Today Mark has a look at the new Firestorm campaign that BF is rolling out in August and gives details about how you can join in at Red Storm Descending 2017.
For those not familiar with Flames of War’s “Firestorm” campaign system, they originally started with the Bagration and Market Garden boxed sets for Flames of War WW2. The campaigns had a map to fight over and various rules to depict the ebb and flow of the battle. What was special was the use of ‘Firestorm’ units that could be added to certain games to give you the edge. The system even worked relatively well as a stand alone strategy game.
The only downside with these awesome sets was they could be somewhat complex to run, especially for a weekend event. Some extra free firestorm campaigns were released in PDF format and can be found on the Flames of War website.
With Team Yankee now firmly established, BF has decided to release a Team Yankee Firestorm focusing on the initial Soviet invasion of Europe, 1985. Somewhat differently, this set is being aimed at clubs and events with the opportunity for everyone to join in with a mass campaign run by the guys at Beasts of War. This is a nice move and catches on with the success games like Infinity, Warhammer and Bolt Action have had with online campaigns.
Myself and Tim Harris will be running a Firestorm event in the UK called Red Storm Descending (more on that later) and I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Firestorm event pack. So lets take a look at what it is all about.
The pack consists of a rather nice battle map focusing on Mid/Western Europe (leaving lots of room for future Campaigns on new maps, as a little teaser another one will follow with Stripes at the end of the year). In essence it a great map that historically would have involved all the nations we currently have to play with in Team Yankee.
The campaign is similar to the original Firestorm campaigns except it now doesn’t use Firestorm units. While some would say that this loses a unique feature, it does make the whole thing easier to run and compatible with an online system. In essence you can now grab an opponent and play a game without worrying about the general assigning you extra troops. It also means a TO doesn’t need to supply loads of extra units for an event.
The campaign features 3 stages,
- The initial Surprise Attack (games 1-5) with the USSR launching their offence. In these games the USSR always attack.
- Breakthrough (games 6-10) as the USSR pushes forward and they attack on a 3+.
- Exploitation (games 11-15) when the USSR attempts to exploit their gains and they attack on a 4+.
In essence the campaign dictates the initiative of the forces and who attacks and defends. The defender can then attempt a static defence or local counter attack. These options will then lead to a roll off for an appropriate mission and effect how areas are captured after the game. A defender that wins has a chance to push the enemy back and claim the areas they attacked from as they sweep into their rear (no pun intended!).
Each stage of the campaign has a set number of games but this can be scaled depending on number of players. The pack even comes with some snazzy pin badges you can gain as you win games as a form of bragging rights.
Ultimately the campaign is about taking territory and, in particular, cities. Each one is worth a different number of points; unsurprisingly the key Soviet target of the port of Rotterdam earns the biggest haul, strangling the flow of US and Canadian reinforcements to NATO. At the end of stage 3 you total the points for each side and see who won.
All in all its a simple yet flavoursome campaign, which is perfectly optimised for a weekend of gaming.
Should your gaming group, club or perhaps store wish to join in the fun, then you can get a Firestorm set from BF by emailing their sales team (cost is £15 GBP or 25 USD). Otherwise keep an eye out on Beasts of War for their online campaign in August.
Red Storm Descending ’17.
Building on the success of Red Storm Descending ’16, Tim and I are doing it again at the Sanctuary gaming centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield on 23/24th Sep 17. This time we will be using the Firestorm Campaign to frame the weekends gaming.
We are already up to 14 players but would love to get more. If you fancy joining us then head over the discussion here and let us know.
If you are new to the Team Yankee scene then this is a great way to get to know the community and play some new players in a less completive environment.
Of course there will still be best General awards for each side, as well as the usual painting and scenery prizes.
The weekend will be 5, 85pts games , Red on Blue and will cost £35 including lunch on both days.
We hope to see you there.