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Flames of War: The World War II Miniatures Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Flames of War - too simple? too old? too flat? rss

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Ben Bosmans
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Bought the 2006 rule book and Ost Front data book (42-43). Well the books look very professional and cool. Then we bougt a Russian Infantry company and a few T-34 tanks to have an intro 600 points army. I found the miniatures good and the tanks great. let's say that for these items you spend around 200-240 Euro
But then I began to read the rules. As an old wargamer I am dissapointed, perhaps more playing time will put this game up in my ratings. But a lot of things seem wrong at the moment.
The system is a VERY simple I go You go system with non-simultanious fire. The new Axis and Allies miniature system get a lot of bad critics that it isn't realistic, but at least in these rules you have semi-simultanious movement AND simultanious fire.
Flames of War also has NO opportunity fire (so we are back to 1970 Panzerblitz !).
The different data for the tanks are not much differentiated. You blow away the others at standard 40 cm distances (and get a -1 on the to hit table if further away).
Procedure of fire combat is very simple. You shoot, you hit and the other guy can throw an armour save. Mostly you move and shoot and that means throwing with one die to hit (eg. 4,5,6), one die to counter (e.g. 4,5,6) and sometimes one die to have a last rescue against being destroyed (armoured vehicles) (e.g. 5,6).
And that's it.
Some (frontal or even side) armour can NEVER be penetrated against certain tanks (e.g. Sherman against Tiger) no matter how short the distance. So if you don't look out and compete with certain tanks you won't have any chance in the shooting area, no matter how you move.

There is close combat after the firing session, but it all comes down to moving, hitting your opponenent with 5 (Russian 10) hits to pin him down and then hope that he doesn't roll 3,4,5 or 6 to make him have cover with his infantry. No matter how hort the range of MG fire, you' ll always be safe with rolling 3's or more with infantry, even in the open !
With al this beautiful hardware, books and documentation, it's very frustating that even simple (money making rules) like Axis and Allies miniatures cover MORE than these Flames of War rules.
As this is the newest 2006 release, there is little hope that a major overhaul will see the day of light for this one.
Following home rules should be made:
- More varation between tank types
- More varation between distance shooting
- Opportunity or Defensive fire phase should be added.
- Simultanious fire phase is a must.

For those looking for WW2 miniatures: it's a pity that these rules are NOT state of the art in 2006. Problem is that the collectable Axis and Allies Miniature sets have a far more sophisticated set of rules but the collectable aspect and 100 points "booster-like" gaming sessions put many of.

Perhaps you could buy the FOW miniatures and try the rules of A&AM on it with the historical scenarios found on the wizards gaming site (www.wizardsz.com). But for now, the FOW rules are no challange and no serious study of WW2.
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steven richard
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I must agree here. I've only played this once, but it was one time too many. I was immediately drawn in by the great minis, but the game itself is a waste of time for anyone who has any interest in tactical wargaming.

Actual occurence in my trial game at a Con, refereed by an official GM or I would have assumed we were doing something wrong:

As the Germans, I had a US infantry unit completely surrounded by a combined arms force including infanty, artillery and a freaking Panzer. The target was in open ground and within point blank range of my infantry and my Panzer.

I rolled my dice, he rolled his. He escaped completely unscathed.

It's a shame that such a great mini collection is backed by such a lame rule set, but I guess you can always use the minis with another set of rules, eh?

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Brian Blad
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I would add to this that the cost is rather extravagant as well. True, product has to be shipped from New Zealand, but $8 - $15 U.S. for a single vehicle? That's crazy. Try to purchase one of the company packs and you're looking at $200 US or more. The holes in the rules, the need for constant additional books for new scenarios/rules and then the large cost of the miniatures themselves just makes this too prohibitive for the "average" gamer.

 
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Tim OConnor
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It's worse than you think from a historical accuracy perspective.

- Like a modern Apache attack helicopter a slow and heavy German Tiger II tanks can pop-up from behind a hill, blast away, and pop-back down w/o being fired at.

- In the "ambush" rule a full platoon of Panthers (or any other unit) can beam down/materialize at just about effective rifle range in the wide open...on ground through which you just passed and in full view of your units

- 60mm mortars are MORE effective against infanty in the open compared to 155mm howitzers

- A German uber-character model can "raise the dead"

- An entire infantry platoon can fit in a single jeep or kubelwagen (or a motorcycle for that matter...FOW gamers call it the "clown car" rule)

- vehicles with hull mounted guns are actually more agile that vehicles with turret mounted weapons (they can turn to face an enemy within their front 180 degree arc and not count as moving...vehicles with turrets can turn their turret but may not turn the vehicle w/o counting as having moved...historically even turreted vehicles tried to keep their front armor to the enemy and many found it faster to pivot the vehicle and use the the turret for finer aim adjustment).

etc., etc.

