Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Introduction to me and my motivation

I first started contemplating getting into Flames of War back in early February when I heard the new rule book was coming out. A friend of mine (who does not live anywhere near me, in fact in a seperate hemisphere) had always talked the game up so I thought I'd check it out and see if the game was for me.

I spent a good five or so quite days at work digging around the Flames of War site, reading the Boot Camp articles got me excited, but soon after that I found myself lost. Once I got past the basic tutorial stuff I knew I was interested but had the feeling of "Now What?" At that point the Version 3 books weren't out yet, and there were little bits and pieces of important information scattered around, but it was difficult to piece together.

I decided that I would put this post together to try to help other 'Newbies' at least have a start to finish plan of attack with Flames of War. Someone new to the game needs to decide whether Flames of War is right for them and if so, how to get going without shelling out any of your head earned cash (assuming like me you don't have the greatest amount of 'free' cash). And also I may as well use it as a project log without the log being lost in the depths of GW related items. So this article will include references from articles that I found useful in my search

Everything in this post is what I am doing or have already done as I find my way into Flames of War. It certainly doesn't mean what what I've described is the best way to do things or the 'right' way to do things, it's just the way that I worked through everything. There are bound to be better guides and tutorials on many of these topics here on the forums and elsewhere online, but I've tried to pull everything that a newbie may need or have questions on into one place.

The first and most important thing to understand that getting into Flames of War is not an overnight process. You can't just buy a book at your local game store and sit down to start playing. Learning and building your first army can take a few months and in my opinion, you're doing yourself a detriment if you rush through your start-up process.

Flames of War is not only a detailed game but it can quickly become a full blown hobby. I find I have as much fun (if not more), researching the real history of the units I'm working on and painting and modelling the miniatures. If you rush through things, glossing over reading the rules or slapping crappy paint jobs on things just to get them done it's just going to end up biting you in the arse later on in the process, as with most Historical Gaming detail and accuracy can (and often will) be held in high regard.

I have so far found every time I tried to rush, I screwed something up and had to spend that much more time doing it right. The game isn't going anywhere, so take your time, learn what you're doing and you'll get much more enjoyment out of the game and the hobby in the long run.

So to begin, I believe you can break up your entry into Flames of War gaming world into four distinct steps, which I will break down into seperate posts so that people aren't confronted with a vast wall of text:

- Research & Evaluation
- Army Design
- Army Collection & Building
- Playing and Enjoying the Game

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Step 1: Research & Evaluation

Step 1: Research & Evaluation

Before you just run out and start spending money on books, miniatures and paints (like I did, I do tend to dive into things headfirst), it's a good idea to do a bit of research about the game to see if you'll enjoy Flames of War and that it's the game for you. I don't want to scare anyone off from the game, but I there's three key questions you have to ask yourself before you even consider trying the game, of course as with any hobbies there are ways around the issues.

- Do you have some money you're willing to spend?
- Do you have any people that play (or are willing to play) in your area?
- Do you a decent amount of free time?

Money to Spend - Let's be honest. Flames of War (like many miniature war games) is not a cheap game/hobby to get into. You're going to need at least $100 - $150 USD to get up and running with your first army in Flames of War, and you can quickly spend much more than that. To create your army and play you're going need the rulebook (~$60 USD), access to army lists in the various Intelligence Handbooks or online (Free - $50 USD), miniatures for your first 2-3 combat platoons and HQ teams ($50-$100 USD), and painting/basing tools & supplies ($50 USD+ if you don't have already them). On top of that there are items like dice (not so much of a problem), tokens (can make yourself), templates and various other little odds and ends that will pop up that you need to purchase like a glue gun or magnifying glasses. Expenses can rack up quickly. I wouldn't even consider getting into the game if you don't have at least $100 USD in hand to spend, with the expectation that you will end up buying more as time goes on. Unless of course you get lucky on auction sites and message boards ect

Players and Opponents - Sadly, you can't play Flames of War yourself. Well, theoretically you probably could, but I expect that would get old pretty fast. You need to do a bit of research to discover if there's anyone in your area already playing or if there's anyone out there possibly willing to play. Search for your town and any big towns near you that you'd be willing to drive to. Next, check the WWPD.net Player Finder to see if there are any players that have listed themselves in your neck of the woods. You can also check with your local gaming/hobby stores and see if they carry Flames of War (you can find any local FoW retailers using the "Store Locator" found in the Stores tab on the FoW website). They may know of any regular groups that play in the store or nearby. Finally you can always hit up Google and do a search on " flames of war", " wargames", " gaming club" and see what pops up. You might find there's a other folks near you playing Flames of War or something similar. In my case, I did all of these. It took me a few weeks, but I've found a handful of people playing or willing to play within an hour of me. If after all that you can't find anyone, do you have any friends or family nearby that you might be able to convince to try it with you? If so, you might even be able to cut some of your starting costs and share some books and miniatures.

Free Time - If only awesome looking armies could magically appear on your gaming table............. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Personally, I enjoy researching, collecting and painting an army as much as playing, but doing so takes up a lot of free time. As I found that I answered one of my quetions (what colour should I paint my Tiger's? I then discovered the numbering conventions, locations of the unit and army iconography and other gems of information) There are a lot of steps involved in getting a miniature from the blister pack to the game table, and there could be a lot of miniatures you need to prep, paint and base. For example, if you like the Soviets and pick a Strelkovy (Infantry) Company, you're looking at painting and mounting anywhere from 60 to 170 guys just for your two required platoons! So as you can imagine it will take a lot of time and effort to build your army. Make sure you have the free time and you're willing to spend it on FoW. If you have kids or a signifigant other, another question you need to ask yourself is if they're going to be alright with you locking yourself into your 'painting room' for hours at a time, or alternatively invading the entire living room, kitchen and spare room with forks of infantry stuck to them and primed?

If you said yes to all these questions then I'd say you're good to go! If not, don't fret, just pick up a copy Company of Heroes for your PC on Steam for $10 and grab the free Eastern Front mod. That should scratch your wargaming itch for a good long time.

Now that you've decided you have the time, resources and motivation to get into FoW, you want to do some poking around and learn more about Flames of War. Your first stop should be the Flames of War "Boot Camp" pages and excellent videos that Battlefront has developed as an introduction to the game. Currently, they are still releasing videos, but it's the best 'high level overview' I've found of the game and will introduce you to the basic game mechanics. After you work through all the material in the Boot Camp, spend some time lurking around the forums. The "Newbie" and "General Discussion" forums in particular are a great place to start and see what people are discussing and talking about.

If you're really anxious to get going and spending some money, you might want to look into picking up the "Achtung!" Intro box set. It comes with a mini rulebook, two plastic Stug tanks, three plastic Sherman tanks, 4 dics and a pamphlet walking you through the basics of the game. At $40 US, it's a pretty good deal, particularly if you plan to play German/Americans and can use the Stug/Sherman models. The one downside is that it really doesn't give you much in the pamphlet that you couldn't learn with from someone already playing.

