Wednesday, March 29, 2017

First Steps Into V4

I got together with my friend Jon down in El Paso to try out some Late War V4, the first game for me from the new edition.  I quickly modified a list I've played a ton of times to make 1750 points and we tried out a Free For All (which hasn't changed much from a first glance).

Jon brought US Airborne and both of our forces were pretty even.

Our table was a little sparse as the store hasn't built up a sufficient supply of 15mm terrain.  Jon had two units of Recon and was able to push his deployment zone forward on both sides.  It would prove pretty huge!
On Turn One Jon pushed his Airborne, Security Section, and M18 Hellcats forward, killing two of my 15cm nebelwerfers, a pair of infantry, and an HMG as well.  The survivors would Dig In on my Turn One.
With a rather large portion of Jon's forces almost on top of my Objective before I even got a turn, I would immediately be put on the defensive.  My StuGs would be forced to react.
My 2cm FlaK guns would engage Jon's recon Jeeps, eventually doing some damage as they now have a 4+ save.
On his Turn Three, Jon's M18s would use a Blitz order and fire eight shots into my poor StuGs, destroying all three they could see.  The survivor would stay on the board, unlike the nebelwerfers who ran on Turn One.
With the battle on the reverse side of my deployment zone looking grim and Jon's artillery battery ranged in on my troops,  I sent my FJs to go hit the Airborne defending this  house.  All was looking good except I forgot that there were several LMGs in the buildings directly behind it which could offer support.  As Jon said, "When in doubt, attack!"
My own HMGs would halt Jon's best effort, putting heavy casualties onto his Airborne and buying me some time.
Just when it was looking good, my assault was pushed back by defensive fire.  The Airborne would come out and finish me off on Jon's Turn Six and we decided to call it.  Having only destroyed one unit (the Jeeps), this would be scored as a 1-8 loss.
Most of our time was spent going over the new rule book, trying to get everything correct, so we didn't really get to see the supposed new speed of the new edition, but with a third of Jon's army on top of my objective before I had even had a turn I can see the advantage of keeping recon in a list.  We both agreed that learning this new edition was going to take some adjusting to, both of us having played since V1, almost 15 years of incremental change.  Many of the new rules from V4 seem to be 'change for change's sake' to me, with renaming of almost everything or an old name for a new rule.  Other take aways for me include a downgraded affinity for Hull-mounted weapons, as the rotate to face rules and what constitutes side-shots will leave them more vulnerable.  I was glad to see the 4+ save for Unarmored Tank teams, as I think the 3+ was a little too good.  I think quick armor will have a distinct advantage as well.  Stuarts should perform well in Mid War.  Ultimately I think the transition to V4 will be a steep one for me, as list building will be a completely different monster, too.