If you're looking for a WH40K-derived game which happens to use WWII miniatures, you'll enjoy the FOW approach (the codices even include warhammer style Hero figures). I like the books for painting, modeling, and organizational info and the rules certainly attract new players. But it also attracts hardcore "fan-boys" who would believe 2+2=5 if the FOW staff said so (yes, they've even defended the idea that 40+ guys could fit on a motorcycle ).

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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Okay, I've only played a few times and the game has not grabbed me yet.

BUT

I've witnessed dozens of games from beginning to end. I've been to several tournaments to help out with set-up, tear-down, and making life easier for the players. I've helped new players out with explaining what particular weapons, vehicles, and equipment were used for in real life so they can get a grasp of what it's supposed to do in the game.

And in the time since it's come out, I've not seen a more actively supported, debated, and played set of WWII miniatures rules. And I include GDW's 2nd Edition of Command Decision in that summation.

Flames of War is not the historical simulation that ASL or ATS is. But neither is it a light, fun-first "euro" wargame like Memoir '44 (and I absolutely love Memoir '44). It is a very solid, middle-weight (in complexity), company-against-company WWII wargame that really does a superlative job of a) presentation, b) meaty, tactical play, c) rules writing (for a historical miniatures game), and d) point-balancing.

The first year the game was played in Austin, a lot of WWII historical miniaturists sort of gave it the brush off-- until they realized that the game has a lot more historical underpinnings than most "light" miniatures wargames, was fun to play, and people really didn't much argue about the rules. (They may not have liked some rules, but they couldn't argue about the meaning.)

Furthermore, Battlefront (the game's publisher) has a full range of 15mm WWII miniatures and vehicles for the game (though folks can really use any 15mm WWII line of figs and vehicles they want) and has a strong web presence with support for the game. Fans are constantly making up and testing new army lists for the early, middle, and late periods of the war (which the game segments for balance purposes).

There are some niggling bits that I don't like about the system (such as the infamous Tiger Crew rules), but considering that most equally pointed armies balance out pretty evenly and still resemble company-level WWII formations, I have to give Battlefront credit for slicing a real Gordian Knot among WWII miniatures players. IOW: a little gamey, true, but it works surprisingly well. And the second edition rules have really cleaned up some glaring first edition cheese. All that is due to active fan input and the publishers listening to them.

Also, Battlefront has just released the hard-bound second edition of the rules as well as the afore-mentioned Mid-War "Afrika" (Western Europe/Mediterranean) and "Ost Front" (Eastern Europe) army lists. Players that can present an un-stamped copy of the first edition rules to a hobby store that sells the game can obtain a digest-sized, perfect-bound set of the 2nd eddition rules free!

In additon, Battlefront offers prize support for stores that run Flames of War tournaments. The San Antonio-Austin-Killeen area is a real hotbed of Flames of War players an they come out by the dozens whenever any FoW event is held. I'm amazed that such a game could grab the imagination of what is generally a quarrelsome (from a rules preference stand-point) bunch of hobbyists. FoW has really galvanized a lot of WWII minaturists around the globe. It may not seem like it, but it has!

For me, the greatest hurdle is the expense of purchasing a 1500-point "tournament" army. It'll cost me at least another $50 for one of the Mid-War army books. Another $50 if I decide to get a hard-bound copy of the rules. (I qualified for the freebie.) And then several hundred more dollars just to purchase the lead. And then time, money, and effort in getting the lot painted. For that money, Heroscape and a score of other boardgames are just too attractive.

However, for the guy that wants to play a meaty, steel-on-steel, WWII mechanized warfare miniatures game that is well-balanced and takes history fairly seriously, I'd recommend this over anything else I can think of.
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Matt Hoskins
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Ben_Bos wrote:
Some (frontal or even side) armour can NEVER be penetrated against certain tanks (e.g. Sherman against Tiger) no matter how short the distance. So if you don't look out and compete with certain tanks you won't have any chance in the shooting area, no matter how you move.


The 75mm gun on the Sherman m4 could not penetrate the Tiger's armor from the front at any range. An m4 needed to be within 500m to penetrate the Tiger 1 from the side.