Next thing on your 'To Do' list is getting out there and, if possible, actually watch a few games. Check with the folks you found that are already playing in your area and see when they are playing. Try to go watch a game or two. Some groups occasionally run 'intro' games, or the current players may be willing to run you through some games with their miniatures. All you need to do is ask! Either way, just watching a couple of games and getting to know the people playing in your area will give you a feel for the game and help you figure out the mechanics. Most of the folks I've contacted or met have been awesome and are excited to get more people into the game. One in particular initially dismissed me but has slowly grown less grumpy (I think he is half man half hibernating Grizzly Bear!)

Once you get a chance to watch a couple of games and maybe even play a bit, you're probably ready to take the plunge and buy the Version 3 Rulebook bundle. For $60 US, the bundle comes with a big hardbacked cover version 3 Rulebook, the Hobby book and the Forces book. When you get it, start off by reading the "Basics" section in the main rulebook (the first 32 pages) and then read all of the Hobby and the Forces books. They're both short, but packed with great information to get you going.

In my case it took a few weeks to get to this point, but part of that was because I had to wait for version 3 to be released. When you've made it to this point you should have a pretty good grasp on the basics and be ready to start building your own army!

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Step 2: Army Design

Step 2: Army Design

Phase 2 - Army Design

So, you want to be a Great General, sweeping armies before you? Not so fast Grasshopper! Before you whip out the credit card and start ordering tanks and sub machine gunners (like me) you need to put some time and thought into picking and designing your army. Before you can do anything, you need to know what armies your opponents are using and in particular, what era are they playing? Early-War? Mid-War? Late-War? You shouldn't build your army using a Late War army list if everyone you are going to play with will be using Early or Mid War armies (Again like me). If you are all starting from scratch, you can pick whatever era you all agree on, but if you're joining into a group of people already playing, you're probably stuck building an army from the era/era's they are all playing. In my area, it seems like most folks are running Late War armies, so that's what I'm going with. Since many of the newer books are in the Late War era, many gamers are leaning towards Late War armies now. That doesn't mean you can't set your games in the Early or Mid war eras and use the other books, you just need to make sure everyone that is playing with agrees on it the what era and books that are allowed.

Once you know the era you are going to play in, you can decide what country you want to play. There's a ton of options, but Flames of War breaks things up into the Major Powers and the Minor Powers. In general, the Major powers have a lot more information available for them in most of the books, and have the largest amount of miniatures available. This makes sense because they were the major powers fighting the war, had the biggest armies and the most advanced tech. There are 5 Major powers, including Germany, the USA, the United Kingdom, the USSR and the Italians. The Minor powers are still fun to play, but have fewer army lists and miniatures to pick from. There are six Minor Powers including armies for France, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece and Finland.

Just like in the real war, some armies were stronger during the different eras. For example, French or Italian armies are fine for Early War games, but not so much for Late War. I would strongly suggest that you go with one of the major powers as your army of choice for your first army. There's just a lot more information/army lists and miniature options available for those armies. Plus you have the bonus that there's probably more people out there playing the Major powers that you can learn from both on the forums and in real games. Another thing you might want to take into account is what people in your area are already playing. Often long time players may have more than one army, but if 3/4 of the people playing in your area have Late War Soviets, it might be more interesting to add some variety and pick a non-Soviet army, also some armies such as the Romanians often used German Tanks, so with my first army I can purchase jus tthe infantry required to run a Romanian Version of my German List.

Since Italy waned a in the late war era, many of the recent books, including the "Forces" book in the version 3 bundle, focus on Germany, USSR, US or British armies. The Forces book includes 3 army lists for the USSR, the USA, and the UK and 4 army lists for the Germans. If you want even more options, you can pick up the Red Bear Intelligence handbook (FW111) for the Soviets, the Grey Wolf Intelligence handbook (FW110- Very Highly Recommended) for the Germans and the Turning Tide Intelligence handbook (FW108) for the Americans and British. Also, a new Intelligence handbook for the Late War just came out that includes more US and German Tank and Mechanized companies called "Blood, Guts, & Glory" (FW220).

I won't delve into how to decipher and read the army lists for the different companies. The books walk you through that really well. The basic thing you need to know is that all armies must start with a Company HQ Command group and 2 to 3 'required' combat platoons (1 HQ and 2 Troops, sounds familiar right?). Once you have that 'core' complete, you have options to add other supporting platoons as well. All units in the armies have a point value based on how strong it is. So a Tiger Tank (I love Tiger's) is going to cost more points to field than a squad of Rifleman. All the books list the point values for platoons of different types of units. As an example, a platoon of 5 M4A1 Sherman Tanks from the American Tank Company in the Forces handbook costs 345 points to add to your army, whereas an Armored Rifle Platoon costs 225 points but gives you 5 Half tracks, some light machine guns, mortars and rifleman. (Predator Destructor compared with Full Tactical Squad in Rhino for a very loose comparison)

Every game you play will have a 'point total' limiting the maximum amount of points you can spend on troops to field for that battle. You will need to create an army whose platoons cost total up to less than or equal to (but never over) the point total for the game. Small games can be run with a point total of 500-600 while larger games can be armies with 2000 or more points. The US National tournaments currently use a point total of 1,575 points for Late War armies and you'd need to bring an army built to that many points or less to compete, by contrast most places around me typicaly play 1500 or 1750 points. The point totals will vary between different gaming groups and tournaments. Before you start building your first army list you will need to find out what point total the people in your area are using for their armies and games and build your army with that points total in mind.

The Intelligence Handbooks like Grey Wolf and Red Bear, as well as many freely available PDF's (yes that's right, free stuff) on Battlefront's site contain various army companies and their 'lists' detailing the various units that can be used in them. There are three main types of lists available, Tank Companies, Mechanized/Motorized Companies, and Infantry companies. The type of company/list you choose will determine what type of 'required' platoons you need to form the core of your army. If you pick a tank company list you'll be required to have 2 or 3 platoons of certain tanks. If you pick an Infantry list, you'll be required to take 2 or 3 platoons of certain Infantry types. You won't be limited to only those types of platoons for your whole army, but your 'core' army will need to be those specific platoon types. You will have access to other types of units in your army list and can often add infantry platoons to tank companies and tank platoons to mechanized infantry companies. It's all matter of what options you have available in your chosen army list and how many points you can spend on different platoons.

As you contemplate what type of company (Tank, Mechanized Infantry or Infantry) you'd like to field, consider your playing style in other games you've played. Are you generally an aggressive or defensive type of player? The mission rules in Flames of War require Tank Companies almost always to be the 'attackers' in missions, while Infantry Companies are almost always 'defenders'. Motorized/Mechanized companies on the other hand will be a bit of both, they defend against tank companies, but attack against infantry companies. If your play style is aggressive and you like to drive over and through the defenders to get to your objective, then a tank company might be for you. On the other hand, if you like to dig defense to hold the line and fend off waves of attackers, an infantry company might be a good place to start.

