17 July 2011

Osprey Force on Force Review

The new Osprey Force on Force can be described in two words “eye candy”. I am very, very happy with the standard of production. In the new book you’ll find a hard cover, sewn bindings, high-grade paper, and just plain easy to read print. I am also happy this was printed at a cost that is cheaper than the old dead-tree FoF book. Not only that? It puts BOTH rules in one easy to read place. Well done AAG and Osprey to this particular development.

I was also happy the programmed instruction ala Squad Leader was adopted. FoF isn’t a tough set of rules to learn, but as somebody who still occasionally flubs the action/reaction rules; it’s nice to see there’s a way to EASE into the rules. This was a very good idea in general and kudos all around. They also cleaned up a lot of older rules, and just put everything under one roof, which I will say, is darn nice to have.

The eye candy I mentioned are wonderfully photographed miniatures, color plates from selected Ospreys and all done well in a nice graphical package that doesn’t detract from the package, but instead, complement it. Again, very well done here I think. There’s also an introductory guide and a guide for tactics rounds out the package nicely, making it more than simply a set of dry recitations of rules.

Some have decried the cards being published in the back of the book, or the death of the asset cards, but AAG IS publishing them as a PDF add-on. So, one can use a computer printer and some cards to rectify this issue, heck I used homemade cards with my older copy of FoF for a long time, and didn’t seem to suffer. There’s also a new QRS coming out for it as well. So, all in all, good show here.

As I mentioned before? Support on the internet is top notch, and you can go to the forums, once they’re up, and watch Piers Brand outpaint just about everybody….;-) There’s also all kinds of support, and the AAG folks, be they Shawn, Peggy or Robby, are more than available to answer questions large and small. And in that vein, with Ambush Valley, Enduring Freedom, Road to Baghdad, Tomorrow’s War and Cold War Hot, the support projected to appear is simply…staggering. People who stand by their product are rare in general, so I appreciate this.

What I wasn’t nuts about? I missed the flow chart of Action/Reaction as was in the old rules. I know it was a bit flawed, but the concept was a good idea, and for a game like FoF, it was something that the game could use. I also miss WWII, but that’s more a personal pet-peeve. Anyone with half a brain can adapt the rules till the WWII supplements hit the market.

So all in all? I give it 4.5 out of five, with the detractions being the above. I would heartily recommend this rules set. It does its job well, and puts you in the role of a platoon leader. It’s simple, yet gets you down in the weeds effectively. The minor dings here are minor, and are barely worth half a star, but these days, everybody suspects you of something if you give a perfect review.

Buy these rules, you won’t regret it.

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