Thursday, February 08, 2007

Battlefront/Flames of War
D MINUS 1 (D-1), a new supplement to compliment the Festung Europa book, is 61 pages long and supports the Allied airborne units that fought in the Normandy Campaign. It contains army lists for both American and British parachute and glider/air landing companies. Beautifully presented, it completes the units that fought in Europe through the early months of the late war 1944-45
One may think that the choices available to airborne operations to be limited but this is truly not the case as the variety of troop types and support weapons really quite varied. The fighting platoons that are available to the British airborne can be selected from more than a dozen different types: mortars, MGs, pioneers, ATGs, Royal Engineers, to name just a few, to heavier items like Tetrarch light tanks. Airlanding companies have even more choices available to them; a major difference is that the airborne companies may have two support platoons for each parachute platoon selected whereas the airlanding may have but one. The option to include heavy armor allows the gamer to recreate the fighting the airborne units experienced around Pegasus Bridge in the early part of the Overlord Campaign.
The American airborne forces are similar to the British but with enough differences to make each side unique, challenging and fun to play. While most of the support platoon choices are similar, the Americans can select from a few more options than the British. AAMG and Chemical mortar choices are a few of the unique US options. Both the US parachute and glider forces may have two support platoons for each platoon selected, however, the US glider troops are Confident Trained, whereas all of the other base companies are Fearless Veterans.
Included in the supplement are maps of the combat areas, unit histories, a discussion each of a specific US and UK airborne battle and a US and UK “Hero”, figures that offer some specific and interesting skills that can be used in the game (though I am just not sure how confident I would be if my superior’s last name was “Pine-Coffin”!) There are also many pages of beautifully painted and prepared figures and battles/games to offer inspiration to the gamer. Rounding out the supplement are rules for airborne operations as well as a new scenario/mission for the Allies: “Seize and Hold”. While I have not, as yet, had the opportunity to playtest the mission, it does appear to be very challenging for both the attacker and defender. As will most of the FoW supplements, there is an excellent painting guide with Vallejo paint suggestions for the Red Devils and the US Paratroopers. Excellent advice is given to the wargamers on the colors to be used, methods of painting and suggestions on blending (the recommendation to use light colors other than white for highlighting to get less stark changes, is one that is often overlooked and a well deserved tip.)
Each month new figures are produced and introduced on the Battlefront website. The company produces all the figures necessary to run the armies that are found in the supplements. Whatever army you decide to build, you can find figures to support it!


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