Forgotten War: a review

THE GOOD
Tight and clean product, few errors, new terrain types, good mix of scenarios
THE BAD
The RM Commandos should have had self-rally like the Rangers do, rules omissions
ORIGINALITY
4.00 star(s)
PRESENTATION
4.00 star(s)
FUN
4.00 star(s)
PLAYER'S VERDICT

9 'Superb'

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Yeah, the designer is not the most objective reviewer, but here goes.

The important stuff:
  • Isn't the American 9-1 Lt Katz just the coolest? The hot chicks all dig him.
  • SHAME on the designers for making the FB50 have the silhouette of an F9F Panther and not an F-80 or F-84. The design team had two USAF vets and zero USN/USMC vets, so what gives?
The minor good stuff:
  • A tight and clean product: very few errors.
  • I like that the KPA uses the Russian counter set with new Korean SMC. A completely new KPA counterset would have increased price, counter clipping and storatge for no good reason.
  • The production quality is superb. Salute to MMP and Chas.
  • I really like the new kind of terrain on boards 80-83.
  • Chapter W is simple and easy to learn for the typical intermediate-level ASL player.
  • Chapter H has plenty of interesting information (as I pat myself on the back).
  • Good mix of scenarios.
The minor bad stuff:
  • The RM Commandos should have had self-rally like the Rangers do.
  • The OUNC squads were organized like US Army squads and armed the same. So why do they have less firepower and range?
  • There is an omission in the rules. CPVA crews should not be exempt from the restrictive rules for CPVA rules squads/HS unless they are in a possession of a Gun or MMG/HMG/Lt Mtr/BAZ/RCL/etc. I hope that MMP makes that change official.
Summary:
A fine product, of which I am very proud.
 

Justiciar

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The important stuff:
- Isn't the American 9-1 Lt Katz just the coolest? The hot chicks all dig him.

The minor good stuff:

- The production quality is superb. Salute to MMP and Chas.

A fine product, of which I am very proud.
Hmmm, incorrect. The 9-2 outranks you, and is* the most interesting man in the world, without even drinking Dos Equis. ;)

Second, a salute is very much owed to Klas as well.

I too am very proud of this fine product.
 

jrv

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- The OUNC squads were organized like US Army squads and armed the same. So why do they have less firepower and range?
Perhaps chapter A footnote 2 might provide some insight: "Range is far more than simply a measure of the distance a unit's weapons can shoot. It is also an abstracted measure of the unit's discipline, fire doctrine, training, and willingness to engage an enemy. The player who assumes that his units will fire at any enemy they can see is giving the benefit of far more heroic and aggressive tendencies than they usually possessed." I think this could also be applied to firepower as well.

JR
 

Perry

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- There is an omission in the rules. CPVA crews should not be exempt from the restrictive rules for CPVA rules squads/HS unless they are in a possession of a Gun or MMG/HMG/Lt Mtr/BAZ/RCL/etc. I hope that MMP makes that change official.
A feature, not a bug. Don't expect any changes to that.
 

Gordon

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In general, I'm very pleased with the purchase, but does anyone else think that the US counters in FW aren't a particularly good color match for the existing US counters? My FW US counters are almost fluorescent.
 

Gunner Scott

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My feeling is you guys did not play those Chinese scenarios or play them fully because the Chinese are not fun to play and the scenarios that do feature them basically make the Chi coms almost worthless on the battlefield. Why do I say that? Well as I said, if you had actually taken the time to actually playtest these scenarios, you would notice that the combo of extreme winter and ammo shortage makes firing any chi com SW a very risky endeavor IE with B11's already noted on most chi com SW, the addition of ammo shortage decreases the B# to 10, the extreme winter conditions further reduce the B# to 9. (I had to find three or different rules pages for that one). I am also currently playing This is where we Stand and my Chi Coms are getting slaughtered by the USMC. Granted I have a ton of squads, but I really do not think I'll have much left to take the required hill hexes.

I really wish more attension was payed to the fun factor then the slave to simulations factor in this module. As a scenario designer myself, I suppose I could do a much better job then this group did on the current crop of FW scenarios. Get rid of restricted fire, the Chi coms are already penalized with low quality troops, why make things worse right? Get rid of IPM, too much dice rolling and once more, was it really needed other then to satisfy some over educated simulationists ego? Drop ammo shortage, the Chi Coms already suffer B11 on their SW why make it a miserable experience even more?

I do like the Steep hill rules, that must have been designed by someone who must actually play this game, not too hard to grok. lol. The NKPA are fun and not loaed up to the gills with special rules, so that aint too bad. To be honest, I really do not see a whole lot of people clamoring to play the Chi Coms due to their over engineered complexity, but good scenario designers I think, if they have the guts, to make this nationality work in future scenario designs without the loads of special rules that hamstring the Chi Coms at this time.


