Hobby League: British

with Andrew Haught

V4 Late War is here with loads of ways to get into playing Flames Of War— so where do you start? Well, if you want to just get a feel for the rules the FURY is an amazing box set for you, or if you want to get into the game with a friend, Hit the Beach gives you two awesome armies to play against each other. If you have some idea of what force you want to run, then picking up the corresponding Starter Force box set is what you want to do. This article covers the British Starter Force but if you want to learn about the other three Starter Forces, there will be more info to come.

This Starter Force gives you a lot of stuff to play around with right away, and like all the V4 boxsets you get a lot for your money. The British Starter Force has a total 17 armoured vehicles, a full 4-gun artillery battery, and an infantry platoon, with the whole army adding up to 82 points using the Fortress Europe book, the box can also be used for the upcoming D-Day: British book so it’s a great core set to pick up for players who want to play the British throughout the V4 journey. On top of models you will get a complete A5 rulebook. A Start Here booklet, and your Unit cards, so you can start playing games as soon as you’re done building your force.

In The Box
Sherman Armoured Squadron HQ With 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Stuart Recce Patrol with 3x Stuart (37mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Churchill Armoured Troop with 3x Churchill (6pdr) Tanks (12 Points)
Motor Platoon at Full Strength (7 Points)
Universal Carrier Patrol with 3x Universal Carrier (MG) Tanks (2 Points)
25 pdr Field Troop with 4x 25pdr Guns (14 Points)
M10 SP Anti-Tank Platoon with 4x M10 (17pdr) Tanks (18 Points)

Total 82 Points

Creating a 100 Point List
This box gives you a lot of what you need but you will still need to pick up a few things to get a 100 points, but not much. After playing around with your Starter force you may get a good feel for what you want to add but for those who want to start off with a full 100 points I would pick up a few more Shermans and a Firefly and you will be good to go. To get to a 100 points you just need to add the following

Sherman Armoured Troop with 3 Sherman (75mm) Tanks and one Firefly Tank (17 Points)
1 Sherman OP Observation Post with one Sherman OP Tank (1 point)

Total 18 Points

Army Tactics
This army is pretty Armour heavy, so you want to move fast and hit hard, use your Fireflies and M10 (17pdrs) to hunt your opponent’s heavy tanks while your Churchills and Shermans rush the objective. Your artillery and infantry can be left to hold your objectives or secure your flank, while the Universal Carriers and Stuarts help spear head your army forward and hit advancing enemy troops.

This list is well rounded but prefers to be on the attack, so when picking your battle plans it’s a good idea to pick attack with this army.

The Hobby League

If you are looking to get in on the Hobby League at your local store or club the Starter Forces are ideal starting armies for the league. If you add the units I talked about before in the Creating a 100 Point List section you can easily use it for the hobby league.

If you do not know what the hobby league is or want to learn more check out our video about the Hobby League above.

The main goal of the Hobby league is to create a Flames Of War community where players can come together to play games and work on their armies. To this end players are rewarded for hitting certain painting goals throughout the league. The first month players aim to paint 50 points, at the end of the second month players will aim to finish another 25 points and at the end of the third month players aim to finish their final 25 points and end the League with a fully painted 100 point army. The League also feeds into the upcoming TableTopGaming Global campaign, so if you finish painting your army for the League you will be ready to participate in the Global Campaign.

Painting Goals
Having painting goals can be daunting, but luckily the League makes it easier by creating a community of painters helping each other out and supporting one another during the process. Painting an army is rewarding and is a fun relaxing thing to do, whether you are alone or with a group of friends. To help those trying to figure out how to break up your 100 point army for the League I put together my guide on what I would paint to reach each month’s goals.

