Wednesday, 8 June 2011

(FoW) - My First Foray into Flames of War




Last night I met up with Daryl (40k Daemons player) at Maelstrom for a trial run of Flames of War. Since we didn't have any WW2 models, we trialled the game using Epic 40k miniatures (it was odd how well the Space Marines mimicked the Germans....).


The gameplay is refreshing quick, and relatively simple. The biggest departure from other wargames that I've played over the last 24 years is that the roll to hit is based on your opponent's level of experience, rather than your own. This is to simulate how well the opposing army has been trained in utilising cover and generally keeping out of harms way. The other big difference is just how easy it is to resolve an attack, especially when it comes to tanks - either the shot penetrates and destroys the tank, or else the crew bail out. That's it!


We picked two 1,000pt lists, an infantry-heavy Soviet side with a few howitzers and T-34 tanks, and a German army of Panzer-IV tanks and half-track mounted troopers. The game lasted under an hour, and ended in victory for the USSR. The battle was swung by the overwhelming rate of fire that came from the Red Army infantry teams - the Russians outnumbered the Germans by 4:1 and despite the protection of the half-tracks, they made very short work of the elite German units. The howitzers were also quite effective when they dropped their 6" square templates on a unit, however we found that it usually took several 'Ranging In' attempts before the barrage found it's target, and by that time the opponent was granted a hefty save, due apparently to them being able to prepare for the incoming shot because of the time taken for the multiple 'Ranging In' attempts.


All in all, Flames of War seems to be a quick, fun and relatively simple system to get to grips with. It was our first game and, using 1,000pt armies, we were done in an hour - including time spent checking the Quickplay Reference Sheets for the exact rules. By the end of the hour, I'd be happy to say I'd grasped the main game mechanics, although of course there are a few special rules to learn (though nothing like the amount in 40k!). I'm certainly not thinking of taking up FoW at the exclusion of all else (ie I'll still be playing 40k and building my Tyranid and Squat armies), but it does seem like a fun game and something I will be dedicating some time to over the sumer.


(PS - since this is predominantly a 40k forum, I will prefix my blog entries on this topic with 'FoW' so people can filter out the non-40k entries).

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