Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rules Nazi Episode VII - Anti-Aircraft vs AA MG.

This one probably isn't a big deal to most, but when I was first starting out, this caused an issue for me;

The difference between AA MG and Anti-Aircraft.

Could be on upcoming German train?
For some strange reason I deducted that these were the same things.  I mean really...what does AA stand for?  You guessed it...Anti-Aircraft.  How could I possibly have made the mistake of thinking they were the same thing?  Must be that weird New Zealand Engrish again.

Anyway, yes, there is a difference between the 2.  And it starts with knowing what a tank team is.

What got me confused early in my FoW career is I didn't know exactly what a tank team was.   It started when I was trying to figure out what firing arc the DshK on a truck had.  I was too caught up in thinking that the model was what the model was.  What I mean is the DshK is just a machine gun on a truck...not a tank.  The DshK Gun unmounted had the 'Turntable' attribute.  But the main gun on the truck didn't.  Looking at the model logically, and seeing that it had the awkward layout attribute, I deduced that it must only have a 180 degree firing arc.  When I asked the question on the forum someone pointed out that it would have a 360 degree arc because it was a tank team and DIDN'T have the 'Hull Mounted' attribute.

Everything falls into 1 of 4 categories of teams.
  • Tank Teams
  • Infantry Teams
  • Transport Teams
  • Gun Teams
So, once I figured out what a tank team was, I couldn't figure out what the differance was between say a Wespe with a AA MG, and a DshK Truck.  I mean they were both machine guns after all.

Needless to say this got me looking at all the other Anti-Aircraft rules, and this only served to confuse me more.  Remember this was early in my Career before I figured out New Zealand Engrish.

Anyway, there are 2 types of Anti-Aircraft guns and they are totally different.

AA MG (Anti-Aircraft MG)
They even put the word Anti-Aircraft in the title of the weapon.  This is probably what confused me the most.
This is a vehicle secondary weapon, like co-ax mg or hull mg.  You will only see this listed on lists as AA MG as a vehicle attribute.  But I believe they put the (Anti-Aircraft MG) to give it the Anti-Aircraft attribute.  Even though it doesn't say that any where.

Except you can't fire this weapon and shoot the MAIN gun at the same time.  Although you can shoot it with other MG's on the vehicle.  And if you fire this weapon (doesn't matter if at aircraft or not) you are more vulnerable in assaults.

And it is also classified as a self-defense weapon.  What this means is that it can shoot at aircraft ONLY if the aircraft is targeting the vehicles platoon.  And even then it only gets a RoF of 1.

This is an attribute of a vehicles main gun or a gun team.  So, it can fire full ROF at aircraft.  Unless its a heavy anti-aircraft weapon.  Then they get only 1 RoF.

This is also what confused me in the beginning, is that the whole shooting anti-craft section talks about the anti-aircraft attribute, which technically the AA MG does not have.  Unless you count the (Anti-Aircraft MG) in its title.   I think one could argue that this section doesn't apply to Self-Defense Anti-Aircraft weapons.

The saving grace is that it says ANY TEAM firing at aircraft...

So, if you shoot at aircraft, whether you have Anti-Aircraft, AA MG, or Heavy Anti-Craft, you can't move at the double, shoot, dig in, or assault in your next turn.

We won't even talk about cover from aircraft...will we WebGriffin?

Hopefully this rule doesn't or didn't confuse most people.  Unfortunately it confused me.  But I think this led me down the path to understand Phil's crazy Engrish.

New Zealand Engrish
When I talk about New Zealand Engrish, what I'm talking about is how the creators words seem to mean different things, then what he intended.   I want to do a whole Rules Nazi episode on this but I'll start it here.

This is why the MALFTF is bigger then the rule book.

Take for instance "Far Side of" means "in Between".  I'm of course referring to Cover from Aircraft.  This may not have been Phils intent on the rule, but he is wrong as the rule is written.

Another (meaning different) is Phils use of the word "Another" as it pertains to breakthrough assaults.

To mean Another means a different one.  The rule says;

If you launched the Assault and won, you may use your platoon's consolidation movement to launch a break-through assault against another platoon within 4"

As I said, to me this means a different platoon other then the one you just assaulted.  Again, even if this isn't what Phil meant when writing the rule, that IS how its written.

Websters meaning of "Another"

: different or distinct from the one first considered another angle>
: some other another time>
: being one more in addition to one or more of the same kind another piece of pie>

This is Phils Answer in the MALFTF when someone asked this question.

'Another' in this context was used in the sense of 'an additional', not in the sense of 'a different'. Don't know if it is just me, but I'd have used a phrase involving the words 'a different platoon' if I meant that. Another to me is more 'additional' than 'different', as in 'I'll have another muffin please!'. To me that means I want one more, rather than to swap the one I've got for a different one. Cheers (Phil)

Even in his answer he has proved himself wrong.  If he is having "another" muffin he is still having a different one, even though it maybe the same kind.  You aren't eating the same muffin you just eat.

The same thing should apply to FoW the way its currently written.  You may have assaulted a German Grenadier platoon.  But you can still assault the same kind of platoon, just not the same platoon you just assaulted.

The rule book is riddled with examples like this. This is the whole reason I started the Rules Nazi.  This is why the forum is rittled with game quesitons, this is why the 'Errata' is bigger then the freaking rule book.

The game doesn't play the same way that its written.

Don't get me wrong I love this game.  I'm very passionate about it.  I don't even want to change it.  But, if there is ever a version 3, Phil needs to let me Proof Read, or write it myself.


  1. I rove your engrish exampre.

    Man, I am NOT PC!!

    Good breakdown of the AAMG. I learned this rule really quick because I play LW Americans with the AOP. On more than one occasion I have had to explain to someone that their AAMG cannot shoot at my AOP. This one makes no freaking sense to me, but it is how the rule states.

    I can just imagine the conversation:

    Grunt: Hey Sarge! Should we shoot at that easy to kill prop plane that seems to be ranging in on our tanks?!?!?!

    Sarge: NO!!! It isn't shooting at us and I would like to save this ammo for when I need it - like when nasty infantry try to assualt - oh, wait. Nah, I wouldn't want to shoot it then either. Oh, I know why I have it! The General said something about having 5 extra points, so he bought us this cute AAMG.

    Grunt: WTF!!???!!!??

    Yup - just like that.

  2. lol ya I was in the other shoe. I couldn't believe I couldn't shoot at it.

    but I guess its a "self_defense" weapon.

  3. each "another" of your nazi rule post is a gem. :-)