Cost can also play a factor in your decision. Tank armies are probably the easiest/cheapest to start with. Since each unit will be worth more points, you'll need to buy and paint less of them. On the other hand, Mechanized/Motorized troops are probably the most expensive because you not only need to buy/paint all the Infantry, you need to buy/paint all their transport vehicles as well. However it is possible to purchase 'platoon/company/kompanie sets' which include both infantry and their mechanised transport. Another bonus is that WWII is not copywrited so you're not limited to a certain manufacturer unlike 40K and WHFB, this is applicable in FoW tournaments, as long as the mini is WYSIWYG and 15mm (or equivalent scale) then it is tournament legal.

Sample Lists - US TANK

So, let's jump into another example. Say we need to come up with a 600 point army for our game and decide we want to field a tank company. Using the army list for the US Tank company from the Forces book we mentioned earlier it lists that at a minimum you need a Company HQ platoon and the two 'required' core tank platoons.

The Company HQ platoon has 2 M4A1 Sherman tanks and costs 140 points. So already we're down to having only 460 points left for the two required core platoons. If we split that in half we'll have 230 points available for each platoon. Looking at the options for those platoons, the most we can field 3 M4A1 Sherman's in each core platoon at a cost of 205 points each. Totaling everything up, our army is worth 550 points, 50 points under our target points total of 600.

Unfortunately, there's just no way to add any more tanks to the army. The cost to bump one of our tank platoons up to 4 M4A1 Sherman's is 275 points, which would put us 20 points over the 600 point limit. In certain lists, you might be able to find another platoon you could add to your army for 50 points or less and give you some more troops, but there's nothing else we can add to this Tank Company that costs 50 points or less.

Now that we've 'designed' our army, we can look at what miniatures we actually need. We would need to buy and paint 8 M4A1 Sherman tanks (2 for the Company HQ & 3 for each required platoon). We can buy the Sherman's Battlefront's site for $96 (1 Platoon box of 5 Tanks for $58 (UBX02) and 3 individual tanks (US042) at $12.50 each.) It might be worth just buying the 2 box sets and for an extra $20 you get ten total Sherman's in case you ever fight in a battle with more points and can increase the size of your platoons. Or we can go buy from the Plastic Soldier Company, two sets of 15mm United States M4A1(76)W Sherman Tanks (each box includes 5 Tanks) for $35 (so $70 for 10 Tanks) and a cheap "complete" army.

Sample Lists - US INFANTRY

Now let's see what we can field with 600 points using the US Armored Rifle Company (which is a Mechanized Infantry Company) from the v3 Forces book. Once again, we need a Company HQ Platoon and 2 'required' platoons of Armored Rifles. The Company HQ consists of a Jeep, a M3 half track, and two Carbine teams (3 guys in each) all for only 20 points. We still have 580 points to work with, so we can spend 290 points on each of the Armored Rifle Platoons if we'd like. The 'biggest' option we have available for those platoons only costs 225 points and includes 5 M3 Half Tracks, 1 Command Rifle team (3 guys), 5 Rifle teams (4 Guys each), 1 37mm AT gun (AT Gun + 4 guys), 4 Bazooka teams (2 guys each team), 1 mortar team (mortar tube + 3 guys) and 2 LMG teams (LMG + 3 guys each). Even with all that, we're only up to 485 points total. We could easily add other supporting platoon with the 115 points and throw in some light tanks, AT guns, recon, etc, with what we still have left over. But for simplicity sake, let's leave it at that. We now need to buy 2 Armored Rifle Platoon box sets ($80 each) an Armored Rifle Company HQ ($12.50) and another Halftrack and Jeep ($12.50/$14) which totals us up to $199. On top of that we now need to paint 11 Halftracks, 1 Jeep, 1 AT Gun, and 94 guys! Unfortunately Plastic Soldier Company do not currently offer much in this range so cannot compare prices but other manufacturers are about, scout around and find some deals.

So, as you can see, the type of company and army list you choose can drastically alter the amount of troops you'll be able to put on the table at your point value, as well as increase the cost to purchase and time you'll be spending with a paint brush in your hand.

One way to ease the cost and time needed to get going is to run or play in an 'Escalation' league. Escalation leagues are just a series of regular games that start off with a low points total and then gradually increase the points total over time. This allows people to slowly build up their army so they can buy/paint their army over a period of time instead of all at once. Normally an escalation league starts with a point total of around 400-600 points. After a few game sessions, (usually a few weeks or months) the allowed point total increases by a couple hundred points. So, you would play your first two or three gaming sessions at 500 points, then things would move up to 700 points for two or three more sessions, and then up to 900, and so on. You can set it up however you'd like, but it makes things a lot easier to get started.

One tidbit I discovered was that regardless of what the point total you will be playing with for your first game, it seems to be better to build your army list to the maximum point total your escalation league is going to get up to. So, if you are playing an escalation league that starts at 500 points and goes to 1750 points, build your army list to a total of 1750 points. If you build your list to your final point value at first, it's simply a matter of cherry picking what troops you need to buy and paint first for your early games and then buying and painting the other platoons for your army as the points totals start going up. When I first tried to build a 500 point army, it was easy, but when I tried to determine what I would add when we jumped up 200 points, I had to rework the whole original list and it really through a monkey wrench into things. It was much easier to build to my final point total and then just buy/paint as we went

As you begin working on your army lists, you're going to end up making a constant tweaks and changes as you go. Maybe you want to add a Heavy Machine Gun to one platoon or you need to shed points somewhere so you can add another platoon. You of course can do it with pen and paper using the Intelligence Handbooks, but you'll likely pull your hair out and go through a lot of erasers. There's a tool out there that will make your list preparation a hundred times easier for just a few dollars. Check out the EasyArmy website. EasyArmy lets you build your army lists online from most of the available lists (he's adding more all the time.) You simply click boxes and buttons to add/remove teams, support weapons and platoons to your army and it calculates your point totals on the fly. You can also store the armies you create on the site to revisit later, save your army list as a PDF file or print it out in a nice format on your printer that includes all the stats, rules and information about that army. Many of the army lists are available for free (including the Version 3 Forces army lists), but some cost a dollar or two (payable through Paypal) to unlock the lists in specific books. So, if you want access to all the lists that were in Red Bear for example, you pay $2 and you can work with all of the lists that were available in the book. I can't stress enough how much EasyArmy helped me and highly recommend it. Head over and play around with some of the free lists and see if it's worth your while. However the website will not tell you if you have made an invalid choice, with the exception of the points cap. Also Army Builder however is not currently up to date so the points totals do not match what is in the books.

So, now that you've come up with your final army list it's time to whip out the credit card and start your spending spree, right? Sorry, but not yet. Post your list on these hallowed halls or alternatively, Head over to the "Army List" forum on the FOW site and search it to see if anyone else has posted up similar lists. You might get some ideas from their list or the feedback other people gave them about their list. You'll get some great info. Sometimes you'll get conflicting ideas from different people you'll need to wade through, but it's still worth it since you'll hear feedback from people that have actually used those armies and platoons in a real game.

