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oliverkinne
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Fields of Fire

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30 Mar 2009 14:38 #24763 by lollocaust
Bullwinkle wrote:

lollocaust wrote:

I wonder whether anyone can help me out with the VASSAL module. I am using the latest version of VASSAL (3.1.2 I think) on Mac OSX and I can't seem to get it to work.

Everything I try to do just makes VASSAL give me an error message sayiing that x is not a valid VASSAL module. Am I missing something very basic?

It's been suggested that the file extension (.zip instead of .vmod) is causing the problem. Try the file at this link: http://www.mediafire.com/file/tnwtzzn02mz/FoF_Normandy_v1-3.vmod



Worked like a charm, thanks.

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05 Jul 2009 21:27 - 05 Jul 2009 21:37 #33731 by hancock.tom


I finally figured this out enough to play half a mission. On top of being hard as fuck to learn, it can also be really tough to play well. I'd be interested in hearing what rules people were missing at first... I've been reading AARs and F:AT stalking Gary Sax and I think I have it pretty well but i bet i'm missing some things.
Last edit: 05 Jul 2009 21:37 by hancock.tom.

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06 Jul 2009 00:23 - 06 Jul 2009 00:24 #33739 by Gary Sax
Rules/strategy I missed at first... let's see.

1) One thing you really, really need to know strategywise is that you can split up your squads and send forth an assault team to scout out a card. In fact, I would recommend doing this most of the time if you have the time.

2) Also, use artillery all the time. It's stupidly hard to extract enemy units from hard terrain without it. Also remember that when Incoming! markers get set it blocks LOS out of the card as the guys put their heads down, so it protects your own guys too.

3) It is worth it strategically to put men in close combat in order to get to "Heavily Engaged." So it can be worth heading into the fray with assault teams and full teams relatively early and recklessly so that all your other potential contact draws are much easier.

Stick with it. I know it's stupidly poorly written ruleswise but it is great.
Last edit: 06 Jul 2009 00:24 by Gary Sax.

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06 Jul 2009 09:21 #33747 by hancock.tom
They just straight up omitted things from the rules. The playtesters must have all been taught by someone who already knew how to play or someone would have piped up and said WTF! The rules that are there aren't that bad, they just need a lot more explanation.... It reads like they omitted every other section or something. The terminology is awful too. Why the hell do you include a glossary of abbreviations and only put half the game's abbreviations in it? I remember a thread here on F:AT where I was saying "it can't be that bad" Geez, was I wrong!

Anyway, thanks for the tips. I learned #1 from an example of play that was in Barnes' box. I didn't realize until after I sent the guy up that I wouldn't be able to talk to him because he didn't have a radio! I guess that is where the free actions at the end come in.

I need to reread the artillery rules... The "heavily engaged" thing seems gamey as hell- is there any thematic explanation for that? Sorry soldiers, I gotta sacrifice you to the hill on the right so there will be less of a chance of seeing enemy in the town two miles away?

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06 Jul 2009 12:01 #33768 by Michael Barnes
There's so much missing from the rules...it's kind of obnoxious. Even little things like "how to fill out the sheet" material just isn't there, processes are not clearly outlined, an incomplete glossary, incessant use of military acronyms that are _not_ clear to the layman, and the core concepts of the game are not laid out- like you said, Tom, it took an example of play to figure out that _communication_ is really the key mechanic of the game.

It's a brilliant design, it's just waylaid by really, really poor explanation. It creates an unreasonable demand on the player to sort it all out on their own. That's why I sort of gave up on it, I just don't have the patience to sort out their mess.

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06 Jul 2009 12:32 #33770 by Gary Sax
Also. DON'T FUCKING BUNCH UP. And no platoon leaders onto cards under fire or w/PC contacts unless it absolutely is I-will-lose-the-mission-otherwise necessary.

The enemy hates you and will annihilate your troops on a whim. There are missions where you will probably just lose and your job is really to make as much progress as possible and prepare for the next try at the mission.

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06 Jul 2009 12:39 #33772 by hancock.tom
It is a really cool design. It suceeds where conflict of heroes tried so hard and failed in simulating command structure and communications issues without any real "gameyness" in a playable game.

