John & I recently had a go at 'Fistful of TOWs 3'. (Well, John read the rules, and I brought enthusiasm...and pepsi).
This has been an aim for a while, as the system gets widely lauded (especially by the folks at 'Little Wars TV'), and it is complete, pick-up worthy, and offers a wide range across the C20th period. So we formed FFT3SOG, in order to explore this fine set.
To be fair, we weren't disappointed. Now, it's a little different, and subsumes a lot into simple die rolls, but for my money, it works really well.
- It's fast - we completed 'Chinese Farm', with full Egyptian & Israeli complements in 3 hours - an evening no less.
- We're used to seeing units disappear when destroyed etc.; then some pushbacks and disruptions and suppression in other games. In FFT3 - you fail your Quality Check, and you're gone - hence massed Egyptian armour can fail QCs and vanish, whilst Israeli stuff tends to be able to hang on; the QC being a method of denoting training/morale/staying power, but this all works, and it will be useful to see how validity is demonstrated in the Fulda Gap say, where Sov units can vary in quality.
- There's a lot of d6, but it only reached 'bucket' status when an M60 fired at a nasty BMP / Sagger, due to armour differential. Otherwise - no buckets of d6.
- A lot of online reviews think that it's not a parallel with Spearhead in terms of battle 'scope' / size. I disagree - I would say, speed of play would allow for larger battles quite easily (without those axes of advance arrows...which always seem like a great idea...but...).
- The turn sequence takes some getting used to - but makes artillery, firing, hold fire and overwatch - all become fairly seamless. In a sense - 'hold fire' and 'overwatch' allow you to interrupt turn sequence, but at a cost - you have to 'know when to hold em'
- I can see how this is perfect for 1/300 - it all fits nicely with the unit cohesion rules.
Battle was 'Chinese Farm 1973'
|Israeli M60s and Paras in 1/2 tracks advancing from the south, toward Egyptian infantry lines in Chinese Farm|
|While to the east, Armoured Battalions in M48s|
|Though of poor quality, the Egyptian infantry (1) has Saggers and (2) will be hard to dig out as the Israelis have only a single battalion of Paras, reinforced with a lot of armour|
|Egyptian armour is numerous, but can be stopped with a good warning shot!!! ...their QCs would be their undoing...|
|Typically, the Israeli armour units here, would take high ground, engage and disperse at long range, then move in with a covered assault...though as stated, lacked infantry|
|'Where the hell did the amour go guys?'|
|...a lot of reinforcements|
|Some M60 action from the ridgeline, and forming a blocking force against the oncoming reinforcing armour, is fairly effective|
|...although not without some casualties to Saggers|
|Ultimately, with some covering fire, the Israeli paras go toe to toe with the well ensconced Egyptian infantry, but by the end of the first combat, they're fatigued such that it would be impossible to take all of the positions.|
So, all in all, and interesting result, whereby the armour battle became one-sided, while there were too few paras to take the positions on day one.
A great set of rules - we'll do some more. I'll also try to draw some comparisons with the GDW First Battle rulesets when I get time.