Eastern Front Battlefield in a Box Terrain

with Chris Townley

Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about my terrain and what is useful for playing a Kursk (or even Eastern Front) themed game. Looking through what we have in the office as well as my collection at home I found that I had quite a few great options for creating themed tables.

Prokhorovka – have a look at Alex’s table building article for more, but here you can use a nice mix of hills, forests and even a rail line.

Voronezh Front – Here the Soviets built extensive defences in layers. Time to dig out my Great War Trenchlines and Shattered Battlefields.

The Donets River – Rivers provide a natural defensive barrier and are a pain to deal with, making them great for a thematic game.

I put together a list of the terrain I thought might be useful. One of the graphic designers thought a spreadsheet looked a little dull so whipped up this PDF.

Check out the full range of Eastern Front terrain I’d find a place for on one of my tables here…

Bonus Launch Content… Plastic Katy Speed Build!

We grabbed some of the writers and graphic designers of the Auckland Studio team and gave them the new plastic Katyushas to assemble.

This was the first time any of these guys had built the model.

We also gave the old metal and resin version to Evan (who sculpted it many many years ago) to build at the same time.

Can the veteran modeler and sculptor beat a group of people building the new plastic Katyusha for the very first time? Stay tuned for the drop tests at the end…

Finishing Up The Live Launch (for now)

Hi everyone. Whilst we have a few things that we still want to share next week, including our overdue Q&A session, the time has come for us to go home.

We hope you enjoyed all the content and are as excited about the new books as we are. There is plenty of great information, lists, pictures (and more) in Iron Cross and Enemy at the Gates so please head out to your FLGS this weekend to check them out for yourselves.

Don’t forget to have a look at the new Forces website, there may be a few little bugs lurking in the system but we’ve been doing plenty of list noodling (we mean testing….) and it is a great tool to quickly build a list.Finally, make sure you swing by the Beasts of War website over the weekend as they have some Eastern Front Flames Of War content coming, along with a series of videos over the coming weeks.

Hobby on!

~The Battlefront Team

Victor Consolidates and Paints Panzers

with Victor Pesch

The first Flames Of War models I ever painted were Panzer III’s and Tigers from the 1942 list in Ostfront. They were very much a beginner painters army, so Iron Cross presented the perfect opportunity to revisit Midwar Panzer Grey.

I wanted to pick a composition of tanks that would work for both FOW and TANKS!. I settled on 5x Panzer III’s and 1x Tiger, with the aim to work on some Assault Pioneers at a later date to create a Flames Of War force.

TANKS!
Tiger I (early) – 29 points
Panzer III (long) – 14 points
Panzer III (long) – 14 points
Panzer III (long) – 14 points
Panzer III (long) – 14 points
Panzer III (long) – 14 points
Total – 99 points
(this leaves me with 1 point spare to pick an upgrade later)

Flames Of War
Grenadier Company
HQ – 2 points
Assault Pioneer Platoon – 14 points
Assault Pioneer Platoon – 14 points
Panzer III (uparmoured) Tank Platoon – 40 points
Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon – 29 points Total – 99 points

Time to get to work!

—DAY 1—

Assembly went fairly quickly, and more time was probably spent deciding how much extra stowage to add. In the end I decided to keep it pretty minimal as I already have an Afrika Korps force festooned with stowage. However I did modify some mudguards to be missing to add variety.      After lunch I tested out some colours and decided to start with a fairly dark blue-ash grey, and work it up by adding white. I did about three stages with the airbrush. I purposefully went brighter than I usually would, knowing that it would likely get quite dark again with washes/weathering. This brought me to the end of day one. I was happy to get to this point and pleased with the results so far.

—DAY 2—

The next step was to add some definition to the details. I did this with a dry brush and selective highlight with a pale grey blue.

To start to tone everything down and blend in my highlights, I coated everything with a very thin Panzer grey filter.

To cap off the day I applied some chipping using a fine brush and sponge. I used a red brown to simulate red oxide primer.

I feel like I’ve good headway with these, and can hopefully get them finished in the not too distant future. After painting in the details and decals, all that will be left is some weathering.

