Monday, August 10, 2009

Flames of War/Battlefront
This book is more than merely an updated edition of the original Festung Europa – it represents a wholesale re-organization of how each company is presented in an effort to make the book more organized, bring it in line with their other new books and make it easier to construct forces. The army lists contained in this intelligence handbook also represent a significant change in how forces can be constructed, offering far more choices and unit combinations than in the previous book of the same name (albeit in German!) Company lists are available for US, British, German and Soviet forces; beautifully illustrated with color drawings and photos 160 pages.
While many of the usual aspects the previous book are included such as descriptions of each army and the fighting on both Western and Eastern fronts and special rules for each nation, Fortress Europe represents a major change in both organization and company composition. Full page organizational charts make it easier to pick and choose the individual platoons to support the base unit combat platoons – there are separate boxes of potential units that allow gamers to more easily pick and choose their favorite platoons from those available. The most significant change from Festung Europa is the lifting of the “one Support platoon chosen for every Combat platoon selected” restriction. The sky is now the limit (well, almost!) regarding company composition – the only limiting factor may be the 1500-point restriction. Due to the increased size of the new organizational tables, this book is only able to support the basic units for each nation – a total of 16 different companies, down from 29 in the initial text. The missing units are scheduled to be a part of future books – fortunately, the introduction of Fortress Europe does not make Festung Europa obsolete and useless. Gamers are recommended to pick companies from the same book when playing as some point values have been altered. One neat new section covers air reconnaissance for the US and British armies.
This book really opens up the opportunity to field a vast array of unique and individualized companies, limited only by imagination and predetermined army maximum point values. If you enjoy the Flames of War system and possess units/figures that have not been able to get on the table because of previous rules restrictions, this book is definitely for you!
Price: $40


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