Scott
 

hongkongwargamer

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To be honest, I heard very similar feedback from China players who had already laid it out and played the CPVA.

But very different feedback from a FW playtester who regards playing the CPVA an acquired art.

I am waiting for VASL to be ready before playing my first round.
 

Gunner Scott

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Millions of Germans died and millions of Russians died in WWII but that does not mean scenario designs have to be slavish to simulate those actions right? The dude that designed the chi coms really made playing them a not so fun experience. You have close to five pages of rules on a nationality that saw less action then the Italians. Really, was that needed?
 

Michael Dorosh

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You need to read more. The Canadian histories talk about how much respect they had for the Chinese. By 1952 they had good artillery, excellent NCOs and excelled in fieldcraft. A worthy adversary. And a number of times Canadian positions were overrun by enemy raids even to the end of the war. I suspect the other combatants would have recorded similar opinions.

I wonder if you're aware China supplied the bulk of communist combatant forces for the majority of the war, on order of five times as many soldiers as North Korea fielded. Regardless, you missed the point about casualties. The Chinese contribution to the war was a major one - indeed, the war would have been over in 1951 had China not intervened militarily.

Millions of Germans died and millions of Russians died in WWII but that does not mean scenario designs have to be slavish to simulate those actions right? The dude that designed the chi coms really made playing them a not so fun experience. You have close to five pages of rules on a nationality that saw less action then the Italians. Really, was that needed?
 
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ecz

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given the fact that there are already 6000+ scenarios for ASL - and they are increasing month after month - the item of a core module that is less important to rate or evaluate are the scenarios included.

No Palantir is necessary to foresee that a lot of new scenarios will soon be designed, thus the original scenarios in the box are really not important. Of course if they are balanced and fun it's better, but I won't base my review on them.

About the Chineses. They can be weak or also too weak, but no Nationalty is boring per se, the scenarios can be boring instead. So any good Designer can make a masterpiece in any case, it's just a matter of skill design. Eventually even the basic rules can be SSRed out.

That said I still do not have a comment on the product. I think the new boards are very good however.
 

hongkongwargamer

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The casualties for each nation are itemized in the right hand margin of that wikipedia page I linked above.
All good mate .. I am just saying in half-jest .. that since this is the count from the University of Kansas (one side of the war), I might see a different count from the other China side. :)
 
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You are incorrect. We did play the Chinese scenarios.

The CPVA are different. Different is interesting and presents new challenges, which many ASLers like. If we had just made the CPVA like the other nationalities, it would have missed the point. The CPVA are certainly not worthless, either on the real or the ASL battlefield. They have unique strengths and weaknesses. If you study those strengths and weaknesses, you will figure out how to use them effectively, and you will find that your tactics tend to be like the tactics that the CPVA used.

CPVA Soviet-armed 1st line troops, used in mass and at night (i. e. how they tended to fight) are a lethal and powerful force. They will take hellacious casualties (which is what often happened) but are a very dangerous opponent.

My feeling is you guys did not play those Chinese scenarios or play them fully because the Chinese are not fun to play and the scenarios that do feature them basically make the Chi coms almost worthless on the battlefield. Why do I say that? Well as I said, if you had actually taken the time to actually playtest these scenarios, you would notice that the combo of extreme winter and ammo shortage makes firing any chi com SW a very risky endeavor IE with B11's already noted on most chi com SW, the addition of ammo shortage decreases the B# to 10, the extreme winter conditions further reduce the B# to 9. (I had to find three or different rules pages for that one). I am also currently playing This is where we Stand and my Chi Coms are getting slaughtered by the USMC. Granted I have a ton of squads, but I really do not think I'll have much left to take the required hill hexes.

I really wish more attension was payed to the fun factor then the slave to simulations factor in this module. As a scenario designer myself, I suppose I could do a much better job then this group did on the current crop of FW scenarios. Get rid of restricted fire, the Chi coms are already penalized with low quality troops, why make things worse right? Get rid of IPM, too much dice rolling and once more, was it really needed other then to satisfy some over educated simulationists ego? Drop ammo shortage, the Chi Coms already suffer B11 on their SW why make it a miserable experience even more?

I do like the Steep hill rules, that must have been designed by someone who must actually play this game, not too hard to grok. lol. The NKPA are fun and not loaed up to the gills with special rules, so that aint too bad. To be honest, I really do not see a whole lot of people clamoring to play the Chi Coms due to their over engineered complexity, but good scenario designers I think, if they have the guts, to make this nationality work in future scenario designs without the loads of special rules that hamstring the Chi Coms at this time.


Scott
 
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Because the CPVA had 6 different types of rifle-caliber ammunition, with primitive transportation, repair and supply services. It was a logistics nightmare, made worse by the climate, terrain and UN air interdiction.

Drop ammo shortage, the Chi Coms already suffer B11 on their SW why make it a miserable experience even more?
 
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