Month 1 has a 50 point goal; it also ends in a 50 point tournament, so you will want to focus on your core formation to make sure you have a legal list to run in the tournament. For this I would paint the following units first,

Sherman Armoured Squadron HQ With 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Start Recce Patrol with 3x Stuart (37mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Universal Carrier Patrol with 3x Universal Carrier (MG) Tanks (2 Points)
M10 SP Anti-Tank Platoon with 4x M10 (17pdr) Tanks (18 Points)
1 Sherman OP Observation Post with one Sherman OP Tank (1 point)

Month 2 you are looking to paint another 25 points, you just painted the tanks up so let’s work on some infantry and gun teams. This is what I would paint up for month 2,

Motor Platoon at Full Strength (7 Points)
25 pdr Field Troop with 4x 25pdr Guns (14 Points)
A spare Sherman to add to your Sherman Armoured Troop (4 Points)

For the Final month I am keeping it simple, this time you just have to paint up six tanks. This is what I am planning on painting for the last month,

Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Churchill Armoured Troop with 3x Churchill (6pdr) Tanks (12 Points)

Now at the end of month three you have another tournament this time it’s a 100 point tournament so you will get to use your full army and get used to how it works in games. After that the Global TableTopGames Campaign begins having you and your friends fighting over Europe, you club or store with the rest of the world will be sending in their game results to contribute on the global scale making this one of the biggest campaigns you will ever participate in.

My final word of advice is to take time to enjoy painting your models your way and to learn as much as you can from others in the league to get the most out of the Flames Of War community.

Big Four of Late War: Chris

Chris “The Magpie” Townley is always looking forward to the next project, even before he has finished whatever is currently sitting on the painting table. He spends his time pouring over spreadsheets and planning documents, all the while looking over the writers shoulders trying to noodle his “next big project”. For Chris, the Late War Journey is a chance to finally build that British Sherman company that he has been planning for almost 10 years…

You can follow Chris’s Big Four journey here… 

Big Four of Late War: Victor

Victor “el Presidente” Pesch is the ring leader of Big Four, having come up with the entire concept of embarking on the Journey alongside our players. Known in the Studio for his painting prowess he spends his days wrangling Photoshop and InDesign working as a Graphic Designer, whilst his nights are spent working on whatever new project takes his fancy. He has his eyes set on an American force filled with Sherman tanks. For now…

You can follow Victor’s Big Four journey here…

Big Four of Late War: Wayne

Wayne “the Veteran” Turner is one of the longest serving employees in the company, having worked in almost every department of the company from Game Design to Production. These days he finds himself primarily working on Team Yankee, but a return to Late War has him excited to return to World War II and the chance to build his first Panzer IV based German army.

You can follow Wayne’s big Four journey here… 

Big Four of Late War: Casey

Casey “Comrade” Davies has built more Soviet models than anyone can count, with an astounding seven complete Strelkovy Companies to his name. After some debate, he grabbed the new Soviet Army Deal whilst making noises about wanting to try his hand at building a new Hero Company. Like Victor, he spends his days creating the books, cards, and imagery that you see whenever you play a game of Flames Of War (or Team Yankee).

You can follow Casey’s Big Four journey here…

Historical Forces in Fortress Europe

with Phil Yates

Flames Of War is a varied hobby with many players with a wide variety of interests. Some are avid historians and others more interested in playing the game as a game. This article explores how you can research and create historical forces using Fortress Europe.

If you choose to go down this path, but don’t have a deep knowledge of history yet, the most important thing to note is that by and large most forces that you can make from Fortress Europe won’t be far off some historical unit somewhere. There are some notable exceptions where you could cross the wires, and I’ll look at them later, but mostly, if you build a force, it will probably be historical!

Start with a Loose Thread
The first step with building any historical force is deciding which bit of history you want to recreate. Start by grabbing some inspiration: a piece of equipment that you love, a battle that you find interesting, a unit that an ancestor fought in, or a historical figure that you have come across. Take hold of this thread and follow it, seeing what happens as you unravel the history behind it.

Hit the Books
With your loose thread firmly in hand, start looking for more information. Search the internet. Find a Wikipedia article on the subject (and if it is about a foreign unit, use Google Translate to read the Wikipedia article in that language too — it’s often very interesting to see both sides of the story!). Go to your local library and see what they have on the matter. There are lots of places to start looking for more threads to unravel.

As you dig, you’ll start refining what the force you want to field looks like. You’ll find references to units and equipment that will give you the basics. Add in information on the state of the troops, their strength and experience, and you’ll be in a position to choose between green troops and veterans, or between full-strength and weakened by previous casualties.