The stats for the Tiger and M4's gun reflect this. In FOW the Sherman CAN penetrate the Tiger 1E from the side at short range.

This is moot however. The game isn't simply a function of tank vs. tank combat and number crunching. FOW does a nice job of creating a fairly simple framework for an enjoyable tactical game that reaches a wide audience. The game is designed for playability first, history second or third. This is the current state of the miniature market.


Ben_Bos wrote:

With al this beautiful hardware, books and documentation, it's very frustating that even simple (money making rules) like Axis and Allies miniatures cover MORE than these Flames of War rules.


I can't agree with this statement at all. AAM is a full order of magnitude lighter than FOW. AAM offers concurrent turn structure, semi-simultaneous fire, opportunity fire, but the game is confined to a very small scope - 100-150 point games with 14 or fewer units on a side.

There are also major problems with certain units in AAM. Infantry with def 5 and tanks with def 7 are very very hard to deal with, if you can deal with them at all. The Panzergrenadier from set 1 is completely undercosted. The BAR gunner breaks the simultaneous fire. etc.

Everything in AAM uses the same three range bands. How is that modern or sophisticated? Furthermore, long range rarely features in the game.
AAM also has limited replay value. Each game is the same scenario on a slightly different map. AAM is more customizable board game than war game.

I think your review really missed the mark.
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Jason
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Panzer wrote:
I would add to this that the cost is rather extravagant as well. True, product has to be shipped from New Zealand, but $8 - $15 U.S. for a single vehicle? That's crazy. Try to purchase one of the company packs and you're looking at $200 US or more. The holes in the rules, the need for constant additional books for new scenarios/rules and then the large cost of the miniatures themselves just makes this too prohibitive for the "average" gamer.



I dont know about that. At least you know what you are getting and you dont have to buy random booster packs and pray you get a tank instead of a plane.

Also the figs you need for AA:M go for that much on ebay if you want a decent army you have to hunt and peck for them. Plus the FoW rules are consistent, in AA:M you get mini's that are outdated and get old and newer boosters make older sets worthless due to imbalance. Each game has its pros and cons. Then there is the quesiton of support or lack of. Plus you cant really build specific time periods and you cant stop really bad powergaming in AA:M. Just look at the Flames of War site, it is chock full of support.

http://fow.flamesofwar.com/

You can tailor the army the way you want, not the way a booster pack dictates, and also not be held ransom by some guy on ebay selling a tiger tank for outrageous sum.

Quote:
I would add to this that the cost is rather extravagant as well. True, product has to be shipped from New Zealand, but $8 - $15 U.S. for a single vehicle? That's crazy. Try to purchase one of the company packs and you're looking at $200 US or more. The holes in the rules, the need for constant additional books for new scenarios/rules and then the large cost of the miniatures themselves just makes this too prohibitive for the "average" gamer.


Look what you get: METAL, nicely detailed miniatures that YOU can paint and design the way you want. Each miniature is a tiny modeling project. Welcome to true miniature gaming. YES it is expensive, but you get what you want instead of buying cases of miniatures and getting 10 landing craft you will never use

Quote:
AAM also has limited replay value. Each game is the same scenario on a slightly different map. AAM is more customizable board game than war game


This is why I cant wait for Tide of Iron from Fantasy Flight Games
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steven richard
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Well, I hope this thread doesn't degrade to arguing about whether or not the game is realistic or not because...umm...it's a game. Having said that if I were going to spend hundreds of dollars and hours into this or any game, I would hope that the end result would be worth the effort.

Whether or not it is depends on what you are looking for. If somebody came to this site to see if this game would be a suitable miniature version of their favorite tactical WWII boardgame (i.e. ASL, ATS, etc) they would be well advised to look elsewhere.

On the other hand if what they are interested in cool figs and strong support from the company...and if their interest in "wargaming" lies somewhere in the realm of Memoir '44 or the Axis & Allies series...I don't think they would be disappointed.

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Tim OConnor
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Steven,

Good point about BF's support. It's the absolute best among miniatures companies (similar to the great support from GMT). If you ever have a problem with one of their products they work very hard to fix it and they do so without any hassles!

As to historical accuracy, its tactics are the opposite of WWII, so your comment on its historical value compared to traditional board games is dead on.

With its move-fire sequence and lack of op-fire the tactics which work great in FOW would get one killed in the real-world. Recently an aspiring infantry officer here in GA commented that FOW was at least "realistic in result", an oft heard assertion. I then asked him if he would be willing to use FOW tactics in his next training activity. He laughed and said, "You're right, no way. I'd lose my commission. And in Iraq I'd lose lives."