Then it’ll be time to plan the Pioneer platoons…~Victor

Forces Of War Comes to V4!

For many years people have been using Forces, the company builder for Flames Of War. We are excited to announce that we have a completely updated version for Version 4.Forces takes the heavy lifting out building an army. With a few clicks you can begin building an army, confident that you have built a legal Force. Once you have finished building you can easily print out (or PDF) a list, perfect for submitting to tournament organisers or to give to your opponents. It even provides the card reference information to help you track down the appropriate Unit Cards from your collection.Because V4 Flames Of War works a little differently to previous versions, there have been a number of changes made to how Forces works. Even if you are a veteran of Forces should take a few seconds to read the basic primer over on the  Flames Of War website.

Make sure you also take a look at the Sample (Free) Panzer III Company listed in the Quick Links section as this will give you a chance to try out Forces before you buy.

V4 Forces Primer…

Check out the V4 Flames Of War Forces website…

Please note that Command Cards are still to be integrated with Forces and will be added as soon as possible

Tanks at the Door (Part 2)

with Phil Yates

Picking a Force
My basic force will be a 100-point Mixed Tank Battalion:
KV-1 Tank Company – 5x KV-1 tanks (40 points)
T-34 (early) Tank Company – 10x T-34 (early) tanks (52 points)
T-60 Tank Company – 9x T-60 tanks (8 points)
With fifteen 76mm guns, and twenty-four tanks in total, this force has a lot of firepower, as well as a lot of armour. It’s more suited to attacking than defending, appealing to my more aggressive side.

If I have to keep some reserves, they will be the KV-1s. That puts two big units on table at the start of the game, and hopefully, the KVs will arrive where and when they are needed (although historically, their slow speed and tendency to break bridges with their immense bulk made that a dubious proposition!).

This force doesn’t have any HQ, but I’m not too fussed about that. My tanks all have a reasonable Remount rating and a good Last Stand rating, so even if the enemy does smash through my thick armour, my tanks will fight to the end anyway. If I need to launch an assault to clear infantry off an objective, the big KVs are both motivated and equipped (with their turret-rear MGs) for the job.

Going a Bit Lighter
If I feel like something a bit speedier (well not that much speedier, the Valentine’s still pretty slow!), I can also field a T-34 Tank Battalion:
T-34 (early) Tank Battalion HQ – 1x T-34 (early) tank (5 points)
T-34 (early) Tank Company – 10x T-34 (early) tanks (52 points)
Valentine Tank Company – 10x Valentine II tanks (24 points)
T-60 Tank Company – 10x T-60 tanks (9 points)

That’s only 90 points, so there’s room for a bit extra. Some of the things that appeal are:

  • An SMG company – get rid of one T-34 and I get 16 teams of close-combat infantry.
  • A 76mm anti-tank company – four 76mm guns for fire support fit perfectly.
  • A Katyusha rocket battery – the new model is awesome, and a bit of artillery would be good, especially with a Salvo template.
  • A Shturmovik assault company – armoured aircraft dropping anti-tank bomblets, what’s not to like.

I’ll work out which of these (or perhaps go for all of them!) once I’ve finished the tanks.

What I like about this force is that it has a whole 31 tanks, most of them heavily armoured, to simply roll over the enemy. Having faced it in playtesting, it’s a scary lot of tanks to see coming at you. What I need to watch out for though, is a disciplined opponent who avoids letting me pick on part of their force, and focuses their fire on knocking out one of my units with focused fire before moving on to the next. Once I lose the T-34s, things get a lot more tricky as they have all of my big guns.

Preparing For Battle
My progress from concept to the battlefield is still progressing as I write this, but here’s a quick photo survey of my progress so far.

Stay tuned for a complete army photos on the Flames Of War website (once everything is done).

~Phil

Sniping On The New Double-sided Gaming Mat…

Painting has stopped for a little while whilst the guys gather for a little sniper on sniper action. Sounds pretty compelling, I reckon they could make a movie about that….

