I find most people play a game once and immediately say "this game is broken". Go on any game forum and you are sure too see a hundred topics on how a game is broken and suggested house rules. How about adapt to the situation and learn. Most games you don't get a good feel for strategy and rules until you've played it several times.
Having said that, the one thing that has always bothered me about Flames of War is how useless turrets are in the game. And until recently Hull mounted guns had an advantage over turrets. They could just turn their hull but tanks with turrets had to turn their turret. This made turreted tanks more vulnerable to side armor attacks. But at least you were using the turret.
In a topic on the FOW forum Phil (creator) came out and said that now if targets where in front of the 180 degree firing arc turreted tanks could also turn their hulls. They would only have to turn their turret if targets were behind this 180 degree line. Well now this makes turrets even more useless. How often are you shooting at targets behind you? and even if you do, you might turn your hull anyway, or part of the platoon is in front, and you don't need to.
I understand this is all for simplicity, but you have these beautiful models, and you are making the game so simple that there is zero point to even having turrets on these tanks. You might as well glue them down. I have these beautiful tanks. I want to see the turrets turned in pictures. Not to mention the rules for turrets that you'll NEVER use. Like Slow Traverse and Limited Vision. There was never any point to spending money on the cupola for soviet tanks because the rule never came up.
So, I've come up with a solution that adds a LOT more realism to the game, and makes turrets far more useful...
How are you going to figure that out you say? Easy. I have 2 laser levels I used for line of site for other board games. You put them perpendicular to each other, and boom....instant 90 degree arc you can place on top of your tank.
In the little play testing I've done, I'm finding this to be far more realistic (not that FoW is realistic), puts some choice into the players hands, and makes the turret (and turret rules) useful again.
Take the Diagram to the right as an example. Lets say the tiger at the top of the triangle wants to shoot at the 6 pdr no. 4 over to his right. He has 2 choices. He can turn his turret and fire with his full rate of fire. Or, he can turn his hull and count as being moved (for shooting outside his 90 degree arc) and fire with 1 RoF. The player now has a choice because if the 6pdr shoots, he will now hit the side armor form there (for shooting outside the tigers 90 degree arc). And now Slow Traverse also comes into effect because he is turning outside his firing arc.
If the Tiger was an assault gun in the same situation, He would have no choice but to turn his hull and be considered moved and shoot with a 1 RoF.
I have also found that rotating your vehicle after moving matters more now. with the 180 degree arc it never really mattered. You would just basically face your vehicle forward and pretty much everything is in front of your 180 degree arc. thus again, always shooting at front armor, never using the turret.
You can also think about it from the point of view of the gunner looking through his firing slit. He is going to see things of to the side that are farther away, where he won't see things off to the side that are close up.
Since artillery and anti-tank guns would follow the same rules, they would have to really crank their guns to shoot something to the side. therefor considered to be moving if they are outside the firing range. Makes movement and placement far more interesting.
The only thing, I think, that I have to work out, is how things will work if the turret is already turned. but don't think it will be to tough. I'm going to do some more play testing and then post my official house rules on this in part 2.
This new rule really makes Panthers vulnerable...and not as scary.
I know the hardcore FoW people will think I'm crazy. But I'm a gamer as much as I am a historian or hobbyist. The best games are always the ones where there are difficult choices. Simply adding this firing arc, adds so much choice to how you move and shoot, and makes turrets mean something again.
The more I play with it, and think about it....the more I like it.
Stay tuned for part 2.