Ultimately though the only way to really know if you're going to enjoy playing an army and if it will hold up well is to actually get it on the table and play. In my opinion, this is a problem because you need to play the army to see how it's going to work out and if you like it, but you need to already have purchased and painted the army to actually play it. See if someone in your local gaming group has the same or similar army to what you want. (Or Proxy Tokens cut to scale with other gamers - Obviously check if this is OK first and don't just turn up with a butchered cereal packet and expect a game) Before you start buying pick their brain about what they like, what they don't like and what they'd do differently if they could do it over again. Ask if they'd be willing to let you 'test drive' the army in a few practice games against them using some of the miniatures.

Worst case, go ahead and build the army list you think you want to play. But as your building, think through a few 'options' that you can swap in and out of the army. Think of different scenarios and how you'd need to tweak your army to handle that scenario. For example, if you find tanks are mauling you in every game and need to more anti-tank units, what platoons can drop out of your army and what platoons can you add to it to beef up your anti tank while still staying under the points total? What if Infantry is your problem? What do you drop/pick up? If you put some thought into it, you'll start to see that you'll likely have some 'core' platoons in your army that will likely not change, and then a few support platoons that you can swap in and out for different situations.

Of course, if you truly end up disliking your army after all that you can either shelve it and start over with a different army, trade it with some other players, or even pop the old stuff up on eBay. The market for Flames of War items on eBay is pretty good, and it looks like you can make a decent portion of your money back by selling the miniatures. Whatever you do, spending time really thinking through your list before you just start just buying miniatures will pay dividends in the long run. I went through ten iterations of "This is my final list!" before I finally came down to something I like and I'm fully expecting to still be tweaking it as I get games with it under my belt.

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Step 3: Collection, Building & Painting

Step 3: Collection, Building & Painting

So, you have an army list in hand that you want to build and play. Awesome! Now the real work begins. Once you have your army list pretty locked down, you can start creating your shopping list. I dive more into an overall shopping list in a bit, but first here's some general thoughts on the collecting and building of your army.

You may find that in some cases units will come in sets of 2 or 4 when you only need 1, but in other cases, unused pieces of a blister pack you buy may be usable for other platoons and you won't have to buy them. Worst case, you can always use any 'spare' pieces as Objectives.

Once you have your list of miniatures, we need to come up with our paints and supplies list. You may already have some of these items floating around and can save yourself some money. While I tried to document how to go about painting things below, I admit that I'm not a very good painter and there's some really talented and incredible painters all over the forums and elsewhere online. Spend some time looking and searching through the "Painting and Modelling" forum as well as across the internet. There's a ton of information and ideas on painting and modelling and places like YouTube are a goldmine of information.

All miniatures need to have an 'undercoat' of primer paint which will assist the later paint layers in adhering well to the miniature. People that field bare metal miniatures are generally known as 'Silver Surfers.' I've had better luck with decent primer, and I know bad primer will ruin your miniatures, washing out details and just making the mini look bad. (Hint: I've had bad luck with Games Workshop Primers.) Battlefront sells cans of "War Paint" spray paint for many of of the major powers that are both a primer and undercoat for vehicles. These are nice because you can knock out both the undercoat and basecoat in one shot and save yourself some time, but the cans aren't cheap. There's also other primers out there that I've used with success. I'm partial to "Army Painter" myself but others have recommended either the 'Board to Pieces' or the 'P3' primers, but any decent primer will do the trick. Do a quick search on 'miniature primer' and you'll find a ton of information and options. Black primers will 'darken' later coats and white primers will 'lighten' later coats. They make grey primer if you want something in between. I generally use black primers for most of my stuff, but occasionally white on infantry. It's really a matter of what you like. Your technique of applying the primer is probably ten times more important than the primer you actually use.

It would be nice if we were done after our priming step. Just like our 'Silver Surfers', there's a name known for folks that field figures that are primed black but not painted. They're running the dreaded 'Ninja Army'. People aren't going to give you grief if you show up to a few games with Silver Surfers or Ninja's, as we all know it takes a while to get things prepped and painted. But if you show up for months without making any progress on your miniatures, people may look at your Surfers and Ninja's funny.

Of course we want to try to paint our miniatures to look realistic as possible. Flames of War is a visual game, and well painted/based miniatures add a ton to the game experience. Battlefront has wonderful guides detailing what colors you need to paint the infantry and vehicles of all the different armies in many of the Intelligence Handbooks and Rulebooks.

For many of the armies, Battlefront sells "Paint Sets" that include many of the colors you are going to need for that army. There is also a "Quartermaster Set" that include paints and washes/shades that are common to many of the armies. All the paints used are Vallejo paints, so if you'd like you can pick up all the colors you need individually instead of in the box sets. Each of the Army Painting guides will tell you the Vallejo name and number for each paint. You don't have to use Vallejo/FoW branded paints and can also use paints from other vendors as well if you'd like. There's a few sites out on the internet that have compatibility charts listing what paints match each other from across the different vendors. Personally, I'd stick with the Vallejo paints unless you already have a large collection of paints from another vendor. You'll probably end up with about 10 to 12 bottles of paint to handle the bulk of your armies infanry and vehicles.

Once you've finished painting your miniatures, there's some finishing touches you can add to them for even more detail. You can get decals from Battlefront for your vehicles in your army so you don't have to attempt to paint symbols, letters or numbers by hand. You can also pick up a ton of different decals from I-94 Enterprises. You may want to use some 'washes' which are basically well watered down paints/pigments that will flow into all the nooks and cranies of your miniature to add depth to them. You can buy pre-made washes or even make your own if you'd like. With washes and watered down paint there's all sorts of effects you can create for weathering and making your troops look battle worn.

On most miniatures other than vehicles, you're going to want to get materials to add finishing touches to your 'base'. Most of the blister packs come with the small, medium or large plastic bases that you put your infantry and gun teams on, but their just plain plastic. There's some great tutorials in the modelling/painting forums and in the Hobby book on some things you can do to bring your base to life (FoW website). If you really don't want to mess with basing, Battlefront makes some pre-made 'rubble' bases that just need to be painted and you can glue your infantry/guns teams right into cutouts that are pre-made for them. Once all that is done, you'll want to seal and protect everything with a coat or two of spray varnish.

Woohoo! Time to start shopping! At this point, spend a few minutes to write up your own 'Shopping List' of what you need to get so you can keep things straight and make sure you get everything you need. There's nothing worse than getting ready to sit down and paint your minis and notice you forgot to buy brushes or forgetting to buy that Bazooka squad you needed.


Step 1) Prep - It's pretty similar to everything else you do while painting, set up your area and get ready to open that new purchase.

Step 2) Unpacking and Cleaning - Unpack the miniatures you plan to paint first. I wouldn't unpack everything at once because it's really easy to lose those little bits and pieces, especially if you're in a room with a carpet. Be very careful with the mini's, some of them are extremely fragile (especially the thin pieces on resin mini) and I've broken more fenders than I care to admit. Pick a squad of Infantry or a couple of vehicles, open them up and then spend some time 'cleaning' them. With a hobby knife and some small files, remove any of the mould lines, flashing, etc., from the parts, taking care not to damage or ruin any of the details.

