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Looking into FoW


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Ive been itching for a solid 20th century historical miniatures wargame in recent years as I started in wargaming way back in the 70`s playing many of the Avalon Hill games like Panzer Blitz,Afrika Corps,DDay,Third Riech ect..


At one point I had a full collection of ASL and its expansions up to and including "Yanks",loved that game system but my friends didnt like it so much so my games were few and far between with it.Ive since sold most all of my collection,some 40+ games I think it was.


Anyhow,since getting into minis with the Warhammer games (40k and WHFB) in the last 7 years I also picked up Bolt Action,which I really like but it doesnt seem to have many regular players in the Portland area so im starting to look at FoW.Now ive glanced at it a few times since it came out years ago but the small infantry models are a bit of a turn off for me.I can totally do the vehicle scale though,actually at one time I had a rather extensive 1/144th scale model plane collection,forgot who used to make those kits,heh.


Either way the game certainly seems to have tons of modeling opportunities so for me,its got that part of the hobby covered.My main concern with it is how diverse can the builds be considering the need to stay within one of the 3 time periods of the war?.It seems to me that there would only be a handfull of top competative builds for each army per period being a company level military sim,or do the use of various scenarios really make it impractical to take what would be considered an all comers list.Or is army building done more along the lines of using a pool of models and building your force from that for each scenario in the event?


I have watched some of the batreps out on it and I can see that much of the game is abstracted much like Bolt Action is,,understandable to make it a fun and playable game,I mean sheese the detail of ASL was insane and made for a very slow playing game,lol.However im kind of a stickler in my Historic games when it comes to certain high powered formations or pieces of equipement that seem to be making much more regular appearances on the field than they did during the actual war,for instance in late war German Armies is it common to see multiple KT`s and Jagtigers and Elephants, coupled with a flamethrower in every squad..stuff like that? cuz ya know,lol.


And finally,whats a good starter to get..I know that the firestorm set is a must and ill probably work on doing a US force and German force at the same time,late war as it seems that is most popular.But once I start in on this stuff I would also like to get some early and mid war stuff together,is that being played as well?.I would really like to do Russians but I dont see a starter for them,heh.


Thanks for your time!



Oh and I was meaning to check out the demo at GG last saturday but ended up stuck on AoS all day,heh

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If you were in the Tacoma area I would recommend play testing before you commit in our group. Being that you are in the Portland area, I believed there is a solid group at Terra Crux (sp?). Point being, you need to see which special rules match your style of play along with the model variations. You also might consider picking a core nation (GE, BR or RU) and avoid micros or special nations because you want a nation that plays Early War all the way to the end or run the risk of building multiple companies to play the theater everyone picks.


Armor lists tend to be cheaper on the pocket book, but are harder to win with.


Russians require a painting standard that will test your mental will because there are so darn many of them


Good luck

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We play every Thursday night at guardian games in Portland. Come out and try a game or two, we all have armies to spare and would love to teach a new player!


To answer some of your questions (now that I'm in front of a keyboard)


1.  Diversity in lists - How lists are built in this game you have an HQ unit and Combat platoons as mandatory platoons.  Then you get tons of support units to support that core formation.  There are a variety of lists (especially for the US and GER), but if you have one set of infantry, that set will be able to work for both mid war and late war (early war formations may be a little bit different but usually you can make do).  Each time period focuses on something completely different and are very diverse.  Early war and Late war you will find the most options as those have recently gotten face lifts from battlefront.  In early war you have something like 9 nations to choose from, 3 theaters of war, and a TON of toys.  Late war you will find the mighty beasts of the war King Tigers, Panthers, IS-2's, Pershings, Comets, etc.  


2.  Ahistorical Amounts of Limited Resources - That is something that you may not enjoy about this game, you will see an ahistoric amount of King Tigers and other super heavies running around on the board, BUT the points system heavily penalizes them and you certainly are never forced to play with the limited number of toys.  If you want to run nothing but Shermans, T-34s, and Pz IV's then you can do so and be competitive against the big toys.  I.e. the King Tiger is NOT the King of the battlefield.  


3.  Where to start my collection - I would start with the Open Fire box if you are planning on playing US or Germans.  I don't play Russians so I don't know how to guide your first purchases.  For British I would start with a company of Infantry, 2 blisters of 6-pdr guns, Mortars, and 1-2 boxes of Shermans.  These are all late war armies, because that is what is played the most so you will have the easiest time finding a Late War game.   


4. Limited number of Competitive lists - Certainly not, there are some lists that are more competitive than others but each nation has a plethora of competitive lists especially in Late War and Early War (Mid war only has 2 source books so the number of lists is smaller).  

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I second what Z. M. said.


The "open fire" box set is a great starter.

You get the common tanks on the western front - German and British. Also in the box are infantry - American para troopers and German grenadiers. And typical anti-tank weapons. Also in the box are a rulebook, dice, tokens and cardboard terrain.


You also get some unit and weapon data cards.

The only things that are not in the box are paint, brushes and glue.

It is a true starter box, in as much as you can fight both sides of a small battle. And there are several scenarios in the kit.

