The new edition of Flames Of War has slimmed down, to just over a third the size of the previous Version 3 rulebook. Unnecessary flavour text has been trimmed away and long, hard-to-apply rules have been revamped. The result is a fast-playing, easy-to-learn game. The new unit cards turn many of the old special rules into simple numeric ratings, so for example, there is no need to remember British Bulldog as the card has Motivation 4+, but Counterattack 3+. Likewise, Wide Tracks is now just an easier roll to cross terrain. The flavourful special rules are still there. The Germans still have Stormtroopers and the British still have Tally Ho and Mike Target. Better still, the rules are revamped to work with the new edition making them shorter, sharper, and more relevant to your games. Flames Of War retains (and expands) the tactical challenges players face, while getting rid of ‘gamey’ complexity and hidden ‘gotchas’. Hit allocation is down from four pages of complexity to two short and simple rules – you hit what you shot at (with additional hits going to their nearby friends) and the player being shot can roll a die to rearrange things if they don’t like your choices. The game is fast and bloody (or is that even faster and bloodier?). The new Dash movement (replacing At the Double) allows for quick repositioning without taking double hits, making manoeuvre more important than ever. Manoeuvre warfare has also been enhanced by the new reconnaissance rules that allow units to spearhead your advance, grabbing bits of No-Man’s Land to add to your deployment area. Combined arms have become more important than ever as each type of weapon has become more useful against its preferred target. Artillery is now much more efficient at digging out infantry, while the infantry’s anti-tank guns are more survivable and better at protecting them from tanks, but vulnerable to infantry in turn. The new rulebook has three new missions to give players new challenges, while the existing missions have been improved with better reserves rules, new victory conditions, and a new victory points table. Players have much greater flexibility in how they structure their forces. You can have any number of company-sized formations in your force and then add support to back them up. As long as one of your formations is still fighting, the battle’s on. With 100 points being the new medium-sized force, getting your force ready for battle has never been easier. The release of the rules will be accompanied by two new books and a whole new range of plastic tanks and guns for the war in the Western Desert. The British Desert Rats and German Afrika Korps have never looked so good, nor been so much fun.
The final result is a game that keeps all the great things about Flames Of War, the colour and depth of play, while making the game easier to get into and play!
(Hardback book A4 120 pages)