Step 3) Water Wash - Wash everything with warm soapy water and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush to remove any oil or grit. A little tip, do it in a small bowl or something. Do not do it in the sink as it's really easy to drop one of those little pieces down the drain. Don't ask me how I know. Once you wash them, let dry thourougly by placing everything on a paper towel. I generally try not to touch the miniatures with my fingers anymore at this point so I don't get any oil from my skin on them. You can use a paper towel, latex or light cloth gloves if you want, but you can probably get away without doing any of that as long as your hands are clean.

Step 4) Assembly - First and foremost, go to the Battlefront store and check out the mini you've purchased to see if they have a "Spotlight". Many of the newer ones have a nice write up on the vehicle/infantry along with assembly instructions and some great color photos of what the finished product should look like.

With vehicles it's usually best to glue on most of the small 'bits' using Zap-a-Gap or super glue at this point with a few caveats:

- On any vehicles that have tank treads that have the fenders attached to the tread piece you can just glue them to the body now. For treads that don't have attached fenders (the fenders are on the vehicle body) it's much easier to paint the treads separately, and then mount them to the vehicle.

- Do not glue down any turrets since they need to rotate to point at targets. You can leave the turrets loose in the body of the vehicle if you want, but it's a good idea to look into using 'rare earth' magnets to mount the turret to the body. Sometimes these are supplied with the miniatures, but you can order them from Battlefront or AmazingMagnets.com. I've used the .25" x .03125" disks for turrets.

- If you do decide to use the magnets, here's a few other tips:
- The rare earth magnets are crazy strong and will stick to and attract just about anything. Keep the stored well so they're not causing problems with all the metal tools you have on your desk.
- Separate 2 magnets from the rest and keep them stuck together, then apply paint or permanent market the outside edges so once they are separate you can easily tell which faces of the magnet attract to each other (the ones without the paint/marker) and which faces should be glued to the turret/body (the ones with the paint/marker.)
- Depending on the vehicle, you may need to countersink the magnet into either the turret, the body, or both. You need to do this carefully as you can easily damage the body or turret with a drill bit or dremel tool just a smidge larger than the magnets. The easiest way to determine if you need to countersink the magnets is to first dry fit the turret into the body and check to see how snugly they fit together or if there is any gap. Now remove the turret and place the two magnets in the body of the vehicle and put the turret back into the body. Check the fit and if the magnets are creating a larger gap than you originally had you'll need to countersink one or both of the magnets. You can usually eyeball the centers of the body and turret on where you need to drill out the hole to countersink the magnet into. If you glue the magnets in the holes, they should line up pretty closely. If you want to be exact try the following. Glue (after countersinking if necessary) one magnet into the center of the turret bottom. Let the glue dry thoroughly (an hour or two at least) and then attach the other magnet to the one that's glued down. The magnets are crazy strong and you could easily pull the magnet glued into the turret out if the glue isn't fully dry. Dab a little bit of shoe polish or color the outside face of the 2nd magnet with a marker and place the whole shebang back in the turret hole. Give it a few twists with some light downward pressure and then pull it out. You should then have a nice outline in the vehicle base of exactly where the magnet sits in the turret body and can glue (after countersinking if needed) the second magnet down at the marked spot.
-If you do need to countersink the magnets you need to be careful to not drill the holes out too deep. One way that works is to determine how deep you need to drill (1 or 2 magnet heights) and wrap a ton of masking tape around your drill bit at that length up the bit. This way you know when to stop at the right depth.
- When super gluing the magnets it's difficult to get them into place without getting your fingers stuck to the super glue. You can use a little bit of blu tack on the face of the magnet that is not being glued down as a grip to hold onto while put the the magnet in place so you don't get your fingers stuck to the crazy glue. A simple toothpick can be used to position the magnet in the glue as well.

Step 5) Creating Handles - You need some sort of 'handle' to hold onto parts while painting since it's very difficult to hold onto the pieces and bases of the miniatures while painting them without getting paint all over your fingers or fingerprints all over your paint job.
- For larger vehicles, treads and turrets you can hot glue or blu tack them onto old paint pots, 35mm film cannisters (put some sand in them to weigh them down so they don't tip over) or even popsicle sticks/tongue depressors.
- For infantry, the easiest thing to do is blu tack or hot glue (I definitely suggest hot glue over the blu tack if you have the option) the infantry to the heads of decent sized nails or golf tees or as I have found plastic cutlery. You can then hold the nail in your fingers and easily work with the mini, spinning it around as needed. You can make a 'handle holder' out of scrap piece of wood (check your local hardware store if you don't have one, they usually sell scraps for next to nothing). Drill a bunch of holes in it, making sure you don't go all the way through. Use a drill bit just a bit larger than the nails you are going to use so that the nails can fit snugly in the hole. Just make sure there's enough room between the holes so the figures won't hit each other. Another option is to just use a piece of styrofoam and jam the nails (or you can even use golf tees) into it. Just make sure the styrofoam has enough bulk that it won't tip over when the miniatures are stuck are in it. Another great idea I've seen is to cut a corrugated cardboard box about half way down and stick the nails in the ridges of the cardboard.

Step 6) Painting the Undercoat - I'm sure you all have your own way of applying primer, I like to hand paint using Citadel Black Undercoat which I have thinned slightly. This is mainly due to issues I have with Spray Primers and I can't afford to shell out for a dehumidifier.

Step 7) Basecoating - Give the undercoat time to dry. I usually wait at least 12 hours, but if I can give it 24 hours, I do. Once the undercoat is dry, give the miniature a good look over. If there's any flashing or mold lines that you might have missed during cleanup, they'll probably stand out now. Just fix them and touch up the miniature with some of the primer and a brush and areas you had to fix or maybe missed with the primer. If the mini looks good and you didn't paint a vehicle with the FoW 'War Paint' that does undercoat and basecoat in one shot, you want to paint your basecoat(s) on the entire miniature. For vehicles I basecoat with the single primary color. Infantry I start with skin, then do coats/jackets/shirts, then pants, then the boots, then hats/helmets, all matching the color scheme shown in the books. While you are painting it's a good idea to have a small cup with some brush cleaner/water or even a wet/damp sponge in a small bowl. This way you can 'refresh' your brush to clean off any paint globs and refine your point every so often by swishing it around in the fluid or running it across the sponge. Once I finish all the basecoats I go back and touch up everything in reverse order to fix any places I accidentally over-painted onto.

