Friday, 9 November 2012

Flames of War "Open Fire" Review part 1

As my hobby time was somewhat restricted this week I didn't paint up enough worth of showing it here.
But as I did the first part of a review on the new "Open Fire" Starterbox for Flames of War I thought I should post it here too.
As always you can find the german original over on

Because the box is full of stuff I decided to do the review in two parts. The first part yo're just reading (yes just now) covers the general content of the set while I'll deal with the miniatures in greater detail in the following part. At the moment I'm waiting for some decals and conversion bits for the tanks as I want to test the convertibility of the plastic tanks too (and also because I want to show you some painted up stuff too).

Already while unpacking the box it's weight realy surprised me in a positive way. Looking on the content it became clear where it's heavy weight is coming from. The box is brimfull with gaming components and therefore it was just not possible to get it all on just one picture.

The box in detail contains:
  • 1x fullcolor softcover ruleset, 296 pages
  • 1x fullcolor softcover quick start guide, 52 pages
  • 1x 2012 core catalogue
  • 3x cardboard terrain
  • 1x construction manual and unit description
  • 2x double sided army lists covering the included allied and german units
  • 3x plastic sprue german StuG III Ausf. G (spät)
  • 2x plastic sprue british Sherman Firefly VC
  • 6x plastic sprue british Sherman V
  • 1x plastic sprue german V1 with ramp
  • 2x plastic sprue german PaK40
  • 2x plastic sprues containing the miniatures
  • 2x big bases
  • 20x medium bases
  • 7x small bases
  • 10x green dice
  • 10x grey dice
  • 16x Neodym-Magnets for the tank turrets
  • 4x small white metal tokens with ammunition (I assume for use on the PaK's bases)
On the first look the softcover ruleset realy appears to me. The colours are good and pictures as well as text are easy to read despite their small size. The book realy contains everything it's bigger version also does.

While having a second look on the book to my distaste I discovered the small fisure on its cover. I think plastic wrapping would prevent such issues. Also the pages realy soon loosened from the books spine.

On the other hand the quick start guide makes a better impression. Next to numerous pictures about game sequences and extended army lists for british armoured squadrons and german Grenadierkompanien you can find "How to paint" articles about the miniatures the set contains. For folks just starting with painting miniatures I realy wouldn't recommend the guides as they only condense the colours used while the different techniques are almost disregarded. I think it's just too little for someone just starting with tabletop.

The spreadsheet containing the building manuals and unit descriptions on the other side should prove realy usefull for beginners, as the sheet not only contains the "how to build" the tanks, the V1 or the PaK but although depicts the miniatures and explains what units they are for and which bases to use in Flames of War.

The cardboard used for the 2D terrain seems to be of good quality as I couldn't make out any wrapping. Also it contains the tokens used in Flames of War. All in all I think it's good enough for the first games while I    
think they will be replaced once some games are played.

Interim conclusion:
Only for the amount of stuff included in "Open Fire" I think the price seems appropriate. Unfortunately one hase to take a smear about the quality i.g. the rulebooks. If the miniatures are worth their money I'll deal with  
in the next part of this review.

In the meantime I'll try to paint up some stuff for my Late romans.


  1. Great.
    Also I can see battlefront is keeping the tradition on the bindings...

  2. Has anyone noticed the German points are out by 20 according to the 'Forces' book?