Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eastern Front coming to a LGS near you


The eagerly awaited (and much debated) Eastern Front book is scheduled for release this Friday. If history is any indicator, US Customs will hold the book at the dock for at least a week. There's a chance Battlefront might have wised up and sent the books early to the US to avoid the delay, but there are no rumors this was done.

Before the book was released, the FOW Forum had two camps about what to do with the Panzerkompanie. One camp argued that the army lists needed to be separated by time periods to make the lists more historical. On the other hand, many argued that they shouldn't be limited on what tanks they want to use for their panzerkompanie. Period. People complained about this approach since it led to most people using PzIIIN's, Panzer IIIL's and IIIM's along with PzIVG's in what is basically a 1943 (Kursk) panzerkompanie. A 1943 panzerkompanie is much different then a 1942 tank force with the changes in armor value to the PzIII's and higher AT values for the PzIVG. Battlefront is partly to blame because the point costing of PzIIIJ those tanks offered no advantages over taking a 1943 tank such as the PzIIIN (only 15 points to upgrade).

I'm a historical person, I want to field units to mirror a formation that actually fought at a particular time and place. When contemplating the 11.PD, I had originally decided PzIIIN's to be the mainstay of the force. However, research indicated that the 11.PD didn't use PzIIIN's, and instead used the long (lang) 50mm. I chose the PzIIIL's for 11.PD because pictures from the Sum 42 showed the uparmored gun mantlet. But that's me.

Others are just want to min-max their forces with 1943 tanks with Tigers in support.

BattleFront listened to the debate and it appears they chose to try to satisfy both parties. Here's a list of the panzerkompanies in Eastern Front:

1942 Schwere Panzerkompanie
1943 Schwere Panzerkompanie
Czech Panzerkompanie
Mittlere Panzerkompanie
a 1943-style Panzerkompanie
Kursk Pantherkompanie

I think Battlefront got it right. Rather than create one or two very generic lists, they created several specific lists, leaving it to the player to pick which one fits their tastes or playing style. Tournament Organizers now have the option to decide which of the lists are allowed, especially if they want a 1942-themed tournament.

I expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the lists come out anyway. Not everyone will be satisfied. But I also expect much of the shouting will be centered on point value, rather than specific lists.

Let the complaining begin...

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