So, where to start? A brief description of the boxed set should do.
Open Fire is the starter boxed set for Flames of War, or FOW. It is produced by Battlefront miniatures and personally a nice first step into FOW. Its not expensive at only £23 in the UK and for what you get its great value for money. So lets take a look.
A nice cardboard box, about 12" by 8" nice and solid and holds all the goodies very nicely. Inside the box you will find: One Open fire Handbook.
Which includes full colour pages with mini-scenario's for the models supplied in the box, how-to paint guides, and what else you can purchase to expand this boxed set! It also includes broken-down rules for movement, shooting & assault phases, plus detailed explanations of what the Early, Mid and late-war periods are.
You will also find: Flames of War Mini-Rulebook
Here is a snapshot of the contents page:
The book holds *almost* all the rules for flames of war, some background history and NO army briefings. The rules are VERY in-depth and very easy to pick up, there also mostly, balanced and seem to have a great deal of work put into them almost everything that could happen to a Soldier / Tank in WW2 has been thought of (Apart from trench-foot, illnesses & regular maintenance :) ) There are also some very nice non-historical scenario's as-well covering all of the scenario special rules. It also has the full quick reference sheet for all phases and also for the main country's special rules (British, German, American, soviet) however. It does *Not* include some rules and also has little to no History in it, so picking up the main rulebook is a plus!
And finally you will find: Three Sherman tank's (M4 /M4A1) and Two StuG - IV Assault tanks. With Two german dice, and three American Dice.
Pictures (non-expertly painted by myself and my brother :P )
The Dice are a very nice touch and you can buy custom dice / counters tailored to your own historical Army (for EG: 2nd SS Panzergrenadier kompanie "Das Reich" dice & counters)
The Models: The Sherman's were Perfect casts out of the box, Three Part mini's Having Hull, Turret and cannon separate, the hull & turret are solid resin the cannon being soft metal. As you can see on one of the Sherman's my brother added a piece of wire to one to denote a command tank - The models came with small "indentations" to place wire's in, which i found was rather cool. The Stug's however are Two part models, Tank & Barrel, the tank being solid resin the barrel soft metal. the downside to this boxed set & these particular Stugs is there Schurzen's (armour plates) the way they are cast these are terribly thin and unfortunately for me, they shattered in the post. Lacking the incorrect plasticard thickness, i removed them from my Stug's and filed them smooth. Apart form that there very nicely detailed models and ill round this off saying "Great value for money"
Rounding this short review off: This is a fantastic, if not minimalistic (model wise) starter set, to play the full rules you will need to pick-up the rulebook but, for someone thinking of starting Flames of war I would HIGHLY recommend this set, pick one up, get the models out and play a few games, for £23's its not a huge investment and if FOW isn't for you you've got some "cute" 15mm tanks out of it, if it is you can expand from this set in many ways or start off collecting your own division, the mini-rulebook is pocket sized and ideal for use at tourneys. So to finalise:
If your thinking of starting a WW2 miniature war-game and flames of war has caught your eye. Start off by buying the Open Fire Boxed set.
here is a link to the Flames of war homepage were more information can be found
My personal recommendation to expanding this boxed set is: Research into your desired company you wish to collect (Desert Rats, 12th SS etc) and find out which army briefing book for which era you want to collect pickup said book along with a main rulebook and a infantry platoon so you can practice with all aspects of the rules.
Here's a link to the books section of the online catalogue
Thank you for reading