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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Highly detailed well-made tanks
  • Good value
  • Large scale battles in a small space

Might Not Like

  • No link to Stalingrad
  • Some confusion over which are the right weapons to fix
  • Pointless 2-D cardboard scenery
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Flames Of War Starter Set Review

flames of war tanks

First things first let’s reword the title which doesn’t give us much information and what it does is somewhat misleading. Let’s instead go with “Flames of War : Mid-War Starter Set (Tanks)” or just “5 x 15mm tanks to go with your Flames of War games”.

There is nothing in this package to suggest any connection with the streets of Stalingrad with its’ intense hand to hand, close combat except for the quite excellent box art. What you get is 5 perfectly, presented Battlefront miniatures, to assemble and paint, of Eastern Front tanks circa 1942-3. These are made to the 1/100th or 15mm scale designed for wargames to be played with the eponymous Flames of War rules (How these rules work is decribed in the How to Play Section of this and other Flames of War Reviews)

You also get The A5 version of the complete Flames of War rule book and an easy “Start Here” booklet to user if this is you first foray into the world of : Flames of War. I would suggest that this set, excellent though it is, is not the best place to start out into the world of : Flames of War but rather as an extension to a broader set with Infantry and Artillery and I would recommend the “Eastern Front starter set – Stalingrad (Sov vs Germ)” with its’ over 200 largely Infantry and Artillery miniatures.

Tanks For The Memory

There are also 9 Player aid cards. 7 of these give the all-important Unit statistics in a handy to access form. These are : Motivation, Skill, Is Hit On and 3 different armour values for Front, Side & Rear and Top. Plus the 5 different movement rates and the capabilities of the main armament. These values cover : Range, Rate of Fire, Anti Tank value and overall Fire Power plus any special rules that may be applicable.

The other two contain details of the Movement Orders a Unit Leader can make once per turn. There is one card for the Soviet player and one for the German player. The five options available are the same for each side: Blitz Move, Shoot and Scoot, Dig In, Follow Me! And Cross Here. The cards as printed have a slight difference in the Dig In rule but this is a mistake. Reading the full rules they are supposed to be the same for both sides and are as written for the Soviet side.

Tanks A Lot

There are 5 Tanks in the set with 7 different Unit Cards as there are two different versions of the Panzer III – the earlier one and an up-armoured one with greater front armour. Also there are two different versions of the KV-1 : KV-1 and KV-1S. The Panzer III, Panzer IV ans KV-1 all have alternative main weapons. These alternative weapons plus appropriate Gun Mantles and Turrets are all provided for in the kits.

The 5 Tanks in Flames of War : Stalingrad Starter Set (Plastic) are :-

  • German
  • Panzer III – 7.5 cm gun with HEAT ammunition available Short 5 cm Long 5 cm Up-armoured with Long 5 cm
  • Panzer IV - Short 7.5 cm firing Indirect as Artillery or Direct - Smoke available Long 7.5 cm
  • Soviet
  • Valentine - 2 pdr gun
  • T-34 (early) – 76 mm gun
  • KV-1 - KV-I - 76mm gun KV-1S – 76mm gun

As well as the alternative armament all the tank kits are provided with extra parts such as fuel tanks, stowage boxes and tank track sections so they can be personalised. In particular the top hatches can be built open or closed and, if open, there is a sprue of tank commanders for each side that can be placed in the open hatch.

The models, themselves are a clean mould with easy to follow assembly instructions. The parts fit nicely together and the level of detail is fantastic, especially when you consider their small size.

Tanks But No Tanks

Finally there is a rather bizarre double sheet of flat cardboard scenery. They look like they depict peasant huts and an Orthodox church. The huts look overscale to me. They would be 10 metres x 8 metres in real life. Is that big for a peasant’s house? I don’t know but either way it’s not the town streets of Stalingrad! Also I don’t know how useful 2D scenery is on a miniatures wargame table.

You do get a few useful marker counters though and a pack of 6 dice in Red and Grey.

I’ll Take That Tanks

If you’re fighting Mid-War battles in 15mm scale in WWII’s Eastern Front then I’d recommend this set as a good, relatively cheap way to add Tanks to your forces.

They are, though, more suited to open ground than close combat warfare in, let’s say, somewhere like Stalingrad!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Highly detailed well-made tanks
  • Good value
  • Large scale battles in a small space

Might not like

  • No link to Stalingrad
  • Some confusion over which are the right weapons to fix
  • Pointless 2-D cardboard scenery

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Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

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