Step 8) "Magic Wash" # 1 - At this point I like to do my first wash using my pre made washes to pick up some of the more obscure details. I use very thinned down Snakebite Leather over a dark yellow basecoat (1:20 paint to water ratio)

Step 9) Painting the Details and Adding Decals - Now I paint all the rest of the details. I use smaller brushes for painting the details on the miniature to match the color schemes shown in the books. Here is where I do rifles, weapons, belts, straps, pouches, tools, mufflers, etc. Then I go back and retouch up everything again (including your basecoat colors since you probably over-painted some of the details onto them.) Look at the Online store and in the Intelligence Briefing handbooks and PDF's for pictures of the miniatures actually painted for some ideas and guidance. Remember, if you screw up, don't worry, you can always strip the mini and start again.

Once you've finished with all your painting steps, if this is a vehicle or other miniature that you want to add a decal too, this is probably the best time to do it. You could do it now or any time in the following final magic wash, dry-brushing and weathering steps. I think it's better to get some of the weathering and wash on the decal to make it look as worn as the rest of the vehicle.

To add decals, figure out where you are going to place it. In that spot you can brush on a little bit of glosscote varnish to give you a nice smooth surface to put the decal on and let that dry for 15 minutes or so. Next, cut out the decal you want to place on the model taking care to cut just a little bit bigger than the decal so you have some of the backing paper to hold onto. Put the decal in water for about 30 seconds. While the decal is soaking, brush on a little bit of the decal softener solution (or distilled white vinegar) onto the area you brushed on the glosscote. Take a clean paint brush and get it a bit wet and then pick up the decal with a pair of tweezers, making sure the tweezers are not touching the decal, only the backing paper. Move the decal near where it's going to go and then gently 'brush' the decal off the paper and onto the miniature in the correct spot. You should be able to shift it around a bit with the damp paint brush to position it correctly. Once it's in the right location, take a cotton swab and gently roll it across the decal to smooth it out and dry up some of the water.

If you screw it up, don't worry, just try to remove it or scrape it off gently before it fully sets and try again with another decal.

Step 10) "Magic Wash" #2 - Magic wash again and let sit for 12 hours or so to dry.

Step 11) Drybrushing - 'Drybrushing' is a great way to add highlights to any miniature. Simply put, you load up (let the paint soak into the brush tip) the brush with paint the same color or just a smidge lighter color than the area you are dry-brushing (a few drops of the paint and a drop of white will do). Then dab just about all the paint off the brush and run the brush over a paper towel or coffee filter until you see hardly any paint coming off of it onto the paper. Then take the brush and "dry-brush" by brushing and flicking it over the areas you want to highlight. What should happen is the tiny flecks of paint still trapped on the brush will stick to the higher portions of the mini, making them stand out. Search around on this fair forum for drybrushing tutorials.

Step 12) Other Weathering Techniques - It's really up to you if you'd like your troops to look like they just came from Boot Camp or off the factory floor shiny and new, or if they should look battle worn and covered in dirt and grime. Try 'weathering' your mini a bit if you'd like. Maybe some brown/muddy colored magic wash on your tank treads and infantry boots, or a some flakes of snow along the fenders. The sky is the limit. One suggestion though. If you do any more magic washes, it'll sometimes dull any drybrushing you've done. You may want to drybrush areas after they've seen their final magic wash. Once again, the Boot Camp pages, the Hobby Book, the forums, Google, YouTube for more information on 'weathering'.

Step 13) Basing Research - Once your miniatures are painted, if they're infantry or gun crews (and the occasional vehicle), they need to put on a plastic base. You can remove your infantry from their 'handles' since they're going to need to put them on the plastic bases. Take care not to bend or break the mini when trying to break it free from the glue/blu tack. Depending on the size of the unit, they'll go on a small, medium, or large base. Usually small team of 2-3 Infantry will go on a small base, larger groups of infantry 4-5 and smaller gun teams (HMG's/Mortars) will go on a medium base, and then big gun teams like AT guns and artillery will go on a large base. Try to put a bit of thought into where you will place the mini's on the base and don't just haphazardly stick guys on the base with no rhyme or reason. Imagine you are creating a mini diorama of a still picture from the war. Are they charging in for an attack? Are they hunkered down behind cover on defense? The officer waving his hand leading the charge should be in front of the soldiers (unless he's a Komissar 'encouraging' some conscripts with his SMG from behind). Dry-fit your guys on the base and see what looks good.

Placing your miniatures on the base is just the first part of basing. You want to do some research on your army that you are basing and try to make sure the base 'theme' you are going with makes sense with your unit and miniatures. If you are basing a company of British Desert Rats that are wearing shorts, they wouldn't be on snow covered bases, they'd likely be on a base with a desert look. For most units you can probably go with a generic spring/summer or even city/rubble base. You don't need to go overboard, but don't skimp either. A well painted miniature will look like crap if it's on a poorly done base, while a well done base can make an average painted figure look great.

Step 14) Basing Foundation - There's many ways to base your miniatures on the small plastic bases. It's difficult to list all the different possibilities but I can walk you through the general steps I go through. As you start basing more units, you'll find out what works for you, but hopefully this will give you a good starting point. There's a great basing article on the website that's worth a look.

First, I take the proper sized plastic base I am going to use and I scour/scuff it up a bit with a hobby knife. The grooves will help the mini's, glue and basing texture material to adhere well to the smooth top of the plastic base. Next I super glue or hot glue gun the models down, taking care with their placement so it looks like they are in a combat situation. Now you need new 'handles' so you can easily work on the bases, so you can either hot glue or blu-tac the whole base to your handy nail/golf tee handles. Once that's good and dry, I coat the base itself with my thinned black undercoat mixed with a crushed pumice stone. You can use other materials, but the pumice works the best in my opinion. You could coat the base first with the texture and stick your miniatures right into that as opposed to gluing them down first and coating the base with the pumice mix around the miniatures afterward. I'm just paranoid and want to make sure my mini's are solidly attached to the base, but it adds a lot of work trying to work the pumice around all the miniatures and trying to keep most of it off them.

The key to applying the basing texture material is working to hide the metal base your mini is standing on so it looks like their feet are actually on the ground and the base isn't visible. The pumice texture is extremely messy, but I've found that you can 'spoon' it onto the base with a tiny screwdriver or tooth pick and then spread it around with a big brush soaked in water. You probably want to use an old brush specifically for this purpose as it can get gunked up from from the pumice. I use the wet brush to form and move the texture about the base and clean any of the texture off the miniatures that got up on the legs, etc. You'll want a cup of water nearby so you can continuously clean the brush and re-wet it or the texture will start to stick to the brush. It takes a bit of experimentation/practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can create some awesome looking scenes and it's pretty easy. If you'd like to have the base sides smooth, use the water soaked brush to clean off the base edges as you go. The pumice will start to harden and get sticky after a few minutes, so if you notice any of the texture up on the mini's in places you don't want it to, clean it off as soon as you notice it with the wet brush or even a pair of tweezers for stubborn pieces. If it hardens you'll likely mess up your paint job trying to get the pieces off and need to do a lot of touch up. Another thing to keep in mind is that now is the time to stick any scenery into the texture material that should look like it's half buried or coming out of the ground. Things like tree stumps, rocks, etc. can be pushed right into the texture and with a few swipes of your wet brush can be made to look like they are part of the landscape and not pieces glued on after the fact and floating above it. Let your bases dry a good 12-24 hours so the texture hardens up really well.

