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"Tomorrow's War - AAR and thoughts after our first game" Topic

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2,307 hits since 18 Jan 2012
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Kealios18 Jan 2012 4:31 p.m. PST

Had a chance to play TW last night. Pics, write up, and thoughts written at the end.


rolgan18 Jan 2012 5:23 p.m. PST


Thanks for saving me some money, doesn't really sound like my cuppa. I was moderately interested, but I like rules that contemplate pick up or tourney play. And frankly, having a points system that is moderately balanced is a lot more up my alley.

I too will stick with GruntZ.

RTJEBADIA18 Jan 2012 5:46 p.m. PST

Hm…. I think there are three elements here:
1) I think you're looking for a slightly higher level game. I would've suggested Star Army by Two Hour Wargames, but its close to the same level.
2) I think you (and your opponent) needed the mindset that 3 KIA of what are, essentially, militia troops vs. 1 KIA elite professional soldier is REALLY DAMN GOOD. Now maybe you just don't like playing that sorta scenario, thats fine, but there is nothing with the rules (like any rules) stopping you from playing more balanced games between elite forces (or two weak forces, thats always fun).
3) Don't give up on reaction game so quickly, either. Even if the exact mechanics of TW aren't your cup of tea, you can always try THW or even other AA games. All of these are good for 15mm. I'd say 5150 is a little bit easier but balance is kinda wacky (intentionally- you tend to go into a mission only knowing what is in your own squad, and you basically deal with a situation as it develops).

Kealios18 Jan 2012 6:08 p.m. PST

I love reaction games. I played Infinity for 2 years before giving it up because, ironically, it had no scenarios.

I just dont always like played RIGID scenarios, and dont know the game well enough to make my own balanced scenario. Thats what points are for.

I WILL keep trying it…I was just surprised at my own reaction.

whoa Mohamed Inactive Member18 Jan 2012 6:15 p.m. PST

wounded figures do not contribute to your units Fire power or morale, so next time just roll for unwounded figures if any. there where a few other things you missed or got wrong but thats ok .certainly respect both you and your friends opinons hopefully you will play more then one game and perhaps change your mind …..Mikey

RTJEBADIA18 Jan 2012 6:27 p.m. PST

If you don't like rigid scenarios I'd definitely suggest 5150.

TamsinP Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2012 6:44 p.m. PST

One note from your AAR: defence dice are capped by the number of firepower dice they are defending against, ie if you are being fired against with 6D8 and your defence could be 8 dice, you would only roll 6 dice.

I would agree somewhat regarding the imbalance of the 2 forces. It may have been written that way on the theory that it would be played solo. However, the DPRG force do have the advantage of the Ambush special rule for the scenario allowing them to automatically fire first if they wish (assuming they haven't been spotted). It also helps if they can concentrate their firepower against a given USMC team – the second time I played the scenario, my DPRG opponent did that and prevented me reaching the pilot.

With regards to record keeping, as both forces are regular troops the casualties would initially be against riflemen – it is assumed that if a support weapon gunner is hit, that another member of the fireteam will take it over. It only becomes awkward where you have further casualties or specialists attached to the team (eg squad leaders, medics)

What I tend to do is use "winks" of different colours to keep track of certain things – red = serious wound, orange = light wound, green = number of actions/reactions in the turn (to help track firepower reductions), blue = overwatch

I would say play it again a few times, and adapt the scenario by either making both sides D8 TQ or making both TL=2. You can also try playing the scenario through twice but switching sides or reversing the roles (ie DPRG are trying to rescue their pilot)

doug redshirt18 Jan 2012 8:11 p.m. PST

That is one reason my group is staying with Disposable Heroes for our SciFi games. Just played a platoon per side game Sunday in about an hour to conclusion. Fun game only had to check the rulebook once and that was to check the blast factor on a rocket that was fired.

Kealios18 Jan 2012 8:25 p.m. PST

@Whoa: We knew that figures who had taken hits didnt contribute dice to Firepower or Defense, but figured that once the extent of their injuries were known (ie the Injury roll was made) that they went back to adding dice. I'll have to look into this, but if Serious Wounds dont add dice, then the DPRG forces would have been even worse off.

Morale dice too? So a 5-man fireteam that has 4 casualties then will roll only 1 die for his Morale Check? What happens next turn when the models stand back up?

We will definitely play again…after I reread the whole book again :) (having my cheat sheet, plus the 4 pages from the TW website, was 6 pages of "notes" and while helpful, was overwhelming as well…

@Tampsin: It was our understanding that the BASE defense dice was either the number of models in the unit OR the TOTAL number of firepower dice thrown at it, whichever is less. This meant that 95% of the time, the number of dice counted as the Basic defense dice was simply the number of troops receiving the fire. Add to this the armor and cover modifiers to get the total Defense dice.

