Tom H
Australia
flag msg tools
badge
Basil Hilder KIA Lone Pine, Gallipoli
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After an off again, on again wait for FF:GD I finally got it. A couple of the clinchers for me were the designer (love CC:E and Chad's work there) and the delayed development and release timing (shows real love for the game and topic to get things right).



This is a great looking game with very nice components - counters, maps, rules, cards, etc. I must say I would have preferred to see top down views on the tanks. I saw the initial ones and didn't like the "hen and chicks" look but if you did a straight top down with the dots, like the current ones then it would be ok. I just don't like pointing the side of the tank forward... looks odd.




After a read of the rules I was non-plussed but then playing through the intro scenario it all started to come together. A VERY revolutionary system. Quite free form and flowing with with no set turn sequence as such, just choice of actions and initiative. FF:GD reminded me a bit of a minis rules set released years ago called Crossfire with initiative going on until you basically lose it. The activation table is good, chit pull for damage is nice, order system fantastic. The rules complexity is not really high, more medium, but the approach is refreshingly new so it takes some work to get your head around it. I only wish the rules were in one book (not split between the play book and the system rules) and that the index was a bit more complete.



Things I'm still up in the air about are the amount of wristage involved as there is a lot of dice rolling for shots, results, morale, etc. CC:E uses cards which are much faster. The rules are quite intuitive and so once learned make sense and are easily remembered. Timewise length of play is medium to long (2-8 hours depending on scenario) but it never feels long. A good thing!

The system really shows the difference that tanks make, and how lethal they are. Pity the poor bloody infantry. As a friend said, there is a reason that they have " "THIS SIDE TOWARDS ENEMY" printed on the front of them! Nasty nasty nasty! Once you play FF:GD you can see why they have no place in CC:E and I personally felt that ASL does a disservice to the portrayal of tanks in combat and what a monster they really are. You can almost hear them growl in FF:GD.


Yeah I now it is a side view!

I've read some reviews that say that there is nothing new in FF:GD. This is a load of cobblers. This is quite an innovative system and like no other tactical level WW2 system I've played before. It is quite a mind bender to start and the learning curve is pretty steep on the first game or two.

A good start. Have to play more to see how it holds up.


PS - edits just fluffing around adding pics and fixing all my typos.
41 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
しんぶん赤旗
New Zealand
Christchurch
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Apart from the card preference I agree with your points about FF:GD. It is a incredibly innovative system that has the potential to be adapted into a great set of miniatures rules.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
DC
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I've read some reviews that say that there is nothing new in FF:GD. This is a load of cobblers. This is quite an innovative system and like no other tactical level WW2 system I've played before. It is quite a mind bender to start and the learning curve is pretty steep on the first game or two.


Combining things in a new way is just as innovative as inventing new things.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Cooley
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Me rocking out with my band, which you can hear at www.raindriver.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good first impression. I especially like that you tracked your complete experience with the game (including reading the rules) and how your opinion evolved. I feel this game requires quite a few plays before you can get beyond systems analysis (as I've tended to do with this game and others) to a full blown assessment of the game. I personally simply have no idea of how to play this game well yet, so I appreciate that you've noticed the same thing.

I *did* hear the tanks growl. And clank. And go *bang*. I get better visuals (in my head) with this game than any other wargame I've ever played. It's incredibly immersive. At one point when a couple of tank "squads" took off from one part of the board to another I swear I could hear the engines roar and the treads clank.

As for innovation, I keep hearing people comparing the game to various mini's systems. I think that's a really good thing, especially as I'm not a mini's guy and like hearing how the game compares to systems I'm not familiar with. Certainly the game has it's ancestors, but there's no doubt that the influx of Euro gaming over the past 15 years or more has opened up the toolkit for wargame designers and FF is a beneficiary of that cross-pollination. If I had to put one basic mechanism as the inspiration for the Order/Initiative/Command complex, it would be the action point idea from Euros, where you have X points to spend in a turn and every action costs some of those points. Conflict of Heroes ran with it first, at least in my experience, but FF has really upped the ante and made it fresh and manageable and eliminated the entire "race to see who is the last person with AP/CP/unactivated units" problem that CoH has.

Wristage isn't that bad, at least in my book. Most gamers have an extra pair of d10's hanging around, and you can fly through combat. The biggest issue is having to roll a *lot* of combats in some cases, but hindrances and RoF will cut that number down for really complex orders. I find that when the initiative marker is *just* on my side of the line that I don't do nearly as much Op/Return Fire unless it's "free". That said, having only one set of dice is a pain and does slow the game down, so invest in a second set (or better yet, two "matched" sets to hopefully have dice that are balanced similarly). Simultaneous rolling really speeds things up, even if you don't need the defense roll.

I'll also note that it's been fun to go back and play Combat Commander again and compare the feel between the two games.

Finally, I'll note that both the top-to-bottom flipping of counters for activation and the side view of tanks has grown on me over time. These tend to be one of the first things that people are focusing on, and for some it will continue to be an issue, but for most of us I think it's just a case of "new and different". I'll be interested to hear how you feel about these component values once you've gotten a few more games under your belt.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom H
Australia
flag msg tools
badge
Basil Hilder KIA Lone Pine, Gallipoli
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Combining things in a new way is just as innovative as inventing new things.


Very true Tom.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Wedge
United Kingdom
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
dcooley wrote:
If I had to put one basic mechanism as the inspiration for the Order/Initiative/Command complex, it would be the action point idea from Euros, where you have X points to spend in a turn and every action costs some of those points. Conflict of Heroes ran with it first, at least in my experience


The action point concept has been around a long time even if it hasn't been used often enough to impinge on awareness. Starsoldier (from 1977) is one that comes to my mind, although the details of the implementation will no doubt differ.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freddy Dekker
Netherlands
Friesland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I aggree on the sideview thing.

It just feels wrong and, to me, looks weird.

Mind you I have a feeling they went for this look cause it allows them to show more details.

I'm sure you are right, that in time it will grow on me.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.