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How To Play Flames Of War

flames of war

Flames of War is a turn based set of wargaming rules using inches or cms for measurement and ordinary D6 for outcomes. There are no simultaneous moves. You can move and fire all your units in your turn and then your opponent can do the same. It is designed to work with a 1/100 scale for 15mm figures.

Flames of War is based on a 1:1 system where 1 miniature represents 1 Infantryman, Gun, Tank or Aircraft. The Infantry and Gun Crews are organised into Teams of 4-6 soldiers which fight together, survive or perish as one. These Tanks and Teams are grouped into Unit Formations. These Units will have an HQ with commanders that will enable Teams in their command range to Move, Shoot and Assault normally.

There are Unit Cards and HQ Formation cards for the units involved, displaying all the key information for quick reference.

  • Unit Cards : show the unit name, picture, movement and firing rates, motivation (morale), skill level and armour or save values.
  • HQ cards : show the Teams that go to make up their Formation with index links to their cards.

The game can basically be run from these cards with rulers and dice.

Quick Start: Core Rules

This covers the basics. More complex rules to cover special situations are covered fully in the complete rules that come with a starter set or can be purchased separately.

Each player’s Turn consists of : Movement, Shooting then Assault. You can do this for all your units that are eligible or none as you require. Units that have suffered heavily will have to pass a morale test to see if they continue fighting.


There are 4 Movement Rates in Flames of War :

  • Tactical : Distance you can move and still Shoot or Assault Units not moving will have a higher Rate of Fire (ROF) i.e. more dice to roll when shooting
  • Terrain Dash : Distance you can travel through difficult terrain : woods, streams etc or over walls and hedges. When entering difficult terrin you must roll higher than your Cross rating to carry on or else get stuck.
  • Cross-Country Dash : Distance you can travel over open countryside
  • Road Dash : Distance you can travel entirely on a road.

As well as the above, Teams that are In Command i.e. within 8”/20cm of its Unit Leader can receive one of 5 Movement Orders for their Unit per turn. The first four require passing a Skill test to activate :

  • Blitz : get a 4”/10cm bonus move
  • Shoot & Scoot : get a move instead of Assaulting in the Assault phase
  • Dig In : Gain Bulletproof Cover
  • Follow Me : follows the leader for an extra 4”/10cm
  • Cross Here : gain a +1 to their die roll for their Cross test

Units not In Command suffer restrictions until they are back In Command.


Check the target is in range and Line of Sight (LOS) and declare the target.

Roll a number of D6 given by your ROF. Score a Hit for each one equal to or above the, IS Hit On, number of the target after adjustments for range, concealment, cover etc.

Assign hits to specific targets.

If a Tank is the Target check to see if the shot penetrates its armour. Roll a D6 add it to its Armour Value and see if your Anti Tank rating is greater than the total. If it is roll again against its Armour save to see if it explodes or just has the crew Bail Out.

For Infantry, they make a saving roll to try to get 3+. If they fail the whole team is immediately destroyed. If they were in Bulletproof Cover the attacker has to throw again and get a roll equal to his Firepower to destroy the Team.


Troops that are within 4”/10cm of the enemy can launch an assault after shooting. This represents close combat fighting and is usually quick and bloody. To launch the Assault move your troops into contact with the enemy.

The defenders now get an extra Shoot phase as defensive fire. This is conducted normally with the attackers not having any benefit of cover.

If the Assaulting unit takes 5 hits the Assault immediately fails and they must move back 2”/5cm.

If they get through, each Assault team rolls 1 D6. They need to roll their Skill rating to hit. There are no saves so each hit destroys a defending team.

If defenders remain they can try to roll their Motivation rating. If they succeed they can Counterattack or break off, falling back 6”/15cm and become Pinned Down. If they fail they must break off.

If they Counterattack they conduct an Assault, as above, but with no defensive fire moving teams up to 4”/10cm in. Their opponent now rolls to Counterattack and the Assault continues back and forth until one side Backs Off or is destroyed.

Assaulting Tanks fall back on having 2 or more Tanks bailed out or destroyed rather than the 5 hits rule. Tanks use side armour values in Assault or Top armour if being attacked by hand grenades etc. If they break off any bailed out tanks left behind are captured and destroyed.

Last Stand

If a Unit starts its’ turn with only 1 Tank, 1 Gun Team or 2 Infantry teams left it must roll its Motivation, or Last Stand value if different, to stay fighting. If it does not they must flee the battlefield.

The battle continues, turn after turn, until one side has met its’ objectives, destroyed the enemy or forced it to retreat.

The booklet of full rules for Flames of War also contains a number of suggested basic mission scenarios. These can be strung together into fictional campaigns or adapted to depict historical engagements. They also suggest Battle Plans to randomly select scenarios suited to your playing style of Attack, Manoeuvre or Defend.