It's not that more accurate tactics can't be represented in a game without long complicated rules (FOW is actually fairly complex with lots of special rules and exceptions to rules). But FOW is designed to sell lead figures through tourney play, so as FOW's designer Phil Yates has noted, certain decisions have been made in favor of lead sales over historical accuracy (accurate WWII tactics are very difficult for kids coming from WH40K...one mistake can mean instant loss).

It would be simple to change FOW to a historically accurate fire-move sequence with op-fire, but it would make for a very difficult game (w/o it being any more complex).

As to comparing it to A&A and Memoir, it's probably closer to Memoir than A&A wrt tactics.

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Ben Bosmans
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So,

the conclusion is that both (FOW AND A&AM) aregames and in their basic form certainly not valuable historical simulations.

Only ... the miniatures, packaging, books and marketing of FOW deserve better rules.

E.G. Since the beginning of the 1970's opportunity fire is really basic in wargaming.

A&AM turn structure can work, but of course you have to download the historical scenarios and maps on the internet. Just playing the standard 100 point games is dull.
Some A&AM scenarios are good like the Juno beach invasion, but require at least 300+ dollar investments on plastic miniatures.

So the standard WW2 simulation game with miniatures isn't born yet. As I have read and played the Rapid Fire (amateurish) and Command Decision Games rules (too tedious) and found no good.

 
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Jason
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The one thing that turned me off of FoW was the building of the army. It is very confusing and not too well regulated. The diagrams didnt make much sense to me and everytime I asked a question about men on a stand or how to make a unit CO I got like 12 different answers. Also the army books were confusing the way they were laid out, even the new ones.

I got frustrated with it in the end
 
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Steve Burt
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If you dislike FOW, Rapid Fire and Command Decision, you might want to have a look at Battlefront:WW2 (no relation to the company which makes Flames of War). The excellent website is at www.fireandfury.com

Probably the best set I've played for realistic tactics, and good combined arms representation. Infantry stands are squads, model vehicles are 2-3 real vehicles.

If you prefer lower level games, "I ain't been shot mum" (www.toofatlardies.co.uk) is also very good, and adopts a Kreigspiel approach.

For infantry combat, you can't do much better the Crossfire.
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Charles Licata
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Finished my Ph.D. Comps and decided the new rule book would be my treat to myself. WWII played Warhammer 40K style. What a waste of money. I would rather play Armor 88, MBT, or some other game. I was also told the expense to build a force was not that bad. Damn me for listening to store emplyees with discounts. Am I bitter. Only that a tree had to die for my copy of the rules.
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Andrew Norris
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I personally don't like rule sets that have op fire. It leads to too many games that are a Mexican standoff. I sit where I am and wait for a chance to fire and you sit where you are and wait for a chance to fire. The end result is that we sit still and never move. I am glad that there is no op fire in FOW.

FOW may not be for everyone. Currently there is no miniature game that is loved by all. I don't mind that FOW is an abstract game. I play it because it is a game not because I want to relive the battle of El Alamein. I want to sit down with my friends and gun down some Germans with my Americans. FOW does that for me with minimal fuss. Plus I can also find people that play the game without too much trouble.

If you have people that play those other games you mentioned and enjoy it I would say play those games. I don't have an abudance of time to play and learn complex rules sets. Or an abundance of time to devote to playing a full simulation wargame. I am for beer and pretzles in my miniature gaming. And FOW is beer and pretzles. They have nice minis and a well supported rule set even in the US. Other games are not well suported in the US and many times I think they are run out of someones garage. Battlefront is a top notch company. Sure they need to sell lead and rules, but then again when they sell lead and rules they continue to support the game. The same can't be said for Joe's garrage games and his WWII rule set that is a hardcore simulation that will last for days longer than the actual battle took.
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Ben Bosmans
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That's the problem. If I want to have a quick "fun" game of miniatures I can always play Warhammer Fantasy and have fun with my wizards and Empire super knights.

But if I want to play a WW2 miniatures game, as a wargamer, I want to have historical insight, historical correct data structure. A good wargame let's you read about the subject.

Of course opportunity fire has a place in this, just like covering fire, alternate movement, realistic combat resolution etc...
While these insights exist in hundreds of board wargames, be it tactical or operational, it just doesn't exist for miniatures.

FOW has it all to become a success. They have the miniatures, the marketing, the professionalism. They even have a framework of very attractive rules. The only thing is ... they are the wrong rules. See my above comments. I won't repeat my remarks again.

