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Tomorrow's War (Science Fiction Wargaming Rules) Hardcover – October 18, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Publishers of the best-selling Ambush Alley rules for modern counterinsurgency warfare.

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Product Details

  • Series: Tomorrow's War
  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849085315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849085311
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tomorrow's War is the futuristic follow-up to Ambush Games' Force on Force Ultramodern rules. Having owned the previous edition of the rules, it's interesting to see how the rules have developed and patched up some of its earlier shortcomings while getting a professional coat of paint from Osprey Publishing.

The basic rules revolve around using different dice to represent quality, with most tests either being opposed dice rolls with a minimum of a 4+ for success. Much of the system is carried over from Force on Force, and if you want to see the basic overview of the rules, go there: these rules are standalone, but I'd prefer not to retread ground I've already covered.

Obviously one of the biggest selling points with sci-fi games are weapons and equipment and how it can deal with a variety of weapons. In the previous edition, weapons of a certain type were given a general effect to the squad, regardless of how many were present or what tech level you were at. You could only use one of these effects at a time, too, so mixed-weapons squads weren't optimal. This time around, they've gone a different way: only support weapons (think MMGs or RPGs) provide special effects as the minute advantages and disadvantages of different infantry weapons are considered to balance out. These weapons provide a stackable effect while being used with a squad, while having more specialized effects when used on their own. Along with this, the higher tech level (a basic idea how high-tech your equipment is), the more effects it can get. They're pretty simple to remember and a good improvement on the last edition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want a good, very flexible, sci-fi miniatures ruleset, Tomorrow's War deserves a good, hard look. I love it. The Action-Reaction chain model for game play makes this a much more interesting game than the IGO-UGO approaches that dominate the miniature gaming world. Everyone who plays this system comments how it is much more non-stop and therefore more engaging. This game follows the same model as the recently released "Force on Force" product, and is a no brainer if you are a Force on Force fan.

I have heard some grumblings that you need Force on Force to be able to really understand how to play Tomorrow's War, I do not think you do. I do think Force On Force is helpful though. They set out to deliver a complete game and for the most part I believe they delivered. Even though I owned the older Ambush Alley rulesets, I did go out and also buy the new Osprey version of "Force on Force" and some scenario books. I think taking all of these items together there is no end of possibilities for Modern to Sci-Fi wargaming. I really recommend both rulesets and start with the most appealing "era" for you.

Some highlights that appealed to me once I got into the rules and played a few games
- Good pacing with everyone engaged throughout, most games done in a few hours or less.
- Flexible on scale (15mm, 20mm, 28mm are all okay), number of figures, basing, etc.
- I went back and looked at Traveller and Star Wars RPG rules for ideas and have been able to reasonably translate cool ideas from there into the Tomorrow's War system. It is a skirmish game, not an RPG, just to be clear.

It is just fun.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Good - I really appreciate the universal mechanic for resolving tasks. Keeping a static number and rolling different types of dice is a nifty idea. I also appreciate the breadth of ideas for futuristic engagements. There are a lot of interesting ideas and rules for different types of potential scenarios aside from the regular ‘wipe out the other person’s forces.’ The book itself is high production with colorful art, nice thick pages, all in a well bound hardback book.

The Bad - The layout of the rules is not ideal. While there are plenty of text examples, relying on photographs for some of the cover and LOS situations is a poor choice (wish they went with a cleaner graphic instead). There are too many charts spread out. Even worse, there is no quick summary sheet. Such critical information for playing the game and it’s scattered throughout the book.

For all the simplicity of the universal die mechanic, the game still gets bogged down with lots of book keeping. It’s small things that keep adding up, glutting the flow of the game. Like units taking multiple reaction tests which have to continually reduce their firepower and movement for future reactions.

The Verdict - This is not a ruleset I can recommend. While resolution of actions appears streamlined, in practice it’s ungainly. For contests, not only do you roll over the target number, but also have to roll higher than your opponent. This means a bucket of dice rolled in an attack have to be set aside and individually paired off as the defender rolls another bucket of dice.

For all the abstract positioning and LOS issues being based on an entire unit, you still get mired down in individual models needing various conditions being tracked.
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