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"Ambush Alley's Tomorrows War - Thoughts?" Topic


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844 hits since 26 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

darebear Inactive Member26 Nov 2017 7:18 p.m. PST

I am curious of anyone still plays Tomorrows War by Ambush Alley What did you find worked? What did not?

IMO what seemed not to work:

No meaningful command structure for regular units. Higher Headquarters personnel were pointless and contributed nothing meaningful in-game.

The Reaction Player being able to continue to potentially react fire throughout the turn with the same unit while the Initiative player could only shoot once with an activated unit. The whole Action System was rather vague with few hard limits on what a unit could do in a turn. Stargrunt 2 had a limit of 2 actions per unit which makes sense and puts a limit on what can be achieved in a turn.

Close Combat ambiguities (eg: what is the TL of the close combat weapons of the human troops in the book? Are US marines TL3 (lightsabers) in close combat or are they TL1 (bayonette?)

The Morale system is very bland, with only Pinned or Pulling back as a game effect during fire combat. There is almost no meaningful way to reduce a units morale and cause them to break other than by Close Combat. There should be specific events which if occur can reduce a units Morale over time (loss of the unit leader, excessive casualties, abandoning casualties, ect) and ways to inspire units which have had their Morale reduced.

Stress Test System too cumbersome. To use the system one has to track each unit and record what occurred to them throughout the turn. This is unfortunate since this is the only real way to effectively reduce a units Morale and potentially cause them to flee the field.

Confidence System broken. High Confidence troops are impossible to suppress while low confidence units are almost always suppressed. This whole system seems to have been a modified version of the Mission Motivation System from Stargrunt 2, which was better IMO.

Small arms combat too effective at long range. Perhaps making the target number for the attacker higher the farther the target unit is would be an answer? (eg D8 units within optimum range hit on a 3+, at 9-16 they hit on a 4+, 17-24 5+, and so on). Heavy Weapon teams could be allowed to double their effective range according to their TQ, making them more effective at killing. Or, rather than changing the target number a reduction in Firepower would be in order?

These are just a few things off the top of my head which I find troublesome with the game engine. Don't get me wrong, I really like TW. There is just a lot of things that I think Stargrunt 2 does better. I could just play SG2 but TW handles technology and aliens better. Anyway, comments?

Oberlindes Sol LIC26 Nov 2017 8:23 p.m. PST

Well, now I really have to play Tomorrow's War, just to compare it to StarGrunt II.

Stealth1000 Inactive Member26 Nov 2017 11:54 p.m. PST

I just found the rules too complex or just not understandable when reading to even start trying a game. Nothing flowed for me. But then I am very fussy about rules, so that might not mean much.

Big Martin Back27 Nov 2017 2:40 a.m. PST

I bought them and they looked good, but on reading them through, I got seriously confused by it all, so I've never played them.

CATenWolde Inactive Member27 Nov 2017 2:58 a.m. PST

The better question for me – which I suppose indirectly answers your question – is how to port over some of the technology tweaks from TW to SG2.

darebear Inactive Member27 Nov 2017 5:09 a.m. PST

You guys are certainly correct in that the rules were not explained well. The book was poorly laid out, with many important things buried in various areas. Beginners really need the quick reference guide. However, once you play a couple of games it becomes quite intuitive. Mechanically I found the rules quite easy to understand once I played the first scenario a couple of times. My main issues were what I noted above. As for technology, IMO Stargrunt already covers that well. You have stats for primitive firearms up to advanced gauss rifles. Easy enough to extrapolate from here. My main gripe is that is no meaningful chain of command. Officers are either targets to protect or eliminate in scenarios. It is frustrating since I really wanted to love TW. It is what drew me into 15mm.

Generalstoner49 Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

Remember in terms of reaction to enemy fire that each time a unit reacts it becomes harder to do so. So the first unit they react to will be easy then exponentially harder. It forces the higher quality troops to decide what they want or need to react to.