All together, 3 allied platoon and 4 axis platoons.


I you use the examples on the box cover, and in the materials in the box, you will not need a book to help you paint.


Also, the paint sets come with color guides.

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Great info guys,thanx!


Ill have to get down on a Thursday to check out the action,probably next month as ive got a few more Fridays of AoS to do,heh.


That's kinda what I was thinking about the point system and how it should hit the heavy tank slots hard,especially the stuff just off the dwawing board.I always prefer to take quantity over quality even though with low/average moral it is often my downfall,lol..but yeah that's why I mentioned Russians too.


Ill get the starter on the way as ive seen it on Ebay for as low as 70.00.Any tips on what books to get for starting a later war US force?...I usually gravitate toward Mechanized infantry at the company/ battalion level if theres books that are specific like that.

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If u start with Germans, Panzer III's, a grenadier platoon, and 8cm mortars will be good on any theater, and used in mid-war (MW) and late war (LW).

For allies, American infantry and their support weapons are similar in MW vs LW, but the tanks differ between the time periods.

mid= M3 Stuart's and grants, LW= M5 Stuart's and Sherman's.

Same story on British.

Russians can have same core of T-34 tanks, strelkovy, and medium mortars in both MW and LW. By LW, the 76mm gun is less useful, but if you buy the plastic T-34th tank box, then u get turrets for BOTH T-34/76 and T-34/85.

Playing Russians and painting them can be frustrating, takes more time to paint and get it to work for you.

Open fire does not have Russians in that box.

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No terra crux in Portland.

This is the nearest "terra crux" I found - Tacoma, WA:



In Portland, we have

a club: WOW, western oregon wargamers

Store - GG - Guardian Games (definitely fow)

Store - Red Castle games (fow?)

Store - rainy day games (fow?)

Store - the portland game store (fow?)

Maybe others I don't know about.


Around portland there are some groups that do historical minis, possibly fow, in

Vancouver, WA, (One group at someone's house, and another at Dice Age Games).

scappoose OR,

salem OR,

Astoria, OR

Some people on the NHMGS yahoo newsgroup

Some historical gamers using DBA rules for pre-gunpowder on DBA yahoo newsgroup

Maybe others I don't know about

saga dark age skirmish has a small group

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If there is - to para phrase LOTR - "one (internet) ring to rule them all" (historical gamers, that is), I have not found it.

Lots of bits, of communications, in many fragments, but the closest I have seen to a some what collected community is this forum.

From ordo fanaticus, it goes to outward in 'six degrees of separation', to other people, blogs, newsgroups, email chains, meet-ups, etc.

Can't speak to Facebook and Twitter.

Beyond this topic FOW, in ordo, also look under ordo sub forum"All Other Games".

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Been watching batreps and just today the Open Fire! box arrived,really stoked to be getting some historical minis action going!


I see that the Open Fire set has great starter rules and a great painting guide which ill use to get the US and Germans LW stuff going but it looks like I need to get the main rulebook still and would also like to get the LW book that covers the different company compositions,,what books would those be?


Itchin to sink my teeth into the rules and get up to speed on this!

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1) Main rule book: 2 choices HC or PB:

Flames Of War Rulebook, 3rd ed. (HC), dtd 2012, ISBN 978-0987660916  $35.00


Flames of War 3rd Edition Mini Rulebook (PB)(a.k.a. "Pocket Edition"), ASIN: 0986466174  $10.00


2) RE: "...get the LW book that covers the different company compositions,,what books would those be?"


2) a) There are two approaches to the LW handbooks.

The paperback books are comprehensive, including both Axis and Allies in the same book.

The hard cover books come in pairs, book 1 = allies, book 2 = Axis.


2) b) Read online to find something that excites you: be it a hero/warrior, a unit, battles, campaigns
FoW Late-War Handbooks    start    end
FW115 Overlord      1944.06    1944.09
    Overlord: Return to Normandy  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3921

FW114 Atlantik Wall      1944.06    1944.09
    Overlord: Return to Normandy  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3921

FW113 Bridge by Bridge      1944.09    1944.11
      Bridge by Bridge Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3617

FW112 Market Garden      1944.09    1944.11
    Market Garden Design Notes http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3737

FW222 Devil's Charge      1944.12    1944.12
    Devil's Charge Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3357

FW223 Nuts!      1944.12    1944.12
    Nuts Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3521

FW116 Grey Wolf (Revised Ed.)      1944.01    1945.02
    Grey Wolf and Red Bear Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3028

FW117 Red Bear (Revised Ed.)     1944.01    1945.02
    Grey Wolf and Red Bear Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=3028

FW118 Fortress Italy    1944.01    1945.05
    Fortress Italy Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4336

FW119 Road To Rome      1944.01    1945.05
    Road To Rome Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4339

FW220 Blood, Guts & Glory    1944.09    1945.01
    Blood, Guts, & Glory Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=2929

FW227 Desperate Measures    1945.01    1945.04
    Desperate Measures Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4216

FW230 Bridge At Remagen      1945.02    1945.04
    Bridge At Remagen Design Notes  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4475

FW231 Nachtjäger    1945.03    1945.05
    Nachtjäger Preview  http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4710

FW232 Berlin    1945.04    1945.05
    Germany's Doom - Berlin Design Notes http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4591
    The Third Reich's Last Stand - Berlin Design Notes http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=4827


BTW, before you buy online, BEWARE.