Example: 1 DPRG model is firing at 4 Marines (this happened in our game). Firepower dice was 2 (1 model, optimum range). Defense dice started at 2, not 4, and then added 2 for armor, 1 for solid cover, 1 for In Cover, 1 for Tech Level, for a total of 2d6 vs 7d8.

Concentrating fire: The DPRG did throw attack after attack at the same Marine unit. The Reactions by that unit tore everyone up who fired at them. Yikes!

We agree that casualties were against riflemen in our Regular units, but at least once we had a unit with more Wounds than models in the unit…so it seemed that we needed to track who got when, so that when one guy eventually died, we knew what "wounds" went with him. We HAVE to have been making this harder than it should have been…

Kealios18 Jan 2012 8:27 p.m. PST

Coffin for Seven Brothers was a great game for WW2. Is this the same as Disposable Heroes? I guess if it gives options to "build your own", that would be a good Sci-Fi option…

whoa Mohamed Inactive Member18 Jan 2012 8:49 p.m. PST

after you determined hits and turned over the apropriate number of figures those that where left would have taken a morale check…In the event of more wounded figures then healthy as long as one healthy figure remains you can move your wounded …at the begining of the next turn you do your first aid check.seriously wounded do not contribute to FP or morale and you incur the casualty penalty Lightly wounded may contribute to your FP and Morale but you still incur the casualty penalty.Any way thanks for your reveiw…Mikey

Drakken52 Inactive Member18 Jan 2012 9:52 p.m. PST

Tomorrow's War would have made a great supplement to Force on Force. Our group had played all the AAG games, but had skipped over FoF. We have since purchased FoF and now enjoy playing TW.
Recently I played in a FoF modern game as a large force of d6 troops, and had my ass handed to me by a d8 force of one third my size. I could appreciate the disparity in troop quality being true to life, but it was not really a fun game. My opponents dice were smoking hot, I rolled alot of sixes but he always beat them.
I've played Gruntz, Beamstrike, even 40k, but I prefer TW, I just wish I hadn't had to by FoF.

BaldLea19 Jan 2012 6:09 a.m. PST


The point about winning the game but not feeling like you have done so is an important one. My gaming career is almost exclusively 40k so I understand the issue with "balance" when moving to a scenario based system.

I recently won a game (the TW Red Streets scenario) but it was a technicality on points and my force had been badly beaten up. I felt exactly the same as your opponent.

It occurs to me now, though, especially after reading your post, that the key is all in the choice of scenario. Sometimes you will go into the fight knowing that a "win" will only mean stalling the enemy while taking a kicking. Sometimes the odds are against one side (like the old days of Space Hulk when the odds were always against the Marines).

The fun can be about playing against the odds but I agree with you that this is a bad choice of intro scenario. The starter should be fun for both players and a chance to get used to the rules.

Hopefully the points system will address some of the issues for players that like balance but, in the meantime, I'd suggest picking or adapting scenarios so that both sides are similar. Glad that you too have decided not to give up on AAG.

For what it's worth (and I know that there are millions of "points systems are rubbish" posts out there), I play Dark Eldar in 40k. When fighting armoured Imperial Guard, the points system is far from balanced. It simply breaks when certain types of army square up.


SheriffLee Inactive Member19 Jan 2012 6:57 a.m. PST

For my first scenairo I used Bugs in the Reactor. It was very successfull and I used it as a Demo in our last local wargaming convention.

wehrmacht19 Jan 2012 10:44 a.m. PST

Good writeup on the blog. We kept with TW after our initial experience ( and had a game last night that was at least 75% more fun, although the rulebook is confusing, poorly laid out and still very bad.

Referring to "Force on Force" to learn the concepts helped a lot.



(Jake Collins of NZ 2) Inactive Member19 Jan 2012 12:06 p.m. PST

It is frustrating being a D6 force, rolling six after six, and still being helpless against a D8 or above force because you can't match their half-decent rolls. I know that is the AAG mechanic to represent troop quality differences, but its damn frustrating!

(I make fun of others) Inactive Member19 Jan 2012 12:43 p.m. PST

I know that is the AAG mechanic to represent troop quality differences, but its damn frustrating!

But would we really want high tech or high quality forces going even up against low tech militia? Isn't that one of the things that sci fi gaming is supposed to do -- to show the ascendency of technology in at least certain aspects of warfare? And all games, sci fi or not, need to account for the difference in usefuless of high quality troops.

At least that's the way it is in terms of simple shootouts, but many times actions are not resolved by that simple calculus. Resistance forces or low tech forces can beat higher tech or elite forces by doing things like denying them the ability to retrieve pilots who are extremely valuable and expensive to train, or by denying the high tech force the ability to claim it has complete ascendency by consistently causing casualties to them -- in both cases, even at the expense of many Resistance casualties.

