I got my grubby little hands on the new rules yesterday. My FLGS (The Last Square) received 6 boxes, each with 36 rule books. Amazing that BF would send these out for free.
Here are my first impressions, followed by some "details" that have not received a lot of attention, but will be game changers:
1) The quality of the book from a design point is fantastic. There are numerous diagrams that show examples and should lead to quicker discussions around the table when there are rules issues. A great example are the several pages dedicated to terrain and who is concealed. Nice stuff.
2) There is an index and it is about 5 or 6 pages long. All I will say is that this is a good start. There could be more details and a much longer index - if that is your thing. And yes, that is my thing.
3) Overall the game has been "tidied up" or "tightened up." Many clarifications have been built into the rules that existed in MALFTF. Airplanes and target being concealed - check. Slow traverse - check. Assaults - check. Eliminating the daisy chain of Independents - check.
I have basically read through the book, but really focused on the diagrams and examples. I will now start going through in more detail and create notes for myself to reference.
But here are are little changes that will have a big impact:
1) Direct Fire Smoke All I will say is that direct fire smoke is now useful. Two reasons - there are now two 2" smoke markers that are placed and those are treated like regular smoke per the rules. This means 16" see / be seen and concealed plus gone to ground. The second (and most important reason) - the shooter chooses the target and places the smoke. Awesome. In the past, if I wanted to smoke a Tiger but not the Panzer III in the platoon, I had to hope for a gun tank roll. Not any more. Yes, smoke in general got a little weaker (but better in my opinion), but direct fire got A LOT BETTER.
2) Warrior Teams v. Independent Teams Ok, this will cause confusion for people moving from V2 to V3 due to the terminology. Basically, Independent Teams are observers and recovery vehicles. 1iC, 2iC are Warriors. Ok, so what you ask. Ready for the answer?? Warrior Teams can claim, hold and contest objectives. Yes, the 2iC can take an objective! Not enough you say? Try this then - a Warrior Team can launch an assault. Yup. 1 stand assaults. Very nice indeed. Oh, Independent Teams cannot launch an assault and must break off at the first opportunity.
3) Sub platoons Ok, this is a bit more esoteric because it links into another rule. Basically, if you have sub-platoons they are treated like a normal platoon. Example - Div Cav / Universal Carrier Horde. You buy 4 patrols, but in V2 they are placed as a single platoon. They also count as a single platoon for calculating Reserves. Not in V3. In V3 they are each a platoon - in every way. Fine you say. And maybe at first read you think this is great for Reserves. A couple of hundred points and that 4 platoon Universal Carrier group can qualify for all my Reserves. True. But here is the kicker - if you have 9+ platoons in your company, you ignore the first destroyed platoon. Yup. Ignore the first platoon. This will be big in tournaments. Get to 9 platoons, lose one platoon and go on to win the game. 6-1 to you my friend! Back loading points will become very, very common. And British Artillery just became two platoons or more.
I am ignoring the Gone to Ground gun team save and others like that because they are out in the mainstream already. The above are my first three that I see as big. There are some others, but those will wait for a later post. Here is a teaser - I have a gun with No HE. They can see that pesky infantry and in V2 they just watched. What happens in V3? Could they actually fire at the infantry, even though they have No HE?? Yes, but...