FOW is so close to become a standard world wide hit, they only forgot to write correct historical rules.
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Pat Roberts
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I am really glad to see this debate. I am attracted to the mini's but I am not at all attracted to the idea of a game that is not more of a simulation. I have games that do that already. A&AM gives me neat mini's and a super fast game with some amount of tactics. Nothing like a real war game, but fun and gives me a fix when time is short. If I get into mini's and I am looking to, I want a REAL game. Hours (weeks) of assemby and painting, hundreds of dollars and the payoff is for me a game that feels like I am involved in a real combat. Rules that drop realism in favor of quick play or mini's sales do not cut it in my book. So, I will look at the other rules mentioned. Maybe I will buy their mini's for other games, but with the investment I plan to make, I want realism. Nothing else will satisfy me. To thos that like it as is, I hold no grudge. To each his own.
 
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Troy Adlington
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I'm an old school miniatures gamer.

I ignored this game at first, but after giving it a shot I've given it a big thumbs up

They've designed a game that plays in 3 hours, that all sorts of armies can be competitive at (My German Panzers were defeated by Italian Mountain troops in one memorable game) , and that captures the feel of WW2 company level combat without being ASL. (Note I like ASL)

The lack of opportunity fire is a feature not a fault. It allows for certain tactics and is to be ALWAYS taken into account when you place your troopies. You have to realise that stationary troops get a better rate of Fire so a typical Sherman rush on 2 dug in 88's is a dicey propostion...will the tank guns and machine guns do enough?...or will the 88's absolutely murder the m4s.

Those that cry 'realism' are often those that want to look up chart after chart and play a game where all they seem to do is 'bang their tanks together', I hate those guys.

Give me a game that is Fun, is playable and looks great. Well done Battlefront

And for those comparing this to Axis and Allies....for shame









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Damon Mosier
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Ben_Bos wrote:
That's the problem. If I want to have a quick "fun" game of miniatures I can always play Warhammer Fantasy and have fun with my wizards and Empire super knights.

But if I want to play a WW2 miniatures game, as a wargamer, I want to have historical insight, historical correct data structure. A good wargame let's you read about the subject.



What if I want a quick "fun" game of minis but don't like fantasy, wizards, and super knights? There will always be a market for a deep, historical, WWII game. So maybe this isn't that game. So what? There is also a market for light, quick, WWII games like FoW. Why does it have to be either/or? Your review does a very good job of pointing this difference out, but you make it out to be a "bad" thing as opposed to just pointing it out. Some of the things you list as bad are exactly what would draw some people to this game. I do think it is important that people understand this difference before they buy the game though and for that your review serves well.
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Sean King
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It was mentioned that in FOW the Sherman can take out a Tiger.

Actually when a tank is taken out in FOW it dosn't mean that it is blown up. All it means is it is disabled...to totally destoryed. We do not know actually the extent of the damage to it. That is what it represents when a tank is taken out.

I do agree with that the rules are simplified but for a quick game that can be played mulitple times in a night its great. Plus painting up the minatures is half the fun and doing hte research for your army.

Sean
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Raul Catalano
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I play FoW from some months, and I think most of the critics done here are the result of an incomplete knowledge of the game, that's more deep than at first glance.

Yes, on a very superficial level it's like Warhammer: you move, you shoot and you charge.
BUT the little differences between units and nationalities, and the interaction between the many different choices you have (to cover, to dig a foxhole, to have or not your lines of fire etc.) makes the real interesting point of the game and what makes a good Fow player: try to charge someone without support fire !
So, you can decide if you really like or not FoW only after some games, especially against an expert opponent (I was astonished to see losing my first games after just two turns because of some critical mistake I made!).

Of course there are some limits: I dont'like the lack of opp.fire, too, but I understand that this is a conscious decision of Battlefront to put its line between realism and playability. I think that it is necessary to give a +1 penetration bonus to guns at very short range (also because there is already a realistic +1 to armour at long range).

But said that, Fow is a fun and good game. Yes, like all miniatures games it is not cheap, but for a good army you must pay much much less than for other popular games (I am a Warhammer 40K player, and I know ...), and to see a painted army on a good prepared table is something that opens the heart !

I know hard-core wargamers will find tons of much more complex and realistic games, but for a good two/three hours WWII game with miniatures I think FoW is a good not-so-simple choice.
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Benny titled this thread "too simple? too old? too flat?" and went on to say that it was going back to Panzer Leader days.