Step 15) Base Finishing - Once you've let the texture dry up solid, put down a coat of paint on the texture to simulate the main ground color. If it's a desert scene, paint it the color of sand, if it's any other scene, paint it the color of the underlying dirt/soil. Basically what color would the ground be in bare patches of grass and such, that's what the texture will look like. I use a 1:1 paint/water mixture and the pumice takes it really well. Take care to get all the nooks and crannies and be careful not to get anything up on the feet/bottom of the miniatures. If you do, you may be able to clean it off with a different brush soaked in water. If not just touch them up the original color. Also take care around any of the scenery like rocks/tree trunks you shoved into the texture and try not to get too much paint on those either, unless you want them to match the 'soil' color. Let the textures paint color dry a couple of hours and then give the painted pumice a nice black magic wash to add some depth to the little holes and such. Once again, I let that dry overnight or so.

From here, it's just a matter of giving character to your scene. If there's any extra bits and pieces like shells, boxes, gas cans, etc., that come with your miniatures and need to be added to the base, you can crazy glue them down to the ground now. Once that's done, you need ground cover, bushes, etc. You can find all sorts of flock/materials at your local hobby shop, but you really should check out Scenery Express online. They have just about everything you can possibly imagine. Unless you are going with a desert or city rubble theme, you'll probably want to go with some static grass, and various tufts of flowers/shrubs/etc. These can all be easily put on the base by using an old brush and spreading a 1:1 water/pva glue mixture in the areas where you are trying to attach things. Small bushes/branches and the like will need to be placed with tweezers and held in place in the glue for a few seconds till it sticks well. Static grass can just be sprinkled over the wet glued area. The static grass will go everywhere so I try to do it over a paper towel or even better, a coffee filter so I can capture and reuse and of the grass that didn't stick. Unfortunately, the static grass that does stick will often lay down flat in the glue. There are techniques to try to get it stand up with expensive devices or DIY built static generators. But you can try to just hold the mini upside down and blow lightly on the grass you just put down to try to get some of it to stand up. Once I sprinkle grass on, I'll usually do that and tap the bottom of the base very gently (don't want to knock the base off your handle) to get rid of some of the excess and hopefully let gravity pull some of the grass strands upright. Another way to add some stands of great looking grass is to use Silfor Tufts. I find it's better to do the entire scene on a base all at once and then move on to the next base so you can visualize the whole scene. Once you've got that all down, use a dry brush and tweezers to brush off and remove any stray static grass/foliage that got stuck to your mini's. Give the base/glue an hour or so to dry.

Step 16) Sealing and Protecting your Miniatures - You want to seal and protect your base and miniatures with spray varnish. I like to make sure my miniatures have had a good 24 hours of drying time after I've done any painting/weathering before I varnish them. Before you apply any varnish though, take a minute and look over all your miniatures to make sure none of the base texture or static grass/etc is stuck on your miniatures in places they shouldn't be (like forming a green moustache). At least give all the mini's a quick brush down with a clean brush to remove any dust, etc. I spray the first coat of varnish and give that 30 - 60 minutes to dry. Then I do the final coat of matt/dull coat with a brush.

Step 17) Rinse & Repeat - Take a moment to step back and take a good look at what you just painted. Anything you might do differently next time? Once you've pondered that for a while go to Step 1 and repeat till your army is done

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Step 4: Playing and Enjoying the Game

Step 4: Playing and Enjoying the Game

You've got your books, you've got your army, you've got an opponent. Now what? Simple, you play and have fun! Now, I'm still relatively new to the game myself, so I'm not going to talk tactics or go step by step on how to actually play the game. My purpose with this guide was to get newbies up and running to the point that they can field their army on the table. Actually playing the game is described really well in the books and the Boot Camp videos, and honestly, the only way you'll really figure things out is to actually start playing. You may want to check out the 'Tactics' forum over on teh Flames of War website as well for some ideas about ways to run your army, but you'll learn as you go.

What I did want to walk through in this phase are a few things that I've come across so far that have made things easier and/or more enjoyable for me.

- I want to mention again how important it is to figure out a way to safely and securely transport your army and game supplies back and forth. You spent all that time and effort to paint and get them looking awesome, you don't want them sliding around a shoe box and banging into each other while you are going to your game. There's some vendors that sell 'Army Transport' bags filled with foam cutouts that are perfect, but they're not cheap. You might be able to get away with a fishing tackle box or small storage containers with a lot of little compartments or even make your own foam trays with cutouts. However you do it, just make sure the minis can't move around and rub/bang into hard surfaces.

- If you're lost on anything, post your questions up on the forums or email some of the people you've found in your area that are playing the game. It may take a day or two, but people will respond and help you out (like my entire artillery platoon).

- If you don't understand something you are seeing on the Battlefront website, including information on specific miniatures, don't be afraid to email their customer service with your questions. That's what they're there for! The few times I've emailed them asking questions, they've gotten back to me in a day or two with very useful information and actually answered the question, unlike other companies that I have contacted in the past.

- If you have access to a scanner or copier, (and assuming this is legal), it might not be a bad idea to scan/copy the pages of your army list out of the Intelligence handbooks and the pages detailing all their supporting platoons, warrior statistics, country special rules and arsenal. Why? So you don't have to keep flipping through your book a hundred times to look things up and kill the binding. Plus, it's another weight saver when travelling to your games.

- If you can get your hands on one of the mini Version 3 Rulebooks get one. It's a lot easier to transport to and from your games instead of the full book and it contains all the same information (other than what's in the Forces/Hobby books). If you do get one, take it over to your local mail or printing shop and have them cut the binding off and spiral bind it. The binding on the mini books will go bad eventually and start to split otherwise. I got mine spiral bound for £3 at a local university library.

- Battlefront has created an excellent 3rd Edition Quick Reference Sheet. If you have the capability or pay a few bucks, get that printed double sized and then laminate it. It's a perfect thing to keep on the table while you're playing to help guide you through the turn process.

- Before you go to your game, spend a few minutes and create a one or two page 'cheat sheet' in a word processor with all the pertinent information for your army. If you're using EasyArmy for your army list, you can print this out right from the site. Put everything on it including what army platoons you have, their motivation/skill levels (and target numbers), their arsenal entries, special rules for your country or any warriors you have. All this gives you a quick reference you can use during the game. I've even seen some guys create this and laminate it.

- Before you go to a game, if you think you're going get a few games in, come up with a few different lists where you experiment with some different setups or teams/platoons. This way you can try a few things out and see what works and what doesn't. Even if you don't have the exact miniatures for the other unit, just 'proxy' your units. Before the game, tell your opponent, "Yes, I know that unit is a M3 half-track, but I want to proxy that unit and it's actually a M8 Armored car." As long as it's legal on your list, you tell people beforehand what you're doing and you're not using an Infantry team as a proxy for a Tiger Tank, most people are cool with that while you are learning.