If you are shopping on Amazon or e-bay, note that there are some re-sellers who markup their prices 200-350% over the manufacturers suggested retail price. I won't list their names here, because they keep re-branding their outlets.

Check the Flames Of War online store for the manufacturers suggested retail price.


Prices at Guardian Games are generally manufacturers suggested retail price.

TheWarStore is also a good online outlet.

Or buy direct from Battlefront, USA (a.k.a. "Flames Of War online")

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Old books are still valid for play. They just don't have the most current points costs. That means you pay on average 15-45 points more in a 1500 to 1750 list.


The older books do have good reference material in them, Especially the old North Africa paper back.  I'm still wanting to get a collection of the First edition books like Za Stalina, King and County, Stars and Stripes. Just for collection purposes.

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I picked up the main rulebook last night since I had to take my son to buy some mtg cards for his friends Bday party.Its the sleeve that comes with the hardback,hobby book and forces book.I assume those are the most recent?


They didn't have Blood Guts and Glory so ill have to keep my eyes open for that one.It seemed to have the best description for what I would like to build for late war US and German western front LW.


Whats a good current one for German and Russian LW Eastern Front?,,for that matter at some point I would like to do EW and MW Eastern Front at some point too,,both armies of course.

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Desperate measures is a great LW eastern front book, but Grey Wolf and Red Bear are your vanilla LW eastern front books. The three book bundle that you bought is up to date and the forces book gives you a good basic view into how each nation is organized and gives you some really good basic lists. Blood guts and glory is an excellent book for Americans (gives you access to m4a3 jumbo (76mm) and easy eights). EW for eastern front check out blitzkrieg, and Mid war there is only Eastern Front for the eastern front.

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I've been running US tank company for 8 years now and I have found 'BGG' to be the most fun, especially when using Abrams.  'BGG' does give you the JUMBO but not the 76mm JUMBO (that one comes in 'Remagen'), but it is still fun to bounce those insta-kill panther rounds off a sherman.  'Remagen' gives you the 76mm JUMBO and pershing tanks, along with Tank companies using the Chaffee.


Glad to hear you bought the Hardback Rule Book.  There is a benefit to buying that over the mini-rulebook. When the new Version 3 rules came out, those of us that bought the V2 Hardback were able to get a FREE V3 mini-rulebook. So, if they come out with a Version 4, BF will most likely do the same thing. Hold on to your Rulebook.


For MW, there is only 1 book, 'Eastern Front'


For EW, 'Barbarossa' is a really good book for both German and Russian.


If you want to try out US Tank Company before getting too involved, I have a huge motorpool available and with the Overlord firestorm campaign running, that's all I bring to Thursday Night gaming at GG. Though I am still working some of those more exotic things like Calliopes. Stop on by, have a look, help me push tanks around.

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Old books are still valid for play. They just don't have the most current points costs. That means you pay on average 15-45 points more in a 1500 to 1750 list.


The older books do have good reference material in them, Especially the old North Africa paper back.  I'm still wanting to get a collection of the First edition books like Za Stalina, King and County, Stars and Stripes. Just for collection purposes.

ZEKE, if you want I have a copy of Old Ironsides (1st edition American Mid War book) that I was just going to throw out, as well as a copy of the 1ed rules.

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Picked up both BGG and Barbarossa from GG,,I guess I was looking for a hardback and didn't notice them.


Got the infantry from the starter assembled and worked through some of the examples.Just from these basic rules I can see they have done a fine job of capturing how difficult it is to dislodged infantry in hard cover.


Got my game table setup with some of my old model RR stuff,N scale seems to work for large type buildings Hotels,warehouses were is HO works better for houses,I know that 15 mm is about dead center in between the two scales but what the heck,lol.Also printed out some 15mm cardstock houses to make up.Terrain is certainly a featured part of the game,I plan to make up some woods and hedges from my leftover RR stuff,ive got probably 30 or so of the metal armature trees in kits still.Do you guys mostly bring your own terrain to game nights? doesn't seem like 15mm is that popular in game shops terrain selection.

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Flames of War for the win.

In case translation is needed:

Beasts of War - Flames of War - FTW - For The Win - Season 1



Beasts of War - Flames of War - FTW - For The Win - Season 2



Beasts of War - Flames of War - FTW - For The Win - Season 3




War Journal: Flames of War

By Tracy George and Chaos Magic



Youtube playlist:

War Journal: Flames of War podcast


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Got all stuff built from the starter except the Shermans...im not that familiar with the British lend lease stuff,are these kits specific in size and shape to the US kits hulls?.I remember reading something years ago about the hulls being longer on the Brit versions?


I don't mind building them as British specific but I also like to have models be as universal as possible for proxies/testing now and then.


Also I always thought the Firefly was just a British lend lease E8 but I can see from the kit that the turret for the 17pdr is a somewhat different shape.

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