When the Americans and North Vietnamese were negotiating the end of hostilities between them in the Vietnam War, the American commanders pointed out to their adversaries that they had won every engagement, in terms of carnage inflicted, manouevre, etc. But the North Vietnamese generals just shrugged as they had won, the sum of the combat actions had accomplished what they set out to do -- the Americans were leaving and the North Vietnamese were still a powerful force in the field, and would soon take over the whole country.

Gamers tend to see things the way the American generals did, but it's often simply not how war is fought, particularly in low-intensity conflict. From your reading of historical battle actions, just consider how many were not meeting engagements.

Kealios19 Jan 2012 3:28 p.m. PST

Good points by everyone involved.

I dont play historical games for a reason. I play sci-fi. I like gritty realism to a point, and I consider myself as a gamer with an EXCELLENT attitude and I would take a well-played game over a win any day.

I just want to have fun. That was where I was coming from. I will be getting Force on Force for an alternative set of rules to learn TW with, and try my hand at balancing my own scenario. I dont have experience with this and am a little leery about the chances of me having a good time doing so, but I'm going to give it a college try. :)

Personal logo Ambush Alley Games Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jan 2012 5:46 p.m. PST

Just FYI:

We've heard all the folks asking us for a point system because they find balancing scenarios difficult, and we've taken what they've said to heart.

The beta version of our play balancing system (or point system, if you prefer) is in the hands of our SOG members. After we've gotten some feedback from them, we'll make it available to everyone to bash around as part of an "open beta."

Once we feel the system has solidified, we'll release an "official" finalized version.



doug redshirt19 Jan 2012 5:51 p.m. PST

We do near future games, so we just use DH Coffin for 7 Brothers and the modern rule version. We add in some things like better body armor and other little things that we think make a fun game.

DH has a point system based on quality and weapon. We hardly use it since we have played so many games we have gotten good at playing pretty balanced games. Though there was that one game were the humans were fighting the terminator type robots and having a rough time and I thought I had messed up the forces. May have been because I had a fire team advance out of the woods to assualt the back of a motel and a terminator torched them with a flamethrower. But the humans won thanks to my team mate moving up his heavy machine guns and rocket launchers and surpresing the robots to stop their return fire and then concentrating the fire of his rifle teams on the surpressed units.

The Iron Ivan gang is working on a dedicated SciFi rulesystem and they have added some nice ideas.


Kealios20 Jan 2012 11:09 a.m. PST

Shawn, that's awesome news! Im going to be writing a scenario this weekend to give TW another shot, and I've already been peeking at a friend's copy of Force on Force for ideas as well.

Drakken52 Inactive Member21 Jan 2012 8:34 p.m. PST

"One note from your AAR: defence dice are capped by the number of firepower dice they are defending against, ie if you are being fired against with 6D8 and your defence could be 8 dice, you would only roll 6 dice."

This would be true if the target was in the open and had no body armor. Read page 57 of the rulebook. It gives an example of calculating Basic defense, you then add cover and armor. The addition of armor dice is on page 58. If you are exposed add +1 to attacker dice after calculating basic defense.
I looked up Defense in the index and it directed me to page 68 which talks about dependents, casualties, and suppression fire ???

TamsinP Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2012 5:23 a.m. PST

@Drakken – you are correct. It would appear that we'd been playing that rule wrong during the handful of games we've played (and one of our group has been playing FoF for quite a while, so I'll blame him!)

Kealios23 Jan 2012 2:52 p.m. PST

I put another stream-of-consciousness on my blog about my next game that I am planning…


Kealios25 Jan 2012 2:56 p.m. PST

Second run through of Tomorrow's War in 15mm, with comments afterwards now that Ive been able to get into it a bit more:


Drakken52 Inactive Member27 Jan 2012 6:38 a.m. PST

Tomorrow's Wars faults are not in the rule mechanics or its uniqueness, but in its presentation. The index needed more work. Force on Force had a clearer and more complete presentation. I have since purchased FoF and it helped clear up a lot of questions. I have tried other systems and keep coming back to TW because of its unique take on combat. While there are aspects of the game that I don't care for, they don't outweigh its overall appeal. I don't care about point systems, they fail. I play for the drama of moment and design my games to facilitate that. TW provides me the tools for me to accomplish that goal.

freecloud06 Mar 2012 4:21 a.m. PST

Played TW last night for 1st time there is a very nice game hidden in (scattered all over) the most appallingly badly written ruleset I have ever seen (and I played a lot of WRG….). Required 2 players and 2 others paging through the rules.

You could write down the basic game in 5 pages and the QRS needs to be revised to map to game workflow.

You also *have* to write down all your own armies' stats for the game to flow quickly

There is now a points system beta which is similarly complicated, but I think its necessary as if there is a troop quality difference it really counts.

Tim White06 Mar 2012 10:13 a.m. PST

I have to say having the scenarios interspersed throughout the book is not the best. Would have been good to have gone – rules – fluff – scenarios.

Are there any fan based rules summaries out there?


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