Make a Force
At this point, start building your force using what you have found. You’ll probably come up with more questions as you go along, things like ‘Was this division supported by these?’. If you can’t find an answer, ask around. It’s likely that someone on a forum will know. If you still can’t find the answer, the good news is that it is difficult for anyone to say you’re wrong!


Play Games
The ultimate goal is of course to play games, so get out there and enjoy the fruits of your labour, pitting your new force against others on the tabletop. Learn its strengths and weaknesses and see if you can recreate some of your unit’s battlefield exploits.

Don’t worry if your force doesn’t have the things that the ‘experts’ are saying are ‘essential’ in every force, trust me, they’re not. Every force has its capabilities and shortcomings. If you play to your strengths and mitigate your vulnerabilities, you can be successful, regardless of your force.

Making Unhistorical Forces
If you are using Fortress Europe, it’s not that easy to actually make an unhistorical force unless you start adding some constraints such as it has to be in 1944, or it has to be in Normandy. The best (only?) way of building an unhistorical force is putting things that really weren’t at the same place and time together.

Churchills in Italy
One example of this can be found in the Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron. If you just build a force with Churchill tanks and a Stuart recce patrol, you’re pretty much spot on for a Churchill squadron in Italy. However, some regiments wanted 75mm guns for better firepower, and were less worried about armour as there weren’t so many German tanks in Italy. As a result, they fielded mixed squadrons with both Churchill and Sherman troops. So far, so good. The Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron allows you to do that too. If you want to take it beyond history, the only way to do that is to put Fireflies in your Sherman troops. This is because, while Sherman armoured squadrons had Fireflies, the Churchill squadrons didn’t since by the time the Firefly came along, they had replaced their Shermans with 75mm-armed Churchills (you’ll have to wait for D-Day: British for that option though).

But you say, I want 17 pdr guns to give my Churchills some better anti-tank capability. No problem, the Churchill crews wanted that too. They often had M10 self-propelled guns attached for anti-tank support (although they weren’t armed with 17 pdr guns at this stage, just their original 3-inch guns). So now we have two ways we could make our Churchills unhistorical, and a solution. Which way you go is up to you.

The Eastern Front
OK, you say, that’s pretty specific, but what other unhistorical forces can I build? Well, if you want to fight in Normandy or Italy rather than on the Eastern Front, you could take German aircraft! If you are fighting in Normandy, you could field Panzer III tanks and flame-thrower tanks, or Hornisse or Ferdinand tank-hunters. But those same forces wouldn’t be unhistorical on the Eastern Front.

If you are playing a Soviet force and wanted to push the bounds of history, you could field KV-1, Churchill, or M3 Lee tanks as part of a tank or motor rifle force, since by this time they were obsolete and relegated to infantry support on quiet sectors of the front (not that Stavka let any sector remain quiet for long!).

As you can see, it’s not that easy to stray too far outside the bounds of history with Fortress Europe. Remember though, if you really don’t care about the history side of things, there’s no reason at all that you shouldn’t build an interesting force that recombines elements of history in new and wonderful ways!

Military History Visualized feat. Flames Of War

with Military History Visualized

“Following the initial landings on D-Day the Allies encountered an environment that favored the German defense, namely the Bocage, which was an area that was  fragmented by strong hedgerows that severely limited the mobility of both tanks and infantry. This in combination with bad weather and experienced German defenders lead to several delays. Many of you likely know about the Sherman Rhino and Dozer, yet those were only one of the few options on how the Allies overcame the hedgerows
and very important was also an improvement in tactics and also tank-infantry cooperation”.- MHV

Our Final Countdown Winners!

Congratulations to:

OCDPaul on Twitter,
grahamklaka on Instagram,
Justin Rodriguez on Facebook.

You guys have all picked up a copy of D-Day: American so you’ll be ready for the D-Day releases. Get your details to [email protected] and those books will be shipping mid to late June.

Thank you to everyone who has joined in on the Countdown and congratulations to all our winners.