Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

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Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Mon May 16, 2011 6:18 pm

So I've been reading about this game on the internet, and it seems like it could be fun. I'm having trouble figuring out the costs and such, though.

I see discussions online about army sizes, with 1500 points being a common number. Are these points akin to 40k points?

How much would it cost in $$$ to build a 'typical' 1500 point army?

When you buy the models to build a 1500 point army, are you more-or-less typecast into that army list, or does the same base of models enable you to build many different 1500 point armies?

How much harder is it to paint/assemble minis at the smaller scale, as compared to minis at the 40k scale?

Are there notable balance issues between the different army books, in the sense that (made up example) "OMG, Finland is totally underpowered, and nobody ever plays Britain cause they suck. Everyone plays USA or Wermacht or loses!"

What about the "Firestorm" campaigns? Honestly, the walkthroughs I've seen online on Firestorm, especially Market Garden, make it look like one of the coolest concepts in miniature wargaming I've seen in some time. But Market-Garden was a USA/Britain/Germany operation! If I buy/build, say, a Russian army, will I be unable to participate in Market-Garden Firestorms?

What about this "mid-war"/"late-war"/"early-war" stuff? Do the same models carry over from era to era, and only the lists change? Or are you forced to start over on a large part of your army if you decide to play a different era?

Can you re-use much of the same terrain from other games like 40k, or does the different miniatures scale necessitate all-new construction of terrain?

When do people go to Joel's to play? I'd like to see a few games firsthand before I plunge into another expensive hobby Smile


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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by KingdomCome on Mon May 16, 2011 7:00 pm

Lots of good questions. I'll try to answer point by point. 1500 points in FoW is a good size game that I've seen used primarily for mid- war. Late war games run around 1750 for a lot of official tournaments, but it isn't uncommon to play 1500 late war either.
The cost of Flames is a good selling point for the game. A decent army (depending on what it is) will run between 250 to 300 dollars. The beauty of the game is that if you really just wanted to play, you could buy the tigers march boxed set, an infantry platoon , and some other small platoon, and have a fully workable army for around 120 dollars. A lot of these numbers are pure speculation due to the VAST amount of armies and units you could potentially field.
The hobby stuff rokassan or hurricane can answer better than I could.
Balance is in the eye of the beholder. At first glance Germans are better than most other nations by a long shot. They have better troops, tanks, and "special rules" than most other nations (storm trooper any one?). This is to represent how bad ass they were in the real conflict. Does this mean that they are unbeatable or more powerful than everyone else? Nope. Not by a long shot. Things in FoW are generally costed properly. Meaning germans will almost always be outnumbered by the allies. Does it mean the allies rape all? Nope. I can best show examples in a game situation than by typing away.
The army books are actually campaign books. They focus in a theater of operation. So you will always have the allies lists in that/those battles and an axis list as the opposition. 1 book has multiple armies so it's a good idea to peruse them all. None of them are bad either. Just different.
Don't know about Firestorm.
Early mid and late war represent the forces for the era. Some things carry over from era to era, but playing each era is like playing a different game. Early war is the newest era and it's a mish mash of infantry formations with sucky tanks ( compared to later in the war). Mid war is a bit more uniformed. It has a focus of infantry backed by better tanks and feels to be the most balanced of all the eras (IMHO). Late war is where the big boys come out to play. Everybody gets toys and tanks are kings... until infantry gets near them. I would say it's the least balanced of all the era's due to some powerful army specific rules that are out there.
Terrain needs to be in 15mm scale for the game to work properly. Lucky us Joel has that in spades.
We usually go to sunshine thursdays and sundays.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Hurricane on Thu May 19, 2011 5:19 am

Some armies are better than others for playing in different periods. For example, the German FJ's are great as most of the core stuff carries over from mid to late. Americans are good for that too. In general, infantry companies are a bit more flexible than tank companies for paying different periods. It is very hard to recommend any one particular country or army. I would suggest picking something that you like. However, I have found that having a balanced army is important. I like to build an army that has a little bit of everything (infantry, artillery, and armor). I have a German StuG company and it is fun to play. It excels at killing infantry but it has some serious problems going against heavy armor such at some of the super heavy Russian tanks. Most people now at Sunshine play latewar (that might be a good place to start). I would suggest coming out and watching or playing a game or two.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Hurricane on Thu May 19, 2011 5:20 am

oh and as far as the campaign systems, any country can play in it. It just makes it a bit un historical, but who cares. It is a good system.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Thu May 19, 2011 10:15 pm

What times on sunday are people usually there? Also, does Joel carry a pretty good selection, in terms of "starter sets" (if there is such a thing)?

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Kyle on Thu May 19, 2011 11:09 pm

Not really starter sets. They had premade army sets that were like $250-300 but nothing really you would consider a starter outside of the quick start set that came with like 5 tanks and a thin rulebook, though I think it's been oop for a while now.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Hurricane on Fri May 20, 2011 2:42 am

He has a ton of products. Some core stuff, like basic infantry companies. Not sure what time they play on Sunday. I think they play thursdays too? Someone correct me if I am wrong
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Sat May 21, 2011 9:15 am

Do I have to know ahead of time what army list I plan to build? Or can I buy a few boxes of "generic" stuff and make a few viable lists from them?

