Flames of War
Having been a wargamer now for over 25 years the table top game Flames of War has taken me by surprise and outclasses all other games in the field. Of course it helps that I am also an armchair general with great interest in military history. The better you know the history the more fun the game is and the better you know the game the more sense military history becomes. For newcomers this book is not a complete game in itself, the game is played with minatures and you will need the core rulebook Flames of War - but if minature wargaming is your thing - then this is the best game I have played.
But Flames of War isn't just for history buffs, it is a detailed table top game in itself. Game play is tactical and competitive and the scale 1:100 allows it to become realistic. In fact game play is simple but yields realistic results and anything that makes sense is built into the system. As a game it stands out but with its ties in World War 2 it is fantastic.
Enter the East and the start of World War 2. Until now Flames of War has been rooted in the European conflict and North Africa. Here we get to see the Far East for the first time. The setting is the much less know battles between Soviet Russia and Imperial Japan in the months before the start of open war in Europe. The Japanese are introduced for the first time and as can be espected they come with a ruleset that makes them fanatical. The Soviet Red Army is troubled but has great amounts of hardware and numbers to compensate. In addition to Battles of Khalkhin Gol or the Nomonhan, 1939
battles we also have the complete lists for the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union - The Hundred Day Winter War: Finland's Gallant Stand Against the Soviet Army (Modern War Studies)
Both of these conflicts are very interesting and I am thankful to see them released with a full scale of models. Hopefully this is just the beginning of the development of the Pacfic theater of operations and I for one would like to see the Chinese - Japanese conflict as well with it origins even futher back. I think that Flames of War has done the different fractions justice and these are very important points of conflict.
On the downside these are very specific wars and may not have the appeal for all gamers or those whos knowledge of World War 2 is primarily based on the USA or western allies. But for those who want to fight out the opening battles of the Second World War, this addition is gold.