Monday, August 10, 2009

Flames of War/Battlefront
Battlefront’s newest army supplement covers Operation Bagration, the destruction of Army Group Center in 1944. The army lists allow players with Soviet armies more options to construct elite forces – several different Guards units are available. German players can field a very highly specialized 78th Sturmdivision with large anti-tank weapons (guns and panzerfausts) and assault rifles. As always, the large number of weapons and division support companies makes the choice of the actual forces almost limitless. Countless beautiful color photos, maps and drawing; 73 pages.
Soviet forces can now field powerful Guards Rifle companies with far more options available; the flexibility of and improved choices of forces make these companies very interesting – and deadly! Their “Hardened Veterans” (fearless trained) now hit on a +3 in an assault! Hordes of infantry, the IS-II tank, guns – big guns – flame tanks, mine roller tanks and rocket artillery are but a few of the options available to the Soviets. German formations remain flexible with the same options as previous supplements, though it appears that there are far more panzerfausts than ever before! Special rules allow the construction of field fortifications – no longer are the Normandy beaches the only place to find large bunkers. Everything is bigger, badder and cooler! With each of the different forces, each company, weapons and divisional support company choice is identified by a page number, making it easier to find them when building your army.
Along with the usual brief history of the campaign, unit introductions, tactics, advice on how to handle the book’s forces, descriptions of the weapons involved and the actual unit choices, this supplement has two scenarios that can be linked into a mini campaign – the Reconnaissance in Force followed by the Breakthrough Assault. In both the Germans are defending prepared positions (but is that not what they were doing all over by 1944?!) Two new warriors are included: Lieutenant A. V. Pyl’cyn who is not an independent team but an integral part of a company command team and Feldwebel Dietrich Uthoff, a tank hunter specialist.
With each publication Battlefront tries to outdo themselves and how was this accomplished with this supplement? The inclusion of a FREE Feldwebel Uthoff figure, complete with base, a kneeling figure holding a panzerfaust (the awards for killing tanks have been sculpted onto the figure’s arm!), an open box and two loose panzerfausts and a damaged wall from which to hide, just waiting to dispatch his next victim. And did I mention the FREE part?
Stalin’s Onslaught helps continue the awesome tradition of well-designed supplements for Flames of War. Gamers who want to recreate the bitter fighting of the Eastern Front will definitely want to get this book as well as the free Feldwebel warrior.
Price: $25.00


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