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06 Jul 2009 14:31 #33797 by Bullwinkle
I'm still waiting on the rewrite. Even with the new examples of play and the VASSAL modules out there, I'm not going to bother trying to slog my way through the system. I had hoped to learn this this summer, but that's looking increasingly unlikely.

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07 Jul 2009 08:50 #33855 by hancock.tom
I don't think waiting the rewrite is necessary, but getting the play examples is. They describe how to do a lot of the stuff that was omitted from the rules, like filling out the mission sheet, assigning the assets to different leaders, etc.

That said, I will be very happy if they release a living rules document like GMT has done for so many other games...

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07 Jul 2009 09:24 #33858 by J.T.
hancock.tom wrote:

It is a really cool design. It suceeds where conflict of heroes tried so hard and failed in simulating command structure and communications issues without any real "gameyness" in a playable game.


Don't want to threadjack here, but I'm surprised to hear you say that about COH based on the overwhelmingly positive review you gave it. Is your opinion of COH now swinging the other way?

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07 Jul 2009 09:44 #33860 by Nick Dalton
Michael Barnes wrote:

There's so much missing from the rules...it's kind of obnoxious. Even little things like "how to fill out the sheet" material just isn't there, processes are not clearly outlined, an incomplete glossary, incessant use of military acronyms that are _not_ clear to the layman, and the core concepts of the game are not laid out- like you said, Tom, it took an example of play to figure out that _communication_ is really the key mechanic of the game.

It's a brilliant design, it's just waylaid by really, really poor explanation. It creates an unreasonable demand on the player to sort it all out on their own. That's why I sort of gave up on it, I just don't have the patience to sort out their mess.


This is exactly why I dropped Advanced Tobruk System (ATS) after more than a year. Too much of my game time was spent trying to figure out what was missing in the rulebook and what the designer meant.

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07 Jul 2009 16:26 #33968 by hancock.tom
J.T. wrote:

hancock.tom wrote:

It is a really cool design. It suceeds where conflict of heroes tried so hard and failed in simulating command structure and communications issues without any real "gameyness" in a playable game.


Don't want to threadjack here, but I'm surprised to hear you say that about COH based on the overwhelmingly positive review you gave it. Is your opinion of COH now swinging the other way?


Nope. I love the game but it has its flaws. My "overwhelmingly positive review" had nearly 800 words of criticism of different things in the game. CoH is a great tactical wargame, one of my top 20 games of all time, BUT it completely fails to simulate command structure and communications issues.

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09 Jan 2010 05:07 #52711 by kookoobah
thinking about getting this game, but since it isn't exactly a cheap game, I want to do a bit more research

how fiddly is it? i hated arkham horror fiddliness, but i can handle twilight imperium and war of the ring.

i've tried agricola and arkham horror solitaire, and i hated them. will this fare any better?

I want to like this game, it looks and sounds awesome.

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09 Jan 2010 09:29 #52721 by Gary Sax
It is, unfortunately, very fiddly if we're talking about the same thing. There is constant status change management and whatnot. A little bookkeeping too.

I really like this game and it is a *great* solitaire game but I'm not sure I could recommend it if you don't like fiddly games.

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09 Jan 2010 18:06 - 09 Jan 2010 22:36 #52794 by Dogmatix
Gary Sax wrote:

It is, unfortunately, very fiddly if we're talking about the same thing. There is constant status change management and whatnot. A little bookkeeping too.

I really like this game and it is a *great* solitaire game but I'm not sure I could recommend it if you don't like fiddly games.


I'd echo this. If you think Arkham solo is fiddly, I think you'll absolutely despise the procedural nature of a lot of FoF. If you're looking for a good solitaire wargame, RAF: 1940 (or the original), Struggle for Galactic Empire, whatever that new Omaha Beach game is called that Decision Games published, or even a cheap old copy of Victory Games' Mosby's Raiders would probably serve you better. They may not be as interesting as FoF, but I think there's a lot less frequent counter management. (Though, as I think of it, it seems that every one of the larger solitaire wargames I own has a certain degree of seemingly constant bookkeeping. The little ones published in most issues of Minden's Panzer Digest/Panzerschrek, on the other hand are pretty streamlined. They're just not that interesting)
Last edit: 09 Jan 2010 22:36 by Dogmatix.

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