Mike and Sean have laid down the new Urban Mat, covering part of it up as they don’t need the full 6’x4′ for Sniper Wars. Adding some of the buildings Evan quickly spray painted up and there you go, an urban table ready for some sniper action, or even a bigger Flames Of War game.

Check out the photos for some close-ups of the new mat. Lunchroom lighting isn’t the best but we wanted to give you a first look at the mat anyway.

~Chris

 

Building My Sniper Hide

with Chris Townley

When Mike first suggested the idea of playing some Sniper Wars, I thought this would be a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone

  1.  Paint up a Sniper for my Germans (as I don’t have one).
  2.  Have a go at painting up one of our new plastic buildings as a test.

I started out with quite an ambitious plan where I was going to build my sniper nest four stories up in one of the new plastic buildings, on a small base that plugged in to a large base. I felt that due to the weight and height of the building I’d need to have it “nest” inside something that was a bit more stable. Looking at the picture to the left you can see how I came to that conclusion.

Like all great plans I hit a few snags… primarily that time is always my enemy when it comes to hobby projects. Thinking a little smaller I cut my idea down (literally).

I grabbed a couple of the test resin building sections that were cast up as part of the design and approval process and chopped them down to size with my trusty bone saw.

With the building now a slightly more manageable size I am hoping to get it painted up over the course of the Live Launch, or worst case, in the following weeks. Either way, with The Block: Stalingrad looming in my future it is certainly in my best interests to make the time to finish up this small test piece!

~Chris

Human Waves to Storm Groups. What to Buy

with Chris Townley

Enemy at the Gates has a wide variety of platoons for a Soviet player to field. Nowhere is this more evident than the range of infantry options you can pick from. To make it easier for new players looking to build their armies I thought it might be a good idea to write a short run down of each of the platoons, and how to build them.

Rifle Company
These companies are the backbone of the Soviet army. Each company can have up to 28 DP MG and M1891 teams, along with a Komissar. You can also add in a variety of support weapons including Maksim HMG, PTRD AT rifle, 50mm mortar and Flame-thrower teams.

The Rifle Company Box (SBX50) comes with enough DP MG and M1891 teams for a minimum strength company (that’s still 18 teams), along with all the Command and Komissar teams you need. It also has Maksim HMG (x5), PTRD AT rifle (x2), 50mm mortar (x2) and Flame-thrower (x2) teams. With this box you have enough teams to build an entire Rifle Company, or multiple Hero Rifle Companies (more on this later).

Penal Company
Filled with ‘soldiers who have been guilty of a breach of discipline due to cowardice or bewilderment’, the Penal Company is always in the thick of the action. Like the Rifle Company these large units are filled with M1891 rifle teams and a single Komissar. To build this you are going to use the same box (SBX50) as the Rifle Company.

SMG Company
Armed with PPSH-41 submachine-gun these teams can lay down a tremendous amount of firepower. A company can have up to 22 of these teams, along with a Komissar and a pair of optional Flame-thrower teams.

To build this company you are going to want to look at the Soviet SMG Company (SBX51). This box contains enough models for a full-strength company along with the optional teams.

Hero Rifle Company
The Hero Companies in Flames Of War have benefitted from their previous combat experience with the survivors learning some cruel lessons. Each company is much smaller than their non-Hero version with only ten DP MG and M1891 rifle teams and a single Komissar. Like their larger brethren though they can be supported by Maksim HMG, PTRD AT rifle, 50mm mortar and Flame-thrower teams.

Looking back at the Rifle Company Box (SBX50) that we talked about above, you can make two full strength Hero Rifle Companies, each with ten DP MG and M1891 rifle teams and Komissar. You also have enough support weapons in the box to almost max out your options.

Storm Group
The Storm Group is an SMG Company but with a lot more punch! To make it easier to build these specialist platoons there is a single box (SBX52) that has all the options you need inside.

Hero SMG Company
Just like the non-Hero version the place to go to build your company is the SMG Company (SBX51). This has enough teams in it to build your Hero SMG Company and still have teams left over for a Scout Platoon.

Hopefully this short article helps you to work out what you need to build your army.

~Chris