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by KingdomCome on Sat May 21, 2011 12:14 pm

Generic stuff is usually the way to go. An infantry platoon and some basic tanks would do. What nationality?
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Sat May 21, 2011 12:33 pm

Dunno yet. I'm thinking either Britain or American Paratroopers ( I like Market Garden)

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by KingdomCome on Sat May 21, 2011 5:55 pm

Well paratroopers are fairly easy. A box of jumpers is all you need to get started. Lord knows they're pricey game wise. Britain is a little more complicated because it could be any number of things.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Sat May 21, 2011 6:48 pm

What about "Army Books"? In 40k, we had Codexes for each side... does that concept carry over to FoW?

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by KingdomCome on Sat May 21, 2011 7:26 pm

Sorta. They are more areas of operation and the forces involved there. I primarily play Americans out of the dogs and devils book. That book focuses on the ansio campaign . The 3rd infantry platoon and the first special service force is showcased for the Americans. The Herman goring division is showcased for the Germans. What does this mean? Each book allows different formations representing the forces that would have fought in those battles, as well as, give special additional rules to those companies.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Hurricane on Sun May 22, 2011 6:50 pm

Or you could go with a more generic army based out of Fortress Europe Book. The books are good if you like a particular time period or campaign.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Mon May 23, 2011 11:49 am

I went by on Sunday and picked up the Hell's Highway book, a Rifle Company box, and about 7 sherman tanks. I think, from what I can tell of the book, that I can make an airborne company with that.

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by rokassan on Mon May 23, 2011 10:33 pm

Youll need artillery.

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by GWLlosa on Tue May 24, 2011 10:48 pm

Do you mean that in a "Your army will never survive without artillery" context, or a "You've misread the force chart and artillery is a mandatory selection" context?

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Kyle on Wed May 25, 2011 8:15 am

Everyone tends to think artillery is a must have in FoW. It's a handy thing to have of course. When people see artillery rock their army, they will want some.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by rokassan on Wed May 25, 2011 8:23 am

GWLlosa wrote:Do you mean that in a "Your army will never survive without artillery" context, or a "You've misread the force chart and artillery is a mandatory selection" context?

Artillery is a component of that combined arms theory. If your Allied Heavy artillery can help knock out heavy German armor. It forces your opponent to be mindful of keeping his ground forces spread out and if it hits infantry they are pinned automatically, even if they make their save and survive. You can also lay down smoke to cover your advance. Its not mandatory, but once you get the hang of the game youll see its indispensable. The Brits and especially the Americans have some nice special rules for artillery. Cesar can attest to that.

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by rokassan on Wed May 25, 2011 8:26 am

I have plenty of artillery for all of my armies in every period.

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by KingdomCome on Wed May 25, 2011 9:20 am

rokassan wrote:
GWLlosa wrote:Do you mean that in a "Your army will never survive without artillery" context, or a "You've misread the force chart and artillery is a mandatory selection" context?

Artillery is a component of that combined arms theory. If your Allied Heavy artillery can help knock out heavy German armor. It forces your opponent to be mindful of keeping his ground forces spread out and if it hits infantry they are pinned automatically, even if they make their save and survive. You can also lay down smoke to cover your advance. Its not mandatory, but once you get the hang of the game youll see its indispensable. The Brits and especially the Americans have some nice special rules for artillery. Cesar can attest to that.

Beat me to it. I sure can attest to the power and overall usefulness of artillery. It's not perfect, but its turned the tide in plenty of games. Some of the biggest turn arounds have occurred after a mistake on my opponents part and clumping things together. A critical time on Target later and an entire flank folds like an omelette. I'd suggest at least one template weapon in your army, if for no other reason than to control board movement.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Warbird on Wed May 25, 2011 9:36 am

Also because you plan on playing paratroopers you need to be able to pin/smoke then assault. You will find that it is your best offence.

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by Kyle on Wed May 25, 2011 9:44 am

You can also use air support if you prefer over artillery for thematic reasons. Lot of players seem to just like artillery and find it more dependable, but air support can be cheap and very effective as well. And really most players seem to leave air defense out of their lists anyways.
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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by rokassan on Wed May 25, 2011 10:20 am

I agree. I have Air power for all of my armies. Its cheaper than artillery and you dont need spotters. You also usually have an option as to what weapon to use on your planes. MG/Cannons or bombs. Also I agree with Kyle, people dont take Air Defense. I do, but most dont.

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Re: Costs & Barriers to Entry on Flames of War

Post by KingdomCome on Wed May 25, 2011 10:40 am

My air defense is my air offense. I usually don't have points to shoe horn air defense in my lists. Even though it doubles as anti infantry.
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