How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Flames of War

Every so often you get bored of fighting the same opponents, Ben has family commitments again, Winner Dave is winning too much and Dr Alex is plotting away so won’t surface until he’s ready- and so you need a new opponent…

I could go to a local club, or could convert another local to the cause!

A gentleman’s agreement ‘huzzah!’

So it was one evening that I caught up with our favourite Northern monkey Mr Croft who was after a second intro game, and our good old mate Dave J who was also interested in learning to play.

I should add that I tried to teach Dave J once before, but I was also watching rugby at the same time and thus had divided attention and was drinking so not really giving my best – or really any teaching what so ever.

so these are shermans…

So I planned a slightly better experience for them both this time…

Having spoken with Andy I knew he wanted to use his own models so I did a rough list with what he had – it came out at about 840ish points of CV german infantry.

the rules andy lives by

Dave J is very proud of his polish heritage and has wanted to do the polish tanks which his grandfather was part of, and as such I worked out a similar pointed Sherman list for him.

This worked out quite well I thought for a teaching experience, as they could see the difference between infantry and tanks, and also the mixture of Fearless vs confident and trained vs veteran.

For Poland

So we caught up and before starting promptly  went to the pub… teaching while drinking didn’t go well last time. But we were good and only had one out, we did though get a 6 pack on the way home.

I set up the scenery for them on a nice small 4 by4, I decided against the traditional free for all and went for a version of no retreat. I’d decided that as they understood a few basics (about hitting and motivating) I introduced a couple of special rules, like ambush, reserves, smoke and recon. – I also warned them that if the dice didn’t do what I wanted I would alter their results – i had certain things i wanted to explain…

Andy Dislikes Dave’s tanks

So with the basics understood we started rolling dice – I adopted the approach of ‘you tell me your thoughts – and I’ll tell you how to do it in game terms.’ Then I’d go through alternative caveats etc.

So Dave basically doubles up behind some woods, the rest hang back.
Andy understanding ambushes pops his pak40’s and very irritatingly destroys daves tanks!
Dave attempts to assault – how will I GM the Dice?

I leave him with it, before helping DaveJ learn some fire and manoeuvre as well as smoke – before showing how deadly assault is.

Sadly me crofts StuG’s arrive and win him the game. 
Dave hope to understand his force

Hopefully despite the beer – and a rushed finish to go out for a curry! Dave and Andy both improved their knowledge.

So hope that inspires you to get your mates involved, or conversely if you have better methods of teaching let me know!
Like any good stark northman – the North remembers

Till next time

Category: Flames of WarGermansRambling


  1. Good on you for spreading the FoW word. I think No Retreat is a good mission to learn the game. Each sides role is clearly defined and it's easier to set up a balanced scenario. Free For All seems simple, but you have to capture an objective while holding two of your own, hard to do and even harder with less points on the table! Too much chance of it fizzling out and not grabbing a potential new players interest.

    1. Yes it did work well. It was really helpful for us and so important to us newbies to have the game explained. The recce moves, ambushes, reserves. We played it again straight after and are experimenting with a few other defensive based missions now.

  2. So far have only managed to get one mate interested in Flames. All the others can't be arsed having to buy and more importantly paint, an army of their own to play with. *sigh*

    1. See that's one of the interesting things about FoW is I think painting an army is pretty easy and quick.

      Unlike 28mm you don't have lots of fiddly details, for tanks you really can spray green, drybrush/wash pick out a couple of details, add decals, varnish and done!

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Article by: Mark Goddard