First Battle 1vs1
Rules and Setup
We played with the following altered rules which is why the test game may not be 100% relevant to the current BW 2010 rules; again without fire and (proper) collision rules:
Our second and third BW2010 battle took place on a larger map (4x5 street plates; before: 3x4) with more obstacles, ruined houses and walls, seemingly creating some cover for infantry skirmishes. Each side featured roughly 2-3 armored vehicles, 1-2 small vehicles and 8-14 infantry.
Both of our battles were pretty much overshadowed by the extreme effectiveness of big explosive launchers. My opponent featured his newly built MK5 howitzer and I had a MK3 cannon. Both of these weapons each killed all infantry on the other side before they could make a single shot in the first of the two games. In the second game, the MK5 launcher was even more dominating the game because the armies started further apart (3,5 plates instead of 2 plates).
When it comes to big launchers, it seems balance-wise it's the bigger the better (the more effective / cost). Here is why: Each size rating of a explosive/launcher adds 2 points to the use rating, making it miss in average 2 inches more. But at the same time, the explosion radius is also 2 inches bigger, so the chance to hit the target with a certain number of dice stays the same. Now, there is this rule that if you rolled a 9, 3, 5, 2 and 1 for a size 5 explosion, each target within 10" radius of the center receives at least 9 damage. The more dice you have (the bigger the explosive), the higher is your chance to roll something that is higher than the armor rating of a minifig, converting the whole area covered by the explosion into a death-zone. So one explosive rating more features:
- same chance to hit a target with a number of dice
- covers a increasingly larger area for area damage
- can fire 6" further. So for minifigs, one more round to get close
- more damage in the whole area (lowest die drops out)
- lesser chance that units can escape the explosion radius. Especially minifigs as they are the slowest units on the field
So, what happened in both games was that the howitzer of my opponent started firing already in the first round on my starting position and continued to do so in every turn. As the explosion radius of each shot by far exceeded the minifig's movement radius, only few could sprint to safety before the shot came down. Also, it made me have to run half my army in all directions in order to flee from that circle-of-death. This, as you could imagine, made the whole game pretty frustrating and limited.
In the first game, the battlefield was rather open, featuring several one-storey ruined buildings, walls and shelters. But the explosion was so immense each turn, that the walls and buildings between my precious minifgs and the center of the explosion were just blown away. We said they are brick walls with armor level 2.
Right now, I can't offer any suggestion how to change the rules to make it (what?) better. It feels like really big launchers should only be effective in a siege, when firing on large and stationary targets or to force units to leave their fortified positions.
Otherwise, you might be interested in my experiences regarding the altered rules:
Second Battle 2vs2
Rules and Setup
After I read what stubby said regarding "open" battlefields, we covered the whole area excessively with buildings, bridges, concrete walls, towers and dragon's teeth. After all, I wanted to test the omission of the combined damage rule with minifigs properly. Other than the rule changes above, we used inertia in the battle now and also made the following change to the rules:
- Explosion damage: instead of removing each the lowest die, first the lowest, than the highest, than the lowest etc. was removed to defuse the circle-of-death
This rule, and the fact that my opponent switched to MK4 explosives (out of pity) for this round, reduced the damage it dealt on my army but it still left half of the troops each round to run and scatter about, not able to shoot or do anything else than running straight away from the center of the explosion, being a big target to all of his other troops. So the frustrating bit about this weapon stayed the same. The damage the huge explosion dealt to armored vehicles now was mediocre though because of the armor rating, several HP and their speed.
Also, even though the map was loaded with structures, the artillery never had to fire blind as there was always the one hole in the wall or that one window in a building were one of the gunners could see a patch of grass somewhere at the target position.
We used the inertia rule, but I think we didn't apply it correctly. If a tank moves forward 6", will it slide 6" next turn? Well, we first applied it like this and it felt ridiculous, like brikwars on ice. We also found that it is difficult/time-consuming to keep track of the movement vector of each vehicle that moved, especially if this is connected with unintended collision onto walls (not frontal though). I actually re-read the rules for collision but didn't understand how I would have to handle a situation where a tank slides 30° alongside/into a wall. So what we did was just roll some dice arbitrarily.
Despite inertia, the many structures on the field, and contrary to our expectations, the infantry again proved very weak. They landed a few shots, but most were again killed before they could came in range of any target. Most, again, by launchers or rockets.
Minifigs are the units on the field that are the slowest, the least armored, have the least HP and carry the weakest weapons which do have the lowest range. If the minifigs don't happen to stand near enemy vehicles right at the start of the game, their low range and slow movement always results in a situation where they will never get in range of their target before they die (in our games). Due to their slow movement, they never had the chance to somehow outmaneuver enemy tanks (to shoot at wheels, climb onto the turret and dismantle it, throw a grenade into the hatch). I think the minifig ranged weapons could fire much further in the old rules (2001), why was that changed?
So again I was unable to test the omission of the combined damage rule with minifigs.
The last thing I want to comment on is the attack bonus rules regarding non-moving attacker/target. We were 4 people in the second round, and with four different opinions I found it rather time-consuming and exhausting to keep track of which unit moved and which did not plus having to discuss what counts as moving and what not each time:
rotating the turret? rotating the vehicle? 15° tolerance for where the barrel points to? inertia counts as movement? launching an explosive at the non-moving patch of grass in front of the real target? Etc. pp.
If we would have left that out, one could have just look at the card and seen "I have to roll a 5".