After watching many Face of Battle games over the past years, usually at conventions and during demonstrations, I have noticed a few consistent failures in tactics and game play. Whether it is a new player lacking familiarity with the game, or a veteran player simply forgetting the odd rule. All players are susceptible to poor tactics.

Fatigue Move
Players simply do not use this move. I am not sure why? Perhaps they fear that fatigue marker is too much to remove or the x2 penalty too high. But, that second move on a single card can place a soldier out of LOS, advance within attacking distance, or simply position the soldier to interrupt the enemy's plans. All of which may be critical to overall squad tactics and game victory. You can always remove the marker once you have re-entered cover, hidden safely out of LOS.

Moving and Shooting
One Word: Submachineguns. Moving and shooting is a x2 penalty. Like the fatigue x2 modifier, the move and shoot x2 modifier is another thing that causes players to hesitate and avoid a rule. But when you move your soldier into short range and fire, the FRT modifiers for short range -30 and the -10 for a SMG usually offsets the x2 modifier. Run up and blast away!

Timid Play
Players are afraid to lose a man, either by INC or KIA. Since this is a skirmish game with usually small amounts of figures, lots of players are timid when they lose 1 man of 12. But, losses are expected. Remember too that your opponent also has a small number of soldiers.

Poor Tactics
The Face of Battle attempts to simulate battles. If you use real tactics, strategies, equipment, fire teams, special units in the way they are designed, the outcome will be much more satisfying.

Combat Instead of Victory Conditions
I have seen many times players simply shooting at each other, while turns go by and the victory condition slips away. Remember your victory conditions. Think decisive win, not KIA's.

Those extra leadership cards can give a normal 2-card soldier 5, 6, or 7 actions in one turn. Go for it! Think Medal of Honor, Cross of Iron or Victoria Cross kind of heroics. Attach leaders to support units like machineguns and mortars.

Sitting around for 1, 2 or 3 turns. A game usually only lasts 5 turns. If you wait, your may never recover.

Although this is a slight contradiction to the above statement, rushing into battle can sometimes lose a game. There is nothing like pushing the attack early, then on turn 3, the tank support is scheduled to arrive and all the infantry are dead. Why not wait in cover until units are in position, or move to better positions, or wait for the big support to arrive and concentrate your attack.

Lack of Co-Ordinated Effort
I usually see this at conventions where there are several players each controlling a small force. Each player takes their squad in unsupporting positions on the table and usually operate independently. The forces usually get wiped out one by one. Players should concentrate their forces and support each other effectively.

Poor Artillery Use
Don't wait to call in artillery at the end of the game. Call it in as soon as possible. It will take a turn or two to arrive and scatters like crazy. Drop them early. Players also rarely correct fire. That applies to mortars too. No players correct artillery or mortar fire.

Players rarely uses it when it is available in the scenario.

Cover Moves
No players uses those 50 ton tanks as cover for their soldiers. They just send the tank ahead and then run the infantry far behind it to be shot in the open.

Soldiers will throw them at extreme range to scatter like mad, thus wasting the grenade. Yet soldiers rarely run up and drop them in a window - much more effective.

Fire Lanes
One of the most forgotten rules, yet deadly and effective. Go here for more information on fire lanes.

If you have any more suggestions to add to the list, please email me: michael.ball@thefaceofbattle.com