Monthly Archives: February 2010

New armor combat rules to be tested…and more thoughts on arty.

After playtesting the armor rules for about a year everyone seemd to feel they were right except for one item: tanks v. tank combat did not seem deadly enough at close range. My intrepid playtesters in Charlotte, NC pointed this out and all of the games at the cons illicited the same response. I have to agree. The question is how to fix it. That is where Jonathan Miller and his big math/science brain come in. He ran some number comparing our numbers to Cross of Iron and came up with a simple system that is not much different from … Continue reading

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Artillery – the raging debate

Last night we replayed the scenario titled “Steel Curtain” which is the first time we see artillery in the rules. Everything played very well and people had a great time. The Germans lost on teh final turn because the interdiction effect of the off-board artillery caused their tanks to lose initiative. (In the game this is the ability for a unit to have two activations in one turn. Usually units only have one activation.) We are currenly playing that off-board heavy artillery can try to prevent an opposing player from using his initiative. So far so good on that one. … Continue reading

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Scenario specific rules

Tom Poston commented on my posting titled “Incoming” where he expressed that there are certain specific instances were heavy artillery would inpact the tactical situation…he mentions Omaha Beach. That makes perfect sense and when/if a Fireball book is done on Omaha Beach there will undoubtly be rules for that. The philosophy of the Fireball Forward is that each book will contain rules that will allow you to play the sceanrios in that particular book. So the artillery rules I am writing for the fight for St. Lo are based on the conditions at that battle. When a new book comes … Continue reading

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Designing Rules: Engineers and Artists

In between playtest reportss and rules development I’ll give some ideas behind the philosophy of the Fireball forward rules. It is said here in Northern Virginia that wargame rules are like art. Some people like the Impressionists and some people like 18th Century Dutch Still Life. In gaming some Napoleonics players might like ‘Carnage and Glory’ and other might prefer ‘Shako.’ Both types of art and both sets of rules are valid and fine examples of their genre but people naturally gravitate to one or the other. I have found that many wargamers tend to be quite partisan when it … Continue reading

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Incoming…initial artillery rules.

Ok…we started trying on the artillery rules last night. The scenario is titled ‘Steel Curtain’ and models a fight between elements of the 2nd SS Engineer Battlion and the US 1st Battalion, 120th Regiment. Historically, the dogfaces stopped an attack by the SS Engineers partly through the liberal application of heavy artillery. But according to the historical record (the US Army official history of the action) the artillery mainly pounded the road network that the Germans were using to support the main assault. Interestingly, the Germans were doing the same to the Americans. Both sides were trying to isolate the … Continue reading

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Welcome to Fireball Forward!

Hi All! If you love World War Two wargaming, you will love Fireball Forward. We are about a year from publishing our first Fireball Forward game which should be out at Historicon 2011. Each Fireball Forward book will have the rules and about 18 scenarios specific to the historical topic. The first book in the pipeline is ‘Panzer Lehr at Saint Lo’ which primarily follows the counterattack that elite Panzer Lehr launched north of St. Lo, Normandy in July 1944. Panthers vs M10 Tank Destroyers and Mark IVs vs Shermans. Small actions and large battles…we have it all. Games last … Continue reading

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