Today I’m looking at something that is viewed by some as much needed and others as complete herasey. Yep today I’m looking at points! Specifically Mid War points.
Now depending on your point of view either the points are fine and should be left as is, or, like a seemingly growing subset of gamers, think they need to have something done about them, particularly for Mid War, to make Tournament Gaming better balanced. There’s been lots of chatter about living points systems similar to other games systems etc, but I wanted to use this article to highlight something that has been done and done well in my opinion. Even if you disagree that it needed doing in the first place.
Here in the UK we have a group of dedicated gamers collectively known as The Bunshop Wargamers who over many, many years have spent countless hours not only playing wargames but at looking at rulesets they play and how they often translate into the competitive world of Tournament gaming.
The Bunshop folks run several Mid War FoW events here in the UK at Battlefield Hobbies excellent location in Daventry, alongside all the other things they do away from the Battlefront hobby. Back in pre-covid days, after participating in and running several events, the Bun Shop folks came to the conclusion that something wasn’t quite right in Mid War. No one played with the iconic tanks of the day and everybody tended to have forces teaming with armoured cars, light tanks and lend-lease equipment and. let’s be honest. even if you aren’t a history buff you might reasonably think this was a bit of an odd situation.
Now Battlefront have made their position on this clear, the hobby is ours to do what we wish with and if we don’t like things we are free to change them for our games but please don’t always expect them to adopt them into the published version of the game, even if they may agree with your perspective or point. So, with this tenant undoubtedly in mind, the good folks at The Bunshop decided to do something other than criticise from afar. Instead, they have taken their time to review all of the Mid War books and command cards and come up with a set of simple to understand points amendments that they feel makes the game better balanced in the Tournament setting.
What they haven’t done is say you can’t have this or that combination of units, cards equipment etc, but they have more fundamentally looked at what you pay for them and how this changes the balance of one force versus another force. So if your idea of a MW German desert army is to fill it full of Elephants, armoured cars and allied light tank formations, all supported by captured artillery, you can still do that at their events. However, just don’t expect to be able to have quite so many of them. If on the other hand you want to field workhorse Panzer II or IVs and T-34’s then you may well get a few more of those or some points available to add a little more in the way of Support to your list. You can read the full text here BIG Points Amendments
This root and branch review has resulted in a comprehensive and, importantly, tested set of adjustments they use for events they run, the first amendments edition being shared back in 2020 and following its use and feedback the latest edition is being used at the next Bun-In-Grad event (May 7/8). Whilst for most forces the amendments are small for the Germans things are a lot more radical and impactful.
Well you’ve read all this and are either thinking
a) why am I reading this or
b) what effect does all this have?
To illustrate the impact of what they have done with the German Mid War forces, I have taken my lists from the Panzer Regiment 11 pair of articles and applied the amendments to see what happens. First the original list.
From the above you can see for a BIG points event I’d get an extra 23 points! Now, strangely, my list from building a Better Panzer Regiment 11 had three additional units in it to create my more rounded force and these happened to officially cost exactly the same points as the BIG points amendment at 23!
The essential weaknesses of my second list using the official points are the unit sizes, with platoons of three and just the two Flame Tanks making my formation weaker than the original version. Add to this that I have had to remove my Panzer IV tanks, completely reducing my combat power to AT9 only.
The extra points allow me to nearly exactly reconstruct my original list.
I can’t quite upgrade a Panzer III (5cm late) to a 7.5cm but, otherwise, with the all the missing elements needed to create that more rounded force, with not quite all the options I really wanted. For me using the BIG points I get something much more playable and appealing than is available in the official lists at present, without it becoming totally out of balance with the opposing forces or allowing me to significantly gain an advantage.
So why not try having a game or two using these as an alternative to the regular book list points? I believe, particularly for German players, it will provide a better experience and for your opponents some new challenges in you regular games. After all you never know we may even use them in the future for a Breakthrough Assault event.