe
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Gray
United States
Watertown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
...that will also be the next version of the AtB Rules...


Next version? AtB is still in print. I hadn't heard of a re-release or revised version. Do you have any more info?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nick Warcholak wrote:
furtherbum wrote:
Next version? AtB is still in print. I hadn't heard of a re-release or revised version. Do you have any more info?


He's just saying that the SoS rules will also serve as the rules for AtB, though you'll have to ignore some stuff that SoS introduces.


Exactly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris K.
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
btw, one thing we came across:

As far as we could find it, walls are not explained in the rules themselves but are featured on the summary sheet. I take it there was nothing changed about them but it did surprise us that they were dropped from the book.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Gray
United States
Watertown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Got it. Thanks. I had just ordered a copy of AtB, so wanted to make sure I shouldn't cancel it in anticipation of a newer version.

I imagine I should just get a copy of the new rules and not bother with the old.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

xx
msg tools
"Edward,
Send me your email address at ueickert@gmail.com and I will send you the link for the rules and summary sheets. This goes for anyone who wants to read them."

If you'll do that for anybody, why not just post the rules here?

Paraguay
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chrisdk wrote:
btw, one thing we came across:

As far as we could find it, walls are not explained in the rules themselves but are featured on the summary sheet. I take it there was nothing changed about them but it did surprise us that they were dropped from the book.


There are no walls in the Storms of Steel maps. They are there in the summary sheet for reference if combining the two modules.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Paraguay wrote:
"Edward,
Send me your email address at ueickert@gmail.com and I will send you the link for the rules and summary sheets. This goes for anyone who wants to read them."

If you'll do that for anybody, why not just post the rules here?

Paraguay


Once the rules are absolutely 100% finalized, and then compressed to a size suitable for downloading, they will be posted. I would imagine they'll be up in the next week or two.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
furtherbum wrote:
Got it. Thanks. I had just ordered a copy of AtB, so wanted to make sure I shouldn't cancel it in anticipation of a newer version.

I imagine I should just get a copy of the new rules and not bother with the old.


The Awakening the Bear rules will be completely updated to include the new Storms of Steel rules that apply to it. Once we have that up, I would suggest downloading that and using it, as it will have all the new rules but still be tailored to Awakening the Bear, which has slightly different unit counters.

EDIT: While the AtB rulebook will at some point be updated, for the moment a short document will most likely be created that will make it easy for someone familiar with Awakening the Bear to incorporate the new Storms of Steel rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Frans
United States
Mukilteo
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Good summary of the changes, but there was one MAJOR change that I didn't see accounted for. It appears to no longer cost 1 CAP to do group actions with units that are in adjacent hexes. I reread the rules twice to find out if this was accurate and even the examples appear to show group actions taking place with adjacent units but no additional cost. I love all of the rules changes immensely save this one. I thought that it was a very important choice to risk putting units in the same hex to reduce the cost of the group actions. Granted, I have only played one FF (the Gap also) and it was solo, so it wasn't the best of tests, but it really changed the game drastically.

Other than this one rule change, I think all the changes are for the better and makes for an even more intuitive, easy to play game.

Thoughts?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PhoenixSF2 wrote:
Good summary of the changes, but there was one MAJOR change that I didn't see accounted for. It appears to no longer cost 1 CAP to do group actions with units that are in adjacent hexes.
This was already incorporated into the last update of the AtB rules before the SoS rulebook was distributed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PhoenixSF2 wrote:
It appears to no longer cost 1 CAP to do group actions with units that are in adjacent hexes.


That was already changed in the ATB rules several months ago.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Frans
United States
Mukilteo
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You are both absolutely correct. I don't know how I missed that. My sentiments remain the same, but maybe you guys can comment on how it affected game play. Did you think that it made things better or worse?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I didn't play the game before the change.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wulf Corbett
Scotland
Shotts
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PhoenixSF2 wrote:
You are both absolutely correct. I don't know how I missed that. My sentiments remain the same, but maybe you guys can comment on how it affected game play. Did you think that it made things better or worse?
Quicker. It meant, obviously, more group activations - not many more though, it was only 1 CAP! The result is a greater willingness to group units, which is, after all, more realistic. Since both sides could make use of it, I can't say it seriously affected play or balance otherwise. It did affect planning & unit placement...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Frans
United States
Mukilteo
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It was only the 1 CAP, but it was 1 CAP for each ACTION not activation. This means that if you wanted to move a rifle squad and a machine gun squad across a great distance quickly it would cost you 7 CAPS! (assuming you spent all your APs moving) unless you stacked them which in turn made them more vulnerable... I believe you, but maybe it's a matter of different play styles. To my play style, this doesn't mean that I spend less CAPS, it means that I no longer have to stack units in a hex since I used group actions constantly and I didn't want to burn through all my CAPS instantly. I tended to jump from cover to cover, or move while out of LOS, now I don't have to worry so much. Thanks for the feedback.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That particular change has not changed our games incredibly significantly, although I do enjoy the increased flexibility with group actions. It does mean that in an open area, if you're wanting to group units you don't need to stack them. I've found that spreading them out often costs more elsewhere, as to keep them separated, you often have to move one through tougher terrain than the other, costing more APs to move than they would have if they were stacked. Overall I like the rule change, but I don't think it's a game maker or breaker.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.