- You'll need a lot of 6 sided dice. Figure out how many dice you need to roll if you added up all the attacks for each of the teams for each platoon. Make sure you have enough dice for whichever platoon has the greatest highest number of attacks. This way you can roll all the dice at once and quickly run through each platoon. Another good idea is to have at least a handful of dice that are a different color. This allows you to roll attacks for different weapons on the same unit at the same time. For example, many tanks have machine guns in addition to their main cannons. You use one color dice for the cannon and other color dice for the MG's and you can roll all the attacks at once. Just make sure you tell your opponent what color is for what weapons before you roll.

- You're going to lose games, probably a lot of them while you are learning. Remember, the key is to have fun. Don't get frustrated or mad. Try to learn from each loss. Talk to your opponent (assuming they're not gloating) Talk tactics and discuss what happened during the battle. See if you can figure out ways to counter what happened on the board. Definitley don't be a sore loser (or sore winner.) If you are, you'll very quickly find fewer people willing to play with you. It certainly would stink to spend all that time and money on an army that sits on a shelf collecting dust because noone is willing to play with you.

- Occasionally you will run into a 'dick'. You know the type of person I'm talking about, that guy/girl that complains, play rules lawyer, and just makes their opponent miserable? Even if you run into one of them, don't let them ruin it for you, and don't stoop to their level. Play the game and try to have fun. Generally for every one of the 'dicks' I've run into, I find 5 or 6 awesome people that are happy to teach you and are just there to play and have fun. Worst case you could always try to avoid playing against 'dicks', or better yet, figure the game out, get good with your troops, and then play him/her and stomp their army into paste. Just try not too gloat...too much.

- Even if you are positive you are going to get into FoW, don't go hog wild buying up 2000 points worth of miniatures right away. Make sure the people you are playing with are actually dedicated to playing. Often players will be willing dropping £20 to get a platoon or two, but quickly lose interest when they see how much time/effort/money it takes to build out a full army. In the original batch of 6 guys I found interested in starting FoW, after 3 months, there's only 1 of us (me) still really into playing. Thankfully I've been taking things slowly (research wise) and buying pieces as I find great deals on the stuff I need. If everyone decided to drop out and you couldn't find any opponents, it would suck to unpainted mini's still sitting in blisters that can't be returned.

- Somewhat related to that last point, if you're anything like me, you go round and round thinking of ways you can tweak/change your army, especially if you start playing escalation games at low point values where you don't have your 'full' army on the board. I lost badly time and time again, immediately I started thinking I had made a mistake and should tweak/change things to deal with tanks or even switch to a different company type. That's a mistake. As your escalation games add more points, you'll have more capabilities open to you and should be able to choose some platoons that will help you deal with tanks. Try to stick with your original game plan for your army at least up through 1000+ points. Even if you do decide to completely scrap your army and go with a different division type, surely there's units from your original list that you can use in a new army as well.

So...there you go. I can't believe how long this ended up being. I hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully it helped you out. I'm sure I missed or mixed up some things and probably got some stuff wrong, so please add on other thoughts, tips or tidbits that you can think of to help out the Newbie's get into the world of Flames of War.

Also as a side note I will be apinting up my miniatures over the coming weeks and months once bits and pieces come into stock and get delivered so will use this (hopefully moderators permitting) as a Hobby Log and show stage by stage painting and techniques that occur to me. You never know this may get 'stickied'

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Late War Germans. A start

Wow that last post was longer than I anticipated I apologise.

When I originally bought this army, I was under the impression that it was fully assembled and primed, all that was needed was to paint the models. SO today I had a look and to my (pleasant) surprise, they are neither fully assembled or primed but partly assembled.

So I will make my start on one box at a time, I have decided to start with

10.5cm Artillery Battery

Consisting of
4x 10.5cm leFH18 Guns
1x Command Team
1x Staff Team
2x Observer Rifle Teams
2x Kubelwagen Jeeps (1 missing damn and blast)
5x Scenic Bases
3x Standard Infantry Bases

Picture of the Box


Scenic & Standard Infantry Bases

Scale Comparison (Necromunda is my next Project)

Will be building the guns today and hopefully updating soon, will also hopefully be priming the infantry and hopefully getting some base coats on as well today.

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Ok guns and crews are assembled, all that is currently left is the Command Team, Staff Team and two Observer Teams and finding a replacement jeep


106 Posts
Just a handy tip. If you glue the individual men temporarily to a cardboard base to paint them. Them it's easier to get to the detail before you glue them on. Trust me I discovered this with my first team. With Guns it's fine to glue to the base but even then I prefer to paint seperate. Hope this helps :biggrin:

53 Posts
I posted this in another one of your threads, but I feel that it applies here as well.

A few more things that I would recommend to help keep costs down.

A: You could buy third party models. Such as Plastic Soldier Company. http://theplasticsoldiercompany.co.u...&cPath=1_22_24. There are a bunch more companies that do it as well. Third party models are completely legal (as long as they are to scale), and are plentiful since there is no copyright/IP.

B: Use this http://easyarmy.com/ , it is kind of like army builder. It has most of the officially published lists, so you technically don't have to buy the list books. Its also really cheap, and is endorsed by BattleFront.

Some helpful links

How to get started

How to find other players

Mad as a sack of Squigs
2,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hello there, thanks for those links they're very useful. UNfortunately I will not be buying from PSC anytime soon becuase I much prefer the quality and materials of Battlefronts miniatures and also because I am one of those SIngle Company Mini Gamers, I like ot stick with just the one and Battlefront (IMHO) deserve all my money for the 15mm models.

Easyarmy is indeed good I know several people who swear by it, unfortunately most of my armylists and postings are done from my phone or works computer so am unable to access it, I do however have a load of downloaded spreadsheets which I feel are as good as easyarmy (except they don't tell me if I have made an illegal selection i.e. mixing Konigstegers into a Tiger army in Grey Wolf :so_happy:)

Anyway, tonight weather and batteries permitting I should be able to post up some pictures of how the army is progressing so far, I have settled on a 1850 Point Schwere Panzer List that I will be using for some considerable time (until the Korsun Pocket campaign kicks off) nothing is painted yet, but have been working on the bases and will be scultping some barbed wire, blasted tree stumps ect in the future so I can visually recognise the different platoons (instead of writing on the bases/colour coding bases)

1,018 Posts
Regarding the Plastic Soldier Company, although the men are a little iffy, their tanks are ridiculously detailed (on par with the FoW ones, but slightly crisper on the ones I've seen, and about 1/2 the price - 5 Panthers for about 15 quid).

I'd recommend having a look at http://www.forgedinbattle.com/ - Their stuff, imo, is crisper than the Official FoW stuff and cheaper.

Love FoW, we've had some pretty epic battles with Tommies vs Das Reich. I've got more than I can possibly hope to paint, but it's such a good game! :)

Enjoy it! :)
1 - 11 of 11 Posts