GameTalk: Poor Bloody Infantry

Byron Grant for GrogHeads ~

Poor Bloody Infantry

Many modern era games focus on the spectacular aspect of tank and AFV combat. The Flames of War – Open Fire! introductory game doesn’t even include infanty units, and infantry rarely make a meaningful appearance in future “Mech-war” games. Meanwhile, your dear contributor has always believed that the true mark of a talented wargamer can be seen in how they well they use infantry. So what say you? Do tanks and AFV’s get too much attention in modern and science-fiction wargaming? Does wargaming fortune usually favor those who use their tanks well?


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2 Responses to GameTalk: Poor Bloody Infantry

  1. Gill says:

    Fairly sure Open Fire does contain infantry?

    From the back of the box: 2 Grenadier platoons, one PaK40 platoon, and one US Paratrooper platoon, for a total of 105 infantry figures and 2 guns.

    Besides point though, right? I get what you mean but I think the biggest problem is how they work in most wargaming these days. They’re very much an important part of games like Battletech and left unchecked can be a real thorn in the side’s of ‘Mechs, at least in the succession era yet when you use these things in say~ Dropzone Commander, they’re only good for as long as the fight stays near them. Does it move away or they secure what they need? Well it’s as good as over for them.

    But that’s potentially a problem with Dropzone.

    Let’s tale a look at 40K for a moment: Infantry are the mainstay of pretty much every army there, the Guard have almost unlimited infantry that die in the droves, the Tau use specialist units to either hold a gunline or to bring powerful weapons behind their lines to targets. The powerful in 40K are surprisingly powerful… which leads to vehicles being little more than glorified turrets which can’t even use their armour to break lines and their shooting is less effective than a squad of infantry with worse guns.

    This means all the good vehicles are in fact Monstrous Creatures.. which is a vehicle with an infantry stat line and play style.

    So I dunno, I don’t think infantry are under represented, I think it’s just there has yet to be a game that does them both really well, and interestingly Battletech in my opinion comes closest to doing footsloggers right.

    Sorry if this is a bit rambly, writing on phones is a pain~ 😀

  2. Byron Grant says:

    Hey Gill,
    Thanks for the comment. Admittedly, the version of Open Fire I was referring to was this one (circa 2009 https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/40411/flames-war-open-fire).
    My observation was born from watching a number of Flames of War, A&A minis, and Bolt Action games where players were designing scenarios that very heavily favored tanks and AFVs over infantry.
    Excellent observations about WH40K.

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