After a bit of a delay I return with the remaining key points from the FOW survey 2022 as laid out in the article here.
Do you 3D print?
This is quite an interesting result. While just over 1/4 players 3D print, over 52% either do or intend to start. I think is quite eye opening as this tech becomes more main stream and part of the hobby. At UK nationals and Warfare we saw armies almost fully 3D printed and more and more companies are offering quality products. Hopefully BF will dip their toe into the arena at some point. Maybe some of their excellent objective markers would be a good starting point?
Should FOW restrict list construction to be more historic?
FOW V4 takes quite a liberal approach to history. While a formation diagram may be accurate, widely available allies, formation support, command cards and multiple formations has arguably moved V4 into a more of a ‘take what you want’ mentality than previous versions. This has its upsides allowing more sales and the chance to dabble in other lists without buying another force. However, arguably, this has also led to less variety. With players being able to get access to almost any unit they want there is less reason to take specific formations. For instance Reluctant Panthers in V3 Bulge had very limited support, so if you wanted them there was a real downside to consider. Now you can take them with a swarm of Finnish T26s and double arty to deal with infantry. The survey results show that a significant majority of players would like more restrictions to make things more historical. That could either be achieved by new books (perhaps going back to a V3 like structure) or by LFTF reducing allies and/or formation support options.
Is the V4 way of constructing an army better than V3?
This links closely to the last question around historical forces and limiting choice. V3 (and earlier versions) had a more detailed force structure and many more formations. Each had its own support section representing what that company/formation would have been supported by, rather than a generic list as in V4. The results show that the V3 system is preferred which also reinforces the previous questions answer as well. It is also interesting that only 26.9% of players say they never played V3.
Would you like to see a yearly points balance to FOW?
We have already had some great news from BF….they have listened and are releasing a yearly points update for MW via forces of war. We should also expect LW next year as well. The points will then be reviewed and adjusted yearly. With over 3/4 of players wanting this, its exciting that we will get regular updates.
Lessons from the Front.
This is a slightly confusing set of results across 2 related questions. On the 1 hand 60% of players think that LFTF is updated regularly enough (over 6 months between updates currently), however over 50% of players think that it should be updated quarterly and 15% monthly. I hope BF look at the answers to the second question, a quarterly update would allow new matters arising from the latest books to be quickly addressed.
What got you into FOW?
A clear result for the power of word of mouth, with 40% getting into the game through friends and over 25% based on activity online (phew we remain relevant!).
The LW results surprised me. The fact that the most common answer for both questions was undecided is a good sign. Also despite what is widely written and seen at events, British were not voted the most competitive army. Instead Germany took that spot beating them almost 2:1. The recent number crunching articles this site has done on ETC and National events does not support this conclusion but the perception is interesting. It might be because Bulge Germany had just dropped when the poll was conducted though? On the flip side the Soviets coming out worst in both polls was very much expected. BF has a channelling history with the Soviets. In V3 they also suffered, so much so that the points had to be updated in the book ‘Red Bear’. In a similar fashion, Soviets are not performing well in V4 (based on our number crunching) and we fully expect to see them re-balanced in the imminent MW points update and the LW update next year.
In a lot of ways the MW results are very similar to LW with Germans being viewed as most competitive (by a much wider margin) and Soviets worst, however with Italians not that far behind. I am not that surprised by the Germans with Marder, Dianas, captured 76mm guns and captured 6pdrs forming the backbone of many a strong build, along with some nice a-historical, desert/eastern front mixing with a Ferdinand. Germany just has cheap tools for most things and a excellent delivery mechanic with their armoured car formation. I fully expect the nerf hammer to fall on armoured cars and AT12+s in the new MW points, as BF looks to encourage medium tanks onto the table.
Sorry it took a while to get the articles done, but I hope you have found the results interesting. Next year we will take some feedback from BF and players to tweak the survey and also compare results to this years. The MW points will be super interesting and I look forward to seeing how players perceive it has affected the relevant strength of the nations.