Friday, February 6, 2015

My 1st Impressions on the rule set Fist Full of Tows 3

I was first introduced to micro armor in 1981 at a Gen Con convention at the University of Wisconsin campus in Kenosha.  They were WWII pick up games on the mezzanine and I was hooked.  I have played all kinds of rule sets from Challenger II by Bruce Rea-Taylor and Challenger II is not a game, but a simulation.  The turns last a long time, I mean an hour plus.  To the other side of the spectrum,  I have played very simple home brew sets and everything in between.

I have been looking for a rule set for micro armor for sometime and have not been satisfied with ones I have found.  I think that is why there are so many rules out there, as gamers we are always looking for new rule sets that fits their criteria or we all have ADHD.   Probably a little of both, I know that is the case with me.

One of the things that I have been looking for in a rule set was the ability to use one rule set for both WWII and modern periods.  I game both periods and using one rule set will make life less complicated.   This narrowed down the field quite a bit.  The only one that I was familiar that supported both was Mein Panzer and it is a fine rule set, I own them.  Though the modern portion of the rules is not that well supported yet.  I then came across Fist Full of Tows 3
I had Fist Full of Tows 2 so I was familiar with a previous version, but I never played it.  I had small children at the time and those of us that have had small kids know how much time one has devote to raising them.

Another criteria that I was looking for was differentiation of weapons and tanks.  I want a 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 to be different from Royal Ordnance QF 75 mm.  I think there is a time and place for  generic tank mounted weapons in games.  A rifle, is a rifle, is a rifle philosophy.  A lot of skirmish games do this for expediency and I like games like that.  But that is not what I was looking for in a micro armor game or at least that I am going to be playing in the near future.

I knew that Fist Full of Tows 3 was out but I had not really looked at it.  I am switching over to 3mm to use in micro armor games, much cheaper then 1/285.  I can get a company of BMP-1s for five dollars US.  I cannot hardly get 4 BMP-1s in 1/285th for twice that price, but that is another story all together.  So I have been looking at blogs that feature 3mm and I came across Tiny Tanks 3mm Blog.  Bish has a very nice blog and he uses Fist Full of Tows 3 as a rule set.  The AAR that he posts are what convinced me to buy FFT3.

It is a print on demand through Lulu and one has three choices  A PDF, a hardbound or coil bound, I choose the latter option.  I placed my order on Tuesday January 27th and received the rule set on Thursday February 5th.

The rule set is 450 pages including table of contents, appendixes and index.  It is quite thick so one gets a of of bang for the buck.
The first section is the overview and some of the sections are miniature war gaming introduction. The following photo shows how large that section is.

The next section is the rules themselves. Basically 120 pages of rules.  One will probably not use every rule in this section.  There are many optional rules and some sections I will never use such as nuclear weapons.  I do not believe there is a difference between a tactical nuclear weapon and a strategic nuclear weapon,  Once one type is unleashed all bets are off.

The next section is scenario design and designing new vehicles within the frame work of the game.
The next section is weapons, vehicles and OOBs of WWII belligerents.
The last section is devoted to weapons, vehicles and OOBs, post 1950.
Glancing through the rules I am excited about them.  I only have one complaint so far.  The following photo shows thw gun chart, the column legend is on the first page and only the first page.

This section  is 14 pages long and one has to page back to see what the column refers to.  This is the only section that this happens and I am glad this is the case.

I plan on playing a game on March 1st.  I will be writing a 2nd impression so to speak soon after.

Thank you for reading.