Also remember all the force on force rules systems are meant to be played from the point of contact. With no maximum range this does indeed help the higher quality troops but if you start the engagement close it nullifies this "bonus" that higher quality troops get.

darebear Inactive Member27 Nov 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

Reactions only suffer a -1 to firepower dice and 1" of movement for each reaction after the first. Nowhere in the rules does is it indicate that there is a penalty to each reaction after the first one. I thought there was myself (a -1 to the Reaction roll), but there is not. That means higher Quality troops with firepower dice to burn could easily outshoot the Initiative Player which makes no sense. Overwatch helps the Initiative Player somewhat but that also prevents those units from moving in the turn. I would like to have seen a hard limit on the number of actions and reactions a unit could perform in a turn (such as 2 per unit). The rules as written are very open-ended and often confuse new players as to what the hell is going on in a turn. It would also help that the Reaction Player could only react with one unit per Initiative Player activation. The turn becomes very confusing when the RP reacts with multiple units causing a potential mass of Overwatch tests as well as Reaction tests from the original activated unit. The system as written can cause chaos, throwing off potential new players.

Sergeant Paper27 Nov 2017 10:33 a.m. PST

That should be -1 firepower die per reaction. THAT is a hard limit on Reaction attempts. And They can only do ONE Reaction Move, which is a hard limit.

From the Actions and Reaction portion of the basic rules

Reaction Move
page 42:
A unit may only make one Reaction move per turn.

Reaction Fire
page 43:
Non-initiative units lose one die of firepower for each
reaction fire they declare after the first. Non-initiative units may continue to React with fire as long as they have
remaining Firepower dice.

darebear Inactive Member27 Nov 2017 11:06 a.m. PST

I am aware of those limits (thanks for posting them though, I omitted them from my post). When a unit is able to pump out 7-10 FP dice per fire combat that is a lot of potential dice.

(-1) FP per reaction seems like a small price to pay for making potentially many reaction fires. When compared to the fact that an Initiative unit can only initiate fire combat once per turn makes no sense to me. Basically every Reaction Player unit is on a less efficient form of Overwatch. In many games I have found it more advantageous to be the Reacting Player vs the Initiative Player.

BaldLea27 Nov 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

Give Fireteam Andromeda a go. Commanders affect chains of activations and how many special actions (such as reactive fire, digging in etc.) can be carried out.

Mike Mayes Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 1:30 p.m. PST

Well, the Initiative player does get to chose where to engage or not. Initiative units can also fire multiple times if engaged in rounds of fire created by the reacting player. Over watch units can continue to fire if they don't lose over watch,

And most of the time, your higher quality army should have the Initiative.

This has been my experience with FoF and (limited) TW. I agree that the rules are heard to learn but become intuitive after.

Mike

Lion in the Stars27 Nov 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

Stress Test System too cumbersome. To use the system one has to track each unit and record what occurred to them throughout the turn. This is unfortunate since this is the only real way to effectively reduce a units Morale and potentially cause them to flee the field.

Well, you need to mark/record how many rounds of fire a unit has been involved in anyway.

A simple 5x40mm strip, done up to match the basing and with a line of 'dirt puffs' to represent bullet hits, makes a very easy way to keep track of how many rounds of fire. Add a round explosion dirt puff for each pinned/suppressed result. Simple, attractive, and easy to understand.

darebear Inactive Member27 Nov 2017 4:20 p.m. PST

Good modeling idea. I use GZG SG2 counters for a lot of on-table information since they are cheap and plentiful. One can certainly mark which units have been in combat. That is not my issue. It is the fact that you still need to mark how many turns total that a unit has been under fire. It is not simply a fact of marking the rounds of fire for a turn. Remembering which unit did what can be tiring, especially during a long game. The information carries over from turn to turn, adding or subtracting to the stress level of the unit. One would need different marks for both rounds of fire and turns under fire. This makes for a cumbersome game, far more complex than a 15mm game needs to be. We have tried this system many times and it always goes by the wayside after a couple of turns.

I would love to get some designer feedback on this. They must have felt that certain things did not work with FoF and TW since those game systems have basically been discontinued. Ideally I would like to mesh SG2 and TW together in some fashion.

GhostofRebeccaBlack Inactive Member28 Nov 2017 11:55 a.m. PST

I like to over all idea behind TW (despite the ruleset being heavy on the fluff and badly layouted).

I like it a lot but my main issue is how the techlevel, firepower and chance to hit is a bit to simplified. The same goes for bodyarmor. I much prefer SG2's take on it where marksmanship skill and level of troops is separated from the damage the guns do.

In SG2 it was easy to have a few ragtag teams with variations in bodyarmor within them. I never played huge games so I didn't mind a few rerolls and nondamaging hits here and there.

On the other hand I like TW's take on vehicles and aliens. The traits are also very nice and give the varous units a bit of flavor without going WH40K overboard.

Eagerly hoping to see SG3 one day.

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