Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Glorious Consumer - "Open Fire!" Review

Open Fire! is the introduction or starter set for new players to Flames of War - The World War II Miniatures Game. The set contains a rulebook, introduction booklet, 5 tank miniatures and 5 dice.

Image Property of Battlefront Miniatures

Rulebook - The mini-rulebook is 164 pages long, all of which have full colour layouts and numerous diagrams and pictures. The rules inside the book are all of the rules you need to play the game. It is essentially a more convenient version of the main hardback rulebook with some bits stripped out for ease of picking up the game and for the sake of size and layout. For example rules for Fortifications and City Fighting aren't present in this rulebook but they're more specialised rules not used in any of the 7 standard missions. They are however available in the forthcoming release "Das Book" (a review of which will be up on The Glorious Works tomorrow!)
The book contains all of the rules for each phase of the game as well as some of the more unique aspects of battles such as Artillery Bombardments, Aircraft and Reconnaissance. It also contains the Special Rules for the US, German, Soviet & British forces such as the key doctrines that make them very different forces to play with such as Komissars, Storm Trooper moves and the British Bulldog rules amongst others.
The rulebook contains 7 missions to play, each presenting a slightly different challenge to the players and includes the rules relating to the differing missions such as Reserves, Ambuscades and Strategic Withdrawals. It certainly has everything yo need to get started playing Flames of War!

Image Property of Battlefront Miniatures

Open Fire Introduction Booklet - This is a 16 page full colour booklet that breaks the Flames of War rules down into smaller chunks and allows you to pick them up whilst playing some compact learning games with the minis included in the set. There are also details on how to go about expanding your force and some introductory hobby guidelines on how to paint the minis included.

Image Property of Battlefront Miniatures

Minis - The minis that come in the set are great. You get 3 American Sherman tanks and 2 German Stug G assault guns. That's a combined total of £37.50 worth of miniatures if you were to buy them separately. If you and a mate are both getting into the hobby its certainly worth you each getting a set and swapping the tanks around as you'll both have a really good start towards your army. With a Sherman Platoon for one player and a Stug G platoon for the other.

Overall its hard to find a fault with this starter set. £37.50 worth of minis, a rulebook and some dice for the small cost of £23 is an absolutely amazing deal. It's a brilliant introduction to the game and the hobby and gives you a head start when building a German & American (or British) army. This quite easily earns itself 10/10!

Score: 10/10


I've purposely steered clear of reviewing the rules and the game itself in this post. I have a lot more Flames of War related posts to come. Next up is a review of "Das Book" and after that an article called "Why Should I Play Flames of War?" in which I'll go into a lot more detail about the brilliance of the rules and the hobby as a whole. So stay tuned!