I would like to add my 2pence worth and say that I have played a lot of minis games and I have to agree with Benny, the rules read like they are from the 70s, its a step backwards. I am not complaining about the simplicity, there are games out today such as TOI which are simplified but the rules are streamlined. They do everything you want from a wargame but without the clutter.

Throwing a 1D6 and having saving throws remind me of the books I read by Charles Grant and Donald Featherstone and these were guys from the early 60s...Please, lets move on.
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Troy Adlington
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Since WW2 miniatures are actually being played again by more than the odd guy with a cardigan and a pipe I doubt it's a step backwards.

Play the game and don't be the typical BGG snob "I opened the box and flicked through the rules, it's a 1"



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Chris Montgomery
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Troymk1 wrote:
Since WW2 miniatures are actually being played again by more than the odd guy with a cardigan and a pipe I doubt it's a step backwards.

Play the game and don't be the typical BGG snob "I opened the box and flicked through the rules, it's a 1"





Well, by your standard, I'd have to spend at least $300 in order to be allowed a personal opinion. I'm sorry if it sounds like "typical snobbery" but there's nothing wrong with commenting on a game without having played it. Especially one this expensive. Wargames, especially miniatures, CAN be commented on by just reading the rules. Miniatures aren't boardgames. There are certain accepted functions and expectations, and rules sets are read and understood much more easily from game to game than in other types of non-mini games.

I've never played FoW, but I've seen it played, and I've read lots of AARs and How-Tos. I own the rules and have read them. The game is simplistic. It's meant to be fun. Fine. The bits and pieces are murderously expensive. Fine. They are of high quality.

None of that makes anyone on this site a snob. Stop banging on people who have a valid opinion. Live with it.
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Troy Adlington
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cmontgo2 wrote:
Troymk1 wrote:
Since WW2 miniatures are actually being played again by more than the odd guy with a cardigan and a pipe I doubt it's a step backwards.

Play the game and don't be the typical BGG snob "I opened the box and flicked through the rules, it's a 1"





Well, by your standard, I'd have to spend at least $300 in order to be allowed a personal opinion. I'm sorry if it sounds like "typical snobbery" but there's nothing wrong with commenting on a game without having played it. Especially one this expensive. Wargames, especially miniatures, CAN be commented on by just reading the rules. Miniatures aren't boardgames. There are certain accepted functions and expectations, and rules sets are read and understood much more easily from game to game than in other types of non-mini games.

I've never played FoW, but I've seen it played, and I've read lots of AARs and How-Tos. I own the rules and have read them. The game is simplistic. It's meant to be fun. Fine. The bits and pieces are murderously expensive. Fine. They are of high quality.

None of that makes anyone on this site a snob. Stop banging on people who have a valid opinion. Live with it.


I disagree. People who simply flip the lid of a game, or read AARs or sit on the sidelines and watch Are NOT meant to be writing reviews.

Allegorically I could write music reviews by reading the reviews of others. Or by talking to someone that went to a concert.

Doesn't work and you can yammer and call me rude all you want.


I simply don't respect the opinion of someone that hasn't actually played the game! I have a reasonable expectation that many others don't either.

As to your 300 bucks comment. I've borrowed many a miniatures army to try out rule sets. The players are ALWAYS looking for converts to the fold. So.....I'm sure there's some dollies you can play with!





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cmontgo2 wrote:

Well, by your standard, I'd have to spend at least $300 in order to be allowed a personal opinion. I'm sorry if it sounds like "typical snobbery" but there's nothing wrong with commenting on a game without having played it. Especially one this expensive. Wargames, especially miniatures, CAN be commented on by just reading the rules. Miniatures aren't boardgames. There are certain accepted functions and expectations, and rules sets are read and understood much more easily from game to game than in other types of non-mini games...

I've never played FoW, but I've seen it played, and I've read lots of AARs and How-Tos. I own the rules and have read them. The game is simplistic. It's meant to be fun. Fine. The bits and pieces are murderously expensive. Fine. They are of high quality.

As for price, I have to disagree. Sure, buying the official FoW figures can get quite costly, but there are ways to mitigate that. First, tank armies tend to be less expensive because they require fewer minis. Second, you can always use non-FoW minis. 15mm is a pretty standard scale, and it isn't that hard to find other companies producing perfectly suitable minis at a good price.

And especially when you compare this to a game like 40K, the minis are a downright bargain.

Edit: I've since decided to go ahead and build two 600 point (small starter size) armies, and it cost me around $80. Not bad for TWO armies, enough to get into the game.
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