Author Topic: Fields of Fire  (Read 2485 times)

judgedredd

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Reply #30 on: September 16, 2022, 01:23:50 AM
Thanks alot Rekim. The only thing this game needed to move it from excellent to legendary was a rule system that made sense...hopefully this is it.

I have the Battle of the Bulge addon on pre-order. Also, they are releasing a third edition which is going to have these rules in it - and from what I recall, they are going to provide an "upgrade" option.

Can't wait. But I'm going to download and print these asap.

 :bigthumb: :notworthy:

96 pages too!! That's a hefty amount more than the original - in fact, 1/3rd more pages
« Last Edit: September 16, 2022, 01:27:32 AM by judgedredd »

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #31 on: October 02, 2022, 10:26:41 AM
cross-posted from What's on Your Table

I've never played Up Front so I can't compare.

What I do know is Fields of Fire is my number one solitaire game. It's simply superb. The actual game mechanics are pretty easy - but in order to get them into your head,  you have a long fight with the manual. It's poorly written and poorly laid out imo. Everything is there, but there's no index (very badly needed for the game because you are constantly looking things up for fringe rules) and some things that you think should be referenced somewhere in the manual are referenced somewhere else.

Manual aside, it's superb. I think it comes in at £70 or there abouts, but there's a huge amount of gaming in there. 3 theatres and so much randomness in setup that you'll never play the same game again.

I posted recently on YT that I stayed away from this game for over two years because it was card driven and - worst of all - it had cards as maps. But those aspects actually ended up being two of the strong reasons why I look forward to playing it all the time.


Map
You randomly draw cards to layout your terrain. This is an excellent mechanic because you just never know what terrain your troops are going to be fighting on.

Each card has an inherent cover value (sometimes two - a higher value for a dark border and a lower value for a light border). They can also have values for vehicle movement and may be more dangerous for incoming artillery (for example woods - you'll be in extra danger in woods from artillery).

On top of that, each card has intrinsic cover. This cover your troops have to find by expending commands. Find some and life becomes a bit safer. Some cards have strong cover (villages, farms etc) others have softer cover (gully, bocage)


Command System
Genius.

From Battalion to Platoon, you get commands. Each step in the hierarchy gets the chance to pull a card for orders and then use those to pass down. In my game, the Company CO pulls a card for orders. There are two order values on the cards. A higher one (generally) for a unit activated by an HQ and a lower one used for when a platoon isn't activated and is operating on it's own initiative. It's depressing when you need to get so much done and your CO pulls a card with 1 command point on it.

Command is affected by experience. Green commanders get -1 command points to what has been drawn and Veteran get's +1. On top of that, if there's no contact they get an additional one and when in contact, they get one less. This was excellently explained in a video where the guy said the commanders have more time to think when not in contact (+1 command) and when in contact, are under pressure (-1).

An HQ will pull a card and get his (modified) commands. He will then use those to do something himself or pass those orders onto his subordinates (HQs and staff). They in turn will pull a card and get their modified commands and use those to order their platoons to do something...scout forward, attack an enemy, rally...there's a plethora of commands that can be issued.

On top of all that, there's an initiative phase where a card is pulled and the lower value is used for initiative. These orders can be assigned to any unit - in command or not - to do something. So that assault team you sent forward to scout an area who is now out of contact may use his initiative to find cover...or launch a grenade at a known enemy position.

It's an excellent system.


Enemy
You never know what enemy are going to show up on the map. The map - in my game - is covered with Potential Contact Markers. These have 3 different values - A, B and C with A being the deadliest and C being less so. As your units scout a map area with a Potential Contact Marker, you resolve it using a random number on the cards between 1 and 10. These can be incoming mortar or artillery, HMG Nest, Squads - they can even manoeuvre behind you if I remember correctly. They may show up on your map - but they often end up at maximum line of sight to the front, front left or front right. And Maximum LoS could be the extent of the map and even can extend the map...depending on the card borders (light border means you can see through that card etc).


Combat
Each enemy unit (as well as yours) exert a Volume of Fire...from light weapons to automatic weapons, heavy weapons and bombardment. They also exert a  Primary Direction of Fire (PDF) if they are not on your card. These combats take place simultaneously and use a Net Combat Modifier (NCM).

A NCM is worked out adding up the inherent cover, intrinsic cover, state of the troops and Volume of Fire. So for example I have a squad moved forward onto a map area. They are marked Exposed (-2) because they're moving. The area is a Gully (Inherent cover +2). They do manage to find intrinsic cover (standard cover +1). They are under fire from mortars (a forward Observer two cards away) with a VoF of -3. Because they are in a Gully, there's a modifier of -1 for burst VoF...and mnortars are most definitely burst VoF. So you add all those values together
Exposed -2
Inherent Cover +2
Intrinsic Cover +1
Mortar Fire -3
Burst Fire -1
You now have a NCM of -3. You pull a card and see what -3 means. Generally it's bad - but these cards are random and I've seen a +6 give a hit and I've seen a -4 give a pin. If you're pinned, you're no longer exposed but your pinned. If you're hit, you pull another card and see what the damage is.

One additional thing is if you're pinned, you get a +1 for your NCM next time - because you're hunkered down. You also get a +2 to your VoF (because your not really shooting with any degree of accuracy - you are spraying and hoping because you're hiding. Negative numbers are better for Volume of Fire - so pinned isn't great...but as I said, I've seen hits on +6 before - so they're not useless




There's so much more I could say. So much more to this game than I've managed to write here. Every card pull is full of tension when you're looking for that cover or you're launching a grenade attack or you're determining what enemy is present or you're seeing how many commands you can pass around.

It's simply an excellent game.

I'm on holiday this week but maybe when I come back, I'll do a detailed AAR of a turn to give an idea of how it plays.

I hope this helps. This guy does a four video short intro (4 turns) to the game and does an excellent job of explaining things...he fleshes out why he's doing what he's doing which shows the difficulties he comes across making decisions. He makes some mistakes and picks some up - but overall, he does an excellent job of relaying the game mechanics and most of all, the excitement of game play.



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bob48

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Reply #32 on: October 02, 2022, 10:49:39 AM
That looks interesting

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judgedredd

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Reply #33 on: October 02, 2022, 12:02:28 PM
It is SUCH a great game.

Cheap as well, given the hours of fun that you can have with it.

My numero uno solitaire boardgame and likely the only one I'd need on Desert Island Gaming

Alba gu' brath

ojsdad - "No, she just told me to drop them. Been so long since woman told me to do that I just did it."


judgedredd

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Reply #34 on: October 13, 2022, 11:10:56 AM
I've currently got The Dark Summer on my table and all I keep thinking about is this game  :'(

Alba gu' brath

ojsdad - "No, she just told me to drop them. Been so long since woman told me to do that I just did it."